ANTIOCH -- Roy Pantle had a tough act to follow, and he knew it. When he came to the podium on Saturday evening at the Lone Tree Golf Course to accept his brother Carl's posthumous induction into the Antioch Sports Legends Hall of Fame, the crowd was tittering.
"There's no way I can compete with Perry," Roy Pantle said.
Perry would be Perry Anderson, a track and cross country star at Antioch High School in the early 1970s. Anderson amused the crowd with a sometimes PG-13 acceptance speech in which he referred to his coach Mike Hurd "and his hot wife." He spoke about how he learned to run fast when a cousin was "chasing me with dead snakes. I was terrified of snakes."
No, it wasn't quite "Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the Earth." But it was in the spirit of the event, now in its sixth year honoring the best athletes to come out of Antioch.
Fourteen new inductees were honored: Anderson, Carl Pantle, Randy Autentico, Norm Bittner, Ed Burke, Sharon Christianson, Rich Elliott, Art Regoli, Vanessa Selden, Mike Shaw, Jeff Siino, Jesse Smith, Rudy Viramontes and John Whitman.
Autentico, a four-sport star who graduated from Antioch in 1956, later went on to a coaching career, including at Antioch and Deer Valley. He began his speech by thanking Elliott for being the only inductee older than himself. Autentico told of a game between Antioch and Mt. Diablo from his playing days when he was assigned to block future
"I did what any smart quarterback would do -- I went upfield and blocked a defensive back," Autentico said. "I found out under pressure that I could make a good decision."
Viramontes, a 1981 graduate of Antioch who starred in track and cross country, choked up during his speech while thanking his father, which led to Whitman standing up and putting his arm around Viramontes while he continued.
"Dad, I know this night means as much to you as it does to me," Viramontes said.
Elliott, a 1954 graduate of Antioch, was the first Panther to play in the annual North-South Shrine Game. He played quarterback before 39,363 people at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in 1953. However, it was another game he talked about in his speech.
"My junior year, we were playing Pittsburg in Antioch," Elliott said. "I did something to my ankle. I couldn't play offense, so I just played defense."
At one point, a Pittsburg player helped Elliott up out of a pile and said, "You know, Elliott, you need to get the hell off of this field before you kill yourself."
Elliott found out a couple of days later that he had broken his ankle.
Siino played multiple sports at Antioch, but he was best known as a standout in baseball. His father, Sal, coached Jeff Siino in both baseball and football. However, not everybody was a fan.
"We grew up in Pittsburg," Siino said. "My dad took a lot of grief -- to this day, we're traitors."
Siino also played football in middle school for Autentico. He said at halftime of one game, instead of having the team rest, Autentico made the team form two lines and practice hitting.
"I always felt I played baseball like a football player," Siino said.
Whitman made the final speech of the night and among his friends and family in attendance was one of his former players -- former major leaguer Aaron Miles. Whitman summed up the evening for all of the inductees.
"Tonight is my walk-off home run," Whitman said. "Antioch is my Cooperstown."