On Wednesday, January 22, 2020, Pebblebrook alumni, former staff, and District administrators gathered one last time on the historic wooden bleachers in John Morgan Gymnasium to pay tribute to the past, present, and future of the school. The gym is being demolished in the spring to make way for new facilities for the Falcons, including a gym, a field house and two new academic buildings.
John Morgan was a math teacher and the basketball coach at Pebblebrook for 15 years. He retired in 1999 due to declining health and died later that year. The gymnasium where he spent all his coaching years at Pebblebrook was posthumously re-named in his honor on December 1, 2000. The school had already built a new gymnasium in 1997 (Kay Jackson Gym), but Morgan Gym was still used for classrooms, ROTC, physical education, and drama, to name but a few. Additionally, a “Throwback Night” basketball game was played in Morgan every season. Wednesday night was the final “Throwback Night” for the gym.
Pebblebrook Principal Dr. Dana Giles thanked the alumni and welcomed them “home” before describing the plans for the new additions to the ‘Brook campus. “Thank you all for helping to build the legacy here at Pebblebrook,” she said, “the future is bright indeed.” Boyd Morley, who taught social studies at Pebblebrook from 1977-2002, said, “Morgan Gym was the focal point on game nights. There’s great memories here. This was a wonderful reunion.”
Hundreds showed up for the celebration, as the Falcons hosted the Newnan Cougars boys and girls basketball teams. The games got underway at 6PM with the Pebblebrook Girls making a huge statement, winning by more than 50 points. The Cougar Girls couldn’t get anything going all game; it was all Falcons and the home crowd couldn’t have been happier. The final score was 18-71.
The boys were up next, looking to make it two region wins in two nights after beating Campbell the night before. They got off to a slow start, but became energized by a Kaleb Washington steal and dunk halfway through the first quarter. The Falcons ended the quarter up eight points, and never looked back.
During halftime, Pebblebrook Athletic Director, Brittny Jones welcomed all alumni and honored guests. She recognized each group—as well as soon-to-be alumni, the 2020 graduates—by asking them to stand.
The second half of the game belonged to Pebblebrook, as the Falcons easily beat the Cougars, 57-77. The win was a confidence-builder as the Falcons look ahead to a contentious re-match with local District rival, South Cobb on Friday. Head Coach George Washington was reflective after the win: “This was for all the alumni and for all the people that played here. I got to meet some people tonight that have history here and it was awesome. It means a lot to get the final win ever in Morgan.”
Cobb County School District Board Member Brad Wheeler was among the returnees. “I spent 17 years here, coaching and teaching,” he said. “This is a community that’s been deserving of a first-class facility for many years. I was fortunate to know and to work with Coach Morgan. He put his time and life into this community. I hate to see the old gym go, but I know he’ll be smiling on the new one, too.”