The de Aguero family moved from Key West to Miami in 1939, where Richard’s father was the foreman of a company that produced tropical jellies. Richard was the youngest of three brothers all of whom graduated from Miami High. After attending Riverside Elementary and Ada Merritt Junior High, Richard arrived at Miami High in the fall of 1958. Ever since that day, his soul has been intrinsically tied to the school. Richard excelled at Miami High and was active in every facet of student life. He was National Beta Club Recording Secretary, Tri-Alpha Club President, a member of Mu Alpha Theta, Spanish National Honor Society, National Honor Society, Quill and Scroll, the Tennis Team, the Scholarship Key Committee; and Managing Editor of the yearbook. Among his awards were National Spanish Merit Exam Second Place, Scholarship Key recipient, and Honor Graduate. After graduating from Miami High with the Class of 1961, Richard earned degrees at Miami-Dade Community College, and the University of South Florida. He wasted little time in returning to the schools that educated him in Miami. De Aguero became a teacher at Ada Merritt for two years. In 1967 he returned to Miami High where he first taught math to honors students, then moved on to all phases of math. He spent 12 years as a math teacher. When school activities director, Mary Stanley, announced she was going to retire, Richard's strong feelings for the school led him to apply for her position. He got the job and spent 17 years as activities director before retiring in 1996. De Aguero's constructive fingerprints are all over the school. Affectionately referred to by students and faculty as "Mr. D," he played roles in the renovation of the school's auditorium after its ceiling collapsed in 1978. Among his legacies at the school, where he still involves himself on a volunteer basis, de Aguero created a detailed tour of the school, tracing its architecture, art, history and changes that took place over the building's existence since 1928. Following his active Miami High years, de Aguero took a post with the school board and also is in charge of the guides at Vizcaya.
Ken Hunt knows more detail and trivia about Miami High and its graduates than anyone on planet Earth. He is fascinated by its sports history, traditions, reputation, and its people. To this day, he continues to research newspaper archives to learn more about the football greats that came from this marvelous school...who they were, who their families were, what they accomplished at Miami High and what they went on to accomplish in their lives. He has the largest known collection of game films which date back to the 1950's and 60's. It was inevitable that such a resource as Ken would find his way to the Miami High Football Hall of Fame Committee. Ken was invited to join the Committee two years ago and has been one of its most dedicated members. He continually amazes the Committee with details about Miami High’s past and present football players just off the top of his head. A more surprising fact is that Ken did not play football at Miami High, nor did he even attend. Ken was born in Illinois. His family came to Miami for one year, during which he attended Auburndale Elementary. The family then moved to South Bend, Indiana, where Ken graduated from Central High School of South Bend. He was disappointed when his family moved to South Bend because he very much wanted to attend Miami High. Ken attended the University of Miami where he received degrees in history and marketing. He has been a Miami resident ever since. The Miami High Activities Office sells a tee shirt with the inscription, "There are two types of people: those who went to Miami High and those who wish they did." Ken epitomizes that statement in its best interpretation. He has been adopted by half a dozen classes from the mid-1960's and serves on all their reunion planning committees. Ken has developed deep roots in the Miami High family. Tonight we honor his dedication and contribution to the school that he has come to love.
