Harrison Briles*

Harrison Briles was a three-year varsity tackle for the Napa High School Indians in 1936, 1937 and 1938. He was an All-North Bay League selection at tackle in 1937 and 1938. In addition to his hard-nosed play in the middle of the line, Briles was known for his booming kickoffs. The 1938 football team beat Vallejo for the first time since 1926 and scored against Vallejo for the first time since 1929 with Briles as a member of the squad. Some quotes about Briles from the pages of the Napa Register and the Napa Journal read: “Blocked a punt and recovered for touchdown…” “Stonewall on defense. Best in the game…” “Almost deheaded the Santa Rosa Panther single-handed…” “Only a sophomore and gummed up more plays than any three fellows on the field…” “Vicious tackling forward wall headed by Harrison Briles…” “Bulwark at tackle…” But Briles also competed in basketball and track while at Napa High School. He went on to Stockton Junior College where he helped his team win the league championship in 1940. As with so many athletes of this era, World War II ended his college athletic career.

Warren Brusstar

Warren Brusstar was a football, basketball and baseball star at Napa High School. He was a lineman on the 1968 and 1969 football teams and played on the 1969-70 basketball team, while also pitching for the 1969 and 1970 baseball teams. Brusstar continued his baseball career at Fresno State College and was successful enough to earn a professional baseball contract with the Philadelphia Phillies organization. In his fourth professional season, Brusstar became a major league player with the Philadelphia Phillies. He spent all or part of nine seasons in the majors with the Phillies, Chicago White Sox and Chicago Cubs. He and fellow NHS Hall of Famer Bill Buckner were teammates on the Cubs for a year and a half before Buckner was traded to the Boston Red Sox. Brusstar was primarily a middle-relief pitcher during his major league career. A very difficult and not-so-glamorous part of professional baseball, Brusstar appeared in 340 major league games and compiled a career record of 28 wins, 16 losses, 14 saves, while posting a 3.51 earned run average. He was an important member of the 1980 Philadelphia Phillies World Series Champions.

Bill Buckner*


Bill Buckner is known throughout the country by knowledgeable baseball observers as one of the great hitters to play major league baseball. Only 44 players in the history of Major League Baseball have hit safely more times than Bill Buckner. He was the National League batting champion once and the doubles leader in two different seasons. Twice he collected more than 200 hits in a season. His .289 lifetime average included 498 doubles and 174 home runs and 1,208 runs batted in, yet he struck out only once in every 20.7 at bats, the 52nd best record in Major League history. As a baseball player at Napa High School, Buckner gave some indication of things to come by hitting .667 in 1967 and .529 in 1968. His coach, Dale Fisher, predicted great things for Buckner when he was still in high school. Baseball wasn’t the only sport Buckner played well. He was without rival in his day as a pass-catching end, and his name is still in the Napa record books for reception yards in a season (579), career reception yards (963), and most passes received in a career (61). Buckner was named to the Coaches All-American football team two years in a row.

Ed Burke

Ed Burke’s greatest athletic contributions to Napa High School came in the field events of track and field competition. He competed for the Napa High School track team in 1957 and 1958, and set the state record for the discus in 1958. He also played for the varsity football teams in 1956 and 1957 and was good enough to earn a football scholarship to San Jose State. He played four years of football at San Jose, but while there, he took up the hammer throw and became so proficient, that he won the conference and national titles while in college and set the world’s record in that event in 1967. Burke represented the United States in three Olympic Games and is probably best remembered as the man who carried the American flag during the opening ceremonies of the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. Burke is the inventor of the Universal Gym System.

Bruce Cassayre

Bruce Cassayre competed in track, tennis and basketball at Napa High School. In 1947, on the C track team, he won the NBL shot put championship. In 1948, he repeated the feat on the B track team, setting an NBL record in the process. He went on to win the North Coast Section Championship. As a varsity performer in 1949, Cassayre proved his versatility by placing third in the NBL high jump. In tennis, Cassayre played #2 singles as a junior and #1 singles on the 1948-49 team. Cassayre led the 1947-48 B basketball team to a North Bay League Championship. He was the top scorer on another of Napa High’s fine B basketball teams of the 1940 era. As a varsity player in 1948-49, Cassayre was the second highest scorer on Napa’s North Bay League championship team. After losing their first four games, the 1948-49 team won 17 of its last 18 games and went undefeated in league play. Cassayre led the NBL in scoring. A comment from one of Cassayre’s teammates: “Bruce epitomized the team concept in basketball which triggered the successful teams on which he played.” Cassayre went on to Napa Junior College where he was the second leading scorer on the 1949-50 team.

Steve Clerici

Steve Clerici was an outstanding three-sport star at Napa High. As a sophomore, he played JV football, ran track and was the sixth man on the varsity basketball team, though he is best known for his football and basketball abilities. He became a basketball starter in his junior year and gained All-City honors. In his senior year, he again made All-City, and added a second team All-North Bay League to his list of credits. It was in football that Clerici really excelled. He was a fullback and linebacker on the 1974 and 1975 Napa teams. In both seasons, Clerici earned All-City, All-NBL and All-Redwood Empire honors. He was Captain and Most Valuable Player of the 1975 team. Clerici went on to U.C. Davis and continued his outstanding play as a three-year starter at linebacker. In 1977 Clerici was an All-Conference player for the Davis team that went to the semi-finals of the National Championship Tournament. In 1978, the team was a quarter finalist in the same tournament and Clerici added a second team All-American honor to his second straight All-Conference selection. A comment from a Napa High peer, “Steve was like a man among boys.”

