Kelso High School

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Kelso High School
Kelso High, Washington.jpg
1904 Allen Street
Kelso, Cowlitz County, Washington
 United States
Coordinates 46°08′37″N 122°53′29″W / 46.143545°N 122.891285°W / 46.143545; -122.891285Coordinates: 46°08′37″N 122°53′29″W / 46.143545°N 122.891285°W / 46.143545; -122.891285
Type Public
Motto "We Are Kelso"
Established 1905[1]
School district Kelso School District
Principal John Gummel
Grades 9-12
Number of students 1819[2]
Color(s) Royal Blue, Gold, and White               
Athletics conference Greater St. Helens 3A

The Hilanders[3] and Lassies

Rivals Mark Morris Monarchs, R.A. Long Lumberjacks
Accreditation NAAS[5]
Yearbook Kelso Bagpipe, formally known as the Tamahnawus[6]

Kelso High School is a public high school in Kelso, Washington.


In 1905, the first Kelso High School (then known as Washington School) classes began with the first seniors graduating in 1909. Thirteen years later, a new high school was built, known as Kelso High School, in 1922. The first year the high school was accredited by the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools was in 1927. The school was moved to its current location after a new school was built in 1970. The original Kelso High School was torn down in 1987. In 2003 the building underwent extensive renovations and additions to accommodate the district wide change from junior high (7th-9th) to middle school (6th-8th) (Huntington and Coweeman). In 2008, the 100th Kelso senior class graduated.[1]


Kelso participates in the second-largest classification of high schools in the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA). It competes in the four-team Greater St. Helens 3A League. Kelso has a very long history and tradition with two local rivalries across the Cowlitz River in Longview; R.A. Long and Mark Morris high schools. The football games between Kelso and RA Long are known as "The Battle of the Plaid" and have met for over 90 games.

State championships[edit]

  • Football: 1983[7]
  • Boys Track: 1984
  • Baseball: 1995
  • Softball: 1998, 2009, 2010

State runners-up[edit]

  • Baseball: 2000, 2008, 2018[7]
  • Bowling: 2007
  • Softball: 2000
  • Boys Wrestling: 2004, 2006, 2007, 2017
  • Girls Wrestling: 2007, 2009, 2011

Fight Song[edit]

To the tune of "On Wisconsin."

On to Kelso, On to Kelso,
Fight right through that line.
Pass the ball clear down the field, boys,
Touchdown every time.

On to Kelso, on to Kelso,
Fight on for your fame
Fight, Kelso, fight fight fight
To win this game.

K - E - L - S - O
H - I - L - A - N - D - ERS

On to Kelso, on to Kelso,
Fight on for your fame
Fight, Kelso, fight fight fight
To win this game.

Media Coverage[edit]

KLOG 1490 AM provides play-by-play coverage of Kelso football, boys and girls basketball, and baseball.

The Daily News, the local newspaper, provides coverage of all Kelso sports and activities.


Kelso High School carries a long-standing tradition of musical excellence, participating in SSWMEA sanctioned festivals, as well as WMEA sanctioned events and other, nationally respected events. The music program has historically consisted of a Band, Choir, and Orchestra.


The Kelso High School Band program consists of a Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, Basketball Band, and the Kelso Marching Band. The Wind Ensemble receives the greatest respect and performs classic pieces of band literature. In the '70s, the Kelso High School Concert Band competed in an international festival in Mexico and won. Since that time, the program has remained an integral part of the school. The Wind Ensemble received glowing remarks for their performance at the 2016 University of Washington Pacific Northwest Band Festival. The Jazz Ensemble has recently gained some notoriety performing in the 2007 and 2016 Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, as well as annually in the Clark College Jazz Festival [7] at Clark College, Vancouver.

The Kelso Marching Band is a voluntary group of students that meets entirely after school. The marching band performs at all home football games, the Kelso Highlander Day’s Parade, the Longview Christmas Parade, and competes annually in 3 NWAPA sanctioned marching competitions. The Kelso Marching Band is led by student Section Leaders and student Drum Majors. The Basketball Band is also a voluntary group and plays at every home boys and girls varsity basketball game. The Basketball Band is directed by Student Directors.

The Kelso Band Program relies heavily on a strong network of student leadership. The Director of Bands meets regularly with the Student Band Council to discuss the direction of the music program and hear student’s perspectives on the culture of the ensembles. Currently the Band Council consists of President, Vice President, Secretary, Public Relations, Uniform Managers, Librarians, and class representatives from each ensemble.

The Kelso High School Band is supported by the Kelso Instrumental Music Boosters, a 501(c)3 non-profit booster organization.


The Kelso High School Choir consists of Concert Choir, Chamber Choir, and Jazz Choir. Concert Choir is the general Choir, with no audition required. They are the largest choir. The Chamber Choir requires an audition, and as such is the Choir that competes in the WMEA and SWWMEA sanctioned events and festivals. The Jazz Choir performs many modern pieces and holds many concerts.


The Kelso High School Orchestra is split into two separate classes; Chamber Orchestra and Concert Orchestra. Both Kelso High School Orchestras hold three concerts a year and participate in the Southwest Washington Music Educator's Association large group festival. In addition, members of the orchestras and band combine twice a year to form the Symphony Orchestra performing major symphonic works which are the highlight of the Winter and Spring concerts.

Solo & Ensemble[edit]

Kelso High's music program has seen many musicians do very well at Regional Solo & Ensemble, as well as State Solo & Ensemble.

Notable Persons[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b Kelso High School historical highlights.
  2. ^ Kelso High School.
  3. ^ "Greater St. Helens 3A Athletics, Kelso High School Athletics". Retrieved August 6, 2016. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Northwest Association of Accredited Schools 10 September 2009.
  6. ^ "WASHINGTON STATE". 3rd Street Book Exchange. Retrieved September 14, 2009. 
  7. ^ a b Washington Interscholastic Athletics Association. Tournament History: School Information.