Friday Flyover: Portage High School

Wednesday, September 27, 2017 06:00AM
This week, we feature Portage High School on ABC7's Friday Flyover, celebrating high school sports.


PORTAGE, Ind. - This week, we feature Portage High School on ABC7's Friday Flyover, celebrating high school sports!

Portage Football will play at Ames Field in Michigan City Friday night.
PHOTOS: Portage High School
PHOTOS: Friday Flyover
FUN FACTS

The buildings used to be separated by the tennis courts and to go between East and West buildings, students had to travel outside between classes.

In 1997 a fan in the ventilation system started smoking causing the fire alarms to go off. The buildings were evacuated and we spent around 2 hours in the retention pond area in the front of the school. Kids were playing duck, duck, goose, tag, etc.

When we moved from the Willowcreek building to the "new" high school, we went from an open to a closed campus.

The wooden beams in guidance are from a barn that stood on this site before the high school was built.

At the beginning the high school was so big it had 2 addresses one for East and one for West.
This year we are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the 1977 state football team under Coach Klein and when we returned home from the game the whole town was up to celebrate us!

HISTORY OF PHS

Portage Township had its first high school graduate in 1895- a class of one. The next year there was a graduating class of eight.

The first school in Portage Township was a log schoolhouse located at the corner of what is now McCool and Robbins Roads. It was built in 1840, four years after the township was created.

In 1953 construction on the new Portage High School began at the corner of Willowcreek Road and Central Avenue. The class of 1955 was the first class graduating. The former high school at Willowcreek and Central is now a middle school. The present high school on Route 6 and Airport Road was built in 1979. In school year 1979-1980, Mr. Forrest Rhode was the principal and Richard Kirchner the vice principal.

Virgil Grissom Middle School on Route 6 became Portage High School West. Mr. Gill, PHS principal, was a sophomore the first year PHS was open.

The sport teams wore red and white.

PHS AWARDS

-Football State Champions, 1977 (3A)
-Cross Country State Champions: 1974, 1984, 1992, 1999
-Gymnastics State Champions: 1975, 2013
-Softball State Champions 2000 (3A) 2013 (4A)

Portage High School hosts the 14th oldest MCJROTC unit in the United States:
-The Portage High School Marine Corps Junior ROTC program is the oldest Marine Corps JROTC program in Indiana and was established in September of 1970. The program has a long history of excellence and is routinely designated a Naval Honor School. The Naval Honor School designation is bestowed on programs that show excellence in the core mission of Marine Corps JROTC - developing the character and citizenship of the nations youth. As a Naval Honor School the Portage program is one of the "Top Ten" schools in Region 3, which consists of 48 schools and one of the "Top 50" programs in the country (total of 265 programs).

Robotics National Award Winners:
-Mentors for Elementary STEM Clubs

Portage High School Art Department Students have won many awards & participated in various art shows:
-Scholastic Art & Writing
-Indiana Duck Stamp Contest
-International Violin Competition
-Art on the Lake
-Portage High School Art Show
-International Empty Bowls Project
-South Shore High School Art Competition
-Congressional Art Competition
-Valparaiso Sidewalk Art
-Frontline Student Sidewalk Art
-Face Painting for Gabriel's Horn Women's Shelter
-Herron School of Art Junior Competition
-Elkhart, IN High School Photography Competition
-Indiana State University Art Day and Portfolio Review

-Ball State Portfolio Day

Portage Township Schools are:
-Common Sense Media Digital Citizenship Certified District
-All eleven of our schools, 8 elementary, 2 middle schools, and the high school
-Takes digital citizenship seriously and recognizes the impact social media has on their lives.

High School Nation:
-One of only four school districts in Indiana to win the opportunity for our kids.

NOTABLE ALUMNI

Alexandra Marie "Lexi" Elisha: An American Christian musician, who plays a Christian pop style of music. She has released four independently made extended plays, since 2012, Let Go, Eventually, Rope, and Drowning in Love.

Darren Keith Elkins: An American mixed martial artist signed to the Ultimate Fighting Championship where he fights in the Featherweight division. As of August 8th, 2017, he is #9 in the official UFC Featherweight rankings.

Melissa McGurren: Coming to Chicago wasn't a far trip for Melissa, who grew up in Indiana. At the age of 8, Melissa was already writing and creating radio shows on cassette tapes to play for her mom. Although the shows needed some work (we've heard them) she decided to pursue a career in radio. Melissa started her radio career in the Hoosier State in Hammond and Merrillville before becoming a researching, idea generating, traffic reporter at THE MIX. She consistently strives to be the best Melissa she can be and truly believes there is always more to learn through new experiences in life.

SCHOOL SONG: GO PORTAGE HIGH SCHOOL!

Go, Portage High School - Fight on for our fame!
Pass the ball you players for a touch-down wins the game! Rah!
Rah! Rah! Go Portage High School - Fight on for our fame!
We're here to do it - Come on let's do it.
Ever on to Victory!
Pass 'em high and pass 'em low - Come on team let's go!
Pass 'em high and pass 'em low - Come on team let's go!

To find out more about Portage High School, visit the school's website.
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