Joel Coffield*

Coffield played four years of football and three years of basketball at Napa High. He was Captain of the 1924-25 basketball team which was league champion and district champion. The only loss of the season came against Stockton in the final game of the year to determine who would play for the state championship. In the 1925-26 basketball season, Coffield led the Indians to a league championship, Northwest CIF championship, and helped the team win two more playoff games before losing to St. Ignatius for the right to play for the state championship. It was the first loss for a Napa team that outscored opponents 318-163 for the season. During the 1925 and 1926 football seasons, Coffield was the star runner, passer and kicker. In games in which he played, Napa was 10-0-3 in the two years, including a tie and victory over Vallejo. In the five games that Coffield played in 1926, Napa outscored opponents 160-0. He was also Student Body President in the fall of 1926. Coffield was the standard by which other Napa greats were measured. He was arguably the best athlete to come out of Napa High during the first 50 years of its existence. Coffield went on to an outstanding two-sport career at U.C. Berkeley, where he played football and starred in basketball. He was Captain of the 1929-30 Cal basketball team. Articles in various newspapers included the following quotes:
“Young Coffield stands out as a star. This player is a demon for hard work and the speed with which he carries on and his accurate basket shooting stamps him as a top notcher.”
“Joel Coffield, one of the finest, if not the finest, basketball players ever turned out of Napa High School…”

“Coffield, by the way, is without any doubt, the greatest forward pass artist in the high schools of California.”

“Joel Coffield, Pacific Coast’s best high school passer, whirled a forward pass over 35 yards into the waiting paws of Vienop who had raced beyond the goal line.”

Coffield is the only member of the inaugural Hall of Fame class to receive ten points on every ballot.

Charles “Skip” Dresel*

Skip Dresel played baseball and basketball at Napa High School. He was a first baseman on the 1947 and 1948 baseball teams, and helped the 1948 team gain a tie for the North Bay League championship. Dresel showed promise as a sophomore reserve on the 1946-47 North Bay League championship team. This team represented the North Bay League in the first high school invitational tournament. As a junior, Dresel earned second team all NBL honors at center. In his senior year, he was Captain of the North Bay League champion Indians. After losing their first 4 games, they won 17 out of their last 18, and went undefeated in the North Bay League. Dresel was the leading scorer on that team, and first team All North Bay League center. His play during his senior year earned Dresel a first-string place on the San Francisco Examiner All-Northern California team, the first Napa High player to be so honored. In the last half of the 1940s, Napa won or tied for three titles and narrowly missed a fourth. Dresel was the most outstanding player of that era and Coach Colledge’s favorite player. He was recruited to play basketball at U.C. Berkeley. A knee injury in his freshman year impaired his college career, but he did play as a junior and senior.

Jim Duncan*

Jim Duncan was a basketball star who also played football and tennis at Napa High School. He played #1 singles and doubles on the 1945, ’46 and ’47 tennis teams. In 1947, Duncan and doubles partner Jack Hosburg won the North Bay League championship. He was the center on the 1945 B football championship team. As a varsity player in 1946, Duncan was converted to end and contributed to a 6-1-2 record with two touchdown receptions. As a basketball player, Duncan’s presence on the team assured a league championship. He played center on the 1944-45 B team that lost only one game. It was Coach Ron English’s second consecutive one loss season. Duncan was a starting forward on the 1945-46 NBL co-championship team, and he led the 1946-47 team to a league title and a trip to the Northern California Tournament of Champions. He was the leading scorer on that team. Duncan’s championship caliber of play in three sports enabled him to become Napa High’s first athlete to earn six Block N’s. He was also Student Body President in the fall semester of 1946.

Jim Dykes*

Jim Dykes was an outstanding baseball and football player whose high school career was interrupted by World War II. As a freshman in 1941, Dykes started several games as a pitcher for Napa High School. He had a very strong arm, but bases on balls were a problem at that stage of his career and he later switched to the outfield because of his power hitting. Dykes was a star player on the 1942 and 1943 NBL co-champion football teams and a major contributor to both co-championships. His field goal late in the 1942 game beat Vallejo 3-0, and gave Napa a share of the title. He was the triple threat star of the 1943 team and players and fans of that era know that his late season leg injury kept Napa from winning the title outright. Napa scored 15 touchdowns that year. Dykes passed for six and ran for three. He was one of the outstanding punters of his day. He was named All-NBL Back in 1943 and won the Best Back Award on the Napa team. Dykes left school to go in the Service in 1944 and returned to finish his education and star at Napa Junior College after the war. Dykes was a professional baseball player, first in the St. Louis Browns organization, and later in the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system.

Aaron Elton*

Aaron Elton was a four-year baseball star at Napa High School. As a freshman second baseman, he led the team in hitting with a .400 average. He transferred to third base as a sophomore and hit over .400. Records were not available for the 1939 season, but Aaron hit .423 in 1940 to lead the team again. One article called Elton, “Coach John Colledge’s best player in his first year as Napa High baseball coach.” His strong bat and great defensive ability made Elton one of the best infielders to play at Napa High during the first 60 years of the school’s existence. Elton was a starting guard on the 1938 NBL championship football team, and he returned to anchor the line in 1939. Elton’s baseball skills led to a professional career in the Boston Red Sox farm system. While in the service, he played baseball on teams that included many major league stars.

Joe Flax*

Joe Flax was a three-sport star at Napa High School, excelling in basketball, football and tennis. He played during the time Napa was out of league competition and thus was ineligible for All-League honors. Flax was an outstanding pass-catching end for two years. He set a record of 125 receiving yards in 1960, and led the team in touchdowns and scoring in 1961. In addition to his receiving and defensive play, Flax punted, kicked off and kicked eleven PATs in 1961. He was selected on All-Opponent teams by Riordan High School in 1960, Santa Rosa High in 1961, and Petaluma High School in both 1960 and 1961. As a basketball player, Flax was an outstanding rebounder and scorer from his forward position. He averaged 20 points a game as a senior and was selected to the All-Tournament team at the Redwood Invitational Tournament. Flax played second singles as a junior and first singles as a senior for Napa High’s tennis team. He was voted the 1962 Student Body’s Most Athletic Student of the Year. He was also voted Athlete of the Year by the Napa Athletic Supporters. Flax earned a basketball scholarship to the University of San Diego, but after one year, quit basketball to concentrate on academics. The choice was a good one, as Flax went on to become an attorney in Napa and past president of the Napa County Bar Association.

