Santa Cruz High School
Athletics Hall of Fame
1920s - 1950s
1922 - Leo Harris
Leo Harris was an all-around SCHS athlete who particularly excelled in football. He was considered the best defensive back in the league. Following high school, he went on to Stanford, lettered in 1925 and 1926, when he was named All-Coast tackle. He also played for the Santa Cruz Legion team and military teams in the area. He went on to coach football and basketball at Fresno High School for five years. His football teams made the Valley section finals for three years; his basketball teams won five league titles. He moved to Fresno State College, where he was the head basketball coach and frosh football coach. Harris moved on to become athletic director at the University of Oregon for 25 years.
1924 - Tony “Duke” Valine
Tony “Duke” Valine had an outstanding athletic career at Santa Cruz High. He was a three-year letterman and starting back on a co-champion football team, starting guard on a co-champion basketball team and a starting first baseman. He also qualified for the North Coast Section meet in the discus and shot put, becoming a four-sport letterman in his senior year. He went to on play football at Santa Clara University, earning All-Coast and All-American honors. He later became director of civil defense.
1928 - John Caldwell
John Caldwell, a three-sport letterman, was considered an outstanding all-around athlete. In track, he excelled in the javelin and discus, setting league records in each event and qualifying for the NCS and state meets numerous time. He also was an outstanding football and basketball player, lettering for three years in each sport. He was the All-CCAL basketball center as a senior, when was first string on three championship teams and was a key player on each. He also played baseball during his junior and senior years.
1930 - Henry Leibbrandt
Henry Leibbrandt was a four-sport letterman who particularly excelled in football and basketball. Always a team and campus leader, he was named to the All-CCAL football and basketball teams as a senior. He also was a solid varsity baseball player, earning All-CCAL honorable mention honors as a senior. “Hank” also competed on the varsity track team. He went on to play basketball for San Jose State College where he was a top scorer.
1933 - Manuel Netto
Manuel Netto was a dominant SCHS athlete as a junior and senior in 1932 and 1933. He was selected to the All-CCAL baseball teams both years and as a senior was the ace pitcher and captain of the league champion Cardinal team. Also as a senior, he was a unanimous selection as the All-League basketball center. In track and field, he qualified for the North Coast Section and State meets in the discuss.
1935 - Brad Lynn
Brad Lynn gave an indication of his athletic prowess as a freshman when he set the school’s lightweight record in the discus. Brad went on to star in football and basketball as well, making the All-CCAL team in both sports. He later played halfback at Notre Dame. Following graduation, Brad joined the University of San Francisco football coaching staff. He was Head Coach Joe Kuharich’s top assistant and recruiter on the famed undefeated 1951 Dons’ team.
1935 - Bill “Whipper” Clemensen
Bill “Whipper” Clemensen was a pitching phenomenon for the Cardinal varsity team, consistently mowing down CCAL opponents with a blazing fastball. At once stretch in his Cardinal career, he pitched 39 innings in five league games and struck out 51 batters. He also was an outstanding halfback on the Cardinal varsity team and a starter on the basketball team. As a 16-year-old senior, a semi-pro baseball team, the Fidelity Hams, offered him a contract, but he turned it down. He went on to play for the Santa Cruz American Legion team and continued his dominance in that league. The Hams came calling again, and he signed. In 1936, the San Francisco Chronicle called him “the best young pitcher” in the Seals Stadium League. He went on to the Golden State Bees and finished his career with the National League Pittsburgh Pirates.
1940 - Dick Voris
Dick Voris was a three-year starter on the Cardinal varsity football team. In his senior year, he was the Cards’ leading player, starting at center and lineback. He was co-captain and was the lone Card on the All-CCAL team. He was a fine golfer and also participated in track. Dick went to Hartnell and played in the Rose Bowl for the state junior college championship in 1942. Following his play at San Jose State, Dick enjoyed a sterling coaching career, including the following stops: Hartnell (head coach), Los Angeles Rams (assistant), Army (assistant), Virginia (head), Green Bay Packers (ends), San Francisco 49ers (assistant), St. Louis Cardinals (defensive line/linebackers) Detroit Lions (defensive line), Baltimore Colts (defensive coordinator), New York Jets (defensive coordinator) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (linebackers). He retired in 1976.
