Fans of White River High athletics will want to reserve the evening of Friday, Jan. 17, on their calendars. That’s when the inaugural class will be inducted into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame.
The original five inductees cover a 55-year span of Mountaineer and Hornet athletics, include four individuals and one team, and represent eight sports.
Being inducted are John Garnero, who graduated from Buckley High School in 1926 and played both football and baseball and ran track; John Hyppa, White River High class of 1969, who played football, basketball and baseball before his stint as a longtime Hornet coach; Helen (Mills) Horton, from the class of 1981, a participant in basketball, softball and tennis; Andy Maris, class of 1990, a standout in cross country and track; and the entire 1973 boys’ basketball team.
That ’73 hoop squad, coached by Lloyd Blanusa and assisted by Russ Rudolph, captured the 1973 Class A state championship. On the roster were Brian O’Neal, Lee McGehee, Gary Stock, Glenn Emry, Phil Hiam, Dan Anderson, Mark Baydek, Kim Baydek, Brad Hubbard and Greg Baker.
Their special night will include a reception at 5:15 p.m. in the WRHS commons, followed by a 6 p.m. induction ceremony in the school theater and halftime introductions during that night’s basketball game between the White River boys and Evergreen High.
The notion of forming a Hall of Fame had been talked about, on and off, for years. The demands of operating an athletic department always took top priority, however, and plans never materialized. That changed a little more than a year ago and the effort really picked up steam when volunteers came on board who were committed to making something happen.
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.
Nominations were taken from both the decades when the high school sat in downtown Buckley and was known as the Mountaineers; through a brief, ill-fated era of consolidation when the neighboring White River and Enumclaw districts merged and operated a single school; and the post-merger era (1954 to present) that carries the Hornet mascot.
A permanent display space has been identified in the school gymnasium and each HOF inductee will have a plaque placed on the wall in the gym lobby. Each honored athlete also will receive a plaque.
Anyone desiring more information about the Hall of Fame can visit the website (www.whiteriverathletichof.com), access the Hall of Fame on Facebook or call Gibson at 360-829-5507.