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Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table

Fred Warrecker Headlines Inductees for SBART Hall of Fame

Chris Gocong, Scott Randall, Kelly Schmandt Ferguson, Meghan Moore Reardon, Gary Pearce join veteran coach in Class of 2016

The induction class of 2016 includes, from left, Chris Gocong, Scott Randall, Gary Pearce, Kelly Schmandt Ferguson, Meghan Moore Reardon and Fred Warrecker. Click to view larger
The induction class of 2016 includes, from left, Chris Gocong, Scott Randall, Gary Pearce, Kelly Schmandt Ferguson, Meghan Moore Reardon and Fred Warrecker. (Felipe Garcia / SBART photo)

Longtime Santa Barbara High baseball coach Fred Warrecker headlined a group of six new members inducted into the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table Hall of Fame at La Cumbre Country Club on Monday evening.

During his 43 years coaching, Warrecker produced five Major League players and countless collegiate players. In more than four decades wearing the Dons uniform, he guided his squads to 615 wins, 13 Channel League titles and 22 CIF playoff appearances.

Fred Warrecker gives a speech during the SBART Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Monday evening at La Cumbra Country Club.
Fred Warrecker gives a speech during the SBART Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Monday evening at La Cumbra Country Club.  (Felipe Garcia / SBART photo)

“When I was first hired as head coach, I’ll never forget walking down to the field at Santa Barbara High and standing in front of the third base dugout,” Warrecker said. “I remember looking up at the mountains and saying that this would be mine for the rest of my life.” 

Most importantly, Warrecker instilled the valuable lessons of hard work and respect to all of his players. His youngest son, Donny, follows this same approach while taking over the reins as Dons head coach this year.

“It’s been a great ride and I would never do anything else,” Warrecker added. “I’m grateful to have been able to transform these boys into everyday heroes during the last forty-three years at Santa Barbara High School.”

Also inducted were Kelly Schmandt Ferguson (San Marcos), Chris Gocong (Carpinteria), Gary Pearce (UCSB), Scott Randall (Dos Pueblos) and Meghan Moore Reardon (Santa Barbara). Receiving other notable awards were Lito Garcia, John Dvorak and Sue McDonald.  

Kelly Schmandt Ferguson​: During her four years as a Royal, she was won the Channel League singles title three times and was twice honored as the Round Table High School Tennis Player of the Year. Schmandt Ferguson was named San Marcos’ Scholar Athlete of the Year in 1999. She went on to play at Vanderbilt and helped her team reach their first NCAA Final in 2000. During her time as a Commodore, Schmandt Ferguson broke three school records, including best singles win percentage for a year (82 percent), singles win percentage in a season (85 percent in 2003), and most doubles wins for a year (32 in 2004).  

“I remember in 1997, when my older sister Cindy got inducted into the Hall of Fame for Track at Santa Barbara High,” commented Schmandt Ferguson. “It’s pretty rare to have siblings in the Hall of Fame together and it says a lot about the strength of our family.”

Chris Gocong: The former fearsome Warriors linebacker used to tear it up on the football field at Carpinteria Valley Memorial Stadium. During his high school career, Gocong earned all CIF football  honors in both 2000 and 2001. The linebacker went on to play football at Cal Poly, where he was named a unanimous All-American in 2005 and received the Buck Buchanan Award. After being drafted by Philadelphia in the third round of the 2006 NFL Draft, Gocong played seven years in the league as a linebacker for the Eagles and Cleveland Browns.  

“I was never the most athletic or smartest person in the room but my work ethic combined with being in the weight room helped me build confidence in order to take me places,” Gocong said. 

Gary Pearce: This man was a force for the UCSB Volleyball team in 1980 while earning second-team All-American honors. During his senior year, Pearce turned in one of the greatest individual performances in Gauchos history, crushing a perfect 25 kills on 25 attempts against San Diego State. He twice earned all CIF honors for Dos Pueblos while being named named Round Table Volleyball Player of the Year in 1975. In his freshman year at SBCC, Pearce earned All-Western State Conference honors as a setter and outside hitter. 

“My son Austin has been recognized a few times from the Athletic Round Table so it’s cool to have him sit there and watch his old man receive what is most likely my last athletic award,” Pearce joked.

Scott Randall: Always making his presence felt for Dos Pueblos was their ace pitcher, who earned All-CIF honors while being named All-Santa Barbara Country Co-MVP and Channel League Co-Player of the Year in 1993. While playing for legendary head coach Scott O’ Leary, Randall went 14-3 during his senior year and led the Chargers to the ’93 CIF Finals. He also played for SBCC and UCSB before being taken by the Colorado Rockies in the 11th round of the 1995 MLB Draft. During his pro career, Randall appeared in 15 games for the Reds, with two starts and two wins. 

“I always believed that if you wanted to learn about pitching, then you talk to a hitter,” Randal said. “With this in mind, I grew up with a lot of pitching coaches, which is one the reasons that I became a good pitcher.”

Meghan Moore Reardon: She was a four-year starter for Santa Barbara High’s girls soccer team while pouring in 88 goals and dishing off 64 assists. Moore Reardon was twice named Channel League MVP and was honored as the Santa Barbara Country Player of the Year in 1997 and 1998. With three consecutive All-CIF honors, she earned a scholarship to Boston College, where the midfielder totaled 26 goals and 31 assists. During Moore Reardon's historic career with the Eagles, she earned first-team All-Big East honors in 2000 and was named to the New England Intercollegiate Soccer Association First Team in 2001. 

“When I was in high school, I remember how much it meant going to the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table,” Moore Reardon concluded. “They’ve always been an organization that recognizes both the female and male athletes on an equal playing field.”

RUSS HARGREAVES MEMORIAL AWARD

Lito Garcia: With his ongoing efforts to provide organized after-school sports programs, Santa Barbara Junior High’s Principal has overseen over 850 youth participate annually during the past three years. Under Garcia’s leadership, the Santa Barbara School District provides after school sports for students at Goleta, La Cumbre, La Colina and Santa Barbara Junior High Schools. His passion is working with students in order to help them decide who they want to become and directing them towards their path. 

R.F. MACFARLAND MEMORIAL TROPHY

John Dvorak: Co-founded Presidio Sports with Blake Dorfman in 2008 and operated the Santa Barbara sports website for nearly eight years. During this time, the site posted more than 22,000 local sports articles, 5,000 images and 500 videos. After graduating from Cate, Dvorak attended New York University, where he studied print journalism. Before launching his internet business, he worked in the sports department of the Santa Barbara News Press from 2006 to 2008.

MASTER ATHLETE AWARD

Sue McDonald: Earned the Silver Metal in the Women's 50 high jump in the 2015 Master World Athletics Championship in Lyon, France. McDonald is currently the American Record Holder in the high jump (W50) and her 2013 mark of 1.58 still stands as the top jump in the world. After a stand-out collegiate career at Cal State Northridge, she saw multiple top-15 finishes in the USA National Championships in the high jump.

The high school and college athletes of the year and other award winners will be recognized at an “Evening of Athletes” on Wednesday at the Lobero Theatre. The Lobero event will be free of charge.

— Noozhawk sports reporter Blake DeVine can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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