PORT ANGELES — Title IX and opening the door for women to play sports took center stage Saturday night with 10 individuals and two legendary teams at the fifth Roughriders Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony of Port Angeles held at Civic Field.
The Roughriders Hall of Fame has inducted a number of female badminton players over the years, some of whom have won national championships. Because before 1970, it was literally the only sport school-aged girls could play because Washington had no prep sports for girls.
Title IX changed all that, prohibiting gender discrimination by schools and requiring schools to provide girls with an equal opportunity to play sports.
Marcia Isenberger received several of the loudest cheers of the night in front of several hundred people attending the dinner. She was in every basketball league in Port Angeles, before becoming a Big Sky Conference tennis player in Eastern Washington.
She said the 37 words of Title IX – “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation, be denied benefits, or be subjected to discrimination in connection with any program or an educational activity receiving federal financial assistance. assistance.” – made all the difference for the girls.
“It was such an amazing game changer for women. We are so proud of the women who came before us and the young women who came after us,” she said.
She said playing sports gave her purpose when she was young, as it does for many young women.
“And isn’t it a beautiful thing to have a purpose in life,” she said.
Judy Brodhun Vose, who describes herself as a tomboy growing up, didn’t have the chance to play school sports growing up in Port Angeles in the 1950s and 1960s, so she took up badminton coached by legendary Vern Burton , already inducted into the Roughriders Hall of Fame. She won the junior national championships in Port Angeles with Hall of Famer Hester Hill, and the duo became collegiate badminton national champions in Western Washington. She is already a member of the WWU Hall of Fame.
“Thank you Port Angeles for all you do to give kids opportunities in sports,” she said. “Port Angeles is a very special place.
Julia Cheney played softball and football for the Roughriders, and she continued to play softball at Penn. She now leads the sports and entertainment division for Google devices.
She thanked her father for fighting for the girls to have a playground in Port Angeles. She also said that in her work she has seen how wildly successful women’s sports like the Women’s World Cup, European Cup and WNBA have become.
“Women’s sport is not a charity. These are good deals,” she said.
Longtime athletics coach Bruce Webster, who died in 2019, was inducted. One of his assistant coaches, Hall of Famer Bob Sheedy, spoke on his behalf. Webster’s cross country teams have finished third and fourth at the state in consecutive years.
“He was an absolutely unique person. A bit rebellious. He personified Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way,'” Sheedy said. “He was way ahead of his time with his positive imagery and his goals.”
Swimmer Greg Galles died in 2008. He won the state championship in the 100-yard freestyle twice and set a state record in the event in 1968.
His brother Gary spoke up, saying he really couldn’t remember his brother’s swimming feats. He said they both learned to swim in an outdoor pool in Port Angeles in the early 60s.
“I have almost no memory of him swimming. I remember he and I were shivering more than learning to swim,” he said.
Gary Galles said his brother was 13 when he learned to swim.
“He went from learning to swim to being the fastest swimmer in the state in four years,” he said. “He didn’t talk about it a lot. He didn’t boast. I wish he had bragged more.
Eric Lane was one of the youngest inductees. He played baseball, football and basketball in Port Angeles in the 2000s, winning the Olympic League Most Valuable Player in baseball and basketball and setting school passing distance records in the soccer.
He was NWAC MVP playing baseball for Lower Community College, played baseball at Gonzaga, then coached the LCC to the NWAC Championships in 2018 and 2019. He also recruited a number of graduates from Port Angeles to play at the LCC.
Lane said it was thanks to the support of his family and his coaches that he succeeded. He choked up talking about his grandfather, who urged him to play games better.
“And then he would slip me $20 when he shook my hand,” he said.
Ron Suslick was a football star for the Roughriders in the 1950s, averaging 152 yards per game in his senior year. He remembered Scooter Chapman, one of the hosts at the event, giving him three nicknames: Ramblin’ Ron, Loose Hips Speedster and The Green Phantom.
He went to play football for the University of Puget Sound and then ran for Monterey Community College in Northern California. “I’ve done the sports section of the San Francisco Chronicle twice,” he said.
Jerry Payne played on a 1973 Roughriders team that went 9-1 and seven shutouts. He then played in Washington State for Jack Elway
“We were tough kids, we were big kids and we had a lot of speed,” Payne said of this team. He said the players didn’t always hang out together, “but we were definitely in tune at game time.”
Jack Estes played football, basketball and baseball for the Roughriders. He then played football at the US Coast Guard Academy. The football team was coached by NFL Hall of Famer Otto Graham. Estes said he learned a lot of valuable lessons from Graham.
He said Graham had the opportunity to coach at major colleges and in the NFL, but chose the USCG Academy because none of the players had athletic scholarships.
“The reason you’re here is because you like to play. It’s a burden for you to play. I want you to have fun. I don’t care if you go down 100-0,” Estes said.
Estes said he brought the same mentality to practice when he took over the men’s basketball program at Peninsula College. He coached the team to a Washington State Championship in 1970.
“The joy of sport is what it [Graham] underlined. You should never take the sport for granted,” he said.
Also inducted was diver Robin Allen, who won the Native American National Basketball Championship with the La Push Braves. His brother Ron, President, CEO of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe spoke and said that no matter the sport, Robin was successful.
“Robin was amazing. As an athlete he could do anything,” he said.
The 1967 Roughriders football team which went 9-0 was also inducted. Howard Priest, a member of that team, said his favorite memory was beating a Tacoma Stadium High School team that slurred Port Angeles as Cow Town in the Tacoma newspapers.
“We said, ‘Find someone to hit as hard as you can,'” Priest said. “We beat them 28-0. Their kids would take their cleats off and say, “We’re not going to go against those guys.” ”
The 1983 women’s gymnastics team was also inducted. The team finished third in the state and followed by finishing sixth, fifth, and fourth.
Coach Rich Smith said what made his team special was its depth. He said a lot of teams had one or two girls who would rank high, but the 1983 was unique in that it had five or six or more girls who could score 7s and 8s in the events, accumulating team points.