On a gorgeous fall afternoon, four classes of Hendersonville High School students worked on hands and knees, paint brushes and paint sponges in hand to create large banners that will unfurl in the morning at Dietz Field.
It must be Spirit Week.
The freshman, sophomore, junior and senior classes had their own canvas to paint and their own spot on the lawn. The three younger classes were lined up on the grass in front of the main entrance; the seniors were around the corner, superior and apart.
"They're off by themselves because they're better," assistant principal Scott Moore joked.
The students were painting the Go Bearcats! banners out of school pride but also as part of an HHS tradition as important as homecoming: the Croft Cup. The Croft Cup pits the classes against one another in a contest where the students win points for volunteerism that improves the school.
The Bearcats play Mitchell High School Friday night as part of homecoming activities that also include the induction of six new honorees into the HHS Alumni Association Hall of Fame. The Alumni Association has named five HHS graduates and a longtime teacher and coach to the Hall of Fame.
The Hall of Fame induction is at 5 p.m. Friday at the HHS Auditorium with a reception to follow in the school library and the homecoming football game after that at Dietz Field. An alumni reception is scheduled after the game at the Cedars.
Here are the 2012 inductees:
• Robert Cunningham, class of 1953, attended the University of South Carolina where he earned a business degree later a law degree. He worked in law until taking a position with Olin Corporation in 1973. Bob continued working in Hendersonville and was active in both professional and civic organizations, which include being president of the Western Carolina Manufacturers Association, member of the North Carolina Labor Board, chairman of the Pardee Hospital Fundraising Drive, and member of the Executive Council Board of the Daniel Boone Council of Boy Scouts of America. Among the honors he received is the order of the Long Leaf Pine, North Carolina's highest civilian award.
• Paul Goebel, a 1963 graduate of Furman University, was the second person hired by the Phoenix Suns, serving the NBA team as head scout and sales promotion manager. He helped start the Junior Development Basketball League, which the NBA sponsors to this day. Paul went into education and spent the first part of his teaching career in Prescott, Ariz. He came to Hendersonville High School in 1987 and taught social studies and history and served as basketball and tennis coach. While at Hendersonville, he started the mock trial team and the yearly social studies symposium. He also works with the Lake Junaluska Peace Conference, Furman University Alumni Board of Directors and Red Cross, and served as president of the Henderson County Association of Educators.
• Jon Laughter, '57, received a degree in Civil Engineering from N.C. State University. Jon then went into the Air Force where he received the Air Force bronze star and the US Air Force Commendation medal during his service time in the Vietnam war. Following his time in the military, he returned to Hendersonville and eventually started his own engineering and surveying business and has been a part of many projects that have helped Hendersonville grow over the past years. Jon has served the community as a Rotarian, a member of the Board of Education, a member of the Hendersonville City Council and many other offices and civic areas.
• Kathy Morgan, '69, attended Elon College and played on the first women's volleyball and basketball teams. She returned to Hendersonville Junior High to teach PE and came back to Hendersonville High four years later. Kathy initiated the idea of "Celebration," the drug and alcohol free graduation party that took hold and is used by all four county high schools. Kathy is involved in numerous community activities and organizations including the Henderson County Rescue Squad, Henderson County Rape Crisis Center, United Way and American Red Cross and has won numerous awards for her work locally and in education.
• Gene Norman, '53, was active in many school activities. An outstanding athlete, he played on the 1952 state championship basketball team. After his military service, Gene returned to work in Hendersonville where he has been a loyal Bearcat for over 50 years. As city recreation director, Gene partnered with HHS to allow swim classes to be taught at Patton Pool through the P. E. program. He is the start of three generations of Hendersonville graduates and remains a Bearcat in the truest sense of the word.
• Cecile "Teal" Wilkins Sims, of the class of 1943, has been an active Bearcat her entire life. She worked at Barber's Camera and Card Shop in downtown Hendersonville for over 20 years and is a former member of the Hendersonville Welfare Club, Hendersonville Junior Women's Club and the Possum Hollow Women's Club. Her greatest achievement has been through her support of Hendersonville High. She is part of four generations of Bearcats that have actively supported the school both academically and scholastically. Her positive attitude and never give-up spirit has been her forte over the years as she continues to serve the school.