Three to be inducted into CHS Hall of Fame
There has been a common theme among the Carson High Football Hall of Fame inductees over the years. Not only did they distinguish themselves in athletics, they distinguished themselves as human beings.
This year’s class is no different with all three of the inductees making their mark on and off the field. One finished as a state runner-up and served in Vietnam. Another won a state title and went on to a successful financial career. The other has worked all around the world.
Those to be inducted during Saturday’s dinner at Adele’s are Steve Groupe, who will follow his coach Ed Jesse into the hall of fame; Rob Young, who played for Carson’s 1975 State Basketball Championship team; and Rick Shaff, who was an all-state lineman in 1967 for coach Cleo Pulsipher on another one of Carson’s all-time great teams.
Groupe, a 1964 CHS graduate, played all four years on the varsity football team and led the Carson varsity baseball team in hitting as a freshman and sophomore. In football, he played running back, free safety, was a kicker and punter and returned kicks.
He was an all-state 2A selection in 1963 when under Jesse, Groupe and Carson finished as the state runner-up, losing to Fallon in the state championship game. Carson won the state title the following year in 1964 under Jesse.
After his sophomore year, Groupe was convinced to run track, but he was so accomplished in baseball that he later earned a tryout with the San Francisco Giants.
Groupe received a scholarship offer from the University of Nevada and also had a chance to play for San Francisco City College. If he had gone there, Groupe would have played with O.J. Simpson, who played at San Francisco before going on to USC.
But Groupe wanted to study forestry, so he walked on at Utah State where he played as a freshman before a knee injury ended his career. He decided to change his major and went on to earn a degree from Utah State in social work and English in 1968.
After being drafted, he served in Vietnam, then went on to earn his master’s in vocational rehab counseling from the University of Idaho and ever since for the last 35 years he’s worked in that field with the Idaho State Department of Education.
Groupe, who lives in Twin Falls, Idaho, said he felt honored to follow his coach, Jesse, into the hall of fame. Jesse was inducted last year.
“I feel quite honored and quite flattered and very appreciative of everyone who made this possible,” Groupe said.
About Jesse, Groupe said, “He’s always been one of my heroes. It was a lot more than just learning football skills and technique. What he taught us was life lessons.
“He taught us healthy competition, teamwork, perserverence, to not give up. I learned that in high school. It virtually affected the rest of my life.”
Groupe said he also cherishes his time at CHS. “Some of the best four years of my life were at Carson High,” he said. “We had some outstanding teachers.”
Young, a 1975 CHS graduate, played varsity baseball as a sophomore and also played junior varsity basketball for Ron McNutt, the longtime CHS baseball coach and athletic director, who retired this year to become the Northern 4A commissioner. McNutt was also the offensive coordinator when Young played varsity football.
Young started at quarterback for the varsity as a junior before breaking his collar bone. But he healed in time to play for the 1974 basketball team that advanced to the state tournament.
As a senior, he rushed from more than 1,000 yards despite missing one game and earned all Northern-Nevada honors as a running back. He went on to start four games at running back as a freshman at Nevada and played four years of baseball for the Wolf Pack.
He majored in criminal justice and went on to become a financial investor. He now lives in Covington, Wash., and is a manager for Mt. Rainier National Bank.
Young was a starter on the 1975 State Championship team that beat Las Vegas and Clark for the title under two other longtime Carson coaches, head coach Tom Andreasen and assistant Paul Croghan. Both are now retired.
“This is a big honor,” Young said. “It’s just nice this many years later to be remembered.”
“It was just wonderful,” said Young about playing for that 1975 team. “We had a great group of guys. I know we were pretty tenacious defensively.”
About playing for Andreasen and Croghan, Young said, “They taught us a lot. It was fun playing for them.
“They instilled a lot of confidence in the players. I think that made you as good as you can be.”
Young admitted at the time he didn’t fully appreciate what the state title meant to the community.
“It was pretty exciting,” he said. “I don’t think we really had a concept of how much the people in town enjoyed it as well.”
Reno High became the first Northern Nevada team to win the state title this past season since Carson. Young said he appreciated how what Reno did again brought noteriety to the 1975 team. “I was really proud and happy for Reno High,” he said.
Shaff, an offensive and defensive tackle, was an all-state selection for Pulsipher’s 1967 team. After losing its opener to Wooster, that team went on to win its next seven games to finish 7-1.
Shaff, a 1968 CHS graduate, also played basketball and participated in track. He earned a scholarship to UNLV where he played before becoming an underwater diver for the oil industry.
Now a supervisor, Shaff has worked all over the world and is now working off of the coast of New Orleans.
“Big, strong and quick,” is how Pulsipher described the 6-2, 200-pound Shaff. “I think he deserves this honor. I’ve always been proud of him. I think he went on and became a great citizen.”
Saturday’s event begins with cocktails at 5:30 p.m. with the program set for 6. Included will be a buffet dinner, silent auction and drawing prizes. Tickets are $25. For more information, call Teri Norgrove, 691-1995.