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Bakersfield High’s Hall of Fame branches outside of athletics

Arline Pineda

Bakersfield High School: Hall of Fame

Bakersfield High School is preparing to host a historic event on Oct. 14—the Bakersfield High School Hall of Fame ceremony. While this reputable event has long been a celebration of athletic excellence, this year marks a significant turning point as the Hall of Fame expands its branches to recognize and honor outstanding alumni who have made remarkable contributions in fields beyond athletics.

By tradition, Bakersfield High School’s Hall of Fame has been notable for rewarding former Driller athletes who have achieved exceptional success in their respective sports. Iconic ay names like Steve Dowlearn, who went on to play football for the University of Colorado on a full-ride NCAA scholarship, and Josh Sherley, who played in four bowl games in his football career, both graced the halls of BHS. They were two, of several inductees, elected for the 12th annual Hall of Fame ceremony. They paved the way for future athletes, inspiring them to strive for greatness.

However, as of 2023, the Hall of Fame committee has decided to broaden the range of recognition. Now, alumni who have excelled in other fields, such as business, art, technology, science,  humanitarian efforts, and education will also be honored. 

Why the change?

This new approach to the Hall of Fame will be more inclusive of all BHS alumni’s diverse talents and achievements. By recognizing fields beyond sports, current students may feel inspired to explore their passions and unlock their potential, knowing that their excellence is one of many.

How to attend the banquet

The ceremony will take place on Oct. 14 at the Stockdale Country Club. Individual tickets are $125 and reservations for tables of eight guests are $900. 

The event will begin at 5:30 a no-host cocktail hour and appetizers, followed by the dinner and award ceremony at 6:30 p.m. Attendees can look forward to hearing inspirational stories from the inductees and witnessing them as they receive their medals.

The list of the 2023 inductees has been released, according to KGET, revealing a plethora of outstanding Drillers:

  • Hank Pfister, Athletics
  • Clark Mitchell, Athletics
  • Frances Ratliff, Athletics
  • Robert Coons, Athletics
  • The Baseball Team of 1970, Athletics
  • Larry Adams, Academica
  • Mickie Bucher, Alumna
  • Kristen Campbell Taylor, Arts
  • Harvey Hall, Community Service
  • Tom Hardt, Community Service

This year’s ceremony will not only pay tribute to the athletic legends who walked down the hallways of Bakersfield High School but also reward the alumni who’ve impacted their communities in other ways. It’s a night that’ll recognize the diverse range of talents in Bakersfield High School, allowing Drillers to admire their predecessors. 

Tickets for the Hall of Fame banquet can be purchased here.

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About the Contributors
Erika Rizo, Staff Writer
Arline Pineda, News Editor

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