Zephyrhills High School – 2003-2004


Highlights of 2003-2004

Graduates, St. Petersburg Times, May 19, 2004

Zephyrhills High School Valedictorian is Phillip Justin Young with a GPA: 4.4 weighted.

Clubs/extracurriculars: National Honor Society, Interact Club, varsity soccer, varsity tennis.

Favorite book: The Testament, by John Grisham.

Favorite place on campus: The commons area.

Plans: I plan to attend Auburn University and participate in the Air Force ROTC program. I plan to major in electrical engineering and serve in the Air Force as an officer.

Ideal career: Electrical engineer.

Most inspirational person: My mother. She has encouraged me to always strive to do my best. She has always supported me and is the reason I have succeeded to this point.

What kind of legacy would you like to leave? Hard work, dedication and kindness. The key to success is hard work and dedication. But the mark to which I want to be remembered is kindness to others.

Zephyrhills High School Salutatorian is Thomas Lee Lawson Jr. with a GPA of 4.23 weighted.

Clubs/Extracurriculars: National Honor Society, National Art Honor Society, Real Life Club. I am also involved in many community service activities and am active in music, drama, Bible study and teaching at the First Baptist Church of Zephyrhills.

Favorite book: Job, author unknown.

Favorite place on campus: The picnic tables outside of the Bulldog Inn. This is where I am able to take a break each day, eat lunch and visit with my friends.

Plans: I plan to attend the Baptist College of Florida, where I will major in both theology and missions. From there I hope to go to Latin America and spend two years doing mission work. I will then return to the United States to attend graduate school.

Ideal career: Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Most inspirational person: I receive inspiration from many heroes of the faith who have served the Lord before me, but the heroes who have provided the most inspiration for me are my parents. More than anyone else, they are the ones who taught me how to succeed in school and in life. I have learned perseverance and dedication from them. Through every tedious assignment and every all-night project they have always been there to ensure that I do my best. Most importantly, they are the ones who raised me in the faith, and I am forever grateful.

What kind of legacy would you like to leave? My greatest hope is that I could further the cause of Christ and be used by God to accomplish his will in the world around me.

St. Petersburg Times, August 15, 2004

Amanda Davis, Pasco High, and Kate Benedini, Zephyrhills High have been announced as Sam Walton Scholarship Winners by the Dade City Wal-Mart Store No. 713. Davis is a graduate of Pasco High School and Benedini graduated from Zephyrhills High School.

During her years at Zephyrhills High School, Kate Benedini was a member of the Politics Club, Interact Club, varsity track and soccer. She was a member of the National Honor Society and made the honor roll throughout high school. Kate will attend the University of South Florida where she will major in elementary education. Each Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club that is open and operating as of Feb. 1 of each year l awards two $1,000 scholarships to qualifying local high school seniors. This award can be used for the student’s first year in an accredited college or university approved by the Wal-Mart Foundation.

The award can be applied to cover tuition, books, fees and on campus room and board.

More than 6,500 awards are given annually. Selection of recipients is based on academic record, ACT/SAT test scores, community/extracurricular involvement, work experience and financial need.

Recipients are selected by an independent panel of judges selected by an outside management service and in no instance do any officer or employee of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.; participate in the selection of recipients. All local winners will automatically be entered into a state competition for a chance to win an additional $4,000 scholarship, for a total of $5,000.

All state winners will then be automatically entered into a national competition for a chance to win an additional $20,000 scholarship, for a total scholarship award of $25,000. This scholarship program is funded by the Wal-Mart Foundation and is administered by an outside management service. Awards are granted without regard to race, color, creed, religion, age, gender, disability, or national origin. Announcement of the local scholarship winners was made by Sheryl Lullen from the Dade City Wal-Mart.

St. Petersburg Times, June 20, 2004

Project Graduation Winner

Danielle Shampine was the Zephyrhills High School Project Graduation grand prize winner for this year. Shampine’s prize is a two-year lease of a Ford Ranger from Jarrett Ford Lincoln Mercury. Project Graduation has continued each year since and is an all-night party that is held at the YMCA in Zephyrhills, ensuring that the graduating seniors spend their evening celebrating in a drug- and alcohol-free environment. Jim Scott of Jarrett Lincoln Ford Mercury made the presentation to Shampine.

Teen Topples Zephyrhills Council Member, St. Petersburg Times, April 14, 2005

Hometown teen Danny Burgess, ZHS graduate of 2004, upset incumbent Celia Graham Tuesday in the only contested race for City Council.  Burgess, 18, collected 382 votes to Graham’s 251 in an election with only 8 percent turnout. Burgess was born and raised in Zephyrhills and served on the City Youth Council during high school. He’s now a freshman at the University of South Florida, majoring in political science, and is president and co-founder of the Reagan Republican Club in east Pasco.

