Senior night will be busy next Monday at WHS
October 28, 2021
It will be a busier than usual Senior Night next Monday at the Wahkiakum High School football stadium starting around 6:30 p.m. Game time is 7 p.m.
The school normally honors senior athletes and their parents before the start of a team's final home game. This year, besides the senior athletes, the school will honor participants in cheer and pep band, retired football coaches Eric Hansen and Marc Niemeyer, and also, seniors from the visiting Adna Pirates, who had their final home game and senior night cancelled because of covid-19 exposures.
Between them, former head coach Hansen and assistant coach Niemeyer have put in 58 years coaching football.
Coach Hansen walked on as a volunteer in the 1993 Mule program; he subsequently coached the middle school team, assisted at the high school, and became head coach in 2002, a position he held through the 2020 season.
Coach Niemeyer has been Hansen's assistant for 18 years; before that, he coached two years at Toledo High School and one year at Imbler (Ore.) High School.
Following are some comments from them about coaching:
Coach Eric Hansen
"The greatest challenge was student participation. In the beginning, it was pretty easy, with decent success, athletes wanted to play. As social media and other distractions came about, there was less interest in playing team sports because of the time and commitment required. In addition there were enrollment dips and concussion fears. I truly believe that those who participated benefited."
The most rewarding part of coaching has been"The relationships that I made with players, parents, and my fellow coaches. Every year you would see seniors graduate and new freshmen enter the program. The parent support, added with the opportunity to mold young boys into men, was the greatest thrill.
"It was also a thrill to coach with some great men who became good friends and were the backbone of the program. I cannot say enough thank yous to Marc Nimeyer, Rob Cothren, Brian Fudge, Ryan Lorenzo, Pat Brown, John Hannah, Eddie Lopez, Kevin Patching, and Kurt Davis, for these men helped shape the lives of a lot of men in our community. I will always cherish being a part of Men Utilizing Life Experiences Successfully."
Coach Marc Niemeyer
The greatest challenge has been "Teaching kids how to overcome adversity no matter what life throws at you. Work hard even when you feel down and out. Have empathy for others.
The most rewarding part has been "Being a positive influence/role model, changing the lives of many young boys helping them to become great men. Watching them get jobs, get married and have beautiful families and productive members of society."