Les Franco

Les Franco was the Most Valuable Player on the 1961 football team, excelling as a linebacker on defense and part-time quarterback on offense. He was also an outstanding linebacker on the 1960 team. Like his father before him, Franco was a very good infielder for three years on Napa Indian baseball teams. He was a second baseman and Co-captain in 1961 and 1962, and his .364 batting average led the team in 1961. He was one of four sophomores to make the team in 1960. He was All-NBL second baseman in 1962. Franco was Student Body President in his senior year before going on to a successful athletic career at the University of San Francisco. At U.S.F., Franco was a starting linebacker on the football team for four years and a third baseman on the 1963 baseball team. He was Captain of the football team three years, a rare achievement in any sport. Franco returned to Napa as an assistant coach from 1969 to 1971 and, after an eight-year absence across town, returned in 1979 for an 11-year stint as head football coach in which his teams won four MEL championships and six sectional playoff games. He was MEL Coach of the Year four times. Franco also had a fine record as head softball coach during this period. It should be noted that during his high school playing years, Napa was not in a league, so all-league honors were not available to him until the baseball season of 1962.

John “Muck” Franco*

John “Muck” Franco participated in four different sports during his four-year career at Napa High School. He was the starting shortstop for the Indians baseball team in 1931-1934 and in 1933, he was team captain and leading hitter. In addition to his outstanding baseball accomplishments, Franco started for four seasons as a basketball player: one year as a C, two years as a B, and his senior year on the varsity. He led the 1932-33 B basketball team to a Section A Championship by topping the team in scoring. He was also one of the top scorers on the 1933-34 varsity basketball team. Franco was a running back on the 1932 Napa High football team and scored the winning touchdown against Analy. He also completed one year on the track team. While still in high school, Franco played Adult Summer Baseball in the Napa area – a feat very uncommon for high school athletes. Mr. and Mrs. Franco have five sons, all of whom graduated from Napa High School. They earned a total of 22 varsity letters, including two football MVPs. Two grandchildren have been Napa High School Athletes of the Year. Franco’s son, Les was inducted into the Napa High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 1997 and the Francos join Gene and Bruce Tonascia as father-and-son members. Franco was associated with the Napa City Softball League for many years and has spent a great deal of time “teaching youngsters the fundamentals of the game.”

Steve Galios*

Steve Galios was a three-sport, first-string athlete at Napa High. In track, he ran the 100-yard dash, 220-yard dash, 440-yard relay, and long jumped. He played two years of basketball and was a starter on the 1954-55 team. Galios played two years of football, and in 1954 was team captain, leading rusher, leading scorer, Most Valuable Player, and All North Bay League. He was Student Body President and a representative to Boy’s State. The first Napa High School graduate to be appointed to the United States Air Force Academy, Galios was a first team offensive fullback and defensive linebacker for four years at the Academy. In 1958, he led the Air Force Academy to an undefeated season and a trip to the Cotton Bowl, where they tied Texas Christian and finished with a 9-0-1 record and a ranking of #6, nationally. Galios was the leading ground gainer that year and was called by Sports Illustrated “The best player on the Falcon undefeated team”. For his outstanding season, Galios was named the Most Valuable Back by the Air Force Times publication and was named to Associated Press’ third-team All-American team. Galios retired from United Airlines in 1991 as a B767 Captain and currently serves as a trustee on the Napa Valley Unified School Board.

George Gosling*

George Gosling was an outstanding three-sport athlete at Napa High School and in his senior year, added a second place finish in the shot put in the NBL sub-league track meet. In baseball, Gosling was a starting outfielder as a sophomore and senior, and showed his versatility by turning in a credible job as a third baseman in his junior year. He hit .470 with power as a sophomore and was a big factor in the 1948 baseball co-championship won by Napa. He was named to the 1948 All-North Bay League team. After playing third guard on the 1946-47 North Bay League championship basketball team, Gosling returned in his senior year to earn Second Team All-NBL honors in basketball. It was in the sport of football that Gosling really excelled. He was a hard-running fullback whose spin moves left many tacklers wondering where he had gone. Captain and All-NBL fullback in 1947, Gosling was described as “the heart and spirit of the team”. Gosling went on to become the starting fullback as a freshman at U.C. Davis before transferring to U.C. Berkeley and playing two years on the varsity team. A very quiet person, Gosling is remembered by his teammates as a leader by example.

John Graves*

John Graves was another three-sport athlete at Napa High, who ran the 880-yard run for the track team and played one year of B basketball and two years of varsity basketball, culminating his career by leading the 1939-40 team in scoring but football was Graves’ sport. In 1937, he was a starting varsity back at 140 pounds. On the 1938 North Bay League championship team, Graves made the All-NBL team, was Most Valuable Player on the Napa team, and was voted the best blocker and tackler on the team. In 1939, he repeated as All-NBL Back, and best blocker and tackler, and was elected Captain of the team. Graves was Student Body President in the fall of 1939. He won the All-American Blanket, symbolic of the best athlete, scholar and leader. He went on to play football at U.C. Berkeley and he was Captain and star of the 1940 frosh team and played on the 1941 varsity. He went into the Service and returned to star for two more years on Pappy Waldorf’s post-war powerhouse Cal teams. Graves had a brief pro football career with the Los Angeles Dons and continued his leadership role by becoming President of the Southern C’s, a recruiting group for UC athletes.

