Four more names, spanning a century of Hornet and Mountaineer sporting greatness, were added to the White River Athletic Hall of Fame during a recent ceremony at the school.
Inducted the evening of March 11 were Ben Addink, Marcus Dickson, Bob McKean and Paul Strand. Following a reception in the school commons, four new plaques were unveiled on a “wall of honor” in the WRHS gymnasium. The crowd then moved to the school auditorium where master of ceremonies John Dorsey detailed the sporting exploits of each new Hall of Fame member.
BEN ADDINK, CLASS OF 1997
A four-year basketball career spent in the school’s maroon and gold was capped by a senior season in which the 6 foot, 5 inch Addink averaged 25 points and nine rebounds per game.
His on-court achievements resulted in a pair of Most Valuable Player accolades from the Pierce County League; recognition by the Tacoma Athletic Commission as its Student/Athlete of the Year (3.9 grade-point average); and honors from the Tacoma News Tribune as its Player of the Year. He was named to the all-state basketball team and earned MVP honors during the Class 2A all-state game.
Following his high school days, Addink headed to Yakima Valley Community College where he was named a team captain, earned all-conference honors and was tabbed as the Yakima Valley Athlete of the Year. Those achievements landed him an offer to play for the University of Hawaii-Hilo.
After college, Addink remained in the game by coaching the girls’ team at a small school in Eastern Washington. During his final two years at the helm, his squads captured fifth-place and second-place honors during the state hoop tournaments.
MARCUS DICKSON, CLASS OF 2012
Clearly the top talent at the league level, Marcus Dickson grew to become the No. 1 track athlete in Washington. And, before he was done, he had climbed the ranks of the nation’s elite prep runners.
The honors Dickson received during his Hornet days create quite an impressive list. For example, during his senior year he was named the Gatorade Washington Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year. The award recognizes athletic excellence but also counts academic achievement and exemplary character.
The numbers speak for themselves: Dickson was a state champion in both the 800-meter and 1,600-meter runs as a junior, then duplicated the feat a year later. As a sophomore he had been a part of the state title-winning 4×400 relay team. During his Hornet days, Dickson set school records at 400, 800 and 1,600 meters.
Those milestones resulted in his selection as the SPSL 2A track and field Athlete of the Year following both his junior and senior seasons. It also brought invitations to the Jim Ryun Dream Mile, a competition in New York City that featured the nation’s best high school runners. At one point, his times in the 800, 1,500, 1,600 and the mile all ranked among the top 15 times by U.S. high school runners.
His prep achievements landed a scholarship to run collegiately at Brigham Young University where he was a four-time participant in the NCAA regionals and competed in the 2013 Pan American Junior Championships.
BOB MCKEAN, COACH/COMMUNITY CONTRIBUTOR
Known as the “Voice of the Hornets,” McKean earned that distinction following a long career as a teacher, administrator and coach.
A native of Hoquiam, Washington, McKean served students in a handful of small districts and climbed the ranks, eventually being named superintendent of the Crescent School District in the Olympic Peninsula town of Joyce. A return to the classroom called and, eventually, McKean landed at White River.
His athletic involvement spanned a variety of sports, but it was track and field where he coached for more than 20 years. At White River, he rekindled a cross country program that had gone dormant and built it into a program that enjoys success to this day.
In 2001, McKean was inducted into the Washington State Coaches Hall of Fame.
Along the way, he also officiated football, baseball and softball.
It was his announcing prowess that led to his recognition as the “Voice of the Hornets” and the naming of the White River High announcer’s booth in his honor.
His talents were not limited to Buckley, where he announced at home football and girls’ basketball games, along with track and cross country events. Additionally, he shared his talents at the state level, announcing at state championships for cross country, track and field and wrestling.
McKean, who died in January 2013, was inducted into the Hall of Fame as both a coach and community contributor.
PAUL STRAND, CLASS OF 1913
The first five players tabbed for the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame were Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wager, Christy Mathewson and Walter Johnson. That illustrious group had something else in common: all played against Paul Strand, a small-town boy from South Prairie and one-time Buckley High Mountaineer.
At different times, he outdueled Mathewson on the mound, stroked a single past Cobb, hit a triple off Johnson and – while playing center field at Yankee Stadium – caught a fly ball sent skyward by Ruth.
He hit the top of his sport by helping the Boston Braves climb from last place in the National League to a World Series title in 1914. He won seven games down the stretch that year, helping the Braves win the Fall Classic.
“Silent Paul” was born in 1893 and eventually was making $5 per game as a teenager, pitching for local teams, a sum that was pretty lofty for a high schooler in 1910.
During that summer of 1910, he was spotted by the manager of the Spokane Indians, who signed him to a deal that paid $125 per month. After just four starts on the mound, he was claimed by the Boston Red Sox. As a teen, he was pitching in the major leagues and, unfortunately, suffering a growing pain in his shoulder. He was soon cut loose by Boston.
For several years he played minor league ball, returning home to finish high school. In 1913 he made the Braves roster as a relief pitcher, posting an impressive earned-run average of 2.12. Then came the magical 2014 season when Strand helped push the Braves to the championship.
The following year, the pain in his shoulder forced him out of the big leagues and off the pitching mound. Always a good hitter, he shifted to playing the outfield and spent years before being noticed. In 1922, playing for the Salt Lake City Bees, Strand won the Triple Crown by leading the Pacific Coast League in batting average, hits and home runs. A year later, he was even better, winning the Triple Crown again; in the process, he collected an amazing 325 hits.
That got the attention of the majors and Connie Mack signed Strand to his Philadelphia club. The hits didn’t come and he soon found himself heading back to the minors. For five seasons he played, hitting .315 and hoping for another chance in the big leagues. But the call never came.
By the end, he had become a beloved figure in Salt Lake City and settled down, taking a job with his father-in-law’s company. In 1999, the Salt Lake Tribune listed Strand as one of the 50 greatest athletes in Utah sports history. He was inducted in 1961 into the Tacoma-Pierce County Sports Hall of Fame; became a charter inductee in 1970 into the Utah Sports Hall of Fame; and in 2004 joined the Pacific Coast League Hall of Fame.
OTHERS IN THE WR HALL OF FAME
The Hall of Fame Class of 2023 joins the following:
• Inaugural Class of 2020: John Garnero, Helen (Mills) Horton, John Hyppa, Andy Maris and the state champion 1973 boys’ basketball team.
• Class of 2021: Cindy (Browning) Meyer, Joe Kolisch and the state champion 1995 wrestling team.
• Class of 2022: Trena Page and Thron Riggs.