Mike Glines, escorted to the podium by Central Catholic Raiders cheerleaders, stole the show at the 41st Outstanding Athlete Awards Banquet.
A crowd of more than 400, the largest OAA turnout in years, honored Stanislaus County's top athletes of 2007. They were inspired to come to the Sportsmen of Stanislaus Club, however, by Glines, who recently ended the most successful football coaching career in city history.
"The three ingredients to be a great coach are a patient wife, a loyal dog and a great running back," he told the crowd which included dozens of his former players. "There is something very special in a coach-player relationship that lasts forever."
Fresno State quarterback Tom Brandstater, a graduate of Turlock High, continued the football theme by being named the Athlete of the Year in the college-open division.
"It is an unbelievable honor to be on the same list with all the great athletes over the years," Brandstater said.
The women's winner was Grace Davis product Ashley Walker, the All-Pacific 10 Conference star at Cal. T.J. Walker Sr., Ashley's father, accepted the award while Walker and the Golden Bears prepared for the postseason in Berkeley.
In the high school division, Riverbank's state cross country champion German Fernandez and Downey's Olympic swimming hopeful Karlee Bispo received the top honors.
New ground was trod Wednesday night on three fronts:
Walker became the ninth athlete to annex the top OAA awards in both the high school and open divisions. She won in the prep category in 2004.
Walker and older brother T.J. Walker Jr. are the first brother-sister tandem to win on OAA night. Walker Jr. won in 1993.
Fernandez is only the second Riverbank product to claim the top high school prize. Multi-sports star Larry Kasinger (1981) was the first.
Ashley Walker topped Cal State Stanislaus softball stars Jessica Gaumnitz and Megan Law in the women's open.
Brandstater edged Modesto bull rider Ted Bert and Modesto Junior College pitcher Brodie Downs in the men's open.
Joining Bispo among the girls high school finalists were Jodi Hanson (Johansen water polo), Juliana Santos and Kara Spinelli (Orestimba softball) and Kayla Xavier (Johansen track and field).
Fernandez outvoted an impressive group of prep finalists: Rudi Burtschi (Oakdale football and wrestling), Eli Davis (Turlock Christian football, basketball and baseball), Sam Smith (Turlock golf) and Andy Stueve (Central Catholic baseball).
The rest of the awards list:
HALL OF FAME — Former UCLA star and Olympian Dave Ashleigh, the engineer of a swimming and water polo dynasty at MJC from 1971 to '98, became the 32nd inductee to the Hall of Fame. Like Glines, Ashleigh — a resident of Catalina — also was surrounded by many of the athletes he coached.
DARELL PHILLIPS — LeAnn Millar, who guided Cal State Stanislaus to five women's basketball conference titles and 338 wins between 1981 and 2001, received the coaches award named after the late Bee sports editor. She issued a special thank-you to Stanislaus golf coach and former Warrior athletic director Jim Hanny, 83, who hired her.
JAY PATTEE — Will Keener was honored posthumously with the OAA award for public service to the sports community. Keener, the longtime sports information director at Cal State Stanislaus, served on the OAA selection committee for 28 years before his death in 2006. He also received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the College Sports Information Directors of America. Blanche Keener, Will's widow, accepted.
TOM MELLIS SCHOLARSHIPS — Student-athletes Katie Drueen (Modesto High), Jacqueline Holt (Pitman) and Marcus Garcia (Turlock Christian) each received $2,500 grants.
TOM MOORE — Gregg Miller, Moore's successor as director of the California Invitational Relays, was presented by longtime Relays official Bill Moorad.
"It (Modesto) still feels like a small town. It's the spirit of Tom Moore that lives on," Miller said.
|Prep Division |
|2007 — German Fernandez, Karlee Bispo.|
2006 — Louis Bland, Marina Martinez.
2005 — Billy Murphy, Maria Sanchez.
2004 — Mike Hurst, Ashley Walker.
2003 — Deshon Brown, Julianna Uhrik.
2002 — Justin Moye, Omaira Estremera.
2001 — Brianne Ferguson, Byron Storer.
2000 — Chuck Hayes, Reshundra Smiley.
1999 — Luke Bell, Shannon Donnelly.
1998 — Justin Willingham, Wendy Watkins.
1997 — Ryan Carter, Christine Zador.
1996 — Tony Lomelli, Vanessa Morris.
1995 — Josh Ichord, Kari Abbey.
1994 — Oscar Castaneda, Holly Yost.
1993 — T.J. Walker, Sara Norwood.
