The Tracy Sports Hall of Fame has selected its group of 2015 inductees.
The local group will honor eight individuals, two families and one team at a banquet on April 18 at the Tracy Elks Lodge.
Cameo Hicks was West High’s all-time leading scorer in girls basketball when she graduated in 2003, and she led the team to the Sac-Joaquin Section semifinals three times. She became a four-year starter at the University of Washington, where she was a two-time all-Pac 10 selection, and went on to play professional women’s basketball in Europe.
Sam Matthews, publisher emeritus at the Tracy Press, is one of the founders of the Tracy Sports Hall of Fame, which was active in 1982 through 1990 and was resurrected in 2013. He also was the sports editor of the Tracy Press for nine years between 1957 and 1966.
Larry Nicholson, Tracy High Class of 1980, was a two-time Sac-Joaquin Section wrestling champion, 1978 and 1980, and a California Interscholastic Federation state medalist for three years in a row, including a second-place finish statewide in 1980. Today, he is one of the team doctors for Tracy Unified School District athletics, working most recently with the Kimball High football team.
Greg Smith, Tracy High Class of 1972, was a three-sport athlete as a Bulldog and was the Central California Conference Most Valuable Back in his senior year and played in the Optimist All Star game, the precursor to the annual Lions All Star Game. He attended Stanford University and eventually returned to Tracy High to teach and coach. He has coached freshman and sophomore football, and in 22 years as the head softball coach, he has led the Bulldogs to six league titles.
Tom Snyder, Tracy High Class of 1975, set school basketball records for scoring and rebounding in his senior year and was the first one-sport athlete to win the school’s Blanket Award. He went on to become a standout player at St. Mary’s College in Moraga. His 17-year professional basketball career took him to leagues in Argentina, the Philippines and France.
Bill Tavares, Tracy High Class of 1982, competed in the luge at the 1992 Winter Olympics and coached the USA bobsled team for 12 years, including the 2002 women’s team that won the gold medal. He also coached the USA luge team at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Virginia Ullery, Tracy High Class of 2001, was part of the Bulldogs’ Valley Oak League championship volleyball team in her senior year and became one of the top hitters in the history of University of Pittsburgh, where she was a four-year starter and a member of Pittsburgh’s 2003 Big East championship team. She is now the head volleyball coach at Fordham University in New York City.
Josh Wallwork earned Tracy High’s 1991 Peter B. Kyne Award, the top award for football players, and also earned San Joaquin Athletic Association Player of the Year honors in his senior year, when he passed for 2,164 yards,. He went on to be one of University of Wyoming’s most memorable quarterbacks. In 1996, he led the NCAA in passing yards (4,090) and total offensive yards (4,209), both University of Wyoming records.
The Auchard family includes Dave Auchard, who is still active as a baseball umpire after 50 years and has officiated basketball for 45 years. His tenure as an official includes everything from Babe Ruth youth baseball games to California Interscholastic Federation championship games. His sons Danny and Damon were all-league baseball players at Tracy High, and both played in college championships.
The Philpott family includes John Philpott, who established a family tradition of auto racing. His son David earned multiple track championships, including two at Stockton Speedway. His nephew Doug Philpott raced Legends and Dwarf cars. John Philpott’s grandsons include Ryan, a track champion at Altamont Raceway in 2007; Justin, a champion at Stockton 99 Speedway in 2009 and 2014; and Matthew, a repeat ThorSport truck racing champion.
Tracy High’s 1987 football team will join the 1982 Bulldog team in the hall of fame as another of the Sac-Joaquin Section championship teams coached by Wayne Schneider. The 1987 team went 13-1 and beat Yuba City High 17-16 in the section championship game.
The Tracy Sports Hall of Fame continues to accept nominations for future induction. The nomination form is at www.tracysportshof.org, and nominations can be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to Tracy Sports Hall of Fame, P.O. Box 1278, Tracy, CA 95378.