Hall of Fame class finally ready for induction
The Madera Tribune File Photo
Former Madera Coyote cross country and track standout Benny Madrigal, who is also the coach of the Madera South cross country team will be one of five individuals inducted into the Madera Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday.
After waiting through the pandemic, the Madera F.A.N. Foundation will officially induct its 2020 class on Saturday at the Madera Fairgrounds’ Home Arts Bullding (formerly Woman’s World).
In the biggest induction class of the Hall of Fame’s history, the Madera F.A.N. will bring in three teams, five individuals, a contributor and a coach. The induction ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. with a 5 p.m. social hour. Tickets are $50. If interested in tickets, email firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP.
The 1965 Madera High School cross country team, the 1966 MHS diving team, the 1990 MHS cross country team will be inducted. In addition, individuals Tera (Booker) Napier, La Schelle Tarver, Benny Madrigal, Derek Hansen and Vanessa Salinas will be inducted.
Madera Auto Center owners Marty and Lela Mayfohrt will enter the Hall of Fame as contributors, as well as former track coach, the late Don Kautz.
• 1965 MHS Cross Country team — Captured the first cross country Valley Championship in school history. Defeated East of Bakersfield by five points. The team of Robert Yslas, Alex Fierros, Chon Holguin, Adriano Fierros and Tony Gomes won the frosh/soph Valley title after going undefeated. Madera Athletic Hall of Famer Yslas won the individual Valley title by five seconds. Madera Athletic Hall of Famer Alex Fierros was fourth, 15 seconds behind. Holguin was eighth and Gomes was 10th.
• 1966 MHS Diving team — Don McAlister won his fourth straight San Joaquin Valley Diviing championship by setting a new record for points, breaking his old record by more than 50 points. Dennis Row placed second behind McAlister and Mike Robertson placed third in the B division. Andrea Mortimer placed second and Patty Ulhalde took third in the girls division.
• 1990 Cross Country team — The Madera Coyotes were nearly perfect in a Div. I Championship. Jose Santiago won the individual title by 12 seconds over teammate Oscar Sanchez. Jose Uribe placed third and Erik Kropf was fifth. Art Rodriguez finished the scoring in sixth. However, Polo Duarte was seventh and Francisco Madrigal was 10th as all seven runners were in the top 10. Coyotes finished second in the State with Madrigal leading the Coyotes in eighth place.
• Tera Booker — A three-sport standout in volleyball, soccer and softball, Booker excelled in volleyball. She earned a walk-on roster spot at Fresno State and earned All-Western Athletic Conference honors in women’s volleyball. She was an All-North Yosemite League performer in volleyball and earned a Valley Championship with the 1989 softball team.
• Derek Hansen — Began his high school career at Madera High, but earned varsity letters at Madera South. He helped the build the school’s foundation for school spirit as a three-sport athlete. He is one of the only athletes in Madera South history to be named a captain for three sports — football, basketball and volleyball.
• Benny Madrigal — Madrigal won a Central Section cross country championship and helped lead the Coyotes to three team titles, including fourth in the State his senior year. He was also an elite runner on the track. He began the recent run of cross country runners at Fresno Pacific University with a scholarship. After earning his degree, he returned to Madera to coach and is the co-coach of the Stallions cross country team. He is also a diabetes advocate and runs in marathons for diabetes awareness.
• Vanessa Salinas — The 2008 season was a season of the ages for Salinas. She helped the Coyotes to a 31-4 record and a spot in the Central Section championship game, the only Valley Championship game held in Madera’s softball history. She went 24-4 during the season with a 0.78 ERA. She allowed just 21 earned runs and 89 hits in 189 innings pitched. She struck out 227 batters against just 29 walks.
• La Schelle Tarver — The North Yosemite League Player of the Year as the lead-off batter of one of the best offensive teams in Madera’s history and earned All-American honors. He played for Reedley College and Sacramento State. He was drafted by the New York Mets and was later traded to the Boston Red Sox. He is one of a handful of Madera Coyote baseball players to reach the Majors by playing with 13 games with the Red Sox.
• Coach Don Kautz — Taught at Madera High School from 1979-1987 and was the assistant varsity football coach and the head track and field coach while leading the Coyotes’ track team to numerous NYL championships. He later became Madera High School’s athletic director.
• Contributor Madera Auto Center- Marty and Lela Mayforhrt — Longtime contributors to the Madera F.A.N. group. They help give back to the Madera community as much as possible. The Mayforhrt’s have been the owners of Madera Auto Center for more than 20 years and believes they are just carrying on what previous owners have done.