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The Gold Balls—ie State Basketball Championships—won by the Eads girls and boys basketball programs are still proudly displayed in the hallway beside the gymnasium at Eads High School.

Long Time Gone and What a State Championship Does for the Community

By Administrator

January 26, 2024

During the 1980s Eads High School enjoyed the leadership of an innovative educator in Superintendent Max Bridgeman. Each week, Bridgeman took the effort and time to write an opinion editorial column in the Kiowa County Press entitled, “Bridging the Gap.” Within this column, Bridgeman addressed an array of educational and community issues. For his column in the March 16, 1984, edition “Bridging the Gap” discussed how winning a state championship and bringing home the Gold Ball elevates not only the team involved, but also the school and the community.

Page 4, Kiowa County Press, Friday, March 16, 1984:

Bridging the Gap

By MAX BRIDGEMAN, Re-1 School Supt.

During the last two weeks we have discussed our school athletic programs, the numbers of students participating, and the costs involved. With the recent State Championship brought home to Eads by the girls’ basketball team it is only fitting to expand the current athletic series of articles to three.

Every school and community seems to have a sport which is the most popular for that particular school and community. Without any question, Eads is a basketball school and community.

The ultimate goal of a high school athletic team is to be crowned as State Champions. Congratulations to coach Crawford, coach Mestas, and the girls’ basketball team in reaching the ultimate goal of being the A-2 Colorado State Champions of 1984. Such an achievement will be something which the players and coaches can always be proud of the community members will always remember and brag about.

The old saying that “the third time is the Charm” does not necessarily hold true for the Eads Eagles, but for those who like a bit of trivia, a case can be shown where THREE or multiples of THREE seems to fit the Eads basketball State Champions.

THREE components have been involved in our recent championship. The players, the coaches, and the community. The players were talented and determined to be champions! The coaches’ styles and chemistry were compatible with the players! The community support for the team was always present and enthusiastic.

The current string of attempted State Championship was achieved with the 6th straight attempt.

Nine years ago, in 1975, the Eads boys’ basketball team won the first and only other State Basketball Championship for the Eads school and community in recent memory.

The 1984 season was the 9th year for Colorado High School girls’ basketball championships.

Both Eads state basketball championships have involved a total of three schools which have chosen Eagles as their mascots – the Walsh Eagles, the Stratton Eagles, and the Eads Eagles.

In the recent state tournament championship game, THREE Stratton players fouled out of the game which undoubtedly had some impact on the outcome of the game.

During the last 57 seconds of the recent championship basketball game, the Eads Eagles scored six unmatched points to pull out the overtime victory.

In the championship game, THREE Eads players scored in double figures and THREE other players added to the total team score making a total team scoring effort from six players. The remaining six players all got to play in at least one of the THREE state tournament games.

There are probably additional statistics which could be used to support the multiple of THREE concepts, but space is limited.

Every state championship instills a great deal of pride within a local school and community.

State championships also help underclassmen to set goals for themselves and for their future teams.

State tournament competitions can become addictive within a school and community. Such events always seem to produce a positive atmosphere within the total school and community population.

There will undoubtedly be many future Eads teams entering State competition, but who knows whether State Championship teams will continue in the mode of multiples of THREE or will we break the string and have a state championship team of some type prior to THREE years from now? Who knows, maybe we will have THREE within the next year or two!

The Eads Girls’ Basketball program holds the most state championships in Colorado history with a total of nine gold balls. The first gold ball was, of course, earned by the 1984 team. Bridgeman indeed had the insight on the Eads Girls’ Basketball program and their infinity for threes. It would take three more years to win the next gold ball for Eads in 1987; and the Lady Eagles joined the Eads boys’ team to win the school’s first ever double championship in 2003 with the same coach—Coach Shawn Randel.

Following are the championship years for the Eads Lady Eagles: 1984, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 2003, 2007, 2008.

For the very first girls’ state title in Eads, the following people and businesses were listed as “faithful fans” in the Kiowa County Press within the State Championship edition that was published on March 16, 1984:

  • Clayton & Gloria Peck
  • Don & Judy Kelley
  • John & Marj Hines
  • Whit & Sandy Eikner
  • Dennis & Reanee Wall
  • Larry & Karen Watts
  • Wally & Phyllis Mosher
  • James & Cleta Engelhardt
  • Tyrone & Virginia Mitchell
  • Virgil A. & Wanda Lessenden
  • Harvey & Sandi Kelley
  • Myrl & Jerri Legg
  • Stop ‘N’ Shop
  • Gift Gallery
  • Wissel’s Dry Goods
  • D & R Locker
  • TJ’s Super “C”
  • Fischer’s Shamrock
  • Robert Miller Agency
  • Eads Consumer Supply
  • Farm Bureau Insurance
  • Curry Comb
  • Twilite Motel
  • June Bug
  • S & L Commodities
  • R & L Liquor
  • Home Oil
  • Kiowa Drug
  • Kiowa Agency
  • Kiowa Parts
  • Tastee Treat
  • Bartlett & Co.
  • Kiowa Abstract
  • Terry’s Body Shop
  • Kiowa County Press
  • First National Bank in Eads
  • Manor House Restaurant
  • Liebs Lumber & Hardware
  • Williams Construction
  • Daylight Donut
  • Country Manor Motel
  • Jim & Pat Howard
  • Bob & Sandy Jones
  • Larry & Arnitha Frazee
  • Billy & Lucy Barnett
  • Michaels Truck Stop & Café
  • Gail & LaDonna Crawford
  • Howard Mestas
  • Virglyn Griswould
  • Lloyd & Esther Philpy
  • Kiowa County Sheriff’s Department
  • Keith & Bobbie Uhland
  • Bill & Loretta Seibel
  • Bob & Delores Laird
  • Larry & Gail Michael

Eaglettes Honored By Denver Nuggets

Kiowa County Press, March 16, 1984

Despite the snow, the 1984 Eads Girls State Champion Basketball team traveled to Denver, on Fri., March 30, to watch the Denver vs San Antonia Basketball game.

All the high school teams who had won their division title at the State Basketball Tournaments this year were guests of the Denver Nuggets. Each team was awarded a trophy and given an official Denver Nuggets basketball which was signed by all of the team members of the Denver Nuggets.

The Eaglette girls had a lot of fun and were proud to be representing Eads High School.

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