2017 Rancho Cordova Sports Hall of Fame Inductees

2017 Rancho Cordova Sports Hall of Fame

A championship boxer, the founder of Rancho Cordova Soccer, an amazing sports family and a storied youth baseball team will be among those inducted into the Rancho Cordova Sports Hall of Fame this October.

The inductees will be honored during the 2017 Induction Ceremony slated for Oct. 14 at Rancho Cordova City Hall.  

“Rancho Cordova has a uniquely powerful history of youth sports achievement,” said David Sander, a Rancho Cordova City Councilman and president of the Rancho Cordova Athletic Association. “Our Hall of Fame memorializes that incredible history and should inspire our current youth athletes as well.”  

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. “We need to look at this amazing sports legacy and allow it to inspire our entire community, especially our youth.”

Athletes

1974 American Legion Post 281 Baseball Team

Comprised entirely of Rancho Cordova youth baseball standouts, the team is honored not only for qualifying to play in the California State Championship, but for an outstanding record of accomplishment which followed. The team eventually finished third in the state, but four team members went on to play professional baseball, four competed for junior colleges and seven for colleges, making it one of the most successful youth baseball teams in Rancho Cordova history. The team was coached by Rich Rose and included players Gary Stonebrook, Scott Jenner, George Harper, Walt Hill, Jim Noonan, Warren Brown, Doug Land, Mike Anicich, Jim Deane, Steve Finch, John Ingrim, Mike Hoffiditz, Morgan Jones, Bob Beale and the late Mark Abbondola.
Farynairz Family

Dominating Rancho Cordova high school sports in the early 1980s, brothers Brett and Tony and sister Deborah are honored for a remarkable legacy left by a single family. After outstanding Cordova High School accomplishments, Tony went on to be a baseball All American at San Diego State, Brett played outside linebacker for seven years in the NFL, and Deborah was an all American Cross Country runner at UC Davis, eventually going to earn a medical degree from Harvard and become a leading orthopedic surgeon.
Otis Griffin 

A Cordova High School football standout who played for Texas A&M and Arena Football’s Los Angeles Avengers, Griffin went on to a professional boxing career, including winning “The Next Great Champ” on a Fox reality show of the same name in 2005.
Jeff Hazard

A 1980s Cordova High School wrestling standout, Hazard went to Stanford on a wrestling scholarship, earning top wrestling honors and a degree in geology, sharing his knowledge in both with youth to this day.
Stacy Hom Loftus

A 1985 Cordova High graduate, Hom was a champion in women’s discus at both the high school and college level. Her 1990 throw of 170-30 still stands as a Women’s Outdoor record at Sacramento State.
Joe Horgan

An outstanding Cordova High School baseball player, Horgan played at Sacramento City College before heading to Major League Baseball, where he played 47 games for the Expos in 2004 and the Washington Nationals in 2005. 
Chris Johnson 

A high school baseball and basketball player for the Lancers, Johnson evolved as a golfer at UC Davis where he earned Division II All American honors. Still a Rancho Cordova resident, Johnson continues to be acknowledged as one of the region’s best golfers over a career that has lasted decades.
Jerry Karnow   

An admired Mills Jr. High coach of football and wrestling, Karnow has been inducted into both the Sacramento and National Men’s Senior Baseball League Halls of Fame with a long career which included being an All CIF pitcher in 1959 and a Gold Medal winner in the Nike World Games among other honors.
Kevin Nixon

A Cordova Lancers basketball star, Nixon was Utah State’s MVP in 1988 and its highest scoring guard; a starter for three years and team captain in his junior and senior seasons. He has continued his basketball stardom into coaching, including an Arizona State Championship team and assisting Bishop Gorman (NV) women’s team to four state championships.
Bob Reece

Cordova High quarterback, basketball player and catcher in the early 70s, Reece who went on to Stanford, then nine seasons in the minors system of the Expos, with nine games in the Majors. He is recognized as Cordova High’s first MLB player.
Mike Valentine

A first-team selection on the Sacramento Bee’s 1977 All-Metro defensive team, Valentine was an elite defensive end who was a key member of the Lancers’ section champion football teams in 1976 and 1977. A top hurdler, Valentine established a then-school record 14.4 in the 120 High Hurdles and helped Cordova track teams to back-to-back Metro League titles in 1976-77. Today, Valentine teaches history and is freshman football, and track and field coach at Granite Bay High School.

Coaches

Joe Horyza

A legendary and beloved basketball coach at Mills Jr. High, Horyza went on to statewide leadership in the field of Physical Education and Coaching.
Jerry Karnow   

An admired Mills Jr. High coach of football and wrestling, Karnow has been inducted into both the Sacramento and National Men’s Senior Baseball League Halls of Fame with a long career which included being an All CIF pitcher in 1959 and a Gold Medal winner in the Nike World Games among other honors.
Walt Phillips

Beloved football and baseball coach in the early days of Mills Jr. High, Phillips was part of the early training and coaching combine which gave birth to Cordova High School’s legendary football teams.
Jack Ramsey

A longtime and admired Mills Jr. High coach whose guidance helped shape the Cordova High School football dynasty of the 1970s.

Heart of a Champion

Robert Arellanes

A retired Sacramento State professor and dean, Arellanes will be honored for his efforts to bring the then little known sport of soccer to Rancho Cordova, eventually founding the Rancho Cordova Soccer Club and Cordova High School Soccer program, which have engaged thousands of local youth in the sport for decades.
Ken Bowles

A longtime coach of football, basketball, softball and track, Bowles is being honored not only for his coaching, but for contributions to and leadership of youth sports across the board for decades.
Ray Savorn  

A longtime Rancho Cordova resident, Savorn was an outstanding college athlete and 39-year Cordova High School teacher and coach, and accomplished senior tennis athlete. His basketball officiating accomplishments landed him in the LaSalle Club’s Officials Hall of Fame in 2016.
Share by: