Elm City High School — Elm City, North Carolina

Elm City High School building
(click photo for Google Street View)

Elm City, Wilson County, NC
Population: 1,374 (2003 est.)
Incorporated: December 18, 1873

Elm City, NC on Facebook
Elm City, NC is the place to be….
Windsor Lake subdivision in the 1980s


Reunion Apparel for Elm City High School Elm City High School
215 E. Church St.
Elm City, NC 27822

mascot: Vikings
colors: Blue & Gold

There are numerous references to Elm City School as far back as the mid 1800s. A $75,000 bond issue was passed by voters in 1921 and a new graded school building was opened in 1922. That frame building apparently burned in 1940 and was replaced by the brick building most alumni remember. In 1970, it became Elm City High School. In 1978, ECHS consolidated with Ralph L. Fike High School in Wilson, NC and the old ECHS building became Elm City Middle School.

1940 news article - This was probably the 1922 frame building.
1940 news article – This was probably the 1922 frame building.


Elm City Vikings Athletics

1964 – State Champs (def. Cobb Memorial, 6-1)

1974 – State Champ – Roundtree, 100-yard dash

Women’s Basketball
Eddie Summerlin, who passed away in 2006, was a graduate of Elm City High School. He later coached the Elm City women’s basketball team and led them to a state 2A title in 1977. He followed that up with a state 4A title in 1979 as the Wilson Fike coach.

Men’s Basketball
Head Coach Harvey Reid led the Elm City High School men’s basketball team to three state 2A championships.
He still holds these records:
– Most victories – 818
– Most victories at one school – 751 (Frederick Douglas / Elm City / Wilson Fike)
– State Championships at one school – 7 (Wilson Fike)

John Virgil is Elm City’s all-time leading scorer. He scored 46 points in a state semi-final game against Avery County, still the second highest point total in tournament history. In his high school career, Virgil scored 2,100 points to put him 22nd on the all-time NC scoring list.

Elm City High School State Finals appearances:
– 1974 – State Champs; (def. Fairmont, 79-66) Mike Cherry scored 38 points in a state quarter-final game against West Henderson, still the eleventh highest point total in tournament history. He also scored 37 points against Scotland Neck in the semi-final game. In the finals aganst Fairmont, Rod Griffin pulled down 17 rebounds, 13th most rebounds ever in a state tournament.
– 1975 – State Champs; (def. Hallsboro, 95-68) 163 total points still stands as the highest scoring State Finals game. Elm City’s 95 points is also still the state record for one team in the finals.
– 1976 – State Runner-up; (def. by Clayton, 71-66) In the state semi-final game, Elm City defeated Union 102-101. The 203 combined points still stands as the second highest point total in state tournament history.
– 1977 – State Champs; (def. Northampton, 80-70)

Elm City High – Elm City,NC on Facebook.
Class of ’78 on Facebook.

Elm City School (from 1954 yearbook, Bear Trap)
Elm City School (from 1954 yearbook, Bear Trap)

21 thoughts on “Elm City High School — Elm City, North Carolina

  1. Dave,

    Thanks for doing the research on my high school. I had forgotten about these most impressive achievements.

    I will always cherish the memories of “times past” and friends “gone on.”

    Raymond –

    1. Thanks for the comments, Raymond. I love researching old schools, but there’s surprisingly little information about most schools. I’m sure there are some prominent alumni from Elm City. They should be recognized somewhere.

      1. I attended school here from 1969 to 1973. I never thought this school would mean so much to me in my life.
        The memories of Coach Reid giving me passes to go to the gym in exchange for sweeping the floor!
        I will be remembered as the preachers kid, not very popular with the uptown kids, but great friends with most
        everyone else.Hello to all who remember me and befriended me, your loss to all who shunned me.
        Elm City…I still remember.

  2. Thanks for putting this together for Elm City High School!
    I might could get you a picture the way the school looked before the main part was torn down……was such a beautiful building!!!
    Let me know…..
    Thanks again!!!

  3. Check out Willie Cooper. First black hoops player at UNC, walked on to the freshman team in ’64…and he’s from Elm City! Played for Coach Reid when the team won the 63 straight. Only played one year at UNC though, he decided to focus on academics instead.
    Oh yeah, his daughter played on the 1994 Nation Championship Tarheel Ladies team.
    Love the site, btw. Not enough info out there about our hoops heritage in Wilson County. Thanks, man!

