The Weed High School Athletic Hall of Fame held its 12th annual induction ceremony Saturday night at a packed Sons of Italy Hall in Weed. The board of directors, many of them former athletes and coaches, selected six individuals, five teams, and a coach to enter the hall this year.

The Weed High School Athletic Hall of Fame held its 12th annual induction ceremony Saturday night at a packed Sons of Italy Hall in Weed. The board of directors, many of them former athletes and coaches, selected six individuals, five teams, and a coach to enter the hall this year.

Four of the teams honored competed in the early 1960s, and their ranks are thinning.

None of the seven members from the 1959-1960 Track and Field team were able to attend, though Jon Scribner’s daughter Jennifer and Doug Blankenship’s daughter Stacey accepted Hall of Fame jackets for their fathers.

That team of just seven boys won the Siskiyou County Championship, with Scribner and Curtis Jones serving as captains. Jones was also inducted as an individual. He ran track four years, winning every 880-yard race he entered and setting a school record of 1:57.4 that still stands.

Coach Robert Linebarger would be head track coach for 26 years.

Five of the seven members of the track team also played on the 1959-1960 varsity football team that won the Shasta Cascade League championship and was Siskiyou County co-champ.

The team went 9-1, outscoring their opponents 267-44. Curtis Jones rushed for nine touchdowns and made the Siskiyou County all-league team. Kicker Jim Lemos scored 27 points, and Woody Smith played a fierce defensive end.

Zalunardo, the school’s beloved “Coach Z,” played on the1959-1960 team and was also inducted as an individual. He teamed up with Mike Carpine as assistant varsity basketball coach and jayvee coach to produce many championship teams and award-winning athletes.

Another 1960 team, the 1960-1961 basketball team that was the Shasta Cascade League Class A Varsity Champion, was inducted into the HOF.

Leading scorer Doug Debortoli averaged 17 points a game and had a season-high 35-point game. He made 1st team SCL and teammate Phil Gilliam was selected to the 2nd team.

The 1963-1964 boys basketball team compiled a 21-3 record, finishing as Siskiyou County Athletic League Champion, and winning the South Siskiyou Holiday and North Sectional Tournaments.

Al Shipman was selected as coach of the year and Don Welch as player of the year on a team that won the SCL championship three years in a row. Player Mike Carpine would later serve two stints as Weed’s basketball coach.

He coached, with Zalunardo as his assistant, the 1984-1985 varsity boy’s basketball team that won the Shasta Cascade League Championship and the “AA” Northern California tourney.

Kerry Williams and Bob West were high-scorers.

West was also inducted for his individual achievements. He was all-league in both baseball and basketball and started as quarterback for the football team.

Bob coached girl’s basketball at Weed for 12 years, winning three consecutive SCL championships. His son Robert West coaches basketball at Weed High School, while Kerry Williams’ son Jeffrey is the JV coach.

That seemed to be the theme of the evening, as family names were woven into the fabric of years of Weed athletic history. With the induction of Wade Blankenship, all five Blankenship brothers – Wade, Larry, Doug, Dick, and Roger – are now enshrined.

Wade graduated in 1956. He lettered in three sports, was all-league in baseball and class president. He later served his country as a Lt. Colonel.

Individual honoree Michelle Toohey-Wolf earned eight varsity letters in volleyball, basketball, and softball. In accepting the award, she said, “My coaches believed in me before I believed in myself.”

Toohey-Wolf spoke with pride of being able to pass down the values she learned at Weed High School to the softball players she coaches at Susanville, and to her two sons.

With a 10-year waiting period after graduation before a student can be considered for the HOF, no current-century athlete had been selected until this year. 2001 graduate Nate Parker was all-Northern Athletic League in golf for three years and helped establish the sport at the school.

The late Virgil Tuman was honored for his school service as maintenance worker and bus driver at Weed, shepherding the team home from long road trips, always with a good word for everybody. His wife Jeannie accepted his HOF jacket.

Organized by Peggy Soletti, who one board member called “the heart and soul of the Hall of Fame team,” the event brought together the large “family” that supports its hometown student-athletes for a celebration where everyone knew your name.