Lance Stouffer

Profile Updated: November 25, 2014
Residing In Heathrow, FL USA
Homepage heathrowpublishing.com
Occupation 1. CPA 2.Writer-Action,adven,romance novels
Children 2 great kids
Military Service Army - Vietnam- 2 years  
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School Story

ETHS 1965 Prom
An Article I wrote for the WHEELS collection of stories, published by the Florida Writers Association in 2012
Title: 24 Hours in a Corvette Sting Ray Coupe
[A non-fiction remembrance of a moment in time]

Life’s journey allows us to reflect nostalgically, whenever we want, on those indelible moments in our lives we cherish. One particular day, oh so long ago, was one of those fond moments for me. It was a day in the life of a young man just graduating from Evanston High school and on the road to college and the rest of life’s adventures. It was a Saturday morning in early June 1965 and the day of the high school prom. Everything was in readiness to include new sport coat, shirt and tie, cordovan wingtip shoes, orchid corsage for girlfriend Robin, everything. Well not everything would be perfect that day. Who really wanted to show up at the prom in the old family sedan, or worse yet to be dropped off by your parents? Wheels were wheels back then, and at least I could pick Robin up in something with four of them.

Dad left early that morning to run an errand, I suppose. My mother yelled up to me in my room that he was home and needed help unloading something from the car. She was smiling at the bottom of the stairs as I came down, which was unusual. As I walked outside and strode around the garage to the driveway I saw something gleaming sitting there; something that was the center of the universe for a seventeen year old boy; something that was then unreachable, except to look at in magazines. It was the car of my dreams, a white 1965 Corvette Sting Ray Coupe. Now what was the most beautiful set of wheels on earth doing in our driveway, and why was my Dad resting on the hood holding up a set of keys and smiling?

“Son, this is an early graduation present for you from us. Thought you might enjoy driving this to the prom instead of the Oldsmobile,” I recall him saying as he tossed the keys into the air at me which I grabbed and raced forward to give him a big smiling hug. “Here’s the deal. You have this rental car for 24 hours and must return it to Hertz, and you know the rules: no drinking, no tickets, no accidents. Are we clear?”

“Ok,” I responded walking around my new set of ‘wheels’ gliding my hand over the paint and contours as I surveyed the red leather interior, chromed up knock off wheels and red stripe tires. Yes, I can deal with those rules.

My life changed at that moment. Had I instantly crossed some invisible line into a new phase of life? At the time I didn’t understand what my parents really gave me that day, but now I do. They were letting me sample life to its fullest on a very special day, the way I truly wanted it to be at the time, and the new ‘wheels’ made it complete.

Dad gave the obligatory one minute checkout on the car with me sitting behind the wheel. The 24 hour clock was ticking and it was now ‘Showtime.’ I fired up the 327 V8 to its rumbling roar, turned on the am radio and there were the ‘Rolling Stones’ playing Satisfaction. Could it get any more perfect than this? Putting it into reverse (Yes, it was an automatic, but who cared!) I was off to pick up best friend Brian and then off to impress our friends with my good fortune. I always started off by saying my Dad got me the car as a graduation present. I never offered that it was a rental for a day, wanting them to have the illusion that me and my ‘Vette,’ or my ‘Vette’ and me had ‘arrived.’ The key thing was we were both now one and the same. Teen and wheels inseparable forever. Four solid hours behind the wheel passed in an instant, and it was time to return to get ready for the prom, fetch Robin and come back home for all those staged pictures and movies and grand neighborhood prom sendoff ceremonies.

I picked up Robin and got a chilly reception from her father and mother, who were not thrilled about my new wheels. Obviously, their parental thinking changed instantly that the power of the car would somehow trump their ‘prom anti-pregnancy’ advice. Who cared, as I could see the beautifully dressed Robin was as thrilled about the Corvette as I. After etching in stone the evening’s complete itinerary, destinations, and return drop off time with her parents, Robin and I were off on our adventure.

I recall having a great time arriving at the prom, arriving at the after prom parties, arriving at Lee Street beach for a bonfire and arriving to drop Robin off at 1 am. I’m sure her parents breathed a sigh of relief as they closed the front door with daughter safe inside and in pristine condition. At that point my prom date now turned into the ‘Vette’ and the night was still young. Gas up and drive till dawn was the quest. I picked up Brian and we drove far and wide. How fast did the ‘Vette’ go you ask? How much rubber did we lay down at every stop sign? Did we drag race whenever we could? Sorry, but this is still confidential information I don’t want Hertz to know about in case they read this and cancel my Number One Club membership, however you can guess the answers.

The next thing I remember was pulling into the Hertz yard at 3 pm Sunday and, turning the key off and saying goodbye to my Corvette dream car. I’m sure I said that someday we’ll meet again. Someday I’ll be able to afford you and after college for sure! It was a good thing I had to walk three miles home as it gave time to decompress from the 24 hour whirl, get back to normal and resume my ‘wheel less’ existence.