Paul Louis of the class of 1941, was born in Key West in 1922. His family moved to Miami shortly afterwards. He was a lanky neighborhood kid who didn’t expect to play football at Miami High. As a 10th grader he was brought in for his first Miami High game in 1938 against Robert E Lee of Jacksonville on the field behind the gym. He intercepted a pass and lateraled it away. Miami lost 0 to 6. Wearing Number 7, he went on to play center both ways in the 1938, 1939 and 1940 seasons. During those years the team’s record was 26 wins, 4 losses and one tie, with Miami High outscoring opponents 621 to 143. The team was City and State Champions 1938, 1939 and 1940; and Southern Champion in 1939. His most memorable game was in 1940. After beating Edison for the State Championship before 25,000 fans, they faced Boys High of Atlanta for the Southern Championship. Boys High surprised them with a four-man defensive line , which they had never practiced against. That confused the Miami blocking assignments. The legendary Clint Castlebury, who was to become a Freshman All-American at Georgia Tech, placing third in the voting for The Heisman Trophy, returned a punt. Louis hit him head-on at full speed. The impact was heard throughout the stadium. On an adrenalin high, he uncharacteristically taunted , “Can’t you run any harder?” To which Castlebury looked him right in the eye and replied, “Can’t you hit any harder?” Subsequently Castlebury caught a second pass in the end zone to take the Championship, 13-0. Louis was named to the Miami News All-City Team and the Associated Press All-State Team in 1940. An even greater accolade came about in 1949 when W.R. Thomas, reminiscing about the great football players of his then 25 years as Principal, named Paul Louis as Center to his “All-Time Miami High Team”. Louis exhibited leadership off the field as well, being elected Senior Class president. He earned a scholarship to Virginia Military Institute where he played center for the 1941 and 1942 seasons. In 1943, as did many of his VMI classmates, he volunteered for military duty. He was commissioned an Air Force 1st Lieutenant and received his pilot’s wings at Stuttgart Field, Arkansas. He soon began flying a B-26 Marauder from Sardinia to Corsica. On his 29th mission he was shot down November 26th, 1944, over the Brenner Pass. He was quickly captured by German SS Troopers. Flying over Nazi Germany to avoid being identified as Jewish, he wore Protestant dog tags. However, he was wearing his father’s mezuzah when shot down. Fearful of being identified he wrapped it in chewing gum and hid it in the wall of a building near Friberg. His brother-in-law was later able to retrieve it and bring it home. He spent 7 months in the air-prison at Sagen, Germany, until the Russian advance when he was moved deeper into Germany. On April 29th, 1945, he was liberated by the 14h Infantry Division of Patton’s 3rd Army. He was awarded seven Air Medals and the Purple Heart. He returned to VMI to continue his junior year where he played football and was a member of the Honor Court graduating in 1947. In 1950, he graduated from the University of Miami School of Law and began the practice of law in Miami. He has been a member of the Florida Bar for over 50 years. He retired from the Air Force Reserve in 1962 with the rank of Major. In 1971, he married Nancy and they have three children.
Tom Balikes of the Class of 1943, wearing Number 35, played right halfback in the 1941 and 1942 seasons. During those years Miami High was undefeated with a record of 19 wins, no losses and one tie. The team outscored opponents 647 to 106. The 9-0-0 perfect season of 1942 broke a 55 game winning streak of Baltimore City College High. Miami High became City and State Champions both years and Southern Champions in 1942. Balikes’ most memorable game was the 1942, 13-7 win over Ashville High, against All-American Charlie Choo-Choo Justice for the Southern Championship. For his efforts, Tom was named to the All-City Team in 1942. Tom also lettered in Baseball, but it was in Track where he most excelled. For three years he lettered throwing the javelin. In 1943 the Miami Track Team won the State Championship, and Tom was named to the All-State Track Team and National Scholastic Track Team. After high school, Tom volunteered for military service. He became a Combat Bombardier with the U.S. 8th Air Force in England from 1943 to 1945. He put in 6 years active duty and 18 years reserve duty in US Air Force, to the rank of Lt Colonel. After the War, he received a Track and Football Scholarship to University of Florida but had to give up football due to injury. He lettered at U of F in Track in 1946 and 1947, then moved to the University of Miami, lettering in in track 1948 and 1949. In 1949 he was Captain of the U of M Track Team and named to the U.S. National Team. He graduated from U of M in 1950 and began to practice law. He was appointed Assistant State Attorney, from 1955 to 1956; Dade County Court Judge, from 1959 to 1967; and Dade County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court Judge, from 1967 to 1969. He was called back to duty by he Air Force as a Judge Advocate for the Korean War from 1950 to 1951; and for the Cuban Missile Crisis from 1961 to 1962. Tom now lives in Miami.
