Valley College selects 2018 Athletic Hall of Fame inductees

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Ceremonies set for Sat., June 30 at the college’s Monarch Hall

Two coaches, six players, and one team are slated to be inducted into the 2018 edition of the Los Angeles Valley College (LAVC) Athletic Hall of Fame. Ceremonies and an induction dinner are scheduled for Saturday, June 30, at the college’s Monarch Hall. Those being honored are:

  1. A two-year letterman with LAVC, Doug Michelson returned as women’s head coach, driving his team to six conference championships, two state championship contests and two semi-final appearances. On the men’s side, his teams finished first or second in the conference nine consecutive years while averaging more than 25 wins per season.

    1966 Swim Team – Nine school records, three state, and three national J.C. records set this team apart in the annals of Monarch history. Popular local sportswriter Pete Kokon wrote at the time, “…you look at a roster that almost resembles our Olympic team that won everything in Tokyo.”

  2. Eddie Baeza – Lethal with the bat, deadly on the mound, and a rocket arm from the outfield helped this Monarch become the Southern California Player of the Year as well as the Western State Conference Player of the Year. An intense competitor, he would move from Valley’s diamond to the Arizona Diamondback’s organization.
  3. John Becker – Returning the luster to the Monarch crown, Becker’s 1975 edition of Monarch football ended a 24-game conference losing streak while on the way to the coveted Shrine Potato Bowl championship, thus earning a number two national ranking. He would later move on to the Division I level before spending three decades in various capacities with the NFL.
  4. Angelo Cimity – The team’s trainer for 30+ years, Angelo left a legacy that included liaison to the numerous professional medical relationships associated with the college, co-chairman of the Monarch Athletic Center construction project, long-standing member of the Hall of Fame committee, and, of course, the health and welfare of the thousands of student-athletes who sought his care.
  5. José Cortez – A local product (Van Nuys High School), Cortez joined Monarch football in 1994, filling the role some term “football’s loneliest position,” the placekicker. The all-American helped fuel two championship teams before moving to Oregon State and then the NFL.
  6. Gary Honjio – Now in his fifth decade with the green and gold, Honjio’s resume includes coaching (gymnastics and swimming), PE department chair, instructor, and mentor. A three-time Coach of the Year, his guidance has resulted in numerous players rising to the ranks of all-conference, all-state and all-American.
  7. Doug Michelson – A perennial winner, Michelson’s women’s basketball teams won six conference championships, two state championship contests and two semi-final appearances. Moving to the men’s side, his teams finished first or second in the Western State conference nine consecutive years while averaging more than 25 wins per season.
  8. Sue Patterson-McDonald – The Monarchs’ state runner-up in the high jump, her track and field exploits include an LAVC triple-jump record that continues to stand 35 years later. The momentum continued at CSUN where this extraordinary athlete became a three-time NCAA all-American.
  9. Jack Steptoe – A 1974-75 standout for Monarch football, this gifted wide-receiver was a key part of the 1975 nationally-ranked squad. Later, at the University of Utah, he set receiving records unbroken today. Drafted by the Chicago Bears, he enjoyed several years in the NFL. Currently the head football coach at College of the Desert, he was inducted in the California Community College Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2015.

For more information and tickets call the Los Angeles Valley College Foundation at (818) 947-2618 or visit LAVC.edu, click “Athletics” and then “Hall of Fame.”  

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