To the editor:
As a George Washington High School alumnus, I was very pleased to read about the belated induction of former extraordinary GWHS athletes Joe Hensley, “Dee” Campbell, Bobby Jones, Doug Yates, Bob Garda and the 1945 State Championship Basketball team.
However, the statement issued by the School Board that “the 1945 team was the school’s “only team to win a state championship,” is blatantly false and should be corrected. The team was the only basketball team; however, the GWHS Baseball team won the State Championship game in Alexandria in 1947. Also, the teams of noted Track Coach Tom Fitzgibbons, won six state championships: four in track & field (indoor and outdoor) in 1948 and 1949, two state cross-country championships in 1947 and 1948 and a southern conference championship in Raleigh, N.C. in 1949. Coach Harry Caughron, a Virginia Sports Hall of Fame inductee, also won a state track & field championship in 1954. While there was no state championship in crew, Coaches Julian Whitestone and Jack Franklin, also an Olympic judge, won “National” crew championships in 1954 and 1956.
Accordingly, the School Board, through a communication error or lack of historical knowledge, tarnished the illustrious athletic history of GWHS by the elimination of eight state championships, a southern conference championship plus two national championships.
-Jerry File, Alexandria