"Local Hall of Fame/Scholarship Recipients"
The Veteran’s Memorial Building with be host to the 48th Annual Northern California Sports Association “Hall of Fame/Scholarship” Dinner on Saturday, March 17th. The evening highlights the induction of 8 new members into this 2018 Hall of Fame, along with six college-bound students who will receive scholarships totaling $15,000.
Heading the list of those originally from this area are Russ Goodman, Salvador Balderama, and the late “Beaver “Swanson. GOODMAN excelled at football and basketball at Yuba City High School in the 60’s, and played on a football scholarship for Stanford under Bill Walsh, John Ralston, and Dick Vermeil. Russ also played Rugby with both Stanford and then UCLA while pursuing his master’s degree. He was an original founder of the Santa Monica Rugby Club.
SALVADOR BALDERAMA was one of the best shortstops to come out of Yuba City High. Salvador was the team captain and MVP of the Yuba City High, Yuba College, and University of Davis baseball teams. He was also All-Conference at all three levels and after UC Davis signed as a charter member of the Kansas City Royals Baseball Academy. He was Rookie of the Year and leading hitter with the Yuba Sutter Twins when he played in the old Placer Nevada League.
“BEAVER” SWANSON arguably might be the best athlete ever out of Wheatland High School in the early 60’s. A High School All-American in football, he was All-Conference and All-State in football, basketball, and baseball. He signed with the Cincinnati Reds and became their leading hitter in AAA, then was traded to the Montreal Expos and played in the Major Leagues with the Expos. Beaver passed away last year, so his daughters and grandsons will be traveling from Montana and Houston to accept his Hall of Fame plaque.
Among other inductees, RYAN ROBISON, for years the principal at Sutter High School, excelled in football and track. He attended Trinity High School, Shasta JC, and Chico State University. He was all-conference in football and track/field, and set records with his javelin throws in track and field. Ryan has spent 35 years coaching and has received numerous awards in administrative positions within the school systems.
RUSS CRITCHFIELD has coached the men’s basketball team at Butte College for the past 20 years. Excelling at basketball at Salinas High School Russ played collegiately at UC Berkeley. He played professionally with the 1969 ABA Champion Oakland Oaks and has coached over 40 years. Russ is a member of the B Berkeley and the PAC-12 Hall of Fames.
JOHN PERRY played baseball at Willows High, Butte College, and Chico State where he was the team captain and MVP at each school. He has received all-conference honors and awards both as a player and coach. Teaching at Willows High School for 34 years he also coached the football and baseball teams and was NSCIF Baseball Coach of the Year in 1969.
RAY BALLOCK played football at Pitt State College, but is best known for his outstanding coaching career at Orland High School from the late 50’s until the mid-1980’s.
Ray’s football teams were some of the best, highlighted by being selected as the #1 team in Superior California in 1961. He has coached Optimist All-Star games and led the Trojans to 3 straight Westside League championships with a 27-game winning streak. Ray’s track teams won 4 Westside League championships under his guidance.
This year’s team honors go to the 1959 AUBURN LITTLE LEAGUE TEAM. In their 3rd year of existence they played in the final championship game in Williamsport. PA. After an incredible run of 13 victories to make it to the finals, they lost to the Michigan All-Stars in that final game. Most of those original players will be in attendance at Saturdays dinner.
The “Hall of Fame/Scholarship” dinner will be held on Saturday March 17th at the Veterans Memorial Building in Yuba City. The reception begins at 4:30pm followed by dinner served at 5:30pm. For information, please call either Joel Guthrie (530)329-5851 or John Rice (916)296-1501.