HISTORY OF ZEPHYRHILLS HIGH SCHOOL
Highlights of 1929
Per Cecil McGavern, this is the first team to ever play for the school and the year was 1929 and the team went on to the State Tournament, winning over Brandon in a morning game. In the second game, they played in the afternoon against St. Petersburg—and the Bulldog five had a lead at halftime, but fell behind in the second half after one of its stars, Louie Evans, broke out with chicken pox during intermission. Photo shows: John Loomis, Vernon Gall, Fred Gill, Julian Craig, Coach Major Reed, Charles Slater, Captain Louis Evans, Arthur Austin, John Pennington and Cecil McGavern. Absent for the photo was Owen Gall. The team won every game that year (including a 32-2 victory over Dade City), losing that last State Tournament battle to the St. Petersburg Green Devils.
Oldest Alums, Zephyrhills News, Fall 1968
Special Recognition during Homecoming halftime Friday night was accorded Mrs. L.G. Skinner, ZHS woman graduate of longest ago (1929) to register. Ms. Skinner attended with her granddaughter, Miss Debbie LeHeup of Temple Terrace.
Class of 1912 is Oldest Person at ZHS Summer Alumni Reunion, Zephyrhills News, June 29, 1972
About 60 persons attending the third annual Zephyrhills High School Summer Alumni Homecoming and picnic were moved inside the Veterans of Foreign Wars building Sunday when rain threatened to drench the picnickers.
Everyone brought a covered dish and food ranged from sauerkraut salad to country-fried chicken.
Some people at the reunion had not seen each other for many years and the class of 1921 had a 100 % attendance, all three living graduates were there.
Three generations of alumni were also present in the family of Mrs. Dew, who was accompanied by her granddaughter, Debbie of Dade City. Mr. and Mrs. David Cripe, and Mrs. Alice Cripe Daniel, their nephew, Richard Gaskin of class of 1935; and his daughter, Miss Faye Gaskin, Class of 1964. Also present was Mrs. Celia Linkey Anderson, Class of 1929, who is now a member of the faculty at the University of South Florida.
ZHS Alumni and Friends Prepare for Gala Reunion Here in June, Zephyrhills News, May 24, 1979
As the end of the school year activities are becoming the order of the day, thoughts are also being focused on the upcoming Zephyrhills High School Alumni and Friends Reunion. This very enjoyable get-together, which began in 1970 and has been held each year since, is annually planned for the last Sunday of June. This year it will be Sunday, June 24 and will begin promptly at 1 p.m. at the Community Center at Zephyr Park.
As the name of the group indicates, “ZHS Alumni and Friends,” this group is open to anyone with a connection to and/or interest in Zephyrhills High School past or present. This is a once a year opportunity to get together with former school mates, teachers, bus drivers, homeroom parents, lunchroom workers and ZHS boosters in general. As those from the early 1900s right on up to the present days reminisce about their ZHS school days that is an education in itself. Many attend from out-of-town, and each year eagerly look forward to seeing even more of their friends from the old home town. Zephyrhills is renowned for always being a friendly little city and this reunion is evidence of that wonderful reputation.
This year the reunion will especially honor the class of 1929, celebrating its 50th golden anniversary, and the class of 1954, for its 25th silver anniversary.
