The La Verne Athletics Association inducted eight athletes and the 1972 NAIA National Championship baseball team into the Hall of Fame Saturday at the Mountain Meadows Golf Course in Pomona.
“They’re humble, they’re accomplished, they go on to do great things with their lives, these are characteristics of La Verne athletes,” University President Devorah Lieberman said. “They learn how to be leaders at the University of La Verne and they go on to be leaders for the rest of their lives.”
Lieberman gave remarks to begin the ceremony by congratulating the inductees.
Rex Huigens, member of the La Verne Athletics Association Board of Directors and 1996 Hall of Fame inductee, served as the emcee for the ceremony.
This year’s ceremony featured the first Hall of Fame team induction with the 1972 baseball team.
“They are the first team to win a national championship and will be the first team to be inducted into the Hall of Fame,” Huigens said.
The team won 4-1 against Lipscomb in the NAIA World Series at Municipal Stadium in Phoenix, Arizona.
Head coach Ben Hines and team captain James McNamara accepted the award on behalf of the team.
“They were very, very good baseball players, they made the plays, they hit and ran, they pitched, they did everything well,” Hines said.
“I think this is what made us good in 1972, they were not afraid of the challenge, they were not afraid to get in and mix it up with the best,” he said.
Other inductees included Mitchell Fedorka (2010, men’s golf), Kevin Gustafson (2001, men’s basketball), Robin Halland Lewis (1982, women’s volleyball and women’s basketball), Jodi Lindsay Postlmayr (2008, women’s volleyball and softball), Kelly Mattson (1995, football and men’s track and field), John Price (1924, football, baseball and men’s basketball), Kelley Silagyi Odil (2006, softball) and Stacey Williams Cobalt (1997, women’s track and field).
Gustafson is the second leading scorer in La Verne men’s basketball history with 1,405 points.
“I’m so honored because La Verne means so much to me and my family,” Gustafson said. “For me it’s like I’ve come full circle. I remember just starting there and now it feels like I’m finishing there.”
Fedorka was recognized for his time on the men’s golf team from 2006-2010.
“My initial reaction was that of surprise,” Fedorka said. “I know I had a pretty good career at La Verne but to be inducted in such a quick fashion caught me off guard. Every year there was just fantastic with the guys there and my coaches. I really couldn’t have asked for a better group of people around me to help progress my career in a positive manner.”
Christina Garcia can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.