HISTORY OF ZEPHYRHILLS HIGH SCHOOL
Highlights of 1999-2000
Best of the Best, St. Petersburg Times, May 24, 2000
ZHS has a tie for valedictorian. The first of the threesome is Deanna Hasenauer with a GPA of 4.3690 weighted.
Clubs/Extracurriculars: National Honor Society, marching band, symphonic band, First United Methodist Church member, and varsity swim and dive team.
Future School: The University of Florida to major in chemical engineering.
Ideal Career: Being a chemical or bio-chemical engineer for the Centers for Disease Control or a pharmaceutical company.
Favorite Book and Author: Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse.
Most Inspirational Person: Swimming coach Shannon Matthews; her encouragement and dedication gave me the motivation to excel beyond my personal expectations.
The second of the threesome is valedictorian, Anurekha Krishnaraj with a GPA of 4.3690 weighted.
Clubs/Extracurriculars: President of National Honor Society, Interact Service Club, volunteer at Pasco Community Hospital and various community projects, varsity tennis.
Future School: University of Florida.
Ideal Career: Dentist.
Favorite Book: Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka and A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemmingway.
Favorite Spot on Campus: The media center; my friends and I prefer being in here so we can talk and walk around. It’s also a quiet place to get things done.
Most Inspirational Person: My parents have been the most inspirational people in my life. I’d also like to believe my brother has been inspirational.
The third member of the tri-valedictorian is Pamela Mose with a GPA of 4.3690 weighted.
Clubs/Extracurriculars: National Honor Society, Teen Court, president of Interact Service Club, varsity track and field, varsity cheerleading.
Future School: University of Florida.
Ideal Career: Orthodontist.
Favorite Spot on Campus: Bulldog Inn.
Favorite Book: Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery.
Most Inspirational Person: My parents for supporting and believing in me.
The Salutatorian is Michelle Krystofiak with a GPA of 4.333.
Clubs/Extracurriculars: National Honor Society, treasurer of Key Club, participant in Song and Dance Inc., voice and music lessons, part-time work.
Future School: University of South Florida.
Ideal Career: Pilot. Favorite spot on campus: Media center – in Fort Simple.
Favorite Book: Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.
Most Inspirational Person: Close friend and pilot Mark Williams because he is proof how dreams can become a reality and how to stay focused while still enjoying life.
Note that as of 2007— Deanna Hasenauer, the 2000 Valedictorian, is completing her PhD program at the University of Florida in Nuclear and Radiological Engineering and has numerous published articles/and is known as a researcher/presenter. Sample articles:
Top of the Class, St. Petersburg Times, May 31, 2000
The following students have been named winners of the Scholarship Opportunity Program, sponsored by various businesses, community members and the Pasco Education Foundation Inc.
Pasco Education Foundation Inc. Future Teacher Scholarship: Susan Fike, Zephyrhills High; and Joshua Green, Gulf High.
Tampa Tribune Aspiring Journalist Scholarship: Morgan Stevens, Gulf High.
James Marlowe Allied Health Scholarship: Nicholas Rule, Hudson High; Kendra Buscetta, Ridgewood High; Vincent Chow, River Ridge High; and Anand Patel, River Ridge High.
Lykes Memorial Scholarship: Andrea Wardell, Zephyrhills High.
Time Warner Communications Scholarship: Matthew Cox, Hudson High; and Jessica Cook, Ridgewood High.
The Rothschild-Goldman Family Scholarship: Vincent Chow, River Ridge High.
Kathy Wilson Memorial Scholarship: Nicholas Babinetz, Ridgewood High; and Jennifer Wood, River Ridge High.
Catch A Rising Star Scholarship: Crystal Gifford, Hudson High; Daniel DeVincente, Ridgewood High; and Mary Nasca, Ridgewood High.
Outstanding Senior Award: Nicholas Rule, Hudson High (overall winner); Eric Breitenstein, Gulf High; Pamela Huffman, Land O’ Lakes High; Daniel Nuri Gocay; Pasco High, Carrie Blank; Ridgewood High; Kristen DeCubellis, River Ridge High; and Sara LeeAnn Morphew, Zephyrhills High.
National Merit Scholars – commended: Jamie Hogan, Gulf High; Lea Picou, Land O’ Lakes High; Corey Cochran and Tara Catterson, Ridgewood High; and Michael Fuller, Vincent Chow, Christopher Chelberg, Jonas Carson and Hannah Pauley, River Ridge High.
National Merit Scholars – finalists: Janet Goldschmidt, Pasco High; Evan Turner, Ridgewood High; and Debbie Joseph, Anand Patel and Jennifer Wood, River Ridge High.
Bulldogs Step Up to the Plate, St. Petersburg Times, May 13, 2000, Section: Pasco Times
The Zephyrhills High School baseball team has a chance to make history next week – its first state championship. Maurice Humphries admits his strength was as a fielder when he played high school baseball more than 50 years ago. “I was a very poor hitter,” he said, “but I was really good defensively.”
And his team? “We were fair,” Humphries said. “I can’t remember us ever setting the world on fire.”
On Friday, the former Zephyrhills infielder and outfielder came out to see his old team.
Humphries was one of about 75 fans who watched this season’s Zephyrhills baseball team, which is headed to the state final four for the first time since 1970, during fan appreciation night at John F. Clements Field. “They’re the best,” said Humphries, who graduated in 1942. “I’ve really enjoyed it. They’re all good boys. I’ve enjoyed watching them and have been following them for years.”
The Bulldogs, who will play Bishop Kenny in a Class 4A semifinal at 5 p.m. on Wednesday at Legends Field in Tampa, took batting practice, held a home run-hitting contest and scrimmaged while fans watched and answered trivia questions to win whole watermelons.
“I haven’t missed a home game in 10 years,” said 78-year-old Art Fish, who’s followed Zephyrhills baseball the last 20 years. “This is the best team I’ve ever seen.”
The home run contest was the obvious highlight of the evening because Zephyrhills, which has a 31-2 record and a No. 8 national ranking, has hit a state record 63 home runs this season.