Frank Humpert*

Frank Humpert has had a long connection with Napa High School and its athletic and scholastic history. He started as a B football and basketball player in the 1940-41 school year and has maintained some connection with the school in most of the years since then, with the exception of his college and military years. He played basketball and track in high school and was a member of the 1942 football team and a starter on the Napa High School North Bay League co-champions of 1943. After two years of football and basketball at Napa Junior College, Humpert went on to U.C. Berkeley, where he completed his college career with a starting assignment in the 1950 Rose Bowl game against Ohio State. Humpert had some experience with football in the service and returned to Napa to serve as assistant coach to Ken Casanega, Bob Covey and Pete Rivers, as well as volunteer trainer to a number of coaches over a 46-year period. Humpert is the only Napa High School graduate to serve as principal of Napa High School. He has truly spent his entire teenage and adult life as a part of Napa High School. Perhaps nothing expresses it better than Ron Collins’ letter that accompanied Humpert’s nomination; the final sentence reads, “No one deserves to be in the Napa High Hall of Fame more than Frank Humpert.”

Sheri Jennum

Sheri Jennum had a great three-sport career at Napa High from 1977 to 1981. As a freshman, she played basketball and made honorable mention on the SCAL All-League team. She was also a member of the SCAL championship softball team. In her sophomore year, Napa repeated as SCAL softball champions and Jennum received honorable mention on the All-League team. In basketball that year, Jennum doubled her freshman year scoring average to 17 points per game and made the SCAL All-League team. She was MVP in two tournaments, All-Napa County, and named Athlete of the Week by the Napa Register and Vallejo Times-Herald, the first female to be named so by the Vallejo paper. In her junior year, Jennum moved from softball to volleyball and helped Napa to a second place MEL finish. Jennum’s basketball successes grew greater in her junior year when she led Napa to the MEL championship. She was the MVP of three tournaments and of the Napa team. She was again named Athlete of the Week by the Napa and Vallejo newspapers and Athlete of the Month by the Napa Register. She was again named to the All-Napa County team. In her senior year, Jennum was Captain of the second place volleyball team and earned All-MEL honors in volleyball. She was Captain of the MEL championship basketball team, Most Valuable Player at Napa High and in the league. She was named KVON Athlete of the Year – the first female to attain that honor. Jennum was voted one of the top ten seniors in the West/Southwest area by Basketball Congress. Her list of honors in her senior year are too numerous to mention, but for her four-year basketball career at Napa High, Jennum scored 1,547 points and averaged 17.2 per game. Her senior average was 22.9. Jennum continued her basketball career at U.N.L.V. and earned All-American honors at Cal Poly Pomona. She has coached at Napa Valley College, been an assistant at Fullerton Junior College, Long Beach State and the University of Pacific. Jennum left college coaching to attend law school in 1997, while still serving as assistant coach at Rancho Buena Vista High School. Upon completing law school, she was an associate for a law firm in San Diego, but after four years being away from the game of basketball, she opened her own law practice and returned to coaching.

Ches Johnson*

Ches Johnson was a standout basketball, football and track athlete in the early 1930s. Track information for the period is very sketchy, but Coach Walter Hemmerling called Johnson the most promising candidate on the 1934 track squad, where he competed in the 200-yard dash, 440-yard dash, football throw, broad jump, high jump and relay team. His football career was divided between end and half back, and his speed and punting ability were praised in articles written about the 1932 and 1933 football teams. Johnson was Captain of the 1933-34 Napa High basketball team, and his play at the guard spot helped the Indians to winning seasons in his junior and senior years. He won the free throw trophy awarded to the regular player with the highest percentage, and he was acclaimed by basketball coach Bob LaRue as the best player to graduate from Napa High School during the past seven years. Johnson went on to the College of Pacific to play basketball and football, but his collegiate career was cut short by work requirements at home.

Tish Johnson

Tish Johnson was an outstanding athlete at Napa High School and has gone on to gain national recognition as one of the top performers on the Women’s Professional Bowlers Tour. Johnson played volleyball at Napa, but the Committee had no information about her accomplishments in that sport. She was a three-year standout on the 1977-78, 1978-79 and 1979-80 basketball teams, winning All-Conference honors each year. She was the Most Valuable Player in 1978-79 and shared that honor in the other two years. Johnson played on one championship team and won All-Tournament honors as a senior. She had an outstanding free throw percentage in her career. Johnson rejected two college scholarships to join the Women’s Professional Bowlers Tour, where she has enjoyed great success since 1981. She has been the top money winner on the tour and won many tournaments, details of which were not available to the Committee.

Mike Kroplin

Mike Kroplin is an outstanding member of the second generation of the Kroplin family to star at Napa High School. He was a three-sport star in baseball, basketball and football. As a junior, he was chosen the outstanding junior athlete by the Napa Senior High Blue “N” Gold. In 1959, Kroplin was Captain of the football team, leading rusher, leading pass receiver, leading scorer, Most Valuable Player and first-team All-Coast. He was also selected to play on the North Bay League Section I All-Star football team in 1959, and was named to the National High School All-American football team by Wigwam Wiseman Football Committee. Kroplin was a member of the Student Council and Block N Club at Napa High. He very capably followed in the footsteps of his father, Elmer “Babe” Kroplin and his uncle Bill Kroplin who were star athletes at Napa High in the 1930s.

Tom LeMasters

Tom LeMasters was another three-sport star at Napa High. As a sophomore, he played JV basketball and baseball, but as a junior and senior, LeMasters was a starter in football, basketball and baseball. As a junior, he was named to the All-City team and second team All-North Bay League team in baseball. As the team shortstop in 1975, LeMasters set a Napa High record for the most doubles in a league season and was named Captain and Most Valuable Player. In football, quarterback LeMasters threw for nearly 900 yards in his senior year, with over 50% completions and 19 touchdown passes. He earned “Player of the Week” honors twice and was Napa High Back of the Year. He was named All-City in football and second team All-NBL and All-Redwood Empire. LeMasters was Napa High School’s Athlete of the Year in 1975.

