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Roswell High School (Georgia)

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Roswell High School
A Tradition of Excellence
11595 King Road [1]
Roswell, Georgia 30075
United States
Coordinates 34°03′46″N 84°22′53″W / 34.06272°N 84.38127°W / 34.06272; -84.38127Coordinates: 34°03′46″N 84°22′53″W / 34.06272°N 84.38127°W / 34.06272; -84.38127
Type Public high school
Established 1949
Oversight Fulton County School System
Superintendent Robert Avossa
Principal Jerome Huff
Faculty 154 [2]
Grades 9 to 12
Enrollment 2,233[3] (2013-2014)
Student to teacher ratio 15:1 [2]
Campus suburban, 54 acres (0.2185 km2)
Color(s)      Kelly Green
Mascot Hornets
Rival Milton High School[4]
Accreditation Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
SAT average 1677 [2][5]
Newspaper The Sting
Yearbook Mimosan
Graduates in 2006 467
School Board Representative Linda Schultz

Roswell High School (RHS) is a public high school in Roswell, Georgia, USA which opened in 1949. It serves the entire city of Roswell west of Georgia 400 and the city of Mountain Park, as well as small portions of Alpharetta and Milton. With a population of over of 2,233 students in the 2013–2014 school year,[3] RHS is one of the largest schools in the Fulton County School System.[6] Roswell High School neighbors both Fellowship Christian School and Blessed Trinity Catholic High School. It is also the second oldest of Fulton County's schools in the northern portion of the county, opening between Milton High School (1921),[7] and Chattahoochee High School (1991).[8] Roswell is currently on its third campus, which opened in 1990. The current building is the oldest in use high school building in north Fulton.[9]

The school offers students many extracurricular activities, including 72 clubs, 11 academic teams, and various services clubs.[2] Some other activities meet as elective classes such as musical groups, drama, and art. These classes are supplemented by after-school rehearsals, meetings, and outside concerts. Students also have the option to compete in the school's 42 Varsity, Junior Varsity, and Freshman athletic programs.[2]

Roswell is a member of the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) and Region 5-AAAAAA for athletic competition as of the 2013-2014 academic year.[10] The school's mascot is the Hornets and the colors are green, white and black. The school offers 16 different sports comprising 23 varsity level teams.[11][12] Eight of the Roswell Hornet teams have won state championships, totaling 20 overall.[13] The most championships won by a single team is seven, accomplished by the girls' gymnastics program.[14]


The building housing the original RHS campus is currently used as an alternative high school and teaching museum.
The former gymnasium in Roswell High's second campus (1952–1990) was converted into lofts in the 1990s.[15][16]

Roswell High School first opened in 1949 and is the second oldest high school in Fulton County north of the Chattahoochee River.[7][8] Like the city of Roswell, the school bears the name of Roswell King. King founded the cotton mill that would eventually be the city's economic backbone for much of its early history.[17] The immediate predecessor to Roswell High School was the Roswell Public School on Mimosa Boulevard, which housed grades 1–10 and opened in the 1892 after the Georgia General Assembly passed Act No. 51 on December 20, 1892, allowing the city to elect a school board and levy taxes for support of the school.[18] Students from outside the city limits were required to pay tuition.[19] In 1896, the city council and mayor were authorized by the state to issue $5,000 in bonds to build a new school building.[18]

In 1914, the existing school was torn down and two new structures were built.[19][20] Since schools were segregated at that time, a two-story brick building was constructed on Mimosa Boulevard to house the white students in grades 1 through 10, and a one-room wooden building was built on Pleasant Hill Avenue for black students in grades 1 through 7.[19][20][21] The Pleasant Hill facility also served as a meeting place for a local lodge and the Pleasant Hill Baptist Church until the church built its own facility across the street in 1922.[20] Grade 11 was added in the 1920s to the Mimosa Boulevard school.[22] Black students who progressed past grade 7 could then attend Washington High School in Atlanta.[20]

During the Great Depression, the city of Roswell was annexed into Fulton County from Cobb County as part of its 1932 combination with Milton County and Campbell County.[21] Roswell students in grades ten and eleven were then sent to Milton High School in Alpharetta or North Fulton High School in Atlanta to finish their secondary education (which ended upon completion of grade 11).