1992 — Ryan Green, Jill Endicott.
1991 — Kyle Porter, Suzy Powell.
1990 — Tisha Venturini, Steve Soderstrom.
1989 — John Belew.
1988 — Dana Arnold.
1987 — Christy Pohl.
|1986 — Kelly McMurray.|
1985 — Tim Baker.
1984 — Raymond Lankford.
1983 — Brad Brink.
1982 — Dennis Wend.
1981 — Lynn Henderson.
1980 — Kirk Barry.
1979 — Carrie McLaughlin.
1978 — Larry Kasinger.
1977 — Rick Arnold.
1976 — Tim Holmes.
1975 — John Azevedo.
1974 — Doug Streeter.
1973 — Arlen Peters.
1972 — Joe Zimmerman.
1971 — Lynn Zwahlen.
1970 — Asvaldo Bertolotti.
1969 — Max Goldstein.
1968 — Rick Jones.
1967 — Balvino Irizarry.
|Open Division |
|2007 — Tom Brandstater, Ashley Walker.|
2006 — Byron Storer and Bryan Haile, Vanessa Stanfield.
2005 — Ryan Thornberry and Jeff Burda, Breanna Vaughan.
2004 — Chuck Hayes, Chaunte Mitchell.
2003 — Lucais MacKay, Alison Cox.
2002 — Wade Wheatley, Diljeet Mendoza.
2001 — Matt Bettencourt, Shannon Donnelly.
2000 — Mike Thiessen, Barbara Miller.
1999 — Kenny Roberts Jr., Katy Joslin.
1998 — E.J. Jackson.
1997 — Dan Reichert.
1996 — Suzy Powell.
1995 — Mark Garcia.
1994 — Carrie Neugebauer.
1993 — Jimmy Filice.
1992 — Raymond Lankford.
1991 — Tisha Venturini.
1990 — John Kocinski.
1989 — Kirsten Dumford.
1988 — Greg Wakefield.
1987 — Andre Weiglein.
|1986 — Dana Arnold.|
1985 — Yolande Mavity.
1984 — Doug Burke.
1983 — Dot Jones.
1982 — Jeff Blobaum.
1981 — Tyke Peacock.
1980 — John Rade.
1979 — John Azevedo.
1978 — Bill Hurst.
1977 — Rusty Kuntz.
1976 — Laura Siering.
1975 — Leo Camarillo.
1974 — Frank Duffy.
1973 — Kenny Roberts.
1972 — Ace Berry.
1971 — Claude Terry.
1970 — Joe Rudi.
1969 — Jack McCoy.
1968 — Dave Maggard.
1967 — Ron Whitney.
Will Keener, Jerry Streeter, Bob Stuhlman, Mike Glines, Paul Cooper, Ismail Ontiveros, Dave Gomes, Lee Hampson, John Bava, Glen Streeter, Bobby Cole, Jack Koski, Dick Peterson, Bill Silva, Chuck Hughes, Robert Carson, Larry Inderbitzen, Rev. Michael Kelly, Al Brenda, Frank Godinez, William "Bill" Stivers, Ralph "Lefty" York, George Costa, Frank Russo, Ezio "Atch" Pedretti, Ralph Johnson, Frank Salas, Joe Meyers, Leon Lafaille, Tom Mellis, Dick Windemuth, Gil Prouty, Herb Staggs, Ed Jalli, Jim Riddle, Tom Moore, George Maroney, Fred Earle Jr., Stan Pavko.
Hall of Fame
Dave Ashleigh, Bill Heaston, Visco Grgich, Proverb Jacobs, Jim Hanny, Paul Wiggin, Bruce Coslet, Paul "Red" Ellman, Dean Sensenbaugh, Susan Taylor, Chuck Hughes, Karl Finch, John Rade, Bill Werle, Jeff Winans, Gino Marchetti, Bill Heath, Paul Larson, Jim McDonald, Claude Terry, Kenny Roberts, Joe Rudi, Tom Moore, Harvey Hand, Wilbur "Moose" Thompson, Emerson "Bud" Spencer, John Podesto, Dave Maggard, Eddie LeBaron, Cy Young.
LeAnn Millar, Frank Cusenza, Jim Bowen, Paul Cornwell, Dan Gonsalves, Art McRae, Brent Bohlender, Steve Da Prato, Marc Malone.
Gregg Miller, Kathy Blom, Frank and Barbara Hart, Bill Moorad, Bob Stewart, Jack Albiani, Lynn French.