The Mystery of the Hornet

Flour Bluff, Front Page

 

     I have long heard that the Flour Bluff Hornets took the name of their mascot from  the USS Hornet, the carrier associated with Lt. Commander John Charles Waldron, for whom Waldron Road in Flour Bluff was named.  However, this does not seem possible according to the historical documentation from a January 11, 1938, Corpus Christi Times news article about the Flour Bluff Hornets and various other sources.

     According to the USS Hornet Sea, Air & Space Museum website, the following timeline describes the birth of the carrier:

  • Identified initially as Hull #385, USS HornetCV-8, she was built at the Newport News shipyard in Norfolk, Virginia, starting in September of 1939.
  • The Hornetwas launched in December 1940 by Mrs. Frank Knox, wife of the Secretary of the Navy.
  • On October 20, 1941, the Hornetwas commissioned.  Her commanding officer was Captain Marc “Pete” Mitscher, who would become a recognized master of carrier warfare during WWII.

     The Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 317 (August 1943), offers this information concerning the connection between Lt. Cdr. Waldron and the Hornet:

     The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Commander John Charles Waldron (NSN: 0-58825), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Torpedo Plane and Commanding Officer of Torpedo Squadron EIGHT (VT-8), attached to the U.S.S. HORNET (CV-8), during the “Air Battle of Midway,” against enemy Japanese forces on 4 June 1942. Grimly aware of the hazardous consequences of flying without fighter protection, and with insufficient fuel to return to his carrier, Lieutenant Commander Waldron resolutely, and with no thought of his own life, led his squadron in an effective torpedo attack against violent assaults of enemy Japanese aircraft fire. His courageous action, carried out with a gallant spirit of self-sacrifice and a conscientious devotion to the fulfillment of his mission, was a determining factor in the defeat of the enemy forces and was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

     So, where did we get our name?  In one Flour Bluff School newspaper prior to 1938 the Sandburs is the name of the mascot.  Any and all documented information would be appreciated to solve the mystery of how the Flour Bluff Hornets really got their name.

UPDATE:  The Flour Bluff school newspaper, The Grassburr, reported in its first edition published on November 4, 1937:  “Another first for Flour Bluff High School.  After much deliberation, students selected the HORNETS to be the name of their athletic teams, which will be under the leadership of Coach Sam Chandler.”  The reason for choosing the name is not given, and no mention of the Hornet can be found in the handwritten school board meeting minutes from 1937 or 1938.  Coach Sam Chandler is mentioned and his salary given at $1500 per year.

Miles Graham, lifetime resident, said that he recalls W.R. Duncan, member of a founding family, telling the story of how the Hornets got their name.  He was watching a basketball game in 1937 and said that the boys looked like a bunch of hornets swarming around the player with the ball.  That suggestion, Graham believes, stuck with the kids, and they chose the hornet as their official team mascot, which was chronicled in The Grassburr.

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Flour Bluff Schools: A Winning Formula

Education, Flour Bluff, Front Page

Hornet Country

     Why do families flock to Flour Bluff and Padre Island?  Many, it turns out, want their children to attend Flour Bluff Schools, a place with a rich history and a commitment to educating the whole child.  In the beginning, ranching, oil and gas, and the Navy grew this little community nestled between the Cayo del Oso and the Laguna Madre, which in turn grew the school for many years.  Now, the school is returning the favor by continuing to draw people into this unique and strongly independent community that offers a hometown environment for raising kids, one complete with Friday night lights, homecoming parades, a Santa float at Christmastime, and an eclectic group of small businesses co-existing among the giants, such as Walmart, Whataburger, and HEB.

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     The pre-K through early-college school is not like any other. All the campuses and school facilities are within walking distance of each other and are surrounded by quiet neighborhoods, something that has helped keep the kids close in proximity and in spirit.  Students who live within the boundaries of the district but not within walking distance find it easy to be part of the school community since FBISD provides bus service to and from school.  Parents who choose to drop their children at school map out their route and move from campus to campus without having to drive in and out of multiple neighborhoods.

