In Celebration of MHS Class of 1958

In Celebration of MHS Class of 1958

A Tribute and Celebration

We were the class of 1958, members of the Greatest Generation as well as children of the Greatest Generation. Born in 1940, we are also called members of the Traditional Generation.

Our childhood, post World War II, "was the best of times . . . it was the age of wisdom . . . it was the epoch of belief . . .it was the season of Light . . . it was the spring of hope . . . we had everything before us . . .we were all going direct to Heaven . . . ." (A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens.) At least, that's the way I felt about it. We were truly blessed.

- Ouida Tomlinson -

This blog is a place for 1958 graduates of Meridian, Mississippi, High School to stay in touch, post their news, items of interest and photographs.

CLASS OF 1958 MEMORIES (Click to read all posts relating to sports, honors, graduation and other memories of our class in 1957-58.)




Monday, May 31, 2010

The National Anthem

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


L to R: Coach Leland Gebhart - Track, Coach Fredna Cross - Tennis, and Coach Harold Knight - Baseball
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Monday, May 24, 2010

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Dick Smith's editorial outlined his predictions about our spring sports teams' chances. Now we need to find out how things turned out. Fifty years ago, remember that examinations were coming up, term papers were due, people were trying to pass something, graduation parties were underway and proms were held. We were almost as busy then as we are now, but we were still playing sports for school honors. Based on some newspaper and Wildcat articles and current emails from class, this is what we know:

Meridian High School Baseball

Meridian won the 1957 High School State Championship. That is when our classmates were juniors, but there were many from our class who played on the championship team. That team picture is in our 1958 annual, however, we are including a team picture here so that it can be downloaded into personal computers.

There were several returning baseball players from the 1957 team to the senior team. Players are identified in the annual, but basic starters on the state team were Oliver Buntin, Richard Clayton, Larry Quimby, Louis Thompson, Will Hudson, Frankie Brewer, James Tillman, Jerry White and Selby Salters.

The second picture is of the 1958 team, our senior year. This photo is with the rest in the slideshow.

We did get to the regional baseball finals in 1958 and played for the South State title against Jackson Murrah High School. As mentioned in Dick Smith's article, the Jackson pitcher, Guy Parker, was able to pitch for two or three consecutive games against Meridian and held our team to very few hits. It was a challenge for us to score runs and although our field play held them to low scoring, we did lose the regional final to Jackson. Jackson apparently went on to win the state championship the next week with Guy Parker's pitching.

Starting players on our 1958 team were Oliver Buntin, Elmer Knight, Louis Thompson, Freddie Schoenrock, Will Hudson, Jerry Yarbrough, R. V. Skelton, Burton Gray, and Sonny Farr. James Watson, Marty Kogan, Bobby Satcher, Gayle Wardlowe, and James Warren were also from our class.


Meridian High Track qualifiers coming out of combined south meets moved on to the state meet in Greenwood. There they competed against north division winners and other qualifiers from south. One of the qualifiers was Sterling Ainsworth in the pole vault. Ralph had this comment to make about Sterling:

"I vividly remember watching Sterling practice the pole vault one day when taking a break from our workout. As Sterling was raising his feet (back parallel to the ground) to go over the crossbar, the metal pole gave way in the middle. He came crashing to the ground. He fortunately did not sustain an injury."

With regard to the whole track season, Ralph said that the Meridian team won events at different meets, but not so much at combined meets. In particular, he participated with Marty, Ronnie and Chas Mc on the 440 and 880 relay teams. He said that track team was a lot of fun with lots of good memories and friendships formed. Indeed it appears from the track team picture, many, many people were involved.

Results of the state meet in Jackson were that Glen McQuage came in first in the mile. He won that event for MHS as was hoped, if not expected. Overall points for the team are not quite remembered.

Kudos, though, for Marty who could remember that Glen won the mile. Marty stated, "Glen did win the state --- I do remember that much."


Our Meridian High tennis team had two entries in the Mississippi State tennis tourney in Jackson.

Phillip George, the Mississippi number one ranked boy's singles player played a rematch against a McComb player he had just defeated 6-2, 6-2 the week before in the Southstate finals. And lost.

We really don't know what happened in that match. Between south state and state, Holmes probably analyzed every possible weakness that Phillip had and planned a successful strategy to wear him down if and when they met again. It was an incredible battle. Both Phillip and Billy Holmes had already played tough matches that day against north division winners. The score was 8-6 and 6-4 for the two long sets. Neither player gave up. In the end I think it was just the "Jackson curse" which effectuates any time a Meridian team plays on Jackson turf.

The girls' doubles advancement in the state tournament was definitely not without its drama. I got the measles and could not play in district, then had a wreck the night before state. Jackson sports writers were livid that I had even played in south state because Lynne and I beat their doubles team from Provine. We met that same team later on in the very final match at state and beat them again for the championship.
That last match was a hard one and even though we were expected to win, one of our opponents was simply hugely tall and had a serve that could be. . . well, hard to return and hard to dodge at net. The championship score was 5-7, 6-4, 7-5.

