FGHS to honor latest Hall of Fame inductees
Forest Grove High School will honor another group of their finest this Saturday, Dec. 14, when they honor five more legendary Vikings players and coaches during the Forest Grove High School Athletic Hall of Fame induction banquet at 5 p.m. at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Course in Cornelius.
This year's inductees include basketball player Mike Olson, coaches Larry Binkerd and Paul Waterstreet, softball player Michele Houston and Gary Cammann, who will be inducted for his meritorious service to the school.
Cammann, a 1959 FGHS graduate, earned his stripes beyond the playing field, via his work with others.
Mr. Cammann, Coach Cammann or Gary Cammann to many, was a physical education and health teacher in Dilley, Gales Creek and at Neil Armstrong Middle School in Cornelius, and had a passion for athletics. His keen understanding of the entirety of the role of sport generated a contagious desire to excel. He believed coaching should go beyond the competitive aspects of the games, and further to areas beneficial to life as an adult. His athletes learned how to win and lose with dignity, and about the importance of giving 100 percent.
"He taught the basic fundamentals in a way that the kids had fun," former friend and co-worker Bob Haack said. "His intense love of life and keen use of humor were his hallmarks of educating."
After graduation from Forest Grove, Cammann spent four years in the Air Force before completing a bachelor's degree and later a master's of education program at Pacific University. He became a fixture in the Forest Grove youth sports community, mentoring kids through work with the Special Olympics Program and Forest Grove's J.C. Kid's Wrestling Program, along with youth and high school baseball.
Cammann died in 1983, but while the man was gone too soon, his memory lives on by way of the Gary Cammann Memorial Trophy and Scholarship awarded each year to the most outstanding FGHS athlete in wrestling and baseball. The flag pole and plaque dedicated to him at Lincoln Park's baseball field honor of his work with the city's Babe Ruth Baseball program.
"Gary truly made a remarkable contribution to Forest Grove and surrounding communities by helping to lay the foundation for Forest Grove High School Athletics," nomination materials said.
Paul Waterstreet, a Reynolds High School graduate, arrived in Forest Grove in 1970 as a college freshman at Pacific University. Upon graduation, Waterstreet stayed in town and began a life's work mentoring kids in fitness and recreation.
As a middle school teacher and athletic event director, he dedicated many hours to helping kids make good choices about healthy living in their community. Over nearly 50 years, Waterstreet has contributed his knowledge, experience and ideals to the youth of Forest Grove, including more than 20 years of coaching, first as an age group coach and later at Forest Grove High School, where he coached both district and state champions, including current inductees in the FGHS Athletic Hall of Fame.
As a member and chair of the City of Forest Grove Recreation Commission for 27 years, Waterstreet pioneered a number of projects directly affecting youth and activity in the city, including the aquatic center's major renovation, the building of the skate and BMX park, along with many of the neighborhood parks and trails. In 2007, he was awarded the Oregon Governor's State Fitness Award for his contribution to recreation in the community.
"Paul is a tireless advocate for the students of FGHS," City of Forest Grove Director of Parks and Recreation Tom Gamble said. "He has dedicated the majority of his adult life as an advocate for student welfare and involvement in athletic activities."
Since retiring in 2014, Waterstreet has continued his involvement with Viking athletics, announcing and scorekeeping for football, basketball, baseball and track meets, and specifically back at the pool, where he announces meets for his son and present-day FGHS head swimming coach Tabor Waterstreet, who's carrying on Paul's dedication to developing strong and confident athletes.
Larry Binkerd earned his nomination by way of more than a decade worth of coaching at FGHS.
The Hillsboro High School and Linfield College graduate coached track and football at the high school, including head coaching duties on the track.
Under his tutelage, Vikings track and field athletes were either league champions or runner-ups for seven straight seasons, and when girls became part of the program in 1972, they experienced tremendous success. Binkerd coached 15 state placers at Forest Grove, and as a defensive coach under FGHS Hall of Famer Jeff Durham, was a part of five consecutive league championships and a state runner-up in 1976.
Binkerd went on to teach and coach for three years at Beaverton High School before spending the remainder of his career at Hillsboro High School, where he spent nine seasons as the head football coach and to this day maintains a coaching role with the Spartans track and field team.
Mike Olson, a member of the Class of 1970, was a standout on the hardwood, playing all four years at Forest Grove High School and leading the 1968-69 team to a 16-7 record and trip to the state tournament.
Olson scored 15 points in a 67-60 playoff win over Oregon City en route to the state tourney, then led the Vikings with 27 points in a 70-60 loss to McNary in the tournament's first round.
His accomplishments on the court include two first team all-league selections, and at the time, school scoring records for single season points (430), single game points (41), and career points (820), and all without the benefit of a 3-point line.
Olson went on to play four years of basketball at Linfield College, where he earned honorable mention all-district honors.
Michele Houston, a 1992 graduate, was "the best hitter to ever wear a Vikings softball uniform," according to her coach, Ron Thompson.
During her time at Forest Grove, Houston played center field, second base, shortstop and even pitched, while earning first team all-league honors all four years, honorable mention all-state her first three years, and first team all-state honors following her senior campaign.
Despite her acumen on the field, Thompson noted that more importantly, the standout was a team player who always put her teammates first.
And on the field?
"Michele had the quickest bat I have ever seen."
If you'd like to attent this Saturday's induction banquet, tickets are on sale in the high school athletic office or by calling 503-359-2437. Tickets are $35 per person and must be purchased in advance of the banquet.
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