Mark Bergsma

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A 1979 graduate of Bremerton High School, Bergsma played safety on the first Bremerton team that made the state semifinals that was merged together from East and West High School. He was the quarterback of the last East football team before the merger. Bergsma also played basketball and baseball from high school through Olympic College before playing strictly football at Central Washington, where he was an Academic All-American. Bergsma was also a member of two different fastpitch softball teams that took third in the nation – Lakeshore Inn and Pop’s Inn. He was named a Regional MVP and National All-Star both times.

Gary Wortman

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Wortman cut his basketball teeth playing for Ken Wills and Les Habegger at Seattle Pacific, with who he would return to be an assistant under him. It was the friendship built with Habegger that led to him becoming a scout for the Seattle Supersonics when Habegger was the GM. Under his eight years with the Sonics, he was credited for discovering such players as Nate McMillen, Xavier McDaniel, Shawn Kemp and Derrick McKey and was a bench coach for K.C. Jones. He also spent eight years with the Atlanta Hawks as the director of scouting and was an assistant coach as well. Wortman is credited as getting the NBA to scout the European teams for talent. He died of cancer in 2000 at 59 years old.

George Bayer

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A 1946 graduate of Bremerton High School where he was a three sport star in football, basketball and track, Bayer was a starter at right tackle for the University of Washington for all four years he was there. He was drafted by the Washington Redskins in the 20th round of the 1950 NFL Draft, but lasted only six games due to a dispute with then owner George Preston Marshall. He then took up golf when he became a caddy at the Kitsap Golf and Country Club and turned pro at 29. The Guinness Book of World Records listed Bayer as holding the record for the longest drive in the PGA for many years. He won four tournaments during his time on the PGA and Senior PGA tour from 1953-1997, earning $428,862. Bayer died in 2003. He was 77 years old.

Arnie Pelluer

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A 1952 graduate of Bremerton High School, Pelluer was a standout guard on the football team as he led them to a stellar 1951 season that ended with its first loss all year to Ballard in the Thanksgiving game. He earned all-league, all-state and All-American honors as he also played in the National High School All-American game as well. At Washington State he was moved to defensive end and was succesfull there as well. He was later drafted by the Los Angeles Rams. Pelluer became a highly regarded teacher and coach, as he turned the Yakima Valley Community College track team into a powerhouse with two state team titles, then led the Whitworth College cross country team to a second place finish at the NAIA national meet. Pelluer later took over the then Eastern Washington State College track and cross country teams and was expected to eventually be the head coach at WSU before he suffered a seizure and drowned in a swimming pool in 1971. He was 36 years old. His three sons – Scott, Steve and Arnie – later went on to have successful careers in the NFL.

Bill Morris

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A 1938 graduate of Bremerton High School, "Battleship Bill" made his name as a fiery guard for the University of Washington men’s basketball team. He led the Husky freshman to an undefeated season, then led the Huskies to a then Pacific Coast Conference title and the NCAA Final Four in 1943 and was a two-time All-American. Morris was later regarded by legendary coach Hec Edmundson as the best guard he ever had in his career at UW. He later joined the Marines and was sent to the Pacific theater near the end of World War II. Morris came back to coach the Husky freshman team from 1947-59. He was selected to the Husky Hall of Fame and the Washington State Sports Hall of Fame. Morris died of cancer in 1995 at 75 years old.

Dean Gehring

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Gehring, a native of Minnesota, was very well known in the racing world. He once escaped from a Chinese prisoner of war camp in North Korea. A owner of several businesses in Kitsap, he began making a name for himself at the Elma dirt track and used technology he learned at PSNS Shop 17 to enhance his success. In 1970, Gehring bought a race car frame classified as an Edmunds upright and began racing weekly at Elma. Next he bought a new sprint car frame from Grant King of Indianapolis and with new driver Aaron Capps of Bremerton, hit the Midwest USAC dirt and asphalt tracks. In 1977 he began running weekly at Skagit Speedway, where he continued until retirement. He raced on tracks in Arizona, California, Montana, Idaho, Oregon and Canada. In 1978 with mechanic/driver Steve Royce they ran at Skagit (dirt) on Saturday night and Spanaway (asphalt) on Sunday. The premier asphalt events Dean’s team attended included the January Copper World Classic at Phoenix International Raceway, Minnesota State Fair with the USAC, and the Northwest Sprint Cars, an organization Dean helped organize and run. He served as NSC president and with Royce at the wheel, he won a NSC title. Gehring retired from racing in 1987 and died of cancer in 2007 at 78 years old.

Lyle Bakken

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A 1958 graduate of East High, Bakken was a standout on the 1958 basketball team that placed fifth at the then 2A state basketball tournament, where he was selected as tournament MVP. He also won state titles in the high and low hurdles. Bakken also started at forward and guard for the University of Washington basketball team for three years until an Achilles heel injury ended his career his senior year. Bakken later played on the Federal Old Line AAU team that took fourth at nationals. He also coached the UW freshman team for two years and the Olympic College men’s basketball team in the 1980s.

Herb Criss

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A native of West Virginia, Criss, who has lived here since 1942, is best known for his proficiency in the sport of horseshoes, winning one world title in 1992, nine state titles and nine Northwest titles. Criss is the only thrower to pitch a perfect game during a Northwest championship tournament game. He was named to the Washington State Horseshoes Hall of Fame and was a nominee for the National Horseshoe Hall of Fame. Criss also bowled and plays golf. He’s gotten a hole-in-one eight times.

‘Shoeless’ Herb Criss Makes the Hall of Fame

Norm Dicks

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Norm Dicks is a 1959 graduate of West High who starred in football both offensively and defensively. After serving as team captain in fall 1958, Dicks brought his game to the University of Washington, where he played both guard and linebacker under Coach Jim Owens from 1960-62. Dicks’s years at UW included a trip to the Rose Bowl. Further, Dicks earned an honorable mention from the Associated Press in 1961 and received honors as an All-Coast Scholar-Athlete team in 1962. After graduating form UW in 1963, Dicks went on to earn a law degree in 1968 as a Husky before becoming a member of Congress for 18 consecutive terms for Washington’s Sixth District from 1977 to 2013.