In retrospect, at seventeen, the Corvette ‘told’ people who I thought I was. Embracing that divined perception was what I wanted then. As adults we know that logic is flawed and dismiss it to youth, yet to some degree we all continue our automotive relationship along those lines, i.e., whatever vehicle we drive is an extension of who we really are. Soccer moms in the family minivan are classic examples. That vehicle supposedly says where one is in life, that family is most important, and you like the look.

My thinking has changed over the years along those lines, but for another important reason - necessity. I have never owned a Corvette to this day. Other priorities always came first to include: finishing college, marriage, children, mortgages, helping parents, taking exotic vacations, etc. All this need seemed more important on life’s journey than me owning my fantasy car for real. After all, for that one special prom day in 1965 I did own those ‘wheels.’ I had it all for 24 hours and was living the dream. Everything came together. I was one with my car. It was me. I was it. Life then was as good as it gets! Thanks for the memory Mom and Dad!

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Lance Stouffer posted a message.
Sep
05
Sep 05, 2018 at 4:10 PM

PHOTOS - From head football coach Murney M. Lazier's Life Celebration held at the ETHS football field on Friday night, August 24th.

Lance Stouffer posted a message. New comment added.
Sep
13
Sep 13, 2018 at 6:34 PM

Posted on: Sep 04, 2018 at 3:44 PM

Hi all,

Wanted to follow-up with you on head football coach Murney M. Lazier's Life Celebration held at the ETHS football field on Friday night, August 24th. I attended and represented the Class of 1965 football team. I estimate that over 150 former players were there spanning all classes from 1957 thru 1974.

I learned that 7 ETHS players went on to NFL careers, including Emery Moorehead who played for the Bears in 1985. He was at the celebration and coin toss. Speaking of that, Murney's sons Shawn and Rian Lazier jointly tossed the coin to start the ETHS versus Wheaton North season opener. Pictures of the coin toss and others are at the bottom of this post. It was a real honor to participate in this event and also to be standing mid-field on Lazier field after last playing there 54 years ago. Wow, has it really been that long ago or what?

And our own Mike Sultan was there with me as another class of 1965 representative.

After the game there was a celebration party at the Farmhouse restaurant, next to the Orrington Hotel in downtown Evanston. Besides all the former players and coaches that showed up, the current head coach, Mike Burzawa and his staff also attended, along with ETHS athletic director, Chris Livatino. It was great to meet all those guys and see how excited they were to bring in the first win of the season. (27-13).

Also, I put together a 56 page glossy handout that includes our Class of 1965 Tribute to ETHS football, plus lots of pictures, clippings, and stuff. Want one..email me.! My only charge will be postage. The cover is below and page 1.

PS...Whoever paid the Farmhouse bar bill....thanks!!

Lance Stouffer posted a message. New comment added.
Aug
14
Aug 14, 2018 at 7:51 PM

Posted on: Jul 23, 2018 at 4:25 PM

Hello 1965 Classmates one and all!

An important date is approaching in ETHS football history. On Friday, August 24, 2018 at 7 pm at Lazier Field on campus two things will happen. There will be a Varsity football game between Evanston and Wheaton North; and a Celebration of Life ceremony for our recently departed (May 2018) head coach Murney M. Lazier.

Footballers - I will be at the game representing the class of 1965 Football Team and all who participated in ETHS football from 1961 to 1964. (That's almost 100 from our class.) I want to personally thank Murney's spirit for what he did for me during my senior year, and also will convey Class of 1965 thanks for creating and administering a lasting Evanston Township High School football experience based on excellence, fairness and winning.

Below is a recent email from Shawn Lazier, one of Murney's son's, and ETHS Class of 1972 graduate, that I want to share with you.
To: Everyone
Fm: Shawn Lazier
Subject: The Winner--Friday, August 24th ETHS versus Wheaton North--Game Time 7:00 PM.

Hello, Everyone:
First, I want to express my complete appreciation for the many emails I received concerning my Father. What he meant to the Evanston Township Community, ETHS, male and female Students and Athletes, co-workers, your individual stories of how he was there for you in both good and bad times. Yes, an educator/coach/administrator from a rare casting mold that's rarely duplicated.
ETHS is ecstatic to host this. Working with ETHS Athletic Director Chris Livatino, a Welcome Tent will be placed in the southwest corner next to Lazier Field. Probably a pre-game funnel walk through and such. Any additional information I receive, I will send all of you.
So, spread the word about the game and Celebration of Life ceremony for my Father.
Feel free to plan any off site Evanston gatherings you may have in mind and communicate those as well.
Evanston has been informally evaluated to have the best varsity football team in 15 to 20 years. Wheaton North is a perennial power. So, it will be a great Celebration for my Dad and a great Game as well. See you there!
Thank you, Shawn Lazier--Class of 1972
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

And here is a email message from Evanston Head Football Coach Mike Burzawa
To: Everyone
Fm: Mike Burzawa
Subject: Help Support Our ETHS Football Team Directly