Darci Lewis Ward

Darci Lewis shined on the tennis and basketball courts while also earning distinctions for her success in cross-country and track & field meets. A two-time Napa Register Fall Athlete of the Year (1993, 1994), Lewis posted a 14-0 doubles tennis record while also placing second in the MEL Cross-Country Championship, which propelled her to the CIF Sac-Joaquin Sub-Section and Sections meets in which she placed sixth in the 1993 season. Lewis went on to complete her junior campaign with a Monticello Empire League title in the 1600-meter event and she continued her winning ways into her senior year, earning a first-place MEL title in cross-country. She was a qualifier for the CIF State Cross-Country Meet in addition to maintaining her title as one-half of Napa’s #1 Doubles team. She and her doubles partner were named Most Valuable Doubles Team for the Indians. She also earned the distinction of Napa’s Most Valuable Runner for the 1994 Cross-Country team, where she placed fourth in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Sub-Sections and 14th in the Section Meet. Lewis also excelled on the basketball court, where she was named All-League, All-County and was also the Co-Captain of the 1995 squad. Lewis went on to become the Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year at College of San Mateo where she also participated in basketball, cross-country and track & field before continuing her education at the University of Montana. At Montana, Lewis earned a scholarship for her efforts on the cross-country and indoor and outdoor track & field teams while also being named to the All-Academic team. Lewis went on to earn her teaching credential and is currently the head varsity coach of the Girls Basketball team at Napa High. Lewis has led the lady Indians to six MEL titles in seven years at the helm.

Jeff Loudon

Jeff Loudon was an outstanding football and basketball player at Napa High. He helped pace the 1959 football team to the first undefeated, untied season in the school’s history. As a defensive back, he intercepted three passes in one game. He punted for a 44.6 yard average. As a senior in 1960, he was the starting quarterback and his 61.9% pass completion record still stands as the school’s best. He passed for 10 touchdowns, ran for three more, kicked PATs and punted for a 45.3 yard average. He made the All-Opponent teams of Riordan and Pittsburg High Schools and was nominated for the North-South All-Star game. He was the Most Valuable Player on the 1960 football team. As a basketball player, Loudon was an outstanding scorer and shooter. He averaged over 15 points a game as a junior, and over 16 per game in his senior year. His 83% and 84% free throw shooting in those two years surely makes him one of the best charity tossers ever to play for Napa High. It should be noted that Napa was out of the North Bay League during Loudon’s career so All-League honors were not available to him. Loudon continued his basketball career at the University of Santa Clara, where he averaged 14.5 points per game for the 1961-62 freshman team and was chosen as Most Valuable Player on the team.

Mark Lye

Mark Lye is the best golfer to play at Napa High. While a player for the Napa team from 1968-1970, he never lost a match. He was named Athlete of the Year in 1970. Lye earned a golf scholarship to San Jose State, where he had a spectacular college career. In addition to winning nine individual titles in college, including the 1974 Tucker Invitational, 1974 Aztec Classic and the 1975 U.S. Intercollegiate Championship, Lye won honorable mention on the 1973 All-American College Golf Team, second team All-American honor in 1974, and was first team All-American in 1975 – one of the ten best players in the country. In 1975, he was also named to Golf World Magazine’s first team All-American team – one of six players to be so honored. Lye turned pro in the summer of 1975 and played on the PGA tour from 1977 to 1994. He won a tour title in 1983, Bank of Boston Classic and in 1984 shot the lowest round of the year, a 61 at the Disney Invitational. He also won International titles in Melbourne, Australia and Geneva, Switzerland. Lye is now the lead analyst for the Golf Channel covering men’s golf. He credits a lot of his success to his high school golf coach, Richard Kresge, and gym instructor Joe Marelich.

Hector MacLean*

Hector MacLean was a three-sport star of Napa High, excelling in football, basketball and track. Although information is unavailable regarding his track accomplishments, he was a starter and outstanding player on the 1924-25 and 1925-26 basketball teams, both of which won league championships and North Coast district championships and both of which went undefeated until the final game of the season in the semi-finals of the state championship, losing once to Stockton and once to St. Ignatius of San Francisco. MacClean was a three-year starter at end on the football team. The 1925 team was undefeated, although tied three times, and the 1926 team overwhelmed the opposition, outscoring them 274-19. HOF research did not include the final game of that 1926 season, but it is believed by the NHS HOF that it was a playoff loss after Napa had won the North Coast District championship. MacLean joined his teammate Joel Coffield on the University of California, Berkeley freshman basketball and football teams, but no information was available to the HOF after that. Always a devoted fan of Napa High athletics, MacLean served as timer at Napa football games from the 1930s until the early 1990s.

Ed McCrea*

Ed McCrea never weighed over 145 pounds during his high school career, yet he was a track man, a baseball player, a football player and one of the best basketball players to wear Napa colors during the first 50 years of the school’s existence. At the time of his graduation, McCrea held the school’s Class B 440-yard track record and was a member of the record-setting relay team. He played two years as an outfielder on the baseball team. McCrea was a reserve back on the 1943 co-champion football team and when Coach Hal Buffa installed the first T formation system at Napa High in 1944, McCrea was his starting quarterback. He threw three touchdown passes before injuries sidelined him for several games. In the 1942-43 B basketball season, McCrea led a 20-0 fourth quarter rally against Vallejo to bring Napa a 37-34 victory. On the 1943-44 B basketball team, McCrea was the leading scorer on the NBL championship team that went 16-1 for the season, and outscored opponents 481-264. He was Captain and leading scorer of the 1944-45 varsity team. In spite of a 20-3 record and a 35-16 drubbing of league champion Santa Rosa on the loser’s court, Napa failed to win the championship. In McCrea’s last two years at Napa, he was the star of two teams that won 36 and lost only four games, and outscored opponents 1,274-723. He was named best All-Around Athlete in Napa High in 1944-45. He later starred on the Napa Junior College basketball team.

