07-08 Chelan Sports

A Great Goat Memory

It Was 10 Years Ago This Season

Submitted by Russ Gatzemeier
Chelan Sports Fan

This year marks the 10 year anniversary of the Chelan Goats Boys State 1A Championship.

In 1998, the Mountain Goats were again coached by Joe Harris and featured the formidable 6’10” Phil Cullen. These Chelan hoopsters were the unfortunate “Perfect Storm” that rained down on their opponents upon the basketball court.

Chelan had experience; a previous years’ 25-2 record and a 3rd place finish made them hungry for the state title. They also had depth; at times the scoring and defense could come from anywhere—including the bench. And finally, the Goats had Mr. Cullen, a 6’10” behemoth, who could not only defend almost any shooter on the defensive end, but whose polished skills could put the ball in the hoop from up close or beyond the arc.

Coach Harris recalls, “Phil had a point guard mentality in a 6’10” frame.”

Previously, the Goats only other reign as State Champions in Boys Basketball was back in 1951, by a Robert Engstrom coached team in the “B” Division. Forty-seven long years later, these Goats had to battle not only with an extremely difficult Caribou Trail League, but also against some of the elite Seattle, Spokane and Yakima area’s private and talented 1A schools.

Phil Cullen was named Player of the Year in 1A and in all classes of basketball his senior year at CHS. He went on to star for the University of Utah “Running Utes,” coached by Rick Majerus and then had a brief career in the Seattle Mariners Baseball Organization as a pitcher. As a Goat, he averaged 20.1 points, 11.5 rebounds and 4.5 blocked shots per game his junior year and had similar numbers his championship season. Cullen still holds two 1A tournament records for blocked shots; 44 in a career and 25 for one tournament.

Mr. Harris currently has a 273 – 130 Career Record as a Chelan High School Basketball Coach. He also was an assistant coach for the State B Championship Bridgeport/Mansfield Football team of 1982.

Thank you Mr. Harris. Thanks for the memories Phil!!


Members of the 1997- 98 Chelan squad include:

Clint Jesperson, Ryan Waller, Josh Rogge,
Phil Cullen, Lucas Dobbs, & Hector Rodriguez.
Not Pictured Wes Rush, Jordan Miller, Robert Johnson,
Justin Barnhart, B.J. Mitchell and Jeff Barnhart.

Coach Joe Harris,
Assistant Coaches Brian Mayer and Shane Backland
Athletic Director was Dave Cullen


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