Throughout the long and storied history of White River High athletics, there has been a steady stream of noteworthy athletes, coaches, teams and program boosters.
Missing from that formula was a means of honoring those who served the Hornet nation so well.
That omission is being remedied with the founding of the White River Athletic Hall of Fame, an effort that is now in full swing and headed toward a winter enshrinement of the inaugural class.
Nominations are being taken and the first induction ceremony is slated for the evening of Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, during halftime of a Hornet varsity basketball game.
The committee heading the Hall of Fame effort includes chairman John Dorsey, a White River High teacher and coach; district Athletic Director Chris Gibson; district Assistant Superintendent Mike Hagadone; teacher and coach Jerry Scheidt; and district residents and athletic boosters Angela Lusk (treasurer), Kerry Anderson (secretary), Miriam Alavi and Tony Anderson.
Aside from soliciting nominations, the group is looking for donations of either cash or artifacts. Anyone interested in donating can visit www.whiteriverathletichof.com.
White River’s athletic history includes the decades when the high school sat in downtown Buckley and was known as the Mountaineers; that was followed by a brief, ill-fated era of consolidation with the neighboring Enumclaw School District; that plan fizzled after four years and evolved into a post-merger era (1954 to present).
Gibson said the notion of forming a Hall of Fame has floated around the periphery of school athletics for years. He recalls talking about a Hall years ago with Jim Meyerhoff, a former White River athletic director and mentor to Gibson. The realities of keeping an athletic department humming always pushed a serious conversation about a Hall of Fame to the back burner, Gibson said.
Things took a productive turn about a year ago, Dorsey said, when it was realized that a wealth of Mountaineer/Hornet history had been compiled. “It just started growing from there,” he said, and volunteers came on board who were “interested and excited by something like this.”
An early step was to determine criteria for a Hall of Fame and committee members scoured the internet, gleaning tips and tidbits from existing efforts. Soon, Dorsey said, White River had formulated a set of rules unique to White River.
With plans now on track, Gibson said, a permanent display space has been identified in the school gymnasium. Each HOF inductee will receive a plaque and one also will be placed on the wall in the gym lobby.
Anyone can make a nomination for the inaugural Hall of Fame class (they are due by Oct. 1) by visiting the website and clicking on “individual,” “team,” “coach” or “community contributor.” Specific criteria are included for each category.
For example, for an individual to be considered for the HOF some of the factors are:
• won a league, district, or state title, or been part of a team that did.
• held a school, league, district or state record.
• placed multiple times in the top eight at state tournament.
• was honored as first team all-league, all-area, all-state or all-American.
• led a major statistical category in league, district or state.
• went on to play at a community college or four-year university, or received a professional contract.
• made a notable contribution to athletics after high school.
• had a notable athletic achievement after high school.
Individuals must meet at least four of the above criteria and be five years removed from White River graduation. The committee notes that simply meeting the criteria does not guarantee entry into the Hall of Fame; the same is true for all four categories.
The criteria for coach includes things like 10 winning seasons, a career winning percentage of 70 percent or better or multiple league titles. There are nine criteria spelled out and a coach has to meet at least three to be considered.
Teams must meet criteria like advancing to state competition, winning a district title, breaking a school, district or state record, or winning a state academic championship. Teams must be five year removed from competition and meet at least three of the criteria.
The criteria for contributors isn’t necessarily driven by numbers. Included are things like working for the betterment of district athletic programs, improving the playing experience for athletes and coaches or sponsorship of White River athletics.
Anyone desiring more information about the Hall of Fame can visit the website (above), access the Hall of Fame on Facebook or call Gibson at 360-829-5507.