In 1949, the Mimosa Boulevard building was demolished, and a new school was built on the existing site to allow the 10th and 11th grades to return to Roswell as the inaugural Roswell High School. G.W. Adams was the first principal and oversaw the addition of more rooms to the school over the next few years. During this growth, the Baptist, Presbyterian and Methodist churches also located on Mimosa Boulevard were used to house auxiliary classrooms.[22] Also in 1949, the high school began participating in athletics with a varsity basketball team and other senior high school extracurricular activities. In 1950, Roswell High School added grade 12 as part of state-wide standard for high schools and played its first varsity football season. The first graduating class graduated in the spring of 1951.[22]

Construction began nearby on Alpharetta Highway near the present-day Roswell City Hall on a new campus. That facility opened in the fall of 1954 and allowed the high school (grades 8–12) to physically separate from the elementary school (grades 1–7).[22][23] Roswell High's second campus was designed by the architecture firm Stevens & Wilkinson, which innovated school designs and utilized a "finger plan" to improve functionality of the school.[24] It had a capacity of 400 students and had facilities for industrial arts, shop, music halls, science labs, art room, indoor gymnasium, athletic fields, a football stadium, and a track.[25] The primary school remained in the Mimosa Boulevard building as Roswell Elementary.[25] As of 2007, the brick elementary building is part of an expanded structure still owned by the Fulton County School System, and it houses the Crossroads Second Chance North Alternative School and the Teaching Museum North.[21][26] Roswell High remained at the Alpharetta Highway campus until the fall of 1990 when the current campus on King Road was opened.[22]


Side entrance to Roswell High School. The gymnasium is visible with its domed roof.

The current campus is the third that Roswell High School has occupied. It opened in the fall of 1990 on King Road, just off of Highway 92, with an enrollment of nearly 2,000 students. It is the oldest high school building in North Fulton.[9] The new campus was expanded with a football stadium and softball field added in 1994 and an auditorium in 1995, paid for by the RHS Foundation. The campus includes science, computer, video, and cosmetology labs; baseball and softball fields, a stadium for football and soccer, a lacrosse field, an additional practice field, a dome style gymnasium, a cross country trail, and lighted tennis courts for athletics.

In 2008 the Roswell gymnasium was named one of the top high school gyms in the nation. Cited was the domed rotunda, the hanging four sided scoreboard, and locker room facilities.[27]

Roswell's athletic fields as seen from the stadium. Visible are the baseball field, softball field, tennis courts and north end zone of the football stadium.

On February 2, 2007, Roswell High had a groundbreaking ceremony for an expansion project. The 23,851-square-foot (2,215.8 m2) expansion added ten new classrooms,[9] including science labs[28] and a new band room. This increased the school to a 1,900 student official capacity with the state. The addition also reduced some of the need for portable classrooms, but portable units were still utilized after the expansion to handle Roswell's enrollment (2400 students as of 2007).[9][29] Construction officially began on February 5, 2007.[29] The addition was paid for by a one-cent Special-purpose local-option sales tax (SPLOST).[9] Additional improvements to RHS for additional safety and security features, technology and curriculum equipment enhancements, and athletic facilities upgrades were to be implemented as part of third SPLOST approved by Fulton County voters on March 20, 2007.[9][30]

In 2014, Roswell High School began renovating its main entrance. The main office and front desk were relocated as a safety measure for the administration. The security office was also relocated to be near the main entrance. Due to the renovation, trailer one was removed from the property. The renovation took down the metal covering leading from the carpool drop off to the main entrance.

Roswell High School also added a new exterior with a stone face and large front-facing windows. Small interior changes included new bathroom fixtures and tile.

