“I thought it would be a cool thing for the county to be able to document some of the older athletes and honor some of the kids at the same time,” said Vance Boyes, who has been chairman of the committee since the beginning.
The senior athletes were Abigail Husky and Connor Saso, from Colusa High School; Cody Pearson, from Maxwell High School; Matt Tapia and Sarah Vann, from Pierce High School; Isabel Bugarin and Josue Sullivan, from Princeton High School; and Lizbeth Aceves and Hunter Povlsen, from Williams High School.
The team induction was the Pierce Bears Northern Section Volleyball Champions, who were honored for their victories at the State Tournament level.
Many of the young athletes were present with their families. Each senior was presented with a plaque while their achievements were announced.
The team induction was the 1973-74 Williams High School Football Co-Champions North Valley League.
Wayne Grishaber, who played offense for the Football team, was previously inducted for rugby. He said that it is teamwork that uplifts one another and learning to play to the strengths of the members.
“It’s the total points that add up to the victory,” said Grishaber.
The 2019 Hall of Fame inductees, who played various sports over the years, were Derek Lee, from Colusa High School; Tom Marengo, from Williams High School; Alfonso Martinez, from Maxwell High School; Barry Marvel, from Colusa High School; Jeff McKinley, from Williams High School; and Eleanor Cain Mathews, from Pierce High School.
The Coach’s Award went to Tim Heck, who coached at Maxwell High School for 29 years. In his first season, Heck’s JV football team won the league title, three league championships, and coached the JV girl’s basketball to league champions.
The Directors’ Award went to Mark and Sandy Ottenwalter for their efforts and many kinds of donations for the community over the years.
“They’ve been unbelievably supportive,” said Boyes.
The selection of honorees were chosen from nominations that were suggested from members of Colusa County. The committee members then research for information. Committee Secretary John Scheimer said that he enjoys the research.
“I wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t fun,” said Scheimer.
The evening was deemed a success at what they approximated as 130 people present. Committee member Russel Gardner explained that last year there was a baseball team of about 30 people who were honored, so extra tables had to be brought in to accommodate the larger crowd.
Honorees and patrons dined on prime rib and enjoyed drinks from the bar. Chocolate mousse cake was served while the inductees gave acceptance speeches. Many stories were recalled and some jovial ribbing was enjoyed.
Barry Marvel held back the tears as his voice broke with sincere gratitude toward his family who had supported him throughout his achievements.
Eleanor Cain “Speed” Mathews, 93, who still attends games at Pierce, had a long introduction of her many athletic highlights that included multiple sports, yet accepted her award with a short and sweet, “Thank you.” A physical education teacher and coach for Pierce, Mathews was an inspiration to female athletes. Mathews was also named the 1990 Ladies Champion of the Arbuckle Golf Club.
Boyes said that the essence of the evening was to capture the hard work and dedication that the athletes put into and the awe-inspiring talent that they possessed.
“So you get to document stories of athletes in the past – and games from the past that were good – and I think it helps build character for the community,” said Boyes. ■