Press "Enter" to skip to content

Curt Seeden: Fountain Valley Sports Hall of Fame ceremony was a reunion to remember

Many readers might not know this, but I was a sportswriter for five years back in the mid-1980s. It was a dream job that included covering a World Series, a Rose Bowl, the Dodgers in spring training in Vero Beach, Fla., a Lakers NBA championship and many great prep and community college teams.
Sports reporting is in my blood, and this is the time of year that I can control the TV remote to watch baseball, college football, pro football, NHL exhibition games and more.
And I do just that – right after my wife is done watching a nightly Hallmark movie, like “A Merry Christmas at a Vermont Lodge, Despite the Creepy Ex-Boyfriend Who Wants His Former Girlfriend to Move Back to Boston.”
Indeed, sports is an important part of my life, so I was so pleased to see how successful the first Fountain Valley Sports Hall of Fame ceremony was on Sept. 22.
This event was the brainchild of my friend Bob Israelsky, a member of the Fountain Valley Community Foundation, an organization that also brings you the twice-a-year charity poker tournaments, electronic recycling events and much, much more.
Bob, like myself, is a big sports fan. He is well aware that Fountain Valley’s sports accomplishments are the result of the hard work of great individuals, teams and coaches.
The Foundation hosted the Fountain Valley Sports Hall of Fame ceremony at the Center at Founders Village Senior and Community Center. The sellout event was more than just a tribute to a select group of Fountain Valley High School athletes and coaches. It turned out to be a fantastic reunion, bringing together lots of people – many my age – who hadn’t seen their former friends and fellow teammates, classmates and coaches in years. It could not have been a more heartwarming evening.
This year’s honorees were Shirley Babashoff, Gary Bohay, Ken Margerum, Kevin Romine and Willie Gittens. Coaches honored were the late Carol Strausburg and the late Ray Bray.
The two FVHS teams honored were the 1969 wrestling team and the 1978 football team.
To refresh your memory:
Shirley Babashoff led the FVHS girls swim team to the CIF championship in 1973, graduating in 1974.
At the 1976 U.S. Olympic Trials, she won all freestyle events, as well as the 400-meter individual medley. She set one world record and six national records in the process. In the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, Babashoff won four silver medals and a gold medal in the 4×100-meter freestyle relay in world record time.
Gary Bohay, class of 1978, was a CIF wrestling champion in 1977 and 1978. Bohay was also athlete of the year in wrestling and gymnastics in 1977. He went on to compete in the 1988 Summer Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea, where he was ranked eighth in the world.
Ken Margerum graduated from FVHS in 1976. He was CIF champion in triple jump and the high hurdle, and played collegiate football at Stanford from 1977 to 1980. He was named a first-team All-American wide receiver in 1979 and 1980, and was a favorite target of Stanford quarterback John Elway.
Kevin Romine, after graduating from FVHS, played baseball at Orange Coast College. In 1980, he hit .389 and helped Orange Coast College win the California community college championship. He was selected in the third round of the 1980 draft by the Angels, but decided to transfer to Arizona State University instead of signing.
He was then selected in the second round of the Major League Baseball amateur draft by the Boston Red Sox and  played six seasons in Boston.
Willie Gittens graduated from FVHS in 1978 and was named Southern California CIF football player of the year. The star running back went on to play at Arizona State where he was a 1980 All-PAC selection.
For next year, the Foundation has planned a similar Hall of Fame ceremony honoring standouts from Los Amigos High School. You won’t want to miss it!
Source: OC Register

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: