In 1945, Bill Frazier’s Gonzaga baseball team won the Spokane City League. Even though it was the only team to finish with a winning record, the wins weren’t easy to come by as indicated by the last two games of the season.
Art Walther began his first year as Lewis and Clark’s baseball coach in 1931 with a 12-1 victory over a team from Whitworth. It was the beginning of a 21-year run as head coach for the young man from Arkansas.
Teams are now in the final stages of determining who will advance to the state basketball tournaments.The first tournament was held in 1923 at Hec Edmundson Pavilion on the University of Washington campus.
Gerald (Jerry) Stannard, born in Colville in 1910, had a long association with local sports. He was a three-sport star at Lewis and Clark and after graduation he attended Ottawa College in Kansas and Cheney Normal, now Eastern Washington University.
In 1954, Spokane was very proud of its new sporting arena, the Spokane Coliseum. Spokane high school basketball teams had played in a number of venues through the years, including Gonzaga University and the Spokane Armory.
Believe it or not, boxing was once a popular sport with some local high schools. Matches between schools were called “smokers” and the boys of different weight classes would compete against one another.
In mid-December of 1908 the girls’ basketball teams from North Central and South Central high schools already had a couple of games under their belt. NC had faced Blair Business College and Coeur d’ Alene, while SC had played Burke and Sandpoint, Idaho.
Since the beginning of high school football in Spokane, local teams have used a number of different venues for their games. Early on, Natatorium Park and the Spokane Interstate Fairgrounds, along with local baseball parks were often game sites.
Back in the day, because of low enrollments, rural communities often had no local football team to cheer for as the equipment and players for eleven man football was more than many schools could handle. In 1944, Superintendent George Tucker thought it was high time...
Coach Greg Gavin and the West Valley football team were on a mission as the 1976 season began. The year before, the Eagles had made it to the AA state championship game, only to fall 11-0 to Sumner in a driving rainstorm on the coast.
Father Edward Flanigan, the founder of Boys Town, became nationally known in 1938 through the popularity of the motion picture Boys Town. In the picture he was portrayed by Spencer Tracy, who won best actor that year for his performance.
Spokane high school football dates back well over a century. When the first Spokane High team was organized is difficult to confirm, but Thanksgiving of 1894 saw the local school taking on a major opponent in Washington Agricultural College, now known as Washington State.
When the Greater Spokane League started back in the 1970s, fastpitch softball was not offered fo girls. The league began competition with slowpitch and it remained that way until 1985, when the GSL decided to switch to modified fastpitch.
When it comes to winning state championships for baseball and softball, Spokane teams haven’t had much success over the years, with rare exceptions. West Valley has the only baseball crown, having won the 1978 title in what is now 3A competition.
West Valley High School recently honored Jack Spring by naming their baseball field after him in honor of his 14 seasons as head baseball coach at the school, along with his service as its longtime athletic director.
For years, legendary college football coach Amos Alonzo Stagg was a sponsor of nationwide competition in basketball and track and field for high school athletes. The track event was held annually at the University of Chicago, and ran from 1902 to 1933.
When the girls took to the basketball courts in 1976 to inaugurate the first season of the Greater Spokane League they fielded one more team than the boys. Marycliff, a small girl’s school, was an active member for the first three years.