About Jean Ribault...."The Champions"
Ribault High School and William Raines High School have a unique rivalry and relationship that is based on their physical proximity, unusual for two public suburban high schools. In the era of de facto racial segregation in the 1960s, Ribault was built to serve an almost entirely whites-only population in northwest Jacksonville that essentially disappeared in the 1970s as the area became more predominantly African-American. Raines was constructed later in the sixties to serve the close-by African-American population, while Northwestern High School (previously serving the African-American community in this suburban area) was converted to a junior high. Both Ribault and Raines have established a reputation as athletic powerhouses.
Ribault was one of 16 schools nation-wide selected by the College Board for inclusion in the EXCELerator School Improvement Model program beginning the 2007-2008 school year. The project was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Jacksonville's Basketball Dynasty
Jean Ribault High School has long been known as the Basketball Dynasty of Jacksonville, Florida.
The boys' basketball team has appeared in 80 tournament games (59 wins, 21 losses), with 14 consecutive tournament appearances (1991-2005), and 4 back-to-back state championship wins in 1989 and 1990 and then again in 1994 and 1995, and four state runner-up crowns in 1985, 1997, 1998 and 2005. The coach of the Ribault Trojans boys' basketball team was Bernard Wilkes. In March 2006, Wilkes died in his sleep after the boys basketball team's 50-44 final four loss to Jones HS (Orlando).
The Lady Trojans have enjoyed even more success holding the Florida state record for most consecutive wins at 101. In 2002 the Lady Trojans took the crown as the U.S.A. Today National Championship runner-up behind Lynwood High School in California, the Lady Trojans are indisputably the best female basketball team in the history of women's high-school basketball in the state of Florida, having appeared in 24 State tournaments (the most by any female basketball team in the state), resulting in 8 state championships (1988, 1993, 1994, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2003) also a state record and one state runner-up crowns (1992), playing in 79 State tournament games (63 wins and 16 losses). Their 63 tournament wins is also a state record. From 1999-2003 the Lady Trojans Basketball Team were five time State Champions (also a state record for most consecutive championships). Coach Al Austin is the coach of and the backbone of this illustrious organization.
The current principal of Ribault High School is Dr. James Young (2009). The most important yearly events at the school include the Northwest Classic Football Game against rival William M. Raines High School. The football game is one of the most popular games in Northeast Florida, as well as the Chandra Cheeseborough Invitational, named after Olympic Gold Medalist and Ribault alumna Chandra Cheeseborough.
Trojans for Life!!!
Reference: Wikipedia, 2009: Jean Ribault High School, Retrieved April 5, 2010, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Ribault_High_School
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