Junior outfielder Danny Wardell won the contest by launching 15 home runs, some flying as far as the football field well beyond the left field fence and others hitting the top of portable classrooms set behind the right-centerfield fence.
“They’re all hitting the ball, not just home runs,” said Humphries, who is hosting a dinner for the team after practice on Tuesday. “They all hit the ball well. Usually there’s one or two that slumps at times, but they’re coming through when they need to.”
The Bulldogs’ historic season has gripped not only the fans who came out Friday but the community as well, from the lunch counters to the pulpits to City Hall.
Everywhere you go; people in town are talking about the team and speculating about its chances for bringing home the school’s first state title in baseball.
Win or lose, said Mayor Roy Burnside, the team has made Zephyrhills proud.
“People really get behind winners,” said Burnside, whose grandnephew, Brooks Boyette, is the team’s catcher. “Especially when it’s your hometown. “They’re a great part of Zephyrhills, and we need to crow about them.” From Gary Coon, who came out Friday with a camera to take pictures of any future professional baseball players who might be playing for Zephyrhills right now, to the drivers who drive slowly on the road outside the stadium to the Rev. Buddy Hollyfield of the First Presbyterian Church, the team’s fan base extends beyond Zephyrhills High School’s parents and students.
“People are really getting excited,” Hollyfield said. “I hope they go all the way.”
Hollyfield said the Bulldogs have more on their side than prolific home run hitters and dominating pitching. “I’ve been praying for them all along,” he said. “Why do you think they’ve gotten this far?”
Top of the Class, St. Petersburg Times, April 19, 2000
The Zephyrhills High School Future Business Leaders of America had nine winners at the recent District XI competition held at Pasco- Hernando Community College: Economics: First place: Robert Thorn. Machine Transcription: Second place: Sarah Heon. Public Speaking: Second place: Mamie Wise. Accounting: Fifth place: Heather Smith. Business Calculations: Fifth place: Rachel Taylor. Word Processing: Fifth place: Jeremy Morel. Entrepreneurship: Third place: Jamie Czermcha, Renita Kaplan, and Wendy Piwowarczyk. Robert Thorn, Sarah Heon and Mamie Wise will be representing Zephyrhills High at the state level FBLA Competition to be held in April in Orlando. Anna Strait and Christina Copes were school Spelling Bee winners and represented their school at the district competition.
Zephyrhills Baseball is Number Four Nationally, St. Petersburg Times, by John Cotey, April 11, 2000
The high school team makes a stunning, if not entirely surprising, debut in the country’s Top 25.
Zephyrhills’ baseball team is the No. 2 team in the state, has set a school record with 49 home runs and has won 23 of 24 games. But perhaps the highest accolade, other than a possible state championship, is the one it received Monday. When the latest Baseball America High School Top 25 poll came out Monday, the Bulldogs made a smashing debut at No. 14.
According to Baseball America senior editor John Royster, it marks the first national ranking for a Pasco County baseball team. Royster’s claim was confirmed by editor Allan Simpson, who said Zephyrhills had been “knocking on the door the last time the poll came out.
“We’ve been hearing good things about them,” he added.
Baseball America conducts the poll in conjunction with the National High School Baseball Coaches Association. The southern representative – there are eight regional “scouts” across the country – is Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons coach George Petik.
Although the debut was smashing, it was not entirely surprising. Zephyrhills coach Bruce Cimorelli said he had heard from the representatives at Baseball America last week when the Bulldogs were 20-1. They told him that Zephyrhills’ name had been coming up, and there was a good chance they’d be ranked. “It’s a great tribute to the kids,” Cimorelli said. “This is something that they will always remember.” The Bulldogs, who have been ranked No. 2 for most of the year in Class 4A behind Jacksonville Bishop Kenny, which is ranked No. 5 in the nation, are enjoying the finest season in school history. They are 23-1 and have won 13 straight games going into Monday’s meeting with Tampa Jesuit. They have draw statewide attention for their batting prowess, and five players have already signed grants-in-aid to play in college.
The Bulldogs returned almost everyone from a team that came within a game of the first final four in school history.
Top of the Class, St. Petersburg Times, April 5, 2000
John Collis has been named Student of the Month at Zephyrhills High School. Mrs. Teresa Kinsman has been named School Related Personnel of the Month. JROTC’s Michael Pilvinsky has been named Teacher of the Month. Top Dog awards went to: Erin Brown, Vanessa Escobar, Rekha Krishnaraj, Christina Lopresto, Carlo Orlanda, Chelsea Schwab, Joshua Travers, Patrick Patterson, Bobby Ellison, Robin Baldwin, Jocelyn Carnes, Janine Gilbert, Deanna Hasenauer, Tanya Holben, Sandra Kazbour, Raegan Ramsey, Jessica Steve, Kathryn Towle, Ben Hastings, Mike Nelson and Jennifer Stone.
A Brainy Bunch Wins District Bowl, St. Petersburg Times, by Michelle Miller, March 15, 2000
A team from Zephyrhills High School will head to the state competition.
It came down to a head-on battle between students from Land O’ Lakes and Zephyrhills High School.
But when all was said and done – in 10 seconds or less – six guys from Zephyrhills High School walked away with the Brain Bowl title. They’ll have a chance to compete against students from throughout Florida in the state Brain Bowl competition April 27-29 at Walt Disney World’s Contemporary Resort in Orlando. In the last few months, senior English teacher Elaine Woodard said she had spent hours firing questions at Aaron Zmeck, Todd McLeod, Matthew Willey, Carlo Olanda, Michael Pittman and Matthew McLaughlin. Woodard, who for 17 years has been coaching Zephyrhills High School students for Brain Bowl games, said she was particularly impressed with this year’s teammates, who were willing to put in the extra time, both at school and her home, to win the district title.
“It can be very complicated. They ask the questions so fast,” she said, adding that the last time Zephyrhills went to state was in 1995.
The key to success, said team member Pittman “is to see what your balance of knowledge is.”
Each member of the Zephyrhills Brain Bowl team took on one subject, like English, science or history. Competition gets intense, said team captain Olanda, because the group has only 10 seconds to mull over a question before answering. “It’s kind of like Jeopardy! Without the buzzers,” said Willey.
