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Spotlight: 1971 Knights Football Team

1971 Knights Football Team

“What made this team so special was the total commitment of so many people,” he said. “It started with the support of this community, the collaboration of coaches, some strategic recruiting and of course the outstanding student athletes.” - Coach Paul Seale

Paul Seale proudly recalls the year the Wenatchee Valley College Knights football team took the championship title proudly. Seale was the head coach of the 1971 WVC Knights football team. The team was inducted into the WVC Athletics Hall of Fame on Jan. 31, 2020.

“What made this team so special was the total commitment of so many people,” he said. “It started with the support of this community, the collaboration of coaches, some strategic recruiting and of course the outstanding student athletes.”

Seale is a former Canadian football player who played for the British Columbia Lions of the Canadian football league. He also played football at Oregon State University, was an all-conference tight end for the Wenatchee Valley College Knights, and is in the WVC Athletics and B.C. Lions halls of fame.

Sandy Cooprider was hired as an assistant coach while Seale was head coach.

“Coach Seale was a fierce competitor and always stressed fundamentals of the game of football,” Cooprider said. “He was a player's coach - always looking out to help the underdog. He gave his assistant coaches a lot of freedom to do their job and it was an honor to coach with him.”

According to Seale, “Frank Kuntz, who was the Quarterback Club President of the Knights Booster Club at the time, led the recruiting efforts.

“He raised thousands of dollars for scholarships and recruiting. His motivation was to find talented athletes to come to Wenatchee to play.  Frank also recruited people in the community to support that goal,” he said. “We got lucky with recruiting some outstanding student athletes from various regions including Canada, Hawaii and Washington state” said Seale.

In addition to a solid team, Seale said good coaching led the team to the championship. Cooprider, a former Knights football player, had played for Jim Sweeney at Montana State University before becoming an assistant coach. He taught and coached at WVC for 44 years. Jim Norton was also hired in 1971. He had played at Wenatchee High School and at the University of Washington and spent seven years playing for the Washington Redskins.

“The bonding of the athletes with the community, the support of everyone at Wenatchee Valley College, plus a great will to win is what made this team so special.” said Seale.

The Wenatchee Valley College Knights Football Team of 1971:

  • 10 Steve Barnett, Winlock, WA: Quarterback
  • 11 Lyle Mattson, Hawaii: Quarterback
  • 12 Blaine Franser, Vancouver, B.C.: Quarterback
  • 14 Dave Cort, Seattle, WA: Wingback
  • 20 Glen Wallace, Vancouver, B.C.: Halfback
  • 21 Ken McEachern, Canada: Regina, Sask, C: Defensive halfback
  • 22 John Coen, Steilacoom, WA: Halfback
  • 23 Rick Pipkin, Cashmere: Running back
  • 24 Van Darlington, Leavenworth, WA: Defensive halfback
  • 30 Chet Cockrill, East Wenatchee, WA: Defensive halfback
  • 31 Tom Jensen, Seattle, WA: Fullback
  • 32 Marty Cella, Chicago, IL: Fullback
  • 33 Jerry Yonaka, Peshastin-Dryden, WA: Defensive halfback
  • 34 Joe Couty, Seattle, WA: Defensive Halfback
  • 40 Todd Duncan, East Wenatchee, WA: Defensive halfback
  • 41 Bob Hornes, Calgary, Alberta: Defensive halfback
  • 42 Mike Elmer, Wenatchee, WA Defensive halfback
  • 43 Mike Wallace, Kelso, WA: Defensive halfback
  • 50 Tim McCarty, East Wenatchee, WA: Center
  • 51 Steve Freeman, Wenatchee, WA: Linebacker
  • 52 Vince Kaularich, Issaquah, WA: Center
  • 53 Greg McManus, Okanogan, WA: Linebacker
  • 60 Tom Kauzlarich, Issaquah, WA: Offensive guard
  • 61 Richard Ritch, Seattle, WA: Defensive guard
  • 62 Steve Adelson, Seattle, WA: Linebacker
  • 63 Roger Delisle, Issaquah, WA: Offensive guard
  • 64 Jerry Anderson, Richland, WA: Offensive guard
  • 65 Mike Lar, Seattle, WA: Offensive tackle
  • 66 Bob Tomlenovich, Vancouver, B.C.: Defensive guard
  • 67 Jim Cherry, Ladner, B.C.: Offensive guard
  • 70 Jim Carter, Spokane, WA: Linebacker
  • 71 John Carlson, Seattle, WA: Offensive tackle
  • 72 Steve Roe, Seattle, WA: Offensive tackle
  • 73 Obie Amacker, Richland, WA: Offensive tackle
  • 74 Tom Cole, Vancouver, WA: Defensive tackle
  • 75 Charles Russell, Vancouver, WA: Defensive tackle
  • 80 Mark McDonald, Vancouver B.C.: Split end
  • 81 Bob Beck, East Wenatchee, WA: Split end
  • 82 Harry Knell, Hawaii: Wingback
  • 83 Bob Carskie, Chicago, IL: Tight end
  • 84 Al Parsley, Chelan, WA: Linebacker
  • 85 Mark Peck, Yakima, WA: Tight end
  • 86 Gene Thompson, Seattle, WA: Defensive tackle
  • 87 Maury Barstad, Seattle, WA: Tight end
  • John Austin, Omak, WA: Fullback

Head Coach: Paul Seale

Assistants: Bill Penhallegon, Sandy Cooprider, Jim Norton

Student trainer: Keith Kladnick

Student manager: Barry Dolliff