Bill (Blind Tom) Depkin of the Class of 1949 and wearing Number 19, played offensive and defensive end in the 1947 and 1948 seasons during which time the teams record was fifteen wins, three losses and one tie. Miami High outscored its opponents 473 to 92. The team won the 1947 post-season game against McKeesport High of Pennsylvania but lost to Kingsport High of Tennessee in 1948. Depkin scored the lone Miami touchdown in that loss. Miami High earned the City and State Championships for both seasons. His most memorable game was the 34-14 win over McKeesport, PA, in the Christmas Day Shrine Game in the Orange Bowl. He made 9 tackles for losses. For his part, Depkin was named to the 1948 Miami News All-City Team and to the State All-Star Team. He was instrumental in South Florida All-Stars 14-0 victory over the North in the Gator Bowl in August 1949. Bill also did the high jump and threw the shot-put on the track team. He was a member of Wheel Club, the Varsity Club and President of the Allied Youth service club. He earned scholarships to Georgia Tech, then the University of Florida and then the University of Miami. Bill has been married for 40 years and in 1985, retired from his own business. Bill lives in Miami.
Bob Ware of the Class of 1949 and wearing Number 24, played defensive end in 1947 and 1948, during which time the teams record was fifteen wins, three losses and one tie. Miami High outscored its opponents 473 to 92. The team won the 1947 post-season game against McKeesport High of Pennsylvania but lost to Kingsport High of Tennessee in 1948. Miami High earned the City and State Championships for both seasons. Bob’s fondest memory is 1948 28-0 defeat of Jackson. The Miami High defense held the undefeated “Team of Destiny” to 23 yards rushing, 44 yards total and only 2 first downs. Bob partially blocked a punt that went only 17 yards. He also fondly remembers 28-7 win over Chattanooga, where he sacked the quarterback, blocked a punt and recovered a fumble. In the 35-6 victory over Murphy High, he sacked the quarter back, putting him out of the game. Bob was honorary co-captain for 1948 Edison Homecoming Game. For his efforts Bob Ware was named All-City Honorable Mention in 1948. Bob also ran track in the high and low hurtles and the pole vault. At the finals of the Robert E. Lee Invitational Track Meet in 1949, he was pleased to beat Lee’s Mikey Kelly in the finals. Kelly was his opposing end on Lee’s football team that handed Miami High it’s only in-state loss of the 1948 season. Bob was active on campus as well. A member of National Honor Society and the Varsity Club, Bob was also president of both the Zenith and Key Clubs. He graduated from the University of Florida in 1953. Two days later, he enlisted in the Navy and was commissioned after completing Officer’s Candidate School at Newport, RI. As LTJG he served two years aboard the heavy cruiser, USS Pittsburgh, as gunnery officer; then two years as BOQ manager at Whitting Field NAS. He returned to the University of Florida and obtained his law degree in 1961. Citing his experience playing for Miami High, the Gainesville Football Official’s Association allowed him to become a football official. For 6 years, he officiated games in Gainesville, then transferred to the Miami Association and officiated another 14 years in Miami. He earned the highest rating granted by the Florida High School Athletic Association. He took pleasure in officiating several MHS games. He has practiced law for 38 years as commercial trial lawyer and personal injury defense lawyer. He represented Miami High before City Commission to preserve te exclusive right to play in the Orange Bowl stadium. Bob now lives in Mount Dora, Florida.
