Come August, students at James A. Shanks and Havana High Schools will be walking the halls of a new school. The two will join to form East Gadsden High School. It's a new chapter for the students and one they're looking forward to starting. Tigers were top predators in Africa and Asia, feared by most men.
Gladiators are powerful warriors destroying everything in their path, even a tiger or two in the coliseum. James A. Shanks Tigers and Havana Northside Gladiators have been rivals on the gridiron for quite some time, but now these two schools have merged to become the East Gadsden Jaguars.
"When we arrived on campus we expected students with long faces and tears, instead these young people say they're looking forward to closing the books on this piece of history, while opening a new chapter in their lives."
"Here at Havana Northside we're limited to a lot of stuff, hopefully at the new school we will be exposed to a lot of new stuff," says Malcom Glenn, a Havana Northside junior.
While the latest technology was an attraction for some, others were looking forward to new opportunities.
"I'm really excited about the new school, the new classes that they have like statistics. I thought I had to wait till college to take that, but they do have that but they do have that and advanced placement calculus also," says Michael Mitchell, a Shanks High School junior.
As rivals, the schools have dueled for funds to keep afloat, but students say it's time to lay down the sword and end the combat.
Shanks student Miranda Mack says, "A lot of people had thought the two communities couldn't get along, Shanks and Havana because it's been a rivalry over the years, but I expect everybody to get along. I've made friends at Havana and I'm training with the
football team and so they seem to get along very well."
In fact, Havana and Shanks did not compete against each other in any sporting activity this year.
Saturday, the newly formed Jaguars were pouncing on the practice field for the very first time, patiently awaiting a new opponent together.
Click here to view The Final Bell: Part One.