If possible depending upon your situation, please consider a donation to the ETHS Football Program. Donation information and the 2018 Evanston Football Fundraiser Event are shown in the attachments. First up is the fundraiser at the firehouse grill on August 10th. If you can't make it, please send a donation directly to the ETHS Athletic Department. Your donation dollars go a long way in assisting a teenager in their most form-able Life years particularly within a financial hardship circumstance. Alums and sponsors can help bridge that gap. Donation forms are attached. Please don't forget about the Lazier Tribute/Hall of Fame Game/Celebration of Life ceremony on Friday, August 24th. Plan now to secure your travel/accommodations unless you are local.
Regards, Mike Burzawa
Head Football Coach
/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Ok Stouffer here again, I know this will be a great ETHS alumni event with many classes participating. If you are local please try to stop by to join the fun. Look for me in my ETHS
Wildkits hat. I look forward to seeing you!
Go KITS!?
We will Fight for You!

Regards, Lance
7-23-2018
Fun photos attached from the past
Donation forms attached.

Lance Stouffer posted a message. New comment added.
Aug
06
Aug 06, 2018 at 1:19 PM

Posted on: Jul 23, 2018 at 4:06 PM

July 23, 2018
Hi, I originally posted this three (3) years ago on July 15, 2015...Yikes...that long ago!!
Re-posting for FOLLOW ON POST about ETHS FOOTBALL.
YOU CAN FIND THE ORIGINAL POST AND ALL THE ATTACHMENTS BY SCROLLING WAY, WAY DOWN THERE.

THIS POST WILL REMAIN IN PLACE.......Cheers..Lance..7-26-2018
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
ETHS Football -A Tribute and Salute to the Best

We were Freshman once and proud in the fall of 1961, excited and little bit intimidated to begin our final four years at ETHS. So many experiences ahead. So much to learn. The educational part alone would fill our minds with many new ideas, concepts and skills. The opportunities at ETHS were endless. The finest teaching staff was there to bring out the best in us in whatever endeavor we pursued.

The ETHS Sports experience showed us how to work together toward a common goal. It was about being something greater than ourselves. We learned teamwork. We found out what our bodies could do with training and discipline over time. We set goals. We tested the limits of our endurance. We tasted victory and defeat in the process. We got injured and recovered. The entire experience helped build and shape our character and our self-confidence back then.

Sports at ETHS was about excellence. It was also about tradition. It was about paying it forward. It was about being the best and being part of the best. The football program at ETHS was all that and more. It was focused totally on being winners! Losers went to New Trier! I like to think the phrase 'kick ass and take names' originated on the ETHS gridiron.

Why did 90+ young boys show up for ETHS Freshmen football practice in August 1961, representing almost 20% of the freshmen boys in our class? Here is what Murney Lazier had to say about the high school football experience from the player perspective. (See attached)

Chicago American, Friday-October 11, 1963 - - Brent Musburger Interview
Musburger - "You have been a successful coach for 13 years. Do you have any ambition to coach college football?"

Lazier - "Coaching high school football has its advantages. You get more of a chance to mold the boys the way you want them. Money doesn't play such a large role here. Don't get me wrong. College kids love the game, but there are other reasons for them playing. There is no other reason, except love of football for the high school boy."

If you participated in ETHS football during any of your four years...my hats off to you! We all loved the game. We all were part of the best of the best. No matter some of us didn't continue on each year. Doesn't matter. That you showed up for practice, that you tried hard proved what you were about. You played ETHS football because you wanted too. That made it special. You were then and still are now winners.

FRESHMAN YEAR - Coach Bob Elliott (A) and Don Raffetto (B) - 1961

In August 1961, we 90+ enlisted in General Lazier's ETHS football Army. Yes, I know we were coached by his lieutenants Bob Elliott as Freshmen and Bob Trevarthen as Sophomores, but never the less, our purpose, our meaning, our goal from the beginning, our very ETHS football existence was to be ready for Varsity action when it became our time in 1963 to step up.

Let's slow down and go back to the beginning. Remember the summer of 1961 and the late August sweltering heat? Here's what I recall. We signed up for tackle football. Full contact, kick ass, show your stuff football. We had a physical. We bought insurance. We got mouth guards. We showed up.

This 'showing up' event over whelmed the ETHS Athletic Department, which was not prepared. The baby boomers had arrived in force. They had no idea this many would signup. Shortages of equipment, uniforms, pads and shoes greeted us. Many of you will remember practicing for a couple of weeks in gym shoes and without pads, or helmets until they reacted. The trickledown theory was in effect for all equipment. The Varsity got all new equipment each year and it eventually got down to us. I got to wear, and many of you too, a pair of black rubber soled cleated canvas shoes and wore them all season. Finally we all had equipment.