1943 - Dick Fassio
Dick Fassio was a talented SCHS athlete, whose interscholastic career was curtailed because of World War II. As a sophomore, he was a starting forward on the varsity team and led the Cards in scoring. The next year, he was the Cards’ starting center on the 10-1 CCAL championship team. He had a brilliant floor game and was a crack outside shooter and rebounder. He was an All-CCAL selection and set the SCHS individual scoring record with 138 points. Both San Francisco newspapers, the Chronicle and the Examiner, named him Northern California’s outstanding player. He also excelled in baseball as the Cards’ ace pitcher and power hitter. As a senior, he no-hit Carmel. Dick batted cleanup and played left field when not pitching. There were no interscholastic sports in 1943. Fifty boys turned out for football and were divided into four teams. Dick was named a captain, and the teams competed on an intra-mural basis.
1944 - Malcolm Macaulay
Malcolm Macaulay in four years at SCHS won 14 letters, four in basketball, three each in track and football, and two each in baseball and golf. He started in the backfield and was captain of the 1944 varsity football “dream team,” turning in the season’s longest run from scrimmage – 80 yards. He was one of eight Cards named to the All-CCAL team. As a senior, he was captain of the lightweight basketball team and was unanimously selected All-CCAL, repeating an honor he earned as a junior. He also was the NCS lightweight track meet points leader, winning the 220, broad jump and running a leg of the winning relay team.
1945 - Len Noren
Len Noren was a gifted athlete who had great success at SCHS and the years following his graduation. As a senior in 1945, Len was All-CCAL in both basketball and baseball and was captain of the football, basketball and baseball teams. He also was a sprinter on the track team. In 1945, in seven league games he struck out an average of 13 batters, giving up 1.4 hits and 0.43 runs a game. Against Watsonville, he struck out 19 of the 22 batters he faced. In 1944 as a junior, was a running back on the football team, averaging seven yards a carry. He was All-CCAL football and he was All-CCAL honorable mention in basketball. There was no official CCAL baseball season that year because of WWII. However, he was the team’s ace pitcher and consistently overpowered opposing players on the mound. In one game, he no-hit Monterey and struck out 18. Len went on to play Triple-A baseball and extended his professional career by playing several positions. His career ended as the San Francisco Seals’ first baseman in the Pacific Coast League. He then managed in the minor leagues for a number of years.
1945 - Ed Dysle
Ed Dysle by one newspaper account was known as “the rock” because of his strength and toughness as a Cardinal fullback and defensive lineman. He played both positions on the 1944 league championship team and played the same positions as a senior when he was selected All-League. He also started on the championship 1945 baseball team, catching Len Noren. Ed went on to play football at Hartnell where was a Junior College All-American. He later played for the University of Nevada.
1945 - Ed Withrow
Ed Withrow was the starting quarterback on the varsity football team and earned All-CCAL honors following his season of long runs, including a 76-yard romp and a 65-yard punt return against Salinas. He also had a 95-yard return for a touchdown against Monterey. Dick also started on the varsity basketball team, and was the starting right-fielder on the 7-0 varsity baseball team. Ed also ran track, competing in the 220-yard low hurdles and the 100-yard dash. He was first in the low hurdles in the CCAL meet.
1947 - Roy Jonson
Roy Jonson was named to the All-CCAL football teams as a sophomore and senior tailback and the All-League basketball teams as a junior and senior. He was the starting varsity baseball shortstop for three years. Roy also won the high hurdles in the CCAL track finals, earning his way into the NCS championship meet.
1949 - Ted Wittwer
Ted Wittwer was one of the Cardinals’ leading distance runners of the decade. He qualified for the Central Coast Section finals three times and the state finals twice. As a senior at the CCS finals, he finished second in the mile and qualified for the state meet, where was third. In that meet, he went against four runners who had registered better times. As a junior and senior, he also was a starting guard on the Cardlets’ basketball team, being name All-CCAL as a senior.
