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Eisenhower "Original Eagles" celebrate 50 years

LAWTON, Okla._Eisenhower high school's "Original Eagles" celebrated 50 years with a reunion in Lawton Saturday night.

About 120 members of the Class of 1965 gathered for the first time since 2011 to celebrate the milestone. The high school first opened to students in 1962. The first graduating class selected the school mascot the eagle, which is still used today.

For the Class of 1965 it was full of firsts. Just to name a few the first high school quarterback, the first homecoming queen, and the first Patriot newspaper editor.

Vince Smith Wade was the newspaper editor when “The Patriot” went to print for the first time in 1965.

"I don't remember the stories you know. I am an old geezer now, but you know that was in 1964 or 1965 but I just remember that we were kind of having to learn. You know we were learning as we went," said Wade.

Wade has gone on to have a very successful 25 year career in broadcast news. He says his Eisenhower drama teacher got him started down that path.

"The stage lights were on but we were in the dark and I walked through the auditorium and in my best broadcast voice I said that woman is either responsible or irresponsible for my career," said Wade.

High school football star and quarterback Rick Bridges says his favorite part of playing football at Eisenhower was that the team stayed together for four years.

"When we first started off there we were just sophomores and freshman, but we played full high school. They were the smaller classifications of high schools but we played teams that had juniors and seniors," said Bridges.

He now coaches high school football in San Antonio, Texas. He says things have changed since he played but one thing always remains the same, the love of the game.

"It's a big difference you know but the game still comes from the heart and you know you still have to play," said Bridges.

Members of the class say they are older now but they would travel from anywhere to see their fellow members of the Class of 65'. The first graduating class of was made up of 165 students.

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