Consolidating VHS and WC? I’ll believe it when I see it

Published 10:20 am Thursday, July 9, 2015

In Warren County athletics, there are two things I’ve reached an “I’ll believe it when I see it” stage with.

The first is a new recreational complex. A lot of headway has been made on that front, but after a half-dozen starts and stops over the course of 15 years I’ll believe it’s actually been built when I cover my first game out there.

The second item is the consolidation of Vicksburg High and Warren Central. It’s been a topic of discussion, a debate and even a rumor at various points, but no matter how much the idea is bandied about it never turns into any sort of concrete plan.

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There’s a lot of good reasons to bring the city’s two high schools together.

For starters, money. Cutting the staff, maintenance costs and bus routes of the Vicksburg Warren School District in half would save a ton of it. The district, in theory, would be able to pour its resources into one gleaming educational palace.

Facilities is another reason. Vicksburg High is 56 years old. Warren Central turns 50 this year. Both buildings are showing their age and will need to be replaced sooner or later.

Unfortunately, one of the best reasons to consolidate the two schools — athletics — is also one of the reasons no one is in a big hurry to do it.

Ask any coach at Vicksburg or Warren Central about the possibilities of consolidation, and they’ll get as googily-eyed as a teenager dreaming of their first crush. Putting together the 1,200 students at WC and the 1,000 at VHS would instantly create the biggest talent pool in the state, in an area that has the tools necessary to sustain success — a stable entity safe from division, with a solid educational footing and outstanding coaches.

So if even the coaches are in favor of it, what’s the downside? What’s stopping it from happening?


The sports people love have created a pair of distinct fan bases who would too often rather punch themselves in the head than consider the thought of consolidation. The Vicksburg-Warren Central rivalry plays out in sporting venues, but it goes well beyond the playing field.

That has to change eventually. When the buildings decay, it’ll make financial sense to build one new school instead of two. The attitudes of some in the younger generation also seem to be softening on the rivalry issue, which means people will warm to the idea over time.

That might be 10 years down the line, or 20. I can’t put an exact number on it, but I do know I’ll believe it when I see it.

Ernest Bowker can be reached at 601-619-7120, or via email at

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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