     Flour Bluff students have a reputation for success in academics and extra-curricular activities.  The following is a list of awards received by students and faculty just in the 2015-2016 school year:

  • Accountability Awards

    ECC, Primary, Elementary, Intermediate, Junior High and High School Campuses – Recognized
    District – Recognized

  • High School Academics 

    National Hispanic Scholars – 2 students
    National Merit Commended Scholars – 5 students
    AP Scholars – 12 students
    AP Scholars with Honors – 1 student; with Distinction – 2 students
    Student Congress Team – 3 students advanced to State
    Caller Times/Citgo South Texas Distinguished Scholars – 2 students
    BPA (Business Professionals of America) – 31 students advanced to State; 2 students received Torch Awards
    KEDT Challenge Team – 1 student selected to All Star Team
    Robotics Team – 2 Teams qualified for the Alamo Regional Championships; 2 Pink Lady Robotics students received the
    National Center for Women & Informational Technology (NCWIT) Aspirations Award
    Science Fair – Student placed at Regional and State – Regional: 1st Place in Microbiology and recipient of Valero Energy
    Award; State: 3rd Place in Microbiology and attending Intel International Science and Engineering Fair
    La Posada Art – 7 students recognized – 1 student won overall
    Visionarios Art Competition – 1 student– 1st place
    VASE (Visual Arts Scholastic Event) 1 State medal
    Art Center for the Island – 17 students recognized: 1 Best of Show, 5 students – 1st place; 2 students – 2nd place; 3 students –
    3rd place; 3 Honorable Mention
    South Texas Journalism Conference – Waldron Street Journal Newspaper 2nd place overall; Publication Team Sweepstakes
    Award
    Craft Training Center – 4 students won Top Dog awards in welding


    NJROTC – Received perfect score on their annual inspection
    NJROTC – Placed 2nd in State Competition
    NJROTC – Advanced to the National Academic Bowl in Washington, D.C.
    NJROTC – Unarmed Team 3rd Place Overall and Armed Team 9th Place Overall at High School Grand National
    Championship
    UIL Calculator Team– 1st place in District; 2 Individual Regional qualifiers
    UIL Current Issues Team – 1st in District; Individual Regional qualifier
    UIL Lincoln Douglas Debate – Individual Regional qualifier
    UIL Literary Criticism Team – 1st in District; 1st at Regional; State qualifiers
    UIL Mathematics Team – 1st in District; Regional qualifiers
    UIL Number Sense Team – 2nd in District; Regional qualifier
    UIL One-Act Play 4th place in District
    UIL Poetry Interpretation – 1st at Regional; State qualifier
    UIL Press Conference Team – 2nd Place Feature Photo, 2nd Place Sports Action Photo, 3rd Place Tribute Ad
    UIL Science Team – 1st place in District; Regional qualifier
    UIL Speech – 2nd in District
    UIL Spelling & Vocabulary Team – 1st place in District; 2 Regional qualifiers
    Honorable Mention Sports Feature, Honorable Mention Academic Photo
    HS Cheerleaders – 2nd place Southwest Regional Championship

  • Junior High Academics

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    MathCounts Team – 1st place in Region (31st consecutive year) #10 out of 80 teams in state
    TMSCA (Texas Math Science Coaches Association) – 1st place in State (31st consecutive year)
    TMSCA – 2 students were State champions
    TMSCA – 7th grade – 1st Place Sweepstakes (Team); 1st Place Number Sense (Team); 1st Place Calculator Application
    (Team); 1st place Number Sense (Student); 8th grade – 1st Place General Math (Team); 1st Place Science (Team); 1st Place
    Number Sense (Student); 1st Place Calculator Application (Student)
    UIL Academic Meet – 7th Grade: 1st Overall; 1st Calculator Applications; 1st Number Sense; 1st General Math
    UIL Academic Meet – 8th Grade: 1st Overall; 1st Calculator Applications; 1st Number Sense; 1st General Math; 1st Science;
    1st Spelling; 1st Listening
    UIL Academic One-Act Play – 3rd Place
    Texas A&M Kingsville Javelina Cup Scholarship winners – 7 students
    Regional Science Fair: 2nd place Physics and Astronomy and 3rd place in Plant Sciences
    Science Olympiad – 2nd place at regional meet
    Science Fair – 2 students advanced to the Coastal Bend Science Fair
    Scripps Regional Spelling Bee Winner; Advanced to Regional Bee
    Voted Reader’s Choice 2015 by the Corpus Christi Caller Times

