Four Inducted into new YHS Hall of Fame
By Jenna Loughlin
February 21, 2003 Nisqually Valley News
Yelm High School unveiled its new Hall of Fame with an induction ceremony during which three Yelm alumni were honored for their athletic ability along with one coach.
Dave Wolf, center for the state champion 1958 boys’ basketball team, Aaron Kalama, 1963-67 multi sport athlete and Patsy (Walker) Pointer, 1977 girls’ track state champion were all chosen to bet he first athletes selected for the Hall. Bill Ward, also from the 1958 boys basketball team, was the first coach inducted.
“These people show us that nothing is impossible when everyone works together,” said the high school’s Athletic Director Ron Barnard.
Each inductee was given a plaque with their high school senior picture and a brief paragraph describing their achievement, a duplicate of which will be hung in the gym hallways by the boys’ and girls’ locker rooms.
Before the honorees themselves were handed the microphone, someone introduced them to the crowd.
For Ward, Wolf gave a description of what it was like to have him as a coach.
“He took a bunch of raw kids and turned us into champions,” Wolf said. “He was maybe the most influential man in my life.”
Ward then talked about the season and what made the team so special. “We had to win 17 straight games to get the title,” he said.
“These people would not quit. They even snuck into the gym on weekends. They were dedicated and they had a winning attitude.”
“This team was a winner all the way. They were an incredible group to coach and it was my honor to do so.”
Next, a quite excited Bob Wolf came up. “I’ve waited so long to roast him,” Bob said of his younger brother Dave.
However, Bob was rather nice, describing what life was like in Yelm during the 1958 run along with the accomplishments of his brother.
“Yelm closed down,” during the 1968 playoffs, Bob said, adding that throughout the whole season, his parents store, Wolf’s Department Store, had a window dedicated to the team, posting its record and game scores.
He also mentioned Dave’s being named to the All-state team, his time spent at Stanford and the University of Puget Sound on a law degree and most recently, the failing mill he purchased in Oregon that he has turned into a success.
“You’ve been a real inspiration to me,” Bob said.
“Thank you, Bob, I think,” Dave said after his brother’s speech. Of the introduction itself, “I am proud to receive the award for our team,” Dave said. “Gary Beggs, Al Heath, Dennis Kinney, George Coulter, Mike Gould, Phil Peoples, George Hobart, Barrie Wilcox and John Stark.”
“Basketball is really a team sport. You don’t get there by yourself.”
Dave joked that, even though it might seem like it has, not much has changed.
“I didn’t like running stairs then, I don’t like running stairs now. I couldn’t pass behind my back then. I can’t pass behind my back now. I couldn’t dunk then, and I can guarantee that I can’t duck now. I was and still am very proud to say I am from Yelm. It’s a wonderful place to live and a wonderful community.”
Kalama’s mother, Zelma McCloud, accepted the award for her son who was tragically killed in a car accident two years after his graduation from high school in 1967. Superintendent Alan Burke remembers Kalama’s reputation as the two were in high school at the same time, though in different districts.
“He was about as good as anybody around here,” Burke said. “He loved playing sports,” McCloud said. “It came to him naturally.” McCloud also said that Ward was probably one of Kalama’s favorite coaches.
“I am grateful for this honor and grateful for the school to remember him,” she said.
Wrestling coach Gaylord Strand spoke about Pointer, describing her as a “pioneer” since she was competing just as Title IX was being introduced and as a “female phenom.”
Strand listed off numerous records Pointer set, many of which are still standing, and wondered how much better they could have been if the track had not been made of cinder.
“She was something that was really great,” said Strand.
“I couldn’t have done it without the support of my community,” Pointed said, after which she got a little chocked up and teary eyed.
“She’s never at a loss for words at home,” joked her husband, Gary Pointer.
Patsy Pointer mentioned that her coaches taught her that, “In order to be great, you had to work hard, you had to be honest, you had to have integrity and couldn’t let your head get over you.”
“I was scared to lose,” Pointer said.
“I am very humbled,” she said, adding, “I miss being home.”