First Annual Encina Alumni Challenge

Final score: Encina Varsity 78, Encina Alumni 74

RSVPs and Pledges ] Alumni Challenge photos ]

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Encina entrance Encina Gym
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"The Old Guys"
Front row: Jason Talanian 90 (#32), Geoff Shumway 89 (#21), Chuck Armstrong 77 (#31), Henry Meier 80 (#23)
Back row: Scott Simon 80 (#44), Chris Dahlberg 80 (#30), Bob Goosmann 74 (#42), Joe Niederberger 79 (#00)
Alumni cheerleaders and mascots Terri Jurich 74, Bob Bjorklund 80 and Kim Bettencourt Bjorklund 81 daughter, Kathy Webber Gill 82
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Encina Varsity 78, Encina Alumni 74  


Date: Friday, May 11, 2001
Dinner: catered by Dannie's Catering

Location: Encina cafeteria
Time: 530-700 pm
Dannie: dannie at

Date: Friday, May 11, 2001
Time: 430pm to 1030pm
Location: Encina High School
Cost: Before May 1st, $20/person, $10/children under nine, all proceeds to Encina
         After May 1st, $25/person, $12.50/children under nine.
Contact: Bob Goosmann 74 or Steve Palmer 74


You would have been PROUD of the old guys! They made you PROUD to be an Encina alumni!

The old guys played a FANTASTIC game!

The old guys ALMOST won!

The old guys led MOST OF THE GAME before succumbing to the young guys in the fourth quarter.

The final score was 78 to 74 !

Can you dig it!

And this was for four eight minute quarters, a regulation high school game.

I have to admit I didn't think the old guys would be able to stay with the varsity team. But from the opening tipoff, this was
a hard fought game filled with aggressive defense, tenacious rebounding, flying elbows, blocked shots and gritty determination.
The alumni led the varsity for much of the game, at one point by almost ten points. But the varsity kept clawing back and the
alumni couldn't hang onto their lead in the fourth quarter. With only eight on the alumni team versus 10-11 on the varsity team,
the depth of the varsity bench may have become a factor towards the end...

To those of you who came out and supported the team and Encina in person, who pledged, who donated, I salute you.

To those of you who could have come but didn't, you missed a most memorable, entertaining evening. Don't miss next year!

And special kudos to Bob Goosmann 74 and Steve Palmer 74, who originated and organzied the Alumni Challenge, with lots of
help from many folks at Encina!


Co-organizer Steve Palmer 74 wrote:

"WOW, what a great evening at Encina!!

The First Annual Challenge was a huge success!!  We had about 200 alumni and family at Encina for a fun, student-lead tour of campus, delicious catered meal and INCREDIBLE basketball game!  The alumni team kept the young Varsity team running hard throughout the close game.  NOBODY WAS GOING TO GIVE UP A BASKET OR MISS A POINT IF THEY COULD HELP IT!!

People started arriving at 4:15 with tours of the campus and a tri-tip and BBQ chicken dinner in the Encina cafeteria.  Becky Hurley, Encina's activity director, had students pull trivia from 30+ years of yearbooks and publish it in the evening program.   It was great fun remembering trivia such as the Drama Club's production for 1976 or the editor of the Tomahawk for 1967 and much more!

The Encina staff had created nice centerpieces and flags for each table by class year or years to help people meet up.  Two Encina students mixed a great tape of songs from the 60' to 80's which played all night.

At about 7:15 the crowd moved to the gym.  It was a warm Sacto evening and the gym is without A/C.  The game started off with the alum team taking the first 5 points.   It was a VERY competitive game with some GREAT moves by both teams.  It was impressive to see the alumni team and the way they played.  It really looked like they had been practicing for months as a team!  The score was nearly tied at halftime and all the way to the end.  Our alumni band played fight songs and rallied the team and
crowd with the help of our cheerleaders (IN UNIFORM!).  The final score was 78 for the current varsity team and 74 for the alum.  It really could have gone either way -- it was that close!

After the game we returned to the cafeteria for coffee, soda, and dessert (and A/C!).

In all we probably raised over $20,000 after expenses!  We had hoped that the alum would show support for the school, but this was unbelievable.  I spoke with several alumni after the game who expressed their enthusiasm and interest in additional ways to help the school and kids.   Encina alumni ARE the BEST.  You all shined Friday night!


Thanks to ALL the generous donors, players, band members, and everyone for a great event and for helping the school!"

