Athletes – Player Profiles

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1922 Leo Harris best defensive back in the league. Played at Stanford and lettered in 1925 and 1926,where he was an all coast tackle. He also played for the Santa Cruz Legion team, like a semi pro team, against the other Legion and military team in the area. After Stanford went on to coach at Fresno High for 5 years where he built up two power houses in football and basketball. In football made the Valley section finals three times. Winning once from Taft and losing twice to Bakersfield, the oil town and perennial champs. In basketball won the league title all five years and winning two Valley Section titles. A promotion to Fresno State as frosh football coach and head basketball coach. Item in the Sentinel of 1934, Leo Harris brings his Fresno State team, , to practice at Pasatiempo golf course. He was Athletic Director at U of Oregon for 25 years. Also a member of the NCAA rules committee for football.

1922. Tony “Duke” Valine tackle in football. Tony a good all round athlete took third in the discus and shot at the Northern Cal track meet. Tony went to star at Santa Clara University from 1925 to 1928 earning ALL COAST and ALL AMERICAN honors. Later he became the Director of Civil Defense.

The track team was first in the CCAL and beat power house teams from Berkeley, Alameda and San Jose.

Manuel Netto in 1933 was first team in basketball and baseball, two league championship teams which he was a major factor in the teams success. In basketball was ALL CCAL along with Raymond Carpenter. Manuel was a leading scorer with a high point game of 18 in last game of the season. In 1931 and 1932 his basketball teams ended up in second place one game out of first. Manuel was a first string player during 1932 and a leading scorer and rebounded. Manuel placed first in the CCAL football throw.

1933 at NCS was second in the football throw. In baseball averaged 13 strike outs a game. One hit Monterey and had 3 hits himself. Won all 4 league games with ERA of 2.5. Captain of the team. He pitched a fine game in win against Santa Clara 5-4 and hit a triple. In 1932 pitched in bad luck. For one example struck out 6 in 3 innings but had no support as Santa Cruz had 10 errors in loss to Sequoia. Manuel pitched well the whole season, but was hurt by too many errors. Comment in Trident was Manuel has great stuff when he hits his stride.

In 1933 at NCS Manuel was second in the football throw. In baseball averaged 13 strike outs a game. One hit Monterey and had 3 hits himself. Won all 4 league games with ERA of 2.5. Captain of the team. He pitched a fine game in win against Santa Clara 5-4 and hit a triple. In 1932 pitched in bad luck. For one example struck out 6 in 3 innings but had no support as Santa Cruz had 10 errors in loss to Sequoia. Manuel pitched well the whole season, but was hurt by too many errors. Comment in Trident was Manuel has great stuff when he hits his stride.

Manuel Netto was first team for two league championship teams, basketball and baseball. Manie; was a major factor in both teams success. In basketball he was ALL CCAL along with Raymond Carpenter. Manuel was a leading scorer with a high point game of 18 in last game of the season. In 1931 and 1932 his basketball teams ended up in second place one game out of first. Manuel was a first string player during 1932 and a leading scorer and rebounded. In track Manuel placed first in the CCAL football throw. Yes it was a league and STATE track event.

Manuel was later a mainstay of city league, which packed the civic auditorium regularly for games. After 18 years playing Santa Cruz City league basketball and giving many fans enjoyable nights out for good basketball. Manuel was honored with ceremonies between games by fans, players, league officials, local sportsmen and civic dignitaries. A score of merchandise awards, a watch as a token of their affection and respect for him. To keep him shaved his teammates presented him an electric razor. After the presentations Manuel was asked to say a few words. With tears in his eyes as he thanked players, fans and league officials, “I don’t know where to begin, but tonight is the happiest night of my Life . Thanks a million. The sportsmanship displayed by you and my fellow players during my career was what made playing city league such fun”. Mayor, Sam McNeely, said that Netto was more than a good sportsmen and a fine competitor, but he is a true gentleman”. Manuel was a constant City all league player on league winning teams and one of the top scorers

Manuel oldest son Phil, was also a two year ALL CCAL center and was the leading rebounded and scorer on a league championship team. Manuels grand daughter also was a top basketball player at SC and at Cabrillo College and Bethany College. At the present time she is the boy’s junior varsity coach at SC with winning teams and championships.

Bill Clemenson, baseball and football; 1934; MLB Pirates 39, 41, 46; “Whipper Bill” pitched a three hitter vs. Reds to close out the 1941 season.

Bradley Lynn 1935. was also a SCHS grad as well as an all-league athlete in his favorite sport, football.

Here’s his obituary from yesterday’s Sports Section of the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

Ex-Santa Cruz Football Star Lynn, 90, Passes Away. By Jim Seimas (Sentinel staff writer)

Bradley N. Lynn loved to talk football — that’s part of the reason he

seemed perfectly suited for a coaching career in the sport.

Lynn, a former star halfback for Santa Cruz High, made the University of

San Francisco one of his many coaching pit stops. He helped recruit several

key players as an assistant coach for the Dons’ unbeaten team in 1951.

Lynn died of natural causes in Seattle on Oct. 18. He was 90.

“We spoke almost weekly,” said legendary coach Larry Siemering, who had

Lynn as one of his highly touted assistants for the unbeaten Santa Cruz High

team in 1958. “He had such a vast knowledge of the game. He loved to talk. He

was a good listener too.” Add “talented player” to that list of qualities. Lynn was a three-sport

talent, enjoying football, basketball and track [discus].

Lynn was a unanimous all-Coast County Athletic League selection for Santa

Cruz for the 1935 football season, when he was the Cardinals’ leading scorer.

He attended College of San Mateo before transferring to Notre Dame on a

football scholarship. He lettered at halfback for the 1937 Fighting Irish team

that finished 6-2-1 under coach Elmer Layden, one of the famed “Four


Lynn transferred to Arizona State and graduated with a degree in history

from the Tempe campus. He served as freshman football coach there and at Cal


He joined the navy in 1942 and served in Southwest Pacific as lieutenant with the naval Amphibious Division of the 7th Fleet. He served 23 months overseas during World War II.

He later served as a special agent for the FBI. He met his wife, JoAnn, in

Washington, D.C.

When Lynn returned to Santa Cruz, he became the city’s recreation director

in 1954. He ran for police chief but wasn’t elected.

