Greenwave HOF announces 4th induction class
Ceremony postponed until 2021; inaugural golf tournament to be held this year
During his time playing on Bradley Field, John Kitts started as the team’s center as a sophomore and never looked back.
Kitts started all three seasons for the Greenwave football team, snapping the ball on offense and playing tackle on defense. Kitts, who also played basketball and baseball for two years, was an all-state selection as a center during his senior year. His biggest honor, though, was being named a Carnation All-American, which included only a handful of Nevadans, including Dave Wyman, a Wooster grad and second-round pick in the 1987 NFL draft who played nine seasons for Seattle and Denver.
All of his success came when Fallon made the jump to the largest classification in the state.
1923 football: Noble Waite led Fallon’s football program to the first of eight of the school’s football championships, including a trio in the 1970s and a pair last decade. With four returning lettermen and seven with experience, Waite had his work cut out with 20 players new to the program. In their first game of the season, on Oct. 6, Fallon posted a 102-0 victory over Gardnerville with the team looking like “all gold and a mile wide,” according to the school’s yearbook. Fallon tied Lovelock, 7-7, before defeating Sparks, 17-0, and Reno, 7-0. After shutting out Gardnerville, 60-0, Fallon defeated Sparks, 14-0, and Carson, 13-0, to win the school’s first state title.
1929 football: No football team was as dominant as Fallon at the end of the 1920s. Fallon finished the season with a 7-0-1 record, including a 12-0 victory over Las Vegas to win the state championship. Fallon’s defense was staunch, allowing only seven points in a 12-point win over Yerington and six in a 30-point opening-season victory over Virginia City. Fallon’s lone non-win came in a 0-0 tie against Lovelock in the third game of the season. The two-headed monster of Harry Bradley and Kirn Bradley led the way for the running game, and Harvey Hill was known to break free for 75-plus-yard gains. Wendell Beeghly was the team’s quarterback and Whitey Lawson coached the green and white, using a variation of Notre Dame’s shift.
1957-58 baseball: Coached by the late Elmo Dericco and late Ron Engel, these two baseball teams captured the school’s first baseball state championship in 1957 after back-to-back seasons of finishing second. With a 10-0 record during league play under Dericco, who was assisted by Ed Arcinega, Fallon swept Henderson High School in a best-of-three series during a decade when there was no classification to separate schools based on size. Ten of the 19 players continued the following season under Engel to win the 1958 state championship, which also defeated Henderson. Most of the state champion players were also on Fallon’s first-ever Little League team, which was formed earlier in the decade.
1974 gymnastics: Coached by University of Nevada and Greenwave Hall of Famer Bert Serrano, the Fallon gymnastics team, which included several recognized all-around gymnasts, won the Nevada Class III championship. Lisa Sexton was named the first all-around gymnast as she competed in free exercise, balance beam, uneven parallel bars and vault before competing at the University of Nevada. Kathi Whitney, who was named No. 2 all-around, specialized on balance beam and free exercise, and she returned in 1978 to coach the final gymnastics club. Linda Daniels was named the No. 3 all-around and she specialized on uneven parallel bars, vault and beam. Becky Paul, a No. 4 all-around, specialized on uneven parallel bars and vault, while Becky Garrison was an honorable mention who specialized on balance beam.
1977-78 baseball: The 1970s was one of the best decades in Greenwave athletics for winning state championships. The Fallon baseball team led the school with four of its 11 NIAA state championships and ended the decade with back-to-back AA titles over Elko and Boulder City, respectively. In 1977, Jack Beach’s Greenwave defeated Elko in the third and final game of the series, 8-3, to win their third title of the decade. The 1978 team, also coached by Beach, knocked off Elko in the regional championship, 1-0, on a suicide squeeze in the bottom of the final inning. The Greenwave scored on a wild pitch with two outs in the last inning of Game 3 to defeat Boulder City, 3-2, to win the program’s eighth state title.
Don Barrenchea: One of the early voices of the Greenwave, Barrenchea was the school’s public address announcer for the football team for 32 years and the baseball team during the 1970s when the Greenwave played at the North Maine Street ballpark. On the radio, he was the color commentator for the football team’s away games from 1973-1999. Barrenchea, who played football, basketball and baseball at Fallon, also coached the American Legion baseball teams during the summer of the 1960s with his team winning the state championship in 1964. He was also the Kiwanis Club President for two years at South Lake Tahoe and two years in Fallon.
