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Long Beach Polytechnic High School


Long Beach Polytechnic High School

Long Beach Polytechnic High School
"Home of Scholars & Champions"
"Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve"
1600 Atlantic Avenue
Long Beach, California
United States
Type Public
Established 1895
School district Long Beach Unified School District
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 5090 (2010)
Campus Urban
Color(s) Green and Gold          
Athletics conference Moore League
Team name Jackrabbits
Yearbook Caerulea

Long Beach Polytechnic High School, founded in 1895 as Long Beach High School, is a public high school located at 1600 Atlantic Avenue in Long Beach, California, United States. The school serves portions of Long Beach, including Bixby Knolls, and some parts of the cities of Signal Hill and Lakewood. Polytechnic, (more commonly known as Poly), is the flagship high school of the Long Beach Unified School District. It is a large urban high school with just over 5,000 students.

Polytechnic has long been distinguished in both academics and athletics. The PACE (Program of Additional Curricular Experiences, founded in 1975 by Dr. Nancy Gray, a teacher and administrator for the Long Beach School system) and the CIC (Center of International Curriculum) magnet programs boast more total University of California admissions than any other high school in California. In 2005, Sports Illustrated Magazine named Polytechnic the "Sports School of the Century", which applauds Polytechnic's badminton, baseball, basketball, football, track, cross country, swimming, water polo, tennis, golf, and softball teams. Polytechnic has also received numerous prizes for its music program, including six Grammy Awards, two of them being "golden signature" Grammy Awards. Long Beach Poly has also sent more players to the NFL than any other high school in the country, sending over 60 throughout the history of the school.[1] Also, Long Beach Poly was named athletic school of the century and ranked number one in best high school athletic programs in the nation by Sports Illustrated.[2]


  • History 1
    • Early beginnings 1.1
    • 1940s-1970s 1.2
    • 1980s-present 1.3
  • Academics 2
  • Athletics 3
    • Football 3.1
      • Early years 3.1.1
      • 1960s-present 3.1.2
      • 4th and Forever 3.1.3
  • Filming location 4
  • Notable alumni 5
    • Athletes 5.1
      • Baseball 5.1.1
      • Basketball 5.1.2
      • Football 5.1.3
      • Hockey 5.1.4
      • Tennis 5.1.5
      • Track and Field 5.1.6
      • Water Polo 5.1.7
      • Other sports 5.1.8
    • Entertainers 5.2
  • Notes 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


Early beginnings

Long Beach Polytechnic High School began offering classes in 1895 in order to help educate the growing population of Long Beach. The first classes were at the Methodist Tabernacle Chapel and the first principal was Walter S. Bailey.[3] The first graduating class was in 1897 and only had one student. During this same year, classes were moved to Chautauqua Hall at Fourth Street and Pine Avenue as work began on the new Long Beach High School.[3] Long Beach High School was completed in 1898 and featured four classrooms and an assembly hall. The following year, the Long Beach High School Athletic Association was formed. In 1903, the school yearbook, "Caerulea" was first published. Football and basketball programs began in 1904 and the first student government was established in 1906.[3] David Brucham became school principal the following year, a position he would hold until 1941. The girls' basketball program won three consecutive state championships from 1907-1909. In 1911, Long Beach Poly moves the location at 16th Street and Atlantic, offering more space and amenities.[3] JROTC began in 1917 and an influenza epidemic sweeps through the school population. The following year, rabbits began invading the playing fields, inspiring the track team to call themselves the Jackrabbits and eventually becoming the official school mascot.[3] The athletic field was dedicated as "David Burcham Field" in 1924 to honor the long-serving principal. During much of the 1920s, Poly was the largest high school west of the Mississippi River in terms of student population.[3] A new auditorium was constructed in 1931 and an earthquake damaged the school in 1933. Following the earthquake, bricks from the damage were sold in order to pay for a memorial flagpole which still stands. A new science building was built and the auditorium was remodeled in 1935. A new administration building was completed the following year and in 1937, Poly graduated over 1,000 students for the first time.