Our huge numbers necessitated creating Frosh A and B teams. Having 9 or 10 strings of kids was something new, but staff adapted. I was a B team bomber starting out. Remember how brutal the double practice sessions in the August heat were for us first timers? However, it got us in shape. Sweat until you dropped was Rafetto's motto. You'll also remember we couldn't drink water during practice and then staff issued us 'salt pills' coming off the practice field, which today, would be considered child abuse..ha! On Tuesday's at 10:30am the air raid sirens rang out signaling the torture was over for a few hours. We took it like a footballer. We were 14 years old after all!

Our first games were against New Trier. Our high school football careers were off and running. The A squad lost 12 to nothing on Memorial Field. The B team bombers won their game on the practice field Friday afternoon 27 to 12. We B teamers then proudly watched the A team game in memorial stadium that Saturday morning, followed by the Sophomores at noon and Varsity game at 2pm. The 1961 seniors were awesome and seemed so big and tough. How could we ever be like them? Watching Bob Pickens, John Pope, Otis Smith, Curtis Burkhead, Bill Coker, and others was a hoot and inspiring. Do you remember the Oak Park game that year, where Evanston sent over 14 busloads of kids to watch the Varsity crush Oak Park 42 to 0? This was exciting stuff. More Orange and Blue showed up that day than the Oak Parkers.

The A squad ended the season 5 and 2. The Bombers 6 and 0. At the awards banquet 76 of us got numerals that said 65.

SOPHOMORE YEAR - Coach Bob Travarthen & Elias George, Jim Slagle, Assistants - 1962

We had six strings starting out our Sophomore year in August 1962. This was huge and made for lots of competition, as only the top three strings dressed for the games. Also this year the schedule was expanded to eight games, with a pre-season opener at Maine East, under the lights. A first for ETHS football, who before only played games on Saturday afternoons. We crushed them 38 to 3. John Kincaid and Steve Turner distinguished themselves as quarterbacks.

Our season record was Won-5, Tied 1 and 2 losses to Oak Park and Proviso East. (Those schools and their players would pay for those losses in 1963) At the awards banquet 56 of us got our little Sophomore E.

JUNIOR YEAR - Coach Murney Lazier with Assistants Tosh, Thomas, Blaze, Hurlbut - 1963.

August 1963 had us moving up to the big time Varsity. The combined force of Juniors and Seniors was over 65, or six strings. This made things competitively interesting and very hard for a Junior to play up, unless you were the best. Sure, Lazier may have had favorite players and he certainly could spot talent, but he believed in individual initiative and fairness above all. If you were the best of the best you played on the first string. To get to the first string you had to earn it.

The returning Seniors had a score to settle, as New Trier kicked their ass 20 to 7 in the final game of the 1962 season. This year on Memorial Field the Varsity routed New Trier 33 to 7 led by Junior quarterback John Kincaid. At the closing minutes of the second quarter we were down 7 to 0, when Kincaid marched the team 70 yards in five play and then he passed 34 yards to Roger Ward who ran in for the score, as time ran out. Half time score was 7-6 in favor of New Trier. You remember the team ready rooms under the stadium, where we huddled for half-time. This game, this half-time was destined to be a moment in ETHS football history to remember. The account below was written by Bob Casterline, reporter for the Evanston Review on October 31, 1963, who captured this wonderful moment. (See my football photo section for the entire article.)

"When the referee notified the locker room that only three minutes remained before the start of the second half, Coach Murney Lazier pulled a letter from his pocket. It was from Jeff Hall, one of the backfield regulars on the Wildkit team that had bowed to New Trier last year and now a student at Harvard. Hall implored the coach to tell his 1963 team that the New Trier game was one a player would always remember. In a voice choked with emotion, Lazier finished the letter, which concluded with a plea by Hall on the part of his 1962 teammates for help in erasing the 'sick, sad feeling' they have from losing to New Trier. The answer was written on the scoreboard: 33 to 7."

Lazier was a master at psychology. His 'Win one for the 'Gipper' speech in front of 40 plus young, impressionable ETHS monsters worked. Knute Rockne would be proud. We'll let Kincaid verify these facts at the reunion on this, the finest game played in 1963. Our John Kincaid, Ron Harris and Tom Weingartner, distinguished themselves in this heroic game as 1st squad starters. Cheers you guys!

The 1963 Wildkit Varsity football team captured the Suburban League Title with an undefeated season record W-7 to L-0. I think about 40 in our class of 1965 got letters. The standouts above got the Big Varsity E.


SENIOR YEAR- Coach Murney Lazier -Assistants Tosh, Thomas, Blaze, Hurlbut, Allen - 1964

"THE COMEBACK TEAM OF 1964"

The Call To Battle - It Was Now Our Time

Murney Lazier focused our attention to the "eight glorious battles this fall" we would have in his team letter to us dated August 1, 1964, addressed to all 'Varsity Football Candidates.' Excerpts follow. (The entire letter is at the end of this post.)

