East Side History Madison’s Blog

By and for the East Side History Club, a project of the Goodman Community Center

Special Guests joined Presenters at “East High Athletics in the 1960s”

Posted by eastsidehistorymadison on May 23, 2011

The East Side History Club’s final program for Spring ’11 featured East High alumni (class of ’53) John Olson and Dave Martinson presenting on East High Athletics during the “Championship Decade” of the 1960s. Their special guests Betty Nicka, Muriel Simms, Tim Healy, Jackie Zoch, and longtime coach Verlyn Belisle came to enjoy the trip down memory lane.

From left: Coach Vernon Belisle, athletes Tim Healy, Jackie Zoch, and Muriel Simms; presenter John Olson, athlete Betty Micka, and presenter Dave Martinson.

Verlyn Belisle, now retired from teaching and coaching at East High, was the only East High Coach to win state championships in two sports (Basketball, 1958 and Baseball, 1967).

Tim Healy graduated from East High with the Class of 1969.  During his high school career he took All State Honors in football and All Conference Honors in baseball. He went on to play for UW football as a quarterback.  Tim is now a retired Madison Firefighter.

Betty Lindberg-Nicka graduated from East High with the Class of 1955. This retired East High teacher originated Girls Athletics Association (GAA) at East and initiated inter-school competitive opportunities for East girls in 1965. She went on to coach East girls teams in tennis, basketball,volleyball and track.

Jackie Zoch graduated from East High in the Class of 1967.  In college she competed with the UW Crew team in positions of Rower and Stroke. She went on to the UW  Women’s National Champion Crew-Stroke, and was a Bronze Medalist with the US National Women’s Rowing Team in the 1976 Summer Olympics.

Muriel Simms graduated from East High in the Class of 1962. During her high school career she was a girls basketball letter winner and vice president of her junior class. She went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree in English (UWMadison, 1968), Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction and lifetime teaching license (UWMadison, 1975), administrator license (UWMadison, 1988), and doctorate in Educational Administration from the (UWMadison, 2002).  Retired from a career that included stints as Madison School District teacher and administrator, and Professor of Educational Administration Studies at Edgewood College, she is currently conducting research on pioneer Black families in Madison.

What do you think, East Side History lovers, shall we keep the East High Athletics programs coming, rolling on into the decade of Title IX and more sports triumphs for East High?


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