In 1946-47, Lynn coached the semi-pro Santa Cruz Seahawks, posting a 16-3

record over two seasons.

He served as an assistant coach at USF from 1948-51, helping turn the small

fledgling program into a power. In ’51, many big programs refused to play small school power USF. The Dons, despite going unbeaten, weren’t invited to a bowl game, many of which were

based in the South. Two of USF’s players — Lynn recruits Ollie Matson and Burl Toler — were

African American. Reports say the school might have been considered for a bowl

if the two African American players were left behind. The school shunned the suggestion.

Lynn was one of several heralded assistant coaches on Siemering’s 9-0

Cardinals team in 1958. Ex-San Francisco 49ers halfback Lowell Wagner [1949-

53,’ 55] and receiver Billy Wilson [1951-60] also helped Santa Cruz High

practice twice a week.

“I learned a lot of football that year,” said Doug Severin, an assistant on

that team. “Brad knew exactly what he wanted to have done. He’d teach

technique. He didn’t have the biggest defensive ends, but when he was done

with them, there weren’t many times they’d get knocked off their feet. He got

results no matter what.”

Lynn returned to Notre Dame to serve as assistant backfield coach under Joe

Kuharich from 1960-63. He also was a scout for several NFL teams. Lynn, who

had his degree in history from ASU, taught police science at Northern Arizona

University until he retired in 1981.

In his free time, Lynn played a lot of golf. “He gave me tips on golf and they really worked,” Severin said. “He could really analyze things.”

Lynn last coached part time at Northern Arizona, but stories of the sport

he loved never ended.

“It was very important to him,” said his wife JoAnn. “He enjoyed the kids

and finding good players. He really impacted some of the young players. He got

a lot of nice letters from many of them.”

Wayne Fontes 1942. Best known for his community involvement in Capitola was a 1942 SC grad, who went on to become the NCAA boxing champion at San Jose State at 155. His achievement preceded DiGirolamo’s by 27 years. Boxing at the time was a big time collegiate sport and San Jose Sate was a powerhouse. Fontes boxed at SJSU in 1943 and from 1947-49 with a stint in the Navy in between. Fontes a hard puncher, compiled a record of 40-3-1. He also ran track at SJSU and while in the Navy played football on the University of New Mexico’s 1945 Sun Bowl team.

Dick Fassio 1943 This material includes information about Dick, but also includes material about SC sports during the forties and names of other SC athletes. All information from Sentinel articles.

1940 to 1943 at SCHS. The years used here are for the graduating class. In this case 1940 instead of 1939-40. In 1940, ninth graders either went to Mission Hill or Branciforte Junior Highs. It is a ways from B-40 to SCHS, but the legendary coach, Merle Briggs saw the raw ability of Dick and got him to come and work with his varsity team. Dick played some varsity games and also played on the SCHS team playing against adults in the very competitive City league, which at that time drew full houses for their games.

Future basketball starters and stars came over from the junior highs to be on the team and get in some action were Dick Fassio, a Northern California outstanding player of the year when he was a senior. And Emmett Thompson a three sport man, who played at Cal Poly and later coached the Cards to championships.

Dick lettered in baseball as a pitcher outfielder. It was a very short season with only 8 games.

The Cards had 31 consecutive league win streak going back to the 1939 season. Salinas broke the streak the first round. Salinas won the league.

In 1941, Dick was a starting forward as a sophomore. he led the team in scoring with 62 points.

In 1942, Dick’s junior year as the beginning of the season commenced, the Pearl Harbor attack happened on December 7, and world war II started, which really curtailed the games played. The Coast was on black out conditions at night. The basketball games were played during the day and some games were cancelled. The season ended with only 6 league games and a total of 10 games..

The following information was taken from articles in the Santa Cruz Sentinel-News.

Playing center Dick scored in double figures and was the top scorer to help beat the Fresno area champs Madera.

Cardinals decisively walloped Watsonville 29-13. Fassio scores 16 points more then the whole Wildcat team and for over half the Cards total score.

Santa Cruz cagers crush Salinas 37-16 to take the CCAL lead. There was good teamwork as all the Cards played fine ball with Fassio leading the scoring with 19 points again out scoring the opponents. Fassio and Newhart controlled the backboards the whole game, stopping the Salinas attack cold.

Headlines in the Sentinel: Santa Cruz cagers swamp Hollister five to win CCAL championships again; Cards win 46-15. There were about 500 people in Turner gym for the executions. This is the third championship in the last four years. Everyone in the joint knew that Hollister did not have anything and wondered how many points the Cardinals would score. Dick Fassio scored on 7 out of 11 shots for 17 points in 14 minutes of basketball before leaving the game for good.

Dick was the ALL CCAL center and broke the individual league scoring record with a total of 138 points. He was also named to the All Sentinel basketball honor roll and to the City league all star team.

Some nights after practice he would play with the high school reserve team against adults in a city league game. The adults could single out stopping Dick, but against one of the best players in the league he scored 21 points. High school star, Dick Fassio, pride of the CCAL, defeated the Knights of Columbus in the biggest upset of current City league play as he scored 24 points to pace the high school to a 33-31 win. In a following game against one of the best teams in the league Dick again scored 24 points. At the end of the season the league picked an all star team and Dick was included, not only for his scoring, but also for his brilliant floor game. Also the fact that he was playing with inexperienced high school players, who were not able to support him in the same ways other players had support.

The major award was being recognized as the best basketball player in this half of the state. Dick was named as the outstanding player in Northern California high school basketball by both the San Francisco papers, the Chronicle and Examiner.

Curly haired Dick Fassio, one of Northern California’s best scholastic basketball players, changed suits and pitched a no hitter with 14 strike outs against Carmel. Dick fanned the first six men to face him. Only one ball a short fly ball to right, which was caught left the infield. Hitting in the clean up spot, he also delivered a hit and two runs. In the afternoon of the same day, the team traveled a few miles to play a game against Monterey. Dick played left field and laced out two doubles and a single to lead his team to a 10-4 victory.

Headline, Dick Fassio number one man. The Sentinel-News athletic roll of honor for the week of April 12-19 is topped by the name of DICK FASSIO, high school hurler, who turned the trick so many pitchers aim for, pitching a no hit, no run game. In practice at the high school he tries hard to improve both at bat and on the mound. He’s still the same modest kid he always has been, not at all swell headed about all the publicity.

