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feature article

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by jakewriter82, Jun 3, 2007.

  1. jakewriter82

    jakewriter82 Active Member

    So I've really never posted in the writer's workshop before but thought I'd check it out.
    I wrote this feature a couple of weeks ago and I felt good about its execution.
    The problem with all my stories is I really never get any feedback on them so it's up to me to decide if it was good, bad, indifferent.
    My editor doesn't know sports writing at all and mainly cleans up my grammatical errors.
    Any feedback would be great!

    Wayne Estes, arguably the best athlete ever to graduate from Snookish High School, is probably best known for his accomplishments on the basketball court.
    It’s hard to argue with the accolades and statistics: AP All-American with Utah State in 1965, a record 821 points scored in the 1963-64 season with the Aggies, and the University of Hawaii Rainbow Classic tournament MVP in 1964, over 20,000 points scored with SHS in just three years on the varsity squad.
    Sports Illustrated described him in their magazine before his untimely death in 1965 by saying, “Wayne Estes looks indestructible. A 6-foot-6, 225 pound cross between village blacksmith and the spreading chestnut tree.”
    Jeff Frank, who graduated from high school a year after Estes, however, remembers him more for his prowess on the football field.
    “For my sophomore and junior years, my competition for first-team center, which was also my position on the team, was Wayne Estes,” Frank said. “Estes could’ve easily played football in college. In high school, he made sure to always line up against me and he was easily the hardest hitter I’d ever face. I learned a lot facing him, and my senior year was much easier because there was no one even close to him left on the team.”
    Fourty-five years since strapping on his helmet for the final time, Frank, 63, and now vice-principal at SHS, is retiring after working in the Snookish education system for 37 years. For 34 years, he worked as an elementary teacher at Lincoln School and spent the past three years at the high school. Frank’s parents, Ruben and Josephine Frank both worked in Snookish as well. Ruben ran the Sullivan & Frank Texico service station with Paul Sullivan while Josephine was a registered nurse at the hospital.
    While Frank admits he wasn’t the most talented athlete in high school, “In track I started running the mile in track and by my senior year, I ran the 100 because it was the shortest distance,” he said, he has stayed connected to the Snookish Copperheads since returning to the Smelter City after serving in the U.S. Army.
    In 1970, after a 27-month tour of Vietnam, Frank returned home to teach at Lincoln. He was also hired as an assistant football coach, where he served two years. After the head coach was fired, Frank said all the assistants were also fired.
    He wanted to stay involved, so he took up refereeing. He’s been both a football and basketball ref ever since and says he has no plans on retiring. He said he’ll keep calling games until his legs prevent him from making it up-and-down the playing field. In basketball in particular, Frank said the start-and-stop movement could prevent him from calling games much longer.
    In 1970, he also began another hobby – tracking down newspaper and yearbook records of all the football games played from the very first games played in Snookish up to then.
    He said the first high-school sanctioned football game was played in 1895. He said the team was comprised of mostly players who weren’t actually still in high school.
    Frank said because there weren’t any other high school teams the high school would play anyone who could get a team together in the state.
    Finding accounts of such games was difficult because newspapers had no sports sections, he said.
    Frank said he learned about much of the history of Snookish, not just sports history after spending many days in the basement of the Hearst Free Library looking at old newspapers page-by-page.
    “Eventually they told me I could just go down there instead of them bringing up the old newspapers,” Frank said.
    He said what made things even trickier was that there didn’t appear to be a certain time of year when the teams would play football.
    The track and field season, which he also has records of on his computer at home, seemed to be always held in the spring however, because, Frank speculates, the Olympic or college season were also held then.
    Frank said before he started collecting the records by going through old newspaper articles, coaches would throw away the records once new coaches were hired and so on.
    He said now keeping the records up to date is much easier. When he quits keeping them whoever decides they want to pick it up will have a less-harder time keeping track.
    Frank is probably the best person to ask about who is the best football player ever to lace up his cleats for Snookish.
    Frank has a list of every player ever to play varsity football for the Copperheads. He said the list is 20 pages of two columns single spaced text.
    So based on the numbers and accounts he’s read, Frank said he thinks the best Snookish footballer ever is Jim Emmons, who played quarterback from 1920 through 1923. He has the scoring record and passing record here in Snookish and they still stand today. I was asked that question a long time ago, ‘who’s the best football player ever,’ and it’s difficult to answer because the game is played so differently today. Some might say Pat Monno or a lot of the great players who went on to play college, but in my opinion Emmons was the best,” Frank said.
    He thinks the most impressive records in Snookish history are Monno’s 299 points scored in his career and the 155 points he scored as a quarterback in a single season. He said all of the records are capable of being broken, however, noting that Cory Huog and Nate Sanders came close to breaking them during their time at Snookish High.
    Frank, who’s wife Bobbie retired after 35 years as a teacher at Lincoln, said he’d like to travel more now that he’s calling it a career.
    “I have a son in Boise, so now I don’t have to wait for a break in the school year to go down there. I suppose we can go to more Griz games and even catch a Boise State game too,” Frank said. “I don’t want to not do anything, but it’ll be nice having more free time.”
    When Frank steps down, Joe Mehrens, the head volleyball coach for the Copperheads and Special Services director will take over as the new vice principal at the high school while business teacher Paul Furthmyer is taking over for Walt Hansen as principal.
    Mehrens said he couldn’t wait to start his new position and take on new challenges as the assistant principal.
    “I’m pretty excited about it, a little nervous as well. I’m hoping I can do the job that needs to be done I think it’s a very challenging step for me, but like I said I’m excited about it and anxious,” Mehrens said.
    While he’s replacing Frank, Mehrens said he’s already talked to Frank about the position and said he’s offered to help in any way he can.
    “He’s (Frank) already mentioned he’d make himself available. He and Walt said next year they’d help in scouting for volleyball, kind of as a joke. I don’t know if I need that much help in the volleyball area from those two, but the meaning is well taken – they’re going to support us in any way possible,” Mehrens said.
    Frank said he thinks both Furthmyre and Mehrens will do a great job, saying that when he and Hansen took over they made changes ,so he expects them to make changes as well.
    “We know both Furthmyre and Mehrens. When they start, they’ll have some youth and they’ll have some fresh ideas. The school board made their choice and I think they’ll do a fine job,” Frank said.
    Hansen, 62, has worked in education for 40 years, including 36 years at SHS. He was the principal for the past four years.
    So while Frank might be spending more time enjoying life as a retired-educator, he’ll still be on the sideline taking statistics and calling JV football and basketball games.
    Frank might be wearing fewer hats as he gets older, but his love for aiding teeenagers in Snookish in any capacity appears to have kept him active and youthful.
    To best describe Frank’s life one needs not look further than the great words of the legendary songwriter Bob Dylan, who wrote in “Forever Young,”
    “May your hands always be busy,
    May your feet always be swift,
    May you have a strong
    When the winds of changes shift.
    May your heart always be joyful,
    May your song always be sung,
    May you stay forever young.”
  2. dawgpounddiehard

