Sports

LBSU inducts Jered Weaver into Hall of Fame

The Long Beach Hilton’s second story ballroom was lined with many of Long Beach State’s most treasured alumni as 10 inductions were made to the school’s athletic Hall of Fame on Wednesday.

Volleyball, basketball, baseball, softball, and even sports the university no longer sanctions such as football and men’s tennis were honored as some of its most gifted individuals and teams were etched into school history.

The first was former Dirtbag and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim ace Jered Weaver, who was picked 12th overall in the Major League Baseball draft in 2004 after pitching for LBSU.

“It was great,” Weaver said of his experience pitching for the Dirtbags. “When I went on my recruiting trips I had a couple different options, but as soon as I stepped foot on Long Beach’s campus and met all their guys, there really was not a decision to be made. To be a part of a program that has such a tradition, it was not a hard decision for me.”

Weaver said one of his fondest memories is pitching a complete game shutout for the Big West Conference championship on Cal State Fullerton’s field.

The 1989 women’s volleyball team was also inducted — the first national championship team in the program’s history.

Co-captain Tara Cross-Battle said: “I feel wonderful. It is the first national championship team and to be a part of it is one of the best feelings I have had in my career. I think that goes for all the players. We know we were the first team. They cannot take that away from us.”

There was a video tribute to the team highlighting its three-set sweep of the University of Nebraska in the national championship game. The team had to defeat the nation’s first, second and fourth ranked schools en route to the title.

Brian Gimmillaro, 27th-year women’s volleyball head coach said: “When you are the first of anything it is special. If sports has a purpose at a university it is to epitomize and reflect the ability and integrity of the school and community and I know that this team did.”

The other inductees into the Hall of Fame, which had not performed an induction in three years, were Meredith Cervenka (softball), Le’gretta Hinds Smith (track & field), Alan Knipe (volleyball), Margaret Mohr (basketball), Mark Templeton (football), Cheryl Weaver (volleyball), Peter Smith (coach/student, tennis), and CSULB Vice President of Student Services Doug Robinson (administration).

“I am really honored to be a part of it,” Templeton said. “I am glad football is being recognized even though it is not there anymore.”

Each inductee was given a chance to speak after three awards were given to student athletes. Senior basketball star Casper Ware was presented the Bill Bovee Determination award. Liz Javier (2010, softball) received the Lynn Hoyem Leadership honor. Brandon Nevens (2010, basketball) was given the Todd Hart Courage award.


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