Tracy Sports Hall of Fame to add 12 names Saturday
by Bob Brownne
Apr 24, 2014 | 5793 views | 0 0 comments | 66 66 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tracy sports standouts honored
The 1997-98 West High boys basketball team made it to the finals of the Sac-Joaquin Section championship tournament under coach Steve Thornton. Courtesy of Tracy Sports Hall of Fame
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The Tracy Sports Hall of Fame has some catching up to do since it last named a group of local athletic stars in 1990.

On Saturday night the reactivated Hall of Fame will induct 10 individuals and two teams during a sold-out banquet at the Tracy Elks Lodge on 11th Street.

They represent twice as many inductees as the hall brought in each year between 1982 and 1990, but this year’s class represents only about one-third of the nominations that came into the hall after the committee started collecting names again in December.

Saturday’s nominees include two coaches, two contributors to local sports, eight athletes, and two teams.

Tracy Sports Hall of Fame president Bill Swenson said he expects all of the inductees will be there or be represented. The challenge on Saturday night will be to give sufficient recognition to each new member of the Hall of Fame.

“There’s quite a bit in the biographies of each individual,” Swenson said. “All of them, if you went back and looked at the Tracy Press, there would be all kinds of information.”

The teams include the 1997-98 West High boys basketball team, which went 31-4 overall, 14-0 in the Valley Oak League, and made the Sac-Joaquin Section championship game, finishing as section runner-up.

Former West High basketball coach Steve Thornton said that 14 of the 15 players on that team will be at the banquet.

“They’re actually going to get together in the afternoon and play some basketball,” Thornton said, adding that he too looks forward to the reunion.

“That’s what’s exciting about getting together with them, finding out what they’re doing,” Thornton said.

Players include Chris Young, a doctor in Southern California, Derek Cotton, an electrical engineer working on the new San Francisco 49ers stadium in Santa Clara, and Chad Hagedorn, who is still West’s all-time basketball scoring leader. He scored more than 1,170 points over three seasons, but the exact number is unknown because some scorebooks from those seasons are missing.

Thornton said the only team member missing will be Romeo Young, who died in 2012.

Also well-represented will be the Tracy High football team from 1982, which had a 12-1 record and won the San Joaquin Athletic Association title and the Sac-Joaquin Section title.

Even though that was 32 years ago, former Bulldog coach Wayne Schneider is still close to his former players, some of whom still live in Schneider’s neighborhood while many have had successful careers here in Tracy.

Schneider said 21 of the team’s 48 players said they will be at the banquet, as will all four coaches.

Coaches to be nominated into the Hall of Fame include Don Nicholson, whose 39 years at Tracy High include 35 years as the sophomore football coach and 17 years as athletic director. The stadium at Kimball High bears his name, and Nicholson has stayed active as an assistant coach for the wrestling team, where his grandson, Trent, is a repeat state qualifier.

Gary Barlow, a graduate of Tracy High, class of 1985, and University of the Pacific, class of 1989, has been the San Joaquin Delta College football coach since 2001. He led the Mustangs to post-season bowl games in 10 of those 13 years and twice was named Big 8 Conference Coach of the Year.

Sports contributors include the late Tom Hawkins. Hawkins was a basketball coach at Jefferson school in addition to his duties as superintendent/principal and eighth-grade teacher. He is the founder and namesake of the annual 16-team girls basketball tournament, which the Tracy Breakfast Lions hosted for its 30th year in December.

Albert Moreno, a Tracy High graduate, former Bulldog varsity baseball player and Korean War veteran, has umpired softball games on the national level. At the age of 83 he is still a fixture behind the plate at local games.

Athletes to join the Hall of Famer include Brandon Dennington. He received the 1986 Jake Longmire Blanket Award for Tracy High’s outstanding male athlete after he was a two-time state wrestling champion. His record of 172-9 as a high school wrestler was a state record for wins at the time. He also distinguished himself as a wrestler for the University of Oklahoma and U.S. Army.

John Gonzalez, Tracy High class of 1981, was an all-San Joaquin Athletic Association linebacker in each of his three years as a varsity football player. He was also the California state heavyweight wrestling champion in his senior year after finishing as state runner-up his sophomore and junior years.

Football player Michael Oliveira, West High class of 1998, was the Valley Oak League’s Most Valuable Player and the recipient of West’s John C. Kimball Award in his senior year. As kicker and quarterback he led the Wolf Pack to the 1997 Sac-Joaquin Section championship game, and was also a member of the 1997-1998 Hall of Fame basketball team.

West alumnus Trevell Quinley was the California Interscholastic Federation long jump champion in 2001 during his senior year. As a senior at the University of Arizona in 2005 he was the Pac-10 Conference champion, having finished as conference runner up the two previous years. He went on to place first in the long jump at the 2008 Olympic Trials and competed in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Greg Reed, Tracy High class of 1965, followed up his distinguished basketball career at Tracy High with a year at San Joaquin Delta College, where he was part of a Mustang team that averaged 100 points per-game in the 1965-66 season. He played at Sacramento State, and over three years with the Hornets he averaged 12.3 points and 10.1 rebounds per-game and was named to the Sacramento State Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009.

Loyce Singleton, Tracy High class of 1960, was a three-sport athlete and an academic standout. He earned the Bulldog football team’s Peter B. Kyne award and the senior blanket award in his senior year. He made the California Junior College All-American team as a halfback while playing for Monterey Peninsula College, and earned an athletic scholarship at the University of California Berkeley, where he played halfback and defensive back for three years with the Golden Bears.

Contact Bob Brownne at brownne@tracypress.com or 830-4227.

 

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