During its time in Panther Country, the 1992 Softball team garnered titles and awards, including North Coast Section 3A softball team championship and Bay Valley Athletic League softball championship. The East Bay Preps Writers selected the Panthers as the No. 1 softball team for its 24-3 season record.
The Lady Panthers softball team are truly a grand team, well represented in the Antioch Sports Legends Hall of Fame that features previously individual inductees: Coach John Rebstock (2014), Stephanie Andrews (2016), Tasha Cupp (2017), Melissa Young (2019) and Jennifer Saguindel (2021).
Stephanie Andrews was a dominating pitcher, who allowed just 2 runs over 27 innings playoff innings. She then fired back-to-back shutouts to earn the NCS 3A Softball Championship. She broke the Antioch High softball career wins record with 56 victories and earned two BVAL Championships during her stellar three-year career. She was selected team MVP, first team BVAL, first team All-State and East Bay “Player of the Year.”
Melissa Young was a versatile catcher and infielder who was the top Offensive Player and two-time MVP for the Panthers, earning two BVAL championships. She was selected first team All-BVAL all three years, All-East Bay two years and named to the Contra Costa Times All-Star Team.
Jennifer Saguindel played multiple positons for the Panthers, earning All-BVAL First Team honors as freshmen on the BVAL and NCS championship teams. She was also selected 1st Team All-BVAL her junior year with a season batting average of .345.
Tasha Cupp was a rising star who completed her senior season in 1994 as team MVP, BVAL Player of the Year and 1st Team All-East Bay.
John Rebstock became head coach of the AHS Softball Program in 1989 and led the Panthers to two BVAL Softball Championships and the NCS 3A Softball Team Championship in 1992. Bob Luis served as his assistant coach during their championship seasons.
Ashley Vallis’s athletic career began with a difficult decision, soccer or basketball? Both are winter season sports, but her heart chose soccer. Ashley dreamed of playing soccer in college and believed that participating in track and field would increase her soccer speed and endurance. She was right. A varsity athlete as a freshman in cross country, soccer and track, Ashley demonstrated great prowess.
In soccer Ashley was team captain and 1st Team All-Bay Valley Athletic League four years in a row. As a sophomore in addition to her high school soccer she was recruited to play for the Walnut Creek’s Dynamos Soccer Club where she would play with the top talent in the Bay Area further honing her skills. As a junior she led the Deer Valley soccer team in scoring with 33 goals and 13 assists and as a senior was named BVAL Most Valuable Soccer Player.
In Track and Field Ashley would win the League 800m title 4 straight years, the North Coast Section and Meet of Champions twice and would qualify for the CIF State Track & Field Championships every year of her high school career ranking as high as 13th in the State. In addition she was named one of the Contra Costa Times top 50 female athletes three times and DVHS’s track MVP as a sophomore and junior. She would finish her track career with 11 league, NCS and Meet of Champions victories and by being named Deer Valley High School Female Athlete of the Year.
Ashley received a soccer scholarship to Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. She was named All-Conference her sophomore and senior year and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration.
Today Ashley is a Contra Costa County Deputy Sheriff. She was named 2014 Officer of the Year and received the Bronze Star for rescuing a victim from a burning building.
The 110 Magazine article described Rich Valdez this way” A Big Little Man in Antioch”. It featured all of Valdez’s athletic achievements and focused on his special hometown.
During Rich’s sophomore year he wrestled at 95 lbs. the lowest weight class on the Antioch High School varsity team. His junior year he made the DVAL finals, taking second place and ending the year with a record of 14-1 with 10 pins.
Rich had a big senior year for a little guy. Still competing in the 95lb. weight class Valdez won the 95 lb. DVAL title helping lead the Antioch High wrestling team to its first ever league title. This victory advanced him to the North Coast Region 2 Tournament where he earned an individual North Coast Section championship title. His next stop was the prestigious (CIF) Northern California Invitational Tournament. This was the highest tournament in which a Northern California wrestler could compete. Rich stepped up to the challenge finishing in third place. He ended his senior year with a record of 20 wins and only 2 losses
This Northern California Wrestling Tournament format was in effect from 1962 to 1972. During this period Antioch High School had only three placers at this tournament, Bob Koupeny and Steve Sanchez, both 3rd place in 1967 and Rich Valdez, 3rd place in 1970. With Rich’s induction this year all three are now together in the Antioch Sport Legends Hall of Fame.
Rich was voted the MVP Wrestler for AHS. He was also selected by longtime coach Gerald Palmer to the All-AHS Wrestling Team from 1957 to 1969. Coach Al Kain was Valdez’s coach his senior year.
After high school “The Big Little Man” became a professional jockey. He started as a groomer at Bay Meadows Race Track and rode professionally in California, Oregon, and New York.
If you’ve ever watched the hit movie “The Blind Side” you will understand why the left tackle position in football is probably the most important on the offensive line. He protects the quarterback from being hit from his back side while dropping back to pass. This was Jon Summers’ position as a two- year starter for Stanford University.