The 1976 edition of the school's Caerulea yearbook.


The school celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1945. Wooden bleachers that had lined the athletic fields burned down in 1952 and the new Veteran's Stadium became the new home field for the Jackrabbits. The library was completed in 1953. In 1969, a racist leaflet was published, prompting approximately 100 white and African-American students to fight, leaving 24 students injured.[3] Homecoming titles (King and Queen) are ended in 1971 due to racial tensions. In 1976, PACE (Program of Additional Curricular Experiences), which included one of the first offerings of advanced college placement courses for high school students, begins. Badminton began in 1977 and girls' track and gymnastics teams started the following year.[3]


The Center for International Commerce (CIC) began in 1982 and in 1984, Poly was recognized by USA Today as the top ranked school nationally in terms of Moore League, CIF, and state titles.[3] Poly received the Distinguished School Recognition Award in 1986, the California Department of Education's highest award. Poly became a four-year school in 1989. A new science building was completed in 1993 and the school celebrated its 100-year anniversary in 1995. The Poly music program was recognized as a Grammy Signature School Gold in 2000, one of the top ten music programs in the country.[3] Poly received this honor in 2003 as well. In 2005, Harvard recognized Poly as the most successful high school in the nation in terms of number of graduates.[3] Also in 2005, Sports Illustrated named the Poly as the #1 sports high school in the nation.[2][3] In 2006, security is increased and school IDs are required to be worn at all times while on campus. In 2007, graduation requirements are adjusted, requiring all students to perform 40 hours of community service to graduate.


The school motto states: Poly is the "Home of Scholars and Champions". The PACE and CIC magnet programs are highly desired destinations for students throughout the South Bay & Northern Orange County. In 2008, 1,573 AP exams were administered at Poly with over 75% of testees receiving a passing score of 3 or higher.[4] The national pass rate in 2008 was slightly over 58%.[5] Poly is also the highest academic performance index of any traditional high school in Long Beach with a 2009 score of 747. Poly consistently ranks a 9 out of 10 when compared to schools with similar demographics since 2007. Pac Rim is a California magnet academy, for students interested in business. (Academies also included in Polytechnic high are the following: Beach, Justice, METS, and MAPS.)[6]


Long Beach Polytechnic offers a wide variety of sports and activities due to the school's large size and diverse student population. Athletic teams compete in Division I within the California Interscholastic Federation and are known as the Jackrabbits. Throughout the school's history, the Jackrabbits have won many state championships and have produced several collegiate and professional athletes. In 2005, Sports Illustrated Magazine named Polytechnic the "Sports School of the Century", which applauds Polytechnic's badminton, baseball, basketball, football, track, cross country, swimming, water polo, tennis, golf, and softball teams.[2]


Long Beach Poly has maintained a successful football program and has produced more NFL players than any other high school in the nation, sending over 60 throughout school history.[1] Notable former football players include DeSean Jackson, Winston Justice, and Willie McGinest.[7]

Early years

Poly played its first football game in 1908 and featured its first African-American player in 1934.[8] After losing their opener, the Jackrabbits won their first game 10-0 vs. Occidental Prep.[8] In 1917, head coach Eddie Kienholz left the team to fight in World War I. The 1919 Poly team went 12-0 and won their first state championship over Berkeley High School by a score of 21-14. Following the state championship, Poly defeated Phoenix High School by a score of 102-0 in the Southwest Championship.[8] Poly won additional CIF titles in 1923 and 1927. Orian Landreth became the head coach in 1929 and won the CIF title vs. Santa Barbara High School. Poly repeated as CIF champions in 1930, and also won titles in 1934 and 1936.[8] From 1942-1956, the football program experienced down years, producing just four winning seasons.[8] Poly improved in 1958 and won the CIF title in 1958 and 1959.