1953 - Pete Likins
Pete Likins was the captain of the Cardinal team that won the CCAL’s first wrestling championship. He was a Northern California champion and went on to win the state title in his weight class. He also was an All-CCAL lightweight football selection twice and was co-captain of the Cardinals’ championship team in 1953. It marked the first time SCHS had won the title in 20 years. Pete was a three-year wrestling letterman at Stanford, taking second place in the Pacific Coast Intercollegiate Championships at 137 pounds. He later became president of the University of Arizona.
1953 - Rich Montgomery
Rich Montgomery was named to the All-CCAL varsity basketball team as a junior and senior. Noted as a fine all-around player, he made the San Francisco Chronicle’s All-North Coast team while the Examiner selected in as honorable mention. Rich went on to play at Santa Clara University, where he was first-team All-CBA (WCAC) in 1956 and second team in 1957. He then played for Gennastica Triestina in Italy, where he had a solid career.
1955 - Helen Kingdom
Helen Kingdom was an all-around athlete who excelled in everything she did at Santa Cruz High School. She was outstanding across SIX girls’ intramural sports; including volleyball, basketball, hockey, soccer, softball and bowling, at a time when athletic opportunities for women were much more limited than they are now.
1955 - Esther (Frizza) Wilson
Esther (Frizza) Wilson was one of the most dominant female athletes of her time! She was particularly accomplished in tennis, winning the Santa Cruz County Junior Tennis Tournament’s women’s championship from 1953 to 1955. Esther also was her senior class salutatorian, earning honors in math and the UC alumni scholarship
1955 - Ed Ferrell
Ed Ferrell was one of the most successful wrestlers in SCHS history. As a senior in 1955, he was CCAL champion and went on to first-place finishes in the NCS and NCI tournaments. During his four years competing in the 165-pound class, he was the CCAL’s top wrestler. He won numerous tournament championships, including the noted San Jose Invitational as a junior in 1954. He went on to success at Cabrillo College and San Jose State College and later became a force in the Santa Cruz County wrestling community. In 2011, he was named to the California Wrestling Association’s Hall of Fame.
1957 - Bob Vega
Bob Vega was a multi-talented athlete who stood out, especially in baseball. As a senior, he was selected All-CCAL in both basketball and baseball, where his leadership and defensive skills were evident. He was an excellent starting guard on the Cards’ varsity basketball team and also excelled in football. After SCHS, he played semi-pro baseball with the Santa Cruz Seahawks, hitting over .500 for two season. After playing for the Elk Padres, he joined the Navy in 1958 and continued to play baseball at Mare Island and in Hawaii. He had a spring-training tryout with Portland of the Pacific Coast League.
1957 - Jack Knight
Jack Knight was a versatile SCHS athlete who excelled in football, basketball and track. He was an All-CCAL football player as a junior and senior, when he was selected to play in the prestigious North-South game in the Rose Bowl. He later played football at Oregon State University. In 1959, he entered Cabrillo College and played football, basketball and baseball. It was then on to Fresno State College, where he played fullback for 10-0 team in 1961. Jack later coached in Paradise, CA, and then returned to Santa Cruz. He coached football, basketball and golf at Soquel High School.
1957 - Phil Netto
Phil Netto was one of the most dominating SCHS basketball players during the 1950s. He was selected to the All-CCAL teams as a junior and senior, when he led the league in scoring with a 15.3-point-per-game average. He also was the league’s leading rebounder. After SCHS, Phil played at Hartnell College and in the service. Long after this graduation, he was an avid supporter of SCHS athletics, particularly the Dads Club Basketball Tournament.