Reached Tuesday evening, Burgess said that during the campaign he heard most often from residents about two issues: growth and its effect on the city’s character. “I’ve lived here my whole life, and I want to bring back that small-town atmosphere. They shook my hand and said you do it,” Burgess said.

Graham, 44, campaigned on those issues too, but said she thinks another point decided the race. During her two years on the council she voted four times to rename Sixth Avenue for Martin Luther King Jr., a position Burgess cited as his reason for challenging her. “I hate to say that, but I do believe that’s what it was,” Graham said of the election’s outcome. But if it did cost her the seat on the council, Graham said she wouldn’t change her position. “I live on that street, and I’m proud to say so,” she said. “I believe that the people in this city really need to think about where their point of view is coming from and whether or not it’s helping their community or hurting their community – all of the members of their community.  Burgess was sworn in Wednesday at City Hall. “I can bring a lot of positives to the city. That’s my goal,” he said. “I just want to encourage the youth of the town.”

Prom Wear Has Couples In Sticky Situation, St. Petersburg Times, July 5, 2004 by Gail Diedtrich

Desiree D’Allesandro looked elegant as she prepared to step into the car that would whisk her away to the Zephyrhills High School prom.

But there was one small problem: She couldn’t sit down. Her red, white and black duct tape dress was too tight. Wait. Duct tape? That’s right. D’Allesandro and her date, Jon David, along with three other area couples created prom outfits using duct tape. The stunts were part of a national contest called “Stuck at Prom.” Winners, to be chosen from 325 entries this year, will split $5,000. An additional $2,500 will go to the school whose prom they attended. Winners will be announced Wednesday.

The contest is sponsored by Henkel Consumer Adhesives of Avon, Ohio, marketers for Duck brand duct tape. The company got the idea after customers told of many items, such as wallets, they were making with the sticky tape, which federal officials suggested residents use to seal their homes in the event of biological and chemical attacks. “What if we turn those ideas into a real contest where students could have the opportunity to win scholarship dollars?” company spokeswoman Laura Domokos said. The contest began in 2001 and draws several hundred entries each year. Information submitted for this year’s contest shows the individual outfit’s average 30 rolls and about $150.

“It is so amazing to take a toolbox essential and craft such creative items, going from simple to extreme,” Domokos said. “We are excited every year to see what will be produced.”

With help from her mother, Karen, Courtney Brooks of Land O’ Lakes High School created a mermaid dress using hundreds of blue and green circles

cut from duct tape. She completed her outfit with a lobster purse made from red duct tape. Her date, Travis Trottier, completed the theme with a fisherman’s slicker made from bright yellow duct tape. The whole ensemble took 65 rolls of tape and cost $300. Participating couples faced many challenges. The clothes were heavy. And hot. Brooks found she could not use glue when making her dress. “Duct tape sticks only to duct tape,” said Brooks, whose dress weighed 10 pounds. Colin Reed, a 2004 graduate of Cambridge School in Tampa, came prepared for wardrobe malfunctions with spare rolls of tape. They came in handy when his vest ripped.

He and date Ashley Richards of Gaither High School created black, blue and yellow outfits with a Florida palm tree design. Designed from Reed’s doodles, Richards displayed a vision of “night,” and Reed depicted “day.” Joe Barbieri and Jenna Valenti’s problems had nothing to do with duct tape but still kept them working right up until the last minute. Valenti, a soccer player and a senior at Largo Senior High Magnet Center, broke her collarbone about a month before the prom. They feared they would have to abandon their partially finished creation of neon pink and black. But after two weeks, Valenti realized she could still use her hands, and the project was on again. At 9 p.m. on prom night, Barbieri and Valenti stuck the last piece of tape on their clothes. After a short rest, they arrived and upstaged the prom queen and king. “At that time, I didn’t even care any more whether we won the contest or not,” Barbieri said. “It was just all worth it at the end.”

As for D’Allesandro, who couldn’t sit, she came up with a remedy as creative as her dress.

The couple rode to the prom in regular clothes. In the parking lot, they changed into their duct tape formal wear behind sheets their parents held up for privacy.

Despite the hardships, participants said they would do the project again. “We were the first at our school to ever do this, and I hope it inspires other students,” Valenti said. “It is definitely something worth doing.”

Duct tape trivia

Invented during World War II based on military need to have waterproof seal for ammunition cases and other containers; color was army green. Originally named “Duck Tape” since water rolled off it like a ducks back. World’s largest roll of Duck Tape is 500 pounds, 9,500 yards or 5.5 miles. It was created by Shurtape Industries, Hickory, N. C. Now comes in more than 20 colors including fluorescent and natural shades. Can be used as a bandage. Avon, Ohio is known as Duck Tape Capitol of the World.

