It was a Hall of Fame weekend.
Merced High School Athletics celebrated and honored the 2019 Hall of Fame inductees last Saturday inside Yosemite Hall of the Merced Fairgrounds.
The fifth annual dinner / fundraising event honored the accomplishments of 12 individual MHS sports stars, two track coaches, the 1971 and 1972 track teams, and one star “community member.”
Paul Hogue, MHS athletic director, also took the opportunity to highlight new “Bear Country” expansion — including a new football stadium — thanks to the Hall of Fame effort and community donations.
“With all the recent high school construction in the region, we want to remind people there’s only one Merced High,” Hogue said.
On the MHS campus Sunday, Hogue and volunteers unveiled a new Hall of Fame shrine inside the entrance to the school’s new gymnasium. A display wall features all the names of the school’s Hall of Fame members, and there’s room to keep the shrine growing for years to come. Future additions could include a video kiosk with profiles of each star athlete. Later, Bear supporters were given a tour of the new mulitpurpose gym that features impressive features and capacities for both athletes and fans.
Hogue then revealed details of the upcoming contruction to create the new Cathy Hostetler Football Stadium. Phase 1 will begin in May on the site of the exisiting practice field behind the new gym.
The first things to take shape will be the main entryway, concession area, and front restrooms. Phase 2, sometime in October, will begin work on the home-side bleachers and press box. The project is expected to be completed in June of 2020.
This year’s Hall of Fame class included: Jeffery Boothe (’72) football / basketball; Chris Cresswell (’82) basketball; Chris Di Carlo (’93) tennis; Merideth Guevara (’95) volleyball; Del Henry (’65) football; Duane Melcher (’51) football / track; Bret McAfee (’79) baseball; Michael Osborn (’85) aquatics; Wayne Pouncey (’76) wrestling; Stuart Schofield (’83) football / basketball / baseball; Lesley Slaton (’84) basketball; Susan Williams (’86) aquatics; Coach Ron Caldwell, cross country; Coach Jerry McClenaghan, football / track; Harlan Dake, community member.
Kudos goes to the community supporters that made the new Hall of Fame display wall happen inside the gym, including BK Welding, Inside Lines graphics, and Sun Power Powder Coating.