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Back in 1923 when Floydada’s first coach, J. C. Wester was scouting a district game between Pampa and the Amarillo Sandies, he was asked the question by an Amarillo newswriter what he thought of Floydada’s chances against the Sandies. “We just have 17 boys and our team will be only a small whirlwind in front of the Amarillo Sandies who have 38”, said 27 year oldWester who had begun his coaching career at Floydada in 1921. The next week stories boomed the upcoming clash between “The Golden Sandstorm” and the “Floydada Whirlwinds”- and a colorful name for a team was born.
Mr. Wester coached basketball, tennis, baseball and track and took his girl’s tennis team to the state tournament in Austin 3 times; however, football was his favorite sport. A time or two some people thought the school was putting too much emphasis on football, but “enthusiam generally was such that a player’s father was down at the goal line by the time the boy was”.
James Clinton Wester, city judge of Floydada since 1969, arrived in Floydada in 1919 shortly after being discharged from the U. S. Army in July of that year. He was born in Rayner, Stonewall County, Texas, January 17,1896, to William Yancy and Dorothy Yates Wester. He grew up in Sulphur Springs, Texas and graduated from high school there in 1914. He attended North Texas State Teachers College in Denton and taught one term in Liberty, a rural school in Hamilton County, before enlisting in the army.
After returning from the war where he was with the Veterinary Corps in France, he married Sibyl Esther McGhee, the daughter of Berton and Senie McGhee in Mt. Vernon, Texas. Sibyl was born December 13,1895, and was reared in Mt. Vernon, graduating from high school there. She graduated from Burleson Jr. College in Greenville and Baylor College in Belton, Texas and taught in the Mt Vernon High School two years and private lessons in speech and folk dancing in Floydada for two years.
After their wedding they left for me Plains where he had accepted a job as principal of Floydada High School. Mr. Wester served as principal from 1919 to 1925, teaching 5 math classes daily and coaching. He served as superintendent of schools from 1925 to 1927 and taught geometry “just to keep in touch with the students.”
One accomplishment that Mr. Wester was proud to have helped bring about was the building of a gymnasium, claimed to be one of the best in the West when completed in 1927. In the planning stage, the majority of the school board members agreed on the need for one, but the opposition said “The children should be playing out in the sunshine!” As superintendent, Mr. Wester and the others designed the much needed R. C. Andrews Ward building so that a gym could be attached and used as an auditorium with a nice stage. In this way, the public would more readily approve the bond issue and the controversial gymnasium be accepted as a multipurpose annex.
In 1927 he entered the bakery business here in partnership with his uncle, Sam Wester of Plainview. He operated “Wester Quality Bakery” for 19 years. During the depression he sold a loaf of bread for a nickel and the landlord voluntarily lowered the rent as “low rent was better than no rent.” He sold the bakery in 1946, and in 1949 purchased Looper Grocery, consolidated it with Patterson Grocery in 1957 and operated the business until his retirement in 1968.
Mr. Wester served on the school board for 10 years, was city councilman two years and has been a member of the Chamber of Commerce since 1927. He has been finance chairman of the American Legion Post for 35 years, an active member of the First Christian Church since 1920 and is a Mason and a former president of the Rotary Club.
Still following all sports at 82, he seldom missed a “Whirlwind” game. The stadium built in 1935, was named “Wester Field” in his honor and he has a complimentary life-time pass to all high school athletic activities. “Which is an honor that I prize most highly.”
The Westers were married 55 years and had four children, Edward Hardy, James Delwin, Dorothy Jean, and Billy Glenn. After Mrs. Wester’s death he married Mrs. Mattie Boyd in 1975.