June 13, 2008

"100 for 100" All-Time Team -- WIDE RECEIVERS/TIGHT ENDS

Celebrating 100 of the top players in Eastern Football History as the school embarks upon its 100th season of football in the 2008 season. For more information, go to: http://goeags.prestosports.com/hallfame/ewas-100for100.html

WIDE RECEIVERS/TIGHT ENDS (13)

Complete List and Story in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

 &Indicates current member of Eastern Athletics Hall of Fame. *Member of the Dick Zornes All-Time Team (players from the years 1963-67, 1971, 1979-98)

 No. - Name - Position - Hometown (Previous Schools) - Years Lettered - Honors/Notes/Stats

59 - Wally Bannon - End - Colville, Wash. (Colville HS) - 1933-34-35-36 - Selected to the Red Reese All-Time Team that was published in 1947.

80 - Tom Bassett - Wide Receiver - Sunnyside, Wash. (Sunnyside HS) - 1974-75-76-77 - Second team NAIA A-A in `77; Two-time All-EvCo; 137 rec., 2,444 yds., 18 TD

9 - Aaron Boyce - Wide Receiver - Kent, Wash. (Kentwood HS '05) - 2006-07 - First team FCS All-America in 2007 with 85 catches, 1,308 yards, 10 TD.

83 - *Tony Brooks - Wide Receiver - Tacoma, Wash. (Mount Tahoma HS) - 1990-91-92-93 - Third team FCS A-A in 1993; 167 rec., 3,013 yards, 26 TD; Played in CFL.

89 - *Scott Garske - Tight End - Spokane, Wash. (North Central HS `70) - 1971-72-73 - First team NAIA A-A in 1973; 106 career catches, 1477 yards; Drafted in NFL.

86 - Jesse Hardt - Tight End - Odessa, Wash. (Odessa HS '91) - 1992-93-94-95 - Second team FCS All-America in 1995.

85 - *Tony Lenseigne - Tight End - Yakima, Wash. (East Valley HS '87) - 1988-89-90-91 - Second team All-Big Sky in '91; Signed several NFL free agent contracts.

88 - *Jeff Ogden - Wide Receiver - Snohomish, Wash. (Snohomish HS `93) - 1995-96-97 - From walk-on to FCS All-America in 1997; Played five seasons in the NFL

84 - &*Bob Picard - Offensive End - Omak, Wash. (Omak HS) - 1968-69-71-72 - NAIA A-A in '71 & `72; EWU record with 166 career catches; Played in NFL

26 - *Eric Riley - Tight End - North Bend, Wash. (Mount Si HS `83) - 1983-84-85-86 - TD every 6.7 catches; 74 rec. in career for 1,002 yards, 11 TD; Signed with NFL.

80 - &*Dave Svendsen - Offensive End - Sumner, Wash. (Sumner HS) - 1966-67-68 - NAIA A-A in '67 & '68; 147 catches for 2,238 yards, 26 TD; Drafted in NFL.

15 - Bob Tosch - End - Cashmere, Wash. (Cashmere HS) - 1939-40 - Selected to the Red Reese All-Time Team that was published in 1947.

15 - Raul Vijil - Wide Receiver - Pasco, Wash. (Pasco HS '01) - 2002-03-04-05 - 72 catches in '05 ranked third in history; Now a Spokane Shock standout.


Scott Garske finished his Eastern career with a flurry, helping him become a rare NFL draft choice for Eastern

In the final few weeks of the 1973 football season, Scott Garske was unstoppable. A few short months later, it was an ankle injury, not an opponent, that helped put an end to his football flurry.

Garske, a local product out of North Central High School in Spokane, Wash., is one of the 13 wide receivers/tight ends on Eastern's "100 for 100" All-Time Football Team being released in June by the EWU Athletic Department. The squad consists of 100 of the top players in school history to help commemorate the upcoming 100th year of football at Eastern.

Players on the squad will be honored on Eastern Athletics Hall of Fame Day on Sept. 27, 2008, in conjunction with EWU's Big Sky Conference football game with Idaho State. Starting June 18, the public is invited to vote on the top player at each position, with results announced on Sept. 27.

The group of pass catchers includes nine wide receivers and four tight ends. The receivers include NFL players Bob Picard and Jeff Ogden, as well as current Spokane Shock standout Raul Vijil. Noticeably absent on the list is all-time Eastern receptions leader Eric Kimble, who will be announced in the group of all-purpose players/specialists on the "100 for 100" team.

Garske was a burly, 6-foot-4, 252-pound All-America tight end at Eastern who parlayed his success in Cheney, Wash., into becoming a seventh-round draft choice by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1974 National Football League draft. Only Picard, who was drafted in the sixth round a year earlier, was a higher draft choice in Eastern history up until the school became a member of the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision in 1984.

But Garske's NFL career was short-lived. After preseason performances that saw him play as a tight end, kicker and punter for the Steelers, he broke his ankle. The slow-healing and painful hairline fracture in his heel would essentially end his playing career. As luck would have it, Randy Grossman, an undrafted free agent the Steelers signed that same season, made the team and ended up playing on four Super Bowl championship teams.

