Hart High School's 1966 wrestling team. Photo from the 1966 Tomahawk yearbook, which identifies this group as those who "placed in their weight classes
at the League Tournament." The formal attire wasn't just for picture day; male athletes were required to wear a coat (or sweater), white shirt and tie on
Fridays during the season their sport was active.
Top row, from left: Dan Shepard (junior) 3rd; Gordon Gaither (senior), 2nd; Frank Rock (sophomore), 1st; Tom Rock (senior), 1st; Bob Frenya (junior), 3rd.
Bottom row, from left: Richard Acosta (junior), 2nd; Woody Heselius (sophomore), 2nd; Tom Fratt (junior), 3rd; Richie Clark (junior), 1st and trophy for fastest
pin; John Moore (junior), 3rd; Mario Mercado (sophomore), 1st.
Gordon Gaither married schoolmate Nanette Lagasse of Mentryville.
Frank Rock became an expert in the St. Francis Dam Disaster.
Mario Mercado was a talented athlete who remained at Hart for many years — first as a coach, then (as of 1986) as counselor. He retired at the end of the 2008-2009 school year.
Mario's sister Gloria Mercado-Fortine has served four nonconsecutive terms
on the Hart School Board (as of 2014) after having served on the Castaic elementary school board.
About Hart High:
Hart High students were housed in 1945 on the Walnut Street campus of Newhall Elementary while the school was being built one block to the west. The
new campus opened in September 1946, and it was the Santa Clarita Valley's only high school until 1968 when Canyon High opened. From the 1940s to 1968, students came to Hart from all
over the SCV. (Agua Dulce was split down the middle; kids on the east side went to high school in the Antelope Valley.)