• You Seniors remember well the team of 1963, for you were part of the blood, muscle, and sinew that made up that team. You wear the Mantle of Championship, but already hands are clutching at the "Cloak of the Victors" and they seek to rip it from our shoulders....Highland Park is now being fitted for a Robe for they feel they will be the new champions in 1964. However, this Robe, and any others that are pre-fitted, may well turn out to be a garrote with the loose ends stuffed in a big mouth by a ravenous Evanston Monster.
• We will...defend our championship...Our opponents will feel the pain and pressure of battle that, when sustained throughout the 48 minutes of the fight, will leave our enemies drawn and quartered.
• We are dedicated to one purpose in 1964, and that is to repeat as Champions.
• We are all looking forward to the 1964 season and the tests of valor that confront us. Last year the peals of contact sounded from the playing fields of Evanston and now are an echo. Let the drums of battle begin; raise the banner high; and lower the guns, for the Evanston Team of 1964 will be ready.

Double Super Secret Backfield Practices in Early August 1964

The ETHS athletic fields were bustling in the early evenings in August 1964 with many athletes training for their fall sports action. I remember the runners on the track, soccer players working out, and of course the football players. Our back fielders always worked out on the field next to the west fence. These informal sessions were just friends meeting to toss the football around. Just so happened the same guys turned up every evening - Kincaid, Turner, Harris, Burton, Griffin, Tatge, Simmons, Peters and others. It was against Suburban League rules to formally practice before August 24th that year and ETHS always honor Suburban League rules. There were no rules on what players could do 'informally'...and that's what happened. Except, More…who was that man sitting in his car outside the fence with clipboard and binoculars yelling things out the window at those lads who just happened to show up every evening for 'informal fun.' I will let your imagination fill in the blanks here, but this early August ritual went on until August 24th.

The Varsity Tryouts - Monday, August 24, 1964

In the spring of 1964 I got mono and it wiped me out for the summer. I turned into a sleepy vegetable with no energy, or strength and got horribly out of shape as I recuperated. There is no cure for mono, only rest and time. During August 1964, I tried to get back in shape to join the team, but things had changed this year in General Lazier's football Army. The 'just show up and you were on the team policy' at ETHS was over this year. For the first time, you had to try out for the Varsity team. 40 yard sprints, bench pressing a minimum weight, pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups, agility drills were the new criteria. Don't pass a minimum score and you don't get on the squad. The 'love of football' policy was now combined with the 'love of personal fitness, training and dedication,' policy which I guess was ok and designed to minimize potential player injury, but it cut the Varsity team down to about six strings to start. Well, thanks to the mono, I failed the tryouts and got cut the first day and went home to tell my mother my football days were over.

God bless her soul, as she stepped into action and called Murney that very day and told him I was recuperating from mono all summer, which I never told anyone at tryouts. I think my mother pushed his 'fairness bone' a little. He did not change his decision on the phone, but told my Mother he would take my illness into consideration and contact her later.

The Athletic Office secretary called my Mother back on Wednesday morning and asked that I report to Murney in his office that day between practice sessions. I remember sitting in his office, which was cluttered with trophies and photos everywhere. He looked straight at me and said something to the effect...'that given my circumstances, I could practice with the team to the best of my ability.' I remember him smiling that Lazier smile, as he reached across the desk to shake my hand and that was it. Stouffer was on the 1964 team. Yippee!

That day, that decision, that exception he made for me I remember and cherish to this day. A classic Murney Lazier 'gut call' not to cut a high school kid who showed up for three years to play football and then showed up for tryouts tired and weak from illness. Perhaps he remembered his year earlier 1963 'love of the game' quote I started this post with. I don't know his decision process, but somehow that fundamental criteria for being on the squad was applied to me.

From that point to this very day, Murney M. Lazier was my hero and role model. My football savior. I would do anything he wanted to help the team. I thank him eternally for what he did that day. He was a coach with an iron exterior, but still had that fairness gene lurking inside him that made him great. I did the best I could that fall. I showed up at every practice, every game. I got well.

The Lineman Challenge System in Action

Murney Lazier was about winning. He wanted to be surrounded by winners. His coaching staff was the finest and believed wholeheartedly in their boss and his winning formula. His goal was always to find the best players at ETHS and bring out the best in them to win. This meant through mastering practice fundamentals, drills, scrimmages, etc. Building player confidence equated to building a fighting machine. We became football journeyman in our senior year. You began to really appreciate the sport more and more after all the sweat and hard work you put into it. We thought we were the best of the best. Equal to any other ETHS team. Better than any team in the League for sure. Talk about lethal weapons..don't get in front of the 1964 team because you are destined to lose. We intend to beat you. We will beat you..Wow!.. What football monsters we had become.

I started out in August on the last string with the juniors as a weakling tackle. My health and strength and fitness began improving each day. Each week I slowly moved up the strings until stuck behind 1st stringer right tackle "Refrigerator" Mickey Goldman. He was a powerhouse, packed tight and had plenty of talent and outweighed me 40 lbs or so.

