By Johnny Martin | Reporter
The 11th annual Clovis High Cougar Baseball Hall of Fame dinner was held Feb. 4 at the Clovis Veterans Memorial Building.
The night was filled with dinner, catered by Dog House Grill and Luna Pizzeria & Italian Restaurant. Silent and live auction items ranging from front row tickets to the Giants to a VIP package for this year’s Clovis High graduation ceremony. There was even a little bit of dancing, with all the funds raised throughout the night going directly back into the Clovis High baseball program.
“It was a great event, the community always supports and it just humbles me to be a part of the Clovis community with so many people that care about kids,” Cougar head coach James Patrick said.
This year, Clovis High baseball decided to induct their 1997 and 1998 teams into their Hall of Fame. Those teams were back-to-back national champions that finished a combined 65-4 over the two years. Those teams were also the first high school team in America that ever had back-to-back seasons where they finished the year ranked No. 1.
“What great teams those guys were, we had so much fun coaching them and I can’t believe it’s been 20 years,” Patrick said. ““It was great to see the guys from those teams, some of them I hadn’t seen for 20 years so it was great to get them back together.”
This was the first time the Clovis High program decided to induct a team rather than individual players like they had done in the past. Those two teams, however, were two of the most successful teams to have played for the Cougars.
Members of those teams include former professionals like, Chris Patrick and Mike Bumatay, just to name a few.
“I was fortunate to get to play the game of baseball at a pretty high level, but to this day, the memories from playing on those teams are the ones that come to mind the clearest,” Clovis North head coach and former member of the ‘97 and ‘98 teams Chris Patrick said. “It was a tremendous blend of outstanding players and a great coaching staff. It was a special time for central valley baseball and I’m very proud to be a part of it.”
The event was made possible by local sponsors and was put on tremendously by Hall of Fame Dinner Chair Tricia Allison and fellow Clovis High parents.
The Cougars will look to continue this great tradition next year, honoring their 12th Hall of Fame class. For more information on how you can get involved, or to follow the Cougars’ 2017 season, you can follow them on Twitter @CloHighBaseball or visit their website at clovishighbaseball.com.