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Long family lineage carries on lion’s pride

Silvers family discusses evolution of long-standing traditions

Founded in a church basement in 1857, Lawrence High School has been a pillar in the Lawrence community for 167 years, creating intergenerational connections.

The Silvers family lineage is an example of how the school community has preserved its pride through 96

Angie and Tim Silvers at mud volleyball tournament. (Angie Silvers )

years of attendance — the latest student being junior Ty Silvers, a fifth-generation Chesty Lion.

“There is some pressure with being fifth-generation, but I am honored to be able to carry on the legacy,” Ty said. “Hopefully my kids can carry on the legacy here at LHS as well.”

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Ty stays involved in the school community by partaking in extracurriculars, including tennis, football, Link Crew and IPS — an inclusive leadership class. It’s no surprise that Ty remains well-connected to the school community, as he honors his family by reliving the stories he grew up listening to.

“I was always at LHS, whether it was for sports games or in the classroom with my mom on her days off,” Ty said. “It’s been really cool to be an LHS family, we’re trying to keep the traditions alive.”

One high school tradition Ty shares with his parents, Angie and Tim Silvers, is LHS’s annual mud volleyball tournament, where more than 500 students, staff and parents gather to compete in the mud. As former players in the long-standing tradition, Angie and Tim support the event by preparing the courts and refereeing games.

“It’s really awesome that I get to participate in something they also did when they were in high school,” Ty said. “It’s also great that they still come and help out at the event now that my sister and I participate.”

Angie and Tim Silvers at prom. (Angie Silvers)

Angie and Tim were high school sweethearts from the graduating class of 2003. They participated in the marching band, which has a history dating back to 1901. The couple were involved in traditions they now see their children carry on.

One of the most memorable experiences for Angie was the homecoming parade and Rally Around the Lion, a celebratory bonfire that follows the parade.

“It was a big deal every year. Back in the day, we used to go all the way down from South Park… We got to see the kids and throw candy to [them],” Angie said. “In the marching band, we would stop and play a part of our marching show to the residents. It was really cool to get the whole community involved and then we would end it at Lawrence high and ‘rally around the lion.’”

Angie and Tim silvers in LHS marching band. (Angie Silvers)

For Angie and Tim, it was never a question whether their children would attend LHS. From the beginning, Angie and Tim wanted their children to share the same memorable high school experiences.

“When my husband and I bought our house in Baldwin, it was honestly never even a consideration to have them go anywhere else, not even a thought,” Angie said.

Angie is one of many LHS alumni who returned to the school as a teacher. Today, Angie experiences the school culture from three perspectives: a parent, teacher and former student.

Angie and Tim Silvers posing for the camera. (Angie Silvers)

“At the beginning of my career, it was a little strange to come back to the school that I thought I remembered,” Angie said. “It originally was hard for me to put myself out of that student role and into that teacher role… I can remember what it was like being a student, but it’s easier now to put myself in the adult side of things.”

Another proud Chesty Lion in the Silvers lineage is Ty’s grandfather, Brad Silvers — graduating class of 1981. Brad currently resides in Topeka, but still visits Lawrence to revisit his memories as a Chesty Lion.

Brad Silvers, graduating class of 1981. (Angie Silvers)

“That high school was just the best,” Brad said. “There was a lot of pride there.”

When Brad was a student, LHS was the only high school in town. This strengthened the school’s presence, merging school spirit with Lawrence as a whole. At the time, Lawrence was a farm community, allowing LHS students to attend weekly farmers markets and participate in the livestock trade.

“Saturday was a big day because we’d always go into town to the sale barn — for livestock buying and selling,” Brad said. “It was just really a good, honest, wholesome farm community… You go to town, you see people. No matter where you go, [you see] your family and friends, it was just a great place to grow up.”

Like his children, Brad’s fondest memories from LHS came from the community and pride within the marching band.

“Every year, there was band day at KU up at the stadium. That was something that we always looked forward to because bands from all over Kansas would come and we’d have this huge parade and everybody would end up going,” Brad said. “The football game and bands would play at halftime, it was just really cool.”

Brad shared his high school experiences with his mother, Peggy Silvers, as well as his grandmother, Ruby Caruthers — who marked the beginning of their LHS history.

Lawrence High School has been a part of the Silvers family since 1928.

“You feel pride in the school,” Brad said, tearing up. “Chesty Lions, that legacy lives on.”

This story was originally published on The Budget on April 18, 2024.