Students and faculty[edit]

In the 2007–2008 school year, Roswell's enrollment was 2,428.[6] In that year, the student population was 68% white, 15% African American, 12% Hispanic, and 1% Asian.[31] Roswell has a relatively large immigrant population, including students from Russia and other former Soviet republics, Korea, and African nations.[31] More recent demographic data shows a student population composed of 63% white, 14 percent Hispanic, 14 percent African American, 5 percent Asian, and 4 percent American Indian.[32] According to 2007 statistics, 92 percent of the school's graduates go on to colleges and universities across the United States.[31] The school's current student enrollment is 2,436.[6] As of 2007, Roswell's faculty had 246 full-time teachers, with 85% holding an advanced degree.[33]

Roswell High School is the highest-level school in Fulton County's Roswell Cluster. The schools that feed into Roswell include Hembree Springs, Mimosa, Mountain Park, Roswell North, and Sweet Apple Elementary Schools. The middle schools that feed into Roswell are Crabapple Middle School and Elkins Pointe Middle School. Also included in the Roswell Cluster is the Crossroads Second Chance North Alternative School, which serves northern Fulton County students in grades six through twelve.[34]


RHS is a part of the Fulton County School System and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Georgia Department of Education.[33][35]

Roswell was named a National Blue Ribbon School in 1997–1998 by the United States Department of Education.[36] It was also designated a Georgia School of Excellence in 1996.[37]

26 Advanced Placement Program (AP) classes are offered, and SAT as well as ACT scores regularly exceed the national and state average. For the 2005–2006 school year, Roswell's average SAT score was 1663 with the new SAT scoring system, which ranked Roswell third in the Fulton County School System and sixth in Metro Atlanta. The Georgia state average was 1477 while the national average was 1518.[38] 477 students took AP exams in 2005, with 84% receiving the necessary score (3 or higher) to earn college credit. Nationally, only 60% score high enough to earn college credits.[33] Three RHS students were named National Merit Scholars in 2005.[39]

Roswell's academic success has brought national recognition. In 2006, the school was ranked the #472 school in Newsweek Magazine's top 1,200 schools, ranking in the top 3% nationally. Roswell was third on the list among Fulton County's 12 high schools.[40]

Roswell offers a unique curriculum with many electives not offered anywhere else in the county. The school's unique course offerings include the Career Tech diploma track, robotics, psychology, archaeology, and foreign languages.[31] The Foreign Language department offers French, Spanish, Latin, German, and Japanese, and was honored in the January 2007 issue of Atlanta Magazine for offering the most foreign language courses in the Atlanta area.[41] RHS students participated in the 2007 Annual Japanese Challenge Academic Bowl and won the most awards of any school at the competition.[42]

In 2007, RHS Senior Maia Bageant was named as one of 141 Presidential Scholars by the United States Department of Education.[43] In 2008, Roswell High was one of 23 Georgia schools recognized by state school superintendent Kathy Cox as an AP Merit School (20% of students taking AP exams, 50% or more of those receiving a score of three or higher).[44] Also in 2008, Roswell High School student Ishna Sharma was named as one of only 139 Presidential Scholars.[45] RHS student Anand Srinivasan received the Kroger Pinnacle Award in 2014, the top award given at the state-wide annual Georgia Science and Engineering Fair.[46]

U.S. News & World Report ranked Roswell High 162nd in its 2014 list of best high schools for the academic disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and 339th on the 2014 list of best high schools in the United States.[47][48][49]

Career Tech[edit]

The Career Tech department at Roswell High is made up of Broadcast and Video Production, Cosmetology, Family and Consumer Sciences, Diversified Technology, Pre-Engineering, Business Education, and JROTC. Through this department, students may take three consecutive years of one of the branches to obtain a Career Technology High School Diploma in place of a College Prep Diploma. Courses cover diverse topics such as culinary arts, business, computers, interior design, and introduction to education and early childhood care.[50]

Broadcast and Video Production[edit]

The Broadcast and Video Production department is designed to teach students about the television industry. Using a hands-on method, students learn about all aspects of television from pre-production to production to post-production.[51] The facility is made up of a working television studio, a large control room, six edit rooms (each equipped with both linear and non-linear editing systems), a radio station, and a normal classroom. Students in the program learn to produce everything from commercials and PSAs to dramas, news shows, and sporting events. The advanced classes produce a weekly news show, the Morning Buzz, which airs at the beginning of the day. The Broadcast and Video department supports the student-run radio station, WRHS the Hive, the film club, and the yearly School House Rock concert.[51]


Roswell High School offers a Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) program. This helps students improve their grades, be more responsible, and hone leadership skills.[52] The program at Roswell High School also offers extracurricular activities, including Drill Team, Raider Team, and Rifle Team.

