Tom Flores

Tom Flores at the inaugural Sanger High School Athletic Hall of Fame banquet in 2018.

Football great Tom Flores, a Sanger High graduate, who was enshrined in the Sanger High School Athletic Hall of Fame at the inaugural banquet last year will be a headliner at a meet and greet event this year on May 3 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. at the Hall of Fame building between the Depot Museum and the library in the park by city hall.

"Tom is bringing his whole family this year," said Hall of Fame committee chairperson Brian Penner. 

"Since the banquet on May 4 is sold out we thought it would be great to have a meet and greet event so fans can interact with Tom and many of this year's Hall of Fame inductees," said Penner. 

"Tom is planning to visit several elementary schools in the morning and after lunch he'll come to the meet and greet in the park. His foundation has donated thousands of dollars over the years to Sanger elementary schools and Tom and his wife, Barbara, enjoy visiting the schools every time they come to Sanger." 

This year's list of Hall of Fame inductees includes: three great coaches - track and field icon Dave Dodson, Sanger's "Mr. Football" Chuck Shidan and Roy Tanimoto who won championships in football and basketball; five players, one of the Apaches' best ever quarterbacks Willie Garcia, Apache and Annapolis high jump super star Cole Herron, football great Ted Torosian, All American water polo player Chris Wallin and the Apaches' softball strikeout queen Cindy Weibert Fires; the 1950 Valley Championship baseball team; and a major contributor to Apache sports programs for many, many years, statistician Ron Blackwood.

"Anyone, without tickets, hoping to be at the banquet can call Erlinda Valdez at (559) 618-6180. She's in charge of our wait list and it's possible a spot or two may open up before the curtain rises on the 'Night of Stars' themed event at the community center," said Penner. 

"But the meet and greet will provide a great opportunity to visit with Tom Flores and many of this year's inductees.

We've heard a few members of the 1950 Valley Championship baseball team are going to make a special effort to be there."

The reporter can be contacted by email at sangerherald@gmail.com or by phone at the Herald at (559) 875-2511.

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