From 1965-1979, the Jackrabbits experienced a second drought of success, making the playoffs five times in 15 seasons.[8] The 1973 team went winless and the 1979 team was forced to forfeit all of its wins due to ineligible players.[8] Poly won the CIF title in 1980 and were runners-up in 1981 and 1982. The Jackrabbits shared a title in 1985, sharing with Edison High School after a 14-14 tie.[8] Poly experienced increased success in the 1990s and 2000s, winning CIF titles in 1997, 1999 and 2000. The 2001 team featured Marcedes Lewis, Hershel Dennis, Winston Justice, and Darnell Bing. Despite the talent, the team finished runner-up to De La Salle High School.[8] The Jackrabbits won the CIF title in 2004 behind DeSean Jackson and won additional titles in 2007 and 2012.[8] Former New York Giant Antonio Pierce was hired as head coach before the 2014 season.

4th and Forever

A reality television on Current TV, titled 4th and Forever, focuses on the school's strong football program. It has been called the real-life version of Friday Night Lights but has also been derided as inaccurate and "[relying] on repetitive reality-show conventions".[9][10]

Filming location

Long Beach Poly has been the backdrop for many commercials, television shows, and films.

Notable alumni


Tony Gwynn was also a standout basketball player in high school.






Track and Field

Water Polo

Other sports



  1. ^ a b "Pipeline to the NFL? Big states, schools are key" (English). Retrieved 2006-04-21. 
  2. ^ a b c "Best High School Athletic Programs" (English). Retrieved 2005-05-11. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Poly's Historical Timeline" (English). Retrieved 2014-06-29. 
  4. ^ "DataQuest (CA Dept of Education)". 2010-03-23. Retrieved 2010-09-24. 
  5. ^ "AP Data & Reports". 2007-06-18. Retrieved 2010-09-24. 
  6. ^ "Education Data Partnership Home Page". Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l One high school, so many future NFL players , USATODAY, APR 22, 2008.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Championship game victory would only add to Long Beach Poly football legacy" (English). Retrieved 2014-06-29. 
  9. ^ Knowles, David (24 May 2011). "4th and Forever: TV Review - The Hollywood Reporter".  
  10. ^ McNamara, Mary (26 May 2011). 4th and Forever': TV review -"'".  
  11. ^ a b c d MLB Draft Factories,, Jun 03, 2008.
  12. ^ City of Long Beach Baseball Hall of Fame, City of Long Beach Parks and Recreation
  13. ^ "Kenny Booker". Long Beach City College Vikings. Archived from the original on April 21, 2015. 
  14. ^ a b The Reason,, May 13, 2007.
  15. ^ a b Two High Schools Share Lead for Most NFL Players, USA, SEP 27, 2007.
  16. ^ a b c d
  17. ^ 18-year-old California woman scales Everest, becoming youngest to complete 'seven summits', The Associated Press, 19 May 2007
  18. ^ "Percy Daggs III". SideReel. 1982-07-20. Retrieved 2010-09-24. 
  19. ^ Stanton, Scott (2003). The tombstone tourist : musicians (2nd ed.). New York: Pocket Books. p. 136.  
  20. ^ Leonard, Vince (19 March 1964). "Jo Stafford Easy Talker". The Pittsburgh Press. Retrieved 9 January 2011. 
  21. ^ "Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston (1934–) - Personal, Addresses, Career, Member, Honors Awards, Writings, Sidelights, Autobiography FeatureJeanne Wakatsuki Houston". Retrieved 2010-09-24. 
  22. ^ "Carl Weathers Bio". Rotten Retrieved 2010-09-24. 


  • Long Beach Polytechnic High School profile at NNDB
  • LB Poly baseball players at The Baseball Cube
  • LB Poly is #1 Sports High School in America at Sports Illustrated
  • IMDb: Filming Locations

External links

  • Long Beach Polytechnic High School
  • interview featuring LBPHS social studies teacher Janet Lipson, July 3, 2005Q&AC-SPAN
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