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By Jesse Utz 

Lake Roosevelt Hall of Fame inductees added

Jess Shut Up


A few months ago I inducted the first two unofficial Raider Hall of Famers: Shawn and Nick Ford. Today I am inducting a few more former Raiders and coaches into the hallowed halls of Raider Nation.

Now, you can’t have a Raider Hall of Fame and not put in a world champion. Shane Proctor, champion bull rider and rodeo star is now placed in the hall. A graduate of Lake Roosevelt High School, he went on to big things following his love of rodeo. He comes back every summer, too, and puts on a first class, all-star rodeo camp for future champions.

Now we put in a man who influenced not only the first three inductees, but hundreds of others. A 1974 graduate of LR who excelled in wrestling, he is being inducted for what he did after he graduated. Steve Hood returned to his home town as a teacher, and a short time later was coaching wrestlers himself. He has brought many wrestlers to championships over the years, but creating the “Little Guy Wrestling Program” might be his biggest success in building future state competitors. Most kids who are privileged to walk on the mat with him will tell you he changed their lives in a positive way.

The next inductee never went to school at LR but has been a Raider longer than he went to his own school. Gary Darnold has been coaching a variety of sports at LRHS and at the middle school for many years but he has excelled at cross country. For 20-some straight years, Darnold has taken at least one runner to state in the grueling sport of cross country. He has also been a great influence over the years in the classroom. Many students have said they love the way Mr. Darnold teaches math. He is also humble, saying once, “I don’t do the running; the kids do, and they deserve the credit.” He is right to a point, but without his great influence and motivation, most kids will tell you, they would not have been as good.

Speaking of runners, Kristen Shields tore up the track as a runner here at LR, but when she got to Whitworth College she set the world on fire. She won a National Championship in the 100 meters while at Whitworth and won College Division Academic All-American of the Year in all sports, with a 4.0 all four years of college while winning all kinds of track awards along the way. She also anchored the relay team and ran other sprinting events and cross country. In 2009, she was inducted into the Whitworth Hall of Fame; now she is in the Raider Hall of Fame.

The next inductee did not earn his way into the hall by winning in the sporting arena, but in the writing race. Bruce Holbert, a 1978 LR grad, recently won the 2015 Washington State Book Award for his novel “The Hour of Lead.” He has written a few books over the years and has returned to the area on occasion to do book signings and visit family who still live in the area.

It is very difficult to go over records and scour the Internet for information about former Raiders. So I encourage you all to write and give me some more names to add to the Hall – people who graduated a Raider and went on to do big things in sports, classrooms, and in giving back to their community. I have a short list built up, but I know there are others out there. I will be adding more to the unofficial Raider Hall down the road, but help me out so I don’t forget someone worthy.

As we change the culture here at LR, it is important to see our success from the past and build upon it. Sometimes the only way to catch a star is to stand upon the foundation that was laid before you. GO RAIDERS!

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