Last fall, the class of ‘70 was invited to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Wildcat Stadium. (Photography courtesy of the 1970 class of LHHS.)

The 1970 Class of Lake Highlands High School reunion has been delayed until Oct. 24 due to the coronavirus, but alumni are still celebrating. Here are their memories.

It was the mid-1960s when life seemed to begin, and childhood was over. Weekend parties once a month became part of our teen years. We were too young to date but not too young to gather and play Twister, cards or Spin the Bottle. In the summer, swim parties were the best. In the fall, we had football games and the Christmas dance. Those times at Lake Highlands Junior High were filled with innocence. We visited each other’s churches and youth groups. We picnicked at Flag Pole Hill and swam at McCree Pool. We grew up during polio, the Cuban Missile Crisis, sheltering under our desks and the assassination of President Kennedy. Then there was the Beatles, folk music, the Rolling Stones and “Louie Louie,” reported to be filled with obscenities. We continued growing up with strict dress codes, the Vietnam War, bomb threats and the draft. We also made forever friends and fell in love and married. New families grew up in Lake Highlands and watched their children graduate. We did.

— Laurie Justus Pace and Terry Pace

I have so many happy memories of LHHS, from the honor of being selected twice for the Texas All-State Choir to the thrill of hosting my first boy/girl birthday party. My best memory though, was meeting my future husband, Mike, from the class of 1969. We met my sophomore year, had our first date in January 1970 and went to senior prom in May. After attending Texas Tech, we were married in December 1973 and will celebrate our 47th anniversary this year. We have two adult sons, plus what we call “bonus daughters,” and we were blessed to become first time grandparents almost a year ago.

Last fall, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Wildcat stadium. A small group of us attended, representing the band, choir, drill team, cheerleaders and bell boys. Although we had different interests in high school, there are no cliques now. We’re just a bunch of old folks who care about each other.

— Candy Hagen

After winning the 3A State Basketball championship in 1967-1968 and a mediocre 1968-1969 season, LHHS needed to get back to our winning ways. We started the 1969-1970 season with a 10-9 pre-district record. But once the district started LHHS took off, averaging 81 points per game. We set a scoring record, visiting Denison and defeating them 130-65. Andre Tillman had 65 points that night. Our archrivals, Richardson, defeated us in our sellout gym 65-60. But needing to beat them in their gym and force a playoff game was a tough task. We were down 10 points at halftime then came back to win 88-78. This was the first time any varsity team had ever beaten Richardson in any sport. Our playoff game was scheduled at Loos Field House. In front of a packed crowd, LH defeated Richardson 73-64 to win a district title. LH lost to RL Turner 75-60 in the state playoff. The varsity basketball team was fortunate to continue the rich LHHS tradition.

David Grinsfelder

In 2000, the movie “Remember the Titans” was released, which depicted the story of the integration of the 1971 football team at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia, led by its African-American coach, Herman Boone, who was portrayed in the movie by Denzel Washington. 

Unknown to the producers of this film, this same story was played out two years earlier when the Lake Highlands High School Wildcat football team was integrated in 1969 by the Hamilton Park High School football team. What were two really good high school football teams became one really great team. (Ronnie Lewis was the lone African-American student at LHHS who played on the football team prior to 1969 and was affectionately known to his teammates as “Lightning.”) The “Remember the Wildcats” story could have been made into a movie with an LHHS class of ’70 setting.

During the spring of 1969, Hamilton Park High School football players were bused to LHHS to go through spring training with their new Wildcat teammates. They forged the bond that any athletic team must have to be successful, and that bond remains intact today. The Bobcat-Wildcat merger was successful. At the first pep rally with the newly integrated student body, one of the new Bobcat-to-Wildcat football players, Daryl “Chief” Walton, brought the house down while performing his James Brown dance moves during a song played by the Wildcat Marching Band.

With its new-found “soul,” the team launched the season. At that time, only the district champion team advanced to the state playoffs, and the Cats were faced with a must-win situation against Richardson High School in the final game of the season at Wildcat Stadium. Although the Cats lost that night, a new legacy of strength through diversity was born. In 1981, LHHS experienced its only undefeated and state championship football season in the school’s history. Remember the Wildcats!

“Although we had different interests in high school, there are no cliques now.”

— Bob Iden

For one of our home football games in the fall of 1969, we began working on a special “trick” play. For those games, the team walked through the parking lot around the north end of the stadium and entered on the west side. As we came through the gate, I saw Dan Pritchett to my left under the stadium with his camera in hand. I called him over and told him that the first time we had a good field position, he should be in the end zone. Then one of the coaches yelled at me for not concentrating on the game. Sure enough, we started near mid-field, and on first down, we ran the double-reverse flea-flicker play, and it worked. Don Jarma hit a wide-open Doug Geldert down the middle for a touchdown. Dan was in the end zone and got a great head-on picture of Doug just after he caught the ball. It was one of the best football pictures we had all year. Several times during the rest of the season, Dan asked me if I had any suggestions for him.

— Pat Hogan

The first wing of the new LHHS was built in 1964-65 and our class had seventh grade there. There was no gym, so we mostly had PE in a classroom. Prior to that, the junior and senior high grades had been housed in the now Junior High. When our class moved back for eighth grade, the senior high class moved into the new high school, which was not yet completed. Construction took years and in the interim, our class learned to drive and could roam the neighborhood. One day, Adrienne Jamieson White, Zoe Ann Zelios Homeyer, Debbie Gillen Peveto and I went to the construction site and posed for a few pictures all around the building. After our photo shoot, we went across the street to play tennis on the newly construction courts at White Rock Trail and Church, where later would be the new pool and eventually the rec center. The Lake Highlands community was definitely in a growth spurt.

— Cindy Ubben Causey

My family moved to Lake Highlands when I was 5. I attended Lake Highlands Elementary, played ball in the streets, caught tadpoles in the creek where Lake Highlands Methodist built a parking lot. My class was lucky. In third grade all the upper classes were moved to Wallace. Our class ruled the school in fourth, fifth and sixth. Junior high was unique. It was the first time that three elementary schools came together for seventh grade. There wasn’t room for us at the junior high building. Our seventh-grade class attended the unfinished LHHS.

Students in my class from elementary school were the upperclassmen four years in a row, so my memories are strongest with those friends and teachers. There was the time I was decorating the goal post — standing on my car so we could reach the crossbar — just two cars on the field so how did I hit Sonny Morgan’s car?

I loved my high school experience and that is why I chose to raise my five children in the area and now have eight grandchildren here.

— Sally Russell Grinsfelder

If you’re interested in attending the Lake Highlands High School class of ’70 reunion on Oct. 24, find information and tickets  at lhhswildcats.com.