Murney's answer to 'fairness' in getting the best lineman players to the 1st string was the Challenge System. If you wanted to move up a string, you called out the player in front of you in practice. If you beat him in a blocking and tackling drill you took his place. Simple as that. Every week I called out Goldman, until it was almost comical. Every week he kicked my ass and held on to his 1st string slot. The good news. The coaches really liked the weekly slugfest we put on for them. At the end of the day, this system delivered the best players to the ETHS front line. Mickey Goldman was the best. This was the excellence process in action. Equal opportunity at its finest.

The 1964 Games - One Through Seven-(Extracts from the press)

Game 1. Racine Park - Saturday, September 19th - W-35-20
• The kits rolled up 279 yards rushing and 170 yards passing. Halfback Ron Harris and fullback Bruce Burton spearheaded the running game. Bill Pegues and Avery Griffin also ran well. ETHS employed two quarterbacks, John Kincaid and Steve Turner and both displayed ability to throw the ball. Kincaid completed five of seven. One was to Tom Weingartner in a leaping catch. Turner hit four out of five. Each threw one scoring pass. Lazier said," it was nice to have two quarterbacks who can pass so well."

Game 2. Highland Park - Saturday, September 26th - L-2-3
• Heavy rains and 25 knot winds saw Evanston tally its only points with a safety when Mickey Goldman and Bill Pegues tackled the Highland Park punter in the end zone. Highland park kicked a 30 yard field goal for their only score. The rain stifled both offenses. Evanston only completed one pass out of three thrown in the game. Punts against the wind averaged 10 yards. Lazier said, " It was a shame that we couldn't play on a field that would enable a test of the teams. No ETHS player really had a chance to prove himself."

Game 3. Proviso East - Saturday, October 3rd. - W-46-7
• Lazier singled out tackles Mickey Goldman and John Perrin for their 'monster' defensive work and described Mike Wynn and Tom Weingartner as "great." Fullback Bruce Burton ran for two touchdowns and PAT. Ron Harris scored twice running once and catching a pass from Turner in the end zone. Wynn also scored on a pass from Turner. Turner also scored on a short plunge and Kincaid ran two PAT's. Bill Pegues made the final touchdown. Mike Davis scored the PAT from a Bob Prinz pass.

Game 4. Niles East - Saturday, October 10th. - W-26-6
• The Kit's played without QB John Kincaid, who was sidelined with an injury. Also injured and out of the game was linebacker Tom Weingartner. Ron Harris scored three touchdowns scoring twice on runs from scrimmage and once on a pass from QB Steve Turner. Scott Peters set Harris up to score once from the four yard line. Harris also sprinted 54 years to the three yard line, setting up Turner to take the ball in for a TD two plays later. Harris leads the Suburban League in scoring with 30 points. Lazier said, "Injuries are a problem with Fred Dyer injuring his hand today and Weingartner out with a foot injury. Not sure if they will play Saturday against Waukegan."

Game 5. Waukegan - Saturday, October 17th. - W-20-0
• Ron Harris scored two TD's. A 27 yard pass run from QB Steve Turner and a 6 yard run. Bruce Burton scored on a 12 yard pass from Turner. The PAT's were scored by Harris on a pass from John Kincaid, and Mike Wynn scored on a pass from Turner. John Kincaid played much of the game as halfback. Harris is tied for the Suburban Leagues scoring lead with 43 points. He has chalked up more tallies than all of Evanston's opponents combined.

Game 6. New Trier East - Saturday, October 24th. - W-21-13
• Sorry, no game stats, but here is the game set up from the Evanstonian the week before. Lazier said, "The New Trier game is always a tough contest of clean, hard-hitting football. Their single-wing offense is still effective and since the Indians are the only one in the league who use it, they have a great advantage over the other squads which are not used to such a formation. They are always tough at home and have a definite advantage playing on their own field. Needless to say, we kicked ass.

Game 7. Morton East - Saturday, October 31st. - W-26-7
• The Wildkits scored first in the Morton East dust bowl, when QB John Kincaid fired a 59 yard pass to Ron Harris to cap a 90 yard drive. Kincaid then passed to Tom Weingartner for the PAT. Several plays later, Harris was injured in a Morton East gang tackle that took him out of the game. A personal foul was called, but the damage done. Junior tackle Bill Majewski was a defensive standout all day and scored on a 29 yard fumble recovery. The final TD score was a pass from John Kincaid to Scott Peters.

Final Game 8 'Preparation Sheet' for Saturday, November 7, 1964

This was day 76, from our August season beginning, for the 1964 Wildkit Varsity football team. All that practicing, all the preparation, all those seven games we played and it all came down to one single contest. This was the final game day of our high school football careers. The day we had to beat Oak Park for the Suburban Leagues Championship. It was all or nothing today.

On Friday afternoon we had a full game uniform dress reversal practice at Memorial Field. (Now Lazier Field) The entire game plan we had been practicing all week was rehearsed in detail. All the starting players ran a light scrimmage against the third string who simulated Oak Park with no real hitting. In the locker room we got our "Dittoed" Oak Park Game Preparation Sheet (See below) and were sent home to eat supper and go to bed.

