Cascade High School is throwing quite the anniversary party.
The Bruins start celebrating their 50th anniversary today by honoring the second class of inductees into the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame. Twelve former athletes and coaches will be honored today during the Bru-Gull fest, the annual basketball game between Cascade and crosstown rival Everett.
The group of inductees includes a couple military veterans, a Major League baseball All-Star, a former Everett Herald Woman of the Year and too many league, district and state championships to count.
“It’s been three years since our first class was inducted and in coordination with the 50th anniversary of the first graduating class of Cascade we just thought it was perfect timing to celebrate 50 years of athletic success from coaches and athletes at Cascade,” said coordinator Jamie Gay, who coaches the Bruins’ girls and boys soccer teams. “It really encompassed the 50 years of sports at Cascade.”
A ceremony will be held in between tonight’s basketball games to honor the legendary Bruins. Those being honored are: Lou Stevenson (athlete, class of 1964), Jeff Cushman (athlete, 1963), Neal Bartlett (coach, wrestling and football), Kelly Warren (athlete, 1978), Vicki (Borsheim) Beskind (athlete, 1984), Charlie Cobb (coach, basketball and tennis), Grady Sizemore (athlete, 2000), Whitney Hooks (athlete, 2006) and the Henderson family (Dick, Pat, Chris and Sean), who, as the First Family of Cascade soccer, played and coached during the Bruins’ run of 11 straight Wesco titles.
Gay coordinated the search that began this summer to induct the first group into the Cascade Athletics Hall of Fame in three years and the first group of athletes. The previous six honorees were all coaches.
“There’s a lot of rich history with sports at Cascade, and we wanted to make sure … that this rich history of sports and athletes and coaches at Cascade is not lost or forgotten,” Gay said. “It’s good to have a sports Hall of Fame to forever recognize these histories.”
They join previous honorees Terry Ennis, Dawn Lawrence, Ann Matheson, Reg Scodeller, Bob Smithson and Pat Sullivan.
Those being inducted will receive plaques during a presentation scheduled to begin around 7 p.m. All of the honorees are scheduled to attend with the exception of Sizemore and Sean Henderson.
Pat Henderson, a former Bruin soccer player and coach, is excited to be back at Cascade.
“It’s going to be interesting. I haven’t been in that gym for a long time,” said Henderson, who graduated in 1984 and played on the Bruins team with Gay. “Occasionally, I run into people I coached with or went to school with. I’m excited to see some of the folks that I know will be there like Jamie Gay and Charlie Cobb.”
Pat, the oldest of the Henderson children, helped usher in a string of 11 consecutive conference championships — and 12 straight state berths — as a player. After he graduated, his father Dick Henderson coached his younger brothers, Chris and Sean, when the two players won their second state championship in 1989 — after previously winning in 1987 with Gay as a teammate.
Then, in 1991, Dick passed the coaching duties to Pat. The younger Henderson won three Wesco championships, and a state title in 1995.
“I followed the program closely, having been an alumni, while my dad was coaching. I knew the results of every game, but didn’t get to see many of them,” Pat said. “I was proud to step in line, after (previous head coach) Pat Sullivan and my dad. I was kind of proud to take the torch from my dad and try to keep things going and keep the program playing at that level.”
Pat Henderson said he remembered one moment in particular while talking with his kids early on in his coaching career. At the customary preseason goal-setting meeting, one player brought up a concern that he had for the upcoming season.
“As we were meeting talking about goals for the year, one of the kids said, ‘What if we don’t win? What if we’re the first team that doesn’t win a Wesco title?’” Pat said. “And we just talked it through … each team, each class, has its own set of challenges in front of them. You can’t play against the teams of the past. You can only play this year’s schedule.”
Cobb, who coached basketball and tennis at Cascade High School, is already a member of one hall of fame. But says this one is more special because he spent so much of his life at Cascade High School.
“You get to go in with some people that I’ve known, like Lou Stevenson who has been a fixture in the community and one of the first graduates of Cascade 50 years ago,” Cobb said. “And Grady Sizemore, who’s been on the front page of ‘Sports Illustrated.’ And here’s Charlie Cobb. I’m excited for it.
“People have been there for 50 years, and I spent 25 there. To be honest, it’s more important to me than the (Washington State Hall of Fame) induction because I spent 25 years at Cascade.”
A veteran of the Vietnam War, Cobb came to Cascade and became an assistant coach to the legendary Norm Lowery at Everett. He then came to Cascade and was an assistant under Reg Scodeller, the coach that the Cascade gymnasium is named after.
“I think perhaps following in those two legends’ footsteps, I put a lot of time and effort in it because it was meaningful back then,” Cobb said. “Those are probably the most memorable years. To be there with those two guys. They were my mentors.”
In 1979 Cobb took over as the head boys basketball coach. He won two Wesco titles in 1992 and ‘93, and a district title in 1986. That season the Bruins finished fourth at the 3A state championship, which is still the highest boys basketball finish in school history.
Cobb looks forward to the day when that’s no longer the case.
“That’s like any record. It’s just out there to be broken someday,” Cobb said.
Cobb was also a tennis coach, winning the boys state championship in 2001. He co-coached the girls tennis team with Gary Talmadge to a state title in 1995 as part of a deal he struck with Talmadge.
“It was really interesting how that came about,” Cobb said. “I needed a sophomore basketball coach and he needed a tennis coach. I got Gary to be my sophomore coach and then I went out and helped him in tennis. We put together a few pretty good years.”
Cobb even began cross-recruiting after noticing something.
“Basketball players, with their height, make good doubles teams,” he said.
Both Henderson and Cobb said this induction was incredibly meaningful for them. Although, Henderson did express one worry about the ceremony.
“My kids will be there … and I’m afraid they’re going to show some pictures from way back in the day with little shorts,” Henderson said. “Different fashion than they were today. I’m afraid I’ll hear it from my kids.”