Friday, April 10, 2020

10 Years Later

Fellow Knights,

It has been just over ten years since Coach Eathorne passed away. His legacy continues in the lives of his players, students and friends who continue to pass on the Knight traditions of encouraging others to be the best they can be and give back to the community in which they live.

The world is in tough times with the COVID-19 virus spreading around the globe. Many have been "sheltered in place" for two to three weeks now.  Everyone most likely has taken time to reflect on their life - how one has journeyed thus far and how the way we do things are going to change for the future.

One of my cathartic activities, with all the "free time" on my hands, was to update the East High Knights Basketball website. The site is to remember the days being at East High School and the legacy of Coach Eathorne. It got me thinking that others may have significant memories of high school and people that had an influence on how how they have lived their lives the past 40 plus years.

If you have any news clippings, pictures or video you would like to share on the East High Knights website, I would be glad to include it.

Rick Walker


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Dwayne Slate - Class of 1965

Wow! What a terrific thing for you guys to have done.

Ah, the memories. I have often tried to explain to my political colleagues how important East High b'ball was to me, but they just cannot believe that anything could be more important than winning an election or passing a bill. Wrong! There was simply nothing like giving all your heart and soul to your teammates and school for the sole purpose of winning a high school basketball game. Nothing.

And as for the comments made about me, well, you made me cry. (The last time that happened was 45 years ago when you couldn't quite understand what a great player I was!) Seriously, the all-for-one attitude you helped us to develop has carried thru life, and it has helped make life so much more enjoyable.

Anyway, thanks so much for bringing back so many "wonder year" memories.
Best wishes to all the Knights.

- Dwayne Slate

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Jeff Hayford - Class of 1975

Not everyone has the opportunity in life to be impacted by someone that has a lasting positive impression for the rest of there life. And having that impression continue to carry on in your adult life, in your day-to-day work, your interaction with family and friends or as some refer to as the curse or the blessing of sports.

I have had two such mentors in my life, my father Dave Hayford and Les Eathorne both with strong work ethics and both teachers of the game.

Growing up in East Bremerton and playing peewee, little league, and Jr high sports the goal was to some day play East high basketball. For me the goal started out with just get ting in the gym on Sunday. Leonard Barnes and I would walk up to the school every Sunday when we were in Jr high, remembering this was the big time and how nervous we were. We had been to the games and felt the excitement and had older brother and sisters that went to East but never to open gym. For me the path to open gym was a battle of wits. Me, Les and my choice of hairstyles, remember this was the 70’s. Theirs no mystery as who won but as many of us did we had to try. Les would stand by the side door to the gym and say Hayford your hair is to long, as I stood there in great surprise Les in a very clear and direct way your not coming in my gym until your cut that hair. Well after the 3rd attempt I made it inside. It proved to be a battle to get on the floor with the high school players and we were skinny nobody Jr high kids, at that point you could only hope there wasn’t enough players to put another team on the floor and they upper classmen had to choose you. We didn’t care we were in the big house and Les Eathorne was there. Today I’m still not sure if Les knows our first name as he always called us by our last name only.

As we got older and under stood our place within the walls of Les’s gym the nervousness went away and the excitement built, all we could think about was to play East high basketball and when the next game was. East High basketball is simply defined and to this day you mentioned you played at East High the first question ask is did you play for Les and yes I played with Rick Walker. Not many people in life touch your soul or symbolize an era as Les Eathorne did and East High Basketball.

To this day I still coach youth and high school sports and pull from my days of playing for Les and many times use the phrase remember the team that scores the most points wins.

Thank you coach Eathorne and thank you guys for your time, commitment and effort of putting this together.

