LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - It’s been 44 years since Sulphur High School last held its graduation ceremony in Matt Walker Stadium. But this year, amidst all the problems that have arisen from the coronavirus, the senior class of 2020 was able to end their year in a stadium that holds a special place in the hearts of many.
“Well, you know, our year it was the bicentennial year so there was a lot of activities about the 200th anniversary of our nation. It was an exciting senior year. Throughout the year there were many activities and festivities," explained Mayor Mike Danahay who graduated in 1976. “I played sports of course. I belong to several organizations and clubs. It was an exciting time of the year and of course graduation, that year was always a very big step for all of us at that time.”
Another member of the 1976 senior class told us just what the stadium means to them.
Sherry Miller says, “You know, the stadium was the heart of the school. Sulphur High School in the 70s, we were a football powerhouse! So sitting there on that field looking up in the stands, you did get nostalgic of all the times you spent there. Not a thought in my mind that they would ever stop graduating us on that field."
“I graduated in May 1976. It was very very much the pride of saying I was the last one to graduate on the field," Miller told us. “Passing the torch would be a very great symbolism. They had so many things taken away from them, but what a special thing to be on Sulphur high school football field at home, having their ceremony.”
And the meaning of the stadium and this special occasion wasn’t lost on this year’s graduating class.
“Being able to graduate, you know, it was really something I didn’t think was going to happen,” said 2020 graduate Sydney Weidner. “When I did find out that it was going to be on the Sulphur High football field, it really made me feel so good inside knowing that I get to finish off my high school years at the stadium where I have so many memories.”
Weidner says its an honor to share that place in history with the class of 1976, “The class of 2020 will always be remembered, but you know being able to walk across the football field, like the class of 1976, it’s really a special moment and I think it’s something that those two classes will always remember and they’re in the same club.”
And Weidner said its something that she personally will hold dear, “It’s really something I’ll never forget. Just getting to see just everyone come together it really is a special fact to know that after all of this coronavirus is said and done it was something special that came out of it for the class of 2020.”
Congratulations to the graduating class of 2020 and thank you to CPSB-TV for all their hard work in live-streaming the graduations.
Live-streamed graduations for the rest of the schools in our area continue at Matt Walker Stadium this weekend.
- Westlake High School - 5 p.m.
- LaGrange High School - 7:30 p.m.
- Washington Marion High School - 5 p.m.
- Calcasieu Parish Alternative High School - 7:30 p.m.