Longtime friendships highlight Hall of Fame
You’ve heard of Six Degrees of Separation from Kevin Bacon. Well welcome to Six Degrees of Separation from the Carson High Football Hall of Fame.
While the statistics and accomplishments are there, it’s the lifelong relationships and friendships that this year’s inductees most cherish. And the CHS Hall of Fame is truly becoming a fraternity as the inductees this year are joining many of their friends, who have been inducted in the past.
This year’s inductees are longtime Carson City coach and administrator Harry Dixon; 1975 CHS graduate Jerry Starcevic, one of the state’s most prolific offensive performers in the mid-1970s; and 1980 CHS graduate Scott Larkin, a standout offensive lineman in the late 1970s.
The three will be honored during the annual CHS Football Boosters Dinner to be held on Saturday at Adele’s.
Dixon was an educator for 37 years after graduating from Idaho State in 1950. He started both ways as an offensive lineman and defensive lineman at Idaho State, missing about five minutes his entire career.
He was the first Idaho State player to be named to the Little All-American team and has also been inducted into the Idaho State Hall of Fame. He came to Carson in 1958 when he took over as Carson’s football coach.
Dixon replaced Pat Martin, another Hall of Fame inductee who led CHS to the state title in 1957, and was able to continue that success. In 1960, Carson went 8-0 to win the Northern 2A title before losing to Basic in the state title game. In 1961, Carson was second in Northern Nevada.
Among those who Dixon coached were fellow Hall of Fame inductees Ross deLipkau and John Sullivan, who went on to a distinguished career as a coach and educator himself.
In 1962, Dixon became vice principal, serving with principal Morse Burley. Dixon moved to the district office in 1968 where he served as the director of special services before becoming the Carson City School District superintendent in 1983. He retired in 1987 and still lives in Carson City.
Kirk Kinney, who was Dixon’s quarterback in 1958 and 1959 before sustaining a knee injury that prevented him from playing in 1960, is among those who developed a lifelong relationship with Dixon. As principal of Bordewich-Bray Elementary School, Kinney remained close to Dixon.
“Just a totally great person,” Kinney said. Kinney also said the “whiners” in the NFL Players Association who have complained about how hard mini-camp practices were couldn’t play for Dixon.
“They didn’t want to play for Harry,” Kinney said. “It was quite an experience, it really was. He ran a tough practice. It was tackling and blocking. They were tough.”
Kinney admitted he knew what his job was when he played. “The greatest thing that I ever did as quarterback was hand the ball to Rob deLipkau. I’d had the ball off to Rob and he’d score a touchdown. Maybe that was an assist.”
Dixon would always tell his players to “keep your held up, your feet apart and drive. I think all of us who played for Harry have done those things all of our lives.”
Starcevic, who now lives in Alaska, is joining fellow teammates and lifelong friends Rob Young and Ed Yuil in the Hall of Fame. Yuil and Young were among Starcevic’s friends who flew up to Alaska this week to surprise him for his birthday. “It’s nice to joine them too, that’s for sure,” said Starcevic about going into the hall.
The friendships he developed through football are priceless, Starcevic said. He also encouraged today’s players to cherish the relationships they develop.
“They ought to realize the friendships they develop can carry them through the rest of their lives,” Starcevic said. About those he played with, Starcevic said, “I’ll be friends with them forever.”
Starcevic and his teammates played for head coach John Gianandria and Starcevic said he owes a great deal to his coaching staff at CHS as well. “To this day I think about those folks,” Starcevic said.
While Starcevic was a wide receiver at CHS, he was really a versatile all-around performer. Starcevic had numerous games where he rushed for more than 100 yards in his career.
As a junior, he was third in the state in scoring and receive and made the all-state second team. One of the best games of his career came against Hug as a junior when he rushed for more than 100 yards, scored two touchdowns and threw for another.
Despite missing the first four games of his senior year due to an injury, Starcevic again finished third in the state in scoring and receiving and again made the all-state second team. He was also part of one of the wildest games in state history that year when Carson lost to Reno High 60-42.
When talking about his memories of that game, Starcevic said he remembers “us moving up and down the field” and “I know I scored the last touchdown.”
At 6-4, 235, Larkin was known as a big and physical lineman and he also played under Gianandria. Larkin now helps run the family business Capital Glass.
Saturday’s event begins with a social time at 5:30 p.m., with dinner at 6. Live entertainment will feature June Joplin and Moonlight Express. There will also be a silent auction and prizes.
Tickets will be available at the door and cost $25. For more information, call 882-7207 or call Lori Urbani, 287-4025.