Lillian Borah Crawford, West High Class of 1970.
I often wondered what my coaching mentor would have done had he not pursued his life's passion, football, so one late autumn Saturday morning interviewing Semancik on our Coaches Corner show for AM1490...KBRO, my curiosity finally triumphed over the fear he would leap across the table and throttle me...too much coffee, I guess.
Two and two started to make four in this assistants eyes. Chuck always championed kids who had a difficult time growing up or youngsters that were in trouble. Football was a tool that helped steer him along the straight and narrow, and he used it to help those troubled walk the right side of the line...(see 2008 newsletter's front page story by Dr. John Jackson).
- Lane C Dowell, Ass't. Football West Wildcats
- Lance Wright, West High Class of 1974, 2008 Washington State Track and Field Coach of the Year
I never played football for Chuck, but I always made sure that I had him for PE class. It seemed like it was always important to give your all when you suited up in front of Chuck. Football player or not, all the boys worked hard in front of the coach.
We were playing speedball one morning when I was running hard with the ball when out of the blue, Timmy Garguile(a large football center) straight armed me in the neck and knocked me out cold. As I woke up a few seconds later Chuck was looking right in he face and he said, "you okay little guy.....you should have ducked".
Another time, during one of Chuck infamous Health classes (Chuck was not comfortable in this setting), seven of us, just sophomores, were horsing around in the locker room and as we ran to Room 8 we found the door closed. This was not a good thing. We now all had to face Chuck's stinging hack on the butt. As we lined up for our punishment, Chuck let the first two kids have it pretty darn hard. The waddled back to there seats in great pain. The next boy up was Larry Lewis. Lewis had inserted a towel into his pants to lessen the pain. Well, Chuck found it. He then let loose with a huge full swing onto the now nearly bare bottom of Larry. The tears from Lewis had the rest of us in line trembling with fear. Chuck then bellowed at the rest of us to take a seat. I was never late again. In fact I am never late for anything since that day.....ever!
For four years, Chuck tried to get me to wrestle. I never did. Probably should have because of my small size. During PE time we always did a bit of wrestling in the winter time. This was Chuck's "other" sport. He routinely used me to have the upper classmen demonstrate there superior skills and strength on me. "Hentz......get McCoy into a guillotine for the class", Chuck would bark out. I would then do my best pretzel imitation to find Chuck just laughing out loud! This went on every day during wrestling PE classes. Not fun!
When I was a junior and senior I was paired up with Chuck during the Dave Williams faculty/student golf mini tournament played every year at Kitsap Golf and Country Club. Chuck wasn't the best golfer to ever tee it up, but he was a real gentleman on the links. Away from the competitive world of sports, he was a kind and funny guy that just loved all of his kids. The fact that Chuck kind of picked on me in PE was because he saw something in me I was once told by another old football player.
I took a lot of his knowledge with me after high school to the soccer field as a player. As a long time coach of 35 years, I can't thank Chuck enough for being such a great guy and teaching me how to be a man. I remember seeing his big smile during assemblies when a cheerleader would cut another opponents name off his tattered white tee shirt and throw it into the nearby metal trash can. The roar of the student body would shake the gym down it would seem. The West High Wildcats truly ruled the day back then!
- Lance McCoy West High School Class of 1973
Chuck Stories....theres a bunch. mainly i remember little bits and pieces. like; no matter what your name was, it was "Smitty" "Crips & Cripsakes" Everyone knew chuck was catholic and that CCD (religion class) was held on wednesday nights. Consequently, every wednesday after about an hour of practice, guys would start yelling, " CCD Chuck....CCD night ! " often it would work ! Game film. We would watch film of last weeks game. If you made a stupid play, missed a block or tackle, chuck had a tendency to run it over and over and over. When we beat east in 1974, chuck ran the play where griffin scored the deciding td a bunch of times....with a big grin on his face ! He just loved beating east ! Wrestling. Sometimes chuck would want to demonstrate moves on someone. You never wanted to be that "someone". chuck may have been an "old guy" but he was as hard as a rock and strong ! He would hurt ya ! I remember Tim Garguile I think crying, "you're hurting me chuck, it hurts ! " You never wanted to have chuck give ya a haircut either......it happened to dave Nichols in wrestling....i still feel sorry for him. Chuck was raised in tacoma. it was a tough city then with many immigrant neighborhoods. Remember how he talked about the " K Street" gang ? You could get in lots of trouble being out of your 'hood, but Chuck could go anywhere in town he wanted, he was a tough guy. At the pep assemblies on fridays, Chuck spoke and wore a t-shirt with the names of all the season's opponents on it. The cheerleaders would cut out the name of last weeks victim. at the end of the season he usually would be pretty bare chested. Anyhow, when the cheerleaders were doing the cutting, he would get this embarrassed look at first, but it would evolve into a smile and his eyes would sorta twinkle.
- Bill Hurney West High Class of 1975
I am walking across the gym floor one morning with my wing tips and my Levis rolled up about inch when Mr Semancik saw me. He said son come here. I walked into his office where I saw him with his hack paddle in his hand. He said, "Son do you know you are not suppose to walk on the gym floor with shoes on? " I said "yes sir". He said bend over and grab you ankles. I did and got the only hack I ever received in my life. I never walked on the gym floor again. You know I never was angry with him I knew I had screwed up. Thanks Mr Semancik for teaching rules are to be followed not ignored!
- Al Treadwell Class of 1965
I remember the one time that Ken Tropple came to wrestling practice after first running for track training. Ken came in tired and late and Chuck was so upset that Chuck made him wrestle every member on the team as his punishment. I am sure Ken learned not to cross Chuck again.
- Bryan Dickinson 1966
My Chuck memory involves football practice. After the wind sprints were over. The running backs and lineman would split up. Watching those poor lineman pushing that sled around with Chuck riding away yelling DRIVE!, DRIVE!, DRIVE!... always made me thankful I chose to be a running back.
- John Albertsen West High Class of 66
As an official, I always wanted to be prepared for the inevitable breakdown of equipment. Normally I carried a change of clothing, extra whistle, etc., just in case. The night I learned just how important bringing a change was, Chuck was his normal very intense self. As he twisted and turned on the bench, egging his wrestlers on, he was also "helping" me get the calls correct. Apparently, this evening, I wasn't getting it right in Chuck's mind. As the night wore on, I noticed a bit of a draft coming from my backside. I had a huge rip in the seat of my black officiating pants. I discovered in my haste to leave for the match that I had forgotten my spare pants. Chuck met me at the side of the mat and said, "Come on Digger (he called me Digger for my work at the mortuary...I don't know if he knew my real name), I have a pair in the office." Oh, man, I didn't want to go in there with him. but had no choice. We walked in and he closed the door behind us and proceeded in his way to tell me how I could do a better job. That was the quickest I have ever changed clothes in my life. Lesson learned, never forget your spare equipment.
- Dick "Digger" Dexter...area wrestling official
I was never comfortable talking with Chuck after a game even though I knew he respected me, and I liked and greatly admired what he did for kids and the game. Contrary to popular opinion, Chuck never berated officials unless he felt we really messed up a call. At Bremerton we were always put in Chuck's office to change. After a game where Chuck was really upset with something that we called or perhaps, missed, he brought in towels for us, ripped one in half, and looked right at me as he said, "Here this, is for the half-assed job you did tonight."
- Dick Todd...longtime area football referee