Sherman Miller*

Sherman Miller is the greatest runner ever to graduate from Napa High School. As a junior, Miller was ineligible to compete for Napa High, so he ran for the Olympic Club in San Francisco, and competed in open meets all over the United States. His most famous accomplishment that year was finishing second to world record holder Herb McKinley of Jamaica, in a race at Edwards Track at U.C. Berkeley. Third place finisher in that race was Ollie Matson, N.C.A.A. champion. Miller gained world-wide fame as a 17-year old high school junior. In his senior year, representing Napa High, Miller won the California State championship and the National A.A.U. championship in the 440-yard dash. He was named to the All-American High School team and qualified for the U.S. team that toured Europe. In an open invitational meet at Davis that year, Miller won the 100-yard dash, 220-yard dash, 440-yard dash and long jump, and anchored the winning relay team. He continued his track career at Occidental College. Miller also played football at Napa High School, and he played well enough to make first team all North Bay League as a senior.

John Rawlins

John Rawlins attended Napa High when it was a two-year high school, and he was a standout player in three major sports for both years. In football, Rawlins was a wide receiver and tight end and did the punting on the 1957 Indian team. In his senior year, he was the team leader in points scored from his wide receiver position and he led the North Bay League in punting average. He was named to the All-North Bay League team. Rawlins was starting forward on the Napa High basketball team as a junior, and his stellar play and scoring ability earned him All-North Bay League honors. He repeated as an All-NBL player as a senior, when he led the 1958-59 Indians to a 21-4 season. Rawlins played third base for the baseball team as a junior. In his senior year, he converted to shortstop and had an outstanding season, leading the Napa High team in batting average, home runs and runs batted in. He was named to the All-North Bay League baseball team and he was further honored by being named to the San Francisco Examiner All-Northern California team. He earned All-League honors in all three sports as a senior and was also the 1959 Block N Athlete of the Year.

George “Archie” Rice*

George “Archie” Rice began his incredible career in tennis as a sophomore at Napa High School. He was captain and first singles in both his junior and senior years and teamed with friend Bob Heflin in first doubles. In their senior year, Rice and his partner Heflin went to the finals of the regional CIF tournament before losing. It was the most significant showing for a Napa High tennis team up to that time. Rice made a career out of the sport of tennis. In addition to a fine amateur playing career highlighted by consecutive wins over the great Don Budge to win the Oakland City Championship in 1930 and 1931, he owned and operated a tennis shop for over 35 years, which was frequented by many of the great names in tennis – Pancho Gonzalez, Pancho Segura, Jack Kramer, Lew Hoad, Frank Sedgman and Maureen Connolly, among others. Rice had many amateur doubles titles to his credit and one report says that Ron English, one of the founders of the Napa High School Athletic Hall of Fame Foundation, and a great tennis player in his own right, was a doubles partner of Rice at one time. He was posthumously inducted into the Northern California Tennis Association Hall of Fame in 1992. With his induction into the Napa High School Athletic Hall of Fame, Rice becomes the earliest Napa High School graduate to be so honored.

Ernie Sander*

Ernie Sander was a three-sport athlete at Napa High School for four years, excelling in football, basketball and track. He was also president of the Student Body. A two-time All-North Bay League fullback in football, Sander was also a high jumper, broad jumper and discus thrower on the track team, in addition to being a starter on the basketball team. Sander was the outstanding player for the Napa football team when they lost to Vallejo in 1936. Several of the players on that team vowed to walk home from Vallejo if they lost – and true to their word – Sander and several others walked all the way to Napa after the game. Sander was a varsity basketball player for four years. The 1936-37 team tied for the league championship, but six members of the team, including Sander, graduated in February and their replacements lost the playoff game against Santa Rosa. The 1935 and 1936 football teams at Napa High had Ernie Sander at fullback, Emil Sander at guard, and Ed Sander at end and it is believed to have been the first time three brothers started for a Napa High team. Sander went on to play football at Sacramento Junior College for two years, and rowed with the varsity crew. Military service ended his athletic career. Sander was been a successful and highly respected businessman in Napa for many years.

Russ Schamun

Russ Schamun was the receiving end of one of the most dramatic passing combinations to grace Napa High School. His late game catches and runs for touchdowns to win ball games were highlights of the Bruce Tonascia-Russ Schamun era. As a three-year varsity football player, Schamun played on two championship teams, and in his senior year, he was a nominee for the East-West Shrine game, first team All-North Bay League, first team All-Redwood Empire and Most Valuable Player of the Napa team. He caught 22 passes for 500 yards and six touchdowns. Schamun was a member of the 400-meter relay team as a sophomore and then switched to baseball for his final two years, where he played on a championship team and earned second team All-NBL both years. Schamun continued his football at the University of Alabama after earning a four-year athletic scholarship. The University of Alabama won three Southeastern Conference championships and one national championship during Schamun’s stay there. Schamun was second team All-SEC in 1974 and his play in the 1975 Orange Bowl against Notre Dame electrified a national television audience and earned Schamun the Most Valuable Offensive Player Award for the game.

Mel Stein*

Mel Stein was another three-sport player at Napa High School. As a B basketball player on the 1942-43 team, he was part of one of the great comebacks in Napa history when the Indians outscored Vallejo 20-0 in the fourth quarter to win 37-34. He was the starting center on the 1943-44 team until a job-related injury ended his season. Stein was a two-year starter at first base for the Indian baseball teams of 1943 and 1944. He hit .350 in 1944, second on a team which John Colledge called one of his best. Stein started his football career as a 105-pound reserve center on the B team. After a year as JV center, he was starting center on the 1943 co-championship team. He was named the outstanding lineman on the 1943 team and earned all NBL honors as center. After a two-year navy stint, Stein returned to play four years of football and three years of baseball at San Jose State. In 1949, he hit .350 for San Jose’s first California Collegiate Athletic Association championship team. He was Co-captain of the 1950 team. After one year as a backup center, Stein was converted to end and had a brilliant three-year career that included All-Conference honors in 1948 and a 1950 Raisin Bowl championship. After graduation, Stein played several years of profession baseball in class A, B, and C minor leagues. He is one of a small number of Napa High graduates to earn a four-year college athletic scholarship in one sport and play professionally in another.

