Edina’s student population grew rapidly in the 1960s, and overcrowding forced the district to open a second high school in 1972. Emotions ran high as former teammates became rivals and the brand-new Edina West Cougars faced off against the established Edina East Hornets on the football field that fall. In the spirit of good sportsmanship, cheerleaders from both schools met at halftime to exchange carnations. Edina West won 14-0 that night, but the Cougars and Hornets became each other’s strongest competition during the nine years Edina had two high schools. But the two schools were often united off the field with combined proms, graduations and senior parties. The first combined senior class party played off the school split with the theme “East Side, West Side—All Around the Town.”
As student population dropped, the two schools combined in fall 1981. Edina East became what is now the community center. And although West kept its building, it said goodbye to its Cougar mascot and many of its cheers, including “East is East but West is Best.” The final Edina West yearbook proclaimed instead, “Either way, Edina is best.”
Edina has had only two high schools in its history. Edina-Morningside Junior and Senior High School opened in 1949 and became Edina East when a second high school opened in 1972. East is now the community center at 5701 Normandale Road and Edina West is now the current high school at 6754 Valley View Road.
For more entertaining stories from Edina’s past, check out the Edina Historical Society blog.