William (Bill) Deal: After moving to Fallon in 1953, Deal taught at Oats Park School before switching into the insurance and real estate business. Outside the office, though, Deal was actively involved in the community, becoming an avid booster for Churchill County High School and University of Nevada athletics. Deal, who was the Nevada boxing team’s manager, also founded the Fallon Little League Football Program and organized the first Fallon football awards banquet. Deal could be seen working the chain crew at all the home football games before retiring and moving to Arizona. He died last November.
Jade Corkill: The Fallon native attended Churchill County High School but finished his education at home because of the rodeo competition interfering with his school schedule. Competing as an independent, Corkill won three state rodeo titles as a team and calf roper before competing at Feather River. He was named to the Wrangler High School All-star Rodeo team in 2005 before turning to the professional circuit when he was named the PRCA Rookie of the Year in 2006. Corkill has won four world titles in team roping (heeling) with his most recent coming in 2016 under the Elite Rodeo Association.
George Hucke: A teacher of history and physical education, Hucke began coaching in 1973 when he helmed the junior varsity football team for 10 years. He assisted Earl Wilkens with his wrestling team for nine years when Fallon produced several outstanding wrestlers. Hucke got his big break in the spring with the girls track and field program when he led the Lady Wave to back-to-back state championships — the first girls sports NIAA titles for Fallon after Title IX was passed in 1972 and prohibited discrimination on the basis of sex. Hucke had one of the largest teams in girls track with 75 students competing as Fallon won state in 1974 and 1975, and was the runner-up in 1976. His 1983 team finished second in the regional meet before he retired from coaching.
Kirk Aguiar (1977): Aguiar was named an all-state guard on the 1976 state championship football team under Tony Klenakis and followed with a state wrestling title in the winter. Aguiar, who was named the Co-most Outstanding Athlete of the Year with Brett Sorensen in 1977, also competed in the pole vault where he finished second in the state. In 1975 as a sophomore, Aguiar finished fourth in pole vault at state and followed up with a third-place finish as a junior. He finished second in state at 177 pounds in wrestling as a junior before winning it all as a senior. Aguiar continued his wrestling career at Linfield College (McMinnville, Ore.) when in 1978 he won the Pacific Northwest NAIA Conference Tournament.
Amanda Camacho (2003): One of the best athletes in her decade, Camacho collected 10 varsity letters, including four with the Hall of Fame-inducted volleyball team during its back-to-back state championship run in 1999 and 2000. Camacho lettered three times in basketball and softball, garnering most of her accolades on the diamond. She was named a first-team, all-league outfielder during her last two seasons with the Greenwave, who competed in the 4A. Camacho helped run the floor during the basketball season under Chelle Dalager as the Lady Wave punched their only ticket to the 4A state tournament in 2003. Camacho, who was a co-valedictorian, attended Lassen Community College and was a two-year starter on the softball team, earning all-league recognition as a sophomore.
Rachel Casey Payne (1992): One of the best softball players in school history, Payne holds career records in games played (99), at-bats (322), strikeouts (41), on-base (176) and innings played (651) during the 1989-1992 seasons when Fallon competed in the 4A. She garnered many awards during her time with the Greenwave, including being named a first-team, all-state first baseman and leading the team in many offensive categories. Payne continued her softball career at Columbia (Missouri) College, playing in the NAIA College World Series from 1993-1996. She ended her career being named to the all-conference team for both athletics and academics, and she’s also a member of the .300 batting average club.
Mike Evans (1952): Competing in football, basketball and baseball, Evans was one letter shy of sweeping. Nevertheless, Evans, who won four varsity letters each in football and basketball, was named to the all-state second-team for football in 1950 and 1951. He was named to the basketball all-state team in 1950.
Earl Doege (1967): A first-team, all-state selection in basketball for two years, Doege led the Greenwave to the regional and state championships in 1966 and regional championship in 1967. Doege was also a first-team, all-state defender on the football field, guiding Fallon to a regional championship in 1966 and 1967. In 1968, Doege, who lettered in track, was named a Pepsi Cola High School All American Honorable Mention. In college, Doege was awarded a full-ride basketball scholarship but changed it the next year to compete in football where he was named an all-conference defensive end at Montana Western.
