If you haven’t been, you are missing out — the Atascadero Greyhound Athletic Hall of Fame is a walk through local history as told by those who tasted some of the greatest victories and greatest defeats.
There is a golden thread, or orange thread, that unites our community with a single high school that our students grow up anticipating and finally, collectively toss their caps into the sky as Greyhounds.
In 2007, the Atascadero Greyhound Foundation inducted the first class of the Athletic Hall of Fame to memorialize those student-athletes who left a high-water mark for future classes of Greyhounds to adopt as a standard of excellence. The inaugural class was made of Sherrie Atteberry, Ruth “Teach” Doser, Chuck Estrada, R.H. “Bud” Ewing, Ardel Johnston, Tom Keffury, Collie Kidwell, Rich Martinez, Daryl & Lynndell Sligh, Don Tucker, and Art Wilmore.
Since that inaugural class, the Greyhound Foundation has added 101 more names to that illustrious list, and the 2018 class is scheduled to be inducted on Saturday, Oct. 27 during the annual banquet to be held at the SpringHill Suites Marriott in Atascadero. The 2018 class will add 11 inductees to bring the total to 124, but for foundation director Donn Clickard, it is one year at a time.
“It is an individual activity for me,” Donn said. “It was for ‘Teach’s’ family. You know, it is going to be for Bob Spurr’s family. It is for the the individuals and their family, in the moment. It is for them now. We wanted it to be more than punch and cookies. It really honors them.”
This year’s inductees will be Kevin Daugherty, Nate Janowicz, Chelsea Johnson, Bruce Kelly, Dan Loney, Andrew McCrory, Shauna Robinson, Amy Smith, Coach Jerry Tanimoto, and Community Supporter Bob Spurr.
Also being inducted, as the youngest member ever, is Brittni Frace. Brittni is being inducted posthumously, which doesn’t happen very often for a 20-year old student-athlete. It probably never happens, but in remembrance of her life and the life of her sister Brynn, it was a nomination that the Hall of Fame committee accepted decisively.
“We felt like her records were Hall of Fame numbers,” Ron said. “She would have eventually made the Hall of Fame, so we felt it was the right thing to do right away to honor her and her parents. We were getting requests from a lot of people in the athletics community. We felt like it was a nice way to honor her
and remember her.”
The Hall of Fame banquet is a celebration of life, and this year it will be 11 lives that brought something worth celebrating to our community. There are nine athletes, a coach, and a community supporter.
“Our community supporters are in the Hall of Fame for one of two reasons,” Ron said. “One, someone who financial donates a lot of money, or two, volunteers and contributes time and effort for years and years.”
The banquet isn’t your first chance to meet and speak with these old ‘Hounds, who traveled from near and far for the honor of induction. On Friday, Oct. 26, prior to the Atascadero High School football game against the rival Paso Robles, the inductees will be introduced on the field at Memorial Stadium. The game starts at 7 p.m. so get their early to be seated in the Memorial Stadium behind the inductees when they get their picture taken.
At the banquet, things really get good. With emcee Christian Cooper setting the stage, each inductee will take to the podium to tell some of their stories from the “good old days” to the present day. The statute of limitations is typically up by the time the student-athletes are inducted, so they are free to tell you all about “what really happened” way back when. It is a delight that cannot be overstated whether you grew up bleeding orange and grey or if you recently moved to the area because of the good food and wine — the stories told on the stage at the Hall of Fame banquet are a timeless glimpse into what makes a small town so special, and the catering by SpringHill Suites hits the spot.
Although the majority of the tickets sold for the event are purchased by those involved in the local community and Greyhound traditions, the event is open to the public and good seats can be purchased at a table filled with locals enjoying a night you will not soon forget.
Donn expressed his hope that every past Hall of Fame inductee would return and enjoy the event as a guest.
“I think every past inductee who is living should be there, every time,” Donn said. “We have our past inductees stand to be recognized, and we honor them.”
Tickets going for $50 for the gourmet food and wine, camaraderie and new friends, not to mention the priceless stories from our community’s yesteryears, it is a bargain. The Hall of Fame banquet is not a fundraiser. It is simply a community celebration that every resident should experience at least once.
Each inductee receives a personalized plaque with their senior picture and statement of their accomplishments, and a copy of the plaque is placed in the Hall of Fame display at AHS outside Ewing Gymnasium for public viewing.
Tickets to the banquet can be purchased at the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce, 6907 El Camino Real, Atascadero. Go to atascaderogreyhoundfoundation.org to read each inductee’s bio, see the full list of past inductees, or to nominate someone deserving of being in the Atascadero Greyhound Athletic Hall of Fame.