October 6, 2011
For Immediate Release
For additional information:
Barbara Kerr, APR
Executive Director of Communications and Marketing
Announcing the Clark College Athletic Hall of Fame:
Honoring excellence in Penguin athletics
The college is currently seeking nominations
for the first Hall of Fame class,
which will be announced next January
and honored on February 25, 2012
VANCOUVER, Wash. – In recognition of the highest level of achievement of student athletes, coaches and staff, Clark College is establishing an Athletic Hall of Fame.
The announcement of the first class of inductees will be made during the 2012 State of the College Address on Thursday, January 19.
The inductees will be honored at a dinner on Saturday, February 25, 2012 at 6 p.m. in Clark’s Gaiser Student Center.
Knight credited former interim athletic director Dennis Huston and members of the Penguin Athletic Club for their “leadership and vision” in making the Hall of Fame a reality.
Clark College President Robert K. Knight said, “Since Clark College was founded in 1933, athletics for women and men have played an important part in the lives of Clark students and in the college’s role in the community. We look forward to celebrating their accomplishments and honoring our history in this new and exciting way.”
Nomination forms are now available at http://www.clarkpenguins.com/information/Hall_of_Fame. Nominations must be received by Tuesday, November 1. Inductees will be notified by mid-December.
Nominations may be delivered or sent to Clark College Athletics, O’Connell Sports Center, Room 205, 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver, WA 98663. Nominations may also be sent by email to: email@example.com. For additional information, contact the Clark College Athletics Department at 360-992-2691.
The history of athletics at Clark College
The first issue of the college’s Galapagon yearbook (1936) includes articles about a men’s basketball team, which participated in the Willamette Valley Basketball Conference, as well as a men’s tennis team. Two years later, the 1938 Galapagon yearbook showcased the addition of women’s tennis, a co-ed fencing team, and a women’s swim team.
According to the website of the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges (NWAACC), “Although athletic competition between junior colleges existed in the 1930s, the first structured league and championship events in men's sports first came about when the Washington State Junior College Athletic Conference (WSJCAC) was formed in 1946. The nine charter members of the WSJCAC were Centralia, Clark, Everett, Grays Harbor, Lower Columbia, Olympic, Skagit Valley (known then as Mt. Vernon Junior College), Wenatchee Valley and Yakima Valley. Columbia Basin became the tenth member in 1955.”
Athletics at Clark College expanded rapidly after World War II. The 1948 college yearbook introduced the first football team in the college’s history, with the legendary Skeet O’Connell as co-coach. Clark student athletes also took part in baseball, basketball and track. Vern Kindsfather was the pitcher for the Penguins that season. Today, Kindsfather Field is named in his honor.
Clark alum Randy Myers, class of 1983, was a star pitcher for the Penguin baseball team during his years at Clark. He played for New York Mets and the Cincinnati Reds, where he was named the National League co-MVP as a member of the World Series Reds team.
Since the 1950s, men’s and women’s athletics have expanded at Clark College with the introduction of sports including badminton, bowling, cross country, fencing, field hockey, golf, soccer, track and field, volleyball and wrestling. During the past decade, both softball and baseball returned to Clark College as competitive sports.
Today, Clark student athletes participate in baseball, basketball, cross country, softball, soccer, track and field and volleyball.