Dale Jensen (1966): Jensen played in four sports and earned seven varsity letters, including four with the baseball team. He helped the Greenwave win the state baseball championship in 1966 and was named an all-state catcher. On the football field, Jensen was an all-state running back and linebacker during Fallon’s Northern AA championship season. The Block F president during his senior year, Jensen gave back to the community after he graduated and served in the military, donating 25 years of service to youth baseball and softball and earning the Optimist Club Distinguished Service Award.
John Kitts (1982): Kitts earned seven varsity letters, including three in football and a pair each in basketball and baseball. Football, though, is where Kitts found the most success when he started for three years and was named a first-team, all-conference center during his last two years and a first-team, all-state center and second-team, all-state defensive tackle during his senior season. He was one of four Nevadans to be named a Carnation All-American, which included future NFL player David Wyman, and he was selected to the 1980s Northern Nevada All-Decade team before winning the school’s athlete of the year award in 1982. Kitts was also an all-conference and all-state baseball selection when Fallon moved up to the state’s highest division (AAA).
“Looking back to 1980-82, nothing came easy as those years were Fallon’s first foray into AAA athletics,” said Kitts, who graduated in 1982. “Competing with the likes of Carson City, Reno and Wooster made us tougher, and the leadership of people like Richard Hucke, Tony Klenakis and Archie Hodson kept us going and always believing in ourselves.”
Kitts, who was named the school’s athlete of the year in 1982, is one of seven athletes to be inducted into this year’s class of the Greenwave Hall of Fame. Along with Kitts, seven teams, three contributors and one coach will be included in the fourth class, which will be honored in 2021 because of COVID-19 restrictions.
“What an amazing and wonderful honor to be chosen for this year’s CCHS Athletics Hall of Fame,” Kitts said. “It’s humbling to think that things we did nearly 40 years ago have held up to the test of time. I am truly honored to be included with the great athletes that have passed through CCHS through its history, and I thank the committee for their recognition.”
Since its inception in 2017, the Greenwave Hall of Fame has honored more than 100 inductees, including another strong class that includes a pair of football teams from the 1920s, a state-winning gymnastics team and a coach who led the Lady Wave track and field team during the emergence of Title IX.
“This year’s class is exceptional and strongly represents the Greenwave’s success dating back to the Roaring ’20s with the school’s first-ever state championship team,” said Steve Heck, president of the Greenwave Hall of Fame committee. “Fallon has been successful in athletics for the past 100 years because of the exceptional student-athletes, excellent and unwavering coaching, and amazing contributions from dedicated members from the Churchill County community. We are extremely excited to honor this well-deserved class.”
Included in this year’s team category are the 1923 and 1929 football teams, 1957 and 1958 basketball teams, 1974 gymnastics team, and 1977 and 1978 baseball teams. George Hucke, who led the girls track and field team to back-to-back state championships in the 1970s is the lone coach to be inducted. The contributors include Don Barrenchea, William Deal and Jade Corkill. The athletes include Kirk Aguiar (1977), Amanda Camacho (2003), Rachel Casey Payne (1992), Mike Evans (1952), Earl Doege (1967), Dale Jensen (1966) and Kitts.
Camacho, who has twice been inducted into the Hall of Fame when the volleyball team was honored for its 1999 and 2000 state titles, recalled the support from her team as well as her family as key to her success.
“I am well aware this would not be possible had I not been surrounded by incredible teammates and coaches along the way,” she said. “Above all, the support of my parents and family allowed me to believe in myself and instilled a drive in me that I still harbor today. Some of my absolute fondest memories are from competing for the Greenwave, which makes this nomination that much more meaningful to me. I am beyond grateful.”
With this year’s Hall of Fame induction festivities postponed because of the pandemic, a new Hall of Fame golf tournament will be played either in August or September. Details are currently being discussed and will be made available on the Greenwave Hall of Fame’s website at http://www.greenwavehof.com and Facebook page later this month.
Nominations are accepted by the public year-round and the deadline for next year’s class is May 31, 2021. Nomination applications are available online at greenwavehof.com/nominate. Players from teams being inducted in this year’s class need to contact the Greenwave Hall of Fame at firstname.lastname@example.org.