In addition to the time schedules, and special instruction to get at least nine hours of sleep and eat hearty tonight, the recommended ETHS football player Saturday morning Championship breakfast consisted of a small steak, eggs, baked potato, butter, toast with honey, juice and hot tea.

Nestled within the 'Prep Sheet' was the classic Murney Lazier mantra repeated for us this one last time.
• Do not relax on the field. Let this be your best game. Be sharp and solve your problems of blocking on the field with precision and dispatch. Communicate with your teammates as we all strive for the goal that is now within our grasp.
• You must block everything hard and sustain - sustain - sustain your hits.
• We are starting to get nasty and vicious in our hitting.
• Oak Park is a fine football team and will arrive here prepared to take the Championship back with them. They conclude that Evanston was beaten by Highland Park. They beat Highland Park and therefore they are the superior team. Let us point out that they have a false premises....as we strike them down!
• One gets few second chances in life. Perhaps your loss to Highland Park was a test to see if Evanston really wants to fight for the Championship and the glory and honor that goes with it.
• Do not expect an easy score. This game will be won or lost in the fourth quarter and by the team that continues the sustained hitting and wins the battle of the front line. We must win the game with power and overcome their muscle.
• It is a long hard winter when the last game of the year is lost. It is worth an all out cost for VICTORY.
• SENIORS - This is the last game that you will play for Evanston on that field of green, stripped with white, and BANDED BY COURAGE. Let all know that this has been one of Evanston's finest teams - the team that came back and won the Crown. The Comeback Team of 1964.
• Your coaches have maintained all year that this is one of the finest group of players to work with that we have ever known. You deserve the VICTORY - go out and get it, snatch it away from those who try to take it from you. BEAT OAK PARK!
Best of Luck, Coaches, Lazier, Blaze, Hurlbut, Allen, Thomas, Tosh.

ETHS Varsity Final Game 8 Battle Personnel-45

Ends- Wynn, Raymond, Miller, Weingartner, Langohr, Moody, Riley
Tackles- Perrin, Phillips, Roe, Alexander, Majewski, Goldman, Stouffer
Guards- Caselberry, Champion, Payton, DeAngelis, Butler, Redman
Center- Claiborne, Peterson, Dyer, Johnson
QB- Kincaid, Turner, Calm, Prinz, Seyl
Halfback- Simmons, Burmeister, Nance, Griffin
Fullback- Burton, DeGraff, Pegues, Tatge, Frederick
Wingback-Harris, Peters, Shollenberger, Ruff
Kicker- Lazier
Injured- Davis

Game Day Ritual

We reported to the teachers' lounge at 11:40 am that Saturday for camaraderie, meditation and focus on the game. At 12:35 pm a chalk talk was given by Murney and coaching staff to go over last minute game details. At 12:50pm we left for the locker rooms to dress. The ETHS 1964 Varsity team was in the Field House and ready for battle at 1:20pm. When the Sophomore game was over (They Won 39-13) we marched to Memorial Field with the cheerleaders in the lead. I think Enid was out front, but not sure. As we crossed Church Street, with our cleats grating that wonderful sound against the pavement, The ETHS marching band began playing the fight song. The stands were packed. We were pumped. We were prepared to kick ass, take names and win! It was now 'SHOW TIME.'

The Final Game - Oak Park - For the Suburban League Co-Championship
Game 8. Oak Park - Saturday, November 7th - W-7-6

• The Wildkits proved that they were among the great Evanston teams against Oak Park. it was a fierce, defensive battle all the way, from the tension of the first three scoreless periods to a wild fourth quarter, when the Kits took the ball from their 8th and marched 92 yards to a touchdown. Bruce Burton, Archie Simmons and John Kincaid set up the final scoring plunge. Ron Harris then took it over the final yard on a handoff from Kincaid. Mike Lazier kicked the PAT to give a 7 - 0 ETHS lead. But Oak Park struck back with a 32 yard pass and 5 yard run to put 6 points on the board. Their PAT missed the uprights, with the score now standing at 7-6 in ETHS favor. As the game ended John Kincaid intercepted an Oak Park pass ensuring victory to the Wildkits.
• After the game, Murney Lazier said, "This is without question in my mind Evanston's greatest hour. The Oak Park game was probably the hardest fought contest we have played. John Kincaid has great ability as both a passer and runner. The key to our defense was our backfield, which is probably the best in the Suburban League and is composed of Steve Turner, John Kincaid, Ron Harris and Scott Peters. And these lineman distinguished themselves against Oak Park - Vernal Claiborne, Sidney Casselberry, John Perrin, Mickey Goldman, Bill Majewski, and ends Tom Weingartner and Mike Wynn."

We were victorious, we fought hard and won as a team. It was our finest hour. We paid it forward!

