Saturday, January 23, 2021

EHS Athletic Hall of Fame welcomes seven new members in 2020

Staff Writer | May 7, 2020 11:50 PM

EPHRATA — The Ephrata High School Athletic Hall of Fame welcomed six new individuals and one team as this year’s class of inductees.

Mary Beth Fletcher, Jim Forrest, Skip Molitor, Bill Betcher, Gary Archer, Dave Middleton and the 1973 girls track and field team fill out the 2020 Hall of Fame class.

Fletcher was a three-sport athlete with the Tigers before graduating in 1986. She is the all-time leading scorer for the girls basketball program and helped the Tigers place at state all four years. All-Conference all four years, while earning All-State and All-American honors as a senior, Fletcher would go on to be an All-American basketball player at Biola University.

Fletcher was also a member of the volleyball and track and field teams, placing fifth in the shot put at state.

Forrest, a 1969 graduate, was captain of both the football and basketball teams as a junior and senior. Forrest was named First Team All-State in football as senior, receiving both football and basketball scholarships from Washington State University before moving on to play football professionally in the Canadian Football League.

Molitor was a three-sport athlete — football, basketball and baseball — with the Tigers before graduating in 1970. Team captain in all three sports as a senior, Molitor captured a conference championship in baseball as a junior, a conference title in football as a senior, and a top-16 state tournament finish in basketball his senior year.

Molitor received college offers in three sports before moving on to play basketball and golf at Gonzaga University.

Bill Betcher was a member of the athletics staff at Ephrata High School for 16 years, beginning with the program in 1984. After serving as an assistant coach for a season, Betcher was the head football coach from 1985-1992, finishing with a 90-8 record in eight seasons.

Betcher carried the Tigers to the state playoffs every season, claiming a pair of state championships in 1986 and 1987. He grabbed four other top-four finishes at state with the Tigers, rattling off 63 consecutive conference wins and seven conference championships during his tenure.

Betcher also served as the athletic director from 1988-2000, overseeing 11 state championships, 14 individual state champions and 12 academic team state championships.

Archer spent time with Ephrata High School as both a coach and an athlete. He graduated from Ephrata in 1965, captaining the baseball team as a senior before moving on to play collegiately at Eastern Oregon University and Spokane Falls.

Archer was involved in Ephrata School District athletics from 1971-2002. He served as an assistant basketball and baseball coach, while also coaching at the junior high. In 28 years as an assistant, Archer only saw one losing season, being a part of eight state championships in baseball and basketball.

Archer, a 2020 inductee into the Washington State Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, is also the official artist of the school district’s current “Tiger” and “E” logos.

Middleton, an honorary inductee this year, served as the “Voice of the Tigers” from 1980-2005 as a radio sports broadcaster with KULE.

Middleton, who passed away in 2006, had Cal Ripken Field in Ephrata renamed Dave Middleton Field in his honor.

The sole team inducted into the EHS Athletic Hall of Fame this season is the undefeated state champion 1973 girls track and field team. The girls track and field squad captured the first-ever team sport state title at Ephrata, with 12 members of the team qualifying for state.

Five of the 15 individual state championships were captured by Tigers, setting two state records along the way. Three of those school records still stand. The 1973 team more than doubled the score of the second-place team at the state meet.