Yuba Community College celebrated its eighth annual athletic Hall of Fame award ceremony as Mr. Frank “Dutch” Bremer, the oldest living Yuba College athlete, ten other outstanding athletes and the 1971-72 men’s basketball team were inducted on Saturday evening, February 25.
Before the induction ceremony began at the Peach Tree Golf and Country Club, Rob Beibly, Dean of Yuba College Athletics, presented an award to Professor Thea Post for twenty years of coaching the Yuba College women’s volleyball team. Although Post won her seventh Bay Valley Conference this past season, she ended her volleyball career with just under 200 wins.
Praising Post for demanding the most out of her team was the middle blocker for the 1987 and 1988 Yuba volleyball teams and the first inductee of the class of 2006, Kamy Bains. “Thea demanded the best out of all of us,” Bains said during her acceptance speech while thanking her former coach. “She instills high standards in everyone.”
Frank Garofalo, the quarterback who was Yuba College’s Most Valuable Player in 1990 and 1991, was the next inductee of the night. He earned the title Male Athlete of the Year in 1991 when he became recognized as a record breaker, setting offensive records and records for the most completed passes and touchdown passes.
Darius Kaviani, who is now a certified USTA official, transferred from Yuba College to Fresno State, but credits Yuba College with his beginnings. “Everything started for me at Yuba College,” he said as he reflected on the two years he spent on Yuba College’s men’s tennis team.
Next was John Mastelotto, the first of the Mastelotto brothers to be recognized that evening. He played for both the football and basketball teams from 1954 until 1956. He was an All Conference football player and an All Conference basketball player both years he played for Yuba College. Like his brothers, Roy, and Jim, who were also inducted that same night, John Mastelotto is a member of the Northern Old Timers Hall of Fame, and attended the University of Utah.
Following his older brother’s induction, Roy Mastelotto awaited his turn. During his student-athlete career between 1957 and 1959, he became an All Conference linebacker on the football team, the captain of his basketball team and one of the best local baseball players.
Jim Mastelotto, the final brother to be inducted to the Hall of Fame is deceased. Bobby Mastelotto accepted the award on behalf of his brother, who had played football, basketball and baseball for Yuba College between 1954 and 1956.
While Bobby Mastelotto was delivering his acceptance speech, he hinted that his family’s sports legacy at Yuba College’s Hall of Fame might end with his generation. Half-joking, he mentioned that Butte Community College was closer to his grandchildren than Yuba College and that this may have “thrown a wrinkle in things.”
As Janet Balbutin’s happy face appeared on the overhead screen and she approached the podium, she turned to the audience had them cheer with her, “Y-U-B-A!” From 1962 until 1964, she was ranked as a premiere player on Yuba College’s women’s tennis team, along with her sister, Ava. During her acceptance speech, Janet Balbutin grinned and said, “This thing tonight is a big dose of something good. I have a word; I call it, ‘psychological sunshine.'” Glancing around the room, she added, “This community has given it to me all my life.”
Janet Balbutin’s little sister Ava, who was also inducted that evening into the Hall of Fame, played on Yuba College’s women’s tennis team as well. Like her older sister, Ava Balbutin was also a premiere player.
John Cassidy, the Master of Ceremonies, explained that Ava and Janet had been “ranked number one on the USTA Nor-Cal women’s 40 doubles and earned a National ranking of number five.” Cassidy continued, “In 2001, Janet and Ava were the Team of the Year in women’s 55 doubles. They also won the Grand Prix Tournament that year.”
Another football player who left an impression was Howard Cadenhead, who played for Yuba College between 1957 and 1959. After making All State and JUCO Honorable Mention All American while at Yuba College, he attended Humboldt State University, where he became the Most Inspirational player and captain of the team.
Cadenhead, who had played for Yuba College in the Lumber Bowl in Redding, returned to become the Head Football coach of Yuba College’s team.
When the Master of the Ceremonies read Cloy Stapleton’s name, the attentive audience began cheering and clapping feverishly. A boxer, football player and track team member from 1949 until 1951, Stapleton claimed that although he had won the State Junior College Boxing Championship and had gone to the National Junior College Boxing Championship, he really didn’t like being hit. But with his reputation of 34 wins and 1 loss, he soon became known as “Cyclone.”
Looking into the crowd, Stapleton smiled as he said, “I didn’t win a gold medal at the Olympics. I didn’t get an Oscar. But I’ll tell you, this award tonight is much better than all of those.”
As Stapleton sat down, the introduction to Frank Bremer began. Yuba College’s oldest living athlete, who was born in Yuba City in 1913, stood behind the podium and explained what Yuba College’s athletics were like when only 200 people attended the school and instant replays did not exist.
Bremer played on the basketball and tennis teams from 1931to1933. He explained that when he was an athlete at Yuba College and there was an away game. The players were able to stay at a hotel and eat an all-you-can-eat breakfast the next morning, for a total of $2.19.
The evening ended with the induction of the 1971-72 men’s basketball team of Yuba College.
Although from different years and backgrounds, all the athletes shared in the camaraderie of athletics and their appreciation for Yuba College.