The Kitsap Sports Hall of Fame banquet is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 25, at Kiana Lodge in Poulsbo.
Tickets go on sale Friday, Dec. 13. Cost is $35 and they’re available at the Baymont Inn & Suites (5640 Kitsap Way, west Bremerton) and Team Sports (1550 NE Riddell Rd., east Bremerton). Cash and checks only will be accepted at the Baymont and at Team Sports. You can also email Kitsap Athletic Roundtable secretary/treasurer Jodee Strickland — email@example.com — to reserve tickets or write Kitsap Athletic Roundtable, P.O. Box 5707, Bremerton, Wa., 98312, to request tickets. Strickland will mail tickets to those who request them before Christmas by Dec. 31. If you request them after that day, the tickets will be left at will call on the day of the event.
Tickets will be available at the door, but it’s best to rsvp to Strickland or write a letter to the KAR to make reservations.
The Hall of Fame begins with an 11 a.m. social hour. Dinners will be served at noon with the induction ceremony to follow.
Here’s a previous story I wrote about the event. Some of the athletes will be featured as we get closer to the date:
The Kitsap Sports Hall of Fame’s latest class includes the winningest unlimited hydroplane driver in the history of the sport, the first athlete from Kitsap County to compete in the Olympics, an outdoorsman who is a noted mountain climber, author and artist, the voice of the Kitsap Stampede and a competitive men’s soccer team that paved the way for so many others to enjoy the sport in our area.
This will be the 26th Hall of Fame ceremony, but only the ninth year that it has been staged in its present form. Previously, the Kitsap Oldtimers inducted deserving baseball and softball players, coaches, sponsors and umpires. When the Oldtimers disbanded and merged with the KAR, the Hall of Fame was expanded to include all sports.
This year’s class is among the most diverse in history.
The hydroplane driver is Dave Villwock, the South Kitsap grad who announced his retirement in May after a legendary career that included 67 victories — 10 of them Gold Cup wins — and 10 national titles.
Ed Eliason grew up in Poulsbo and became one of the nation’s top archers. He won seven national titles and placed fifth at the Munich Olympics in 1972.
Burley’s Dee Molenaar, 95, is the author of The Challenge of Rainier, considered the definite work on the climbing history of Mount Rainier, where he worked as a park ranger and mountain guide. He climbed Rainier more than 50 times and was involved in several other mountaineering expeditions.
Randy Corley, who moved to Silverdale from North Platte, Neb., 12 years ago, has been voted the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s Announcer of the year 11 times and he has been a fixture at the Kitsap Stampede for more than 30 years.
The Bremerton Chuggers — a men’s soccer team — formed in 1974 and played until 2000. They made a major impact on the local soccer scene, and Lance McCoy, one of the founding players, said the Chuggers are thrilled to be going into the local Hall of Fame.
“We’re the first soccer group to ever go in,” McCoy said. “It’s a sport we all cherish and love, and you can’t know what an honor it is to be inducted into this group of incredible athletes. For us, it’s kind of a culmination of 27 years of work.
“ … There wasn’t a lot of soccer in this area when we started and to see where it is now, it’s rewarding. So many of our players have given back and are now in the coaching ranks.”
Two other teams will be inducted: the 1951 Bremerton High football team, which was unbeaten and ranked No. 1 in the state before losing 14-13 to Ballard in the annual Thanksgiving Day game in Seattle and the 1984 Suquamish slowpitch team that won a national championship.
Other athletes and coaches voted in include:
Mark Rill: Former South Kitsap star helped the Wolves to the state finals in 1981 and to the semifinals in his senior year in 1982. He went on to have a standout career at Pacific Lutheran as an offensive tackle (brother David, already in the Kitsap HOF, was a linebacker at Washington).
Gary Rouse: The Bremerton drag racer made a name for himself as one of the top competitors in the sportsman class. For years, he drove a ’65 Chevelle in the SS/M automatic class and he more than held his own when he matched up against the best in the nation.
Allison Eoff: One of the top competitive female bowlers in Kitsap County history, she’s also been a good ambassador for the sport and handled various administrative roles.
Kerry Keefe: Former Bainbridge basketball star — she averaged 18.6 points her senior year and is the career leader in rebounds for the Spartans — started two years at Georgetown University.
Chris Thorsen: Former Central Kitsap athlete was one of the best athletes of his era, starring in basketball and track and field, where he ran the half-mile. Thorsen has coached several years during his teaching career.
Ernie Hahn: Longtime junior high coach — baseball, football and wrestling — in Port Orchard impacted a lot of lives during his career. He also worked as an assistant football coach at South Kitsap when Ed Fisher was the head man.
Mike Welch: Bainbridge girls basketball coach established a successful program, leading the Spartans to second-, sixth- and third-place finishes in his first three seasons.
John Ross: Smart, quick and aggressive, Ross was the leading rusher at West High, Olympic College, where he earned honorable mention All-American honors, and at Central Washington, where he rushed for 1,119 yards in two seasons.
Jerome Walker: A state sprint champion at West High in 1978 and ’79, Walker went on to have a standout career at one of the elite track and field programs in the country — the University of Oregon.
Bonnie Burmaster: Former Olympic Aquatic Club coached worked with youth swimmers in the area for 27 years before retiring in 2009. Among her students: Olympians Tara and Dana Kirk, and Nathan Adrian.
Frankie Lee: One of the top roller hockey players and coaches in U.S. history, Lee was on the U.S. National team from 1984-99, and still coaches the USA Ladies National team that usually includes a handful of players from his Bremerton Hurricanes team.
The Rex Brown Distinguished Service Award will be awarded to the Carlson family, which has owned and operated Minder Meats for years and been huge contributors to the community. Jim Carlson Sr., was also a standout lineman on the ’51 Bremerton High football team and past president of the Kitsap Athletic Roundtable, as was his son Jim Carlson, Jr. Marlyn Carlson was among the first female members to join the KAR.
The Dick Todd Award goes to a sports official and this year’s honoree is Jim Lamont, who got into officiating basketball because of Todd.