Sports

Yosemite High Wall of Fame football dinner Aug. 12

Eric Hansen
Eric Hansen

Four former star Yosemite High football players and a coach will be recognized at the Aug. 12 Wall of Fame Induction Dinner at the Oakhurst Elk’s Lodge.

This year’s 6 p.m. dinner will honor Danny Smith (class of 1988), Justen Peek (2002), Quint Brown (2003) and Aaron Wilkins (2006). The late Eric Hansen, YHS science teacher and the first football coach at the school, will be honored posthumously.

YHS Football Booster Club President Erik Peterson said the decision was made a year ago to have a Wall of Fame for YHS football due to the long list of talented athletes that have been a part of Badger football history.

Danny Smith (1988): Smith was the Badger’s starting quarterback and linebacker for three season (1985-87), was selected to play in the City-County All Star game, and was selected to Cal-Hi Sports All-State team on defense his senior year. That same year he led the Badgers to a No. 3 rankings in the Cal-Hi Sports Small School State Rankings.

Smith set school single game and season passing records and was named the team’s Most Valuable Player on the 1987 championship team, led the Badgers to three playoff appearances (during the period when schools had to qualify for a playoff berth).

Steve Raupp, who was inducted to the Wall of Fame last year, said Smith was the most versatile quarterback he ever coached. “Danny was equally adept at throwing the ball and running the option,” Raupp said.

Justen Peek (2002): Peek was a three-year starting varsity quarterback for the Badgers who played both sides of the ball. He also played safety his sophomore and junior year, and linebacker his senior year.

He went on to be a four-year starting linebacker at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo (2004-07), being named to the All Great West Conference in his junior and senior year. The conference included, among others, Cal State, Davis, Southern Utah, North Dakota State and South Dakota State.

He was also named Cal Poly’s Male Athlete of the Year his senior year. In addition, Peek was being named an Academic First Team All American in both his junior and senior year.

Peek currently resides in the South Bay where he owns and operates a structural engineering company.

Quint Brown (2003): Brown was a speedy all league running back that still holds eight school records - most career touchdowns (31), career points (192), career rushing yards (3,011), season rushing yards (1,935), career 100 yard games (16), season 100 yard games (11), most career carries (447), and most season carries (290).

Aaron Wilkins (2006): Wilkins was an outstanding safety and running back for the Badgers, named all league in his junior and senior year and league MVP at the end of the 2005 season, after rushing for 1,200 yards and making 160 tackles from his outside linebacker position.

He went on the play two years at Reedley College, where he was named the Central Conference Player of the Year and a JC All American.

Wilkins then played two years at the University of San Diego, before getting into coaching.

After three years as an assistant, Wilkins has been named the defensive line coach for the Liberty University Eagles in Lynchburg, Virginia, a member of the Big South Conference.

“It’s very humbling to be selected for the Yosemite High Wall of Fame,” Wilkins said.

Eric Hansen: Hansen started the YHS football program and was the first Badger varsity head coach for two years, 1976 and 77. The Badgers only had one win in those first two years, but Hansen will always be remembered as the coach that got the first football win in the history of the school - 6-0 over Tranquillity in 1977.

Hansen served as an assistant football coach under Steve Raupp from 1984 to 1989 and was part of two league championship teams in 1984 and 1987.

Hansen was also the school’s first wrestling coach, with practices held on the football field because the school gym had yet to be built at the time. He also coached golf and tennis for many years.

After retiring to Arizona in 2004, with his wife of 46 years, Beverly, he passed away on May 1, 2013 from brain cancer. His sons Ryan, Eydin and Beverly will represent Eric at the dinner.

Each inductee will have a bronze plaque affixed to the upper concession stand at Badger Stadium.

Last year was the inaugural Wall of Fame dinner that honored Chris Mullins (class of 1984), Bonner Cunnings (1991), Roosevelt Cooks (2001), Cole Popovich (2003) - and retired coach (1979-1989) and former Yosemite Unified School District Superintendent Raupp in front of a sold-out crowd at the Masonic Lodge.

Tickets now available

The event is sponsored by the Yosemite Football Booster Club and tickets cost $40 - available at the Sierra Star (49165 Crane Valley Road - 426), Mountain Muscle (40118 Enterprise Drive), and all YHS football coaches.

“It will be exciting to honor these four players and Coach Hansen who all had such big roles in the success of Badger football,” Booster President Erik Peterson said.

Details: Erik Peterson, (559) 760-3331.

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