San Diego High School

Harrison Glazebrook, staff writer, sophomore

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Being one of the oldest high schools in California, San Diego High’s past is great and full of rich memories and achievements. From the famous Balboa Stadium to the symbolic Old Grey Castle SDHS is the pride of San Diego.

It started as a humble eight-room, two story building named the Russ. Named after Joseph Russ who donated 5,000 dollars in materials to the construction of the Russ in the late 1800’s.

In 1911 it burned down, and the famous Old Grey Castle was erected. The ivy covered walls and the castle-like architecture were the defining features of this great school. Some students like International Studies sophomore Emilio Luna said, “I have a theory that Caver Bob became the mascot of San Diego High because the old campus looked like a rock cave.” The San Diego high mascot has always been a caveman; it is unclear why but the original mascot name was the Cavemen that later changed to the Cavers. One explanation is that during one football game as the team came out of a tunnel in the old Balboa Stadium the announcer said that they looked like they a bunch of cavemen coming out of a cave and the school’s mascot was born.

Balboa Stadium is also a great achievement and pride of SDHS. An article on San Diego High reported: “The Stadium opened on May 31, 1915, during the Panama-California Exposition, with a capacity of 23,000, it was the largest municipal stadium in the nation at the time. In 1960, a second deck was added expanding the capacity to 40,000, making Balboa Stadium the largest high school stadium in the nation.” The former San Diego Chargers even played in this stadium.

At this point in SDHS was very prestigious. It had the largest high school stadium in the nation as well as a great football team. On top of that SDHS was the pride of San Diego. San Diego History Center reporter John Cash said: “San Diego High School were an important part of life in the city. Activities at the school, such as graduation exercises, dramatic club productions, receptions, and dances, along with sporting events, were newsworthy and often covered by the local press and documented by professional photographers.”

The Russ student newspaper was first published on December 6, 1889, and can still be seen today at San Diego High. It faced many obstacles throughout the years being in and out of publication, but the staff behind The Russ and the Alumni Association are determined to keep this newspaper running. International Studies junior Zoey Buitrago said: “I went and saw the old photos and articles about San Diego High and it makes me wish I went to school back then because it looked so prestigious.”

In the late 1960’s most of the old school was demolished, due to earthquake standards and new buildings were built. During the demolition, it took many tries and very strong destructive materials to bring down the Old Grey Castle, because it was so well built.

Recently the city of San Diego voted whether to demolish or keep San Diego High in its original location. The city voted against such actions, and SDHS was saved for another hundred years. San Diego High English and journalism teacher Mr. Senteno said,”When I was a kid the stadium was like, wow! It looked a heck of a lot better back then than it does now.”

San Diego High is the pride of San Diego with a rich history full of achievements.

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The online edition of San Diego High School's newspaper
San Diego High School