Art Thompson*

Art Thompson is another outstanding three-sport athlete whose two-year Napa High School career included six starting varsity seasons and a long list of honors. Thompson started at quarterback and on defense for the 1950 Indian football team, and in 1951 did the same, earning the Most Valuable Back award, All-Conference honors, and was elected team captain. He was a starting guard on the 1950-51 basketball team and on the 1951-52 North Bay League champions. Thompson was Second Team All-Conference in basketball. Thompson was an infielder on the 1951 baseball champions and hit .350 and made All-Conference in baseball in the 1952 season. Thompson also had other achievements at Napa High School. He was 12th grade vice president, representative to 1952 Boys State, member of the Interschool Council, ASB Commissioner of Athletics, Block N Society, and an honor student with college prep classes. Thompson went on to Napa Junior College, where he had two outstanding seasons in football and baseball. After his athletic endeavors, Thompson completed a long and successful career in law enforcement for Napa County. His popularity with teammates, classmates and citizens of the community is well-earned.

Ernie Thormahlen*

Ernie Thormahlen was a three-sport star at Napa High from 1934 to 1937. His track exploits included participation in the 440-yard dash, 880-yard run and football throw. He was Captain of the 1936 track team. In three years of varsity competition on Napa High’s football team, Thormahlen played tackle and end. After a disappointing 1936 season and a final game loss to Vallejo, Thormahlen and several of his teammates fulfilled a promise and walked the entire fourteen mile distance from Vallejo to Napa after the game. In basketball, Thormahlen played guard as a sophomore and center in his junior and senior years. He was Captain of the 1935-36 team and was an outstanding ball handler and scorer. He was one of six players to graduate in January of 1937. The team tied Santa Rosa for the championship, but lost in a playoff after graduation. Thormahlen was President of his junior class and was awarded a sports blanket from Napa High, symbolic of his athletic and leadership qualities. His contemporaries have said that Thormahlen was the best all-around athlete of his era. He continued his athletic career at Sacramento State, where he played football, basketball, track and added boxing and crew to his list of achievements.

Bruce Tonascia

Bruce Tonascia was the quarterback who teamed with Russ Schamun for late game heroics in the 1971 football season. He was also an outstanding baseball player for Napa High. As a sophomore, Tonascia led the JV football team to a league championship. In his junior year, Napa was co-champion of the NBL. Tonascia led the league in passing with over 1,000 yards, made the All-NBL team and was Back of the Year and second team All-Redwood Empire. As a senior, Tonascia was Napa’s Captain, and the team’s Back of the Year. He accounted for over 1,200 yards in total offense and made second team All-NBL and second team All-Redwood Empire. As a baseball player, Tonascia played three years as a pitcher and outfielder on two teams that were league co-champions. He made the All-NBL team in 1972 and 1973 and was Captain of the 1973 team. Tonascia made the All-Tournament team at the Santa Rosa Easter Tournament in 1972 and was MVP in that same tournament in 1973. Tonascia made the All-District 8 team and the North All-America High School team. He was drafted in the second round by the California Angels, but opted for an athletic scholarship to the University of Southern California, where he lettered in baseball for four years, was a member of the 1974 National Collegiate Champions, and made All-League in 1977 in the Southern Division of the Pac 8. After college, Tonascia signed a professional contract with the Atlanta Braves and played two seasons in their minor league organization.

Gene Tonascia*

Gene Tonascia was a three-sport star at Napa High School. As a freshman, he played C basketball; as a sophomore, B basketball and B football, and as a junior and senior he played varsity basketball and football. In addition, he was a four-year starter on Napa High varsity baseball teams. He was Captain of the 1943 baseball team. Tonascia was named outstanding back on the 1942 North Bay League co-championship football team. He was an excellent runner and a strong defensive player. He capped off an outstanding football career by intercepting a pass deep in Napa territory after Jim Dykes’ field goal had given Napa a 3-0 lead in the 1942 Big Game against Vallejo. Tonascia’s interception preserved the victory for Napa. Tonascia was 1942-43 Athlete of the Year, recipient of the Blue Blanket Award for his fourth athletic letter, and Student Body President. After graduation, Tonascia went into the Service and became a naval aviator and was an officer on the aircraft carrier U.S. Princeton.

Charles “Bud” Townsend*

Bud Townsend was a four-sport athlete at Napa High School, competing in football, basketball, baseball and track. He played on B football, basketball and track teams as a freshman and moved up to the varsity teams as a sophomore. He contributed to the success of track, baseball and basketball teams during his varsity career, but it was as a running back on the 1938, 1939 and 1940 football teams that Townsend really excelled. As a sophomore, he helped the 1938 team win an NBL title. In 1939, he was named the outstanding back on the team, and in 1940, he was Captain, outstanding back and All-North Bay League. In 1941 Townsend was awarded the All-American Blanket for outstanding leadership, scholarship and athletic ability. He was awarded a Blue Blanket for his fourth athletic letter. Townsend was offered two football scholarships after graduation and chose St. Mary’s, where he was Captain and a standout halfback on the freshman team, and a running back on the varsity team as a sophomore, before joining the Air Force during World War II. He flew 34 missions over Europe as a Bombardier/Navigator. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with three clusters, and the Purple Heart. His war wounds ended his football career and football scholarship.

