Gino is arguably the most successful professional athlete to call Antioch High School his alma mater. He played varsity football for the Panthers under Coach Jack Danilovich between 1941-1943. Gino graduated in 1944, at the height of WWII. Following service in the U.S. Army, where he fought in the Battle of the Bulge. Gino was on the 1947 Antioch Hornets semi-pro team prior to playing at Modesto Junior College and then the University of San Francisco from 1949-1952. During 1951, the Dons were undefeated. He began his illustrious pro career with the 1952 New York Yanks, which became the Dallas Texans, and eventually moved to Baltimore to become the Colts in 1953. Gino spent 13 seasons with the Baltimore Colts, wearing the famous #89 jersey from 1953-1966, helping them win NFL championships in 1958 and 1959. The 1958 game is best known for Gino’s refusal to leave the field after breaking his leg. As team captain, he insisted on staying on the sidelines to support his teammates against the New York Giants. His broken leg left him out of the Pro Bowl that year, interrupting his string of nine Pro Bowl appearances. The Associated Press named him the NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 1958. Gino played in 10 Pro Bowls and was the 1963 Pro Bowl MVP. Gino ranks among the greatest NFL defensive ends; elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame (1972), All-Madden Millennium Team (2000), NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team and NFL All-Time Team (2000) and in 1999 was named to the Sporting News’ list of 100 Greatest Football Players, ranking at number 15.
Duane had a lengthy career as both player and coach in the National Football League, but got his first taste of success as a member of the undefeated AHS Panther football squad of 1945 under Coach Jack Danilovich. That year’s prep performance earned the tackler a spot on the Contra Costa County First Team. Following two years in the Army on the tail of WWII, Duane went on to a stellar four-year varsity career at College of the Pacific (now University). While earning his teaching certificate in the early 1950s. His athletic honors earned enshrinement in the UOP Hall of Fame; he was also on the All-Coast Team, All-America Team, and captain in the Sun Bowl. Duane’s pro career began with the L.A. Rams in 1952, where he spent his first eight years in the NFL. He then spent a season as a Dallas Cowboy and a year with the Cleveland Browns before returning to Los Angeles to finish his 11th pro season while playing in 121 games. Duane was selected All-Pro five time before he retired from active playing and began a new career as an NFL coach, spending 11 years divided between the Atlanta Falcons, Philadelphia Eagles and St. Louis Cardinals.
Ron represented Antioch High School well in 1965, becoming the East Bay Player of the Year, and went on to a nearly decade-long career in the NFL. In his senior year, the gifted prep running back was All-County, All-League, All-Metropolitan, All-Northern California and an Honorable Mention All-America selection in addition to being named East Bay Football Player of the Year. He was chosen to play in the 1965 North-South Shrine Game. The honors continued while at Arizona State University where Ron was an All-America honorable mention and named to the All-Western Conference team as a linebacker in 1966 and 1967. He earned full All-America team honors in 1968, when he was tapped to play in the College All-Star game, Hula Bowl, Senior Bowl, and East-West Shrine Game, where he was named top Defensive player. Ron was named to the Sun Devils’ All-Time Football team and to the All-Time Western Athletic Conference team. The 1969 first round draft pick was scooped up by the Houston Oilers and later played for Cincinnati. He was a starter for seven out of nine pro seasons playing for the two teams between 1969-1977. Following his playing days, Ron was inducted into the Arizona State and College Football Halls of Fame and chosen by the Contra Costa Times for its East Bay All-time High School Football Team.
The baseball, football and basketball teams all looked to Butch’s leadership – and golden arm-in 1961-62. He was an Antioch quarterback and pitched on the baseball team. Butch also played basketball, scoring 200 points his senior year. He was named All Nor-Cal and unanimous First Team All-League. The three-sport star was Athlete of the Year at Antioch in 1962. Fresno State University offered him a scholarship for basketball. After one season he transferred to Diablo Valley College where he played basketball, baseball and football. He was named Golden Gate All-Conference quarterback in 1963. In baseball, his ERA of 1.84 became the fourth all-time lowest in 50 years at DVC. Butch was DVC’s Athlete of the Year in 1964. He finally settled for one sport – baseball. He signed with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1965. In 1968 he led the Eastern league with most wins (14), most shutouts (6), most completed games (14) and an ERA of 1.76. Butch was the first Antioch player to break into major league baseball when he made his White Sox pitching debut against Minnesota on April 7, 1970. He won 62 minor league games in his professional career. In 2006, “Big Righty” was named to Reading, Pennsylvania’s “AA” Hall of Fame as one of the best all-time pitchers.