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South Webster High School “Jeeps”

• CATEGORIES: Features, News

Who woulda thunk it?  It turns out South Webster High School in Ohio adopted the Jeep mascot more than 50 years go.  Though it’s not jeep the vehicle, rather it’s Jeep from Popeye, it’s still cool in my book.

“Before 1940, South Webster High School athletic teams had no official name, although local sportswriters sometimes referred to them as the “midgets.

However, in 1940 the rules of basketball, by accident, helped to produce the mighty JEEP. By the rule in 1940, coaches were not permitted on the playing floor to instruct players. Coaching had to be done prior to the start of the game or at half-time. During rest periods between the first and third quarters of play the team manager at South Webster would roll a small box onto the court to supply players with refreshments and first-aid materials. However, the coach at South Webster was accused (and rightly so perhaps) of sending in plays and instructive notes in this little four-wheeled box. Local fans were positive that when that little box was sent onto the floor, players were getting more than refreshments. Everyone knew that the box contained answers to the problems being presented by the opposing team.

Also in 1940, a favorite comic strip contained a character who knew everything. In 1936, the charater of “Eugene the Jeep,” a small bright-eyed creature from Africa who was all-knowing, was introduced into the “Popeye” comic strip. Popeye gave the Jeep to his girlfriend, Olive Oyl, as a birthday gift. The Jeep, whose diet consisted of orchids, helped popeye solve many difficult situations in his comic strip career.

Since the JEEP was all-knowing, some local South Webster people associated the coach’s box, containing messages to his players, with the comic strip character.

According to, what is now legend, the late Mayor of South Webster, Mr. Gilbert Havener, is credited as the first person to label the box as the “JEEP BOX.” The sports editor of The Portsmouth Times (now Daily Times), Lynn Wittenberg, picked up the term and used it in describing South Webster’s 1940 Scioto Country Tournament team.

The mascot was never officially adopted, but has been, since 1940, generally accepted….”

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7 Comments on “South Webster High School “Jeeps”

  1. Evan DeCamp

    yea i think its totally awesome… as a good friend of me always says: …..”south webster is a very special place…”

  2. deilers

    Well Evan, Tom and Randy .. I noticed you all three must be sharing the same internet connection as you IP Address is the same … nonetheless .. GO JEEPS!

  3. deilers

    LOL .. I can see the schooling sucks, as “generation” has two ‘e’s. But, no matter, I certainly make my share of mistakes :-). That said, the enthusiasm is awesome. Go JEEPS!

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