In 1983, Jon was the AHS Most Valuable Offensive Lineman on Antioch’s championship football team. He earned a full-ride football scholarship to Stanford University based on outstanding performance on the field and in the classroom. Jon was named first team ALL-DVAL, 2nd Team All-East Bay and named to the prestigious Contra Costa Times “Cream of the Crop” which recognizes the best football players in the East Bay. As a senior he was honored with the Scholar-Athlete Award by the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame and started in the Contra Costa vs Alameda County All-Star game after graduating.
Jon’s head coach at AHS, Tim Galli, had this to say about him. “Between his junior and senior season, Jon made the decision that he was not going to be satisfied with just being a good football player, he wanted to be a great football player. His dedication in the weight room, often lifting twice a day, was remarkable. Jon became one of our team leaders and was an absolute pleasure to coach”.
While at Stanford, Jon was named Offensive Player of the Game vs Oregon in 1987. Jon earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Stanford University while still playing.
After college, Jon joined AT&T, where he has worked for 33 years. He currently serves as their Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer. He and his wife Kathleen have been married 29 years. They have two sons and reside in Dallas, Texas.
Bernard Stephens, this year’s Outstanding Coach Inductee became the Head Track and Field coach at Deer Valley High School in 2000. Arriving with 24 years of prior coaching experience he immediately began to change the culture and expectations of what it meant to be a Deer Valley track and field athlete.
For the next 16 years Bernard would guide both the boys and girls programs to heights never before achieved sending 60 athletes to the California State Track and Field Championships. During a remarkable span from 2007 to 2015 one girls team would finish 7th and 19 athletes and relay teams would place and score points for the Wolverines in the State Finals. That included triple jump champion, Hammed Suleman and three runner-ups, Chizoba Okodogbe and Briana Guillory in the 400 meters along with his 2015 girls 4x400m relay team. Suleman, Okodogbe and Guillory would each go on to become multiple-time College All-Americans at CAL, Oregon, and Iowa respectively.
The single most remarkable State Meet performance by one of Bernard’s athletes may have been turned in by Taiwan Jones who in 2007 placed in both the 100, 200 and both relays. Only one of 2 NCS male athletes ever to place in all 4 events they entered.
Stephen’s teams won 9 Girls NCS Tri Valley Championships. He was voted Contra Costa Times Girls Coach of the Year in 2005 and 2012, North Coast Section Honors Coach in 2010 and received the California Coaches Association, Girls Track and Field Coach of the Year in 2014.
Beyond the athletic honors and championships Bernard Stephens worked to create a safe and caring environment for his athletes. He taught young men and women the importance of sportsmanship and quality work habits while instilling in them the competitive drive to be the best they can be both on the track and in the classroom.
The 2022 All-Around Athlete Inductee is Deer Valley High School’s Taylor Stanton. He was 1st or 2nd Team All-League in all three sports he played. As a senior he was recognized as one of the Top 50 Male Athletes by the CC Times was named Deer Valley’s Senior Athlete of the year
When he was 8, he played on the Under 11 Delta United Soccer Team. That early beginning started a soccer career that lasted throughout high school. He was the team’s Most Valuable Player as a sophomore and 1st Team All-League his junior and senior seasons.
Taylor first began playing football as a freshman. He was the starting varsity quarterback and kicker as a junior and senior and was recognized his senior year by being named 2nd Team All-League.
Under the tutelage of Dennis Luquet and LeRoy Murray he became an outstanding pitcher accumulating a career record ERA of 2.83 with 157 innings pitched, 158 strikeouts and a 17-7 won/loss record which as of 2017 placed him as 3rd best pitcher Wolverine pitcher all-time in terms of wins, strikeouts, saves and innings pitched. He also had a career batting average of .343. These marks would result in a baseball scholarship to St. Mary’s College.
Taylor played for the Gaels for one year and then DVC for an additional year. In 2008 he was drafted in the 26th round by the Seattle Mariners. His 5-year Mariner minor league career would take him all over the country with his highest level playing for the Jackson Generals, the Mariner’s AA franchise. His next stop was the Independent League where he played 4 years for the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks where in 2013 he was named American Association Pitcher of the Year. His 9-year pro record is 61 wins, 53 losses with a 4.14 ERA in 217 games pitched.
Necolia Simmons arrived at Deer Valley High School as a junior. Over the next 2 years she would go on to become one of the best female basketball players in Deer Valley history. As a senior she was named to the Cal High Sports All-State 3rd team averaging 22.8 points and 10 rebounds per game. In her 2 year career Simmons scored 1,298 points and was named to the 1st team All-BVAL and 1st Team All-Bay Area as a junior and senior. After her senior season she was further honored by being named BVAL Girls Player of the Year.
Necolia led the Wolverines to the North Coast Section finals in 2004 and 2005, winning the NCS title her senior year. That resulted in 2 consecutive appearances for Deer Valley in the State Quarter-Final Basketball playoffs.