Jeff Hayford

Class of 1975

President / NW Building Tech Inc.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Bruce Miller Class of 1970



Thursday, November 13, 2008

Roy Busse - Class of 1960

Roy Busse
Horseshoe Bay Texas
Played 1957-1960

My very first flash of memory when I think of Coach Eathorne, Mr. or Les doesn’t sound right, is the slamming of the clip board on the gym floor with a piece of the masonite sliding half way across the court and the bench and the crowd getting quiet. My steel trap mind immediately told me he was unhappy. And the fact that I was sitting on the bench gave me hope that he wasn’t unhappy with me. What I grew to understand was that this wasn’t some random act of anger but a calculated action aimed at a referee, our team or both. It was meant to say we need to take it up a notch and Mr. Referee don’t get in our way. Eathorne was a genius at getting you to take it up a notch, particularly when you didn’t know you had another notch left. In fact I would submit that his most enduring legacy, to those with the privilege to play for him, was he was able to take 15-18 year old boys, raised mostly in a blue collar community with few parents who had college educations, and teach them that their biggest limitations were the ones they set for themselves. By demanding more and pushing us beyond our self imposed limits he made us realize that we could reach for and achieve goals well beyond our limited view of the world. Another high school coach named Sturdivant and a band leader named Francis did the same.

The team my senior year had some real talent if not much size. Anderson, Eno, Dolmseth, Leismann, Mackey, “Beans” Lee, Francalangia all had talent. I loved the game but had a body and an attitude that was more linebacker that power forward. As with a typical Eathorne team the strategy was pretty simple, full court press, fast break and beat them with conditioning and the transition game. His transition……….. our conditioning. Never before and never since, including a successful football career at Washington State, have I been in such good shape. It was a wonder they could even keep paint on the floor of the gym. We ran until our shoes, our feet or both were about to fall off. He forced you beyond that point of exhaustion where your mind and body said, “that’s it, I’m done, there ain’t no more to give.” Then you found there lurking in some unknown crevice of your brain that there was more, that the pain could be pushed to the back of your mind, that there was great joy and pride and satisfaction finding that you could do more than you thought you could. He already knew. I had to learn it, experience it, embrace it and fuse it with my will and determination.

Many years later in Chicago, at a senior management symposium on leadership, the moderator asks everyone to describe the person who had the greatest influence on their live. The responses included mothers, fathers, other family members, wives, ministers, grandparents, teachers, and mentors. My response was my coaches. From little league to college they pushed me beyond my self imposed limits. And theses coaches with their old sports/life cliché’s about preparation, hard work, practice, focus, and winning were actually instilling an attitude and discipline that would serve us the rest of our lives. But none had the enduring impact of Coach Eathorne. His enthusiasm became your enthusiasm. His hope became your hope. His will to win became your will to win. His willingness to pay the price became your willingness to pay the price. And once you have experienced the sheer joy of giving an endeavor all you can give, leaving nothing on the field, or the court, or at the office. It becomes the way you want to live your life.

I left Bremerton after graduation living all over the country in some 15 different cities. I would return to visit my parents and my 2nd mom, Jean McAboy, and only once did I find the time to seek the coach out and say thanks. If you get a chance to read this Coach, it is a very belated and expanded thank you. And what is truly amazing is that I am only one of hundreds or thousands you have touched in your life, both on and off the court. Few in this world leave such a wonderful and positive legacy.

The great work of coaches like Eathorne continues today and you can see it in many venues on and off the courts around the world. Masonite clipboards on the other hand are getting harder to find.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Dick Anderson - 1960

I think that what you are doing here to honor Coach Eathorne in documenting the history of East High School basketball is such a great idea and wonderful for the community.

My years of playing basketball at East High School and for Coach Eathorne were fantastic. We were trying to establish a new identity for East Bremerton as the school was only four years old when I graduated. I was part of the first freshman class when I was there. It was a very exciting time as far as lessons carried over to work life. I think it was the finest opportunity that anybody could have to develop lessons that are going to help them in business and in married life or whatever else.

As far as after graduation, I came back and coached at West High School from 1966-1971 and then another coach from Central Kitsap High School, Bob Moawad and I, started in the early 1970s a business called “Edge Learning Institute” that I still own and am the CEO of, to this day. We have had this company for the last 35 years. Bob Moawad passed away about a year and a half ago so I have the company by myself now, but Bob and I were business partners for 33 of those 35 years. We do training for corporations throughout the United States as well as some international enterprises as well.

Dick Anderson, CEO
Edge Learning Institute
Tacoma, WA