Coty Huggins was a fourth player from our class who played on the varsity, but she and Richard Martin did not advance beyond first round in mixed doubles in south state. They lost to a strong Jackson Provine mixed doubles team who went on to win state for Provine


The Meridian High School Golf Team for 1958 had players apparently only on the girls' side for the 1958 golf season. With three other competing sports, the guys at this time were spread pretty thin, but the girls' team represented the school ably. Gay Rawlings was the number 1 player for Meridian and was apparently paired against the number 1 player from competing schools throughout the season. Other of our players may have shifted their position more often whereas solidly at the top for our team was Gay Rawlings.

David Elliott, one of Gay's fans, indicated that although she did well throughout the season, there was stiff competition she faced when tournaments and not just school rivalries took place. Mary Mills of Gulfport was ranked number one throughout the season and faced off with Meridian more than one or two times. David indicated that Mary Mills went on to play professional golf after high school/college.

Meridian apparently was unable to get past Gulfport in District play and did not have sufficient points to move as a team to South State. If anyone has different information, please share it. Had Meridian gone to South State, they would have again had to play Gulfport as well as Jackson which also had its usual competitors.

In all, the season's play, sportsmanship and team building and not just trophies were what our sports were about. Besides, as David pointed out "not many athletes are able play a sport in hoop skirts and flats."

Spring Sports 1958

Saturday, May 22, 2010


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Monday, May 17, 2010


Remember Dick Smith, Sportswriter for the Meridian Star?

A clipping of Dick Smith's editorial written apparently one week before a flurry of state tournaments for our 1958 spring sports teams gives a good overview of where we were and what could be expected in the upcoming tourneys. Dick's wording and substance are the same with minor editing for clarity. Remember this is mid May, 1958. Dick writes:

TENNIS, TRACK and BASEBALL titles are up for grabs for the Meridian High Wildcat athletes this weekend, and we have the feeling dear old MHS will wear some kind of crown before the week is ended.

Coach Doug McLean takes netters to Jackson Friday for two events in the state tennis finals in what right now ranks as the best bet for Meridian honors. Phillip George, undefeated this year, will meet Henry Lodge of Tupelo in the first round of the Mississippi High School boys' singles championship while Edwina Hubert and Lynne Johnson also undefeated will meet Joyce Price and Judy Brooks of Amory in the state girls' doubles tourney.

We look for both titles to become a part of an outstanding Meridian High tennis history. George is one of the outstanding netters in the South while Johnson, a defending doubles champion, and Hubert far outclass anything they have played. Meridian could also claim the team championship by winning the two titles.

Coach L.D. Gebhart trackers have qualified for the Big Eight event scheduled for Greenwood on Saturday afternoon. Sterling Ainsworth will seek the pole vaulting honors, but he has been beaten a couple of times already by Greenwood's Charles McDaniels and Laurel's John Crawford and isn't likely to take them tomorrow. Bob Bullock qualified in the discus, but is in about the same boat as Ainsworth.

Glen McQuage and Charles Bradley are entered in the mile event. There's the best chance for a title for Meridian. McQuage hasn't finished lower than second in a meet this year and will be the choice man to beat in the mile run. He'll be against Sam Burkett of Hattiesburg, Henry Skelton of Pascagoula, Bradley and Robert Young of McComb. He's beaten them all. Charles Bradley could finish high among the list for a couple of Meridian points.

Murrah High School of Jackson should walk off with the Big Eight team championship for the second straight season. Brookhaven and Greenwood then Hattiesburg could come in that order after the Murrah Mustangs.


THE WILDCATS BASEBALL TEAM will be up against Guy Parker and the Murrah Mustangs starting Saturday afternoon at 2:30 at Battlefield Park in Jackson. It will be lefty Parker against Jim Watson of MHS, the "backbones" of both teams. Parker has nine straight wins and Watson has an 8-1 record at our last count.

In a repeat of last year's South Mississippi championship playoff, the second game will be played in Meridian, Tuesday at 2:30 pm at the high school baseball field. If a third game is necessary, it will be played in Meridian on Thursday.

The way the schedule is set up, Parker can see action in all three games . . . but that is what Murrah and Meridian officials agreed to do.

Meridian went into the South finals by taking an extra inning from McComb while Murrah edged Biloxi 3 to 2 with Parker fanning a dozen.

We strongly believe the Cat baseball team can whip Guy Parker for the first time. Meridian's bat strength is probably stronger than anything Murrah has seen . . . but Parker is certainly the best pitcher Meridian will see this year.

If Meridian gets by Murrah, they'll go to the state finals with the North Mississippi champ . . .either Mt. Olive or Tupelo.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

AN IRIS (Click on photo to enlarge)

(M. Hopkins)

Sweet scent of iris
softly blankets
the senses

Erect and noble
she slowly nods
at the wind

Salmon velvet robe
soothes, beckons
and addresses

Butterfly questions

(Unknown author)

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