The 1964 ETHS Varsity Team Eternal

We salute these teammates from 1961 to 1964 who have moved up and are now playing on the ETHS team eternal:
Vernal Claiborne
Fred Dyer
Newton Champion
Ronald Harris ***
Michael Koziorowski
Philip Ludeman
Rob Raymond
Jack Roe
Bob Silverstone
Frank Stringer
Steve Turner
Mike Wynn

***Ronald Harris - Wingback Extraordinaire - Rest In Peace - October 23, 2013

Ron was a young teen of extraordinary athletic talent when we played with him for four years at ETHS. He scored the winning touchdown against Oak Park in our final game. He was crowned with the Suburban League Scoring Championship. His future then was practically unlimited. He had the opportunity to attend any college he wanted on a full athletic scholarship. We all know that was not to be. We all know he made some life altering mistakes by conduct none of us knew a thing about...until he got caught that Wednesday after our last game.

What happened then is not totally clear, but he left ETHS. Not sure if voluntary or involuntary, but none of us saw Ron again. The consequences of his actions were self damaging. His name disappeared from the fall sports banquet program twelve days later, and of course, he never made the commencement or yearbook. How unfortunate. What a waste.

In reading his obituary, I learned he turned his life around way back then. I applaud him for that. He married and had three children. The obit read that..'Ron was a man of few words, but with a big heart.' That's what I remember about him, an unassuming, quiet superstar. May you rest in peace.
All's now forgiven.
All's quite at rest.
We thank you Ron Harris for the time you were the best of the best!

TIME TO SIGN OFF

The love of football got us together in 1961 at the beginning of our ETHS journey and carried us through our final game in 1964. Today that love of football keeps us together, even though many of us have not seen or talked with each other in 50 years. We shared something special back then. Semper Fi. All of us were part of the best of the best!

Best Wishes,
Lance Stouffer, 2nd string right tackle behind Mickey Goldman forever.

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Posted on: May 28, 2017 at 11:08 AM

Memorial Day 2017

Memorial Day is a holiday for remembering those who died while serving in our country's armed forces. One in our class in uniform who died, just months away from graduating with the class of 1969 from the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, was Stephen Vincent Turner. He died tragically in a car accident on January 26, 1969 near his school. I remember someone writing me in Vietnam that Steve had died. It was hard for me to believe it then and seems such a waste of a talented man now.

I am sure you remember Steve, as I do, as quarter back on the football team along with John Kincaid for all four years at ETHS. He proved his steely eyed worthiness on the football field throughout the seasons. (Note: Please see my ETHS football team post for Steve's documented record.) Off the field he was a great guy, personal and outgoing. I ate lunch at the footballers table in the cafeteria most everyday with him, along with Kincaid, Silverstone, and others. Those that knew him better than I are welcome to add your remembrance below.

You all should know that Steve was graduated from the Air Force Academy posthumously with the class of 1969. The Academy and class had a memorial ceremony at their 25th year (1994) and 40th year mark (2009), where they honored their classmates who gave their lives while in service. Steve was so honored then and will continued to be honored in the future as part of the 'Long Blue Line' of those who served in the Air Force.

Please take a moment today to remember Steve, his service to our country cut short, and untimely passing while in uniform. RIP my friend.

Enjoy your day. All the best to you and your families,

Lance Stouffer

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Posted on: Jun 12, 2016 at 1:17 PM

Michael Sultan - Our Class Visionary

We are blessed with a classmate ahead of his times. He observed the 1964 after school world for us ETHS kids, and then looked into the future and found a better solution - a youth center. That person is Michael Sultan, our class visionary.

Remember, our after school gathering places were either the Evanston library, the 'Y', or the Orrington Hotel basement snack shop where we could go, meet and have a Coke. At the time, having a Evanston youth center wasn't even a thought. I guess, we were all supposed to just go home after school and do chores.

Mike's acute foresight, his proactive stance turned into the 1966 Levy Center. The
City of Evanston provided the land while Joseph and Sarah Levy donated a building on Maple Avenue to serve as a student union.

Ironically, by 1970 the Levy Center was serving fewer youths, but Evanston had (and has) a growing senior population, so the center changed its focus and to this day serves Evanston's seniors from a new and larger center on Dodge Avenue. Amazingly, I guess all in our class of 1965 can now stop in there for a 'Coke and hamburger and sit around' as Michael wanted. His vision was spot on then....and is spot on today!

My hat's off to you today Michael, on your birthday, from a Skokie-Evanston pal.

Best wishes always,

Lance Stouffer

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Jun 01, 2016 at 7:23 AM

Posted on: May 30, 2016 at 8:46 AM

Memorial Day 2016

A special hello to all my classmates - Do you realize it has been 262 days since our 50th reunion, but who's counting. Did we have fun...or what?

On a more serious note, I wish to thank all my fellow veterans of the class of 1965 for your service. We were soldiers and sailors once...and young!

Today we again celebrate Memorial Day, a day of national remembrance for those who served and gave the supreme sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy today.

Now for our war, a special salute to all 58,300 American military personnel whose names are carved into "The Wall" at The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC. Listed proudly is one of our own classmates, Jim Fuller, a true hero. (His memorial information is at the end of this post.)

A moment of silence please.

Enjoy your day. All the best to you and your families,

Regards, Lance Stouffer

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