1958 - Angelo Ross
Angelo Ross was known as an excellent ball handler and tenacious defender while playing at SCHS. He made the All-CCAL lightweight team as a junior and the All-League varsity team as a senior. He declined a basketball scholarship offer from UC Riverside and instead attended San Jose State College. There, he earned his general secondary teaching credential along with several scholastic honors. Angelo returned home and began a storied career as a teacher and coach. He taught and coached at Mission Hill Junior High School from 1964-2000. He also coached football at Holy Cross High School, Marello Prep and Palma High in Salinas. With his long-time friend Norm Costa, he helped lead Palma to 28 league championships and 11 CCS titles. Palma High inducted him to its Hall of Fame in 2000. He also coached basketball at Holy Cross and Marello Prep and was an assistant baseball coach at SCHS, helping the Cards to the 1989 league title. Angelo also was a familiar face around local youth leagues. He coached Pony and Colt leagues for 30
1959 - John Kirby
John Kirby, as one newspaper report noted, was “the finest back in modern SC history.” Kirby was a bruising runner who rambled through CCAL defenses during his junior and senior years, when earned All-CCAL honors. He was the offensive star of the undefeated 1958 Cardinal team that was ranked No. 1 in Northern California. He was named to the All-Northern California First team, All-Coast First Team, Wigwam Wisemen All-American team and was MVP of the North-South Shrine All-Star game. Additional honors came when he was named to the Nationwide All-American team as well as the Sporting News All-American team. The San Francisco Chronicle and Examiner selected him as the Prep Football Player of the Year. John was a football starter as a sophomore and also played defensive back. He also excelled in basketball and baseball, where he was known as the Cards’ long-ball-hitting first baseman. John went on to Oregon State College where he was the starting fullback. There, he sustained a career-ending injury. John helped start the Santa Cruz Pop Warner football league and the Scotts Valley Little League. The later taught and coached football and baseball at King City High School.
1959 - Wally Hicks
Wally Hicks also was a key player on the Northern California No. 1 Cardinal football team. A massive lineman, he earned All-CCAL honors as a junior and senior. He also was selected to the All-Northern California and All-North Coast teams and played in the North-South Shrine All-Star game. Wally also received honorable mention recognition on the Wigwam Wisemen All-American team. He went on to play at the University of California-Berkeley.
1959 - Ken Negro
Ken Negro was one of the “Touchdown Twins,” along with John Kirby on the famed 1958 Northern California champion Cardinal football team. A three-year starter, Negro was among the Cards’ rushing leaders as a junior and as a senior was the CCAL’s rushing, scoring and total offense leader. The 185-pound halfback rushed for 863 yards for a 5.8-yard per carry average. His break-out game was against Berkeley when he rushed for 178 yards and scored four touchdowns. The San Francisco Examiner named him “Back of the Week” for that performance, noting he was Nor Cal’s scoring leader at the time. Negro also was a starting pitcher and outfielder for the Cardinals’ varsity baseball team, finishing each season among pitching and hitting leaders. He received football scholarship offers from Washington, Washington State, Oregon and Utah but chose to join Kirby at Cabrillo College. He was a leading rusher and receiver until his broke his hand. Following their freshman year, Negro and Kirby left for Oregon State but Negro returned to Cabrillo, saying he didn’t like the Beavers’ single-wing offense. He again succeeded at Cabrillo but was hampered by a nagging leg injury.
1959 - Fred McPherson III
Fred McPherson III was a skilled and versatile Cardinal athlete who shined on the football field and baseball diamond. He was an All-CCAL split end on the Cardinals’ 1958 Northern California football team, and a three-year starting pitcher on the varsity baseball team, including four consecutive wins against rival Watsonville in the old four-school CCAL, considered one of the top leagues in Northern California. As a senior in 1959, he was the Cardinals’ go-to pitcher and was his team’s ERA leader as well as a leading hitter. He also won the Cards’ varsity baseball sportsmanship award that year. Fred went on to Cabrillo College, where he started at quarterback, passing for 955 yards and nine touchdowns. He also was the Seahawks’ leading pitcher and won All-Coast Conference honors. He then transferred to Utah State, where he was a backup quarterback. He also pitched and compiled a 3-4 record. Fred then moved on to Fresno State where he was a standout pitcher and hitter on the junior varsity team, complying with out-of-state residency rules. He graduated from Fresno State and later became publisher of the Santa Cruz Sentinel.
1959 - James Smith
James Smith became a varsity basketball starter as sophomore and went on to dominate CCAL opponents for three years. From the start, he showed exceptional shooting and ball-handling skills. In his junior and senior, having grown to 6’-5”, he recorded games of 36, 37 and 38 points. In one game, he scored 29 points in the first Half. During his three years at SCHS, James scored 1,073 points, averaging 16.4 a game. He was All-CCAL as a junior and senior, when he also was selected to the All-Northern California, All-Coast and All-American teams. James also was a nearly-scratch golfer and an accomplished tennis player. He went on to play first-string basketball for the California Bears.
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