Clovis North Hosts CUSD’s Athletic Hall of Fame Ceremony

The entire Clovis Unified Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2022 stands atop the stage in the Paul Shaghoian Concert Hall on Saturday. Each member was spoken to in a interview like setting earlier in the presentation. (Photo Credit, Kenny Gilman, Clovis Unified)

After events that spanned the length of the weekend, Clovis Unified School District held their 6th annual Athletic Hall of Fame Ceremony, in which they elected ten new members.

These new members included two teams and one “Doc” Buchanan Award winner, given to a member of Clovis Unified who best exemplified the teachings of “competition, athletically or academically” preached by Buchanan. 

The representatives elected to the Hall of Fame include:

  • Dr. Roger Oraze – Doc Buchanan Award
  • Paige Bowie
  • Tom Deel
  • Matt Giordano
  • George Petersen
  • Keith Poole
  • Jaime Ramirez
  • Dr. Torrey Schroeder
  • 1974 Clovis High School Football Team
  • 1997-2019 Clovis West High School Girls Swim and Dive Teams

Each representative, after being introduced to the large crowd of family, spectators and at one time fans, were then treated to a two hour long ceremony celebrating each individual inductee and the teams represented as well. 

Kicked off by a celebration and mention of the 2021-2022 Clovis Unified Athletic Champions, a long list that included 2021-2022 Supremacy Award Winner Buchanan High School, the Hall of Fame Inductees were then illustrated through videos created by CUSD.

In these videos, each individual was given a few minutes of testimonial from those closest to them as well as a listing of each of their prior accolades, awards, and overall accomplishments.

The Hall of Fame inductees were then escorted out to the stage by current Clovis Unified award winning athletes and invited to speak in a conversation style interview held with KMJ Morning Sports Anchor and prior TV Sports Anchor, George Takata. 

In these interviews, details about the inductees were embellished upon and highlighted as they were in the videos. 

First, Roger Oraze, given the “Doc” Buchanan Award was recognized for his contributions in bringing an “academic and athletic legacy of excellence” to Clovis Unified.

Inductee Jaime Ramirez was honored for his efforts as both a Varsity Soccer and Football Star, including his time on the 1974 Championship winning Clovis High Football team, making him a double honoree.

Ramirez played professionally for the 1982 Los Angeles Aztecs and is currently the Head Soccer Coach for Fresno Pacific University.

Tom Deel’s accomplishments included much of his time as a coach and teacher in Clovis Unified in which he coached Football, Golf and Softball at Clovis West, Buchanan, and his roots at Clark Intermediate in 1974. Deel is twice named All-Valley Coach of the Year. 

George Petersen was a 1980 All-NYL Defensive Back and City/County All-Star for Clovis West Football, and in 1981 he was a League and Valley Champion in Wrestling coming in 2nd in the state that year.

After playing football with Fresno State, he was signed by the Kansas City Chiefs in 1986.

Paige Bowie participated and stood out in both Softball and Basketball during her time at Clovis Unified, being named All-League in Softball for 1993-1996 and having All-Valley Honors for Basketball in 1994 and 1996.

She was then named Cal-Hi Sports All-State in Softball in 1996 before being a four year starter for Cal Basketball and helping the Bears come in Third Place in the 1999 Softball College World Series. 

Keith Poole, a football Wide Receiver at Clovis High School, who did not attend the ceremony, was All-State and an All-American in 1991 leading the Cougars to a 1991 CIF Central Section Championship.

After four years at Arizona State University, Poole was drafted by the New Orleans Saints and last played in the NFL in 2001. 

Matt Giordano, another football inductee and Buchanan High School Head Football Coach was named All-Valley in 1999 and 2000 while leading Buchanan High School as a player to a 2000 CIF Central Section Championship.

Playing in the NFL for eight years, Giordano won a Superbowl Championship with the Indianapolis Colts in 2007.

Dr. Torrey Schroeder once pitched an incredible 24 innings in one Valley playoff game, with 7 perfect innings and 9 no-hit innings during her senior year.

For her efforts, one of her proudest accomplishments was being named 2006 Central Valley ESPY High School Female Athlete of the Year and Valley Athlete of the Year for both Softball and Volleyball.

Schroeder was also named All-Valley Pitcher of the year twice in 2005 and 2006 and played for the University of Texas from 2007-2009. 

The 1974 Clovis High School Football Team was then honored. Head Coach Dr. James Fugman revealed that the players didn’t like each other too much when the season first started.

However, after channeling their animosity towards each other and placing it onto their opponents, the team went on to become NYL League and CIF Section Champions of 1974. 

Finally, each team from the 1997-2019 Clovis West High School Girls Swim and Dive Teams were honored as they won a dominant twenty-three consecutive CIF Central Section Championships during that time.

They also had 77 Individual CIF Central Section Champions, 85 All-Americans, and 53 CIF Central Section Relay Championships in the course of the marvelous run for the Golden Eagles. 

Steve France, Assistant Superintendent for Educational Services, and overseer of the Clovis Unified Athletic Hall of Fame, spoke about the Hall of Fame class of 2022, calling them “well-rounded” to start. 

“You’re just talking about classy people that really mean a lot to this community and our district. They’ve done so much….The level of the quality of people that have continued to give back, it’s an amazing group of people.”

The night ended with a presentation of awards to each individual by Superintendent Dr. Eimear O’Brien and Board President Tiffany Stoker-Madsen.

The awards given were glass bowl like awards commemorating both the date and year in which the inductees were memorialized.

Posing for a group photo atop the Paul Shaghoian Concert Hall then became quite the task for the formidably large assemblage of now, and forever historicized, Clovis Unified Athletic Hall of Famers. 

JT is a recent college grad with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. He is mainly interested in sports and entertainment but covers a wide array of subjects. He currently writes for the Fresno State Baseball Dugout Club. JT looks forward to continuing his career at the Clovis Roundup and is excited to be working closely with a community that is very proud of its people.