Dade City loses sports icon Gerald Newton

Dade City sports icon Gerald W. Newton, the voice of the Pasco Pirates, passed away this morning. He was 80.

Newton was a husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, coach and a teacher. He loved his faith, family and community. Dade City and the folks of his community meant everything to him, from the 1,000’s of players from Little League to High School that he coached covering many decades.

A Moultrie, GA native, Newton began covering Pasco High School football and basketball (and little league baseball) for Dade City’s WDCF radio in the early 1970s. By the 1990s, he was still at it and going strong. Definitely no newcomer to the airwaves, he had been on Pasco County radio off and on since 1966 when he worked with WPAS in Zephyrhills. Newton was a wealth of knowledge in the Pasco county sports arena and the history that went with it.

“He knew the kids. He knew their dad. He knew every person in their family who was involved with that school and he knew their stats,” said Greg First, the voice of the Zephyrhills Bulldogs and Newton’s counterpart at ZHS. “There is only one like Gerald Newton. He is going to have a wealth of information to take up to Heaven.”

Newton was a teacher and athletic director at Pasco Jr. High in Dade City, as well as basketball and baseball coach at Zephyrhills High School. He also served as sports editor of the Pasco News and a sports writer for East Pasco’s Focus Magazine.

As a sportswriter over many years, there were those that would say he brought the game and the history of Pasco County sports to life.

Fans throughout the state who came to W.F Edward stadium enjoyed something special when Newton’s voice came out of the public address speakers. He was involved in the announcing and the PA announcing in the press box for more than 40 years.

First and Newton were friends and neighbors in Dade City and shared a friendly rivalry when it came to the Pirates and the Bulldogs.

“We talked about the games all the time and we broadcast the games on radio together,” First recalled. “He loved his Pirates and I loved him.”

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