Phil George of the Class of 1952, was another one of those rare young athletes to be moved up to the varsity squad in 10th grade. Wearing Number 35, he played right offensive guard, defensive end, nose tackle, and linebacker in the 1949, 1950 and 1951 seasons. During those years the team’s record was 21 wins, 5 losses and 2 ties, with Miami High outscoring opponents 515 to 260. The team was the City Champion in 1949, and both City and State Champions in 1950. In 1951, Miami High suffered its first loss ever to a city rival, Miami Jackson. However, the Stingarees beat Edison who, in turn, beat Jackson, leading to a three-way tie for the City Championship. Even so, based upon its better overall record of 9-1-0, Miami High was named State and Southern Champions. Phil was an Honorary Co-Captain for that game against Jackson. The game program stated; “Phil is recognized by his good build. It is said his arms are as big as Carl Vereen’s legs.” His most memorable game was in 1951, after losing to Jackson, the team rebounded to soundly beat Edison 20-7. Phil was named to the also in other sports Miami News All-City Team and the Miami Herald All-City Second Team as a guard. Phil was active at Miami High. In track, he ran on mile relay team, and threw discus and shot-put for all three years. He was Homeroom President and active on the Varsity Club. He earned scholarships to Stetson University and University of Florida. During his Freshman year at Stetson, he earned a varsity letter. He went on to serve as 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division and played Army football. He returned to Miami to coach football at the Boy’s Club of Miami with Wally Piper and Bobby Carlton. While there, he coached future Miami High Hall of Famers, Buddy Coleman, Jim Angel and Tony Toledo, and the first player drafted by the Miami Dolphins expansion team, Joey Auer. Phil now lives in the Florida Keys.
Vlic (Carb) Carbonell of the Class of 1956, wore Number 35, as he played right offensive guard and defensive linebacker in the 1954 and 1955 seasons. During those years the team’s record was sixteen wins, three losses and one tie, with Miami High outscoring opponents 352 to 121. They won post-season games each year against St Johns High of Washington, DC, and New Britain High of Connecticut. The team made City and State Champions in both seasons. He was the Honorary Co-Captain for 1955 Orlando Game. For his efforts, he was named to the All-City and All-State Teams of 1955. His most memorable game was the 1955 Edison Game on Thanksgiving Day. “We won a close and hard fought game with a national high school attendance record in the Orange Bowl.” While at Miami High, Vlic was a member of Wheel Club. He earned a scholarship to East Mississippi Junior College, a football prep school for FSU, but left due to injury after one year. Vlic became a heavy equipment operator and retired after 45 years. He says of those years, “I had the same pride and attitude that I had when I was a Stingaree. I learned a lot at Miami High.” Vlic now lives in Hohenwald, Tennessee.
Bob Hill, also of the Class of 1956, wore Number 1 as he played left halfback in the 1954 and 1955 seasons. During those years, the team’s record was sixteen wins, three losses and one tie, with Miami High outscoring opponents 352 to 121. They won post-season games each year against St Johns High of Washington, DC, and New Britain High of Connecticut. For Bob’s efforts, he was named to the Miami News and Miami Herald All-City Teams of 1955. Bob was a popular and active student at Miami High. He was elected Junior Joe in his junior year, and Homeroom President for thee years. He was a member of the Class Board, Zenith and Wheel Club. After high school, Bob served 7 ½ years as a Machinist Mate in the U.S. Navy Nuclear Submarine Service. He then went to work for Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. as General Supervisor for Nuclear Power Generators from where he retired in 1994. Bob now lives in Leesburg, Florida
Jack Hardy of the Class of 1957, wore Number 33. He played linebacker in the 1955 and 1956 seasons. During those years the team’s record was sixteen wins, three losses and one tie, with Miami High outscoring opponents 432 to 123. They won post-season games each year against New Britain High of Connecticut and Gloucester High of Massachusetts. Miami High earned the titles of City and State Champions for 1955 and 1956. For Jack’s efforts, he was named to the Miami News All-City Team of 1956. Jack was Home Room President and a member of Wheel Club. He remembers, “Losing to Gables was a crying shame. We had them beat.” But Jack’s most memorable game was the first game of the 1956 season, against Orlando Edgewater. Both he and Bob Kavanaugh made two interceptions each, to seal the 27-6 victory. A Florida State University football scout was in the stands and later offered both MHS defensive standouts scholarships. Jack played football for four years at FSU and graduated in 1961. He attended the University of Miami and earned a degree in Law in 1964. After 36 years as a practicing attorney, with his own law firm in Miami, Jack retired in 2000. Jack married his Miami High sweetheart, Martie. They live in Miami
