Special to Valley Community Newspapers
In recognition of McClatchy High School’s 75 years in serving Sacramento’s youth, Restore the Roar is pleased to announce the establishment of the C. K. McClatchy High School Athletic Hall of Fame.
There are 48 athletes and two coaches included in this distinguished class.
The inductees include four of the top 100 Sacramento area high school football players identified by the Sacramento Bee in 2000, a Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) member and a Professional Golf Association (PGA) member, and a participant in the 1960 and 1964 Winter Olympics.
The two coaches selected are the legendary Jack Mauger (track) and George Bican (football).
Restore the Roar will also recognize the following athletic teams as part of the CKM Hall of fame ceremony: the undefeated1944 and 1947 Lion football teams; the 1951-1952 baseball teams that carried a 40 game win-streak including an undefeated 1951 season; the 1958 baseball team that won the conference championship and posted an 18-1 record; and the 1959-60 Cross Country teams that won back-to-back Sac-Joaquin Section Titles.
The CKM Hall of Fame will include not only those athletes, coaches and teams who compiled an outstanding athletic record while at McClatchy, but also those athletes who established an outstanding athletic record in sports for which there was no opportunity to compete while at McClatchy. A committee sought nominations from alumni and the public, researched school and local newspaper files and interviewed many alumni and observers to compile the class.
The committee included alumni and former faculty members Jim Coombs (’57) and Mike Nishio (’63), Rod Hollander and Jan Olmsted, and alumni Bob Sertich (’67), Mike Ricci (’69) and Rod Kunisaki (’75).
Bob Sertich, who initiated the effort, said, “It will be exactly one year from the first meeting of the committee until we recognize these outstanding athletes in September. The committee put in many hours and many votes to identify the best athletes from the first 25 years of the school.”
During its research and discussions, the committee found many family names popped up often in the early years of the school including: Geremia, Stathos, Rose and Thomas. Also, it was more often than not that an athlete was a multi-sport athlete, something that is not so common today.
UC Berkeley was a big benefactor among these athletes with the following playing for Cal’s Football team: John Pappa, Herb Jackson, Doug Graham, Steve Radich and Tom Relles. The committee believes that the most extraordinary accomplishment in the first 25 years was the win streak by the 1951 and 1952 baseball teams of 40 games. The 1951 team went undefeated with a 22-0 record and the 1952 team continued to win 18 more in a row for a streak or 40 wins. It is hard to believe that any high school team in Sacramento, or anywhere can match that streak.
According to Jim Coombs, “The committee work was a labor of love and awe. Many of the inductees are the same athletes whom I idolized as a child growing up in Land Park. I watched these athletes compete at McClatchy, Land Park and Hughes Stadium.”
Coombs has an eye for talent, as he spent 40 years as a high school and collegiate basketball official in addition to his duties as McClatchy faculty member and coach.
Former McClatchy Athletic Director Mike Nishio said, “These athletes set the foundation for a strong and enduring athletic program at McClatchy. The current Lion athletes continue to uphold the tradition by remaining on top of the Metro League in many sports every year.”
Sertich adds one final comment, “We are saddened that we did not get this put together before we lost some of these legends such as Fred Wristen, Tony and Frank Geremia, Herb Jackson and several others. At least now they become a formal part of the McClatchy athletic tradition.”
Restore the Roar is still attempting to locate some of the inductees and members of the outstanding teams being recognized. If you are on the inductee list or were a member of one of the recognized teams and have not been contacted, please call Bob Sertich at (916) 441-0657 or Jim Coombs at (916) 422-9082.
The inductees and teams will also be recognized at the McClatchy Football Game at Hughes Stadium on Sept. 21. Restore the Roar is seeking sponsors for the event. The public is welcome. For reservations for any of these events, visit www.restoretheroar.org, e-mail email@example.com, or call Jim Coombs or Bob Sertich.