Colonist Pedal Power Raises Funds, Friends for AHS

Under cloudy skies but bright Colonist pride and spirit, more than 100 cyclists pedaled Saturday, April 8, on behalf of Anaheim High clubs and athletic programs to raise funds for campus clubs and athletic programs.

The 1st Colony Bike-A-Thon was sponsored by owner John Marconi, the City of Anaheim, Visit Anaheim and several other sponsors. Support was also provided by AHS BROS.

Cyclists were provided free helmets from the Anaheim Fire departments, and free bike tune-ups and bikes were provided by


Following the Bike-A-Thon, a Resource Fair was held in the campus central quad featuring numerous community organizations.

Oct. 21 – 7th Annual AHSAA Colonist Classic Car Show – Save the Date!

Save the date of Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017 for the 7th Annual AHSAA Colony Classic Car Show.

The family-friendly event is a chance to view more than 100 unique vehicles and tour the historical Anaheim High campus.

Click here for more information.


2017 Golf Tournament & Auction – A Classic Colonist Day

Despite recent heavy rains, the 8th Annual AHSAA Golf Classic drew a large crowd of golfers and dinners. After a day of golf under a cloudy sky, attendees enjoyed dinner and bidding on an array of silent and live auction gifts.

Thank you to sponsors who helped underwrite the event and to the many volunteers who assisted on and off the course, including the AHS Boys’ and Girls’ Basketball Team members.

Proceeds will help fund $16,000 in scholarships for the 2016-2017 school year.

Football + Fassel = New Fitness Center at AHS

Jim Fassel with Colonist athletes who will benefit from new fitness equipment.

What do you get when you add an alumnus who grew up on Anaheim High’s athletic fields with access to Grade A exercise and training equipment? Happily, for AHS, the answer is a new fitness center, a first for the Colony campus.

Three semi-trucks filled with state-of-the art weight room, training equipment, furniture and more has been donated to Anaheim High by alumnus Jim Fassel (’67). Ultimately, the donation will fill two refurbished rooms remembered by some alumni as the auto and machine shops. These large workspaces will house equipment valued at more than $100,000 to create a fitness center and a top-notch training room. Fassel has also funded new flooring for the facility that will be named the “Fassel Family Fitness Center” once approval is received by the AUHSD.

Bud Fassel working on a pair of shoulder pads.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of Anaheim athletes were shaped and guided by Jim’s father, Bud Fassel (‘39), who served as right-hand man to Clare Van Hoorebeke in his role as equipment manager. But Bud did much more than care for athletic equipment, according to Gerald “Woody” Woodward from Class of ’59, who serves as AHS Alumni Association president.

“Bud counseled, guided and supported the young men who were part of the Anaheim High athletic program,” said Woodward. “He cared for the kids and was a father figure to us all.“

Woodward said there were many occasions when Bud asked his wife to pack extra sandwiches in his lunch that he shared with students too poor to afford lunch.  He also hired students to work in the equipment room so that they could afford to buy lunch or pay for the medical insurance that the student-athletes had to purchase. “He was one of the most caring and generous people I have ever known.”

AHSAA President Gerald Woodward congratulates Luis Amaya, recipient of the Bud Fassel Memorial Scholarship.

Bud’s impact was evident when, in 1992, hundreds of former students and athletes attended his funeral to honor him for his more than 25 years at Anaheim High. His contribution to Anaheim High continues today through an annual Bud Fassel Memorial Scholarship.

Bud’s son was among the outstanding athletes produced by Anaheim High. From the days of playing football at AHS, Jim went on to a successful career in the world of football. He was named NFL Coach of the Year in 1997, and he took the New York Giants to Super Bowl XXXV in January 2001. Most recently, he served as head coach, manager and president of the Las Vegas Locomotives in the United Football League, winning several UFL titles during the league’s existence. He also works as an ESPN sports announcer.

Jim’s son, John Fassel, is also walking in his grandfather and fathers’ footsteps. Once a ball boy for his father at the University of Utah in 1976, John was recently named interim head coach for the LA Rams, taking a break from his usual position of special teams coordinator.

Once the new fitness and training centers are complete, the Colony community will be invited to the grand opening in 2017 to celebrate this outstanding donation by one of Anaheim’s favorite sons.

