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White River High taking nominations for Year 2 Hall of Fame inductees

Here’s what you need to know to nominate a sports legend from your time at WRHS.

During last year’s Hall of Fame induction, Lloyd Blanusa was honored by White River Athletic Director Chris Gibson. Blanusa coached the 1973 Hornet boys basketball team to a state championship. Photo by Kevin Hanson

During last year’s Hall of Fame induction, Lloyd Blanusa was honored by White River Athletic Director Chris Gibson. Blanusa coached the 1973 Hornet boys basketball team to a state championship. Photo by Kevin Hanson

It’s year No. 2 for the White River Athletic Hall of Fame and program boosters are soliciting nominations for a second class of inductees.

The means to honor those who served White River athletics was successfully kicked off last year, when five individual athletes, teams, coaches and program boosters made up the inaugural class.

Now, HOF organizers are planning for a second enshrinement and seeking input from the Hornet faithful. Nominations are being taken through Nov. 6.

Heading the Hall of Fame effort is a committee headed by chairman John Dorsey, a White River High teacher and coach. Also on board are district Athletic Director Chris Gibson; district administrator Jer Argo; Jerry Scheidt and Caitlin Carr (treasurer), both teachers and coaches; and district residents and athletic boosters Angela Lusk, Kerry Anderson (secretary) and Tony Anderson.

The notion of forming a Hall of Fame floated around the periphery of school athletics for more than a decade and finally picked up steam a couple of years ago.

​Once a committee was formed, an early step was to determine criteria for a Hall of Fame induction. Committee members learned from existing efforts and soon formulated a set of rules unique to White River.

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 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 years 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 can make a nomination for the Year 2 class by visiting the Hall of Fame website ( www.whiteriverathletichof.com). Click “Nominations” from the drop-down menu and then select “individual,” “team,” “coach” or “community contributor.” Specific criteria are included for each category.

White River’s athletic history includes the decades when the high school sat in downtown Buckley and its teams were known as the Mountaineers. Eventually, there was 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).

A permanent display space has been dedicated in the White River High gymnasium. Noted are the inaugural class of John Garnero (football, track and baseball, class of 1926), Helen (Mills) Horton (basketball, softball and tennis, class of 1981), Andy Maris (track and cross country, 1990) coach John Hyppa (football, basketball and baseball), and the 1973 boys basketball team that won the Class A state championship.

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.


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