By Nancy Covert
Steilacoom High School’s equivalent of a Bowl Game (hmmm, the Pink Flowers Bowl maybe?) took place at SHS on Dec. 28. The evening’s play got underway following a cool saxophone rendition of the National Anthem by Larry Juhnke, a well-known community musician.
The 30th annual SHS Alumni Basketball Game featured hoopsters from SHS teams during the past three decades, including a few of this past year’s graduates.
A long-standing end-of-the-year tradition, begun in 1983 after the team’s first State BB win, has been played every December since. Gary Wusterbarth and Bruce Hayes, SHS’s coach and assistant coach, attired in black/white stripped shirts, refereed the game.
Final score for the hour-and-a-half match? 100-87, in favor of the “old guys.”
The game featured players who’d been part of the school’s early wins; guys who demonstrated that even though they’re getting older, can still sink the ball through the net, despite taking quite a few spills on the court throughout the evening. Ouch!
Both Wusterbarth and Hayes have been inducted into the Washington Interscholastic Basketball Hall of Fame. SHS is one of four schools whose coach and assistant coach have earned that honor. Mark Morris, Curtis and Centralia are the other schools.
SHS’s 1983-84 State Championship Game was the final one played at the University of Puget Sound Fieldhouse. The Tacoma Dome was the setting for the next year’s championship game.
SHS players that first year included Brian Huff, Carlos Stevens, Jeff Staten, J. C. Campbell, Tony Lambert, Rod Whatley, Matt Burlingame, Dwight Lago, Deon Butler, Angel Sulivan, Bobby Barnes and Gene McColm.
Special Alumni BB shirts worn by the players were designed by Lago and Lago, (Dwight and Elmer), both SHS graduates.
According to the Program Notes, thanks were extended to Trusty Scorekeepers Gordy Winslow and Skip Lemming, and also to Mr. Tchobanoff and Mrs. Ford who each had sons who played for the Sentinels.
SHS, with a 2-1 league record to date (6-1 overall) has 13 games remaining in its 2013-14 season. Games resumed at 4 p.m. on Dec. 30 against Bonney Lake, and the last will be played at 7 p.m. on Feb. 7 against Clover Park.
View SHS’s complete schedule on the high school page at www.steilacoom.k12.wa.us.