Central High School in Tuscaloosa, Alabama has gone full-circle from one of America’s best examples of integration to one of segregation again in 2015. The school, which once was one of the top programs in the state after desegregation, is now 99% African-American in a community that is described as largely impoverished.
Sunday ESPN highlighted the struggles at the school, that is just three blocks away from the University of Alabama, in its SC Featured segment.
While the story details the struggles at Central since the school district was split in 2003 when the courts lifted a federal desegregation order, it ends on the positive things that are happening because of head football coach Dennis Conner. After going 0-10 during his first season in 2010, Conner is steadily rebuilding the program that had 19 winning seasons after the school opened in 1979. Last year, the Falcons finished 6-5, qualifying for the Class 5A playoffs.
One of the bright spots in the ESPN story is Lester Cotton, Central’s outstanding offensive tackle, who will have a short trip to college, having signed his National Letter of Intent last week to play for the Crimson Tide.