A longtime tradition at Pahranagat Valley High School is changing a little bit.
The old bell on the sidewalk of the Pahranagat Valley Middle School, rung after home wins by the football team and other sports teams returning home after winning a state championship, is being moved to a new location between the high school and the gymnasium.
Principal Mike Strong said when the present gym was built in 2005, a committee was formed to have the bell moved at that time. The committee raised money for a new location which was prepared but not followed through on.
“Now,” he said, “Jamison Miller and Preston Higbee have created an Eagle Scout project to finally complete what the plan has always been.”
Rung by countless athletes since 1975, the old pedestal where the bell sat was “falling apart, bricks were falling out, looking pretty beat up,” Strong said. An old friend in need of a new home.
After each home football win, the players lined up one by one and each got to swing the bell to make it ring at least once. When the bell wasn’t in use, the clapper was kept in a secure location in the school.
The bell, according to Vaughn Higbee, who restarted Pahranagat’s football program in 1974, was originally atop the Pahranagat Valley High School built in 1917, the building Mike and Vera Dell Leavitt bought and turned into a private home.
“That’s where the bell came from,” he said. “It was my mom’s idea. We were trying to build the new program, to get the kids excited and find some special way of rewarding a victory, whenever that might happen.”
The bell has been rung countless times as attested to by the state championship banners that line the wall of the gymnasium.
With the bell in its new location, the football team will still be able to ring it, but will have to walk over to the front of the gym and use a rope. The clapper will continue to be only brought out for special occasions.
So, the tradition will continue, just a little different.