2016 Rancho Cordova Sports Hall of Fame Inductees

2016 Rancho Cordova Sports Hall of Fame

The Rancho Cordova Athletic Association was formed in 2013 to foster lifelong values of good sportsmanship, teamwork and healthy active lifestyles through development of excellent youth sports facilities and organizations, positive coaching and access to play for all.

To be elected to the Rancho Cordova Sports Hall of Fame, inductees were judged to have attained significant achievements in or contributions to athletics, as well as exhibiting high standards of character and sportsmanship.

"The history of Rancho Cordova is closely linked with some of the most talented athletes in the country,"  said Conrade Mayer, chairman of the Hall of Fame selection committee. "The time has arrived to look at this amazing sports legacy and allow it to inspire our entire community, especially our youth."


1973 Mile Relay Track and Field Team 

1973 Mile Relay Track and Field Team from Cordova High School, which went on to become California State Champions, a rare achievement. Coached by the late Clark Massey, a 2015 Rancho Cordova Hall of Fame inductee, team members included: Darrell Smith, Gerald Smith, Fred Dawkins (deceased) and Rodney Connors. 
Zach Andrews (Basketball) 

Growing up as a technically homeless kid in Rancho Cordova, Andrews had an outstanding high school basketball career, graduating in 2003. He went on to basketball greatness as a power forward at Bradley University and professional basketball, including an international career and as a player for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Brian Bailey (Football) 

A four-letter Cordova Lancer athlete in football, track, wrestling and swimming, Bailey was was a standout on he legendary 1975 Lancer football team and a 4-year starter for Cal Berkeley.
Joyce Bowles Brown

A Cordova High School multi-sport athlete in volleyball, track and field and more, Bowles Brown participated in the State Track Meet in 1979 and went on to play middle linebacker for the three-time National Champion Sacramento Sirens Women’s Professional Football Team.
Chad George (Mixed Martial Arts)   

A Bantam weight MMA fighter, George cut his teeth on the mats of Cordova High’s wrestling program. He had an illustrious 10-year career and was the subject of an award winning documentary titled “Occupation: Fighter.” Now retired from MMA, he continues in the sport of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and is a 3-time World Champion in that sport.
Karen Nickerson Masterson (Track and Field)  

Nickerson was a Cordova High School standout who went on to become a Stanford All American in the discus. As of 2013 her record 1985 throw still ranked as the third best in Stanford history.
Nyls Nyman (Baseball) 

A Cordova High School baseball star who went on to become a MLB outfielder for the Chicago White Sox.
Stephen Petuskey (Soccer)   

Cordova 1979 grad who went on to earn All American status at Sacramento State and professional soccer for the Sacramento Knights, San Francisco Blackhawks, and is considered to be a Rancho Cordova soccer pioneer.
Steve Pilcher (Wrestling)   

A Cordova State Meet wrestler who went on to UCLA, making it to the NCAA wrestling championships in 1975.
Dawn Puhr (Softball)   

A decorated Cordova multi-sport athlete, Puhr went on to have a distinctive softball career at Sacramento State. A promising sports career was cut short by a brain tumor at a young age.
Tracy Rinderneck Kitz (Volleyball)   

A Cordova High volleyball standout who went on to star for Sacramento State (1980) and was inducted into the Sacramento State Hall of Fame.
Mike Sedillo (Boxing)   

A multi-sport Cordova High School athlete, Sedillo began training for boxing with his uncle Bobby Sedillo, a Golden Gloves Champion. Mike Sedillo went on to a 20-year distinguished career, retiring with a 33-21-2 record with 18 KOs. He is a 2014 inductee into the California Boxing Hall of Fame among many other honors in the sport.
Bill Shiflet (Rugby)  

A California rugby pioneer, this Cordova High School graduate was selected to the Northern California Pelican All Stars and Pacific Coast Grizzlies Rugby Teams 1981-87. He went on to be selected to the United States National Rugby Team 1983-87 and participated in the first World Rugby Cup in 1987. Today he is president of the Lancer Rugby Club. 
Judy Shipman (Distance Running)  

An extraordinary Rancho Cordova distance runner who took up the sport late in life, Shipman has been running for 40 years. She has completed 24 CIMs, 80 marathons and 75 ultras, plus more than 1,000 5K and 10K races. She ran the Boston Marathon and is a 2016 inductee to the Sacramento Running Association Hall of Fame with a distinguished race regimen that continues today at age 75.
Troy Taylor (Football)  

Cordova High School Lancer standout quarterback who went on to be an NFL QB for the New York Jets and later coached the two-time state high school football champion Folsom Bulldogs.
Randy Veres (Baseball)   

Three sport Cordova High School letterman who went on to MLB and pitched for the Milwaukee Brewers, Chicago Cubs, Florida Marlins, Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals. 
Ryan Yantis (Swimming)   

Four-time All American High School Swimmer at Cordova High School who went on to University of Missouri. It is believed Yantis would have gone on to the Olympics had the US not boycotted the Moscow games of 1980. His sports career yielded a distinctive military career.


Jerry Bates 

Respected Cordova High School football and wrestling coach, he was the Alabama State hurdle champion and a Rancho Cordova Sports Club pioneer.
Joe Brown (Deceased)

Beloved Mills Jr. High football coach, Brown was also a World War II hero. 

Heart of Champion

Eppie Johnson (Deceased)

Johnson put Rancho Cordova on the international sports map by founding and nurturing “Eppie’s Great Race,” which has allowed thousands of Rancho Cordova amateur athletes to experience the thrill of competition while raising more than $1 million to support adaptive sports programs in Sacramento County.
Helen Russell (Deceased)

Russell was a legendary Cordova High school nurse who was considered an outstanding asset in the building of Cordova’s sports dynasty by applying her medical training and extraordinary volunteer services.

2015 Inductees recognized this year

Geoff Jenkins

A Cordova High School baseball standout who also played football and basketball, Jenkins was elected to the All State Baseball Team as a junior and senior before graduating in 1992. Following an outstanding career at USC, Jenkins was a first round draft pick for the Milwaukee Brewers and also played for the Philadelphia Phillies.
Laurie Salo 

Salo followed up her Cordova High softball career at UC Davis where she was named to the All Region First Team in both 1986 and 1987. She was the Dr. Hubert Heitman Female Athlete of the Year winner in 1987. Her achievements were noted again in 1993 when the Aggies named her to the UC Davis Athletic Hall of Fame.

Videos from the Induction

  • Zach Andrews
  • Brian Bailey
  • Gerald Bates
  • Joe Brown
  • Joyce Bowles Brown
  • Chad George
  • Geoff Jenkins
  • Eppie Johnson
  • Tracy Rinderneck Kitz
  • Karen Nickerson Masterson
  • Nyles Nyman
  • Stephen Petuskey
  • Steve Pilcher
  • Dawn Puhr
  • Gerald Bates
  • Helen Russell
  • Laurie Salo
  • Mike Sedillo
  • Bill Shiflet
  • Judy Shipman
  • Troy Taylor
  • Randy Veres
  • Ryan Yantis
  • 1973 Mile Relay Team
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