Hundreds attend RHS Hall of Fame induction ceremony
New memories, new tales to tell and perhaps a renewed appreciation for being a part of such a storied tradition.
“This is what the Hall of Fame is all about,” said Mercado, a two-sport athlete and community activist from the class of 1964. “This brings all the folks together to celebrate the Long Blue Line.”
Mercado was among a group of inductees that included three sport star John Butler (Class of 1960), and two sport stars Randy Orwig (Class of 1968) and Jamie Vessey (Class of 2005). Also inducted was the 1968 Bee Football team.
The dinner and ceremony capped off a long day for the inductees. They toured the campus, strolled through the RHS Hall of Fame and talked with athletes. “I spent the day hearing things I had never heard about before,” said Vessey, the youngest inductee. “The school doesn’t have a Bee team anymore. It was quite an honor to be so young and inducted so quickly.”
A 2005 graduate, the campus hadn’t changed much. For some of the other inductees, however, it was their first tour in years.
“It was fun to be here,” Orwig said. “I explained to the kids about some of the big games I was in and to deal with them. I spoke with a couple of the pitchers on the baseball team. It was good.”
The Bee Football team seemed to be a crowd favorite. The team was based on size - they were sophomores who hadn’t fully grown in their bodies yet. They managed to produce an undefeated season.
“It was unique,” said Fred Venegas, a safety on the team. “They broke it down. There were so many kids. But it gave us the opportunity to play.”
John Butler appreciated the group of inductees.
“I think it’s a great class,” Butler said. “They are great. “Overall, it’s a class that is to be proud of.”
The ceremony itself drew more than 100 more attendees than last year’s event, which is a good sign for the RHS Hall of Fame.
“I want them to leave with the thought that Redlands history lives on,” said Clarence Butler, president of the Hall of Fame. And we want to share it with the kids at school. Maybe one of those kids will be in the hall of fame one day.”