The Drill Team provides students in the JROTC program the opportunity to learn how to properly follow orders by executing various complex series of commands given by the team's captain. The sabre and color guards are a part of the drill team and present the colors (national and state flags) at various school and community events, or honor people of great importance. The Drill Team also represents the school in competitions.[53]

The Raider Team is intended to improve the physical fitness of cadets; they go through many exercises included in physical training, such as push ups, sit ups, pull ups, flexed arm hang, crunches, the one-mile (1.6 km) run, and litter carry. The Raider Team enters various competitions, winning a championship in 2006–2007.[54]

The Rifle team is jointly run by the JROTC program and the Athletics Department, and represents the school in the Olympic sport of riflery. The team won the Region 6 championship six straight years between 1996 and 2001.[55][56] The team finished second in the state in 2000 finishing with a score of 1142. State champion East Coweta High School finished with a score of 1150.[57]

Fine arts[edit]

Roswell High School offers fine arts opportunities in art, band, chorus, drama, and orchestra. The groups meet throughout the year as elective classes and extracurricular activities, and hold many events. These include performances at football games, murals painted in the school's halls, concerts, plays, and a spring musical jointly put on by the drama and choral departments.

The drama department annually hosts Short Attention Span Theatre, featuring plays, shorts, and monologues which written, casted, directed, and produced by RHS students.[58]


Roswell Choruses have performed on numerous occasions for the Georgia Music Educator's Association and sang at the 2003 Southern Division of the Music Educator's National Conference in Savannah, Georgia.[59] The Singing Hornets have performed concerts at Notre Dame, St. Peter's Basilica, Carnegie Hall, and Disney World. They have performed with professional orchestras, including the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra and Orchestra Atlanta. Each year, the Roswell Choral Music Program receives invitations for students to participate in the Georgia All-State Chorus and the Governor's Honors Program. Ensembles include the Chamber Singers, Vocal Jazz, Advanced Women's, and Advanced Men's Choirs.[59]


The Roswell High School Marching band participating in the 2007 Roswell Youth Day Parade.

The Roswell High School band department contains the marching band, wind ensemble, symphonic band, pep band, jazz band, and percussion ensemble.[60] The marching band performs for all varsity football games and has competitions throughout the fall, as well as parade appearances. The marching band competes in Class AAA and in 2008 placed third overall in the Georgia Invitational Band Championship.[61] In 2009 the wind ensemble, which was one of only three selected, will take part in the Honor Bands of Georgia program hosted at Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia. The program is an educational opportunity for the bands participating and is meant to further music education in the state.[62]

Hornet Advisory Program[edit]

The Hornet Advisory Program aims to help freshmen adjust to high school life. It brings together faculty advisers, academic counselors, and upperclassmen students to act as mentors to freshmen and acclimate them to Roswell High School. The program meets with students three times a week.[31]

Extracurricular activities[edit]

Roswell High School offers students a variety of options to get involved in the school. Roswell sponsors sports teams in fifteen different sports as well as several club sports. Students can also participate in service clubs, academic clubs, and general interests clubs for a variety of tastes and preferences.