More than 100,000 Web sites reference duct / duck tape. High end art pieces, furniture and even shoes are made from duct tape.  Made in three layers: mesh tape coated on one side with polyurethane sealant and on the other with thick rubber based adhesive. Sticks best to itself and worst to anything wet.

Sources: www.ducktape.com, www.ducttapefashion.com, www.ducttapefashion.com, www.ducttapeguys.com, www.fancydeluxe.com, www.ducktapeclub.com

Baseball, St. Petersburg Times, June 27, 2004

All season, the only thing more confounding than trying to get a hit off Bulldogs ace Joe Duffau was trying to explain why college scouts weren’t looking his way. Consider one mystery solved.

The senior right-hander dominated county batters, striking out 131 in 72 innings. He finished his season with a 0.29 ERA. And nearly two months after his season ended, Duffau found a coach impressed enough to offer him a scholarship. As a result, he’ll pitch next spring for Des Moines Area Community College. “He can definitely pitch at the next level,” said Zephyrhills coach Bruce Cimorelli, who calls Duffau the best pitcher he’s ever coached.

Duffau’s 2003 season was the high school equivalent of Hall of Famer’s Steve Carlton’s 1972 campaign, in which he won 27 games for a Phillies team that went 59-103. Duffau earned eight of Zephyrhills’ 12 wins and had saves in two more, keeping the Bulldogs competitive in games they otherwise wouldn’t be able to compete in. “With Joe pitching, we were a totally different team,” Cimorelli said. “With him, we could compete with anybody in the state.”

He beat the best teams in the county, pitching a three-hitter with 11 strikeouts to upset conference champion Ridgewood. His best game might have come against rival Pasco, where he out dueled lefty Dominic Brown, pitching a one-hitter and driving in the only run in a 1-0 victory.

He gave up 22 hits over the entire season, including three one- hitters and a two-hitter. His final start of the season was fitting, a 15-strikeout gem of a three-hitter in the district semifinals against Hudson.

He wasn’t the most successful pitcher in the county – that would be Ridgewood senior Erik Bua, who went 11-0 and ended his season masterfully with a streak of 20 scoreless innings that included a no- hitter and a five-inning perfect game in back-to-back starts. But for simple dominance, for being all but unhittable against any opponent, Duffau was the pitcher county teams feared facing the most.

And while Bua did not bat for the Rams, Duffau was the steadiest hitter in the Zephyrhills lineup, leading the county with a .442 batting average. The only slight against Duffau as a pitcher was that his 5-foot-7 frame wasn’t imposing on the mound, a disadvantage that didn’t seem to show up in the box scores. His next stop will be tiny Boone, Iowa, where he’ll play for a coach with 823 career wins in a program that has produced more than 70 drafted professionals, including Twins third baseman Corey Koskie. “He was a pleasure to have, a kid who just loves baseball, and you’re always happy to see those kind of kids do well,” Cimorelli said. “Now he’s earned himself a scholarship, so I’m eager to see how he can do, without a doubt.” Honorable Mention from Zephyrhills was Kyle Velez, senior, first baseman.

Team by Team Capsules, St. Petersburg Times, by Steve Lee, March 4, 2004

Zephyrhills Bulldog Volleyball update for the year includes the coach, Pat Moul in her 13th season, coming in with a last season record of 12-10. The key returnees are Jessica Reese, Sr., P/IF; Sara Johnson, Jr., OF; Melissa Miller, Jr., P/SS/OF; Terra Rosensweig, Sr., 2B; Hillary Tunker, So., OF; Caryn Allison, So., C. With the retirement of Land O’ Lakes coach Jerry English, Moul becomes the dean of county coaches. The Bulldogs, who lost just two seniors, have ample experience and talent. Reese, who is coming off a nine-win season, splits time on the mound with Miller. Zephyrhills hosts a district tournament and Moul expects her team to be one of two to earn a first-round bye.

Schedule includes: March: Tuesday – Wesley Chapel, 7 p.m.; Wednesday – Pasco doubleheader, 5/7 p.m.; 12 – at Tarpon Springs, 7 p.m.; 15 – at Wesley Chapel, 7 p.m.; 16 – at Land O’ Lakes, 7 p.m.; 19-20 – at Bell Tournament, TBA; 23 – at Gulf, 7 p.m.; 24 – at Mitchell, 7 p.m.; 26 – Hudson, 7 p.m.; 30 – Pasco, 7 p.m. April: 2 – at Wesley Chapel, 7 p.m.; 13 – Tarpon Springs, 7 p.m.; 16 – at Ridgewood, 7 p.m.; 20 – Land O’ Lakes, 7 p.m.


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