Home­com­ing, An­niver­sary Plans Mov­ing Ahead

Riverbank News - - FRONT PAGE - BY RIC McGIN­NIS

Even though this will be the first week of the foot­ball sea­son where River­bank Bru­ins foot­ball play­ers are on the road, next week will see the Home­com­ing Game on the RHS sched­ule. The nor­mally busy Home­com­ing ac­tiv­i­ties planned will be aug­mented by an in­flux of alumni, cel­e­brat­ing the 50th an­niver­sary of the found­ing of River­bank High School, in 1967. The first class grad­u­ated in 1968. A com­mit­tee formed of lo­cal alumni, many of them teach­ers still liv­ing in or around the River­bank area, has sched­uled ac­tiv­i­ties to kick off the cel­e­bra­tion for next Thurs­day evening, Sept. 21, in down­town.

Then the Home­com­ing Pa­rade in the af­ter­noon on Fri­day, Sept. 22 will be fol­lowed by the big half­time cel­e­bra­tion of crown­ing a new King and Queen at the Home­com­ing game. Adding to the fes­tiv­i­ties will be alumni from through the years at RHS at­tend­ing to par­tic­i­pate in that 50th an­niver­sary.

The Thurs­day event has been dubbed by the com­mit­tee as the Alumni Brew ‘n Crawl, be­gin­ning on Santa Fe and Third streets, at Pizza Plus and the Plaza del Rio. Live mu­sic and food will be fea­tured from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The Red Car­pet Tav­ern will be of­fer­ing drink spe­cials dur­ing the same time. Alumni also will be wel­come at The 108 Sports Lounge on Atchi­son Street, which is of­fer­ing drink spe­cials, $2 tacos and $2 beer un­til 2 a.m.

At the same time, the River­bank His­tor­i­cal Mu­seum will be staffed by vol­un­teers open­ing for the evening, with a brand new dis­play rec­og­niz­ing the early days of RHS Bruin foot­ball.

His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety board mem­ber Mary Banda has ac­quired an early Bruin foot­ball uni­form from RHS staff and it will be on dis­play in the mu­seum. Also avail­able for re­view will be the near com­plete col­lec­tion of RHS year­books, be­gin­ning with the class of 1967-68. Alumni can en­joy re­liv­ing mem­o­ries while pe­rus­ing the year­books while vis­it­ing the mu­seum.

Although Banda grad­u­ated in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia, she be­gan work­ing at Car­dozo Mid­dle School in 1971 be­fore mov­ing to Cal­i­for­nia Av­enue Ele­men­tary School in the mid-1970s, and so has worked with many of the RHS alumni as stu­dents over the years.

Fri­day, Sept. 22 will bring the main cel­e­bra­tion, with the Home­com­ing

Pa­rade through the streets of down­town River­bank be­gin­ning at 3:30 p.m. The pa­rade usu­ally forms near the Com­mu­nity swim­ming pool at Sev­enth and Stanis­laus streets, then comes west on Santa Fe, turn­ing south on Third and east on Stanis­laus, headed back to the area of the Com­mu­nity Cen­ter.

RHS Coach Monte Wood, on his Cross Coun­try/Track & Field Face­book page, noted the 50th recog­ni­tion and is invit­ing all RHS track and field and cross coun­try alumni to join in on the pa­rade. He said fel­low Coach Bruce Ed­wards will have a dec­o­rated van to drive in the pa­rade. Ath­letes will walk or run the pa­rade route, he said.

“I even have vin­tage jer­seys for alumni to wear if they de­sire,” Wood said, adding that the group will as­sem­bly at the com­mu­nity pool.

“Once a Bruin, Al­ways a Bruin!” he added.

An Alumni Re­cep­tion will be held dur­ing the JV foot­ball game on Fri­day evening, hosted in the Fau­ria Memo­rial Gym­na­sium on the RHS cam­pus. Or­ga­niz­ers said it will in­clude an RHS Time­line and com­pli­men­tary ap­pe­tiz­ers, from 5 p.m. un­til the fourth quar­ter of the early game.

The group will then move over to the ad­ja­cent foot­ball field for a Pre-Game Show that will honor the RHS Bruin Band and alumni band mem­bers, with an Olympic­style pa­rade around the track by decade/class.

An ‘af­ter party’ has been sched­uled for The 108 Sports Lounge, where alumni can en­joy live mu­sic and alumni drink spe­cials fol­low­ing the game.

The com­mit­tee is hop­ing alumni mem­bers can get in touch with their for­mer class­mates, ask­ing them to show their Bruin pride. They are ask­ing par­tic­i­pants to wear their class jack­ets, home­com­ing sashes, crowns, Tshirts, what­ever they have to show their pride.

Also a Spirit Bear will be awarded to the most spir­ited class at the high school, to be dis­played in the RHS of­fice un­til next year’s Home­com­ing game.

The com­mit­tee has es­tab­lished a Face­book page. Search “River­bank High School-Fifty Looks Good On Us” or @RHS50thanniver­sary for more in­for­ma­tion.

RIC MCGIN­NIS/THE NEWS

River­bank His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety board mem­ber Mary Banda shows off the new­est ac­qui­si­tions that will be avail­able for RHS alumni cel­e­brat­ing the 50th an­niver­sary of the found­ing of the high school later this month. Staff at the high school has loaned the His­tor­i­cal Mu­seum a near com­plete set of foot­ball equip­ment from the early days of the in­sti­tu­tion.

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