Sunday, October 16, 2011

Tom and Steve and Sam and Football

Eastern Hills was already a cohesive society when most of us arrived Fall 1960. The older classes of 1961 & 1962 had already been together for a year or two and the new school had already started to establish some of its first traditions. The first graduating Class of 1960 had just moved on to college, but their names still echoed in the hallways, classrooms, and locker room…Spain, Gregory, Bradford, and others. I didn’t know them, but the older ones did.

Before that, I found transferring into Meadowbrook as an 8th grade student somewhat difficult. It wasn’t so much a matter of finding acceptance as it was in trying to understand the existing relationships. And, if you were like me, Junior High was a pretty wretched time with its variety of social, academic, and athletic pressures.

One constant I saw at Meadowbrook Jr. Hi. that continued all of our years at Eastern Hills was a trio of accomplished football players that always were amongst our best—Tom Koebernick, Steve Means, and Sam Scott. In seeking older class pictures, something I’ve found intriguing has been discovering visual evidence of certain relationships that existed years before many of us joined this class. Tom, Steve, and Sam were one example.  

Tom Koebernick was a perennial favorite…we elected him to the class presidency twice at EHHS and at least that often at Meadowbrook JHS. Tom was a leader starting in the 1st grade at Meadowbrook Elementary and by the time we reached EHHS, electing him to office had become a 1963 class tradition. Over the course of those elementary school years, he developed friendships with a number of our future Class of 1963; some of the closest of them being, Steve Means, Bob Larmer, and Sam Scott. 
The pictures accompanying this article: The first picture was published in the Star-Telegram in 1956 above a caption telling of Sam and Tom scoring 90-points for the Meadowbrook Mavericks Peewee football team. Another picture shows Sam Scott’s father, Sam Scott II, wearing his Peewee football sweater…Sam Sr. was the team coach.

The 8th grade Meadowbrook Jr. Hi. team picture taken fall 1958 show Tom and Sam together. When those group pictures were organized, it was relatively common for friends to place themselves nearby one another. The 1952-53 second grade class picture shows an obvious affinity between Tom and Steve at an early time.

And below, perhaps the most remarkable picture of this small collection…the 1962 EHHS championship, first-string football defense showing Steve, Sam, and Tom in their positions. In addition to their having achieved starting positions on that first championship team, Sam was named to the All-District 4A-5 team; Steve and Tom were named All-District Honorable Mentions.

Further, these kids were not dumb jocks; Tom and Steve graduated with Magna Cum Laude honors, while Sam graduated Cum Laude. The coaches and local newspapers frequently commented on how smart this team was and here is one example of it. Neat story, isn’t it?


1 comment:

tom k. said...

you are one dangerous dude..this brings back many happy memories.. it's truly a tragedy that Sam and Steve left us much too soon