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‘He was Union Academy’
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News Story
Updated: 01/11/2017 08:30:03AM

‘He was Union Academy’

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PHOTO BY JEFF ROSLOW

Michael Cummings, left, and Sirlania Hazelton, look over the board of the 1957 season. Though neither played on the team they were friendly with those who were on the team. Cummings was in the fifth grade when Union and Summerlin integrated and Hazelton graduated from Union in 1964.

PHOTO BY JEFF ROSLOW

Forrest McKennie, standing on right, greets Carver Young at the reunion of the 1957 state championship basketball team on Friday. Young was the captain on basketball team under Coach McKennie in later years. Sitting beside them is J.J. Corbett who was a coach at Union when McKennie coached there. The track team won the state championship under Corbett in its last year as a school in 1969.

PHOTO BY JEFF ROSLOW

One of the 1957's team's top scorers was Eugene Overstreet. From Mulberry, he attended Union as a high school student. Waiting to greet him where the team was introduced Friday is current head basketball coach Terrence McGriff.

PHOTO BY JEFF ROSLOW

A special guest at the reunion of the 1957 state championship reunion for Union Academy was Polk County Schools Superintendent Jacqueline Byrd.

PHOTO BY JEFF ROSLOW

With the death of his wife, Bobbie Lee Mitchell McKennie, on Dec. 18 the tribute to the 1957 state championship team and Coach Forrest Mckennie, was also a celebration of her. She is a member of the Bartow High School Hall of Fame. Representing the family was their children, Wylinda McKennon Johnson, center in line, and Forrest McKennon. Also with them is Wylinda's husband, Rev. J. Samuel Johnson.

By JEFF ROSLOW

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It was like a long line of generations from a family that came together Friday night to celebrate Union Academy’s 1957 championship season,and its coach, Forrest McKennie, who passed away Dec. 18, and his wife Bobbie. And while the smiles and hugs were plentiful from those who haven’t see each other for a while, former McKennie star Ralph Wynn, said in a film the reason they were there.

“He was a legend in his own time,” Wynn said. “He took a bunch of guys to Daytona not supposed to win … we were considered country bumpkins.”

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