Salinas JC dumps Cardinal nine 1-4. An epidemic of fielding lapses cost the Cards four runs, all unearned. Outside of two bad fielding innings, the third and fifth, the Cards had everything under control with Dick Fassio hurling five hit ball and striking out seven. The Cards only run came in the last inning when Fassio smashed one over the left field fence for a home run.

Dick Fassio pitched a fine game and hit a triple in the last game of the season against league champion Watsonville, 4-3 in extra innings

Dick set the SCHS obstacle course record with the time of 2:09.6. The course consist of climbing the steep hill at SCHS, going through tunnels, climbing high walls, broad jump pits, hurdles and a bear trap all for time. As the students of this period will attest to it was not easy. The purpose was to prepare students for the rigors of the war that they would be involved in soon. Many reported later that they were better prepared for basic training then most of their new buddies.

Youngest men help is the headline. The local semi pro baseball team, Swiss Dairy with winning records year after year is impressed with Dick Fassio, 17 the youngest player. The Dairymen think they have a real find here as he hit’s the ball so hard and plays with such ease.

Softball headline. Fassio brilliant as Club beats Roofers. Boy’s Club softballers defeat Martinez Roffers 3-2 in extra inning game featured by pitching and hitting of Dick Fassio. Fassio limited the Roofers to three hit in eight innings. Hit a home run and a single and scored the winning run in the eighth.

1943 There were no interscholastic sports in 1943. Unfortunately for Dick and many others, they lost out on the opportunities to have even more success in sports their senior year. Fifty boys turned out for football. They were weighed, measured, age taken and previous years of experience considered when dividing these boys into four equal as possible teams. Dick was the captain of his team. He made the all star team as a halfback at the end of the season.

In basketball SCHS played in the City league against local adults and military personnel stationed in the area. SCHS sent two teams to play twice a week in the City league and practice three days. The first game ended up with a 43-25 loss to the Coast Guard. At half time the scores was tied 11-11. The Guardsmen started the second half strong and took a 21-11 lead. They continued to dominate the second half. The Guardsmen were too tall and ran off fast breaks for sucker shots under the basket. Fassio led SC in scoring with 10 points.

Led by captain, Dick Fassio and Mac Macaulay, SCHS upset Whites Cardinals 42-34 in the feature game, which was the most exiting game the local fans have seen all season. Fassio was magnificent in one of his last games for SCHS. Fassio played the most brilliant individual game in City league so far. Scoring 18 points himself, Fassio set up practically all of the high schools scores. He dominated the backboards, both offensively and defensively. He held the opponents ace scorer to two field goals. Fassio will probably be inducted into the army next week, but he gave the local fans of the best basketball players ever to come out of Santa Cruz.

After being behind 9-12 in the first quarter, the high schools Fassio, Macaulay and Kaney made some scores to tie it 18-18 at half. In the terrific third quarter, it was a back and forth game (will leave out the opponents names) Macaulay made a set shot. Then Fassio scored with a honey. Fassio again with a tip all the while the opponents were matching each basket plus and were ahead 24-29 at the end of the quarter. Back came Fassio, playing with four second string cagers. Fassio scored three baskets and a free throw to put his team ahead 31-29. Then little Mal Macaulay went wild, scoring three baskets in a row. Julio Ghidinelli made a free throw and Macaulay stole the ball to cinch the game 40-34. Julio Ghidinelli and Macaulay played nice games at forward for the high school.

Fassio and Macaulay are tied for the league scoring crown with 41 points part way through the season.

Headline: Dick Fassio plays final cage game. High school star to be in the army at Monterey Presidio Monday. One of the city’s greatest athletes, 19 this past December, curly headed Dick Fassio, will be making his final appearance for the Cardinals tonight. An all around athlete, Fassio first won prominence here on the basketball court as a sophomore, when he broke onto the first string, breaking through a monopoly of seniors.

The following year 1942, as a junior, Fassio led the Cardinals to the CCAL championship. He was a unanimous choice for ALL CCAL honors. He was also named on the Sentinel-News all city league team.

Later Fassio starred on the baseball nine, both as pitcher and as an outfielder hitter. H was the leading hitter in the CCAL, connecting for two home runs in the short season besides hurling the a no hit no run game. He was a unanimous choice on the CCAL baseball team. Later during the summer he was the leading pitcher on the 20-30 club softball association play. He hurled one no hit game and several one hit and two games. He was also in the first ten batters of the league, connecting for one of the three home runs hit in the A league.

Dick ended 1942 with two unanimous All League honors for basketball and baseball.

In the Fall of 1942, 1943 graduating class, Fassio was the individual star of the high school’s intramural league football program. He out gained every player in the league by more than 100 yards, while captaining the Golden Bears. It was the first year Fasso had ever played football, but by the end of the season he was the best football player in school.

Since the basketball season started six weeks ago, Fassio has sparked the high school cagers in their city league play. His first sport, basketball has always been his best. Fassio has an uncanny eye, plays top defensive ball, controls the play on both offensive and defensive backboards and rarely ever making a bad pass or a bad play.

Coaches throughout the CCAL and in the City league rank Fassio as on of the best basketball players ever to hit a basket in the Monterey Bay area, along with former stars like Bob DeWitt, Bill Foote, Andy Maranta, Ray Carpenter, Manuel Netto of Santa Cruz, Restar of Watsonville, Pickens and Layer of Salinas and Latnos of Monterey.

Captain Dick Fassio closed his high school athletic career leading his Cardinals to a 39-24win over the Boulder Creek cagers. Fassio scored 20 points, while his counter part for the mountain community. Lloyd Waters another prolific scorer was held to six points by the magnificent job of guarding by Fassio. Julio Ghidinelli and Mal Macaulay were next in scoring with five apiece.

There was a reason why Dick Fassio was inducted into the army at the Monterey Presidio. The Presidio has the strongest army team in Northern California. At the present time they are 12-1. Fassio will be teamed up with Chuck Hanger, University of California star, recently drafted at forward. Tony Franusich, former USF center, who is averaging 19 points a game and guards Al Fox, former All American with the Los Angeles Cliftons and Chapman an All State junior college player at Marin JC last year or Mitch Hoffman.