  • Performing Arts

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    HS TMEA (Texas Music Educators Association) All District Band – 28 students
    HS TMEA (Texas Music Educators Association) All Region Band – 21 students
    HS TMEA (Texas Music Educators Association) All Area Band – 7 students
    HS TMEA (Texas Music Educators Association) Region Orchestra – 4 students
    HS UIL – Region Marching Band Division 1 rating; qualified for Area Marching Contest
    HS UIL – 27 Division 1 rating for Solo and Ensemble
    HS UIL – 12 Instrumentalists and 2 Twirlers advanced to State Solo and Ensemble
    HS UIL – High School Symphonic Band UIL Contest Division 2
    HS UIL – High School Honors Band UIL Contest Division 1
    HS UIL – High School Wind Ensemble UIL Contest Division 1
    TMEA All-State Choir auditions – 23 District members / 9 Region members / 3 Area members / 1 alternate to State
    HS UIL Solo/Ensemble – 17 students and 1 Madrigal Ensemble received 1 ratings / 5 soloists and 1 Madrigal Ensemble
    advanced to State
    HS UIL CHOIR Concert/Sight-reading:
    Varsity Treble Choir – Division 2 on stage and Division 2 in sight-reading
    Varsity Tenor-Bass Choir – Division 3 on stage and Division 4 in sight-reading
    Varsity Mixed Choir – Division 3 on stage and Division 2 in sight-reading
    JH UIL Band Concert/Sight-reading –
    Honors Band received 1 on stage and 1 in sight-reading (9th consecutive Sweepstakes)
    Symphonic Band received 1 on stage and 1 in sight-reading;
    Concert Band received 2 on stage and 3 in sight-reading
    JH UIL Band Solo/Ensemble – 37 students received 1 solo ratings
    JH All-Region Band – 28 students qualified
    HS All-Region Band – 1 JH student qualified
    HS All-District Band – 2 JH students qualified
    JH All Regional Junior High/Middle School Choir – 22 students
    JH Mixed Choir received a ‘2’ in Concert and a ‘2’ in Sightreading
    JH Treble Choir received a ‘1’ in Concert and a ‘2’ in Sightreading

