articles are courtesy of Harvey Martin,
Class of 1949:
From the Delaware County Daily Times -Tuesday, June 7, 1966
MEDIA HIGH MUSTANGS HEAD FOR LAST ROUNDUP
By RICH WESTCOTT Daily Times Sports Writer
MEDIA-Media High School's first class graduated in 1882. Its last will graduate this
month. It will be a sad graduation because the exit of the 1966 class marks the end of
a long and glorious era. --One filled with rich memories and hallowed traditions.
As part of the state's school reorganization act, the school will merge with Penncrest
and the present Media High School will become strictly a junior high.
The end of Media High, of course, also means the end of a memorable athletic
history. And as one of the oldest schools in Delaware County, there have been many
glorious moments in Mustang sports.
At one time, Media High --which was built on the site of the old Shortledge
Academy --drew its students from not only Media, but from the entire central part of
Over the years, Media had many brilliant individuals and many
fine teams. Just as significantly, many family names have been prominent in Media High sports.
The Malseeds, the Moats, Kaufmans, Goldsteins, Hibberds, Fishers, Wades,
Mooneys, Randolphs, Sheltons, Burrows and Woods, were families each producing
at least several fine athletes. The same was true of the Baldwins,
Draymans, Pedens, Sneers, Baughns and Gills.
Naturally, at a small school such as Media countless athletes excelled in more than
one sport. The greatest all-around athlete was probably Johnny Highfield, who starred
in football, basketball, baseball and track in the late 1920s.
Another great multi-sport star was Francis Van Zant, a football, basketball and
baseball ace in the early 1920s.. Still another during that period was Joe Tuckerman,
another brilliant three-sport man.
One of the earliest known Media greats was Sid Agnew, a football and baseball
standout around 1915. Later, Penn Fury, Pat Ahern, Warren Humes, Bill Lukens,
Roger Malseed, Paige Moat, Joe Kellerman. Ray Worrall and finally Larry Larson
were outstanding athletes in several sports, including in each case, football.
Although in recent years, it has slipped somewhat as an athletic power, Media was
a strong Section One entry for many years. Football was a particular strongpoint.
Perhaps one of the finest gridiron teams was the 1940 squad which won the
county championship under coach Gus Anderson, winning all but one game. Center
Jack Messick, later a Little All-American at Delaware University, was an all-county
selection from that team.
Media's first good football team was the undefeated 1915 squad, which defeated
Chester, 19-6, for the Mustang's first Thanksgiving Day victory over the Clippers. The
team was captained by Bon Jones, and among the stars were Agnew and Milt
The school also had excellent teams in the 1926-28 era when Highfield and Johnny
Valenti were the big names. Valenti, a giant 270-pound tackle and occasionally a
fullback, later playing for Pitt in the Rose Bowl and then the Pittsburgh Steelers
in the NFL.
Still later under coach George Hansell, Media had another memorable period, never
losing to Chester between 1941-45. Greats of that era included backs Hank
Smedley, Lew Gerlach and Elwood Pettijohn, tackle Art Levin and center Bill Hassler, a two-time
all-Delco selection who went on to further stardom at the University of Pennsylvania.
There were many other gridiron standouts over the years, not the least of which were
tiny quarterback Izzy Kaufinan; Jack Sugarman; Buddy Behrends, Milford Baker and
Some of the earliest greats were Ernest and Stanley Hibberd, Ernie Carter,
I. I. Parsons, Tubby and Charles Shelton, Tom Malin and Stan and Jim Sill. They were
followed by Earl Skinner, Ollie Baker, Brook Williamson; Deke Allen, Milt
Dotts, Jim and Joe Woods, John and Dan Burrows and Paige, Cliff and Harvey Moat.
In basketball., Media had several successful teams; most notably the 1931 club
which won the Chester Kiwanis Tournament for coach Roy Hoffman. Art English,
one of the school's finest cagers, Harrison Schaffner, Junie McLaughlin. Izzy
Kaufman and Bill Lukens were members of that team.
Earlier, the 1924 team had won the Section One
championship, while later, the 1961club reached prominence by winning the Class B Kiwanis title and advancing to the
finals of the District One playoffs under Coach Eddie Derrick.
Walt Bosler in the early 1900s was a top basketball player of his day. Later standouts
included Jack Kelly, Bill Davis, Greg Lanery; Malin, Gerald Mathews, Ollie Baker,
Derrick and Spud and Donkey Murray.