After the season, Dick went to Florida for technical training and then to Minnesota. Dick also played on base ball clubs.

In 1946 on his return to Santa Cruz he started playing with the Swiss Dairy team again hitting two home runs in consecutive games.

In the Fall he was a running back for the local Legion Seahawks. There is a picture in the paper of him running against St. Mary’s junior varsity in a 28-7 win. After football it was right into basketball. Dick teamed up with another All CCAL player Manuel Netto to beat the Presidio All Stars 60-59. Fassio scored 27 followed by Mnuel Netto scored 15. They made a terrific duo rebounding and scoring wise. They led the City league in scoring. Fassio 176 and Netto 121. Dick as Boys’ Club director and coach led his lightweights and heavyweights basketball team to the championships of the Carmel Invitational.

1948 On July 18 The local Veterans for Foreign Wars (VFW) won the VFW state baseball championship in Sacramento by the post team of San Francisco. Lacking the funds to attend the national tournament at the University of Texas at Austin, the team appealed to the Santa Cruz community for help. It was accomplished and three car loads of players left for Texas on August 8. The team lost as tournament play entered the third round. Players on the trip included Dick and Dario Fassio, Bernie Bourriague, Red Sloper, Johnny Reis, Ray Fomasi, Doc Enos, Syl Tambellini, Ernie Venturini, Jim Mills, Temp West, Mike Demos and Carl Jorgensen.

In 1949 Dick had tryouts with the Chicago White Sox and the Cleveland Indians and both teams wanted him to sign, but at that time he and his wife Pat had a daughter and he needed a full time job. At that time professional baseball, especially starting out was low paid. If not for the war, Dick would no doubt have played basketball in college or baseball.

1951 led the Santa Cruz city league All Stars to a 71-55 victory over Hartnell College. Dick led the scoring with 17 getting 12 in the second half sinking almost impossible shots for easy two pointers to break the game open.

1952 Dick along with Manuel Netto were main stays on the Santa Cruz Hotel team that won the City league championship for six straight years. Dick was All City all these years plus another one while he was still in high school to make it for every year, seven, he has played up to this point. In the seven years he has played he was the scoring leader five out of the seven years.

1953 Dick headed the All City league for the umpteenth time . Dick again topped the league in scoring and was undoubtedly the loop’s number one all around player. An all star team without the veteran cager would be almost unthinkable.

In 1965 Dick was appointed supervisor of the city recreation program.

Eddie “The Monster” Dyslie, 1944. Football and baseball. Dyslie. A 5-9, 215 pound line backer “was a terror.” He was immovable on defense, there was nobody tougher. He used his head as a battering ram.” Dylsie played at SC in 1943-44 and the University of Nevada in 1945. He spent 1946-47 with the semipro Santa Cruz Seahawks before becoming one of four Californian’s to earn Junior College first team All America honors in 1948 as a right guard for Hartnell. He was in select company, the other Californians were future Hall Of Famers Hugh McElhenny, Ollie Matson and Burl Toler all NFL players. A neck injury prevented Dyslie from trying out for the San Francisco 49ers in 1949.

Len Noren 1945. All CCAL in 3 sports: Football, basketball and baseball. Back in football, captain and center and MVP in basketball. and strike out pitcher in baseball. Against Watsonville struck out 19 batters. Normal per game in teens. Allowed only one extra base hit all season.

In 1944 there was no baseball league, but SCHS played 5 games against Monterey, Hollister, Carmel and Bellarnine. There were no seniors on this team. Noren no hit Monterey and he had a homer, double and single. In the 5 games he gave up 12 hits and 6 runs. In losing to Hollister 3-4, while Len gave up 4 hits, had 16 strike out and SCHS had 7 errors. Can imagine that most of the 4 runs were unearned. Making his ERA less than 1.

In a 3-1 win against Hollister he had a home run and a triple. Noren was like a machine striking batters in double digits in every game. The list of strike out starting with the first game; 18, 16, 16, 13 and 12 for a total of 75 an average of 15 per game.

The undefeated 1945 baseball team was led by pitcher Len Noren who struck out 61 batters for an average of 12.5 a game, gave up 7 hits for a 1.4 average, plus being the top hitter on the team.

Len always wanted to play pro baseball, which he was able to do right out of high school. He did get a cup of coffee with a major league team. He also was a good hitter and was able to keep playing after his arm finally had enough.

Noren played in all parts of the country, NY, mid west, Pacific Coast league and Canada. In 1952 he played for the SF Seals of the Pacific Coast league, which was the big leagues of the West. He hit .325 at first base. He also managed.

As a sophomore in 1944 school year he was the leading rusher at an average of 7 yards a carry, on at the time the best team ever, which only gave up 3 points in their 5 game season. Len was also a great kicker. Had a quick kick go 62 yards.

April 21. State Wrestling Association Honors Ferrell. Longtime area coach Ed Ferrell will be honored by the California Wrestling Hall of Fame with the lifetime Service Award at a banquet in Lake Forest on May 14.

Farrell wrestled for the first teams at SC from 1951-55 and Cabrillo 1962 and San Jose State 1965-67. After his competitive career Ferrell began coaching and running local tournaments. He helped start the Coast Classic 40 years ago, making it the longest running tournaments in the state. The former Harbor coach also serves as director and commissioner of the Santa Cruz County middle school tournaments for over 30 years.

(Ferrell has coached wrestling and other sports at SC and Harbor. In his time at Harbor it seems that he is on the schools regular teaching staff, he does so much work at the school. He also serves on fund raising committees)

1958. James Smith was one of the most dominant basketball players ever in this area. He played center at a shade under 6’5″ from 1957-1959. He used both hands. He was relentless. He played his best in the big games – especially against Monterey and later Gilroy. Passions ran so high in those days that the players had to sneak back to the bus in Monterey on several occasions through hostile crowds. In one game with them, when they were at their best, James scored 29 points in the first half playing little in the second half, winding up with 35, which was a record at the time.

James Smith had high scoring games of 38, 37 and 36, during 1958 and 1959 seasons. A three year starter, his SC teams were second place finishers in 1957 and 1958 with 4-2 and 7-2 records. In 1959 they won the championship with a 8-2 record

He played the 6′ 10″ Camden Wall from Los Gatos to a frazzle. Camden ended up starting at Cal for three years. He controlled the 6’7″ Mel Profit from Camden, another star. Profit ended up playing end on the Rose Bowl UCLA teams. James played 3 years was a first stringer at Cal with a high game of 20. He was a very solid player for the Bears, when they were still a force.

