News

Enumclaw High graduates gather at Super Bowl

Enumclaw friends gathered at MetLife Stadium following the Super Bowl. In front, from left, are Robert Beal and Eric Bell; in back are Daren Bell, Bret Hoffman, Matt Fugate, Ryan Beal and Tony Binetti.  - Courtesy photo
Enumclaw friends gathered at MetLife Stadium following the Super Bowl. In front, from left, are Robert Beal and Eric Bell; in back are Daren Bell, Bret Hoffman, Matt Fugate, Ryan Beal and Tony Binetti.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Seven Enumclaw High graduates, separated by thousands of miles, gathered together at one of the world’s biggest stages – the Super Bowl.

Part of it was planned, some entirely random. And it took a couple of carefully crafted family connections to make it all come together.

The tale begins with Enumclaw residents Bret Hoffman and Eric Bell, friends since middle school and avid fans of the Seattle Seahawks. As season ticket holders, they were hoping to head to Super Bowl XLVIII, where the Seahawks went on to demolish the Denver Broncos.

Missing out on an opportunity to purchase tickets, they turned to Bret’s grandfather, whose godson is a sports agent, representing numerous National Football League players. Among his clients is a member of the San Francisco 49ers, who gave his two tickets to the big game to the Enumclaw duo, gaining fans for life.

Bret’s mother, Barbara, knows someone who works for the NFL, and that contact paid dividends when 300 level seats were upgraded.

With tickets in hand, Bret and Eric (both EHS class of 2003) made plans for New York, arranging to stay with friend and EHS alum Robert Beal (also 2003), who works in the financial industry and lives in Manhattan. A reunion of sorts was planned, as EHS alums Daren Bell and Ryan Beal (both 2001) also made plans to fly to the Big Apple – Daren from his home in Chicago and Ryan from Denmark, where he’s now living.

The three without game tickets soon remedied that situation and all five headed to MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., on Super Sunday.

Thanks to social media, despite the maddening crowd, they were able to pair up with two more friends from high school, Matt Fugate, a 2003 grad who now lives in New York City, and Tony Binetti, a 2002 EHS alum, who has spent recent years playing professional basketball in Europe but has returned to Enumclaw.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

Read the latest Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Aug 27 edition online now. Browse the archives.