    dawgpounddiehard Active Member

    First off, thanks for posting. I try not to sound too harsh, so don't take it personally, just learn from it.

  3. jakewriter82

    jakewriter82 Active Member

    Thanks, that's why I posted, I wanted to get some constructive criticism. I appreciate it!
  4. jgmacg

    jgmacg Guest

    I'm in general agreement with the Dawg here. Never misdirect a reader early on. Make plain the subject of the story, then circle back to invoke other important subjects in the piece.

    Thanks to you both for the effort here.
  5. huckchess

    huckchess New Member

    Wayne Estes was one of the finest Basketball Players I've ever had the opportunity to watch. He had a variety of shots, a jumper, a baseline hook, a set shot, and from the foul line he led the nation his senior year, and was in the top ten his sophomore and junior year. I had attended a basketball clinic at Utah State in 1963 and was put in Wayne's group for instruction. He demonstated for us the right shooting techniques and then took thirty foul shot and hit them all, and then took a variety of shot from all over the court and didn't miss one of them either. Wayne was not only a good athlete but he was a good person too. He wasn't conceded or overbearing, he was approachable by everyone, he was never to busy to sign an autograph. All in all he was a great individual!
  6. Rusty Shackleford

    Rusty Shackleford Active Member

    Never heard of Estes, but he seriously scored 20,000 points in three years? Assuming 30 game seasons, that's over 300 points per game. Is that a typo, or am I missing something?
  7. Some Guy

    Some Guy Active Member

    No, he was just that good. :)
  8. friend of the friendless

    friend of the friendless Active Member

    Mr 82,

    My one small suggestion would be to start with Frank sorting thru his archive of game records, coming up a photo of Estes. Graf 2, Frank describing playing against him in graf 2. Nut Graf, description of Frank as bolded in Mr Dawg's critique.

    YHS, etc
  9. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    i've heard of estes, but i thought he was from kansas.
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