They are men and women representing multiple sports and multiple communities, but their one common link is the greatness they achieved in sports.
That greatness will be celebrated in September when six athletes, two coaches, two contributors and one team are formally inducted into the Snohomish County Sports Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony, which includes a dinner banquet, will be Sept. 17 in the Edward H. Hansen Conference Center at Everett’s Comcast Arena.
This year’s class includes athletes:
- Erik “Otto” Olson of Everett, a three-time state champion wrestler at Everett High School and a three-time NCAA All-American at the University of Michigan.
- Jeff Pahukoa of Marysville, an all-state football player at Marysville-Pilchuck High School who went on to the University of Washington and then played six seasons in the NFL.
- Theresa Wagner Romagnolo of Edmonds, a standout soccer player at Lakeside High School in Seattle and the University of Washington who went on to play professionally and is now the head coach at the University of Notre Dame.
- Bret Summers of Marysville, a U.S. and North American amateur boxing champion in the late 1970s and early 1980s who later posted a 28-3-1 pro record and was ranked as high as No. 11 in the world.
- Matt Surina of Everett, a four-time winner on the Professional Bowlers Association tour and also a winner on the PBA Senior Tour.
- Richard “Rusty” Wailes of Edmonds, who rowed at Yale University and won a gold medal with the United States eight-man team at the 1956 Olympics, and again in the men’s coxless four at the 1960 Olympics.
The coaches in this year’s class are:
- Margaret “Maggie” King, an early advocate for sports opportunities for girls and a longtime coach of volleyball, basketball, tennis, and track and field at Mountlake Terrace High School.
- Joe Richer, a graduate of Everett High School who returned to the school as a longtime teacher, counselor and coach in basketball and golf. His 1971 golf team tied for the state championship.
The contributors being inducted are Bob and Margaret Bavasi, who brought minor-league baseball to Everett in 1984 with the Everett Giants, today the Everett AquaSox.
The team being inducted is the 1952 Everett High School football team, coached by Jim Ennis, that went undefeated while outscoring its opponents 248-45, and capped its season by defeating Franklin of Seattle in a Thanksgiving Day game.
Wailes, King and Richer are deceased.
This is the fifth year for inductees into the Hall of Fame and once again “the quality (of the class) is exceptional,” said Frank Foster, chair of the Hall of Fame committee. “Each of these inductees represents their sports excellently.”
This year’s class will bring the Hall of Fame totals to 32 athletes, 14 coaches, five contributors and eight teams. With the inductions of Olson and Surina, wrestling and bowling will be represented in the Hall of Fame for the first time.
“If you want to use a hyperbole, it’s mind boggling when you come to realize what an incredible group of individuals, teams, etc., that have all come from Snohomish County,” Foster said. “Our Hall of Fame can compete, if you want to look at it that way, with any Hall of Fame in the state.
“We don’t stand second to anyone. We’re right there with all of them.”