Spring 2023 True Blue

By Kim West, ’79

Nowadays, as accumulated over the years, there are letter sweaters and jackets displaying all sorts of earned awards.

For Bull Dogs, the large blue “C” with “North” stitched in white letters on it has even changed to “CN.” Athletes are no longer the only proud wearers of the letters: now they can be earned for academics, band, student assembly, athletics and so on.

In the 50s and 60s, you could even earn a letter “P” for working as a projectionist in the audio-visual department.

PHC, a girls’ athletic honorary at Columbus High School, was sponsored by Miss Marilyn Metz in the 1960s. Named for Pat Hansen, a beloved former physical education teacher, PHC was open to those girls who enjoyed competing in athletics but had no formal venue to participate like the boys did. Similar to the requirements the boys had, the girls, through participation, had to earn a minimum of thirty points in regular intramural participation to be invited to join PHC.

Members of PHC organized and sponsored girls’ intramural activities such as volleyball and basketball and softball. They took attendance to be sure everyone received their credit and also served as referees for basketball and volleyball games and also umpired the softball games. The PHC crew also served as a maintenance team by putting up and taking down nets and equipment for competition.

PHC members were similar to a sorority and had fun initiating new members. At the end of the year, members looked forward to celebrating their achievements by attending a picnic. Ribbons and awards were presented to those meeting the criteria of the group.

Supervising most of the school’s extra-curricular activities was the job of the Activities Committee. They were responsible for overseeing activities and making sure things ran smoothly. The committee was made up of five appointed students and five teachers who attended the Student Leadership Conference. A one period training session for club officers was also sponsored by the Activities Committee.

Clubs and intramural play were extremely popular, and most students were involved with an extracurricular activity. In many ways, those involved with PHC were the pioneers for girl’s organized sports, as today girls compete under the same umbrella as the boys with the Indiana High School Athletic Association. They earn letters through sports and other activities and wear letter jackets. After several years, the idea of competitive girls’ sports has now become mainstream and is just as popular as boys’ sports teams.

With so many entertainment options competing for students, clubs and intramural sports, though still in existence, have served their purpose. Technology, additional participatory sports, robotics and even after school jobs compete for students. One thing is certain: without clubs like PHC, girls’ sports would not have advanced at the accelerated speed they have. Young gals everywhere don’t realize the trail PHC, and similar groups blazed before them.