Members of the class of 1929 include Mrs. O.W. (Celia Linkey) Anderson Jr. of Dade City who recently retired as a University of South Florida professor. Mrs. Anderson is also a former member of the ZHS faculty and long-time librarian. Her husband was a former faculty member of ZHS and their daughter, Dedi, was a graduate of the class of 1960. Also Mrs. L.G. (Angie Geiger) Skinner of Zephyrhills retired October 1, 1976 as Crystal Springs Postmaster, many members of Mrs. Skinner’s family have attended school at ZHS and her three children are all ZHS graduates, Fred J. LeHeup, class of 1948; Jaynell LeHeup, class of 1950, Cathy Skinner Stokoe, class of 1960; Robert Sibley, Zephyrhills businessman who along with his wife, the former Althea Guy, as long been prominent in the Veterans of Foreign Wars organization not only on the local but also the state and national levels. Coincidentally the Sibley’s daughter, Mrs. Bobbie Lou Sibley Hormuth is a member of the class of 1954 who are celebrating their 25th silver anniversary this year. The Reverend Arthur Austin, who expects to take leave from his missionary post in the Far East where he and his wife, the former Esther Plank have toiled so faithfully for years, to join their friends and relatives for his class’ special anniversary. It is also hoped that their children, also ZHS graduates, will be on hand from several American cities for the reunion in their home town; the former Mary Lee Allsobrook last heard of as being in Okeechobee; John Pennington of Atlanta, Georgia and two other class members, John Loomis and Julian Craig are both deceased.
Members of the class of 1929 are: Mary Lee Allsobrook, Arthur Austin, Julian Craig, Angie Geiger, Celia Linkey, John Loomis, John Pennington, and Robert Sibley.
Alumni Reunion Draws 70 ZHS Grads for Talk on Old Days, Zephyrhills News, June 28, 1973
By Jaynell LeHeup
A very congenial group of 70 persons, alumni of Zephyrhills High School, families and friends met Sunday afternoon in the “Common” Room of the Bank of Zephyrhills for the annual “Summer Homecoming” and ZHS Alumni Association Reunion.
Even though there were crowded quarters, which somewhat restricted circulation of the guests a most enjoyable time of reminiscing was the order of the day…………….
The Reverend Arthur Austin, a ZHS Grad of 1929 also gave a talk on “earlier days in the old home town.” He remarked that in 1930 the official census showed the total population of Zephyrhills at 728 persons.
Describing some “Halloween pranks” of ZHS youngsters of those days, he (Arthur Austin’1929) perhaps surprised the
younger generation of ZHS alumni present with the type of carefree freedom evidently enjoyed, at times, by the youth of that yesterday who knew nothing of computers, television, and many modern day pressures, as well as some modern day restrictions.
The Reverend Arthur Austin’29 expressed feelings of personal distress over the loss of much of the small town closeness and friendliness. He recalled how everyone in and around town used to know everyone else and how everyone came to town on Saturdays.
Both Austin’29 and Nat Storms, a member of the class of 1944, remembered fondly the years of use of the downtown benches in Zephyrhills and were pleased to note that all such benches have not completely been abandoned in the ever changing years of growth and progress.
They also expressed appreciation for the Alumni Association and the opportunity to get together with old friends and fellow alumni of all generations, at this time once a year, happy gathering.
Zephyrhills News, July 30, 1977
Another enjoyable and successful Zephyrhills High School Alumni and Friends Reunion was held at the Zephyr Park Community Center.
…..One of the many comments made from the alumni members attending …..was that of the Reverend Arthur Austin, Class of 1929, who said he had recently been accused of being a tourist in his own hometown. He noted that Zephyrhills had grown so much in the past few years that now it would no longer be possible to hear Gus Royal’s famous laugh all over town. Gus countered that since he had moved to Tampa, he had to learn to whistle. The Reverend and Mrs. Austin are preparing to leave soon for another tour of duty in the Orient as missionaries and teachers. They hope to be back for his Class 50th anniversary in 1979.
ZHS Alumni Boost Stadium Fund, Zephyrhills News, June 9, 1978
A large, enthusiastic crowd of home-towners, out-of-towners, and guests picnicked at the 9th annual reunion of the ZHS Alumni and Friends….gathering before noon at the Zephyr Park….
Mrs. Laura Kohler Wakefield of Tampa, a former ZHS student who graduated from FSU in Tallahassee in 1932, remarked that because of her love for Zephyrhills, she wrote her college thesis on Zephyrhills and would try to remember to bring a copy to next year’s reunion for anyone to read who wished to do so.