6th Annual Colony Classic Car Show – A Great Day for the Colony!

img_0911It was a Car Show of the most spirited kind when more than 100 cool classics cruised onto the Anaheim High campus, Saturday, Oct. 16, 2016.

The Colony gathering included Pep Stage performances by the choir, cheer squad and Anaheim Performing Arts Conservatory students who created a high-energy atmosphere at the 6th annual event headed by Clint Stark from Class of 1959.

Clint’s hand-crafts trophies from salvaged car parts are becoming legendary in the SoCal car culture. Click here to view a gallery of trophy winners and see a list of winners.

Attendees also were able to enjoy and explore the historic art deco campus, view memorabilia, dance to classic tunes, dine on food from local restaurants. And another big plus . . . the weather was perfect! For “Around the Campus” event photos click here.

Thank you to our event sponsors, including: City of Anaheim Public Utilities Department, ART, the Anaheim Resort Transportation system, Reon Howard Boydstun ’74 – Boydstun Realty and Property Management, Jack McGreevy ’63 – M & J Plastics, Joe and Jeanne Wright of Hot Rods Unlimited, Jerry Woodward ’59, Barbara Pavek, and Danny Doller.

Thanks also to the great students groups who made the event possible: Associated Student Body (ASB), B.R.O.S., and Project Say. Anaheim High administrator and staff also provided amazing support of this AHS Alumni Association fund raiser.

A video of the Car Show is under production and will be availble for sale for $10. To reserve a copy, email

Anaheim High Celebrated During Homecoming 2016

The Colony community celebrated Homecoming 2016 over Sept. 23 and 24 with several gatherings, including a varsity football game, an on-campus rally and several class reunions.

A full stadium of fans cheered as the Colonists defeated the Loara Saxons 28-0 at La Palma Park’s Glover Stadium. A performance by the Anaheim Band and Flags, as well as the crowning of the 2016-17 homecoming court, provided crowd pleasing  homecoming half-time entertainment. The eveninng ended with the traditional singing of the alma mater and photos under the Big A.

Some 1,500 students, parents, alumni and community members, triple the number anticipated, came to Anaheim HS on Saturday to celebrate our local public schools. The event included a neighborhood walk, entertainment, campus tours and more.

Baseball, Classic Cars More Than Just Pastimes for AUHS Class of ’56 Grad

1956-Del Drake 002Like many men from his era, 78-year-old Del Drake loves cars and sports, especially Fords and baseball. Of course, the vehicles he was driving while attending Anaheim High are now considered classics, and baseball has evolved from a game played with informal rules using improvised equipment to a big money sport that’s become America’s beloved pastime.

But classic cars and baseball are more than just hobbies for Drake, who has been recognized by the governor of Idaho for starting the first senior softball program in the state. And growing up with a father who was a mechanic known for coaxing the maximum speed from his vehicles, Drake’s life-long passion for cars just came naturally, as did his talent for playing ball.WP_003110

Trying to impress a girlfriend who he described as a “baseball nut,” Drake joined the Anaheim High team and played centerfield for Coach Wallin. He earned his girlfriend’s heart when his 1956 team won the CIF Sunset League Championship, the first time Anaheim High’s baseball team had achieved this honor since 1940. Drake still wears his Sunset League championship jacket and keeps a bookcase and trunk made in an AHS woodshop class in the loft of a barn on his 10-acre farm in Star, Idaho.

After leaving Anaheim High, Drake attended Orange Coast College, where he played football and baseball when he wasn’t taking HV/AC classes or heading to the beach for a game of volleyball. Once he graduated from OCC, Drake enlisted in the Navy and played baseball two years for the Armed Forces. When he got back home, he played in a Huntington Beach league.

WP_003107He already had a full-time job when Angel Stadium opened on April 19, 1966, but he didn’t consider his second job as an usher as real work since it put him closer to the game. Drake was there for opening day and continued working at the stadium for the next two and a half years.

Life went on and by age 40 Drake was still playing ball, this time fast pitch softball with such teammates as Irv Knowles from AUHS Class of ’58 who became an Anaheim City Councilman. It wasn’t until he moved to Idaho that finding a game became a challenge. His best friend since 6th grade, Al Tikker from Class of 1957, already an Idaho resident, urged Drake to join him, promising it was just like Anaheim in the 1950s, except spuds were the top crop instead of oranges.