Besides basketball, James was an excellent all around athlete. For years he was a near scratch golfer. He was number one on the Santa Cruz High School Tennis Team. He and Mel Hutchins won the league doubles championship. He was a terrific first baseman and slugger for youth teams in Santa Cruz. Unfortunately, he just missed most of the blossoming of pony, colt and other leagues. He had enough talent, however, that Joe Brovia from Davenport, a renowned batter at the AAA level chose James to give special assistance to recognizing his potential.

The Sentinel put out a comparison of James Smith and his brother Steve’s stats while at SCHS. James played varsity from 1957-59. Steve from 1960-62. These will be the totals for the three years.


James 65 817 372 45.5 379 298 78.6 650 1073 16.4

Steve 58 791 335 42.3 361 253 70.0 648 923 15.9

Both committed 136 fouls.

1962 .Steve Smith 1960 to 62 on varsity basketball. As a freshman helped lead the lightweight team to an undefeated season. As a sophomore he made second team ALL CCAL, missing the first team by one vote. At one point in the season he made 31 foul shots in a row. He was fourth in league scoring. Santa Cruz was first as a team in league rebounding and Steve was the top man there.

From Glenn Dickey of the Watsonville Pajaronian, Santa Cruz shooting at both baskets as if they were eight feet wide, buried the Wildcats under an 86-46 avalanche. The blitz was led by sophomore Steve Smith. Sophomores, it says in the gospel according to Doc Nainsmith, make mistakes. Somebody should tell young Smith about this. If he made any mistakes, they were not visible to the naked eye. Smith scored 28 points and he must have gathered in almost as many rebounds. He was in the Cats; hair all night long, rebounding, stealing the ball on defense, shooting and never missing a jump shot from the corner and tipping, tipping and tipping on the boards. CCAL coaches heaved a collective sigh of relief last spring when Steve’ older brother James finally graduated after three years of starring with the Cardinals. Their joy was premature, however. They still have Steve to contend with for two more years.

Steve was a top player on the team and the league the next two years. He led an upset of the top team in the area Monterey, by holding their top scorer to four points.

Steve was All Dads Club all three years. His senior years he was MVP and won the first Dads tournament for SCHS with a 20 foot jumper with a few seconds left. His work for the night included 20 rebounds, 11 free throws and 13 points. His teams in league play starting in 1960 had a 9-3 record for third place, 1961 was 3-5 for fourth with many one point games and 1962 was 6-2 for second place, losing two tough games against Monterey.

Steve Smith was selected as first team ALL CCAL with a league leading scoring average of 19.5.

Steve’s junior year, the San Francisco Chronicle listed the scoring leaders in Northern California with Smith in eight place. He was also listed in the list of players scoring over twenty points. At 28 and 27 points top ranked him in thirteen place. Al McCommon was listed in the twenty-one point group. The Chronicle also honored Smith on their five man team of the week after Steve’s last game of the season..

Mid way through Steve’s senior year an article “Prep Cage Roundup” headline Johnson, Smith, Furlong Join Ranks of “All Star’, appears in the San Francisco Chronicle. They are three standouts in Northern California this year who are getting less than their share of publicity. The four top scorers from Sacred Heart, Livermore, Sunnyvale and Orland are widely known, but there are more good players around this year than any other recent seasons. Steve Smith, one of the three mentioned in the headline has been known all along. Smith is having his worst year as a scorer, averaging 13.3 points per game since beginning his climb to stardom as a sophomore, yet his supporters say he is better than ever in his whole game. From a Sentinel article: Steve has only averaged 15.5 points a game this year. But his teamwork and rebounding has been a more important factor, quite often overlooked by newspapermen headlining the scoring fetes.

Steve Smith was named to the San Jose Mercury first team Central Coast All Star Squad for the second year.

The San Francisco Examiner selected Smith second team on the NORTHERN CAL ALL STAR team, which goes from Fresno to the Oregon boarder, along with Pete Newell of St Ignatius. Pete was the coach of the Cardinals from 1974 to 2004, when his team won the State Division III championship.

The Examiner also selected Smith as a first stringer on the ALL NORTH COAST ALL STAR TEAM. It covers from Marin and Napa counties to Monterey county.

The San Francisco Chronicle placed Steve Smith on their third team ALL NORTHERN CALIFORNIA TEAM and Pete Newell on the fourth team. Steve was first team ALL NORTH COAST. Pete Newell was second team ALL METROPOLITAN. There is just too much talent around. Faced with one of the finest group of players in this areas history, the balloting among the more then 150 coaches and sportswriters has been so close, it has been hard to separate the players this year.

Smith was selected as one of the top players on the California honor squad by the Wigwam Wisemen of America, who do it for every state and they also did a twenty man squad for the nation. They also held an All American Classic.

Comment from sportswriter, Glenn Dickey of the Watsonville Register Pajaronian. (Within the next two years he became a sports columnist with the San Francisco Chronicle.) There have been so many good things said about Steve Smith, that any comment on him is repetitious. In the four years I have been here he is as good as his older brother James and Dick Smith of Gilroy (both now playing first string at Cal) and Bob Jensen and Mel Mason of Monterey. He shoots, passes and rebounds as well as anybody and there’s not really much more to the game.

Steve was co-valedictorian of his class and was one out of only 105 UC regents scholarship awards given this year. Selections were based on demonstrated achievement and promise.

In his freshman year at Cal, Steve was a first team guard, who made second team All Northern Cal Freshman basketball team as a guard. Steve also played for the 24-2 frosh baseball team. The next two years he was a starting guard on the varsity team.

1965 Larry Griffin as a sophomore in 1963 was the starting left end on the varsity football championship team at 6’3” and 175 pounds. Larry was also a starting forward on the varsity basketballs third place team. Monterey was ranked number one in Northern Cal this year. In track Larry did the high jump and ran the 120 high hurdles.

