Strong Team of Rescue Men
Strong Team of Rescue Men
Many years ago, Houston had a waterpark named WaterWorld. It was next to the famous Six Flags AstroWorld. Six Flags WaterWorld was the first waterpark built in the city. They employed the best lifeguards in the state of Texas. That may seem like a pretty big boast, but WaterWorld could back it up.
Every Summer, WaterWorld competed in Lifeguard Competitions, represented by three teams. The name of their first team was S.T.O.R.M. This was an acronym which stood for Strong Team of Rescue Men. And although STORM began with all male competitors, they soon added extremely qualified women to the team but kept the name, which the women on the team loved.
Over a 10 year period, WaterWorld won 15 consecutive lifeguarding championships, with 10 straight Texas State Championships included in those years.
It has been many years since WaterWorld was torn down, but the memories live on in The STORM Factory, which has the involvement of several exLifeguards from WaterWorld.
The STORM Foundation, which is a non-profit organization that renders aid in many different situations, also utilizes exLifeguards from WaterWorld as its' Foundation Board members.
The STORM Factory captures and shares the fun experiences that life has to offer and The STORM Foundation focuses on helping those that are less fortunate and need a helping hand to get through life.
Both are designed to serve the masses.
The photos below are from just a few of the 15 championships. Enjoy.
Spider Michaels, Tim Hogge, John 'Turtle' Sirois, Stephen Henry, Eli Gautreaux, Jeff McPherson, Gary Gehbauer, John Cox, Pat Lavin. David Scholl, Joni Dennis, Denise Jacobson, Jenni Weinman, Bob Logan.
Tim Hogge, Spider Michaels, David Scholl, Joni Dennis, Jeff McPherson, Jenni Weinman, John Cox, Denise Jacobson, Gary Gehbauer, Stephen Henry, Eli Gautreaux, John 'Turtle' Sirois, Pat Lavin, Bob Logan.
Spider Michaels, Eric Ruby, Jenni Weinman, Pat Lavin, Kyle Stith, Gary Gehbauer, David Scholl, Tim Hogge, Denise Jacobson, Joni Dennis, Bob Logan, Jim Hord, Brian Biddick, Stephen Henry.
Eric Ruby, Spider Michaels, Pat Lavin, Jim Hord, Gary Gehbauer, Jenni Weinman, Tim Hogge, Joni Dennis, Denise Jacobson, Mitch North, John Ocken. Not Pictured: Toby Myers, Eric 'Spaz' Thompson, Bob Logan.
Spider Michaels, Tim Hogge, Jim Hord, Neal Khalmeyer, Toby Myers, Eric Ruby, John Ocken, Eric 'Spaz' Thompson, Gary Gehbauer, Denise Jacobson, Bob Logan, Pat Lavin, Joni Dennis. Not pictured: Jenni Weinman.
Kyle Stith, Tim Hogge, Spider Michaels, Gary Gehbauer, David Scholl, Denise Jacobson, Pat Lavin, Stephen Henry, Jenni Weinman, Bob Logan, Eric Ruby, Joni Dennis, Jim Hord, Brian Biddick.
Gary Gehbauer, Kyle Stith, Denise Jacobson, Gator Glass, Stephen Henry, David Nester, Jesse Gonzales, Spider Michaels, John 'Turtle' Sirois. Not Pictured: Bob Logan, Pat Lavin, Joni Dennis, Jenni Weinman.
This team won our 10th and final Texas State Lifeguard Championship.
Sasha Knolley, Pam Pope, Holly Hodgekiss, Darrell Gwin, Jill Holden, Dava Cook, Andrew Ladd, Gary Gehbauer, Stacie Morton, Eric Hinojosa, Ryan Chandler, Scott Artze, Robert Kreitz, Sheldon Hodgekiss.
Sheldon Hodgekiss, Jennifer Helgeson, Spider Michaels, Robert Kreitz, Sasha Knolley, John 'Turtle' Sirois, Marcus Thomas. Mascot: Wee Schlicht.
Every Summer for a decade, WaterWorld had 3 teams competing in the state lifeguard competitions. The first team was STORM. The second team was good also and if not for STORM would have been state champs. The third team was also made up of quality guards from the park and they had the most fun.
The names of these second and third teams would vary greatly. Each year, the creativity got better. Here are some of the names used...
Ducks swimming in Mud, Looking for Pickles, Jiggle the Handle and the list goes on. BAM is pictured above.
B.A.M. is included in this gallery as Honorable Mention also.
At the end of their competition careers, Spider Michaels and Turtle Sirois competed on WaterWorld's second team, B.A.M. They are the only team to ever come close to beating STORM and only lost to them by 4 points.
'Bad Ass MFers'
Eric 'Chet' Jacobson, Jacob Gautreaux, Jim Hord, Scott 'Wang' Sharp, Dominic 'Pickles' Hoeplf, Brian Biddick, Kyle Stith.
Jacob Gautreaux, Dominic 'Pickles' Hoepfl, Darron Wells, Scott 'Wang' Sharp, Kyle Stith, Brian Biddick, Eric 'Chet' Jacobson.
Solomon Bachman, Rudy Tatuaca, Donald, Kelly Wunsch, Anthony Wolfe, Albert, Francis Hidalgo, Annie Godwin.
As the lifeguard team was undefeated, so was the softball team.
Rudy Hinojosa, Kelly Wunsch, Spider Michaels, Ken Orlaska, Tom Andrus, Ralph Garr, Roy Barrios, Alberto Zuniga, Greg Venable.
For 2 seasons, the team pictured, was undefeated champions. And after they retired, the next team went undefeated also.
Rudy Hinojosa, Tom Andrus, Ken Orlaska, Alberto Zuniga, Spider Michaels, Roy Barrios, Ralph Garr, Kelly Wunsch.
Here are just some of the many guards that worked during a Summer at WaterWorld. Pictured from bottom to top: (Some unnamed) Amy Mast, Julie Strimple, Nicole DeCamp, Courtney Patterson, Darla Sellers, Jenni Weinman, Laura McGuinn, Rod Somera, Linda Christian, Dave Person, Jon Biro, Conrad DeGrace, Mark Aitala, John Mass, Carol Morris, Chris Morris, Tom Botas, Lynn Criner, Teena Webb, Lisa Carson, Paul Godwin, Roger Gill, Russell Lane, Marc Dunham, Jeff Ellis, Eric Hauwert, Janiece Stimson, Erik Gustafson, Jesse Gonzales, Gary Gehbauer, Kyle Stith.
These are the last guards to be working at the end of WaterWorld's second season (Some unnamed) Gary Gehbauer, Bo Atkinson, Andrew Civitello, Dominic Hoepfl,
Kyle Stith, Jesse Gonzales, Tom Wicks, Samantha Broadway, Joni Dennis, Julie Strimple, Neeky Wycoff, Carol Bruner, Lynn Criner, Denise Jacobson, Dale Inman.
WallyWorld was open from 1983 to 2005. It had a 22 year run. For a decade, while they were competing, WaterWorld lifeguards were the Sun Kings and Queens of Summer and the undisputed champions. A true dynasty.