Top of the Class, St. Petersburg Times, November 17, 1999, Section: Pasco Times
Mickey Davis has been named this year’s “Unsung Hero” at Zephyrhills High School for his work on numerous school projects, including the set up and operation of the business lab as well as the production of the Bulldog Beacon school newsletter.
Top Dog Students from Zephyrhills High School are: Deanna Hasenauer, George Russell, Carolyn Young, Joann Fiscus, Chris Hinkle, Jim Hubbard, Mike Nelson, Andrew Prilliman, April Colbert, McKensi Milburn, Lizabeth Torres, Lori Dibble, Brandon Bucknor, Tina Emery, Chris Hayes and Meaghan Simmons. Principal James Davis was also commended for leading the school through an outstanding five year SACS evaluation.
Tracy Negoshian has been selected as Student of the Month at Zephyrhills High School. Teacher of the Month is Social Studies teacher Mr. Rick Saylor. SRP of the month is Food Services Manager, Mrs. Shirley Kimbell. The art work of students, Geneva Black, Tiffany Flannery, Sandra Kazbour and Jennifer Krebiehl has been selected for display at the District Office in Land O’ Lakes.
A Successful Transition Series-Girls Basketball, St. Petersburg Times
Mary Katherine Mason leads Zephyrhills in scoring after shining for the JV team. The unframed black and white photograph is taped on a wall behind a receptionist’s desk at the Zephyrhills Veterinary Clinic. James Mason was an Indiana teenager spotting up for a jump shot when the snapshot was taken a few decades ago. “That’s all they did was play basketball,” Mary Katherine Mason said of her father’s Hoosier-land roots. “There was nothing else they could do – work on their farms and play basketball.” Though Mason longs for the seasonal changes of the Midwest, she isn’t a farmer and isn’t interested in making veterinary medicine a career like her father has. The Zephyrhills junior does, however, play basketball and is the Bulldogs’ leading scorer (11.8 points per game) in her first varsity season. With her help, Zephyrhills has a 7-6 record after starting the season 1-4. “I was hoping that Mary Katherine would be able to produce like she has been,” Zephyrhills coach Dale Palmer said. “She averaged around 15 points per game as a JV player. That’s a whole other level. You just don’t know what’s going to happen. You just hope.” When Ernie Pittman retired as the school’s coach last June, Palmer was promoted from his position as the junior varsity coach. He inherited a team that finished 11-14 last season and returned eight letter winners, including All-Sunshine Athletic Conference guard Natalie West. “The first question in my mind was, ‘Who’s going to score?’ “Palmer said. He didn’t know for sure it would be Mason. Neither did she. “I thought moving up to varsity I wouldn’t score as many points as I did on JV,” Mason said. “I thought it was going to be a lot lower.” While she scored a season-high 19 points against Hudson on Nov. 30, perhaps her most clutch performance this season was against Central on Dec. 10. Mason, who also is a record-setting swimmer for Zephyrhills, scored 17 points and made two free throws late to help the Bulldogs win 38- 36. “They were 6-1, and we had lost four games already. And we beat them,” she said. “We didn’t know their record. We’re glad we didn’t know because I think it would’ve kind of made us scared.” At 6- feet, Mason’s advantage is her height and strength. “She’s gotten better every year,” Palmer said. “She gets stronger. She’s getting quite a bit smarter. When she was younger, she would just react to everything, and now she participates a little bit more, not putting herself in as many bad situations.” Opposing coaches have noticed her ability to score down low and now double- and triple-team her. “They put three girls on me at one time,” she said. “They totally pound me. I’ve got bruises all over me. My knees are terrible. “Right when I get the ball, there are like three girls right on top of me, killing me, clawing me. It’s very brutal.” For that reason and because she isn’t big enough to play center in college, Palmer has tried to convince Mason to take her game outside the key. “I always tell him, ‘Coach, down low is my home,’ ” she said.”He always wants me to shoot the little jumper at the top of the key. I’m just not used to shooting away from the basket. I’ve got to start doing that, though.” Zephyrhills plays Tarpon Springs on Friday, but Mason may get the opportunity to test her outside shot when the Bulldogs, who have gone 6-2 since Dec. 9, play host to Ridgewood at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. Ridgewood features two of the top, and tallest, post defenders in Pasco County – Alayna Sherwood (6-1) and Jen Sessa (6-1). “Really she’s been doing exactly what I hoped she would do,” Palmer said. “Now we’re going to try and improve, all of us, not just Mary Katherine.
“Notes and Trends—Heroes and Happenings”
St. Petersburg Times, by Tony Castro and Jamal Thalji, November 14, 1999, Section Pasco Times
Where could one find the Roberts boys on Friday night? Just look for the ball. Pirate tailback Kenny Roberts, the oldest brother on the field, had 87 yards and two touchdowns. Younger brother Chris Roberts was the Wildcats’ rushing leader, with 26 yards on seven carries, and caught three passes for 19 yards. Kenny “Junior” Roberts had four carries for eight yards and caught one pass for 4 yards, but most of his contributions came on defense, tackling his older brother. Land O’ Lakes junior Godfrey Pestana continued his assault on the Gator record book. Going in as Pasco County’s leading rusher with 226 carries for 1,422 and 17 TDs, Pestana added 27 carries for a game-high 172 yards and two TDs (1 and 3 yards.). Pestana became the eighth running back to rush for more than 100 yards against the Bulldogs this season. Pasco has found a special teams gem in Garion Pope. Promoted from the junior varsity in midseason, Pope blocked two punts against Wesley Chapel, which helped start the Pirates’ rout. Tim Farr also blocked a punt. Justin Geisler, who came into the game connecting on just four of 13 field goal attempts, snapped Zephyrhills’ Brett Cimorelli’s six-week-old county record of 55 yards with a low line drive 59-yarder with 7:31 left in the game that went just over the crossbar. For an encore, with 2:11 left in the game, Geisler attempted a 60-yarder but missed badly wide left. Geisler also booted four of five kickoffs into the end zone and punted three times for a 33-yard average. Cimorelli, meanwhile, who came in as the holder of 21 kicking records for Zephyrhills, launched two kickoffs into the end zone – his 25th and 26th touchbacks of the year out of a possible 28. He added his 19th consecutive extra point in the fourth quarter and punted four times; averaging more than 47 yards a kick, including a school record 61- yarder in the second quarter. Cimorelli visited Florida State on Saturday on his final official recruiting visit. The Division I football and baseball prospect already has visited USF, Clemson, Vanderbilt and Notre Dame. The first time Wesley Chapel’s Marcus Felder touched the ball was the last. He suffered a broken left wrist and had to be taken to a local hospital in the first quarter. Pasco linebacker Bryan Wright was dressed in civilian clothes for the last game of his senior season. He said he re-aggravated his injured left ankle last week and that it gave out on him several times during practice. Two plays loomed large in Gators’ win. With Land O’ Lakes clinging to a 7-0 halftime lead (after the Bulldogs missed two late first-half field goals) Pestana bolted 66 yards on the second half’s first play from scrimmage to the Bulldog 14. Three runs later, Pestana tallied his second TD from 3 yards out. Later, Zephyrhills was called for a roughing the punter, extending a Land O’ Lakes drive. Seven plays later, Geisler converted the record 59- yarder to effectively seal the Gators’ first-ever 10-0 run.
