A New Year, A New Class of Inductees

Almost 200 guests attended the 5th annual fundraising dinner held in David Spalinger’s spacious Skyline Cabinets Facility. This event serves to reveal the new inductees each year, as well as raise the funds to purchase the rings, plaques, and medallions used in the induction ceremony.

Teresa Hutson’s Foothill decorating crew transformed a vacant room into a beautiful “ballroom” with arched black and gold balloons and pretty table decorations. Guests were able to view the tables which displayed trophies, photos, uniforms and memorabilia destined to reside in our permanent Hall of Fame Building.

Some viewed the big screen TVs to see why the talented, unbeaten 1974 football team was selected for induction. Others were content to visit at the tables while listening to background music and munching on delicious, served appetizers. The thirsty Trojans headed for Captain Bingo’s Belly Up Bar to get their favorite beverage and the opportunity to socialize, or relive old game memories with players and coaches.

Following a great steak/chicken dinner, provided by John Cope, excitement began to mount as emcee Mike Maggard took the stage. While Mike called out new inductees’ names, John Alexander unveiled the board and read the athletic resumes of the following (complete resumes will appear in a future blog):

  • Joe Padilla (1968)
  • Jim Foss (1975)
  • Roman Gutierrez (1977)
  • Chuck O’Brien (1979)
  • Pete Lizama (1982)
  • Ryan Valencia (1991)
  • Nathan Sparks (1994)
  • Halima DeCree (2000)
  • Miguel Gutierrez (2001)
  • Boyce “Buzz” Caffee – FHS Coach and AD
  • 1974 Football Team

Jim Wooster presented Teresa Hutson with a retirement plaque for 37 years of dedicated service to Foothill. President Bill Baker welcomed guests and reminded all of the vision and goals of our Hall of Fame:

  1. Obtain a permanent, on-campus building to house the Hall of Fame memorabilia.
  2. Equip this building with the latest technological tools that will be used to train students to perform the various skills needed to preserve, document, archive and file the different types of memorabilia entering the Hall of Fame. In turn, learning such advanced skills will greatly enhance their future job opportunities in the ever-changing world of modern technology.

Now fans were embracing a rumor that Joe Turner would do his famous Haka dance shirtless!! But, he was given a “pass” as he cited illness, and the fact it was his 50th birthday. However, he did entertain us with his brand of humor as well as draw the winning Treasure Chest number which went to our new inductee Jim Foss and his family. We were also blessed to announce a final silent auction bid of $475 on the 55″ flat screen TV generously donated by Rick and Susan Morel.

I was honored to be a guest speaker, and rounded out the night by doing a little “roasting” of former FHS athletes, as well as sharing some old  humorous stories connected with my early life and the Wasco-Shafter rivalry.

We are slowly finding that this event goes far beyond announcing inductees and raising money……it is a celebration of the Trojan way of life. A large reunion that unites fans, alumni, teachers, athletes and coaches. You can watch the Trojan Pride emerge as you witness the hugs, handshakes, laughter, ring displays and photo sessions. It is a special time for fans to meet and mingle with past coaches and players who are such an integral part of our FHS athletic legacy.

How special to see the “old timers” like Lonnie Shelton always smiling and gracious to all who want an autograph, photo, hug, or just a chance to visit and hear stories of how special their Foothill experiences were. We want to continue to share these unique experiences.

As the evening ended, we were reminded the focus must now be turned to the Induction Ceremony on April 1, 2017. It will be another sell out, so we urge fans to check on the upcoming information on table discounts and preferential seating information.

We also would appreciate any help in locating members of the 1974 football team. See you April 1st. Go Trojans!