The Ritzville Adams County Journal - Eastern Adams County's Only Independent Voice Since 1887

By Dale Anderson
Sports Columnist 

Worst Seat In The House: Has it really been that long ago?

 


Alumni weekend is here and I really have trouble grasping onto the fact that the class of 1969 graduated from RHS 50 years ago. I say this because I graduated 49 years ago and it is really amazing that time has gone by this quickly.

Throughout the years I remember knowing kids from the class just ahead of me and having good friendships. We were teammates or opponents during Little League and intramural sports. By the time we got into high school we started attending classes together and playing competitively for the Broncos.

In the fall of 1968 I was a junior and a starting right halfback. There were five seniors on the team that year. The Co-captains were Mark Meyer and Chuck Krause. Meyer was QB and Krause was a tackle. John Slipper, Bobby Stanfield and Inspirational award winner Cliff Wright were also lineman.

I’m sure many thought it was going to be a rebuilding year for us since we lost a bunch of seniors and we had a difficult schedule to say the least. The team finished 6-2-1 that season but we won the Bi-County with a 6-0-1 record. Our two losses were to Colfax and Quincy.

We played in three games when it was raining. The first game of the season we played in Colfax. There was an off and on drizzle in the early part of the game. I do remember the ball being a little wet at times. Late in the first half a Colfax pass slipped through my hands with what should have been a sure interception. But the ball fell meekly to the ground. On the very next play with only seconds left on the clock Colfax scored and put us in a deep hole to try to climb out of. I’ll just tell you now Colfax was pretty good.

In the middle of the season we played Reardan at home and a nice, gentle rain was falling. We defeated the Indians at home 20-6 in legendary Reardan coach Frank Teverbaugh’s last football game in Ritzville. He would be back in January with his basketball team.

The last game of the season we played Quincy for homecoming in what can only be described as a mud bog. After Thursday’s practice it started raining and continued raining throughout the night and day and all through the game. It was the worst conditions I ever played in and it wasn’t fun. This game ended in a loss but a nonleague game after winning the league championship is tough to play and the conditions didn’t help.

In November basketball season started with the Broncos’ fourth head coach in four years. Bill Kohlwes was the new guy and I think we had high hopes but his tactics as a coach were a bit much. I’ve told you about this guy a few years ago and it wasn’t a positive rehash.

Cliff Wright was the team captain for the 1968-69 basketball season. Mark Meyer, Chuck Krause, Gary Anderson and Inspirational award winner Ray Bernard were our seniors. This was a strange year since we were an Independent ‘A’ school playing a non-league schedule in the Bi-County. It was tough getting excited to play games that didn’t count for a league title. We already knew that we would have a play-in game against Selkirk with the winner going to the Northeast ‘A’ District tournament.

The Bi-County was always a tough league and I think playing that competition helped us in the post season. I know that our competitive spirit was there even when our coach forgot the importance of leadership, but I digress.

As a team we didn’t have a lot of height but we played pretty good defense much of that was learned the year before when Coach Don Huston was our mentor. By the time the season ended we were anxious to play for something.

Our play-in game was at Deer Park and we beat the Selkirk Rangers to put us into the NE ‘A’ tourney. We played Newport next and eliminated them to get a chance to play Kettle Falls in a winner to state loser out game. Somehow we were ahead of the Bulldogs at halftime.

KF had two guys that stood 6’6” and 6’5”. One was as strong as a lumberjack and the other was smooth as silk. By the end of the game we were on the short end of the scoreboard as the Bulldogs started playing to their capability and we were done.

I felt bad for the seniors because the season was just plain weird. We had no league games that mattered and a coach that was at time overboard. It was not a great way to end their senior year.

It is really hard to imagine that it has been 50 years. I see most of the seniors that were on that team at least once a year and they are great people and good friends.

 

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