ANTIOCH — Fourteen individuals and the 1984 Antioch High School baseball team will be honored on Oct. 12 with induction into the Antioch Sports Legends Hall of Fame.
Robbie Adams, Margaret Georgen, Dawn Hilgenberg, Joe Bonanno, Anthony Camacho, Scott Olds, Jack Hannigan, Joe Fontana, Scott Freier, John Joseph, Dennis Opsal, El Ray Laughlin, Andria Edwards and LeRoy Murray will be inducted at the dinner, put on by the Antioch Historical Society's Sports Legends group.
"I'm honored that I had these athletes to coach," said Edwards, who is being inducted for coaching Antioch High's softball team. "It wouldn't have been possible without them. And my assistant coaches who helped me. Everybody played a part."
Edwards led the Panthers to two North Coast Section championships in three years, earning East Bay Coach of the Year honors in 1984 and 1986. She led teams to eight Diablo Valley Athletic League championships in her 13 years coaching. She now coaches golf at Deer Valley and has led two NCS championship teams there.
Edwards said it wasn't the championships that stuck out in her memory but the little things. Focusing on the basics was how she approached coaching.
"When a girl made a great play, her being excited," Edwards said. "Coming from behind -- we had so many wins by just one run.
"It was the excitement in the faces, really bonding as a team. Not just winning the game but my favorite moments were watching somebody dive after a ball, making really great plays, putting all their hard work into the game, the girls encouraging each other, playing their music before the game trying to get pumped up. Running out and giving them a high five or a hug or a jump."
Georgen is being inducted for her performance in the discus in 1986 when she threw a still-standing school record 141 feet, 8 inches for Antioch High. She took up the discus in the middle of her junior year and ended up making the California Interscholastic Federation championships in the event her junior and senior years. She also played volleyball for four years.
Goergen originally was a sprinter for the Panthers. Throws coach Willis Ball convinced her to change to the discus in part because Georgen was struggling in the sprints as a junior. She said she had been considering dropping track and field to concentrate on volleyball.
"When I started, I would just stand and throw," she said. "I was just cocking back and letting it fly. And I did well."
As she continued to work with Ball, Goergen developed the traditional spin style. Most of that work came between her junior and senior years.
"My senior year I started using the whole circle and I loved it," she said. "I had so much fun. Back then nobody was videotaping anybody and coach Ball was videotaping us. He was just the best coach -- so easy going and patient and fun. I wanted to do well for me but I wanted to do well for him and for Antioch High."
Adams was a three-sport star who was named Athlete of the Year in 1965 at Antioch High. He was a standout in football, basketball and track and field. Bonanno still holds the school record of 48.5 seconds in the 440-yard dash. He defeated Lee Evans at the 1964 NCS Meet of Champions. Evans went on to win a gold medal at the 1968 Olympics.
Camacho was one of the top wrestlers in the nation in 1988, compiling a 125-5 record over his three varsity seasons, making the CIF championships all three years. He was a four-time Grand National champion before attending Antioch High. Fontana was a two-year starter on the Antioch football team and was invited to play in the Shrine North-South all-star game in 1961.
Freier was a tight end who earned a boatload of honors in 1985 before attending USC where he played in three Rose Bowls. Hannigan was a champion swimmer at Antioch High, winning first team all-DVAL honors two consecutive years. He was killed while serving in the army in Vietnam, sacrificing his life to save other members of his platoon.
Hilgenberg was one of the best softball pitchers in Antioch history, going 24-1 with a 0.94 ERA in 1984. She also threw two no-hitters and hit .370 for the season, helping the Panthers win the NCS title. Joseph was a two-way player on Antioch High's 1962 DVAL champion football team. Laughlin struck out 53 hitters in 35 innings for the Antioch baseball team as a senior in 1964.
Murray is being inducted as a community leader for his four decades volunteering for Antioch recreation and school teams. He volunteered with Antioch's Little League, Colt, Babe Ruth and American Legion baseball teams and was also head football coach at Antioch Junior High. He currently serves as assistant baseball coach at Deer Valley High.
Olds was named all-league in golf four times at Antioch High, leading the Panthers to the NCS and Northern California team championship as a senior in 1987. That year, Olds also defeated Phil Mickelson in the state tournament. Opsal was a two-year starter in football and was named the Antioch High MVP as a senior in 1976.
The 1984 Antioch baseball team won the first NCS championship in school history, defeating Hayward 6-4 at the Oakland Coliseum for the title. The team finished with a 24-5 record.
The dinner is sold-out but those who want to be placed on a waiting list can call 925-325-3255 or 925-383-4979.