However, nothing could take away from his Eastern experience, which started when he transferred from the University of Hawaii. A 1970 graduate of North Central who followed Eastern's football program very closely, his mother, Sibil, worked in Eastern's cashier's office and knew head coach Dave Holmes. When the legendary head coach accepted the job at Hawaii, Garske went as well two years later.

But after developing a case of "rock fever," he returned to the Inland Northwest. By then, his high school coach, Jerry Martin, was beginning his long and illustrious coaching career at Eastern and he convinced Garske to play in Cheney. Garske played the 1971, 1972 and 1973 seasons at Eastern, finishing his career with 106 receptions for 1,477 yards and 12 touchdowns, while scoring a total of 93 points.

Garske's numbers in 1973 weren't spectacular -- 33 catches for 460 yards and 39 points -- but the way he ended the season was. The tight end/kicker/punter helped Eastern win its last four games of the season by accounting for all 28 of Eastern's points in the first three games of that winning streak. Eastern beat Portland State 3-0, Whitworth 10-0 and Oregon Tech 13-2 when he recorded the safety.

Eastern closed the season by beating College of Idaho 17-13 to finish 5-4 -- Eastern's only winning season in a nine-year span from 1968-1976.

That career-ending performance helped him garner first team National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) All-America honors. He earned Associated Press Little All-America first team accolades after earning All-West Coast and All-Northwest accolades. Twice he was a first team All-Evergreen Conference selection.

Perhaps his most prestigious award came during that winter when he was selected as the Inland Empire Amateur Male Athlete of the Year. He was Eastern's only recipient of that award until Rodney Stuckey, now with the Detroit Pistons in the National Basketball Association, was honored for his performance in 2007. The award has existed since 1948 and includes all collegiate and amateur athletes from Eastern Washington and the Idaho panhandle.

Fast forward 20 years and Garske found himself close to another quarterback with a rocket arm. It was his son Griffin Garske, who was concluding an outstanding career at Mead High School in Spokane. He signed a letter of intent to play at Utah State, but, like his dad, returned to Eastern and redshirted the 1995 season.

Griffin Garske played for the Eagles for three seasons from 1996-98, and was a backup on the 1997 team that advanced to the semifinals of the FCS Playoffs. As a freshman in 1996, he had a 309-yard performance in a victory over Sacramento State as an injury replacement. In 1998, he was the starter and passed for 404 yards in three-point loss at Cal State Northridge and another 312 in a three-point loss to Montana.

However, in complete contrast to his father, Griffin's Eastern career came to a screeching halt. Following a 5-6 finish in 1998, Eastern decided to go in a different direction at quarterback and cut him. It was a decision that hurt the Garske family deeply.

"He enjoyed it so much out at Eastern, and that's what made the whole thing so bizarre," Scott Garske said.  "He didn't even get a chance to compete for the job. It was just so bizarre."

Despite what happened, Scott Garske will always remember what he was told by Dave Holmes just before the inaugural member of the Eastern Athletics Hall of Fame passed away in 1999.

Today, the Garske family are once again proud supporters of the Eagles. Most of his family has attended Eastern, including his wife Becky, who has spent 34 years as a dental hygienist.

And he'll be there on Sept. 27 when the "100 for 100" team is honored. His name will be mentioned along with the likes of Picard and Ogden, who each spent five years in the NFL.

"I know how good Picard and Ogden were," he added.

"To be mentioned in the same breath with them and the other great wide receivers and tight ends Eastern has had is really fun. And they are all good guys too.

"We're all Eastern guys and girls," he said . "Now the slate is all clean and we come back to as many games as we can. Woodward Field is a great stadium to watch college football. It's fantastic -- it's wonderful."

"He told me that Griffin was a hell of a quarterback and a hell of an athlete," he explained.  "He just solidified what I thought. When you have a person with his reputation say something like that, it says a lot."

"But it's water under the bridge now," he added.  "It was one twist in life and you move on. Griffin loves the school and still feels really good about it."

"It was just so much fun watching Griffin play football," his proud father said, fondly recalling a 95-yard touchdown pass to eventual Canadian Football League legend Bashir Levington in the 1998 game against Cal State Northridge.

"I remember watching him throw the ball with his foot on the end line and the receiver catches the ball at midfield and goes in for a touchdown. I never saw a kid that could throw a ball like Griff."

"I had a good time the whole time I was there," he said of his years in Cheney.

"I received my honors because of the circumstances. It was strictly because of the team, coaches and my family. The guys I played with were the best part of my memories. We had a few quarterbacks while I was there, but Pete Glindeman was a great quarterback with a rocket arm."

"I was really proud of that and proud for Eastern," he said.

"We had to win our last four games for a 5-4 season. But at least it was a winning season."

"Those three games were a case when things just happened to go my way and the team's way," he explained.

"As a tight end and kicker, that was highly unusual and that's what made it interesting. It was a lot of fun."

"Heck, when I went back to the Steelers I didn't know what an audible was at the line of scrimmage or the live color of the week for the plays," said Garske of his educational experience in the NFL.

 

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