We all have special memories of our days at A.H.S. and Aurora. Send them to us below. It's fun for all of us to see what our high school and community was like before, during, and after we were there. Submit your favorite tid-bits, trivia, and favorite good remembrances and we'll all take take a trip down memory lane. We already have a few...
Do You Remember When?......
President Richard Nixon visited Aurora in his 1972 reelection campaign and was given the Keys to the City by Mayor Neal Anderson.
Gene Pitney and Paul Revere and the Raiders played at the Geauga Lake Ballroom (late 1960's)
During the mid-90's expansion of the High School the construction crews created a huge mound of dirt beside the school that was taller than the gym. We called it "Mount Aurora" and used it for fantastic snow boarding.
Aurora High School did not have a gym and the the high school basketball team had to practice outside - snow, rain, or shine. All the games were away.
Aurora football games were played on the field west of Craddock Elementary.... the crowd sat on the hill.
Aurora had 2 Post Offices; one was located in Geauga Lake with a Geauga Lake postmark and the other was in the old Mary Mowl's house next to the old Bradley's furniture store.
A.H.S. did not have a marching band. Halftime entertainment was provided by the A.H.S. Drill Team (now Aurora "Highlights") to the accompaniment of records played over the sound system.
The press box at the Football stadium was on visitors side of the field.
The Homecoming Floats were so huge and elaborate they were built on flatbeds and had to be driven around the track by tractors and trucks.
We had caravans going all over town before all the home football games. Dozens of people. The cheerleaders, band members, drill team, flag corps, the other fall athletes, members of the student body.... even parents. The cars were decorated and we blew car horns, played our instruments, and cheered all over town before the games. And then there were the years that we even had huge potluck dinners after school before we started the caravans.
We had huge bonfires the week of homecoming down at the stadium. They spent days collecting firewood, and old pallets from local factories that made the fire so big you couldn't get within 50 feet of it.
Do you remember in the 1980s when the seniors would gather in the Aurora Commons parking lot to decorate their cars? The cars would be decorated for the senior car parade throughout Aurora. I remember being a part of this with all the streamers on my car and all the honking horns of my classmates as we drove through the neighorhoods and State Route 43. Cannot say that was my favorite memory, but one of many memories all the same! Member of the Mighty Class of 1983!
Sat. Afternoon home football games,west of HS. Field marked by players after Friday practice. First game,Sept.'51 after survey by Ohio highway dept. found field only 110 yards long. Officials decided to make the field 50 yards long at the south end, 40 yards long to the north. Every time the ball went inside the 30 yard line, time was called and the ball was moved back 10 yards. Problem solved! Official time was kept on the field by the school principals from behind the offensive team. The 1950 home games were played in a hay field, freshly cut with hay stubble providing a punishing surface. Not to mention the dead furrow running goal line to goal line in the center of the field.
Home basketball games were played in the Grange Hall at Mantua Center. The foul circles overlapped the center jump circle.
Home baseball games were played in an auxiliary parking lot at Geauga Lake Park. It was an all dirt field.
The class of '53 provided the impetus to resume 11 man football, 9 of the starting 11 in 1949 , were freshman after two years of six man football. We finished with two undefeated seasons , one tie. REMEMBER THE GREENIES!! Submitted by Harry Lee - Class of 1953
During the 50th Class reunion of 1963 - the most fascinating part of their tour of Craddock Elementary (which used to be Aurora HS) - was the boiler room. The boiler room is where students were disciplined using a wooden paddle. They each took turns telling their own paddling story.
A note from Geoff Jewett - Class of 1966 - from their 50th undefeated football teams reunion -
"Our championship football game in 1965 was with Windham on our home field at what is now Craddock School. It was the last year that HS football was played there. Windham was a better team on paper with the top two sprinters in the county at the two running back positions. Our coaches did a great job of prepping us for the game, building our confidence during the week and just prior to going out on the field they read a note that they had received that Saturday morning from Blanton Collier. He was coach of the Cleveland Browns who had just won the NFL championship in 1964, the last before the Super Bowl. By the way, he lived on Ben Shaw Road at the northeast corner of Williard Road. The GM of the team, Harold Sauerbrei, lived two doors east of him, Gary Collins, MVP of the 1964 championship team, and Dick Schafrath, an All-Pro offensive tackle lived in Four Seasons, Bernie Parrish, a defensive back lived on Eldridge Road and Fritz Heisler, offensive line coach, lived on Trails End Road. Anyway, the note he sent read, “I played in a championship game in high school and my coach told us then – A team that won’t be beaten, can’t be beaten, We won! You can too!” We had no idea he was following what we were doing and it clearly was an inspiration because, as I indicated above, there were many Browns connections in Aurora at the time. We went on to beat them 8-6 in a great game with people three rows deep standing around the entire field. The stands were very small back then. "
One more from Geoff Jewett "The other story has to do with the only game we didn’t win during those two seasons where we tied Ravenna Southeast in the 1965 season. Our coaches instituted a passing offense with a flanker and split end which was unheard of in high school back then to take advantage of Tom Curtis’ passing ability. We played at Southeast right after a rainstorm in a mud bowl. They were bigger and heavier and gave us problems with their running game and we couldn’t get any traction with our passing game. With about 4 minutes left in the game Tom Curtis, TC as we called him, was able to hit me with a pass in the end zone to tie the game at 6-6. He threw me another pass for the extra points but Jack Shaw knocked it out of my hands as he thought it was intended for him. We were able to hold them on the next set of downs and they punted to us at about midfield with 15 seconds left. I played flanker on offense, cornerback on defense and all the special teams and the thought occurred to me while heading back to the huddle that I could go to the sideline, stay inbounds facing the field like everyone else on the sideline and take off downfield along the sideline where there was traction when the ball was snapped. Fortunately, TC was astute enough to see that I was missing from the huddle, saw me near the sideline, but in play, and hustled the team up to the line of scrimmage. I had told the referee that I was in bounds so that they wouldn’t think that I had come from out of bounds. As TC was getting the team up to the line of scrimmage, I saw out of the corner of my eye the Southeast safety counting players and I was hoping he wouldn’t see me before the ball was snapped. When the ball was snapped, I took off down the sideline and TC threw a great pass that I had to lunge to get to catch and stumbled in the process. I knew I couldn’t dive for it because we were out of time outs and the game would be over. Anyway, the safety apparently caught on soon enough that he was able to catch me and tackle me at the 20 yard line and prevent us from winning the game. I thought it was a pretty smart play on my part and great recognition on TC’s part but unfortunately the safety was a pretty smart football guy himself. It was Larry Kehres who went on the play and coach at Mount Union College and become a hall of fame coach with the highest winning percentage, the most national championships and the most undefeated regular season records of any coach in college football history. I think the note that TC wrote on his senior picture that we traded with each other at the time said it all. “To someone who hates to lose as much as I do”.