Star Player Sparks Trek to State Tourney, St. Petersburg Times, by John C. Cotey, November 12, 1999, Section: Pasco Times
The Zephyrhills High School volleyball team is playing in the Class 4A State Final Four in Orlando. A new language. A new team. A new style of play. This was Lizabeth Torres’ confused world in 1996. There was excitement, because she hadn’t played volleyball in more than a year. But there was also fear of the unknown, of new things, of failure. “I was very nervous,” she said. Looking back, it all seems silly now. What Torres couldn’t say in English she said with the kind of volleyball they had never seen at Zephyrhills. “She was new and didn’t know anyone, but she was always comfortable on the volleyball court and the group of kids that were here accepted her because of her skill,” said coach Pat Moul. “They respected the skill and knew what it meant for them and meant for the team.” What it has meant is a three-year run that is unprecedented in school history, a run capped by today’s appearance at the Class 4A State Final Four at Disney’s Wide World of Sports. The Bulldogs (25-9) will play defending state runner-up Jacksonville Bishop Kenny. One of six seniors, Torres is, well, pick a metaphor. The glue? The oil? The spark? All of those and more? “It’s really hard to describe her in one word, or even a couple of words,” said Moul. “I can say this: She has made everybody better. They have had to rise to her level.” Torres plays the position with spontaneous artistry. Her job is to set her teammates up for kills at the net and run the offense, but she is the offense, and often the defense. Without her, Zephyrhills does not win 72 matches the last three years, plain and simple, and they do not spend Thursday at Disney World and today playing for a state championship. “Lizzie has earned everybody’s respect,” said senior Ashley Tunker. At last week’s regional tournament, there were hushed whispers after some of her spectacular plays – things like hitting a ball to a clear spot on the court with her back to the net, diving, one-handed saves, her lethal jump serve, popping the second hit over for points as the defense stood flat-footed waiting for a set that never came. That is, after all, what she is supposed to do – set. It’s the definition of her job. The definition of her talent, though, is different: an inborn tendency, unlearned, unpredictable, and instinctive. “I think it’s because I started so early,” Torres explained, much more comfortable with English than she was three years ago, though at times she still slips into her native Spanish. “My coach (in Puerto Rico) taught me how to do all that stuff. He taught me to look everywhere. I look everywhere. Every hole. I know if (an opponent’s) here and looking that way, I can throw it (the other) way.” “Lizzie knows the court better than, to me, anybody,” said defensive specialist Tracy Negoshian. “She has great vision. She knows whether to get the ball over the net or to set it up for a kill. “I think we’re used to it now. I think we know she’ll make the right decision. We’ve got the advantage with Lizzie, even if we never know when Lizzie is going to do her little spotlight on talent.” It was Negoshian who took Torres under her wing when the Bayamon native arrived on campus. Torres had come over to the mainland as a 14-year- old and attended Greco Junior High in Tampa for a year. A junior national player in Puerto Rico, Torres did not play her ninth-grade year because Greco did not have a team. “I wanted to play,” she said. “It was frustrating.” When Torres arrived at Zephyrhills, Negoshian was the setter though she was better suited for defense, where she excels. When Torres looked for a friendly face those first days, she found Negoshian. “I was afraid because I didn’t know English, but I remember Tracy, she helped me a lot,” said Torres. “The first day I ate lunch with her. (She doesn’t speak Spanish), but she tries. Like ‘Hola.’ “Taught her by three volleyball-playing sisters, Torres grew up playing the game “everywhere.” In Puerto Rico, the game is practically the national sport. In streets, back yards or beaches, where mattered little to Torres. In lieu of what coaches here might consider formal training, Torres lived and breathed the sport and developed the instincts that are hard for coaches to explain. “It’s not that she’s just a good setter; she’s a good all-around player,” said New Smyrna Beach coach Jeff Cunningham, whose team was routed by Torres in the regional semifinals. “She makes plays that you don’t see in high school, plain and simple. You can’t teach that. “She puts ball in places where you don’t think they’re going to go. Then to top it all off, she goes back there and starts jump serving. She’s incredible. I’ve never seen a player take over two games like she did against us and against Oak Ridge. I’ve never seen that before. She pretty much won those games for them.” Torres’ style has been criticized by some coaches. Too free-wheeling, too unpredictable, a form of street basketball, they say. But Zephyrhills would not trade her for anyone. Moul had no idea what she was getting when Torres first appeared, but she is thrilled with what it turned out to be. “At the time we didn’t have a setter, but you’re always skeptical when someone new comes in,” she said. “But I don’t think there’s anybody, I don’t care who it is, that has what she has.” Come Saturday, she might have something else: a state championship. Times staff writer Jamal Thalji and correspondent Tony Castro contributed to this report. If you go Directions to Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex: Take Interstate 4 east toward Orlando. Take exit 24D to World Drive, following the signs to Wide World of Sports complex. Exit right at Osceola Parkway. On Osceola, take the first right (at stoplight) onto Victory Way. The main entrance to the sports complex is ahead at the DWWS globe. Follow the road toward the stadium parking lot. Parking is free, and the box office is on the left of the sidewalk leading up to the turnstile.
