CHS Athletic Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017 honored

By Gini Davis

The Creswell Chronicle

Outstanding athletes and coaches were inducted and Paul Hartman (1932-2016) received a posthumous Distinguished Athletic Service Award during Creswell High School’s Sixth Annual Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, held May 20.

Inductees included:

• 1979 2A Individual Girls’ State Cross Country Champion Tamra Bilderback (Pratt)

• 1983 2A State Championship Golf Team: Scott Gilbert, Jeff Gilbert, Cameron Bittle, Greg Goodman, Monte Reiser, Head Coach Doug Orton, Assistant Coach JR Bonebrake

• 1996 3A State Championship Cheer Team: Stacey Brown (Bohrer), Tracy Carothers (Kreiling), Lainna Dinoff (Olson), Amber Gray, Danette Martin (Roy), Angela McQuiston (Williamson), Nikki McQuiston (McOmber), Anna Orton (Boyd), Head Coach Tara Mahoney

• 1993-present Head Volleyball Coach Anna Baltrusch.

Another “surprise” inductee was Baltrusch’s daughter, Sarah Davis (Hanson). “Only about five people knew this was happening,” Emcee Greg Menegat said.

Davis garnered multiple All-State, All-State Tournament and All-League honors. At the University of Texas, El Paso she was All-Conference First Team, Defensive Player of the Year, and broke records for digs.

Accepting Hartman’s award was his great-granddaughter, Brooklyn Jones, who remembered his dedication to teaching, coaching, community and family.

Pratt was honored as a “ferocious competitor” who, as a sophomore, won Creswell’s first individual state cross country title. While describing running as a “lonely sport: it’s just you, your body and the clock,” she credited her mother, teammates, coaches and God for her success.

“I didn’t earn a state championship or set records on my own; it takes a team to get across the finish line,” she said. “When you set a goal and start working toward it, all of a sudden people start coming out of the woodwork to help you achieve it.”

Scott Gilbert likewise cited teamwork for the 1983 Golf Team’s 72-1 championship season record. “I’ve only been on a golf ‘team’ one time in my life, that felt like a team, and that was this one,” he said.

Mahoney – a 19-year-old head coach when her 1996 Cheer Team won State – credited their hard work. “I’m so proud of these eight girls for making magic with nothing,” she said. “I’ve gone on to coach 20 other state championship and three national championship teams, but this first time still moves me to tears.”

Over 20 years, Baltrusch’s volleyball teams (overall record: 453-153) have gone to State 18 times (12 times finishing top six) and won six league titles. She’s earned State and League Coach of the Year multiple times; 18 players have played college volleyball; dozens became coaches.

“It’s been a remarkable rollercoaster ride,” she said.

Baltrusch strives to develop individual talent, cohesive teams and a lifelong love of the game. “My coaching philosophy is: ‘When teamwork is our goal, victories will happen along the way,’” she said.

Hanson encouraged fans to support Creswell volleyball. “When I played, the gym was always so packed they couldn’t let anyone else in,” she said. “That support means so much; it makes kids want to work harder.”

Scholarships were presented to senior athletes Carly Ayer and Dallas Dewey.