Co-organizer and team player/coach Bob Goosmann 74 wrote:
"Regarding the game, suffice it to say that both teams took it very seriously--both wanted to win.  I think the kids initially assumed they would walk all over us, then by about mid-way through the second half realized they were in some trouble.  Fatigue ultimately got to us in the end, but of course we were still able to finish with 74 points, in honor of the Class of '74.  And the alumni section was fantastic as far as cheering--they put the Bulldog side to shame.

My body may be recovered just enough a year from now to do it again..."


Here are some comments I've received from attendees...

Pete Simon 77 wrote:
"I must tip my hat to you, that was a great event.It was really neat to see some old time faces.  Not a bad game also. It just shows you that those old guys still have some of that magic left in them."

Cheerleader Terri Jurich 74 wrote:
"To all who made the Alumni Challenge the best!!! It was awesome! Course, my thighs, calves, and hands aren't of good use today,
but what the hell? it was for a very fun and GOOD CAUSE!!"

Tammy Johnson Baker 78 wrote:
"I just wanted to thank everyone involved in planning the Alumni Challenge.  We had such a fun time.  It was great to see the school and see old friends.   Again, thank you very much!"

Tricia Obermuller Ford 77 wrote:
"It was a great evening, Harlan, thanks to you and Steve.  We had a blast; even my kids thought the game was fun (though I think they were enjoying a slightly different aspect in the form of the younger team's members!). Hope everyone comes through with their pledges.

Have an idea that I can't organize and therefore shouldn't even have the nerve to suggest:   it would be nice to have a "float" (convertable?  truck?) featuring "The Fantastic Encina Alumni Basketball Team of 2001 that helped to raise $20,000", or some such thing.  That band sure was a winner - ditto for them."


74 alumni points == $18,500 !!!

I want to thank all the alumni for their per alumni point pledges. For some of you who may not have thought the alumni would score so many points, let me assure you that no one ran up the score in this game. Anyone who was there can assure you that both sides played good defense. I would estimate that there were 3 attempts for each basket that was made, so the score could have been much, much higher. Everyone of these points was earned!

   Per        Total
   Point      Pledge

   $100.00 = $7400.00 : Paul Bonderson 70
     50.00 =  3700.00 : Ronald Morgan 70
      1.71 =   126.54 : Scott Plotkin 71
      1.00 =    74.00 : Harlan Lau 73
      1.00 =    74.00 : Linda Barber-Zollinger Hammock 74
      1.00 =    74.00 : Steve Palmer 74
      1.00 =    74.00 : Denni Schwartz Mador 74
      1.00 =    74.00 : Steve Walter 74/75
     75.00 =  5550.00 : Gerry Coppock 78
      1.00 =    74.00 : Tom Dugally 78
      2.00 =   148.00 : Lynne Gile Tracy 78
      1.00 =    74.00 : Carol Markell Keller 78
      1.00 =    74.00 : Dan Mayes 78
      1.00 =    74.00 : Marvin Gee 79
      1.00 =    74.00 : Joe Niederberger 79
      1.00 =    74.00 : Christy Cooper 80
      1.00 =    74.00 : Kevin Boehl 81
      1.85 =   136.90 : Lance Ballance 85
      1.87 =   138.38 : Steve Knowlton 87
      4.57 =   338.18 : Nancy Reid Decker 89
      1.00 =    74.00 : James Bui 90
   $250.00 = 18,500.00

We would appreciate it if those who pledged could send their checks to:

Encina High School Booster Club
Attention: Becky Hurley
Encina High School
1400 Bell Street
Sacramento, CA 95825


Terri Jurich 74 and Kathy Webber Gill 82 both led cheers during the game. Bob Bjorklund 80 and Kim Bettencourt Bjorklund 81's
daughter dressed as an Apache mascot.

Bill Farley 77 owes $50 for a 74-77 cheerleader
Keith DeLuca Paulsen 81 owes $50 for an 81-83 cheerleader
Carol Markell 78 owes $5 for a mascot

We could have made a lot more money if David Robinson 79 would have worn a cheerleader outfit while playing in the band. But
Dave claims he had to go to LA at the last minute so we'll never know <g>.


Unfortunately for Gerry Coppock 78, one of the participants sank a half court shot during halftime contest so Gerry owes
him a $250 Macy's gift certificate!  We raised about $100 more for Encina with this halftime contest.


The band was great. A lot of folks showed up who hadn't rsvped. If you played in the band and aren't on the list, please write
and tell me your name, year and instrument for posterity.