After the regular team practice during basketball his sophomore year, Larry would stay after and go against the two other senior, starting front line players, ALL LEAGUE football player Mark Schultz and that years ALL LEAGUE center, Roger Blanchard. A formidable duo, big, strong and athletic. Larry would face them one on one and then Mark and Roger together against him to rebound. Larry was put to the test, but never complained or asked out. He would bleed and get bruised, but he gave it his all and became one of the best basketball players from this area.

As a freshman on the JV baseball team, he was considered by his coach as good a pitcher as another freshman Pete Hamm, who later pitched in the big leagues. But the varsity need a hitter and infielder so Pete moved up to varsity and Larry went out for track the next year. The varsity being loaded with good pitching.

Larry had a football tryout with the Dallas Cowboys. To this day Larry is still active athletically. He has been participating in the police Olympics and winning events. This is an indication of the athletic ability that Larry had and still does.

Larry continued to play varsity football, basketball and track his junior and senior years.

In track he broke the school record for the high jump going

6’ 3”. He ran the hurdles in 15.8.

Until the eighties, at least, he held the school career scoring record with 1160 points for a 16.6 average and during his senior season set the season record with 520 for a 20.0 average. Larry did this while still being a complete team player. In his senior year the ball went through Larry a lot and he was unselfish with the ball, not worrying about the scoring records team, league or section wise. If a team mate was open he would get the ball. In games under control, Larry would even give up his good shots to pass to someone who did not have as good a shot.

Players with the highest number of points scored in their careers, by name years played varsity, games played, points scored and average per game up to the eighties it is believed.

Larry Griffin, 1962-65, 70, 1160, 16.6

James Smith, 1956-59, 65, 1070, 16.5

Glen Griffin, 1963-66, 69, 1007, 14.6

Steve Smith 1959-60. 62, 923, 15.9

Larry a three year starters teams finished third in 1963 with a 7-3 record, second in 1964 with a 9-3 record and won the championship in 1965.

Larry was All Dads Club and All League in his junior and senior years. His teams league records were 1963, 7-3, third place; 1964. 9-3, second place and 1965, 9-3, championship.

Larry was named by one of the preseason basketball publications for the 1964-65 season as one of the top seven basketball players in California high schools who are potential high school ALL AMERICANS.

The University of Oregon wanted Larry, but unfortunately Larry did not qualify academically. Even the Stanford coach came by and said he would take Larry if he could qualify. Larry played two years at Cabrillo and two at Oregon Tech. Then played some professionally and on traveling teams.

While at Cabrillo Larry was ALL CONFERENCE both years. As a freshman he was a unanimous choice, CO-MVP and had a 22 points per game average. The Sentinel did not give any such information in 1967.

Larry finished his college career at Oregon Tech receiving an honorable mention on the Division I NAIA team. He made first team All League the first year and second team the next year. Larry continued playing on traveling teams, over seas and worked out with the pros at Kezar in San Francisco during the summers. Had a try out with the Dallas Cowboy football team.

At present Larry is a well respected sheriffs deputy now stationed at Cabrillo College where he is still visible at athletic events. Former Cabrillo basketball coach, Bob Bulgaski allowed SCHS to use the Cabrillo gym for a big promotion event with Larry the main attraction. The Sentinel helped in the promotion with pictures and write ups of Larry and where to get free tickets given out by merchants in town. A good sized crowd bigger than the Civic could accommodate was on hand for the first practice game of the year.

Larry coached basketball at UCSC.

Larry has been competing in the Police Olympics all over the world into the late 2000’s.

1969. Gary Ghidinelli, 1966-69 as a freshman was ALL LEAGUE on the championship lightweight basketball team. Gary continued on as a three year starter on the varsity basketball team that won three consecutive league championships. Gary was and outstanding point guard and one who the old timers considered the bench mark for all future point guards to be ranked against as the tops ever at SCHS.

Gary was first team ALL LEAGUE in his junior and senior years. As a senior he was an unanimous choice as the Most Valuable player. Gary was chosen ALL CENTRAL COAST SECTION, ALL CABRILLO TOURNAMENT MVP AND MVP FOR THE DADS CLUB TOURNAMENT. He was also selected for the Southern half of CCS all star game.

His 1969 team was ranked fourth in the State by Imperial Sports Syndicate of Los Angeles, who had ranked them fifteenth in 1968. The San Jose Mercury ranked them second in the Central Coast Section. The San Francisco Chronicle ranked them fifth in Northern California.

The three year record for Gary’s basketball teams starting in 1967, listed by year, league record, season record before playoffs, post season record and the complete record. 1967, 12-2, 19-3, 0-3 19-6; 1968, 13-1, 20-1, 2-1, 22-2; 1969, 12-0, 26-1, 2-1, 28-2. The 1968 season was the first playoffs for the Central Coast Section.

USF wanted Gary, Santa Clara offered a scholarship, but Gary had signed with San Jose State along with teammates Kris Sorenson and Dave Paul. There he also was a catcher for the Spartans. Gary played varsity baseball as a catcher for two years on championship teams and as a sophomore filled in at the catchers spot very capable for the injured player during the CCS playoffs.

In baseball Gary was the catcher on three championship teams and was ALL LEAGUE twice 1968 and 1969. Gary had one of the quickest releases and accurate arm. In the CCS finals of 1969, Gary threw out three base runners in the first inning. They were a running team, but they had never run into someone like Gary, but he made believers out of them. Gary was very savvy calling pitches and anticipating squeeze plays our steals and would stymie there chances for success. In 1967 the team was third at the first ever CCS playoffs. In 1968 and 1969 they lost in the finals.

In his junior year, Gary played defensive back on the championship football team and made ALL LEAGUE. His senior year he decided to concentrate on his shot and did not play football. He did have and excellent year with a top game against Bishop O’Dowd the top team in the Bay Area, scoring 26 points.

What a record. Gary played on four championship basketball teams freshman year on lightweights and the next three on varsity. Three years on championship baseball teams. One year on a championship football team. All together a total of 8 championship teams at SCHS. It has to be a record. His was one of the brightest eras for SCHS sports and Gary played a big part in all of it.

Gary was involved in CCS playoffs five times. Four times in the finals and once for third place.

During the summer before the start of his sophomore year in college, Gary injured his knee playing in the summer league at Cabrillo. That put a stop to his play.