Zephyrhills Wins Spot at State Tournament-St. Petersburg Times, Volleyball by John C. Cotey, November 7, 1999, Section: Sports
Most everyone expected Hudson-Zephyrhills Part IV in the regional finals Saturday at New Smyrna Beach. It never came close to happening. Not that Zephyrhills didn’t do its part. The Bulldogs, playing arguably their two best matches of the season, ran roughshod over the rest of the field at the Class 4A, Region 2 championships, beating New Smyrna Beach in the afternoon and Orlando Oak Ridge in the nightcap title match to advance to the state final four for the first time in school history. Instead of Hudson-Zephyrhills IV, the Bulldogs served up Zephyrhills Goes to State, Part I. A 15-10, 13- 15, 15-8 win in the semifinals against New Smyrna Beach (12-9) followed by a surprisingly easy 15-10, 15-4 win over No. 10-ranked Oak Ridge in the final sends the Bulldogs on to face Jacksonville Bishop Kenny (a 15-13, 13-15, 15-4 over Pace) in a semifinal to be played Friday at the Walt Disney World Sports Complex. “That was the girls’ goal all season long, to be in the Final Four,” said Zephyrhills coach Pat Moul, who struggled to find adjectives to describe her team’s play. “They wanted it so bad, and they got it.” At every game’s most crucial juncture, the No. 9-ranked Bulldogs (24- 9) coolly played their best volleyball. They scored six of the final seven points in the first game after trailing 9-8, and scored the final nine of the second. Oak Ridge (25-7), after handing Hudson a stunning 15-9, 15-4 loss in the semifinals, was never in the final. Between Andrea Wardell and Morgan Mander having their way at the net, and Liz Torres turning in a typically artistic performance that was punctuated by her wicked jump serve, the Pioneers, once ranked as high as No. 4 this season, were sunk. “We just couldn’t get any offense going,” said Oak Ridge coach Gina McFerren. “When you keep putting free balls over the net like that, you’re just telling the other team to give you their best shot.” Which the Bulldogs did. After pulling away to win the first game, they jumped to a 6-0 lead in the second behind Tracy Negoshian’s serving. The Pioneers rallied with four consecutive points, but Wardell’s 25th kill for the day ended that run, and Torres took over. Her jump serve ate Oak Ridge up and helped set up the Bulldog offense, which was Wardell at the time – she had four kills in the run. Shaken, Oak Ridge collapsed and hit its final try into the net to end the match. “We pretty much blew them away,” said Mander, who had 17 kills on the day. Hudson was also blown away earlier; more by the pressure it seemed that anything Oak Ridge did. While the Pioneers are a good defensive team, their digs seemed to demoralize the favored Cobras. They hardly looked like a team making its fifth consecutive appearance in the regional semis. “I think nerves got the best of them today,” said Hudson coach Linda McQuade. “And I don’t know why. We just weren’t doing what we needed to do. I had some kids just shut down today. They just shut the switch off. That’s the first time I’ve ever seen (one of my teams) do that.” The No. 2 Cobras (23-6) never led, ran off two or more consecutive points just one time, and committed a bevy of un-Hudson like serving and hitting errors. “We’ve been here before,” McQuade said. “Normally that doesn’t happen.”
Top of the Class, St Petersburg Times, November 9, 1999
At Zephyrhills High School the following students have been named “Very Important Teens,” by the faculty for demonstrating leadership, academic achievement, artistic talent and/or athletic ability throughout their high school careers: Brett Cimorelli, David Fettig, Jeremy Hinsz, Rekha Krishnaraj, McKensi Milburn, Amber Moore, Ashlee Moore, Sara Morphew, Pam Moses, Tracy Negoshian, Michael Pittman, and Chelsea Schwab. Students chosen to participate in the 1999 – 2000 Teen Court are: Magen Gutierrez, Patricia Williams, Nyles Farnsworth, Mamie Wise, Tony Mercer, Tabitha Masters, Erin Rhynes, Kevin Hall, Kent Dokendorf, Olivia Alexander, Crystal Broughton, Alex DelRosario, Payal Patel, Heather Harrell, Lynn Jacquez, Mariea Joacobelli and Christine Coy.
Exchange Student At Zephyrhills High, St. Petersburg Times by Michele Miller, September 8, 1999, Section: Pasco Times
From an easier math class to fast food, America is a series of new experiences for Christine Vordemfelde of Germany.
After just two weeks, Christine Vordemfelde is adjusting well to life in the states. She’s been so busy lately that she hasn’t had time to get homesick. Besides, there are all those daily e-mail conversations that keep her up-to-date on what’s going on with her family and friends in Northeim, Germany.
“Yesterday I had eight messages when I got up,” she said, flashing a quick smile.
Also on the up side, the math taught at Zephyrhills High School is much easier than at her school in Germany. And then there’s French, a language she excels in, having studied it in her own country for the last four years. Still, Christine worries about her language skills. During a conversation, she sometimes stops to ask, “How you say?” or rifle through her German/English dictionary to find a word she’s not quite sure of. All in all, things are going well, said Christine. “It’s very nice here. I like it very much.” Christine is one of roughly 10,000 students from around the world attending school in a foreign country as part if the Rotary International Youth Exchange Program.
She is the first student hosted by the Day Break Rotary Club of Zephyrhills. The Rotary Club provides lodging for Christine as well as a $150 a month stipend. This is a new endeavor for the group of 31 members, said vice president Christian Robin, who convinced his sister, Maria Groh, to come on as chairperson of the Youth Exchange Committee. “She emigrated to the U.S. from Germany two years ago,” he said, “so she can give some special insight.” For one year, Christine will attend Zephyrhills High School and live with the families of four different Rotary members. Christine said the experience of moving every few months will give her a good idea of what it is like to live in the United States – or in Florida, at least.
