Sue Druffel & Betty Yost* Staples
Class of 1958 & 1955
Suzanne Bates* Barcalow
Class of 1957
Class of 1958
Class of 1963
Class of 1958
Val Carpenter* Felsted
Class of 1958
Class of 1959
Charlotte Avery* Pearson
Class of 1958
*Indicate name used in highschool
Chick Shields* Berry
Class of 1956
Class of 1956
Class of 1957
Coach Mike Rendish
Questions or comments?
email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Meeting Ray Hobbs
Coming in to school the morning of April 19th, I was stressed about the events that were going to take place that day. After rescheduling twice, this was the day I was finally going to meet and interview Ray Hobbs, Pullman’s legendary coach for whom Pullman High School’s football field is named. This was going to be my third interview related to this project. My supervisor for the project was coaching soccer so I brought along a fellow student, Henry Meneses, to help run the camera. After we parked in his neighborhood, we walked out with our equipment strapped around us and we were greeted by a kind man in a blue and brown button-up shirt who had a big smile on his face. As he showed us inside, we found a clean, bright, and lively home. Knowing I only was going to spend about two hours recording Mr. Hobbs, I was constantly checking the lighting, sound, batteries and placement of the camera worried that something could go wrong and ruin the whole video. The only thing that didn’t go as planned was something we were hoping for, filling up about 22 gigabytes in memory. Yes, coach Hobbs had a lot to say about the team and his players as well as the community of Pullman at that time.Some of the stories we learned were incredible. Stories of games, rivalries, players, coaches and life experiences filled the room as Henry and I sat eagerly listening.
Ray Hobbs graduated high school in 1947, in Sheridan, Wyoming. Hobbs was born and raised in Acme, Wyoming, in a coal mining town of about 150 people. His dad got a job at Coulee Dam when Hobbs had two more years left in high school. Knowing he had a good chance of winning with his team, he was able to convince his parents to let him stay in Sheridan for the remainder of high school. His parents’ decision paid off and when he was a senior his team won the state championship. Hobbs could have played in college at Wyoming but realized his parents wouldn’t be able to watch him play, and that’s what brought him to Pullman to play four years at WSU as a PAT kicker.
After graduating college Hobbs started to coach at Pullman High School. Coming in to a new school is never easy, and he knew it wasn’t going to be an easy feat:
“Well we had to do just about what happened this year at Pullman High School. You know… We had to get things together and I had to get these kids to be a little more eager to work and understand there were some rules they had to follow. My first year here at Pullman we only won two games.”
Despite this disappointing start to his career, Hobbs kept with the team as his record started to gradually increase:
“Finally we started getting more kids turning out. They started to know school work was just as important as football. We got those things going and I had some really good assistant coaches.”
With the Moscow game as the last game of every season (there were no play-offs during that time), the amount of tension grew between the two schools as the season went on. Similar to the Apple Cup, “Hortence” was the name of a large bone that was passed to the victorious school each year. Hobbs described it as a large thigh bone placed on top of a navy blue pillow. Being Pullman football players, Henry and I of course wanted to know the stories of the Moscow-Pullman Rivalry. A smile went across Hobbs’ face as he saw how much enjoyment we got from listening to our school’s history of mischief. Including fights, pranks, and brawls, the rivalry was even bigger than we had expected. With as much going on between the schools, we were surprised there were any players left without suspensions. According to Hobbs, Moscow even burned a Giant “M” on the 50 yard line of Pullman’s Field and, of course, Pullman wasn’t going to let that go:
“So our kids had to retaliate… I was telling them we hoped none of the football players were involved in that. Come to think of it, I think back and I don’t know if they were or not.” Hobbs said with a smile developing.
When it came time for us to ask, I had Hobbs describe some of the players during the streak. We listened as he named players like Bill Berry, Leroy Babbitt, Gary Schwendiman, John Fabian(Pullman’s famous astronaut), and many others. Using terms like “tough son of a guns,” we learned about each player from a coaching perspective. When he got to John Fabian, he stopped us and the camera in order to have us follow him to his room. Once we walked through the door, we found a large picture from the astronaut himself. The image is of the second flight of the Challenger, which Fabian rode on, and above it written on the outer frame boasts “To Coach Hobbs, with admiration!” While he was telling Henry the story of John Fabian, I stopped to take glance at the rest of his room which had coaching awards and pictures from his players across his walls. Awards like “Washington Football Coaches Hall Of Fame,” “25 years of coaching service,” and “Coach of the year” were all around in his room. While he had a lot to boast about, he remained truly humble even when we knew he deserved a lot of credit. When we asked him what it was like to have a field named after him, he wanted people to know how much it meant to him:
“Well it’s a great honor; you know I was surprised that they were going to do that. But it’s a great honor and I cherish that.”
Checking my phone to see the time was 2:45, I realized we had talked for almost two hours. In fact, he was in the middle of answering our last question when our second memory card became full. Henry and I each took a picture with him, thanked him, and returned to the car. We discussed the interview the whole way back. As I rushed out of the car to download the interview before a track meet, I was still nervously hoping the video had worked correctly. With no way to check the sound without a computer, I sat nervously as the video copied so I could listen. Relieved, I discovered the video had gone perfectly along with the interview. Sitting there thinking while I sat in relief, I thought of something coach Hobbs had said that stayed with me. Hobbs was discussing the reason he had been successful as a coach, and I believe it shows Hobbs’s humility with his achievements. “You’re only as good as the people there to help you,” he said. I hope this project will help others learn about Pullman’s past and the team, but perhaps it is helping me as well. I shouldn’t be surprised that what he said has stayed with me because I know Hobbs is a legend, coach, and friend to the people of Pullman.
Keep updated with The Streak Project at houndcentral.org (http://www.houndcentral.org/index.php/home/the-streak) and watch for more updates and articles. Using pictures, interviews, and students and players from that time, The Streak is a documentary film being produced by Pullman High School’s broadcasting class about PHS’s winning streak in football during the years 1954-1958. It is an ongoing project and there is no set release date.