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

By Dale Anderson
Sports Columnist 

Worst Seat In The House: A long, long wait


Last updated 1/30/2020 at 9:40am

There was a time many, many years ago when Saturday nights in the fall was set aside for college football as in Jr. College (JC) football. I know, today there are all kinds of games played late on a Saturday night usually on the west coast or in Hawaii. But for anyone that wanted to see someone play that they knew from the apartment complex or an Intro to accounting class JC football was a great game to watch.

There were some very good teams that played and normally the recognition was dependent upon which city the team played in. For Columbia Basin College, the Tri-City Herald did an admirable job of getting stories and pictures for the Hawk fans to read.

In just the seventh year of existence as a school and football program the Hawks of 1962 had a stellar season and would be invited to the Jr. Rose Bowl game played in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. CBC was the first and only school from the state of Washington to play in this highly anticipated game.

The Jr. Rose Bowl got its start in 1946 and would feature the top JC School from California against a top notch squad from another state. The game would be phased out in the 1970’s for one reason or another and the other reason is usually money.

The 1962 Hawks were 8-0-1 and rated 3rd nationally. The Hawks got the invite and readily accepted. I know two guys that played on that team Othello grad Ken Garmann and Connell High alum Roger Krug. I met Garmann through Roger a few years ago and have been friend ever since.

Last Friday night the 1962 team was inducted into the CBC Hall of Fame. I wondered why it had taken so long for this to happen.

Before we had a chance to hear the football team story there were two wrestlers that were inducted one from 1972 and the other one from 1970. Athletic Director Scott Rogers talked about the great success that these two individuals had at the high school level and then as Hawk wrestlers where they excelled.

Each one talked about how they basically stumbled into wrestling because they really weren’t the best athletes in other sports. Some of the stories were quite humorous and the audience politely chuckled at the anecdotes.

1970 inductee Don Draper said that the team he wrestled with had guys from different parts of the country like Chicago and Minnesota. He found out that the main reason some of these guys ended up in Pasco was because they heard about the 1962 JR. Rose Bowl team from CBC.

Rogers told the audience that there is a reason that the 1962 team had not been inducted sooner. He said, “I had a couple of guys ask why this team hadn’t been recognized and I said I feel that we needed at least seven guys from the team in attendance before I would consider it.

“A couple of years ago we had zero. These guys are in their mid 70’s and trying to track down a cell phone to call is nearly impossible. And do you know how many Ray Johnson’s there are in Seattle?”

He continued by saying that once they were able to contact a couple the ball started rolling so to speak and 17 of those Hawks came back to Pasco for a great night of celebration.

You could tell that these guys were close because they truly wanted to know how they were doing and what they had done after CBC. Each former player was given a plaque with their name on it and 1962 football CBC Hall of Fame.

Looking back on what CBC looked like in 1962 I asked Ken where they practiced. All home games were played at Edgar Brown Stadium. But they practiced west of the buildings and ran laps from 20th Avenue to Highway 395. Ken said, “The people could see us practicing everyday as they drove down 395 which was a two lane road back then.”

There was a small practice gym where the boys could dress and shower. Ken said, “It just goes to show you that you don’t need all the great stuff to have great teams… you have to have talented athletes to make the engine run!”

It was certainly a long wait but for those in attendance it meant everything. The smiles on the former teammate’s faces and the appreciation shown by the audience was truly heartwarming. It was definitely a great night to remember.


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