Newman Lake native Bob Shill took over as football coach of the East Valley Knights in 1967. At the time they were still a member of the Northeast A League.
In 1968, EV joined the Border League, where the school competed for five seasons before becoming a founding member of the Frontier League. East Valley was very competitive in the Border League, winning more than twice as many games as it lost, and topping off the last season in the league at 9-0, outscoring the opposition 319-21.
In the Frontier League, Coach Shill’s Knights continued to have success, but didn’t achieve the state playoffs for the first time until 1979. In both 1979 and ‘80 they were eliminated in the first round.
Preseason predictions for 1981 had both East Valley and Pullman as co-favorites for the league title. Terry Shillam, Scott Porter and Jim Bittner were three highly regarded returning players for the Knights.
East Valley opened the season with nonleague wins over Wallace and Sandpoint before facing off with Pullman in Martin Stadium. Shillam and Porter led the way as EV defeated the Greyhounds 17-7.
After that, the Knights rolled over their remaining league foes. The Knights defeated arch-rival West Valley 33-7 in the last regular game of the season, giving them the league crown. They entered the playoffs at 9-0.
The playoffs only seemed to strengthen the team as the Knights easily dispatched Selah 39-7, Sunnyside 28-7 and Elma 54-7, on the way to the title game in the Kingdome against Arlington.
In a defensive battle, the Knights defeated Arlington 19-14 for the AA state championship, capping off a 13-0 season. Arlington scored two late touchdowns to make it close.
Shill finished his coaching career in 1982. The Knights went 7-1-1, and he finished his one and only coaching assignment at 116-31-2.