The following were signed up for the alumni band:

    Kurt Pearsall 74 on trumpet
    Emmett O'Sullivan 69 on ?
    Mike Pittsley 71 on trombone
    Ralph Davies 76 on trombone
    Bill Bua 81 on saxophone
    Yon Gomez 81 on drums
    John Knurr on tuba or trombone
    David Robinson 79 on electric bass (couldn't make it)

Thanks to all those who participated. Thanks to John Knurr for coming all the way from Wisconsin and organizing the alumni band. The band sounded great and it added a lot to the festivities!


The decorations, the music, the picture taking and video taping, the band and the food were all great.  I heard many alum talk about how pleased they were with the tours and the campus and how much fun they had with their student guides!

Becky Hurley and Stephanie Woo, please give a big thanks to all your students for their help.  They should know that they were a big part of the success.

Myrtle Berry, your teachers, office and custodial staff are wonderful.  Please pass along a big thanks from the Encina Alum.  Also, since I don't have their email addresses, can you thank Coach Hibbard and Coach Vaughn for their work in putting together a great event and game and Mr. Oropallo and Mr. Gatewood for first rate reffing!


Below are the stats for the game. Unfortunately, the scoring stats do not reflect the defensive skills displayed, nor the great rebounding by the alumni team. And the stat keepers didn't keep track of shots attempted, blocked shots or knockdowns, although I guess we could review the videotapes. And there were a lot of blocked shots on both sides.

Scoring summary:

Player No Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Total alumni scoresheet web.jpg (177678 bytes)
Official scoresheet
Bob Goosmann 74 42 1 0 3 7 11
Chuck Armstrong 77 31 1 2 0 3 6
Joe Niederberger 79 00 0 3 0 0 3
Chris Dahlberg 80 30 4 1 2 0 7
Henry Meier 80 23 2 0 1 0 3
Scott Simon 80 44 5 1 8 0 15
Geoff Shumway 89 21 4 8 5 2 19
Jason Talanian 90 32 2 2 2 4 10
Total   19 17 22 16 74
Blocked shots by alumni: 14
Referees: Mr Oropallo and Mr Gatewood


In order to raise desperately needed funds for the school, the first ever “Encina Alumni Challenge” will be held the evening of Friday, May 11.  This will be a fun and interesting event for all Encina alumni—held at the school—featuring tours of the campus, a fabulous catered dinner, and a basketball game pitting an alumni team against this year’s league-winning
team.  Here are the details:

4:30 p.m.—6 p.m.
Campus Tours: Current students will provide guided tours of the campus for alumni.   Visit the Encina Art Gallery, check out your old classrooms, and marvel at the fact that all of the lockers are gone.

5 p.m.—7:30 p.m.
Dinner: Dannie’s Catering will provide a delicious barbecue dinner featuring tri-tip, chicken breast, and all the fixings.  Tables will be set up for each class year to facilitate socializing.

7:30 p.m.—9 p.m.
Basketball Game: A team of former varsity players will take on this year’s team, which won the league title.
An Alumni Pep band will play during the game.

Alumni basketball team Alumni pep band
Bob Goosmann 74 (coach)
Chuck Armstrong 77
Joe Niederberger 79
Chris Dahlberg 80
Henry Meier 80
Scott Simon 80
Geoff Shumway 89
Jason Talanian 90
Kurt Pearsall 74 (head, trumpet)
Mike Pittsley 71 (trombone)
Ralph Davies 76 (trombone)
Bill Bua 81 (saxophone)
John Knurr (saxophone or horn)
Emmett O'Sullivan 69
David Robinson 79
and others

9 p.m.—10:30 p.m.
Post-Game Party: Coffee and socializing with background music from the 60s, 70s and 80s.

Cost for the entire event is $20 per person, and all proceeds will go directly to the school.  Danni’s Catering has generously agreed to provide the dinner at cost, so this will be a great fund-raising opportunity.

How to pay (or make a donation)
Before May 1st, $20/person, $10/children under nine
After May 1st, $25/person, $12.50/children under nine
Payable to "Encina High School Booster Club"
Mail to:
Attention: Becky Hurley
Encina High School
1400 Bell Street
Sacramento,CA 95825
Please note number of adults and children under 9

Please email RSVP to Harlan Lau 73 at
so you'll be on the RSVP list below

If you have a PayPal account you can pay via credit card.
Go to
Click on Send tab
Recipient's email:
Amount: $20/person, $10/children under nine
Type: Quasi-cash
Recipient's last name: Lau
Email subject: Alumni challenge
Note: please indicate number of adults, children under nine and whether this is a donation

Last updated: 3/12/09

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