Radio icon Nichols to get his day

mwochnick@theolympian.comSeptember 6, 2012 

Dick Nichols calls the Spaghetti Bowl rivalry between the football teams at Capital and Olympia high schools the most outstanding high school rivalry around.

Nichols, the former longtime local sports play-by-play voice of KGY 1240-AM, has never missed a Spaghetti Bowl radio broadcast dating back to the inaugural game in 1977.

While Capital and Olympia haven’t been in the same classification and league since 2005-06, when they were in the 4A Narrows Bay Division, the intensity of the game hasn’t changed. Ingersoll Stadium is still jam-packed with 7,000 fans and the Spaghetti Bowl trophy is the one each player wants to see in their school’s hallway.

“I think there’s something special about that game,” Nichols said. “You really don’t find it anywhere else.”

Nichols won’t be on the traditional radio airwaves for the 7:30 p.m. game Friday, but he’ll still be at Ingersoll Stadium.

He and former longtime color commentator Larry McMillan will be honored by both Capital High School and Olympia High School in a pregame ceremony for their commitment over the years to high school sports.

Nichols announced his retirement from KGY in July after five decades at the station, but he and McMillan will do a special online webcast of the game for roxysports.com, which is owned by ROXY 94.5-FM.

Olympia head football coach Bill Beattie, a former Tumwater High School football player in the 1970s, said he still has an old cassette tape of Nichols when he broadcast a playoff game between Tumwater and Capital his senior season in 1977.

“His voice has never changed,” Beattie said of Nichols. “His enthusiasm has never changed. Dick is such an icon for radio and media around here for so many years. He’s truly going to be missed.”

Capital leads the all-time Spaghetti Bowl series, 19-16, but Olympia has won six of the past seven, including last year’s 10-7 victory.

Nichols said he can’t pick out the most memorable Spaghetti Bowl game because they are all memorable in some fashion. There are the games with the league title on the line or the ones with a winning touchdown with seconds remaining. Maybe an underdog has prevailed or a fluke plays wins it.

“The two teams have really behaved themselves,” Nichols said. “It’s a tribute to this community and to the two high schools.

“They understand how important the game is. It’s really special.”

THURSDAY NIGHT LIGHTS

North Thurston plays host to Black Hills at 7 p.m. tonight in a Week 2 nonleague football game at South Sound Stadium in Lacey. Both teams are 1-0.

North Thurston, led by Mo Manning’s 100 yards rushing and three touchdowns, jumped out to a 36-7 lead over Steilacoom in its eventual 36-21 win over the Sentinels last week.

Black Hills reeled off 33 second-half points in its 46-6 win over Clover Park in Week 1.

Junior quarterback Miles Smiley was 7-for-13 passing for 174 yards and three touchdowns for the Wolves.

CAPITAL INVITE

Approximately 1,000 cross-country runners from 23 schools will converge at Capital High School on Saturday morning for the annual Capital Invitational.

As in years past, the meet will have separate races split up by class – freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors – for the 2.33-mile race.

The first race will be the freshmen boys at 10:15 a.m. The concluding race, the senior girls, starts at 1:05 p.m. Hanford is the team traveling the farthest for the meet.

mwochnick@theolympian.com 360-754-5473 www.theolympian.com/southsoundsports @MegWochnick

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