On Saturday, February 26, at the Peach Tree Golf & Country Club, eight extraordinary individuals and a great baseball team were able to experience what many others only dream of: being inducted to a Hall of Fame.
At Yuba College’s seventh annual Hall of Fame, former and current Yuba College athletes, coaches and others convened to honor the men and women whose sweat, blood, tears and accomplishments within the Yuba College Athletics department were too great to overlook.
For most inductees the theme of the night seemed to be not of their own achievements, but of the other people who helped them achieve their successes.
Ken Griffin, the basketball player, baseball player and Marysville High coaching legend, who accumulated 428 wins, two section titles and 10 conference championships, as the head coach of the Marysville Chiefs, was one of the Yuba inductees.
“I played for the two of finest men, Rex McDougal and Gary Engelken,” said Griffin. Griffin explained, “Getting to meet the guys and to be apart of those teams was a privilege.”
Sandi Brown-Shinkle, the first athletic department secretary (1971-81) and the first classified Yuba College employee to be inducted in to the Hall of Fame, said, “I worked with a lot of great people. They were wonderful and happy years, the ten best working years of my life.”
Also inducted was the 1980 Yuba College baseball team, winning the Golden Valley Conference championship with an impressive 18-1 conference record and breaking 15 school records. The team had four All-State first-team members and two second team members. Jim Stassi, the Golden Valley Conference MVP, anchored Yuba.
The honored baseball team included Coach Gary Engelken, assistant coach Pete Torres, Marc Boomgarden, John Carrion, Clint Givens, Jim Knox, Lon Kuykendall, Gary Mathieson, Glenn Mathieson, Bob Noreen, Jim Pappas, Steve Armocido, Jim Ledford, Mondell Williams, Jim Stassi, Mark Cartwright, Dave Chiono, John Hoelter, John Oken, Chuck Rojas, Greg Spears, Anthony Robinson and Dan Walker.
Hall of Fame inductee John Greb (1957-58) was named Yuba’s Outstanding Back in two consecutive seasons and was an All-Golden Valley Conference player. Greb was named to the Junior College All-American Football Team in 1958.
Merlyn Lund (1957-58), also inducted this year, was a season captain while playing at the guard and linebacker position, Lund was selected to the all-conference team. Inductee Kim Kimber (1980-92) earned All-American status in cross-country and qualified for the State Meet her sophomore year. Kimber ran her first marathon five months after giving birth to a baby girl and qualified in the Boston Marathon, finishing with a time of 3.20. Kimber is now a member of the Fleet Feet Racing Team.
Also inducted, Karen Jeffers (1981-83) was the number one runner for Yuba’s women team that won the Northern California Cross Country Championship. She is also now a member of the Fleet Feet team.
Hall of Famer Doug Mayberry (1959) was a member of the baseball and track teams for Yuba College. Mayberry later flourished in football, playing for U.C. Berkeley (1955-58), Utah State (1961-62), and after his collegiate career, he played for the Minnesota Vikings (1961-62) and the Oakland Raiders (1963).
As a final inductee, Rex McDougal (1964-84) coached the Yuba College basketball team (1964-70) and the golf team (1971). He was the Division Chairman from 1966 to 1971 and the Yuba Athletic Director from 1967 to 1970. Comcast Cable will air this year’s Yuba College Hall of Fame on its local cable channel during the month of March.