February 14—The history of Stratton High School is an important part of the City of Beckley’s legacy.
That history will be honored when Woodrow Wilson’s men’s basketball team hosts a county rival on Thursday night.
Stratton High will be celebrated all night when the Flying Eagles take on Shady Spring at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center. The tip-off is set for 7.30pm
Woodrow players will wear warm-up shirts featuring the green and gold of Stratton, the all-black school that started in 1907 and closed when it was integrated with Woodrow Wilson in 1967, 13 years after the historic Brown v. Brown decision. Board of Education in Topeka, Kan., which declared segregation unconstitutional.
The word Stratton will run across the front along with an image of a bulldog, the school’s mascot.
On the reverse will be the number 2,786, the total number of Stratton graduates.
“Hopefully we can grow in the future and make this an annual event,” said first-year athletic director Andrew Pinnick.
Logan High School did something similar last week when it commemorated Aracoma Senior High School, an all-black school that opened in 1929. The name was dropped in 1962 when it was integrated with Logan High.
Pinnick said facts about Stratton will be announced during the game. For example, the 1954 football team won a WVAU state championship.
Additionally, all Stratton graduates who attend the game will be asked to stand and be recognized during the second quarter.
The wish was to honor Stratton during Black History Month, and the Flying Eagles had few home dates scheduled for February. Thursday’s game will be only the second game of the month at the Armory for Woodrow – the first was February 4, when Nequan Carrington, Fred Lewis and Mario Walton were inducted into the Beckley Basketball Hall of Fame.
The only home game left this month will be Saturday when the Flying Eagles host Buckhannon-Upshur on Senior Night.
Thursday is definitely the biggest of the three. Not only is Shady a rival, but the Tigers are one of the best teams in the state regardless of class. They are classified No. 1 in Class AAA and are riding a 15 game hitting streak.
The story continues
“It’s going to be a great game. I think a lot of people will be there since it’s Shady,” said Pinnick.
“At the end of the day, we have to tell our whole story, our whole story and how we got here. We really want to honor our past and those that came before us.”
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