Eric (Mumbles) Wanderon of the Class of 1961, wore Number 32. He played linebacker and fullback in the 1959 and 1960 seasons. During those years the team’s record was eleven wins, one loss and three ties, with Miami High outscoring opponents 462 to 127. In 1960 they won a post-season game against Brockton High of Massachusetts and went on to become City, State and National Champions. For Eric’s efforts he was named to the Miami News and Miami Herald All-City Teams, All-State Second Team and All-Southern Honorable Mention for1960. Miami High honored him as the Most Valuable Defensive Player of 1960. Eric was equally successful in Baseball, lettering three years. He was named to the Miami Herald and Miami News All-City Baseball Teams in both 1960 and 1961. He was Miami High’s Most Valuable Player of both 1960 and 1961. In 1994, he was inducted to Miami High Baseball Hall of Fame. He was also an active student as a member of Zenith Service Club. He was selected as Junior Debs Darling by the Junior Debs service club and honored in the yearbook in MIAHI Salutes award. His most memorable play was by Anthey Jacovides who was sitting in front of him in Coach Davis’ history class. She turned around to say “I didn’t know you played football.” They became sweethearts and have been married for 41 years. Eric earned scholarships in Football and Baseball at the University of Miami, but left to elope with Anthey. Eric says, “Everyday is like being in high school when you marry your high school sweetheart.” Eric and Anthey still live in Miami.
Mike Buss of the Class of 1962 played fullback in 1960 and 1961, during which time the teams record was sixteen wins, one loss and three ties. Miami High outscored its opponents 402 to 118. The team won post-season games against Brockton High of Massachusetts in 1960 and Everett High of Massachusetts in 1961. Miami High earned the City, State and National Championships in 1960. For his part, Mike was named to the 1961 Miami News All-City Team. Ted Bridis remembers Mike as a hard-running ball carrier. In practice the week before the 1961 Edison game, Mike plunged off tackle and took Ted's left arm with him, dislocating it at the shoulder. Mike’s most memorable game was in 1961 against Gables. It was quite a comeback after losing to Lakeland, to battle the heavily favored Cavaliers to a scoreless tie. Mike looks back on his high school football career with amazement for losing only one game by a single point over three years. Mike was an active member of Wheel Club for three years. He was chosen as Little Man by the Little Women Service Club and selected to the MIAHI Hall of Fame. Mike earned a scholarship to the University of Tampa where he played football for four years. The “small college” experience enabled Mike to fathom the magnitude of the Miami High football program. He is thankful for the great experience it provided.
Lou Romano of the Class of 1963, played halfback in 1961 and 1962. During those seasons, the team’s record was sixteen wins, one loss and two ties, outscoring opponents 375 to 90. As a 5’-4”, 128-pound junior varsity halfback, Romano was concerned about playing Miami High football at his size. But in 1960, he watched another Stingaree dynamo lead the team to a National Championship. Quarterback, Jimmy Angel, became Lou’s inspiration. During his senior year, Lou averaged 7 yards a carry and contributed 6 touchdowns, making a significant contribution to his team’s clinching City, Big Ten Conference, State and National Championships. For his effort, he was named All-City Honorable Mention from among a highly competitive field of halfbacks. Lou was also an all around student at Miami. He lettered in track thee years, was president of Interact Service Club, member of National Honor Society, selected to the MIAHI Hall of Fame, chosen as Little Man by the Little Women Service Club, selected as MHS Catholic Youth of the Year, and was recognized with the National Conference of Christians and Jews Award. His most memorable play was in the State Championship Game against Miami Edison, on Thanksgiving evening in the Orange Bowl. The week before the game, he snatched Edison’s fullback, Roger “Bull” Getelman’s, chinstrap from his helmet as he was leaving the practice field and posted it on the locker room bulletin board with a sign to help get the team fired up. With terrific blocking from the powerful Miami High line, he carried the ball for a 16 yard touchdown on an end sweep to cinch the 21-6 victory. Lou followed Jimmy Angel to U.S. Naval Academy by Congressional appointment, where he played football on the junior varsity and the lightweight (<150 lbs) varsity teams, and ran track. Graduating from Annapolis in 1967, he served 6 years in the Navy as pilot including two cruises to Vietnam. He logged more than 200 aircraft carrier catapult launches and arrested landing. In civilian life he had a 27 year career in the industrial gases business, traveling the world. Currently, he is an executive vice president for NuCO2, a Carbon Dioxide Service company located in Stuart, FL, where lives with his wife, Ann.
