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It was a two-year pandemic catch-up ceremony, enshrining the exploits of past Cleveland High athletes

DAVID F. ASHTON - Meet this years and Mel Krause CHS Athletic Hall of Fame inductees: Taylor Avritt, Yadnel Ayala, Nelson Franks, Julie Grahn Hicks, Josie Boccuzzi-Hall, Billy Hefflinger, and Anna-Kate (AK) Sitz Peterson. The energy level was high in the Cleveland High School (CHS) Gymnasium on Friday evening February 4 – not only because of the great basketball games played there, but because it was the night of this year's "Mel Krause CHS Athletic Hall of Fame" induction ceremony.

But first, before the presentations, came basketball – as the Cleveland High Warriors Girls' Basketball team dribbled, passed, took shots, and won their game over Leodis V. McDaniel High School, by a score of 66 to 44.

Then CHS Special Projects Coordinator Jan Watt took over the microphone at the scoring desk, and thanked the CHS Alumni Association and Cleveland High School Booster Club, for their 29 years of support.

"Tonight, we honor seven Cleveland past graduates who have been voted into our Hall of Fame this year," Watts began. "And it's also a pleasure to welcome back to Cleveland some of the former athletes and coaches who have already been inducted!

"Those recognized here this evening include the Hall Of Fame inductees from who would have received the honor in 2020, 2021, and 2022, because the pandemic prohibited holding the ceremony last year."

Then, as she announced each of following honorees, they filed down the "walk of fame", and strolled through an arch of pompoms held aloft by the CHS Cheer Team. They were:

Taylor Avritt – 2007 graduate, track and football; track relay team and shot-put; football State leading rusher in both 5A and 6A classifications, and recruited by Linfield College.

Yadnel Ayala - 2013 graduate, football and wrestler: winner of three PIL wrestling championships, and 8th place at State. Served as an assistant wrestling coach at Cleveland.

Nelson Franks - 2010 graduate, basketball, baseball and football; voted onto baseball and football All-League 1st teams, and selected for the Les Schwab Bowl and as the National Football Foundation's scholar-athlete.

Julie Grahn Hicks - 1994 graduate, volleyball, basketball, softball and track; voted onto the volleyball and basketball All-City 1st teams; and at Trinity University won 1st place in javelin four years, and placed three times at Nationals.

Josie Boccuzzi-Hall - 1993 graduate, volleyball, basketball and softball; voted All-League 1st team in all three sports, and PIL Player of Year in softball. Competed for Concordia University as a softball player.

Billy Hefflinger - 1995 graduate, soccer, football and baseball; All-PIL recognition in soccer and football; at York College voted to baseball's All-American first team to three conference All-Star teams. Coached baseball at four universities; Conference Coach of Year; and currently a professor of education and the Chair of the Arts and Social Sciences department at Western Texas College.

Anna-Kate (A.K.) Sitz Peterson - 2000 graduate, soccer, basketball, softball, golf; voted onto soccer's All-League first team four times; PIL Player of Year, and All-State first team. At the 2013 World Masters Games in Italy, her team won the soccer Gold medal. Coached soccer, softball, and boys and girls golf, at CHS.

DAVID F. ASHTON - Before the Hall of Fame ceremony, the Cleveland High Warriors Girls Basketball team won their game over Leodis V. McDaniel High School, by a score of 66 to 44. Here, Warrior Varsity player Riana Lancaster, a senior, shoots - and scores!

The crowd in the CHS gym that night acclaimed these seven new members of the "Mel Krause Cleveland High School Athletic Hall of Fame" – as you'll see, in this brief BEE video made at the ceremony – youtu.be/7aYZCU3jaZ0


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