They still call themselves graduates of John H. Reagan High School, and they wish their alma mater still went by that name.
But while they never supported the rebranding of the Houston ISD campus at 413 E. 13th St., which is now called Heights High School, they still support its students and their activities.
A group of about 12 alumni who meet for breakfast every Wednesday at Yale Street Grill – all of whom opposed the name change to distance the campus from the former postmaster general in the Confederate States of America – recently purchased nearly $5,000 worth of equipment for Heights’ football team. Howard Moon, a 1951 graduate who presented a check to Bulldogs head coach Stephen Dixon last month, said some of that money was left over from a fundraising campaign to fight the name change, which the HISD school board approved in 2016.
“They told us to order some stuff that we needed, and they paid the bill,” Dixon said. “It’s great that they still support us.”
Heights, which has made eight consecutive playoff appearances and kicks off a new season with an Aug. 30 home game against Spring Dekaney, used the donation to purchase practice equipment. Dixon said the Bulldogs have new rings and pads they use to work on tackling, nets for quarterbacks to throw into and arches that players run through to train them to stay low to the ground.
Moon, who played football for the University of Texas after graduating high school, wrote in a letter about the donation that and his fellow alumni “now expect the Bulldogs to win the city championship and perhaps become state champs.”
“At one of the meetings, Coach Dixon came and was telling us what a good team he’s going to have this year, but he needed a little equipment,” Moon said. “So we got together and made a donation.”
Dixon said the new equipment brings the Bulldogs more on par with some of the bigger schools in the area in terms of training resources.
“It’s definitely going to help us this upcoming year and in the future,” he said.
While Moon and the other men he meets for weekly breakfasts are supportive of Heights’ team, that doesn’t mean they’ve gotten over the name change. Dixon said he also wishes the school was still called Reagan, but named after either former President Ronald Reagan or his wife, Nancy.
The coach joked that the alumni might be even more generous if that were the case.
“In our mind,” Moon said, “it’s still Reagan.”