We left the 2017 Induction thinking it could not get any better; but the Hall of Fame Committee tweaked, added, and once again proved us wrong. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then we are flattered so many high school are now asking us to share our organizational format on how to start a Hall of Fame. Why? The answer is always, “Everyone says FHS has the best one in the valley.” They can try to copy, but will soon find the secret lies in the athletes and dedicated workers. Let’s see which schools can end their induction ceremony with a KNOCKOUT like we did with our champion lady boxer Rosie Reed!!
Our successful formula starts with selecting a great diversified induction class (Tim Maples, Steve Roberts, Andy Puget, Tim Hansen, Alison Baker Avalos, Mike Anderson, Steve Smith, David Reese, David Hill, and Rosie Reed), then add a couple of legendary teams (1976 Boys Basketball and 1998 Wrestling), and you will have over 300 attend the beautiful Bakersfield Country Club (BCC) to enjoy a wonderful meal and pay homage.
The accomplishments of these inductees and teams have previously been documented in the Bakersfield Californian, on our Facebook page and in the table program. If a picture is worth a 1,000 words, then our wonderful photographer Carla Rivas just wrote a book with her 100 plus photos seen on Facebook. Please take the time to view them as they will tell the story of this event far better than I could ever convey.
The Committee also decided to honor, and let the fans see, the current athletes and teams that have been highly-successful and are leading the athletic resurgence now taking place at Foothill. Gracing the stage was the Girls Back-to-Back Valley Champion Cross Country Team, and they flashed some awesome ring-bling. Also honored were the undefeated Boys League Champion Basketball Team and the Girls Valley Runner-up Soccer Team.
Then Mr. Pat Carlotti presented his History Club which is doing such an awesome job of interviewing former FHS faculty and archiving and preserving memorabilia. All of these groups have been mentioned by individual name with team records and photos in previous blogs.
Seeing these young, well-dressed student-athletes on stage is always a treat for us, as well as for those athletes. We get a sneak preview of young great athletes……some of whom will surely be in this Hall of Fame someday. The athletes are often in awe, and gain inspiration from the FHS legends in the crowd and memorabilia from our amazing past history. This event allows them to see the type of success and life they can have, when they combine talent with education. (Our next blog will share the Hall of Fame’s recent setup of memorabilia in the quad at FHS. It opened the eyes of current FHS students and the 300 incoming freshmen, about a rich athletic heritage they knew absolutely nothing about. It will also cover with the displays the History Class is putting up at FHS to further promote this legacy.)
Just what does it mean for a person to be inducted into the Hall of Fame? Every inductee was quick to point out how special it was and to thank coaches, teammates and the Committee for making this possible. It meant enough to David Hill to bring his entire family over from Hawaii to see him being inducted. It meant enough to former inductee Gary Harris to come all the way from Tennessee with his wife, just to enjoy and stand on stage with his 1976 coach and basketball teammates. It meant enough that almost the entire 1998 Wrestling Team came from all over the state to share this honor with their coach and teammates. And for those in the audience, many getting up in years, it means enough to forego aches and pains to once again enjoy the moment with dear friends, teachers, coaches, teammates, classmates and other Trojans. This event always has a warm, magical effect on those who attend.
The program listed all of the current Hall of Fame members. There is no way to cover the contributions and outstanding job each does. Many have asked who was responsible for such an outstanding night. It is a total team effort that starts with the outstanding long-time leadership from Dr. Bill Baker, Dr. John Alexander and Dr. Joe Thompson in the areas of induction selection, funding, assignment organization, goals, programming, and on-campus visions.
Scott Garcia took all the photos and materials gathered by Teresa Hutson, Bill Moore and Connie Preston and then made each inductee’s video very special. The golden voice and narrative of Mike Maggard brought them to life. The wonderful display of rings, plaques and medallions is the work of Jim Wooster, and getting correct ring sizes and mistake-free bios takes masterful work.
The wonderful TV set-up and sound system came as a result of Buzz Caffee organizing a very-talented PacWest group. Larry Baker and Tim Hartnett have the tough task of distributing and accounting for all tickets, as well as seating arrangements. Larry is a CPA who also provides us with outstanding financial reports and advice. Tim Maples and John Cope have contributed to our events all year long.
Connie Preston, Teresa Hutson & crew have their fingerprints on numerous facets (balloon decorations, wine bottles, memorabilia collection, DVDs, shirt and cap sales, etc.) They are the same go-to girls who do the Treasure Chest and decorations for the fundraising dinner.
The rest of the group certainly does an abundance of things that are not always visible that night but make the event successful. These members sell tickets, place ads, create signs, display and return all memorabilia, turn film into DVDs, provide photos for the program, sell wine bottles, handle Pay Pal orders, provide scholarships, attend FHS award ceremonies and games, speak to teams and classes, do school interviews, feed teams, promote FHS via blogs, get donations for the Treasure Chest, take meeting minutes and a myriad of other tasks. Hats off to all for a job well done!
So now this group can take a well-deserved break until the fundraising dinner in November. There is even a rumor this event may be tweaked to include a live band and entertainment next time??? Stay tuned.
There is not enough space to say thanks to each of the dedicated, hard-working Committee members for the role they play in making our young Hall of Fame so special. I know I continue to marvel at how these members can hold down full-time jobs and yet find the time and energy to donate their time to the Hall of Fame so that alumni, students and FHS can reap so many blessings and benefits.
Why do they do it? One member simply stated “If not me…..then who”? Perhaps the great UCLA basketball coach John Wooden best summed up why in his quote…”A life not spent helping and serving others is a life wasted”. Certainly these members are not wasting their lives, and we always welcome others to come join us. Hopefully, there are those who will take the time to let these members know their efforts are appreciated. It is a great time to be a Trojan! Fight On.