The Roswell High mascot is the Hornet and the school colors are green, black, and white. The Hornets compete in 16 sports at the varsity level, with additional teams competing at the junior varsity and 9th grade level. 11 sports are available to boys, 10 are for girls, and 2 are co-ed. Overall, 23 teams compete at varsity level, with 43 total.[11][12]

The Hornets have won multiple state titles in athletics, including three each in football and baseball, and two in boys' basketball. Roswell's most successful girls' team is gymnastics, which has won seven state championships (1997, 2000–2003, 2005, 2007). In 1970-71 Roswell completed a three-peat in the GHSA, winning a state title (including a back-to-back campaign in baseball) in baseball, basketball, and football within 12 months of each other.[63] In total the Roswell Hornets have won 19 team state championship titles in the school's 23 sports.[13]

Since its inception, Roswell's traditional rival has been Milton, the oldest high school in northern Fulton County. The Roswell/Milton series is the most-played high school football rivalry in metro Atlanta, with the 2014 game marking the sixtieth meeting between the schools.[64] The two have competed since 1950 in every sport the two schools offer. In 1963 a fight broke out between the fans of the schools at a football game and the series was banned for several years.[4][65] The football series then went uninterrupted from 1970–1997 but was temporarily ended when the GHSA moved Milton to a different Region, which made scheduling difficult. The series was reinstated in 2000 when Milton and Roswell were again in Region 6-AAAAA. Since 1950, Roswell has held a 34–21–1 advantage over their arch rival in football, including winning seven straight from 2001-2007. The 2008 meeting was won by Milton, 20-19. Roswell won a series record 14 straight games from 1983–1995. Roswell's very first football game was against Milton, a 14-0 win on September 22, 1950.[66] The largest margin of victory in the series also belongs to Roswell, a 45-0 victory on October 26, 2007.[66]

In lacrosse, the series records are the opposite; Roswell has a losing record to its arch rival in lacrosse. The closest sport in the rivalry is gymnastics, in which the two teams have combined for eleven state titles (seven Roswell, four Milton) and for seven years from 1997 to 2003 one of the two teams won every state championship.[14] In other sports with records available, Roswell's boys' soccer team has gone 5–0–1 against Milton since 2004 while the girls' soccer team has gone 2–4 against the Eagles. 2008 saw the Hornet soccer teams record a sweep over the Milton Eagles for the second straight year.[67] [68] On October 22, 2008, the Atlanta Journal Constitution named the Roswell-Milton rivalry as the 7th best football rivalry in the state. Reasons cited included the age of the rivalry and the fight in 1963.[69] In 2013 the rivals played for the state baseball championship. Milton ultimately ended up winning the state championship in extra innings by one run in front of an overflow crowd.[70] It marked the second straight year a team from the rival schools faced off for a state title, as the girls' lacrosse teams did so in 2012.[71]

Ray Manus Stadium is home to the football, soccer, and track and field programs.

Roswell has also developed a strong rivalry with Centennial High School, the city's other public high school, in which the two teams play for the Roswell Cup in football, the series starting in 2000. In soccer, Centennial is the bigger rival than Milton. Roswell Football holds a 9–2 record over Centennial.[72] On the soccer pitch, Roswell girls have a 3–3 record with the Knights since 2004, while the boys hold a 1–5 record during that time period.[73][74]

Other significant rivals include Chattahoochee, Lassiter, and Alpharetta. Blessed Trinity is Roswell's closest rival as the two are less than a mile apart; it is also the newest rival. The two schools started an annual series in soccer in 2007. They have met three times in soccer, with the boys' record being tied 1-1-1[75] and the girls' record being 0-1-2 for Roswell.[76]

Roswell's new Sprintturf field was added to the stadium in 2004. It was jointly paid by the football and soccer booster clubs.[77]

For the 2005–2006 school year, Roswell's overall athletic program finished 25th in the state's Director's Cup standings, which measures the top athletic programs in the state. When ranking just the boys' teams, Roswell finished 13th in the state.[78][79]

As of the 2014-2015 season, Roswell varsity teams compete in the eight team Region 5-AAAAAA.[80] The AAAAAA classification was created for the 2012-2013 season by the GHSA for the largest schools in the state.[81] Roswell was previously a member of Region 6-AAAAA since its inception in 2000 with the addition of class AAAAA, although Roswell's region opponents have varied. Prior to joining AAAAA, Roswell was in Region 6-AAAA for 12 years from 1988 until 1999.[82] The current members of Region 6 include county rivals Alpharetta, Centennial, and Milton. Teams from neighboring Cobb are Campbell, Kell, Lassiter, Pope, Walton, and Wheeler. Region realignment for the 2010-2011 school year kept Roswell in Region 6, along with Alpharetta, Centennial, and Milton. North Fulton school Northview joined the other four Fulton schools, along with the North Forsyth Raiders and West Forsyth Wolverines of Forsyth County, to create a seven-team region.[83]