Modern Mustang cage standouts ranged from Dave Schroeder and Henry (Slick) Lee,
one-two in the 1958 Section Two scoring race, to Mike West, Wayne Peden, Tom
Short, Jim Malseed, and Doug Randolph.
Media had many brilliant baseball teams, beginning with the undefeated team of
1916 on which Agnew was a pitcher. Ahern was a top pitcher on another good team in
The Mustangs grabbed the Section One crown in 1929 and 1930, and then between
1936-38 captured three straight titles behind the Berry brother's battery only to have
each crown removed because of various rule infractions.
Three of Media's foremost baseball players were Lew Krausse Sr., later a pitcher with
the Philadelphia Athletics; Buddy Behrends, who had a brief test with the Phillies as an
outfielder; and Spud Murray, currently the New York Yankees' batting practice hurler.
Rube Hall was simultaneously a standout outfielder and coach in the early 1910s.
After him came such greats as Bucky Green, Bilt Moody, Walt Parmer, Cliff and Carl
Mooney. George Wilson, Fats, Pete and Frank Baldwin, Roger, Ivin, Clint and Fran
Malseed. Matt Fisher and Carl Iacovella.
Perhaps the Mustangs' most celebrated track man was Ted Meredith who later
starred at Penn. Snatched from Media by Mercersburg Academy, he became in 1912 the first schoolboy ever picked for a U.S.
Olympic team, and set world 440 and 880 records which stood for many years. His 1912 880 time of 1 :25.2 was an
There were many other track greats at Media, including those who either held state
records or won state championships such as Bob Burnett in the high jump, Highfield
in the 100, Frank Maule in the mile, Gene Talley in the broad jump, Larson in the
100 and 220, and Valenti, who set a state mark in the shot put in 1929 with an
amazing 51-11 toss. Evans Mickle was one of the Mustangs finest runners,
performing the 440 and 880 in the1920s. He also switched to Mercersburg where he was a member of a
world record relay team. About that time, Howard Spahr was a great all around track
man. Howard Leiper was a track great in 1906. In later years, top Mustang thinclads
included John Anderson, Joe Skelly, Layton Jester, Lester Beatty, Jim Woodland,
Jim Elliott, Russ Binder, Art and Randy Mathews, Jack Sugarman, Bill Truax,
Cliff Moat and present standout John Baker.
Naturally, there have been many, many others prominent in Media High sports over
the years. The above names constitute only a part of a memorable era. Unfortunately,
that era is about to end.
Media High School
History by Jack Morrison
June 1966 was a dark time for Media High School students and alumni. The graduating class that month was the last for the venerable high school, one of Delaware County's oldest.
The gray stone pile of a building at State and Monroe Streets, which some disrespectful students thought looked like a prison, became, first, a junior high, and then a middle school.
The state's School Reorganization Act sent Media students to Penncrest High, and Media High School, which graduated its first class in 1882, was no more.
Gone were the Saturday morning football games played in the muddy ballfield east of the school in the eerie seclusion provided by the white canvas installed along the surrounding Cyclone fence to keep fans paying at the gate rather than watching for free.
And gone were the parades by the proud high school band up State Street, lined with cheering townfolk, after a victory.
Gone also was the intimacy of a small school in which students knew everyone in their classes and there was a camaraderie not possible in the big, sprawling and anonymous schools that resulted from the mergers.
The old high school provided the town with some great sport events, not only in football but also track, basketball and baseball. It was a major focus of the town's community spirit. Everyone took pride in its victories and sport heroes, and it frequently was the site of plays, musicals and other events attended by the public.
Education in the borough dates back to 1856 when the Media school system became separate from Upper Providence. That was six years after the borough itself was incorporated.
The first schoolhouse was erected on Lemon Street between State and Front Streets shortly thereafter. The building, now a private home, is still in existence and bears a plaque describing its history.
In 1860, a school designed to accommodate 300 pupils was built on the southwest corner of Third and Olive Streets. The first Media High School graduating class came from there in 1882 and consisted of two students, William H.G. Bullard and Clara Hough.
In 1884, that school was torn down to provide a site for a new high school building with 12 rooms. At about the same time, another school was built on Jefferson Street near Providence Road.
Neither of these schools any longer exist.
In 1906, the School Board approved an option on the tract at State and Edgemont Streets, now the John K. Barrall Memorial Field.
The present granite structure at State and Monroe Streets was completed in 1915 at a cost of $70,000. It is on a tract formerly occupied by the Delaware County Poor Farm, or House of Employment, and later the Shortlidge Academy for Young Men and Boys.
It was added to in 1929, and a new grade school wing was built in 1951.