Painting history

Sophomore class continues the tradition of painting the pit


Sophomore Madisyn Givens spray paints the pit. Givens is continuing a Texas vs Arkansas tradition.

Story by Nathan Morriss, staff writer

Sophomores continued the long-held tradition of painting the pit on August 25. Members of the sophomore Student Council gathered at 11:30 a.m. and spent the next few hours in the heat completing the rivalry-themed design for the pit.

The design for this year was a giant Texas flag with a spirited message: T-HIGH FOR LIFE.

“We originally had another design that focused more on Texas vs. Arkansas, but we wanted it to stand out for all the [football] game[s],” sophomore class president Janie Rounds said.

The tradition of painting the pit has come from a few decades ago.

“We actually did it back in the ‘70s. In that day and time, we would all come up to school on a Saturday. It was the seniors’ job to decorate the school for Texas-Arkansas week, and so we would make signs with ‘paint the pit in,’ and do all of these different activities,” Student Council sponsor Susan Waldrep said.

The actual concept of painting the pit has changed over time, however. This tradition has gone from a simple slogan to a large-scale annual painting.

“It’s evolved to where it is now; it is a building thing,” Waldrep said. “Before they redid the cafeteria, [there] was a solid wall where the glass wall is, so it had to be something that really got your attention. You didn’t just walk by [the cafeteria entrance] and see it a lot. ”

There have been many variations in the way that the pit has been painted.

“Some years it faces a different direction,” Waldrep said. “Some years it faces long ways. We’ve gotten smarter with Lauren Rochelle. Her dad suggested using thinned paint and putting it in a paint sprayer. Some years they have bought turf paint. There was one year that the flag was the entire pit; there was no grass shown.”

Each year, there have been various obstacles with painting the pit. This year, paint shortage was the main difficulty.

“I thought we had enough [paint], but we had to call my mom and ask for more paint, not just spray paint,” Rounds said. “The white spray paint was hard to stick on the grass, and when we rolled paint on, the grass came off. It got kind of clumpy.”

The tradition of painting the pit near the cafeteria may not last forever, though.

“Unfortunately, I think they’re going to concrete up some of the pit,” Waldrep said.  “I would like to see some green space left, but also I want us to figure out a way that we move that tradition.”

Mrs. Waldrep remains optimistic about the future, however.

“Whether we paint out here on the hill by the pond, or where we have to move it, I want us to keep [painting] it,” Waldrep said. “I remember when I did that. I don’t think people realize the importance of keeping traditions going, and Texas High does a really good job of keeping traditions going.”