Roswell offers all GHSA sponsored sports.[11][12] Various programs offer teams at the varsity, JV, and freshman levels. Such sports for boys include football, baseball, basketball and lacrosse. Girls' teams with all three levels are basketball and volleyball. Sports offering varsity and JV teams include cross country, golf, soccer, tennis, and track and field for both genders. Softball and lacrosse are such programs for girls while wrestling is such a program for boys. Swimming & diving is only varsity for both genders, while gymnastics is offered at the varsity level for girls. Roswell offers two co-ed sports, competition cheerleading and riflery; both are solely varsity teams.[11][12]


Every fall students are encouraged to wear their class colors on football game day Fridays to show their school spirit. The days of Homecoming Week are themed, and students dress up to win spirit points for their class, culminating in the Friday class color day and pep rally. On Wednesday or Thursday night of Homecoming Week, students decorate the halls of the school by class to reflect the theme of the dance. Each hall is judged, with the winning class receiving spirit points. On game days, the Roswell Marching Band plays the school's fight song as they march through the halls. Roswell's fight song is a version of the "Washington and Lee Swing." Seniors dress up in camouflage every Friday for school and for the football games.[4]

The senior class of 2010 brought the "Flour Toss" tradition to Roswell. At every kickoff of the Friday football games, students anticipate the kick, each holding fistfuls of white flour. As soon as the player kicks the ball, hands go up in the air, releasing the flour, creating a cloud of white to welcome the opposing team.[4]


Roswell High School Football Logo

Roswell's football team has won three State Championships (1968, 1970, and 2006),[84] two State Runner-Ups (1956 and 2015),[85] and ten Region Championships, the latest in 2015.[86] Since 1950 Roswell has a combined record of 405–244–7.[87] Roswell football history started in 1950 when a spring practice and game was held. During the fall of that year, Roswell posted a 4–2 record, including two wins over arch rival Milton.[88]

Coach Bill Yoast began building Roswell's football success when he came to coach the Hornets in 1954.[89] In two years he got Roswell to the 1956 State Championship game, which Roswell lost to Monticello.[90] He stayed at the school until 1960, when he left for Virginia.[91]

Roswell's first and so far only undefeated season was in 1968, when sophomore quarterback Jeff Bower led the Hornets to a 13–0 season and the football team's first State Championship.[92] It was the most wins for a season in school history until 2006 ,when that state championship team went 13–1–1, tying the 1968 team in wins.[93] Two years later, in 1970, Roswell won a state title with a 12–2[94] record with Jeff Bower again leading the team. He also won state championships in baseball in 1970 and 1971 and basketball in 1971.[63][95] Bower would go on to a long career as a football coach, most notably as the head coach of Southern Miss from 1990 to 2007.[96]

Roswell's coach with the best record is Ray Manus, who was head coach for 23 seasons (1975–97).[97] and had a record of 141–102–1.[87] After retiring as head coach, Coach Manus returned to the team as an assistant in 2004, and the stadium was officially named after him that year as well. Though he never won a state title as head coach, Manus was on the coaching staff for all three titles.

The Roswell High School flag is carried by a senior after every touchdown. Here, fans celebrate a touchdown against arch rival Milton.

In 2006, after a 35 year absence from being at the top of the state, the Hornets recaptured a state title for the first time in 36 years. The team finished the regular season 9–1 and the #2 seed in the playoffs from Region 6-AAAAA. Roswell continued to win in the state playoffs, including a 10-9 win over defending State Runner-Up Brookwood High School,[98] and won the right to play for a State Championship by defeating Tift County in the Georgia Dome state semi-finals.[99] Roswell was eventually crowned state co-champion after a controversial 14-14 tie against the Peachtree Ridge Lions.[100][101] The Hornets finished the season 13–1–1. Roswell players won many post-season accolades, including quarterback Dustin Taliaferro, who made the Atlanta Journal Constitution and Associated Press All-State First team, and running back Alex Daniel (All-State Honorable Mention).[102][103]

