Patty Schrag was feeling somewhat lost after moving to Stanwood from Seattle in seventh grade.
“I had many opportunities to go down the wrong path,” the retired educator said. “But fortunately I found sports — it was my saving grace.”
Schrag, one of the eight individuals and two teams inducted into the Stanwood High Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday, earned 11 varsity letters as a starter in three sports from 1971-75.
“Sports gave me structure and gave me the discipline to overcome some personal things,” said Schrag, who qualified for the state track and field championships four straight years. “It set me on a good and healthy direction.”
Girls sports were introduced after the passage of Title IX in June 1972, opening the doors to athletics, albeit slowly at first.
“As a junior we wore the boys’ hand-me-down jerseys. Those were our first uniforms. Before that we just wore pennies,” said Schrag, who thanked her coaches for helping bring women the experience of sports.
Schrag, who now lives is Stehekin, earned several honors while a Spartan, including the 1972-73 Girls' Sports Most Inspirational Player, the 1974 All-Around Volleyball Player, the Coaches Award, the Most Improved plaque and named the 1974-75 Most Outstanding Senior Athlete. The Skagit Valley Herald named Schrag to the All-Northwest Girls' Basketball Team in 1975.
Becky Fleming joined the Hall of Fame for a wide-ranging athletic career from 1978-1982 where she earned eight varsity letters in three sports: volleyball, basketball and softball.
On the basketball court, Fleming scored 871 points in three seasons, averaging 12.8 points a game on 46% shooting. During her senior year, she scored a school-record 32 points in a game.
Fleming, who earned Senior Girl Athlete of the Year honors, was a key cog in the first Spartan girls' basketball team to win a league title, district championships and a state-level game.
“What I learned from sports here is something I carried with me throughout my life,” she said. “For that, I’m grateful to my coaches for instilling this work ethic in us.”
Inductee Chuck Anderson was an eight-time letter winner in three sports: football, basketball and baseball from 1965-68. As a safety in football, he was named to the All-Cascade “A” League first team for his work on the 7-0 Spartans who were conference champions who ranked fourth in both the state Associated Press and UPI polls.
Anderson was named to the Cascade “A” League first team as a junior and senior. In his final campaign, he averaged 18.8 points per game as the Spartans won the league title with a 13-1 record. On the baseball field, he set a school record with six shutouts in a season and played for three consecutive title teams. His durability set records, too. He was the first Spartan to start every game basketball and baseball game for three straight years.
Inductee Karl Wenzel also was a three-sport star, but excelled in baseball from 1994-98. The all-star catcher — Stanwood baseball’s Player of the Year, Most Valuable Player and team captain — accumulated a school-record batting average of .528 in addition to throwing out 28 base runners, producing 30 RBI and compiling 38 hits his senior year. That Spartan club advanced to the state regional for the first time in 23 seasons.
“I love to see how the culture here and continued to support athletics at a high level,” he said during his acceptance speech to about 350 attendees. “We are grateful, and future generations will benefit from it.”
Inductee Lindsey Signer earned four varsity letters in both volleyball and fastpitch softball from 1999-2003. On the volleyball court as a senior, she compiled a .350 attack percentage in league play, with 170 kills, 136 digs and 24 solo blocks.
In softball, she pitched the program's first perfect game, one of four no-hitters during her high school career. She set a school record for strikeouts in a game, a season and a career. She earned the school’s Female Athlete of the Year in 2003.
Doug Nemo joined the Hall of Fame after a stellar basketball and baseball career at Stanwood from 1971-75. He was honored as a Washington State All-Star Basketball Player and played in the Washington State Coaches All-Star game after avering 14.7 points per game and shooting 46% his senior year. During his high school career, he handed out more than 300 assists and was voted Best Defensive Player by his teammates twice. Nemo also worked with young hoopsters in the Little Dribblers program.
“I don't think you'll find a better guard in the state," then-Arlington coach Bill Sharp said.
Former Spartan boys basketball coach Nate DuChesne joined the Hall after leading the program for eight seasons from 1997 to 2005. DuChesne’s Spartans were 112-74 over that span, making the postseason seven times, including finishing sixth in state in 2001 and 2002.
DuChesne was picked as Washington State Boys' Basketball Coach of the Year in 2002.
“The ground here was very fertile … for basketball to take off,” said DuChesne, now principal at Mariner High School. “The community just welcomed us here. It was great.”
The Hall of Fame enshrined two Spartan teams Saturday night: The 1981-82 girls’ basketball team and the 1967 football squad.
The basketball team was the first in school history to win a state-level game after compiling a 15-5 regular season record that gave them the program’s first league title. The team kept winning, earning the program’s first district crown and first trip to the state tournament.
The team of Anne Marie Blom, Tracy Taylor, Janet Marrinier, Linda Madigan, Tina Moen, Lisa Madigan, Michelle Marszalk, Andrea Munson, Kathy Wallace, Becky Fleming, Wendy Bachofner and Jana Schoenberg was coached by Paul Johnson.
The 1967 gridiron club won the Cascade League championship after winning all its conference contests totaling 31.8 points per game while just 8.2 points per game. The team finished the season ranked fourth in the state and featured first-team standouts Craig Hedlund, Mike Hall, Tom Ovenell, Steve Rasmussen and Chuck Anderson.
Vern Butts, this year’s special honoree, lettered in football, basketball, baseball and track and field for Stanwood Union High school from 1932-36 before moving on to play varsity basketball and baseball at Washington State College. As a Cougar, he played basketball and baseball for four seasons, including in the 1941 NCAA national basketball championship game. Butts died in October 2016 at the age of 98.
This year’s contributor award went to Franklin Hanson, a former school board member, school bond organizer, groundskeeper and loyal follower of Spartan teams for years.
Unable to participate in sports due to injury, Hanson supported local sports in a variety of ways, including promoting school levies and bonds; working as a bus driver and groundskeeper; and volunteering at track and field meets.
In addition, the Lund family was recognized for its contributions to athletics and for consistent school support. Sevald Samuel Lund married Pernille Horven in 1905 and moved to Milltown before eventually homesteading on what became Lund Road in the Cedarhome area of east Stanwood in 1909. They had 10 children, including Harold “Pug” Lund, who earned the family's first varsity letter in football and basketball for the Lincoln Lynx from 1936-38. Gordy Lund lettered in those same sports in the early 1940s while sister Marion Lund won multiple insignias while participating in the Girls Athletic Association from 1946-49 at Twin City High School. Twelve children in the next generation of Lunds earned letters or emblems in a variety of sports, and 16 fourth-generation children have earned letters.
Learn more on the Stanwood High School’s Athletic Hall of Fame’s Facebook page or the Stanwood-Camano School District website: stanwood.wednet.edu.