Sonora, CA — Sonora High’s athletics boosters are sharing the names of this year’s Athletic Hall of Fame honorees, who will be honored at a special ceremonial banquet in early November.
Athletic Hall of Fame spokesperson, former athletic director and basketball coach Rick Francis, indicates that the dozen Class of 2018 members span 63 years of excellence and noteworthy achievements in multiple sports from 1947 to 2010 at Sonora High and often well beyond their time as Wildcats.
Among those chosen are four past or current Sonora High coaches, three of whom were standout Wildcats athletes. He adds that family, friends and other interested members of the public should mark their calendars for Saturday, Nov. 3 as the date for the official banquet and ceremony to honor this year’s class. The event and the hall of fame honors for that matter, sponsored by Sonora High School Foundation, will take place at the Sonora Elks Lodge.
The honorees are listed below along with brief bios. View photos in the image box slideshow.
Introducing The Athletic Hall Of Fame Class Of 2018
Coach Bob Buck, class of 1947
On football, basketball, baseball and track teams as a Wildcat student-athlete, Buck returned to coach various sports for 26 years and mentor many. His leadership helped provide varsity football, JV basketball, and cross country championships. In the early 1970s Coach Buck started the cross country program which soon became a top program in the Valley Oak League. He helped bring lights to the baseball field and build the Dome field. Leader of the famous “Buck’s Bandits,” the scout team ran the opposing team plays to prepare the Wildcats for whoever they were playing.
Don Reid, class of 1954, Honoree/Coach
Reid participated in track but his basketball skills were outstanding not only as a Wildcat but also at Modesto Junior College and San Jose State University. His love of the game led him to become one of the greatest junior college coaches in the state. He first coached at Manteca High for five years and led them to an undefeated VOL season in 1963. He became the first men’s basketball coach at Merced College that fall. Coaching there for 24 seasons, he captured 14 conference championships, two back-to-back state championships and finished either first or second in 21 of 24 seasons. Named state Coach of Year two times; awarded the Community College Association Coach of the Year in 1987; he was inducted into the California Community College Hall of Fame in 1989, after which he coached the United Arab Emirate National Olympic team. Called to coach the Merced College women’s basketball team, he turned around a struggling program. The college dedicated the basketball court in his name on 2010 and in 2013 inducted him into the Merced College Athletic Hall of Fame.
Mark Bergstrom, class of 1970
Outstanding in football, basketball and baseball, Bergstrom received the Fred Rowe Most Outstanding Male Athlete for the class of 1970. In football he was a two-way starter as a running back and linebacker, also named the league’s outstanding running back and outstanding defensive player of the year as a senior. A shooting guard in basketball, he was named to the all-league first team. In baseball he could play anywhere but mostly covered second base and shortstop. He went on to play for the University of California at Davis for two years before an injury ended his football playing days.
Coach Barbara Smith
Barbara’s coaching career at Sonora High lasted 31 years, during which she coached volleyball, JV girls basketball and varsity softball; the latter program she initiated in 1976. Her teams won many championships at all levels. In 2002 Barbara received the Sac-Joaquin Section Model Coach Award and in 1989 she received the National Coaching Award as an American Hero in Education. In 1982 she was inducted into the Humboldt State University Athletic Hall of Fame and in 2011 into the Tuolumne County Softball Hall of fame. As an educator Coach Smith was selected Outstanding Teacher of the Year in 2002 and given the Tuolumne County Outstanding Educator and Career Achievement Award in 2007.
Ken Townsend, class of 1975
A basketball and baseball athlete, Townshend, in his senior year, made the Valley Oak league Honorable Mention basketball team. In baseball, he was one of the outstanding pitchers in the Valley Oak League and within the Sac-Joaquin Section. During his senior year he was selected the VOL Most Valuable Player, where he pitched 78 innings while allowing only 40 hits, 22 walks, and had 107 strikeouts for an amazing .80 ERA. IN a no-hitter against Ripon High School, he recorded 16 strikeouts. Immediately following graduation, he was drafted in the seventh round by the Los Angeles Dodgers, pitching for four years until arm problems ended his career. Ken states, “Striking out MLB Hall of Famer Paul Molitor three times in a game was something I will never forget.”
Karen Lagomarsino Keith, class of 1979
A three-sport athlete and cheerleader, Lagomarsino Keith was a three-year varsity starter on the basketball team, named to the first team Valley Oak League her sophomore, junior and senior years. In track she holds the 100-yard dash record — which will always stand since track went to meters after she graduated. During her freshmen year, she was named the VOL outstanding female track athlete with victories in the 100 and 220-yard dashes as well as the long jump. One of the fastest female runners in the history of Sonora High School. she was also selected as the 1978 Homecoming Queen.
