Victor Valley High School
|Victor Valley High School|
|16350 Mojave Drive
|School district||Victor Valley Union High School District|
|Color(s)||Kelly green and white
|Athletics conference||Desert Sky League|
The original campus was located at the former Victor Valley Junior High and former University Preparatory School on Forrest Avenue in Old Town Victorville, until the current campus was built in 1952. It was the first of two high schools in Victorville, with the second being Silverado High School, completed in 1996. While in the same town, both schools are very different in appearance and reflect the time period when they were built. Victor Valley High has a very small-scale appeal with large trees shading the entire campus, whereas Silverado High has much more modern architecture.
Visible from the homeside of Ray Moore Stadium is the Victorville "V," which was placed on a hill as a landmark for the original location of the High School on Forrest Ave. Keith Gunn, then high school football coach and later principal, spearheaded the project in the 1930s, with the cement being donated by Southwestern Portland Cement Company. The Keith Gunn Gymnasium is named in his honor, while the floor is dedicated to local legendary basketball coach Ollie Butler.
The grassy area in the middle courtyard of the school is the "Senior Lawn", where only seniors are allowed. The courtyard is painted every year by the seniors to reflect their class.
Victor Valley High School fields several teams in the Desert Sky League, including football, basketball, baseball, softball, wrestling, soccer (men's and women's), volleyball, swimming, tennis, track & field, cross country, and golf. Fencing is a competitive team, but not a member of the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF).
Several league championships have been won over the years in the Golden League, San Andreas League, and the Desert Sky League. In 1987, the wrestling team was the California State Champions. The school has won six California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section (CIF-SS) Championships. The first in 1981 was won by the women's C\cross country team in the CIF-SS 2A Division, and the remainder were won by the wrestling team. Though not a sanctioned CIF sport, the fencing team has won the California High School Championships numerous times, including six straight wins from 2006-2012.
1987 was the greatest year athletically for the Jackrabbits and arguably any school in the High Desert, with the football team playing in the CIF-SS Finals, the basketball team playing in the CIF-SS Semi-Finals, the track and field team having the CIF-SS 2A Champion in the 110 high meter and 300 meter intermediate hurdles, the tennis team winning the San Andreas league title, and the wrestling team winning the CIF State Title.
The baseball program has had numerous players drafted in the MLB Amateur Entry Draft, starting in 1988. Since 1988, eleven former Jackrabbits were drafted in the MLB Amateur Entry Draft.
The basketball program has a long tradition of winning, with numerous Golden League and San Andreas League titles under Southern California Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association (SCIBA) Hall of Fame Coach Ollie Butler (1961–1990). During his tenure as head coach, the basketball program won 13 league titles and 605 games. From 1974 to 1983, the Jackrabbits won ten consecutive league titles between the Golden League and San Andreas League. At the time, it was the third longest streak in CIF-SS history and currently ranks ninth. In 1977 and 1978, the Jackrabbits made back-to-back appearances in the CIF-SS 2-A Basketball Championships, losing both times to Channel Islands High School. In 1987, Coach Butler and the Jackrabbits played in the CIF-SS 2-A Basketball Semi-Finals, where they lost to eventual winner Woodbridge High School, who were anchored by future NBA player Adam Keefe. Butler resigned as Head Coach in 1990 following a controversial incident involving former NFL and high school basketball referee Al Jury.
Despite winning 605 games during his tenure, Butler only had three players drafted to professional basketball. The first was Greg Hyder, the all-time leading scorer for Eastern New Mexico University and a third-round selection by the Cincinnati Royals of the NBA in the 1970 NBA Draft. Greg would play one year in the NBA. Greg's younger brother, Jerry, who played alongside Greg at Eastern New Mexico University where they won the 1969 NAIA Basketball Championships, was selected in the 14th round by the Denver Rockets in the 1971 ABA Draft. The 1977 CIF-SS 2A Player of the Year, Tony Anderson, was selected in the seventh round by the New Jersey Nets in the 1982 NBA Draft, after playing for UCLA. Neither Jerry Hyder nor Tony Anderson played professional basketball in the United States. The school's all-time leading scorer also played under Butler, Clyde "Scooty" Rivers (1978–1982), who went to play at the University of Utah.