The Roswell Hornets began the 2007 season ranked #1 in Class AAAAA and nationally ranked by three publications, including a #8 ranking by[104][105] The Hornets finished 2007 with a 10–3 record. Of the three losses Walton made the state semifinals and Lowndes became state champions. The Hornets finished the season ranked #6 in the state by the AJC and #5 by the AP.[106][107] Eight members of the 2007 football team received collegiate scholarships, and six of those signees will attend Division I Football Bowl Subdivision schools.[108]

Coach Tim McFarlin resigned as the head coach in the spring of 2008. Over his ten-year tenure as head coach, Roswell compiled a record of 82–34–1, won a share of the 5A state championship in 2006, reached the state high school playoffs seven times and won two region championships. In 2006, he was named State AAAAA Coach of the Year. McFarlin was an assistant football coach with the Hornets for 17 years before becoming head coach in 1998.[109] Roswell hired Leo Barker, defensive coordinator under McFarlin for the 2006 and 2007 seasons, as the head coach for the 2008 season. Barker was the tenth head coach of the Roswell Hornets and served in that position for the 2009 and 2010 seasons before resigning.[110]

Leo Barker's first season at Roswell, 2008, ended with a 5-5 record and the Hornets just missing the playoffs. In his second season the Hornets rebounded and had a 9-1 regular season record, finishing second in Region 6-AAAAA behind Lassiter who defeated the Hornets 45-24. The Hornets made it to the second round of the playoffs, falling to the #1 state ranked Grayson High School 24-14, giving Roswell a 10-2 record for 2009.[111]

Justin Sanderson, the assistant head coach under Barker, was promoted to head coach for the 2011 season.[112] After compiling a 3-17 record in 2 seasons, Sanderson was replaced after the 2012 season with John Ford. As of the 2014 season, Ford is the current head football coach at RHS.[113][114]


Close up of Roswell's 2007 state championship trophy in gymnastics.

Roswell's gymnastics program has won a total of seven state championships since 1997, including four straight from 2000–2003. Roswell's seven state titles is second in the sports history behind only Lakeside, Dekalb's nine.[14] The 2006 team finished third in the state,[115] and in 2007 Roswell won their seventh state championship in the sport on April 27 at Westminster, defeating arch rival Milton by only 1.55 points despite having no gymnasts winning an individual championship.[116] The 2007 team, however, placed at least one gymnast in the top six of each apparatus, including Annie Turner, who placed second in the All-Around, third on vault and bars, and fifth on floor. Two Roswell gymnasts finished second and sixth on the balance beam.[116][117] In 2008 the Hornets finished fourth in the state.[118]


The Roswell Lacrosse Complex first opened in 2004.

Along with rival Centennial, Roswell became one of the first two public schools in the state to offer lacrosse in 1999. Roswell was the host of the first GHSA sponsored tournament in May 2002. The school was one of only six to field a women's team in 1999, along with Centennial and several private schools.[119] The 2006 Boys Lacrosse team made the state playoffs for the first time by finishing second in their region, and made it to the second round. In 2008, the Roswell Lacrosse program added a freshman boys' team, the first such team in the state. Another milestone for the Roswell Lacrosse team came in 2008 when Michael Bender was named an All-American, the first Roswell lacrosse player to be given that honor.[119]

In 2013, the boys' team took a big step forward, making it to the state semifinals before falling to Lambert 17-6.[citation needed] The following year, Roswell went into the state playoffs as a 2 seed from Region 2. They beat East Coweta in the first round, and then beat their cross-town rival and the defending state champion, Centennial. They would then beat Walton at home, which led to a rematch of the previous years semi-final match up against Lambert in the State Championship. In Ray Manus Stadium, with over 5,000 fans in attendance, Roswell captured its first Boys' Lacrosse State Championship, defeating the Lambert Longhorns 6-5.[citation needed] They finished the season 17-3 and were ranked by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as the #1 team in the state of Georgia. They were ranked the #8 team in the South by Nike.[citation needed]