Shawna Beck Adams, class of 1994
A three-sport athlete, Beck Adams was a varsity softball starter her freshmen and sophomore years before deciding to just play two sports. In volleyball she was an outside hitter making the Honorable all-league team her junior year and was selected to the VOL first team her senior year, where she led her team in points, hits, kills and serving. In basketball she played all four years; the point guard on the VOL Championship team making the Honorable mention team her freshman year; VOL first team and the All District team as a sophomore; first team and All District team as a junior; first team, All District team and the Street and Smith All American Team Honorable Mention as a senior. She received the Elks Award as the Outstanding Female Athlete for the class of 1994. The recipient of a basketball scholarship to Fresno Pacific University, she also earned through the javelin a scholarship in her teaching credential year.
Trevor Strand, class of 1996
Strand played four years of football and in 1995 was selected VOL defensive lineman of the year, Sac-Joaquin Section defensive lineman of the year in D-3. He a captain for the team that went 13-0, winning the Section Championship. In wrestling, he placed first in five tournaments; second in six others. As a Modesto Junior College wrestler, he was an All American, an Academic All American for two years and received a scholarship to wrestle for the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Wrestling team. A pole vaulter in track, he reached a height of 12 feet and helped his team win three VOL championships. During his senior year he received the Jack Wivell Most Inspirational Male Athlete Award.
Neil Parry, class of 1998
A three-sport player, Parry, in his senior year of football, made VOL first team and was selected to the Lion’s All Star game. He was a shooting guard in basketball and a pitcher in baseball. He went on to play football at San Jose State University as a defensive back and special teams; selected team captain in 2000 and again in 2003. Although he suffered a compound fracture and lost the lower part of his leg after infections set in, after 25 surgeries he came back with an artificial leg to play again for the Spartans. His play on special teams earned him a spot in the East-West Shrine game. In 2003 he was named college football comeback player of the year and was nominated for a 2004 ESPY award. He has received numerous awards for his courage and inspiration and has spoken in front of many organizations on the topic “Never Give Up.”
Michelle Banks McCormick, class of 2003
A four-sport participant, Banks McCormick made first team all-league volleyball her sophomore and junior years and was selected the MVP her senior year. In basketball, she was an all-league player her sophomore and junior years. The one year she played soccer (2001) she was the MVP of the VOL. In track she was a record holder in the high jump going 5’ 10.5”. Awarded a full volleyball scholarship to the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, where she started for four years and was team captain for two of them. She holds the record for the most games played by a volleyball player at UNLV.
Allison Freer Lincoln, class of 2009
In 1995 the Sonora High swimming program stared under the direction of LaDeane Hansten. Many fine swimmers have come out of that program and Freer Lincoln is considered by many as one of the top female swimmers in its short history. To quote her coach, “she had an unparalleled work ethic and a drive for perfection.” During her freshmen and sophomore years she set or contributed to four school records; in her junior and senior years was a part of six school records. In all four years she qualified for the Sac-Joaquin section championship meets. She still holds seven out of a possible 16 school records. In water polo she made the VOL second team her junior year and first team as a senior, when she led her team in scoring. She received the Elks Award as the top female athlete for the class of 2009 and is now a Sonora High swimming coach.
Ashley Pittman, class of 2010
A three-sport participant, Pittman excelled in volleyball and softball. On VOL first team all-league in both sports from her sophomore through senior years, she was also selected as the MVP in volleyball and softball as a senior. After high school Ashley received a scholarship to play both volleyball and softball at Dominican University. She left Dominican to play volleyball at Cabrillo College, leading her team to a #1 rating in Northern California. At Cal State University, Stanislaus, she became team captain of the volleyball team and is rated in the top ten for digs in its school history. She graduated summa cum laude from there with at BA in kinesiology and his working on her master’s at San Jose State University. Currently a physical education and life skills teacher at Sonora High, she is also coaching JV volleyball and assisting with the varsity softball team.
The induction dinner and event on Nov. 3 will begin at 5 p.m. with a no host bar; the awards ceremony starts at 7. Free for honorees, the cost for others to attend is $40 for adults and teens; $20 for children 12 and under.
Reservations must be made by Oct. 19 by mailing a check made out to Sonora High Foundation. Send to: Hall of Fame Committee, 18440 Lambert Lake Road, Sonora, CA 95370. Call Rick Francis for more details at 209 533-0364 or 206-1633.