History of Greeley High School / Greeley Central High School

  • 1880-1890

    As the years start out for our dear old school, we remember the spirit of being called the "Vikings."  In the old courthouse called Meeker High, with the athletic program seven years in the future, our five seniors graduated proud as the first to graduate in our fine city of Greeley.


    The hands of time wear away the decades as the new century dawns on Greeley High.  With the young men in suits and ties, and the girls in long dresses, they could hardly foresee the changes that the 20th century would bring.


    This was the decade of new beginnings.  Through the influence of the community, the mascot transposed from the "Vikings" to the "Spuddiggers".  With the naming of the yearbook, the significance of the SPUD remains a memory.  The Spuddiggers were soon to become the Wildcats - the proud name we hold today.
    (First school state championship in boys basketball- 1909)


    As time rolls on we see the care and cheers that is associated with our school.  Our tradition of Thanksgiving baskets started by the Girls Association, and the newspaper called "PEP" kept us informed once a quarter for 5 cents, and recorded the history that is important as we look back today.


    1928 GCHS
    The Roaring '20's gave the Wildcats a new home as Greeley High moved to its new and final building, "The Castle".  Four decades, three school buildings, and in 1928 Greeley High School was erected.  Students while away in the afternoons spending their time at a place called Glenmere, the favorite hang out where they talked, laughed and lived as students always do.


    Then there were those good ole' clubs that included Aviation Club, Guys and Gals Rifle Club, FFA, and of course there was the special event we all like to remember, Prom, the "The Nocturnal Voyage" being the theme.  Of course the big event in sports was the success of our basketball teams as they went off to state!


    The age of pleated skirts and rolled up jeans had dawned upon us when over 270 students were sent off to war due to the draft.  Our entertainment was Highlighted as the Thespian Troupe 657 was formed in 1946 and our football and basketball teams went to Conference.  We can also still hear the music we waltzed to at the special prom.


    During the 1950's, the decade of pep "purrs", Greeley High began the tradition of exchange students; the first being from Washington D.C.  They aslso welcomed the victorious fighting crew of 1952 as they captured the Conference Co-Championship.  We also gained the addition of two new buildings to our grounds - the wood and metals shops and a new music room.  These added an extra atmosphere as well as the mess hall and our very own gymnasium.


    Just as Kennedy's death took the students by surprise, they also experienced a great change as a new high school arose on the other side of Greeley.  With two state championships and several trips to the state tournaments, Greeley High became known as the "Home of the Champs" and changed their name to Greeley Central High School, wearers of the orange and black, in 1965.


    A new look is revealed after the remodeling in 1974.  The girls varsity sports come about in 1977 including tennis, volleyball, basketball, swimming and track.  A new face appears in our Wildcat country and Mr. Hester departs in 1978 and the school is lead by a new Wildcat, Dr. Bernd.  We cannot forget the excited moments of seeing our basketball team go to State and the growth we have experience during the century.
    (Taken from the Class of 1980's plaque dedication)
    At a cost of $350,000.00, this building was completed in 1927 and is the fourth structure to be known as Greeley High School.  At the time, 14th Avenue was at the far western edge of the city, and this site was across the street from what had been a city "dump".  Local architect, Sidney G. Frazier, designed the school to resemble a French chateau.  Extensive remodels in 1958, 1974, 1994, and 2000 dramatically changed the interior and the campus, but the front remained virtually the same and has become affectionately known simply as "The Castle". 
    Even though the name of the school was changed in 1965 to GREELEY CENTRAL, the Willy the Wildcat spirit has remained unchanged.  Under the leadership of principals Paul S. Gillespie, Robert S. Gilcrest, Wendell T. Blight, Wendell K. Beard, Henry C. Jensen, Wendell Wilson, Robert W. Turner, Franklin H. Bressler, Rex W. Hester, Cloyd MacBernd, John Lepetit, John "JC" Christensen, Jon Helwick and Mary Lauer, a constant emphasis has been placed on academic achievement, strong leadership skills, and athletic excellence.  Local, state, and national recognition has been given over the years to many of its programs, students, and graduates. 
    To show the community's pride, 14th Avenue in front of the school was renamed "WILDCAT WAY" in a 2004 ceremony by city, school and student leaders.  This history is shown in the halls and in trophy cases throughout the building.  Pride is demonstrated through what this facility has meant in the past, the role it plays at the present, and what it will be in the future.
    (dedicated May 23, 2005 by the Class of 1950)
Last Modified on July 5, 2023