The Roswell Girls' Lacrosse team made the state playoffs for the first time in 2009.[120] They made the second round of the state playoffs, falling to eventual champion Chattahoochee.[121] The team finished with a 13-5-1 record and ranked #5 in the state.[122]

Other athletic programs[edit]

The Hornet baseball program has won three state titles. The team has been a state playoff participant and has been ranked nationally by such sources as USA Today Top 100 and Baseball America. For the 2007 season, Roswell's team was ranked in the pre-season nationally.[123] The Hornets' state championships in baseball were won in 1970, 1971, and 1986.[124] They finished second in the state in 1969, 1976, and 2013. The 1986 state championship team holds the record for the most wins in program history at 29.[125]

Roswell's boys' golf team has one state title, taking first place in 1990.[126] In 2006, Roswell finished second when rain canceled the second of the two-round tournament.[127] Coach Tim McFarlin led the 2006 State Runner-Up team just seven months before taking the football team to the 2006 State Championship.[127]

Roswell's track & field program has won two boys' state championships in 1959 and in 1961.[128] The 1959 State Championship in track was the school's first state championship in any sport. The program hosts the annual Roswell Relays track meet and the Region 6-AAAAA Track Championships. The cross country program saw the girls' team finish eighth in the state in 2007.[129] Roswell also won a Track and Field State Championship in 1961.[128] The track team partners annually with the Rotary Club of Roswell to hold the Roswell Rotary Relays.[130][131]

Roswell won two state championships in boys basketball in 1971 and 1997[132] and in slow-pitch softball in 1992.[citation needed] The softball state title was the first for a girls' team at Roswell.


As of the 2012-2013 academic year, RHS offers students many extracurricular activities catering to the school's diverse interests, including 72 clubs, 11 academic teams, and service clubs.[2]

Clubs include academic honor societies, political interests, service clubs, social/general interest clubs, and non-varsity sport clubs. Service clubs include Key Club, Anchor Club, Animal Rescue Club, and the Habitat For Humanity Club, which raises funds and builds houses in conjunction with the local Habitat chapter. Academic clubs include Art Club, Art National Honor Society, Beta Club, and National Honor Society. Political interest clubs are the Peace Activists Club, Young Democrats, Young Republicans, and Shanti, which attempts to eliminate teenage apathy. Competitive clubs include the two-time state champion Fencing Team,[133] Roswell Ice Hockey Club, Ultimate Frisbee Club, Policy Debate Team, Breakdance Team, and the Unique Dance team.[134]

General interest clubs include the Medical Club for students interested in medical careers, Chess Club, Cycling Club, Future Business Leaders of America, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Fly Fishing Club, International Club Latino Club, Russian Club, Video Game Club, Writing Club, and Friends Club, which brings students with disabilities and regular education students together.

The school is served by the elected Student Council.

Publications and media outlets[edit]

Established in 1983, The Sting is the school's official student newspaper and is a member of the Georgia Scholastic Press Association. The monthly publication has been recognized on multiple occasions by the GSPA and the Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.[135][136] The newspaper features news, editorials, opinions, features, entertainment, and sports. The staff also maintains the paper's related website.[137]

The student literary magazine the Helicon is produced by the school's literary magazine staff. The magazine is published once each semester and features student-created poetry, short stories, essays, photos, and artwork.[138] The Helicon has also received multiple awards from the GSPA.[136]

The student-published yearbook is the Mimosan, and the student-run radio station is WRHS The Hive.[134]

Notable people[edit]

Coach Bill Yoast, portrayed by Will Patton in the movie Remember the Titans, was a Roswell High football coach from 1954–1960 before leaving for Virginia. Game film from Roswell is used in several scenes in the movie.[89]

Former Roswell baseball and football coach Charlie Horne, who coached the Hornets from 1967–1974, was named to the Georgia Athletics Coaches Association Hall of Fame in June 2007. At Roswell he led the football and baseball teams to the 1968 and 1970 State Football Championships as well as the 1970 and 1971 baseball championships.[139]

Notable alumni[edit]


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External links[edit]