On his second day of residency, Drake found the Boise Park and Recreation Department and asked about a senior softball league. When he was told there was no such program, Drake decided to help form a league.

Through advertising in newspaper and radio, he recruited 13 players, 9 of whom were California transplants. They played in a tournament that was covered by the “Idaho Statesman,” generating so many phone calls that Drake now runs a league of 18 teams with 150 players. He is now Idaho’s senior baseball league state representative, and the City of Meridian has proclaimed September 26th as Idaho Senior Softball Day.

He gets a lot of help managing the league from his wife Joyce Volpone, who attended Savannah High School in Anaheim. It’s a second marriage for both of them. Combined they have six children and eight grandchildren, including a grand-daughter who is a nationally ranked softball player. As a freshman on the varsity team, she hit a grand slam to win her high school championship game.

Only when baseball season is over is there time for his other passion: restoring his collection of classic cars and trucks.

His dad’s 1915 Model T has a preferred parking spot in Drake’s barn. The Model T is one of several vehicles his father owned. One of Drake’s first memories was standing at the steering wheel of his dad’s 1930s roadster. There’s also a photo of him sitting on his father’s only Harley Davidson, which appears in a book titled “The Indian Harley Davidson Wars” by Alan Girdler. His dad preferred Indians and he owned up to a dozen of the bikes throughout his life.WP_003103

His collection also includes a 1940’s Ford coupe and Woody, a 1951 red Ford pick-up and a 1969 4-speed Mach I Mustang he purchased in 1979 for $150. His coupe is bedecked with a Clem Colonist logo that reflects Drake’s sentiment that: “Once a Colonist, Always a Colonist.”

Due to the distance, Drake’s cars won’t be on display at the Oct. 15 Colony Classic Car Show, but he will be attending his 60th reunion on Oct. 1, to share his cherished memories of growing up in Orange County in the 1950s.  “I grew up in the right place at the right time,” said Drake.

7th Annual AHSAA Golf Classic Textbook Example of Spirited Colonist Celebration

The AHS Alumni Association’s 7th Annual AHSAA Golf Classic, Dinner and Auction was a textbook example of a spirited Colonist gathering filled with pride and tradition.

From student volunteers, to teachers, alumni, friends and family, all reunited to spend a day designed to raise scholarship funds, as well as celebrate Colonist comradery.DSC06599

The AHSAA scholarship fund most certainly gained a boost thanks to the success of Feb. 15 tournament at Western Hills Country Club headed by Chairman Phil Anton ’63. Golf, contests, an opportunity drawing, awards dinner, a silent and live auction all contributed to raising more than $10,000.

20160215_195132Hall of Famer Jim Fassel ’67, a former New York Giants Super Bowl coach, was a crowd favorite on and off the course. As auctioneer for the seventh year running, he helped raise thousands of dollars by encouraging bids for travel packages and tickets to sporting events and to Anaheim’s favorite theme park.

The club house activities were kept running smoothly thanks to event MC Ed Munson, a sports activist with many titles including official score keeper for Angels Baseball, president of the OC Sports Hall of Fame and the Cypress Chamber of Commerce.

The following tournament sponsors also played an important role in raising scholarship funds: Miller Toyota of Anaheim DSC06626(hole-in-one sponsor), AHSAA President Gerald Woodward ’59 and former California State Senator Lou Correa ’76 (lunch sponsors); Anaheim’s ARCO AM/PM owner Jerry Zomordian (beverage sponsor); and the Anaheim Packing House and J&M Promotions owner Jack Ohanian ’72 (golfer goodie bags). Correa also raised funds by contributing two dinners for four that brought in several hundred dollars through the live auction.

cm tequilaSupport was provided by numerous alumni who donated their time and talents, including artists Ann Betts Sullivan ‘54 and Janice D. Marco ’72, and Armando CossyLeon, COE of Casa Mexico Tequila who brought his CM crew to the course to share his Mario Lopez-endorsed libation.

Many more contributions to numerous to list all contributed to the event’s happy ending. Click here to view photos from the event.

