By Joe Davidson
With special thanks to Andrew Jones, noted coach and historian of all things athletic at Sacramento City College, here's a run down of the latest crop of Panthers to be inducted into the school's Hall of Fame. The ceremony is tonight at the Dante Club, at 6 p.m.
Dell Fishback (1932-34)
Upon graduation from Sacramento High School in 1932, Fishback enrolled in what was then known as Sacramento Junior College and competed on Hall of Fame coach L.D. Weldon's first Panther track team. As a freshman, Fishback set a school record in the 220 hurdles (24.2 seconds), and was member of the conference record-setting mile relay team. As a sophomore, Dell was the Junior Pacific Athletic Association champion in the 220 hurdles with a school record time of 23.9.
Upon graduation, Dell transferred to Cal where he competed in the 220 hurdles finals of the 1935 NCAA Championship meet. He was runner-up in the Intercollegiate AAU National Championship meet. As a senior, Fishback was the Pacific Coast Conference champion in the event and set a Cal record of 23.7. He placed 6th in the event at the 1936 NCAA championships.
At the conclusion of his senior season, Fishback was one of 11 former SJC track athletes to compete in the trials competitions for the Olympic Games. Fishback won the 400 hurdles at the first round meet in Palo Alto. He then placed second at the Far Western Olympic Games Finals in Los Angeles, qualifying him for the Final Olympic Trials in New York.
In 1937, Fishback became the track and field coach at San Mateo Junior College. During his tenure there (which lasted into the 1960s), he also coached tennis and cross country. Fishback died in 1994.
Bob Lanza (1969-current)
In 1968-69, Lanza was an assistant track coach at Idaho State, which captured the Big Sky Conference championship that season. After earning his MA in 1969, Lanza was hired at Sac City. He coached the cross country team in 1969 and was an assistant track coach from 1970 to 1984. In the fall of 1984 Lanza again became the head cross-country coach, a position he held until 1999. In 1985, Lanza took over the men's track and field team, leading that program until 2003.
During his tenure, the Panther men's teams won nine conference titles and three NorCal titles. Additionally, his teams placed in the top three at the NorCal championship meet seven times. His teams had similar success at the state meet, with 10 top 10 finishes, including placing second at the 1997 meet. Individually, his athletes included 15 school record holders, 17 state champions, 35 NorCal champions, 103 conference champions and 115 all-state performers.
Three of Lanza's athletes went on to compete at the Olympic Games. In 1984, Lanza served as the coach of Fiji's track and field team at the Olympic Games. Lanza was the State Coach of the Year in 1989 and 1990. Since his retirement in 2003, Lanza has served as an assistant coach for the men's and women's track and field teams at SCC.
Marshall Land (1983-85)
After a high school career that culminated with a runner-up finish in the shot put at the Texas State Championships and a selection as an All-District football player, Land moved to Sacramento and became a standout football and track athlete at SCC. As a hammer thrower, Land finished 3rd in Northern California (behind two Panther teammates), but it was on the gridiron where he was dominant. At, 6-foot-8 and 358 pounds, the offensive tackle paved the way for a formidable offense. In 1983, the Panthers averaged 38 points a game and went 11-1. In Land's All-Camino Norte Conference sophomore season, Sac City averaged 46 points in going 9-2.
A serious student-athlete, Land doubled as the SCC student body president.
During his career at Texas A&M, Land was named All-SWC by the Dallas Morning News and was the team captain for the Japan Bowl, where he sang the National Anthem before the game. Land led his team to the 1987 Cotton Bowl. According to his Texas A&M coach, Land's quickness and sizs would have landed him in the NFL if not for cartilage damage to his knees.
Clyde Keller (1985-87)
After a stellar career at Del Campo High School culminating in winning The Sacramento Bee Player of the Year honor, Keller set records at Sac City. As a pitcher, he completed his freshman season with a record of 10-2 and a 2.13 ERA. The Panthers won their regional, as Keller pitched 5 2/3 innings of no-hit ball and contributed two hits and two RBI. As a sophomore, Keller was dominant in leading the team to a 50-8 record and a berth in the state finals. He was the Regional Player of the Year and Co-State Player of the Year. Keller went a remarkable 18-0 with an ERA of 1.08. He also hit .344 as a second baseman. Keller's 28 career wins remain a school record.
