Rancho Alamitos High School

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Rancho Alamitos High School
Rancho Alamitos High School logo.jpg
11351 Dale Street

Coordinates33°47′53″N 117°59′06″W / 33.7981°N 117.98512°W / 33.7981; -117.98512Coordinates: 33°47′53″N 117°59′06″W / 33.7981°N 117.98512°W / 33.7981; -117.98512
Established1957; 63 years ago (1957)
School districtGarden Grove Unified School District
PrincipalMary Jane Hibbard
Staff75.03 (FTE)[1]
Enrollment1,792 (2018-19)[1]
Student to teacher ratio23.88[1]
Color(s)Green and Gold         
Team nameVaqueros

Rancho Alamitos High School is in Garden Grove, California. It is a member of the Garden Grove Unified School District. The high school first opened in the spring of 1957 with no senior class. The first graduating class was in 1958.


The school was named "Rancho Alamitos" (little cottonwoods ranch) in homage to the Rancho Los Alamitos landgrant and the Hispanic history in Orange County. The area of the Rancho Alamitos High School campus was originally part of the Rancho Los Alamitos landgrant, itself part of Rancho Los Nietos, a Spanish landgrant made in 1784. After John Bixby died in 1888, numerous sections of Rancho Los Alamitos were sold, and Lumis A. Evans, a real estate dealer, acquired the area. In the mid-1950s the Garden Grove Union High School District purchased forty acres of this land from the family of Mr. Evans. Construction of Rancho Alamitos High School began in 1956.[2]

Rancho Alamitos High School was formulated for classes to start in the Fall of 1957; however, since the campus was not ready, their classes were taught for that first semester on the older Garden Grove High School campus. Although construction of the new campus was incomplete, in the Spring of 1957 the first classes at the Rancho Alamitos High School campus were held in two pre-existing homes on the property, ones that faced Dale Street. They continued to be used as classrooms until construction was completed in 1959. In the Spring of 1957, the Rancho Alamitos campus officially opened and the next Spring the first senior class graduated.[3]

List of principals[3]
  • 1956–1957 — Mr. Don Kennedy
  • 1957–1960 — Mr. Richard Bivin
  • 1960–1961 — Mr. Sam Chicas
  • 1961–1964 — Mr. Vic McClain
  • 1964–1966 — Mr. William Zogg
  • 1966–1976 — Mr. Tracy Strong
  • 1976–1982 — Mr. Ron Forsyth
  • 1982–1985 — Mr. Jim DeLong
  • 1985–1991 — Mr. Bob Mesa
  • 1991–2000 — Mr. Tom Robins
  • 2000–2006 — Mr. Gene Campbell
  • 2006–2009 — Mr. Frank Mackay
  • 2009–present — Ms Mary Jane Hibbard


The school colors are green and gold. Until the mid-1970s the school mascot had been "Poco" (pronounced pō'kō / poh-koh), a cartoon character of a short male dressed in a large poncho with a serape, a Mexican–Indian throw blanket or rug over one shoulder and a large sombrero on his head, covering the eyes.[2]

one of several renditions of the historical Poco image

The school logo was changed to a cowboy boot spur because of racial controversy regarding the character of Poco.[citation needed] More recently, the school's crest or a big letter V with the word "Rancho" across it would be seen on most planners and/or merchandise.

one of many renditions of the Rancho Alamitos shield
one of the most common Rancho logos


Based on the 2013 academic year, U.S News & World Report in its "The Best Schools in United States" ranked Rancho Alamitos High School as #367 (out of 2,199) among California schools, and #1718 (out of more than 21,000) in the nation. With that rank, it awarded RAHS the Silver Medal.[4]


The school's athletic teams are known as the Vaqueros (a Spanish type of cowboy figure), though Rancho students tend to shorten its name to "Vaqs".

The athletic teams are part of California Interscholastic Federation's Southern Section, participating in the six-team Garden Grove League, mostly against other schools in the Garden Grove Unified School District.

Categories of Sports[edit]

Sports at Rancho Alamitos High School have included:[5]

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cheerleading[6]
  • Color Guard
  • Cross Country
  • Football
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swim
  • Tennis
  • Track and Field
  • Volleyball
  • Water Polo
  • Marching Band



The Vaquero football team had moderate success in the early to mid 1990s, led by a slew of talented running. The team made two straight Division VII Finals appearance. Falling just short in 1992 by a score of 14-13, to Sunny Hills High School.[7] Running Back Leon Vickers was the Division VII player of the year for his performance. The following year they fell to Mira Costa 29 to 17.[8] In 1996 and 1997 the Vaqs posted back to back undefeated regular seasons, only to lose to rival Pacifica in the Semi-finals ('96) and Northview in the Quarter Finals ('97). In 1996 Leo Kosi was the Division VIII MVP, while in 1997 David Vickers held the same honor.[citation needed]

Since 2000

The Vaqueros made a Finals appearance in 2014, only to lose to rival Garden Grove 35 to 0.[9] On 16 October 2015, when these rivals again met Garden Grove defeated Rancho Alamitos 34 to 3, with no points scored in the second half.[10]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Rancho Alamitos High". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved May 7, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Rancho Alamitos High School History". Rancho Alamitos Alumni Association, Inc. Archived from the original on December 29, 2015.
  3. ^ a b "School Profile". Rancho Alamitos High School. Archived from the original on December 29, 2015.
  4. ^ "Rancho Alamitos High School Overview". The Best Schools in United States. U.S News & World Report. 2015. Archived from the original on December 29, 2015.
  5. ^ "Rancho Alamitos High School: Athletic Opportunities" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on December 29, 2015.
  6. ^ "Cheerleading Home Page". Rancho Alamitos High School. Archived from the original on December 29, 2015.
  7. ^ Dominguez, Fernando (December 12, 1992). "Sunny Hills Stops Rancho Alamitos : Division VII: Cuccia's run with 38 seconds left gives Lancers a 14-13 victory and their third title". The Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on September 18, 2009.
  8. ^ Baum, Barry (December 11, 1993). "Southern Section Division VII: Fikes Leads Mira Costa to Victory". The Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on December 30, 2015.
  9. ^ "Garden Grove defeats Rancho Alamitos 35 to 0". Scorestream. December 7, 2014. Archived from the original on 29 December 2015.
  10. ^ "Garden Grove defeats Rancho Alamitos 34 to 3". Scorestream. October 17, 2015. Archived from the original on 29 December 2015.
  11. ^ Terry, Mike (1997-09-23). "The Class of '98 : Catcher Gerald Laird Has the Tools for Success - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. Retrieved 2012-02-08.
  12. ^ Pollock, Mike. "Singing, Dancing Lessons Pay Off for Young Actor." Ogden Standard-Examiner. January 3, 1970.
  13. ^ "Rancho Alamitos: Prep Football 2000 / Garden Grove League". Los Angeles Times. September 1, 2000. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
  14. ^ Dominguez, Fernando (1992-10-01). "Prep Notes - It's In The Numbers - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. Retrieved 2012-12-03.

External links[edit]