  • Athletics

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    HS Football – 3 way tie for 3rd place in District
    Shriner’s All-Star Football Game – 5 athletes selected to participate
    All-Star Coastal Bend Coaches Association Basketball Game – 1 boy athlete; 2 girl athletes participated
    HS Volleyball – Area Champions, Regional Quarterfinalist; Freshman District Champions
    HS Volleyball – All State Academic Team – 11 students
    HS Volleyball – Max Preps Player of the Year – 2 students
    HS Team Tennis – Undefeated District Champions 9 years in a row; Area Champions; Regional Qualifiers
    HS Spring Tennis – District Boys & Girls Champions; Regional Qualifiers; State Qualifier
    HS Cross Country –1 Girl Regional Qualifier
    HS Boys Basketball –District Champions; Area Finalists
    HS Girls Basketball – Bi-District Champions; Area Champions; Regional Semifinalists
    HS Girls Basketball – All-Region and All-State Teams for Texas Girls Coaches Association – 1 student
    HS Golf – Academic All District – 7 students
    HS Girls Track – 2nd in District, 3rd in Area; & State Qualifier
    HS Boys Track – 2nd in District; 2nd in Area; Regional Finalist & State Qualifier
    HS Girls Swimming – District Champions; Regional Qualifiers; 6 State Qualifiers
    HS Girls Swimming – 1 student Academic All American; 5 students Academic All-State
    HS Boys Swimming – 2nd in District; 4th at Regionals; 6 State Qualifiers
    HS Boys Swimming – 2 students Academic All-State
    HS Girls Soccer – 1st place in District; Bi-District Champions; Area Finalists; 5 students Academic All-State
    HS Boys Soccer – District Champions; Bi-District Champions; Area Finalists; 5 students Academic All-State
    HS Baseball – 2nd in District; Bi-District Champions; Area Champions; Regional Quarter Finalists
    HS Softball – 2nd in District; Bi-District Champions; Area Champions; Quarter Finalists; Regional Semi-Finalists
    JH 7th & 8th Grade Girls & Boys Swimming – District Champions
    JH Volleyball – 8th Grade “A” District Runner-up; 8th Grade “B” Undefeated District Champions; 7th “A” District Co-
    Champions; 7th “B” finished 3rd in District
    JH Football – 8th “A” Undefeated District Champions; 8th “B “ Undefeated District Champions; 7th “B” District Co-
    Champions
    JH Boys Basketball – 8th Grade “A” Undefeated District Champions; 8th Grade “B” Undefeated District Champions; 7th
    Grade “A” Undefeated District Champs; 7th Grade “B” District Champions
    JH Girls Basketball – 8th Grade “A” Undefeated District Champions; 8th Grade “B” Undefeated District Champions; 7th
    Grade “A” 2nd in District; 7th Grade “B” 2nd in District
    JH Girls Track – 8th grade 1st in District; 7th grade 2nd in District
    Athletic Signings: 1 student in Volleyball @ University of Georgia; 1 student in Softball @ University of Houston at
    Victoria; 1 student in Football @ Texas A&M Kingsville, 1 student in Football @ Sam Houston State University; 1 student
    in Football @Texas Lutheran University; 1 student in Baseball @New Mexico Junior College; 3 students in Baseball
    @Schreiner University; 1 student in Baseball @Howard Payne University; 1 girl student in Basketball @Simpson College; 1
    girl student in Basketball @Coastal Bend College; 1 boy student in Soccer @University of North Georgia; 1 boy student in
    Soccer @Texas A&M University-Texarkana; 1 girl student in Swimming @Centenary College of Louisiana; 1 boy student in
    Track @Naval Academy Preparatory School

  • Early Childhood Center

    Science Fair – 6 students advanced to the Coastal Bend Science Fair
    Science Fair – 1 Regional Science Fair Winner

  • Primary School

    Science Fair – 6 students advanced to the Coastal Bend Science Fair
    Science Fair – 1 Regional Science Fair Winner

  • Elementary School

    Science Fair – 6 students advanced to the Coastal Bend Science Fair
    Science Fair – 1 Regional Science Fair Winner
    UIL Academics – 3rd grade: 1st place Music Memory and 1st Place Sweepstakes; 4th grade – 1st place Music Memory, 1st Place
    Art (Student); 1st place Art (Team); 1st Place Sweepstakes

  • Intermediate School

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    Science Fair – 13 students advanced to the Coastal Bend Science Fair
    Science Fair 4 Regional Science Fair Winners
    UIL District – 5th grade: 1st place Maps, Charts & Graphs; 1st place Science; 1st place Number Sense; 1st place Listening; 3rd
    place Sweepstakes Trophy
    6th grade: 1st place Sweepstakes Trophy; 1st place in Maps, Charts and Graphs, 1st place Listening, 1st place Chess Puzzle,
    Calculator and Art; 2nd place Spelling, Number Sense, Dictionary and Math; 3rd place Science
    TMSCA (Texas Math and Science Coaches Association) – 1st place at State
    Staff Awards
    James McMinn – Region 30-5A Basketball Coach of the Year
    Catherine Graham – ESC, Region 2 Elementary Teacher of the Year
    District Awards
    Schools FIRST (Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas) – Superior Rating

 

Flour Bluff ISD is in the middle of a $48 million facilities bond project approved by voters in 2012 and started in 2013.  In addition to some much needed upgrades to the existing facilities, a field house (complete) and natatorium (under construction) are part of the big picture.

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  Go Hornets!

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