“It’s a nice experience to go to more host families,” said Christine. “I think it’s all very good.”
What’s good so far, she said, is going to the mall, attending school and meeting new people.
“People are very friendly here,” she said. “When you say, ‘I am exchange student,’ they are very nice and helpful. My language is not so perfect, but already I know many people, and I think I will make friends.”
At first glance, Christine is much like any other high schooler with the freedom to choose what to wear each day. But while teenagers might have some sort of global dress code, there are notable differences between the educational systems. In Germany, there are 13 grades, so even though this year she’s a junior at Zephyrhills High, Christine still has two more years to go before graduating back home. Then there’s passing through the noisy hallways to get from class to class.
“In Germany, there are 23 people in a class, and the teachers move around except when we have science labs,” she said. There are also no athletic teams to cheer on, no morning news show to watch, no school colors to wear on spirit day and no cafeteria food to complain about.
“We don’t have lunch or a cafeteria,” said Christine. “We have two long breaks and you go home to have real food.” The food is something she is having a tough time adjusting to.
“The food here is terrible,” said Christine, making a face and sticking out her tongue. “There’s so much fast food. It’s so different – it makes you fat.”
Still, her host family (Ernest and Madonna Wise and their children, Mamie, who also attends Zephyrhills High, and her five- year-old sister, Rachel) have done their best to find “home cooking” here for Christine. “We’ve tracked down some black forest bread,” said Ernest Wise, adding that the family plans to make the trek to Holiday to have dinner at Dr. Berg’s German Restaurant.
On the social side, Christine has already had a whirlwind bus tour of Pasco County, visited McDonald’s and the mall, attended a 4-H meeting and spent some time learning how to ride a horse with Mamie Wise.
This is the first time the Wise family has hosted an exchange student. So far, so good, said Ernest Wise, who serves as media specialist at Zephyrhills High.
It was his wife, Madonna, who got the family into this, he said. “She’s the Rotarian in the family,” he said. There are hopes that the visit will be a good one on all accounts. The Wises are enjoying playing hosts, showing Christine about the town and hearing how things are done back in Germany.
For Christine, the year is one that promises adventure.
“I want to see the whole Florida: the Keys, Universal Studios, all the parks,” she said. “It is all very different here – the trees, the houses, the climate all is different. I want to see it all.”
Camp Anytown Participants from Zephyrhills, St. Petersburg Times, August 25, 1999, Section: Pasco Times
Student representatives from each Pasco County high school were chosen to participate in a weeklong Camp Anytown program held at the Day Spring Episcopal Conference Center in Ellenton. Camp Anytown convenes a diverse group of students to attend a variety of workshops that focus on building skills related to the community values of honesty, understanding and respect for others. Camp Anytown is a national program funded by the National Conference for Community and Justice. The following Pasco County students attended the summer program: Pasco High: Hope Glover, Joshua Hughes, Ashlee Frederickson and Amber Stinyard. Land O’ Lakes High: Ian Colston, Monet Davis, Michon Davis, Christina Horne, Sheri Lombordia, James Miles, Lee Picou, Chris Reynolds, Rachel Rogola, Melissa Stimack and Sara Strobaugh. Zephyrhills High: Steven Belcher, Lindsey Davis, Christina Fisher, Billy Howard, Tess TenBrink and Mamie Wise. Gulf High: Lee- Anne Baskett, Michael Bradley, Erica Perez, Danielle Pownall, Nelson Rodriguez, Jennifer Velna and Mike Stanzione. Hudson High: Kate- Alyce Wilson, Laura Brady, Kiley Bryan, and Jason McDonald. River Ridge High: Nicole Armstrong, Jonathan Bentley, Sara Cooper, Zeke Leyva, Christi Ogden, Rosalie Ortiz and Angela Passero. Wesley Chapel High: Sheena Ash. Ridgewood High: Nari Hajiian, Kala Hobbs, Amanda Massicotte and Kelly Miller.
Reunion Seems Like Just Old Times, St. Petersburg Times, by Michelle Jones, June 28, 1999
Zephyrhills High School alumni return to the school Sunday for an afternoon of catching up and looking back. They arrived dressed in their Sunday best, carrying some of the favorite recipes cooked for this special occasion. They were eager to find some old friends to visit with and share memories as well as recent photographs. Alumni of Zephyrhills High School met Sunday for their 30th annual alumni, teachers and friend’s reunion. This year they met at Zephyrhills High School.
“Maybe having it at the high school might encourage some of the younger ones to attend,” said Linda Loche Riskus, who is a secretary of the alumni committee and a member of the class of 1978. “I’ve seen a few more (younger alumni) this year.” Another of the younger alumni attending the event was Diane Kennedy Bounnell, class of 1979, who attended the reunion and covered-dish luncheon with her 2-year-old daughter, Sydney Bounnell, and Sydney’s grandmother, Ruth King Johnson, class of 1954. “It’s been four years since I attended, but mom comes every year,” said Bounnell.
She said her favorite memories from her high school days were cheerleading and football games.
“My husband (Chris) teaches here and coaches football,” she said. “I would really like Sydney to graduate from here too.”
Two people who attended the school, but moved to Tampa and graduated from Jefferson High School, are Victor and Ruth Eikeland. He is 83 and she is 81.
“I went here in 1929,” said Victor Eikeland. “Then I went to Crystal Springs and then to Jefferson.”
Eikeland said he hasn’t been to the reunion in a few years and was really looking forward to seeing some old friends.
His wife, Ruth Higginson Eikeland, who went to school in Zephyrhills in 1935, said she saw someone she hadn’t seen in 50 years – John Rasmussen.
“He’s aged and his hair is white and he wears glasses,” she quipped. “I didn’t recognize him until I saw his name tag.” Ruth Eikeland said they all lived in the same neighborhood together and it was nice to hear news about his family. Victor Eikeland worked at the Tampa Shipyards, as a mechanist, for George Steinbrenner, and his wife taught in Hillsborough county schools.