A History of Anaheim High


Pride of the Colony – Built on Tradition

Anaheim High School, first established in 1898,  is the oldest of nine comprehensive high schools in the Anaheim Union HighSchool District. It is the third oldest high school in Orange County, behind Santa Ana (1889) and Fullerton Union High School (1893). School District. It is the third oldest high school in Orange County, behind Santa Ana (1889) and Fullerton Union High School (1893).

Following is a timeline of the formation of Anaheim High, from its humble beginnings in an crude adobe structure to its current state, a 3,000-member student body housed in an impressive art deco building dubbed “Crown of the Colony.”

The architecture and location provide an interesting footnote in the school’s evolution, but these elements do not overshadow the importance of role played by outstanding Anaheim citizens who made up the school’s administration, faculty and student body.


1859 – Soon after the first German colonists arrive, they petition the Los Angeles County superintendent of schools to establish a school in Anaheim, their new home by the Santa Ana River.

1860 – Anaheim’s first school opens in an adobe building located on a lot owned by August Langenberger, a prominent merchant and colony leader. The first teacher is Fred William Kuelp. His initial nine students are: Carola, Regina and Fred Langenberger; Elmina and Louise Lorenz; Pifanio and Antonio Burruel; and Tomas and Felipe Yorba.

1862 – One hundred dollars, paid in pure gold, purchases one of Anaheim’s original city lots for a new adobe school house. The new building is destroyed shortly thereafter by flood. Classes are moved to the second story of the Langenberger building and moved again later back to the adobe where classes were first held. This building is also occupied by the Anaheim Water Co. and a third room of this building served as the town jail. The school master was also the town’s notary public and justice of the peace.

1867 – Anaheim School District is formed.

1869 –  Anaheim’s first teacher Fred William Kuelp resigns due to ill health. He is replaced by Carl Van Gulpen, who is replaced shortly thereafter by James Miller Guinn, a Civil War Veteran.


1870 –  The first monthly report of Anaheim students lists an enrollment of 91 students, divided into two departments (Primary and Grammar) and taught by two teachers. The town’s population at this time is estimated at 1,000.

1871 –  The first school exhibit is staged with a program of declamations, dialogues, farces, tableaux and music. By charging a fee for this first open house, Guinn is able to purchase charts and an outline map for the school. Guinn also establishes the first final examination dates, which included an oral exam that was open to the public.

1874 –  Guinn, a graduate of Oberlin College in Ohio, serves as teacher and principal, offering subjects for high school diploma and classifies students into grades. His 20 pupils attend school in an adobe building with one window, empty boxes and benches for seats and crudely constructed tables for desks.


1877 –  A plot of land is purchased for a new school building at the cost of $1,500.

1878 – Guinn writes and champions a bond to construct a new school building, raising $10,000. When the bill is passed by the legislature on March 12, 1878, it marks the first time ever in California that a school district uses a bond issue to finance new school facilities.

1879 – The new two-story Central School, called the “handsomest school building in the country outside of Los Angeles,” opens on January 16. The school, which features as clock steeple and bell tower, is built in the center of a two-acre lot at 231 Chartres Street. The 217 elementary through high school students are taught by two men and two women who are paid $75 a month.

1880 –  Matilda Rimpau, daughter of Anaheim pioneer Theodore Rimpau, is the first student in the Anaheim school system to graduate with a high school diploma.

1881 – Guinn resigns his position as teacher and principal to become Los Angeles Superintendent of Schools. From the time of his resignation through 1898, there are no high school classes taught in Anaheim.

1898 – High school classes officially begin on the second floor of Central School after C.P. Evans, principal of Loara Elementary School, convinces the school board that classes should extend past the ninth year. Evans becomes principal and, assisted by Miss Helen French, teach a student body of 39 student, 17 boys and 22 girls in grades nine through twelve.

1900 – Football begins with the first recorded game played against Fullerton at Anaheim on Nov. 6. Anaheim wins 2-0.

1901 – When Central School becomes overcrowded, citizens fund a $12,500 bond measure to buy land, build a separate high school building and equip it. Anaheim’s first high school, an imposing brick structure, is constructed on south side of Lincoln (then Center), between Harbor and Citron. Its first seven graduates are: Edith Bannerman, Alma Mills, Dora Snyder, John Dauser, Bernard Snyder, Bowman Merritt and Welborn Wallop.