Keller was the only community college player to make the United States national team, which won a silver medal in the Pan-American Games. Keller transferred to Florida State, where he compiled a 25-4 career record and hit .320, while playing second and third base. As a senior in 1989, Keller was an honorable mention All-American and led the Seminoles to the College World Series, where he was the only pitcher to defeat national champion Wichita State. Keller was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals and had a 4-year career in the minors, highlighted by throwing a no-hitter for the Savannah Cardinals in 1989 and earning Rolaids Relief Man Awards in 1990 and 1991.
He completed his minor league career in 1992 with a record of 14-9, 68 saves, and a 1.94 ERA.
Leo Woodfork (1986-88)
A two-time Metro League wrestling champion for McClatchy High School, Woodfork qualified for the state tournament as a senior and set a school record for most falls. Woodfork quickly established himself as an all-time great Sac City wrestler for Coach David Pacheco. As a freshman in 1986, Woodfork won league and regional titles at 190 pounds and placed 4th at the state championships. He was instrumental in the team's league championship and second-place finish at the regional, and he led the team with 16 falls, which is 5th on the SCC all-time list.
As a sophomore, Woodfork earned the team's outstanding wrestler award as well as the SCC Outstanding Athlete award for a season in which he repeated as regional champion and captured the state championship. He set a school record for championships in a career (since broken) and posted 18 falls (3rd on the school's all-time list). His efforts helped the team to another league title, a third-place finish at the regional, and an 8th place finish at the state championships.
Blu Taylor (1987-89)
After a successful wrestling career at El Camino High School where he was a four-time conference champion, a two-time sub-section champion, a three-time member of The Sacramento Bee's All-City team and twice a top 5 finisher at the state tournament, Taylor continued to achieve at Sac City. He won the conference at 158 pounds in 1987 and 1988. He followed that up both seasons with regional titles and runner-up finishes at the state tournament. Taylor set three school records during his SCC career, including championships in a career (11), championships in a season (6, tied with several others), and most takedowns in a season (117, since broken). He was named the team's Most Valuable Wrestler both seasons, and in 1987, he helped the team to a conference title. Taylor had a two-year record of 58-4 and finished first or second in all of the 15 tournaments in which he competed.
Taylor was a two-time All-American, as well as a two-time academic All-American at SCC. At UC Davis, Taylor qualified for the NCAA Division II national tournament twice, and in 1991 he placed 7th at 150 pounds.
Kim Martinez (1994-96)
A dual sport standout, Martinez was named All-State in basketball and softball at St. Francis High School. She was named to The Sacramento Bee's All City team four times for softball and twice for basketball. She led the St. Francis softball team to two league titles and the basketball team to three consecutive section championships as well as the State Division III title as a senior. Martinez left her mark at SCC in both sports as well.
Twice All-Conference on the softball diamond, she was an All-American as a sophomore, as the team captured the state championship. She led the Panthers to the State Final Four in basketball as a sophomore when she was named State Co-Player of the Year. After leading the state in scoring as sophomore, Martinez completed her SCC career with the school's career scoring mark.
After transferring to Texas Tech, Martinez competed for 2 seasons in softball and one in basketball. She was named the softball Big 12 Newcomer of the Year in 1997 and was twice named All-Conference and All-Region. She left Texas Tech with 12 still-standing school records. She is a member of the California Community College Women's Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Denise (Jackson) Minnatee (1994-96)
A four-year varsity performer for softball teams at Johnson High and West Campus High, Minnatee was three times named to The Bee's All-Metro team. As a Sac City freshman, Minnatee led the Panthers to the state tournament for the second time in school history. Playing setter and defensive specialist, Minatee set school records for set assists in a career, a mark that stood 12 seasons. At the conclusion of her sophomore season, she became the first volleyball All-American at SCC.
Minnatee found similar success on the softball diamond. As a sophomore, she hit .333 with four home runs, 33 RBI, and 60 runs scored as the Panthers set a school record with 59 wins. Sac City went 8-0 in the postseason to claim its third state championship. She transferred to Texas Tech, where she played two seasons of softball. During her sophomore season in 1998, the team was ranked as high as 17th in the country and qualified for the NCAA softball championships for the first time in school history.
Minnatee graduated from Texas Tech with two school records--triples in a game (2) and career (8). Additionally, her slugging percentage as a senior (.892) is surpassed only by fellow Sac City inductee Kim Martinez (.892).