Hughson High principal to be inducted into Hall of Fame
Debra Davis examined the Sac-Joaquin Section pennants – 26 in all – hanging on the wall of the gymnasium.
There it is, she said, pointing to the oldest of the blue banners: a Division III championship, hoisted by the 1986 girls basketball team.
“That’s when we finally learned how to do it,” joked Davis, the coach of that barnstorming bunch.
I think (the Hall of Fame induction) talks to her integrity and talks to the respect people have for her.
Will DeBoard, Sac-Joaquin Section director of communications and Hughson High grad
The 1985-86 Hughson Huskies team enjoyed a memorable two-year run that culminated in two CIF Northern California tournament appearances, a No. 3 state ranking and, of course, the school’s first section championship.
“We got to play in old Arco. We got to play in the Oakland Coliseum, and we got to fly to a game because there were forest fires followed by mudslides. So we got a chance to fly up to Humboldt and play up in that area,” said Davis, who had four 20-win seasons. “We had four kids that hadn’t flown before, and we actually had one student who had never seen the ocean because she had just moved here from out of state. That was a neat opportunity for our team and our kids.”
Davis would eventually leave the bench to become principal at Hughson High, but she never left the sports world. For more than two decades, the Los Angeles native has worked behind the scenes at the section level to shape the framework of high school athletics in the Central Valley.
On Sunday, nearly 35 years after the pinnacle of her coaching career, Davis will step back into the spotlight.
Debra Davis coached the Hughson High girls basketball team to the school’s first Sac-Joaquin Section championship in 1986. Since then, Hughson has won 25 more pennants.
She will be inducted into the Sac-Joaquin Section Hall of Fame during a dinner ceremony in Sacramento. She joins the hall as a distinguished administrator, one of three in the 17-member class.
“I think a principal’s job is to be involved in as many things as possible,” said Davis, who began teaching at Hughson in 1981. “At a small school like ours, athletics, along with agriculture and music and fine arts, it’s a really important part of the co- and extracurricular activities that we have for our kids. So to not to continue to stay involved with that just seems contradictory to what a principal should do.”
Davis has represented the Trans-Valley League and its constituents on the Board of Managers for 24 years, a stretch that spans three section commissioners. It’s the longest-running term of service for any female in section history. She also has served on the section’s Model Coach and realignment committees.
“They’ve all felt highly enough that she’s continued to represent them,” said Will DeBoard, the section director of communications who graduated from Hughson in 1990. “She’s just a key component to the CIF and what we do.
“I think (the Hall of Fame induction) talks to her integrity and talks to the respect people have for her. Not to mention, she put up with me for four years. That’s a Hall of Fame exploit in itself.”
There’s a whole bunch of people that have done a whole lot for the section, and it’s really gratifying to think people consider me among that group of people.
Debra Davis, member of the Sac-Joaquin Section’s 2016 Hall of Fame class
The 2017 class also includes former Sac-Joaquin Section Commissioner Pete Saco; the late George Parker, a world-class sprinter who attended the now-defunct Stockton High; former Arena Football League quarterback Aaron Garcia, who attended Grant High School in Sacramento; and Roseville’s Robbie Bosco, who quarterbacked BYU to the 1984 national championship.
The ceremony will be held at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Sacramento. This is the fourth class honored by the section since the hall’s inception in 2010. It’s also the smallest class with 17 inductees. In 2010, the section welcomed 56 members, followed by 43 in 2012 and 32 in 2014. In all, there have been 148 former players, officials, administrators and coaches enshrined.
24 The number of years Hughson High Principal Debra Davis has served on the Sac-Joaquin Section’s Board of Managers, the longest-running term by any female in section history.
“I’m really excited. There’s a whole bunch of people that have done a whole lot for the section, and it’s really gratifying to think people consider me among that group of people,” Davis said. “I was really surprised.”
For tickets and more information, contact DeBoard at 209-334-5900, ext. 21, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets are $60 per person.
Sac-Joaquin Section Hall of Fame ceremony
When: Sunday, 5 p.m.
Where: Hyatt Regency, 1209 L St., Sacramento
Ticket info: Contact Director of Communications Will DeBoard at 209-334-5900, ext. 21, or email email@example.com. Tickets are $60.
2016 Class: Robbie Bosco, athlete, Roseville; Jeff Float, athlete, Jesuit; Aaron Garcia, athete, Grant; Lindsay Hyatt, athlete, Placer; Denali Knapp, athlete, Davis of Yolo County; George Parker, athlete, Stockton; Jim Jorgensen, official; Joe Harper, official; Marty James, media, Napa Valley Register; Carl Underwood, media, Lodi News-Sentinel; Art Banks, coach, Roseville/Woodcreek; Dan Carmazzi, coach, Jesuit/Christian Brothers; Duwaine Ganskie, coach, Bear River/Nevada Union; Mike Takayama, coach, Del Oro; Debra Davis, administrators and benefactors, Hughson; Pete Saco, administrators and benefactors, Sac-Joaquin Section; Rick Spears, administrators and benefactors, Colfax/Sac-Joaquin Section.