1969. Tom Foster, 1966-69 was a four year varsity basketball player. His freshman year he rotated in at the center position. The next three years he played defensive center and the important offensive forward spot, where he put his excellent passing skills to good use setting up others with close in shots. Tom was a good shooter and post defender, but his passing skills was probably his most important contribution to his teams. Tom was second in assists his senior with 82 while missing 9 games with an injury and four with minimum time played and had a 11.9 scoring average.

Tom was a team player making good passes to any one who was open. He blocked up the middle to cut down on easy shots for the opposition and knew how to position himself to best cover post men. Against the press Tom placed himself at the top of the foul circle from where he got himself in position for the entry pass or the second pass and then hit his streaking team mates headed down court. There were even times against a man to man press, Tom would give top guard, Gary Ghidinelli a break by taking the ball down court himself.

Tom was a calm steady performer, who was not an above the rim player, but one who would be in good position and capture more than his share

mates headed down court. There were even times against a man to man press, Tom would give top guard, Gary Ghidinelli a break by taking the ball down court himself.

Tom was a calm steady performer, who was not an above the rim player, but one who would be in good position and capture more than his share of rebounds.

In his senior season Tom was second in assists with 82 while missing 9 games with a broken bone in his foot in the first game of the season. It took a while when he came back to keep from reinjuring the foot and to get back in basketball condition. For at least four games he played very minimally. Tom ended the season receiving league and CCS honors listed below. The strength of this team showed through when they lost only to the best team in the Bay Area while Tom was out or in limited duty. Steve Seymour stepped into a starting forward spot and Kris Sorensen took over the center position.

During Tom‘s last three years he was not the post man on offense, but was the trigger man for the inside offense, as passer from the mid post, wing spot. Tom was an important passer in the offense along with Gary who ran the main part of the team offense. Tom was adept at defending the post. Tom was first team ALL LEAGUE for three years.

He was ALL TOURNAMENT at the Dads Club tournament and at the Camellia post season tournament in Sacramento in 1967. In 1968 Tom again was ALL DADS TOURNMANT and ALL LEAGUE. In 1969 Tom was ALL LEAGUE, honorable mention ALL CCS by the San Jose Mercury and ALL CCS tournament in 1969. If he had not been injured, he would no doubt have been All Dads Tourney for the third time. As a sophomore on the MBL championship team of 1967, Tom was voted by the team as the most valuable player.

His 1969 team was ranked fourth in the State by Imperial Sports Syndicate of Los Angeles, who had ranked them fifteenth in 1968. The San Jose Mercury ranked them second in the Central Coast Section. The San Francisco Chronicle ranked them fifth in Northern California.

The three year record for Tom’s basketball teams starting in 1967, listed by year, league record, season record before playoffs, post season record and the complete record. 1967, 12-2, 19-3, 0-3 19-6; 1968, 13-1, 20-1, 2-1, 22-2; 1969, 12-0, 26-1, 2-1, 28-2. The 1968 season was the first playoffs for the Central Coast Section.

Tom was recruited and followed by BYU scouts his senior year. He visited BYU and was offered a scholarship, but went to Cal and played instead.

1969. Kris Sorensen, 1966-69 started his basketball career at SC as a reserve center on the championship lightweight basketball with five other members of the varsity champions of the 1968 and/or 1969 seasons: star point guard, Gary Ghidinelli; Kirk Waller, Dave Paul and Rod Fleming.

With a lot of hard work, extra practice and desire Kris was able in his sophomore year to take advantage of his height and shooting ability to move from a reserve position to a first string, valuable member of the three consecutive championship varsity teams. Kris’s teammates recognized his effort and diligence by voting him the most improved player.

In the playoffs with North Salinas for the right to go to Sacramento for the Camellia tournament of champions, Kris was sick and probably should not have been playing, but he wanted to go. He was able to go hard for four to five minutes at a time and the set out for a spell before returning to the action and going all out again. He was a wild man rebounding and putting the ball back up. The Cards earned the trip to Sacramento. After the game Bill Lovejoy took a team picture and Kris looked the worse for wear. But he was able to make the dinner after the game provided by Dick Fassio and his wife at their restaurant.

Junior year Kris kept improving and was selected second team ALL LEAGUE. Kris was not just an inside player he could shoot the 18 footer too. On a 22 wins and 2 loss team, Kris at 6’ 6 ‘was even tougher on the boards this year and with the two other big men, Tom Foster 6’ 5” and Dave Paul 6’ 5”created havoc on the glass. Today that might not be that imposing, but at time there were not many teams who could match it. And the team did take advantage of their size by getting the ball inside for close in shots, even though they were also good shooters. The 1968 team had Dan Rodriguez at 6’ 6”. so the size factored into this year also.

. Senior year he started piling up honors as his stature in basketball bloomed: first team ALL LEAGUE, ALL DADS TOURNEY, ALL CABRILLO TOURNAMENT and honorable mention ALL CENTRAL COAST SECTION.

Kris as was mentioned above was in the group of three top rebounders, he was second in scoring with 400 points and sixth in assist with 66 which is a lot more than most big men get. Normally they are receivers and not ones who pass to others.

When Tom Foster was out, Kris took on an even more important role on the team. He playing defensive center, which he had not done much of previously. From all the games won, it shows that Kris did the job. On a change in the offense, Kris moved to a high post position on the foul line of the area. He had multiple options: to screen for Gary, and on a switch step out for a return pass for the 16 to 18 footer, which was a good shot for him. Or he could move to an open area to receive a pass and take the options open to him. With the number of assist that he had, it meant he did quite a bit of passing.

His 1969 team was ranked fourth in the State by Imperial Sports Syndicate of Los Angeles, who had ranked them fifteenth in 1968. The San Jose Mercury ranked them second in the Central Coast Section. The San Francisco Chronicle ranked them fifth in Northern California.

The three year record for Kris’s basketball teams starting in 1967, listed by year, league record, season record before playoffs, post season record and the complete record. 1967, 12-2, 19-3, 0-3 19-6; 1968, 13-1, 20-1, 2-1, 22-2; 1969, 12-0, 26-1, 2-1, 28-2. The 1968 season was the first playoffs for the Central Coast Section.

Kris was a major league pitcher in the making until he hurt his shoulder pitching a game as a freshmen at San Jose State after only a few days out from basketball.

