PORTLAND, Ind. — I covered a basketball game in Delphos, Ohio, Dec. 6, in one of the strangest gyms I have ever set foot. The odd set up of the building led me to start this here blog series, “Gym tour: 2013-14.”
In this series, I will nap a few photos of each gym in which I cover an event, research some of the history of the high school and point out some of the intricacies of the building.
The aforementioned gym in Delphos will be included, but it will not be the gym to kick start the series.
The honor of earning the top spot belongs to the gym with which I have spent, and will spend the most time during my tenure at The Commercial Review.
So without further adieu, I present you with Jay County High School, in Portland, Ind.
Jay County High School opened its doors at 8:40 a.m., Sept. 2, 1975, serving the students of the five remaining high schools in Jay County, Ind.
The school is now the only high school within the county, after the closing of Portland, Bryant, Dunkirk, Pennville and Redkey high schools. Prior to the reduction to those five high schools, there were three more schools in the county; Poling, Madsion, and Gray.
Before JCHS opened its doors, student council representatives from the five remaining high schools met to decide on things such as the school colors, nickname for the sports teams, the school song and other issues tied to the school’s identity.
With the 200th birthday of the United States of America vastly approaching, the representatives dubbed its sports teams the Patriots, with its colors to be red, white and blue.
The gym’s official seating capacity is 4,470, and features lower level seating on all four sides of the court and upper level seating along the sidelines.
On the one end of the gym is the Patriot Wall of Fame, where past athletes are honored for their accomplishments while attending JCHS. Also on this wall are flags from the eight former high schools in Jay County, and a banner representing their unity and consolidation into one school for the entire county.
Jay County’s boys basketball team has yet to win a state title, but finished runner up in 2006 in Class 4A, the best finish in school history. The Patriot boys have won 17 sectional titles (16 in Class 3A, one in Class 4A), with the most recent coming in 2011 (Class 4A).
The Patriot girls cagers are still searching for the first regional title in school history, with the last sectional title the same year as the boys’ last, 2011.