“I graduated college the same night our son, Victor Jr., graduated from Hillsborough High School,” said Ruth Eikeland. The Eikelands have been married for 63 years, which they credit to “stick-to-it-ness.” “We didn’t go to bed mad,” he said. “And, I kept my mouth shut.”
He also said keeping his mouth shut kept him out of trouble as a kid in school.
“Teachers had good control of the kids in school back in those days,” said Victor Eikeland. “When they said something, we paid attention. Teachers used a switch or a ruler to discipline. I think teachers should be able to spank kids again.” The Eikelands brought a seven-layer salad to the reunion to share.
“I can’t wait to eat,” she said. A memorial to all the alumni who had recently died was set up in the high school commons area. The names of Bertie V. Lane and Dina Royal Craparo were added to the list for 1999. People greeted each other with hugs and kisses, and waves from across the room. A few tears were shed as friendships were renewed.
After lunch, a meeting was led by Jerry Pricher, class of 1969, president of the group. Other officers are Lenora Stokes, class of 1964 and vice president; Clereen Brunty, class of 1973 and treasurer; Margaret Seppanen, class of 1956 and historian; and Susan McKee, class of 1965 and kitchen chairperson. The person who traveled the farthest to attend was Melintha Kretschmar, class of 1984. She came from New Mexico. Grace Cripe, class of 1921, was the oldest person in attendance.
Familiar Face Returns to Coach Zephyrhills Basketball, St. Petersburg Times, by Steve Lee, August 4, 1999
1983, Ernie Pittman took over for Dale Palmer. Sixteen years later, Palmer takes over for Pittman.
Dale Palmer is back in the varsity coaching ranks, which brings two questions to mind.
1) What sport is it this time, boy’s basketball or girl’s basketball?
2) Which high school, Pasco or Zephyrhills?
Answers: Girls basketball and Zephyrhills.
This is Palmer’s second stint coaching the Zephyrhills girl’s varsity.
He also has coached girl’s varsity basketball at Pasco and the Zephyrhills boy’s varsity team. Not to mention time spent as the Zephyrhills girl’s junior varsity coach and boys coach at Stewart Middle School.
“I’ve come full circle,” Palmer said.
“I’ve coached all the basketball you can coach.”
Zephyrhills principal Jim Davis hired Palmer on Monday as a replacement for school-legend Ernie Pittman, the man who replaced Palmer 16 years ago. Pittman is the team’s all-time winningest coach with a 264-185 record. He led the Bulldogs to five conference and four district championships, including a state runner-up finish in 1986.
Palmer, 48, who begins his 26th year as a social studies teacher at Zephyrhills, said he does not feel any pressure in replacing his lifelong friend.
“It’s probably a little bit easier for me because (Pittman) had been my JV coach,” Palmer said.
Palmer has the distinction of being named the Times Boys Basketball Coach of the Year and being dismissed in the same season. In 1988-89, he coached the Bulldogs to a 20-7 record but was not rehired by then-principal Larry Robison.
Palmer takes over a team coming off an 11-14 season and returns eight players who earned letters. That group includes All-Sunshine Athletic Conference guard Natalie West.
“At this point in my career, I’m just very happy to be coaching because it’s a lot of fun,” Palmer said.
“As long as it’s fun, I want to keep doing it.”
4-H More Than Just Animals, St. Petersburg Times by Michelle Jones, August 23, 1999
An open house attracts kids and their families eager to know more about what the service organization offers. When Mamie Wise, 16, of Zephyrhills joined 4-H seven years ago she thought it was all about animals. “But it’s not; 4-H covers just about everything,” said Wise, who will be a junior at Zephyrhills High School this year. “I had a hog and my brother was in FFA (Future Farmers of America), but I was too young to join. So I joined 4-H, got involved in the hog project and won a blue ribbon for my hog at the Pasco County Fair.” Children can join 4-H when they are 5 years old and stay through age 19.
On Saturday 4-H of Pasco County conducted an open house at the Pasco County Cooperative Extension Service on State Road 52 in Dade City. Another one is scheduled for 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at the Hudson Library, 8012 Library Road. At the open house, leaders, staffers and club members were on hand to answer questions and to sign up new members. Wise now belongs to the Leaders of Tomorrow Club in which she focuses on leadership and public speaking. “I like the application of 4-H. You can do any project you want and travel,” she said. “I’m president of the district this year and secretary of the state council. I was chosen for the National 4-H Conference Planning Commission and went to Chevy Chase, Md., for four days this summer.” While she was there she helped plan the national conference for April of next year. “I’ve learned communication skills through 4-H,” Wise said. “I used to be shy, and now I speak before large groups.” D.B. Spates, co-leader of the All Creatures 4-H Club, said the members of her club do all kinds of projects as they learn skills to be a better person. Spates and Joan Crandall, her partner in the leadership of the club, had a table of dairy information and hands-on activities at the open house.
“This is the first year in a long time that we are doing a dairy show at the Pasco County Fair,” Spates said as she gave away pencils and showed children how to decorate a painter’s cap with black spots to make it look like a Holstein cow.
“We have a cow savvy test for the children to take to see how much they know about dairy cows,” Crandall said.
One of the questions dealt with protein.
Which source of protein taken with whole milk is the best source?
The choice of answers included cereal, mushrooms or potato chips.
“All are good sources, but the best is the milk itself, with 4.5 grams of protein in each half cup,” Crandall said. “Whether the milk is whole, 2 percent or skim, it doesn’t matter.”
Tye Reedy, 16, a junior at Pasco High School this year, has been a member of 4-H for 10 years.
“I joined to raise hogs, but when I got into middle school I joined FFA,” he said. “I’ve stuck with both (4-H and FFA) and got into public speaking with 4-H.”
When Tye was in the eighth grade he won the state competition for a speech he gave on the impact a trip to Washington, D.C., had on him. He also won first place in team competition for speech when he was in the ninth grade. The topic was sportsmanship.
This year Tye is the state 4-H treasurer.
“4-H teaches me about teamwork and dealing with all kinds of people,” he said.
There are a number of clubs in Pasco County, with openings for new members in the majority of them.