Kris pitched the Cards to two CCS final game appearances and two league championships and at the same time making ALL LEAGUE both years. In his senior year he was 11wins plus saves and no losses. Kris pitched in the State high school ALL STAR baseball game for the North. After the season Kris was selected in the major league draft by the Washington Senators in the twenty-seventh round. At that time, high school pitchers were not normally picked high.

He pitched for San Jose State for four years as one of the starters during series against league teams. He signed with the St. Louis Cardinals and pitched for the high A league Modesto Cardinals team. He pitched some with their double A team.

1969. Dave Paul,1966-69, helped make the 1969 Cardinal basketball team one of the best squads in the area for its decade and probable longer. Dave was selected for the ten team MBL ALL LEAGUE FIRST TEAM. Some of Dave’s statistical contributions to the team was one of the best rebounders, second in recoveries or steals and third in scoring with almost 300 points. On any other team, Dave would have been the number one man in these categories. With only one ball to play with and the quality of the players on this team, every players statistics although they are very good, could have been even better without so many good players on one team.

Dave’s 1969 team was ranked fourth in the State by Imperial Sports Syndicate of Los Angeles, who had ranked them fifteenth in 1968. The San Jose Mercury ranked them second in the Central Coast Section. The San Francisco Chronicle ranked them fifth in Northern California.

The two year record for Dave’s basketball teams starting in 1968, listed by year, league record, season record before playoffs, post season record and the complete record. 1968, 13-1, 20-1, 2-1, 22-2; 1969, 12-0, 26-1, 2-1, 28-2. The 1968 season was the first playoffs for the Central Coast Section.

Dave played the vital role necessary for any outstanding team. He was the quick 6’5” forward that not many teams could match up with. Had the advantage of being quicker on defense, able to contain his man to less points than normal. If he would have been able to add to his scoring, the difference from what his opponent usually score and held what he held him to, his scoring total would be increased quite a bit from the good total he had. The team would vary its defenses from time to time to surprise and disrupt the other teams offense. This is one of the ways Dave had so many recoveries. With his size and quickness in press situations he was able to pick off passes, which led to easy scores.

It was something to watch Dave and the rest of the team working so hard to be the one coming up with the ball during work outs. Dave would win more than his share of these rebounds. During some of practices with a small rim inside the basket, so that only a few shots would go through, everyone on the court knew that when they fought for position it was not in vain. There was going to be a rebound and if they screened out or worked their way inside for an offensive rebound they had a chance to get the ball. Dave pasted on some of his genes to his son, who was the leading rebounded at Soquel at 6 foot. He could dunk from a standing position. He also received a volleyball scholarship to UOP.

Bob Bulgaski, the Cabrillo coach, commented how well Dave and the rest of the team was able to understand when they had the advantage on the press to double the ball, cover the passing lanes and take chances going for steals. But when they could see they did not have the advantage they dropped back into the regular defense, not giving away any easy baskets. Dave was the best in this situation having a sense of where the passer was most likely to with the ball when in trouble. When Dave picked the ball off it was two points as he would hit the first streakier down the floor.

In 1968 Dave was the top inside reserve player getting a lot of playing time. Dave’s size, rebounding abilities and quickness made it hard for opposing teams to match up with him.

Dave was recruited to San Jose State by Stan Morrison the frosh coach, who later became the head coach at San Jose, UOP, UC Santa Barbara and who is now the athletic director at UC Riverside. Stan played at Cal for Pete Newell Sr. Dave continued to grow as a player while playing for three years at San Jose State.

Dave was an assistant at San Jose State University (Frosh), Coached the Nigerian State team for 2 years, Milpitas Varsity Coach, James Lick Assistant Varsity Coach, Soquel J.V. and Varsity Coach, A.A.U Team Soquel Coach. (Tom Curtis and Dave started the program)

1969. Rod Fleming, football, basketball, baseball graduated in 1969. University of Arizona baseball, drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals and one of my first ten choices for his athletic ability and community endeavors with area athletes as a physical therapist and coach. From the Sentinel All Century Team, write ins from fans.

Other information. Led SC to two second place finishes in the CCS tournament, before playing for two seasons at Cabrillo and two at the University of Arizona. A shortstop was drafted three times and played briefly in the minor leagues. (coached the Harbor baseball team and ran many baseball camps)

1972. Mark DiGirolamo SC for one year a senior in 1972. Mark wrestled at Harbor 69-70 and SC in 1972 as a senior. DiGirolamo was the only four time Northern California Invitational champion. The post season NCI was a forerunner to the state championships, which began in 1973. He set a national record for wins in a high school career with 143 wins, three losses and two ties, which has since been broken. In the Cal Hi Sports Record Book and Almanac, the unofficial state high school record book, DiGirolamo is second among the Best Career Records. His winning percentage of 98.0 trails only the 98.2 by Eric Guerrero of San Jose’s Independence high 224-4 from 92-95.

He is the only county athlete to win and NCAA Division I individual title in any sport. He did it as a junior 118 pounder at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 1976. He was hampered from making the US Olympic Trials three times, the latest with near constant bleeding from his ear after surgery for a severe case of cauliflower ear and before that a broken jaw. DiGirolamo said, “My best shot at making the Olympic team was in high school. I was the best 105 pounder

n the nation.”

1972. Craig Deane, 1972, Wrestling. Deane of SC won the Nor Cal titles in 1970 and in 71 at 145 pounds. He went 39-1 with 23 pins as a senior and was the Most Outstanding wrestler at the 1971 Nor Cal tournament. Later wrestled at UCLA.

See Sentinel All Century team for more players

1982. John Wilson, football, basketball, baseball graduated in 1982. All American pitcher at San Francisco State and

John Wilson, 1982. Another person mentioned in the paper is three sport man, John Wilson, quarterback in football, guard in basketball and pitcher and first baseman in baseball. John pitched for Cabrillo for two years and transferred to San Francisco State were he had an undefeated season and was named to the All American team and is in the schools Hall of Fame.

signed by the San Francisco Giants.

Olafemi Ayanbadejo, football, basketball, baseball; 1992; Cabrillo, San Diego State, NFL Minnesota Vikings as a blocking fullback in 1998. (played on more NFL teams)

Brendon Ayanbadejo, football, wrestling; 1994, Cabrillo and UCLA; first team ALL-Pacific 10 linebacker in 1998. (has made the Pro Bowl)

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