1902 –  The high school’s first literary effort, The Stentorian, is published in February and sold for 50 cents per year. The first issue shows a photo of the faculty and the graduating class of 1902: Arthur G. Baker, Carl Zeus, Olga Boege and Ruth D. EnReal. The first meeting of the Anaheim High Girl’s Athletic Association is held on Oct. 5.


1908 – Citizens unite to form Anaheim Union High School District. AUHSD becomes the largest union school district in California, covering 46 square miles.  Students feed into Anaheim junior highs from Anaheim, Cypress, La Palma, Stanton, Los Alamitos, Rossmoor and portions of Garden Grove, Orange, Fullerton and Buena Park.

1910 – Voters approve $105,000 bond to purchase 11 acres at the northeast corner of Lincoln (then Center) and Citron, just a half block from existing school site.

1911 – The current high school at 608 W. Center (now Lincoln) is sold to the elementary school district for $25,000. The building is demolished in 1937 to make way for the construction of Fremont Junior High, which was closed in 1979 and demolished in 1980.

1912 – New Greek-revival Anaheim Union High School is dedicated and graduates its first class of 17 students. By the following year, almost 200 had earned a high school diploma from the school’s combined campuses.

1918 – Class of 1918 becomes the first to wear caps and gowns at graduation.

1920s – Music education begins with teacher Joshua Williams giving free lessons in an effort to assemble a complete orchestra. He continued this practice over three decades.

1924 – First high school swimming pool in Orange County opens.

1933 – Long Beach earthquake irreparably damages AUHS, requiring its demolition.

1936 – A new art deco AUHS main building, library and auditorium are dedicated. Construction is part of a Work Projects Administration (WPA) project #8291.








1937 –  A sunken garden and fountain in school’s central patio is created.

1940 – Robert Morton theater organ installed in Cook Auditorium and new swimming pool replaces its 1924 predecessor.



1950 – Beginning of the coach Clare Van Hoorebeke’s legendary football era, which endured through 1972.

1953 – Anaheim High’s first drill team is formed and is coached by Helen Gruenfelder.

1957 – Western High School opens, ending Anaheim’s reign as the city’s only high school.

1960 – School district returns Anaheim High to its original name, dropping Union from its title. New buildings are constructed during this time, replacing the remaining pre-earthquake coded buildings.

1964 – New “cereal bowl” fountain replaces sunken garden.

1972 – The Art Quad and other buildings are constructed to replace old barracks that had been “temporary” quarters for 15 years.

1977 – “Wimpy’s Stand,” a popular student landmark for several decades, is changed into the Student Activities Office. The building was taken down in 2007.

2008 –  Two new buildings with 49 state-of-the-art classrooms open. Classes begin February 2009.




Photos: Courtesy of Anaheim Public Library & the AHSAA


“One To Twenty-Eight – A History of Anaheim Union High School District” by Louise Booth

“Anaheim” by Elizabeth J. Schultz and Stephen J. Faessel, a chapter in “A Hundred Years of Yesterdays,” published by the Orange County Historical Commission.

“Anaheim Colonists Football – A Century of Tradition” by Dennis Bateman

Other sources: “Anaheim High (Central School)” by Brad Pettigrew

AHSAA Unearths “Buried” Colonist Treasure


Alex Maese (fourth from left) and Mickey Flynn (far right) were among the outstanding athletes who helped break ground at the Angel Stadium for the OC Sports Hall of Fame.

A series of happy coincidences has led to the recovery of a treasure trove of Colonist memorabilia, including items belonging to legendary Anaheim High football coach Clare Van Hoorebeke. These highly prized relics will be displayed for the first time in nearly 20 years at the Feb. 15 AHSAA 7th Annual Golf Classic, Dinner and Auction at Western Hills Country Club.

The memorabilia was last viewed by the public at the 7,000-square-foot Orange County Sports Hall of Fame housed at Angel Stadium. The Hall of Fame was forced to close when the Angels were bought by Disney, and the entire contents of the museum – cases, fixtures, boxes of sports memorabilia and more – were being stored at a location near Anaheim High School. [Read more…]