Don Townsend*

Don Townsend used his left arm to carve out an enviable record in three sports at Napa High and beyond. As a reserve forward on the 1945-46 basketball team, Townsend’s left hand set shot beat Santa Rosa in overtime and helped Napa tie for the league championship. He was a member of the 1946-47 league championship team that went to the first Tournament of Champions. He was a starter for the 1947-48 team and received honorable mention All-League honors. As a freshman, he became eligible for football at the halfway mark of the season and threw a touchdown pass in the team’s only win of the season. In 1946 he threw for eight touchdowns and ran for two more in Napa’s 6-1-2 season. In 1947, he threw five more TDs, while also running two into the endzone himself, leading Napa to a 5-2 record. Again in 1948, he was the star passer, runner and place kicker, and was named first team All-NBL quarterback. As a pitcher, his excellent control and pick-off move paced him to a 4-2 sophomore season. His two losses were 1-0 to Analy, when he allowed one hit, and a loss to Tamalpais when infield errors caused his undoing. In 1947, he was 3-2 including another 1-0 loss to Santa Rosa, and a game against San Rafael in which his mates made eight errors. In 1948, he led Napa to a co-championship with a 5-1 record that included another 1-0 loss and one-, two-, three- and four-hit victories and a 13-strike out victory over Tamalpais. Townsend pitched in the 1948 Examiner All-Star game, on a team chosen from all over Northern California. He played on a High School All-Star football team that played three games in Hawaii against Hawaiian high school teams. He passed the All-Stars to one victory. Townsend went on to U.S.F., where he played one year of football and three outstanding years as a pitcher on the baseball team. A leg injury halted his football career, but his sturdy left arm carried him to a professional baseball career in the St. Louis Cardinal organization.

Eric Tye

Eric Tye played three years of football and baseball at Napa High. He played on junior varsity teams as a sophomore and starred on the varsity teams in his junior and senior years. He was All-NBL honorable mention in 1973 for the co-champion Napa baseball team, and was Captain and second team All-League in 1974. In football, he received All-League honorable mention as a junior and as a senior, was Captain, Most Valuable Player, All-North Bay League, All-Redwood Empire and High School All-American. Tye played two years of football at Napa Junior College and earned All-League honors in both seasons. Tye finished his education at U.C. Davis where he played two years on great teams. The 1977 team went to the semi-finals of the national championship and the 1978 team was a quarter finalist in the national championship tournament. One of his teammates at Napa High said of Tye, “He’s like having a coach on the field.”

Paul Vallerga

Paul Vallerga was a three-sport star at Napa High School in track, basketball and football. He was a starter for one of the best basketball teams in Napa High’s history in 1964 when they won the league championship and lost in the finals of the Tournament of Champions. In 1963 and 1964 Vallerga was two-time league high jump champion, two-time Hollister Tourney high jump champion, and set the Napa High high jump record in 1964. He finished third in the North Coast Section high jump competition. He was a two-year starter for the Indian football team, and in 1963 was named Co-outstanding Back, All-League Flanker Back and Player of the Game against Hogan and Vallejo. He helped lead Napa to a league championship and was named All-North Coast Section Flanker, National Foundation Hall of Fame Scholar Athlete, and 1964 N.H.S. Athlete of the Year. Vallerga continued to add to his laurels at U.C. Santa Barbara, where he set a freshman high jump record and as a senior, finished second in the 1968 college division regionals and tied for sixth in the college division nationals. He was the Outstanding Back on the U.C.S.B. freshman team and a three-year varsity player, where his honors included: Co-captain 1967; first string All-Coast Defensive Back 1966, second team Little All-American Defensive Back 1966, second team All-Coast Flanker 1967, first team Coaches All-America (college division) Defensive Back 1967, Most Valuable Player U.C.S.B. 1966 and 1967. He was selected to play in the North-South Shrine game in 1967 and in the Coaches All-American game in Atlanta in 1968. He was the Santa Barbara Athlete Round Table Athlete of the Year in 1968 and is a member of the U.C.S.B. Hall of Fame. He holds the U.C.S.B. records for most interceptions in a game, season and career. Vallerga signed a professional contract with the San Francisco 49ers in 1968.

Stewart Walkenhorst

Stewart Walkenhorst is the tallest player to star for any Napa High basketball team. His size, combined with his great shooting touch, made him a significant scoring threat in any game. He played three years at Napa. In his junior year, the 1970-71 season, Walkenhorst led the Indians to a league championship and third place finish in the Top of the Bay Classic. He was Napa’s MVP and made the TOBC All-Tournament team and the All-NBL team. As a senior and Co-captain, Walkenhorst again led Napa to the NBL championship and the championship of the Top of the Bay Classic, where he garnered All-Tournament honors for the second consecutive year and added Tournament Most Valuable Player to his awards, while also being named All-NBL for the second straight season. In his senior year, Walkenhorst averaged 22.5 points per game and 17.5 rebounds. He had career high games of 38 points and 30 rebounds, and scored over 1,000 points for Napa High. He made the third team Cal High All-State team as a senior. Walkenhorst continued his career at Brigham Young University, where he earned two varsity letters.

George White*

George White was a three-sport athlete at Napa High who greatly contributed to championship football and baseball teams during his career. White was a starting guard on the 1964-65 and 1965-66 basketball teams. He was a shortstop and pitcher on the 1965 championship baseball team and an All-League shortstop on the 1966 championship team. Coach Dale Fisher said the 1965 team was one of Napa’s all-time best. In 1964, White was the quarterback and defensive safety for the NBL champion Indians and was also selected to the All-League offensive team at quarterback and the All-League defensive team as safety. In 1965, White again quarterbacked the offense and again made the All-League defensive team as a safety. He was chosen as Player of the Week by the Santa Rosa Press Democrat and by a Napa service club. One of the few times in Napa history, one person, White, was named Most Valuable Player and Most Valuable Back, as a member of the 1965 team. In 1965, White and Vic Franco teamed up on an 83-yard pass play. White had two games with over 200 yards in passing, to add to his season total of 1,135 yards and 1,725 for his Hall of Fame career.