The teenager who pitched the Longhorn baseball team to the 1999 state championship, snapped the ball for the 1998 state football champs and graduated from PHS with high honors, will soon be jockeying United States Air Force jets.
Bryan Zumbro will graduate from the United States Air Force Academy June 2 and immediately head for Pensacola, Fla., where he will begin his training as a fighter pilot.
The Pensacola base is a U.S. Navy facility that is used mostly for training naval pilots. Due to a mutual agreement between the two branches of the armed forces, some Air Force student pilots, like Zumbro, earn their wings at the Florida base.
At Pensacola, Zumbro will begin flight training in a vintage aircraft.
"Initially we will fly old World War II T-34's," he said Sunday from the Air Force Academy campus.
After he completes basic flight school, he will be assigned to an Air Force Base in either Mississippi or Oklahoma for further training.
Upon his graduation from the USAF academy, Zumbro will be awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Behavioral Science with an emphasis in Human Factors and Systems Design. Along with the BS degree, he will receive his commission as a Second Lieutenant.
Since his days as a student at Payson High, Zumbro has declared his intentions to someday become an Air Force aviator.
As a junior at PHS, he started at center for the undefeated Longhorn football team that won the Class 3A state crown.
Months later, he pitched the Longhorns to the school's only state baseball championship.
In addition to his achievements in sports, Zumbro was an honor roll student during his elementary, middle school and high school years.
He especially excelled in math, taking all of the advanced placement classes Payson schools offered.
Primarily because of his athletic and academic excellence in high school, Zumbro was awarded an USAF Academy scholarship estimated to be worth $376,000.