Coach Butler was elected into the SCIBA Hall of Fame in 1999 and the floor in the Keith Gunn Gymnasium is named in his honor.
Butler was replaced by Kurt Herbst, who led the Jackrabbits to their third CIF-SS Basketball Championship in the 1-AA large school division appearance in 1996. Victor Valley High School lost to Long Beach Jordan High School, 54-38. Shortly afterwards, Herbst took the head coaching job at neighboring Silverado High School in 1997 and was replaced by Matt Denny.
The Jackrabbits compete annually against Apple Valley High School in the "Bell Game" and against Barstow High School in the "Axe Game". The Bell game has been played since 1969. Apple Valley leads the overall series 32-15. The "Axe" game has been played 87 times and is the second longest high school rivalry game in Southern California. Barstow High School leads the series 45-42-4.
The Jackrabbits have played in two CIF-SS Championships. The first was in 1966 against Lawndale High School, which they lost 19-7. The second was in 1987 against Arroyo High School, where the Jackrabbits lost 7-3 in overtime.
Two players from the school are tied for the CIF-SS longest run from scrimmage of 99 yards. The first was run in 1998 by Carl Brown and the second in 2002 by Curtis Rudd, Jr.
Jackrabbit tennis has a history of success, starting with former head coach John Dudley. During Dudley's tenure as head coach from 1952 to 1990, the Jackrabbits won multiple Golden and San Andreas League Team and individual Championships in both men's and women's tennis. Due to Dudley's success, which included winning 21 tennis championships, he was awarded the US Professional Tennis Association, California division High School Coach of the Year in 1981 and 1982. A year after his retirement the tennis courts at VVHS were named in his honor.
Track and field
In the school's history, the Jackrabbits have had eight CIF-SS Individual Champions in the following events: men's 100 meters, men's 110 meters high hurdles, men's 300 meter intermediate hurdles (twice), men's long jump (twice), women's 400 meters, and women's triple jump.
The Jackrabbits wrestling program was one of the top programs in CIF-SS during the 1980s to early 1990s. From 1983 to 1991, the team had 13 Individual 3A CIF-SS Champions in various weight classes and three California State Champions.
In 1983, the Jackrabbits placed third in the CIF-SS Championships. In 1986, they placed second, and in 1987, placed third. Despite finishing third that year, the Jackrabbits won the school's only California State Title, anchored by two-time Olympian and Pride World Champion, Dan Henderson. In 1990, the wrestling team won the CIF-SS 3-A Championship and finished fourth in the State Championships.
Long-time head coach Sam Gollmyer retired and was inducted into the California Wrestling Hall of Fame.
A revitalization of the program began with new Coach C. T. Campbell, who coached the Jackrabbits to the CIF-SS Coastal Division Championship and CIF-SS Division 4 Team Dual-Meet Championship in 2012. In all, Coach Campbell has led the Jackrabbits to six various CIF-SS titles. For individual titles, the Jackrabbits have 15 wrestlers with a CIF-SS title, eight with a CIF Masters title, and three with a CIF State title.
|CIF State Championship||1987|
|CIF-SS 3-A Championship||1990|
|CIF-SS Coastal Division Championship||2012|
|CIF-SS Division 4 Team Dual-Meet Championship||2012|
|CIF-SS Division 3 Team Dual-Meet Championship||2013|
|CIF-SS Eastern Division Team Dual-Meet Championship||2016|
|CIF-SS Coastal Division Championship||2016|
|CIF-SS Southern Division Championship||2017|
- Rudy Redmond (1965): NFL player from 1969-1972 with the Atlanta Falcons and Detroit Lions
- Greg Hyder (1966): NBA player from 1970-1971 Sacramento Kings
- John W. Henry (1967): businessman, owner of Boston Red Sox and Liverpool Football Club
- Tony Cherry (1981): NFL player from 1986-1987, San Francisco 49ers; CFL player from 1988-1991
- Dan Henderson (1988): professional mixed martial artist; two-time Olympic Greco-Roman Wrestler (1992 and 1996)
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