"The Streak" documentary featuring Pullman HS football ready to debut | Community Spirit
A soon-to-be Senior at Pullman High School is preparing to debut his pet project nearly two years in the making.
Bryan Nakata was a sophomore when a series of e-mails was shared with him, containing journal entries written in 1957 by a former student and football players. The entries detail the days leading up to a football game that would ultimately end one of the longest winning streaks for any team in the country – 35 games stretching from 1953 until October 1957.
Bryan says it's an incredible feat that has been lost in history until now. He was immediately sucked in to the story and became more interested the more he dug.
“I began to find lost stories from our school and town that I knew were important to our history,” he said. “My collection began with one yearbook out of the four years that our school library had, and five or six photos from the Whitman County Historical Society.”
Slowly Bryan found more information has he dug through microfilm at Washington State University and eventually got in touch with Tim Busch, a friend of a family member who's older brother had been on the team. That interview sealed the deal, and Bryan knew he had the makings of an incredible documentary.
I called Tim in for a filmed interview and collected all he had of pictures at the time. Then I learned his brother Terry and Mickey Mays himself were going to be in town a couple weeks after I interviewed Tim. I got in contact with them and they agreed to meet me for a filmed interview. This is when my project started to grow rapidly. I was getting in touch with multiple members of the school from that time. Sue Druffel, who was a cheerleader I interviewed and organizes the reunions for the class of 1958, was a key source of contact information for me. She helped me organize a series of interviews during the summer of 2013 while the class had a reunion in Pullman. The Holiday inn express graciously allowed us to use their meeting room for most of the interviews free of cost. Since the day that I started the project, I have collected more then 750 Pictures, conducted 23 filmed interviews, and even came across game film of a 1955 PHS-Moscow game. The majority of my interviews were from people who no longer live in Pullman. One interview, Neal Brown, was performed in Alaska by The University of Alaska-Fairbanks and sent to me in the mail. My last interview was from a man who flew in from Minnesota. The people I have interviewed include players, students, cheerleaders, a majorette (baton twirler), Newspaper writer of The High Times(School Newspaper) and The Pullman Herald Don Tomlinson, and legendary Coach Ray Hobbs himself whose PHS’s current football field is named after. Coach Mike Rendish, who coached the last season of the streak is no longer alive. One of the former players during this streak is a well known former Astronaut, John Fabian. Many of the players and students of this era went on to important careers.
Despite some incredible setbacks, including the loss of hours of work when the school computers were wiped last summer, Bryan says he's proud of the final product. Even though it started as a personal project, he plans on presenting it as his senior capstone this year.
Bryan's documentary, titled The Streak, is set to debut this Saturday, August 30 at 11 am on two screens at the Village Center Cinemas in Pullman. Many of the original team members interviewed for the film will be in attendance with a small reunion scheduled later in the day.