After graduation Necolia enrolled in San Joaquin Delta Community College where her basketball talents would continue to blossom. She led the Mustangs in scoring and rebounding both years averaging 16.2 points per game and 8 rebounds per game respectively. Simmons was 1st Team All-Conference in 2006 and 2007 and Conference MVP as a freshman. She was named California Community College Co-Player of the Year in 2006 and 2007. Necolia’s sophomore year culminated with the highest award possible when she was named 1st Team Junior College All-American, the only San Joaquin Delta woman basketball player to ever earn this honor.
Simmons received a scholarship to play for the USF Dons after her sophomore season. In 2008 she was 3rd in scoring and led the team in rebounding with 11.2 points per game and 7.3 rebounds per game respectively. She was also named All-WCC Honorable Mention.
After college Necolia played professionally in Spain for 1 year for the Cod.Carmelitas scoring 317 points and averaging 12.2 points per game over a 26-game schedule.
Everett Savoy began his Deer Valley High School track & field journey as a sophomore. That year he would become an integral part of the Deer Valley sprint core helping his team qualify for the State of California CIF Championships in the 4x100m relay beginning a 3 year streak in which he would qualify for the State Meet 5 times. Once in the 4×100 meter relay, twice in 4×400 meter relay and twice in the open 400 meters.
Everett would blossom his junior year where he became the BVAL champion in both the 200 and 400 meters and qualified 2nd in the 400m at the North Coast Section Meet of Champions earning him his first trip to the State Meet as an individual. He also ran a key leg on the NCS winning 4x100m relay team which advanced to the State Meet as well. His season ended by being named Deer Valley Most Valuable Track Performer.
As a senior Everett’s was voted Deer Valley track and field Team Captain and was the recipient of the schools “Big Stuff” award. His 4th place performance at the Meet of Champions would qualify him for his 2nd individual return to the State Meet in the 400 meters and his 2nd return in the 4x400m relay.
After graduation Everett attended San Francisco City College. As a freshman he and his teammates were conference champions and in his sophomore year they won the California State Community College Track And Field Championships.
Everett received a track scholarship from California State Northridge. He continued to run the 200, 400 and both relays for the Matadors and as a senior he finished 3rd in the Big West conference championships running a 400m PR of 47.42
Everett graduated with a double major in Kinesiology and Radiology and served in the military 3 years with the US Army.
As a Deer Valley High School freshman, Malinda Ripley wanted to do something more physical than play softball, like her friends so she did the most obvious thing and chose wrestling. Strange, since there was no girls’ high school wrestling program.
When she showed up for practice at 95 pounds soaking wet her coach Casey Rhyan was quoted as saying “She wanted to wrestle so I just gave her the workout and I didn’t expect that she would keep showing up”. Showing up she did and that perseverance, competing against boys would help her achieve results that she never dreamed of. Malinda credits Coach Rhyan with teaching her discipline, focus and commitment to her craft.
All of the hard work would start paying off her sophomore year in the unofficial State championships in Vallejo where she would finally compete against other girls and win her first State Title. That year she would also become USA Wrestling’s FILA Cadet Champion at 110 pounds.
As a junior she won her 2nd State title and also receive 2nd Team All-American honors by The Mat.com
As a senior she won her 3rd State Title and the USA Wrestling Junior National Title at 110#. She was also recognized by the CIF as a California National Champion.
After graduation Malinda would go on to win the 2003 and 2004 U.S. Senior National Freestyle titles at 121# and in 2004 she qualified for the Olympic Team Trials.
Today, Malinda is the Head Women’s Wrestling Coach at Albany High School and for the last 10 years she has been the Director/Coach/Team Leader for California USA Wrestling. Her California teams have captured 28 National Team titles. Her continuing goal is to develop strong, motivated, disciplined and confident young women through the sport of wrestling.
Most all accomplished golfers start playing at a very young age. Sam Raines was no exception as he played in several Junior Golf Tournaments all over Northern California. As a 14 year old, he finished tied for first in the NorCal Jr Golf Association tournament played at the prestigious Round Hill Country Club. Another one of his many highlights was when he qualified to play in the 1987 United States Junior Amateur Championship played at Singletree Golf Club in Edwards, Colorado. Also while competing for the North in the annual Northern California Golf Association High School Invitational, Sam finished 6th behind first place finisher Scott Olds (ASL 2013 Inductee) and Phil Mickelson who finished third.
When Sam entered Antioch High School, it didn’t take long for the golf team know that they had a future “blue chip” player on their team. As a freshman in 1986, Sam placed 7th in the North Coast Section championships. He followed up his fantastic frosh season with an even more impressive sophomore performance. His 1987 Golf Team won both the NCS and the Northern California Championship. Individually, he tied for 2nd at the NCS. He was First Team All-League (10-11-12) and was team MVP his senior year. In 1989, the AHS golf team received the NCS CIF Distinguished Scholastic Achievement Award. The team achieved a cumulative grade point average of 3.28 while actively participating in interscholastic athletics.
In Sam’s junior year in high school, he was offered a full scholarship to play golf for the United States Military Academy at West Point. He eventually decided to go to Junior College, and he attended San Joaquin Delta College where, in 1990, his team finished second among all of the State’s JC’S.
Currently, Sam lives near Yosemite National Park with his wife Jennifer and their three children.