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1963 Lane High School Football Team Honored for State Title - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

1963 Lane High School Football Team Honored for State Title

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Alumni from the 1963 class of Lane High School celebrated Friday night at Charlottesville High School. The champion football team reunited 50 years after its gridiron glory. 

During halftime at the Charlottesville - Western Albemarle football game, the team was honored for their state title 50 years later. The players, coaches, the band and even some of the cheerleaders were there for the celebration. 

The halftime event was also a way to honor the football players from the all-black Burley High School. The Lane High School football team was the first integrated team to win a state championship.

Larry Shifflett and Ron Pugh spent every Friday night of football season playing the drums and bass guitar. They are getting back to their Friday tradition for the reunion.

"There were no DJs, not a whole lot of venues for kids to go to so wherever we played, that's kind of where they came," Shifflett said.

The two still remember the big win of 1963.  "It was like five or six people deep all the way around the field, the stands were full, everything was just packed you couldn't have gotten any more people in there." Shifflett said.

The 1963 Lane High School state champions still have team spirit. It doesn't matter how many years pass, for these players, the love of the game just doesn't fade. The players say they still value lessons their coaches taught them 50 years ago, saying their coaches did more than coach the game, they taught life lessons.

"You're going to make mistakes, you're going to get knocked down, they teach you - you can either get up or stay down and quit," football player Gene Arnette stated. "They were like parents to us.  A lot of us didn't have homes that were super, they got us educations that we would have never gotten before."

The players say the coaches taught them the true value of teamwork and the players taught each other the value of friendships. Many of the players still live in the area and keep in touch.

Lane High School closed in 1974 and later became the Albemarle County Office Building.

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