The Antioch Sports Legends inducted the “Class of 2018” on October 6th. This is the twelfth class of inductees to be enshrined at the Sports Legends Hall of Fame located on the bottom floor of the Antioch Historical Museum, 1500 West Fourth Street in Antioch. Admission is FREE. The Twelfth Induction Gala had a record turnout of 381, as Interim Coordinator Gary Bras (HOF 2015 Team, AHS Track & Field 1979) executed a flawless performance as Master of Ceremonies. Legends Weekend was kickoffed with the Alumni Golf Tournament on Friday, October 5th at Lone Tree Golf Course. The turnament now in it's seventh year, chaired by Alumni President Steve Parks (HOF 2015, HOF Team 2009, AHS Baseball 1970), had a record 87 golfers tee up at the noon tee-up. The tournament was open to the public and was followed by a cheerful social for golfers and friends where beverages and appetizers were served.
This year’s class includes 13 individual athletes from Antioch and Deer Valley High Schools, a coach, community leader and a championship team. The new inductees are;
Jennifer Abernathy, Volleyball DVHS 2002; Team and league MVP, All-BVAL, All Metro, 2nd team All-State. Went on to an amazing career at the University of Arizona earning All-Pac 10 and 3rd team All-American honors her senior season. Played professionally for two years in Puerto Rico and Italy.
Rebecca Beal, All-Around Female Athlete, AHS 1994; All-BVAL in swimming and water polo where she led her Panther teammates to an undefeated season and North Coast Section Championships in 1994 when she was named 2nd team All-American. She went on to letter four years in both swimming and water polo as a scholarship athlete at San Diego State University.
Jim Boccio, Sr., Community Leader Recipient, AHS 1943; Captain and MVP his senior season in football at AHS, Boccio has been a community leader for over 70 years, serving in numerous ways including chairman of the cannery lady statue committee, president of AHS Parents Club and Holy Rosary Church Dad’s Club, five time president of the Antioch Historical Society and a Co-Founder of the Antioch Sports Legends Program.
Chris Hernandez, Cross-Country AHS 1999; a three time 1st Team All-BVAL and three time 1st Team All-North Coast Section runner led the mighty Panthers to a NCS Championship his senior year. He is the only male AHS runner to qualify and run in the California State Cross Country Meet three consecutive years. Named to the top 100 Athletes by the Contra Costa Times.
Eric Johnson, Football AHS 1999; The top Male Athlete and Valedictorian his senior year this all around athlete was selected All-BVAL, All-Metro and second team All-State as a kicker and punter. He went on to be a three year starter at Stanford as a punter where he was selected 2nd Team All-Pac 10 and the Cardinal’s Special Teams MVP his senior season. Also lettered in golf two years at Stanford.
Dan Kaleialii, Football AHS 1982; a two time All-DVAL 1st team selection on both offense and defense. Dan added first team All-East Bay and All-Northern California honors his senior season. He was a team captain and the winner of the Gino Marchetti Award, honoring the top lineman at AHS. Dan went on to be named to the All-Conference and All-Coast teams at Los Medanos College before transferring to UC Berkeley.
Lindsay Lopez, Basketball DVHS 2001; A three sport star at Deer Valley she excelled on the basketball court being named team MVP and All-BVAL her junior and senior season. She added All-Metro and Contra Costa Times Top 100 Athletes her senior season when she led the region in scoring and was honored with the United States Army Outstanding Scholar-Athlete. She went on to a fabulous four year career at St. Mary’s College where she was a two time team captain. Lindsay is now principal at Antioch Middle School.
Mark Miller, Golf AHS 1969; a team MVP at AHS, Diablo Valley College and the University of the Pacific, twice. Miller has been one of the most decorated amateur golfers in the area and all of Northern California over the past 40+ years winning many tournaments on the local, regional and national stage. Five time winner of the Antioch City Championship and three time Northern California Senior Player of the Year.
Chris Munoz, All-Around Male Athlete, AHS 1985; Earned 8 varsity letters and was a member of six DVAL Champion teams at AHS. Was All-League, All-East Bay and selected to play in the Contra Costa-Alameda All-Star game in football, team captain in basketball and second team and most improved player in baseball. He starred in both football and baseball at Los Medanos College after his fabulous prep career.
Janie Nolan, Cross Country, AHS 2002; This class valedictorian is the one of the greatest female cross country runners in the history of Antioch. A three-time All-League and three time All North Coast Section first teamer and State Meet qualifier. She took 2nd at the Cross Country State meet as a sophomore and led her team to a third place finish at State. Although she battled a severe illness her last two years she ran in four state meets combining cross country and track. She went on to graduate from Harvard University.
Lou Panzella, Volleyball Coach AHS & DVHS; This year’s coach to be inducted won an amazing 1,035 matches and had a 77.2 winning percentage in leading both the girls and boys volleyball programs at both Antioch and Deer Valley High Schools spanning a period from 1989-2015. He won over 15 league championships and five North Coast Section titles and ended his prep coaching career with an unbelievable 113 consecutive BVAL matches without a loss. He is currently heading the women’s volleyball program at LMC.
Mike Pirozzoli, Football AHS 1963; Was All-League, All-Metro, All-Northern California and chosen as an alternate in the very prestigious North-South Shrine game as a senior offensive guard and linebacker. He won the National Football Scholar Athlete award and earned a full scholarship to the University of the Pacific. At UOP he was a three year starting linebacker earning the “Tiger” Award once and the Eddie LeBaron award twice, commemorating the most outstanding scholar athlete. He graduated with honors from UOP’s Pharmacology School in 1968.
Sean Ponce, Wrestling AHS 1988; From being a U.S. Greco-Roman Cadet Champion as a youth to earning Academic All-American at BYU, Ponce enjoyed a very decorated wrestling career that spanned nearly 20 years. A three time BVAL champ that never lost a league match on his way to wrestling in two State Meets. Ponce also was a very accomplished football player at both Antioch High and Brigham Young University. Dr. Ponce now is a General Practitioner in the greater Salt Lake City area.
Carly Roman, Baseball AHS 1989; The slick fielding infielder batted a jaw dropping .692 in league play his senior year leading his Panther team to a BVAL title. He was All-League, All-East Bay and All-State while being named to the Lesher Sports All-Star team and the Athlete of the Year for Baseball by the Tribune. He was a two time All-Conference player at LMC where he was named the Outstanding Male Athlete in 1991.
Jackie Wong, Softball AHS 2002; This three time All-BVAL performer led her team for three consecutive years capping her senior year as team captain. She was All-Area and earned Top 50 Female Athletes by the Contra Costa Times. She received a scholarship to the University of Utah where she starred for four years culminating with All-American honors as a senior. She played one year in Major League Softball where she was a starter in the All-Star game.
1995 AHS Baseball Team; This year’s championship team to be inducted finished the season ranked #1 in the state in the California Coaches Poll and 5th in nation by Baseball America. They won the BVAL and North Coast Section titles with an amazing 23-2 record. The team featured four past individual inductees of the Antioch Sports Legends Hall of Fame; Manuel Bermundez and Aaron Miles (2014), Brian Oliver (2015) and Coach John Whitman (2012).
The new inductees’ displays are available to view on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 1:00-4:00 beginning on October 6th. For the twelfth year the event sold out, be sure to get your tickets early September of 2019.
Antioch Sports Legends is a program of the Antioch Historical Society and honors Antioch sports heroes. Volunteer and Sponsorship opportunities are available by calling (925) 757-1326.