Jeff (Goober) Giles of the Class of 1964, wore Number 21. He played halfback and ran special teams in the 1962 and 1963 seasons. During those years the team’s record was thirteen wins, three losses and one tie, with Miami High outscoring opponents 296 to 136. The 1962 team attained the titles of City, State and National Champions. As co-captain of the 1963 team, Jeff was ranked third in most rushing yardage in Dade County. Radio station WQAM named him Back of the Year. He was named to the Miami Herald All-City Team and given All-State Honorable Mention for his play in 1963. Miami High gave him its Best Blocker Trophy. His most memorable game was the 1963 loss to Gables. He grew up with a lot of the guys on the Gables team and there was great rivalry. Jeff also ran track. A popular guy, he was elected Mr. Mistletoe and the Little Women Service Club named him its Little Man. Jeff attended Parsons College, Fairfield, Iowa, on a football scholarship. He coached Pop Warner Football for 8 years in Miami. Jeff now lives in Homestead.
George (The Rock) Hopgood of the Class of 1965, wore Number 73. He played offensive tackle in the 1963 and 1964 seasons. During those years the team’s record was thirteen wins, six losses and no ties, with Miami High outscoring opponents 201 to 152. The 1964 team was GMAC & Gold Coast Conference Champions. George was proud to be a Cuban-born football player at Miami High and as such was the subject of several newspaper articles. For his successes, he was named to the 1964 Miami Herald All-City Team. George also threw the shot-put on the track team, was chosen as Little Man by the Little Women Service Club and selected to the MIAHI Hall of Fame. He attended the University of Miami on a football scholarship, graduating in 1970. In 1968, the Associated Press named him to its Southern All-Independent Football Team. George has been with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for 28 ½ years. Asked what Miami High meant to him, he replied, “Being part of a winning tradition gave me the opportunity to attend college and to achieve greater things in my life.” Now he is, “Living the American dream: proud of who I am and where I came from.” George’s Internet e-mail name is CubanHop. He now lives in Cape Coral, Florida, with his wife, Teresa.
Gill Johnston of the Class of 1968, wore Number 27. He played defensive back in the 1966 and 1967 seasons. During those years, the team’s record was seventeen wins, three losses and one tie, with Miami High outscoring opponents 421 to 163. In 1967, they won a post-season game against Norland to become GMAC champions. He was honorary co-Captain for the Norland game in 1966 and the Gables game in 1967. His most memorable game was against Palmetto in 1967. “ It wasn’t that important a game but it seemed to drag on forever. It was the dysfunction of the team that was obvious. Re-establishing control was finally achieved. We won because time was on our side.” For Johnston’s efforts, he was named to the Miami News and Miami Herald All-City Teams, All-State Team and All-American Honorable Mention for 1967. Miami High named him Most Outstanding on Defense. He also ran track. Gill was an active and popular student. He was a member of the Interact Service Club for three years and was selected Calendar Boy and Mr Mistletoe. The Cheerleading squad named him their Cheerleading Sweetheart. He earned a football scholarship to Georgia Tech. Of his life he says,” Once I became aware of all of the possibilities, I chose to touch as many as I could. I made guitars with the Atkin brothers, raced, bred and worked famous race horses, made deals in real estate and appraisal, and roasted exotic coffee, took extended sailing adventures with the family and, with a beautiful wife, raised a family.” He describes himself as, “Publisher and PR specialist, Actor, Board of Director and Dreamer.”