Monday, April 22, 2024

Cascade High School’s Grizzled Old Men

CHS Leadership students Scott Lindsay (12) and Rhetta Cummings (12) finish putting up promotional posters for Grizzled Old Men at Cascade High School.
CHS Leadership students Scott Lindsay (12) and Rhetta Cummings (12) finish putting up promotional posters for Grizzled Old Men at Cascade High School.

LEAVENWORTH - One of Cascade High School’s most beloved traditions is the Grizzled Old Men basketball game. This annual competition is a fundraiser for the senior class trip. This event highlights CHS seniors and community members facing off against each other in a basketball game. Members of the Kodiak community have traditionally attended to cheer on either the seniors or the “grizzled old men.” 

The beginning of this tradition is somewhat of a mystery, but the origins date back to around 15 years ago. This was around the same time the Mr. Kodiak event started, according to Cascade’s current athletic director and lifelong Kodiak Tim Barnes. “I know it’s been quite a few years [since it started], and it's a pretty decent fundraiser that they use for the senior class,” said Barnes. “This year with Publications and Leadership, mainly Leadership, helping put it on, it sounds like it's going to be a lot more organized than it has been in the past with a lot more fun activities. Linda Clark is the one who started Mr. Kodiak and I think that Grizzled Old Men might have been part of the deal. She was the one who was in charge of coming up with fundraisers, because she had kids who were seniors.”

Many teachers and staff at Cascade High School have fond memories of watching or playing in the game. The Health and Sports Medicine teacher at Cascade High School, Jon Betz, has played in the competition before. “I’ve played, I think, at least four times with a gap around Covid. My favorite part is just kind of seeing the seniors trying to get it organized and get a group together, and then the relationship parts with teachers, parents, and students. I don't think people get to see adults compete against kids very often, so that's kind of what's fun,” said Betz. 

Some staff members, however, are playing for the very first time this year, such as para-education teacher Jamie Krejci. “I just wanted to be more active in the activities that are going on at school. I feel like we want to build up morale with students and staff and get us all to connect more, and I did play a little bit of basketball in high school. Just being a part of things and hopefully crushing the seniors,” explained Krejci.  

The senior class, senior ASB, and executive ASB have all been working to make this event a success. Elected officers such as Maddy Black (12) have been making sure all the logistics went smoothly. “I’m the senior class treasurer. I filled out the form for the cash box and talked to Hilary Osborn, our bookkeeper, about money for the little surprise we’ll be having at halftime. I'm excited to see all of the high school players go crazy and really become dedicated to trying to win the game,” explained Black. 

Not only are these student leaders helping put on the event, but they are also playing in it. ASB executive president Scott Lindsey (12) explained, “It's a senior class fundraiser, so we worked a lot with the senior class just coming up with ideas. We started the process early with criteria such as how it's going to run, what it's going to be, etc. I just tried to give my ideas and spread the word. I’m just excited to play in it and I've never even seen it. I'm also excited for the little twist we’re having; I think it's going to be a lot of fun.” Despite the fact that the Grizzled Old Men have won for the past 15 years, the seniors remain hopeful. “I’m looking forward to crushing the Grizzled Old Men,” said Lindsay.

This year, the event is on Feb. 28 at 7:00 p.m. in the high school's main gym. The cost will be $5 for students or in advance and $10 at the door. All Kodiak members are encouraged to show up and support the seniors as the community joins together for a fun and friendly competition night.


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