( Leonna Heuring, Staff)
"The first few days were really rough," recalled Karnes, who was a member of the high school's first graduating class in 1960.
When the new high school opened in fall 1959, it merged Morley High School, which was home to the Bears; and Vanduser, home of the Yellow Jackets.
"They took the two rivals and put them together. It would be like putting Bell City and Scott Central together today," said Karnes, who attended Vanduser High School.
The first graduating class had different class rings because the students had ordered them from their respective schools their junior years. The class didn't have a yearbook because there wasn't enough time to organize one, Karnes said.
"It was different," Karnes said. "I had classmates I didn't even get to know."
If there was one highlight, it was the students were involved in choosing the school's new mascot -- the Braves -- and school colors -- black and orange.
"By the end of the year, it (the situation) was a whole lot better. We had a good graduation and a graduation party," Karnes said.
To commemorate the 50-year milestone, the basketball homecoming set for Friday is themed around the anniversary.
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