  4. graduated in 1959…. would love a picture of the old school, before it was torn down… if anyone can help it would be greatly appreciated.. thanks

      1. Even though I attended Enfield High School and not Elm City High, I know Rev. Phillip Roundtree who was the 1974 state champion in track (100 yard dash). Rev. Roundtree is the Pastor of Plumbline United Holy Church in Enfield, and he works in the central office for Halifax County Schools in administration.

        If I’m not mistaken, the Enfield High Cougars were beaten by Elm City in the state playoffs in the early seventies when they had Mike Cherry and John Virgil. We had a great team but we couldn’t get past Elm City.

        1. You are correct. We played Enfield in 1974 and 1975 on the way to the state championship. I was a point guard on those teams. I attended Winston-Salem State with players from Enfield. It was always competitive.

  5. I attended ECHS 1973-1977. @Victor A. Marrow, Rev. Phillip Rountree is my younger brother and was in the fifth grade in 1974 as I was completing my freshman year at ECHS. My brother was an outstanding athlete and excelled in every sport he played, including track. However, I don’t think he was the champion referenced. Our cousin, Lydia Rountree, (1973-1977) was also an outstanding athlete and the track record most likely belongs to her as she excelled in track and field. She anchored the ECHS girls basketball team (they also won the state championship concurrently with our boys team) and went on to play basketball and star at East Carolina University. There will never be another time like we experienced at ECHS! Vikings Forever!

  6. To all personnel that work so hard, bring together this most inspiring History about Elm City Schools I would like to applauded all of you.Hopefully someone have picture or ANYTHING of FDHS I was in the last class of 1969.

  7. Thank you for your time and efforts in posting this article. We all remember the mighty Elm City Vikings, 1975-1978, as I was lucky enough to play on the Elm City Vikings boys teams coacn by Harvey Reid Jr. What a coach he was, I will never forget the long hours and long runs and the figure eight’s, he made us do and the long six miles before practice. WOW, what a Memory!!! Again, thanks and God Bless all of our coacnes, Mr Havery Reid, Mr. Summerlin, Mr. Howard, all Rest In Peace and thank you for your many days of leadership, and guidance, may God bless their families in their loses of love ones, which meant so much to us all.


  8. The so-called merger destroyed all communities involved except one. It destroyed the tradition we had, divided our strength. Busing us all the way over there to our enemy’s land.

    Elm City Vikings #1

  9. I graduated from ECHS Class of 1976. We have planned a REUNION! Cost $30 per class member/ $15 for guest. Check out our FaceBook page: ECHS Class of 1976 Reunion

    ECHS Class of 1976 Reunion
    Saturday, June 25, 2016 @ 5 PM
    Bill Ellis Convention Center
    Red and White Room
    3007 Downing St SW
    Wilson, NC 27893 (919) 553-2435

    Please help spread the world. Class members bring something to show your VIKINGS spirit! Celebrating the Blue and Gold

  10. Thank you Paula Braswell for organizing such a wonderful class reunion. We all had a fantastic time. The reunion included Paula Braswell, John Virgil, Robert Pegues, Chris Ladson, Bob Ramsey, Herbert Joyner, Sharon Rountree Williams, Judy Lucas Wilson, Angela Renfrow Battle, Linwood Battle, Dorothy Leigh Strickland, Janice Strickland Fleming, Gregory Hunter, Michael Hamm, and Mary Christine Brown Eatmon.
    We are having a second reunion, Part II, at Bill Ellis Barbeque, September 3, 2016 at 5 pm for 1976 Elm City High School!! Go Vikings!!

  11. Not sure how I found this page, but glad I did. I graduated class of 71 and yes coach Reid drove us to be the best that we could be. His methods led me to a successful military career even though I never go the opportunity to tell him. But at age 64 I still love to ball.

  12. grad 1972 was bud oittman in yr class just saw him this past wk also saw bill myers 84 i was in the band and went to college on grant/music he helped me with played drums on lot of proff nands retired now but still play alabama theatre mb drummer since 2000 god bless and we can be proud of echs

  13. Under Men’s Basketball for Coach Harvey Reid, Jr.
    Most victories at one school 751 it was printed Wilson Frederick Douglas/Elm City/Wilson Fike

    Frederick Douglass was also in Elm City!

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