Zephyrhills Bulldog Preview- 99—Bulldogs Have Tools to Rebound, St. Petersburg Times from 1998 by Jamal Thalji, September 3, 1999, Section: Sports
Zephyrhills should be better than last year’s 3-6 disappointment.
The Bulldogs are blessed at the skill positions this season – a good sign that Zephyrhills’ fortunes may be on the rise.
Even coach Tom Fisher must admit – however reluctantly – that after an excellent spring and solid fall, chances are the Bulldogs can rebound from last year’s disastrous 3-6 outing.
The Bulldogs need just a few more ingredients; depth, for one.
Heart, desire, stamina and leadership are some others.
Ask Fisher why last season’s team collapsed under the weight of its own misfortune, and he’ll say it was mental.
He’ll even give it a date: Oct. 9, 1998. Homecoming. Against Hudson.
The Cobras’ Brad Felten had 260 total yards and three touchdowns, but it wasn’t even that.
It was that some seniors cared more about homecoming than the game. Skipping the pre-game meal earned the offenders, whom Fisher would not identify, first-half suspensions. To Fisher, it was emblematic of the intangibles last year’s team was desperately missing.
“Unity,” he said, “and leadership.”
Depth is the real concern, however. Zephyrhills could field the fewest players of the Fisher era with anywhere between 25 and 31 players, depending on how fast a handful heal this season.
“There’s really nothing wrong with our core group,” Fisher said. “It’s the kids after them, the depth on this team that I’m worried about.”
He certainly isn’t worried about last season.
“Nobody talks about it,” he said. “It’s like it never happened. We’re starting new, with a clean slate.”
What coach wouldn’t want to see all this erased?
Sept. 11: Confusion and chaos strangled Zephyrhills when Pasco handed its archrivals an especially bitter 13-8 loss.
Coaches struggled with players who were unsure if they should be on the field, on the sideline – or even on varsity.
Sept. 18: Zephyrhills was stunned 7-0 by Springstead. Injury followed insult with the arrest and suspension of a player.
Oct. 9: The Cobras humiliated the Bulldogs 29-18.
Oct. 23: Late in the fourth quarter, it all went wrong against the Leopards on second-and-goal at the 3-yard line, a bobbled handoff, two sacks and a futile screen pass gave Hernando a 21-14 win.
Oct. 30: Land O’ Lakes picked Zephyrhills apart in a 31-7 loss as Allen was lost for the season with an injured ankle.
The players, however, are determined to bury last year. “Senior leadership, we just didn’t have any,” quarterback Brett Cimorelli said. “This year, it won’t be like that. A lot of us seniors are determined not to let it happen again.”
Last season was only Fisher’s second losing season in 10 years, but it sapped the coach of any enjoyment of the sport. This season, he was again his usual, coyly introverted self – though he smiles a lot more. “I’m going to enjoy myself more this season,” he said. And this unit seems to be making it fun for him again.
Passing: Brett Cimorelli is Pasco County’s most seasoned quarterback – the hard way. But he had neither receivers nor good protection. This season, the coaches are excited about Cimorelli’s improvement, the veteran line, sophomore sensation Michael Moody at wideout and a deep corps of tight ends: Mike Stepp, Todd Black, Brad Howard and Adam Petrillo, who will all be switching jerseys during games as they alternate from line to tight end assignments.
Rushing: Terry Allen needs a solid 1,000-yard season to boost his standing among recruiters. But that isn’t enough for the three-year starter. “I’m going for 2,000 yards,” he said. Coach Tom Fisher said Allen has added 10 pounds, so he’ll be even harder to bring down. Len Sones and Howard are both working out at fullback.
Line: Fisher hopes the injured Craig Merson, Zephyrhills’ top lineman, returns by the second week of the season. Left guard Chris Furman also should be back from a minor knee injury. Until then, Joey Walters is at center; Charlie Helm is at right guard; Petrillo is at right tackle; and Black, Howard and Stepp will step in as needed.
Line: Here’s where the lack of depth poses another problem, this time to Zephyrhills’ 4-4 front. The same players will be rotating between the line and the line backing corps. Howard, for example, could play middle linebacker or tackle. Walters or Helm could join him at tackle while Black and Petrillo will play end. “The offensive line,” Fisher said, “is pretty much the defensive line, too.” Which is why injuries could quickly deplete what might otherwise be a strong unit.
Linebackers: Sones was a top newcomer last season, and this year, he’ll get to prove himself all over again while leading a strong group that includes Willie Wentworth and Andrew Griffin. Allen also could play here. Sones got a late start in fall camp, waiting for doctors to clear him after an initial discovery of high blood pressure almost kept him away.
Backs: Freshman Kenneth McCullough did such a good job at safety last year that he will again anchor the Zephyrhills’ defensive backfield, perhaps the strength of the defense. Moody will rotate in at cornerback along with Allen and Justin Hardwick.
The staff-Head Coach: Last season was one of the few blemishes on Fisher’s otherwise impressive 66-39 record, during which he has presided over the best years of Zephyrhills football. The worst season in his tenure was a 0-10 run in 1992, but altogether, that means just two losing seasons in 10 years. Look for the career winning percentage of .629 to improve this season for the Bowling Green graduate.
Assistants: Chris Bounnell, Bruce Cimorelli, Troy Hostetler, Matt McDermott, John McDougall.
The special teams
Cimorelli holds school records for most points scored by a kicker in a season (54); most points scored by a kicker in one game (9) and most touchbacks in a season (25) and is tied for the second-longest field goal, a 42-yarder. “He should lock up every record this year,” Fisher said. Notre Dame is just one of the many Division I schools interested in this top kicking prospect.
At a Glance for the Black and orange:
Class: 3A, District 6.
Playoff history: 1989, 1993, 1995, 1997.
Last Appearance: Beat Crystal River 7-0, lost to Gainesville Eastside 24-0.
First Team/All-State: (Since 1965)
Ryan Pickett: DL 1997 (4A)
Jay Johnson: DL 1989 (3A); DL 1990 (3A)
Reggie Roberts: LB 1989 (3A)
Orion McCants: QB 1988 (3A)
Dennis Farr: DB 1975 (2A)