New trophy cases to feature Center Hill’s increasing achievements

Hailey Ellis and other students in Whitney Lantrip’s Gifted Art classes paint the school’s new trophy cases.

Abigail Penfield, Staff Writer

Center Hill High School has only been open for 12 years, but it already has 32 team and individual state championship titles. Every year, Center Hill gains more and more trophies, and the school has reached the point where trophies have to be put in boxes because there is no more room in the trophy cases.

Because of this, Assistant Principal Zack Sims decided that the school needed new, bigger trophy cases. Center Hill’s Class of 2018 chose to fund the construction of these trophy cases as its senior gift to the school.

“The kids here need to see the success the school, former students and current students have,” Sims said.

He quickly realized, however, that trophy cases “were extremely expensive” at around $15,000 to $20,000.

“I used to own a small business, back in the day, where I used to do construction,” Sims said. “I just said, if the Lord is giving me the ability to do something, why not see if I can volunteer to try to help?”

Center Hill’s Student Council purchased the materials at a reduced cost from Lowe’s, and Sims took the materials home and built the trophy cases. The cases were installed in the gym hall.

“The sad thing is that we put [up] almost 50 feet of trophy case, and I feel like [they] are going to be full almost immediately,” he said with a laugh.

In order to properly acknowledge the school’s numerous state championship teams, Sims worked with teachers, coaches, sponsors and the athletic director to find pictures of the winning athletes and members of choir, band, winterguard, colorguard and Indoor Winds. Their photos are featured on 32 plaques now hanging on a wall in the gym hallway.

Gifted Art teacher Whitney Lantrip’s first- and second-block classes painted the trophy cases.

“I am glad my students had the opportunity to help and paint something for the school,” Lantrip said. “They all worked very hard and did a great job painting them.”

This experience has allowed the art classes to bond and leave their mark on the school.

“We can come back in 20 years and tell our kids, ‘Hey, I painted that when I was in high school,’” senior Hailey Ellis said. “It’s a good thing to have a focal point of the school be something that students from our school did.”

Sims said he has noticed the reactions of students as they walk by the new cases.

“I’ve already seen several kids walk by and look up and see…greatness,” Sims said. “It makes your chest poke out a little bit to…know that there are other schools that have been around for the same amount of time but we’re probably triple the success and accolades.”