Carson football to induct 4 to HOF

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

When you look back at all the great athletes who have gone through Carson High School, you would be hard pressed to find many better than Carlos Mendeguia.

Mendeguia was an all-conference, three-sport star in the late 80s, and in 1987 he was named the state Gatorade Football Player of the Year after leading Carson to an 8-3 record. He still holds the school record for career receptions with 85 and the single-season mark.

He will finally get his due when he is inducted into the Carson High School Football Hall of Fame along with Steve Handelin (class of 1996), Bob Vickney (class of 1981) and Mike Griffin (class of 1961). The ceremony will take place at halftime of tonight's game against South Tahoe.

Mendeguia, who teaches physical fitness and is the Senators' assistant boys basketball coach under Bruce Barnes, later went on to play football at Butte College where he was all-Golden Valley Conference. On that team was current Carson football coach Blair Roman and former Dallas Cowboy star Larry Allen.

Roman passed along an anecdote about Mendeguia from their days at Butte.

"He had a warm-up drill that he went through every game," Roman said. "I had a pretty good arm and I could throw hard. He'd stand 10 yards away and I would throw as hard as I could right at his face. He'd catch every pass perfectly. He had such soft hands."

Mendeguia played one season at UNLV before concentrating on his academics. It was there that he became disenchanted with the game. He played behind Keenan McCardell, who played in the NFL for 17 seasons.

"It wasn't what I thought it would be coming from Butte," Mendeguia said. "Guys had their own agenda. It wasn't what I thought it would be. They were looking to go to the next level and didn't care about anything else.

"Not being the focal point (didn't help). We ran the option and didn't throw much. I was mainly a blocker. I think I had five catches. I knew I wasn't going to the next level, and I decided to concentrate on my education."

Handelin also was a three-sport star and all-league in football, basketball and baseball. He was part of two state tournament basketball teams and part of three teams that made state under the legendary Ron McNutt.

"I was surprised (when I was chosen)," said Handelin, who practices law in Minden. "Any time you are picked for something like this it's pretty special. It's very humbling."

Bob Bateman coached Handelin in football in 1995 and loves to talk about a 99-yard drive that got the Senators into the playoffs.

"He was a great kid and a hard worker," Bateman said. "As a junior he played running back and as a senior we were running the wing-T. We had to win that game , and he drove us 99 yards. He hit some key passes (and had key runs)."

"I don't quite remember carrying the team on that drive," Handelin said. "The line did a great job blocking and we had great running backs."

Vickney also will be inducted into the Chico State Hall of Fame in October. At Chico, he was one of the top Division II shot putters in the nation. Vickney, who lives in the Sacramento area, started at fullback and middle linebacker for the Senators and was all-league at both spots.

Griffin started for three years in football and two years in basketball. He helped Carson to an 8-0 record in 1960, as the CHS made the state finals and lost to Basic. Griffin sparked the Senators to the state basketball finals in 1961.


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