NEWBERG, Ore. – Three athletes, a basketball coach from a century ago, the most successful women’s soccer team to date, and two loyal supporters who sent four children to compete for Bruin teams comprise the George Fox University Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2013, which will be inducted in ceremonies on the Newberg campus on Saturday, Sept. 14.
Forming the Class of 2013 are athletes Eric Bell (baseball 2001-03), Gary Blackmar (football, men’s basketball, and men’s track and field 1964-68), and Becci Harper (women’s basketball and women’s track & field 1995-1997), Coach Russell Lewis (men’s basketball 1913-14, 1915-21), Dr. Alvis & Barbara Forbes (meritorious service), and the 1998 women’s soccer team. This will be the 18th group selected by the Sports Hall of Fame Committee.
The festivities will begin with the induction ceremony at 3:00 p.m. in the Bauman Auditorium. A reception for the inductees will follow at 4:30 p.m. in the Duke Atrium of the Stevens Center. This is the third year in a row for the Sports Hall of Fame ceremonies to be held in the fall; the first 15 were conducted during the winter.
The induction ceremony is free, but tickets will be required for the reception. Tickets are $13 for adults and $8 for children 12 and under, and must be purchased in advance; there will be no ticket sales at the door. Tickets will be mailed if purchased far enough in advance. To purchase tickets, please contact Mary Monahan in the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations by calling 503-554-2131, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GEORGE FOX UNIVERSITY SPORTS HALL OF FAME - CLASS OF 2013
One of the hardest-hitting players ever to don a Bruin baseball uniform, Eric Bell excelled both on the field and in the classroom for three years at George Fox. He was a 2003 American Baseball Coaches Association / Rawlings NCAA Division III First Team All-American at first base and a First Team All-West Region first sacker in 2003 after earning Second Team All-West Region honors as a designated hitter in 2002. A three-time First Team All-Northwest Conference player as a designated hitter in 2001-02 and at first in 2003, he was the NWC “Player of the Year” as a senior after batting .390 and ranking 8th nationally in home runs per game (0.39) and 19th in RBI per game (1.39). In the NWC that season, he ranked 1st in RBI (61), home runs (17), and total bases (121), 2nd in runs (47), 3rd in batting average (.390), and 5th in doubles (13). He was a Verizon / CoSIDA Academic All-America First Team and Academic All-District VIII selection in both 2002 and 2003. In George Fox career stats, he ranks 2nd in home runs (36) and walks (91), 3rd in on-base pct. (.511), 4th in runs batted in (151) and slugging pct. (.743), 6th in total bases (324), 7th in batting average (.392) and doubles (45), 8th in hit by pitches (19), 13th in runs (127), 14th in hits (121) and 17th in at bats (436).
Men’s Football, Basketball, Track and Field 1964-68
Gary Blackmar was one of the most versatile athletes ever to compete for the Bruins. In football, he was named the team’s Most Valuable Defensive Back as a cornerback and Most Inspirational Player three straight years. He served as team captain in 1967, and was invited to try out for the Canadian Football League’s Toronto Argonauts in 1968. He was a four-year basketball player and three-time team captain for the Bruins as they moved into the NAIA in 1965. He led the Bruins in scoring for three straight seasons (303 pts/10.8 ppg in 1965-66, 410 pts/15.8 ppg in 1966-67, and 321 pts./14.0 ppg in 1967-68), and was the leading rebounder in 1966-67 (295 reb/11.8 rpg). He ranks 10th on the George Fox all-time list in rebounds (740 rebounds in 96 games, 7.7 rpg) and 18th in points (1,215 in 96 games, 12.7 ppg). His rebounding average of 11.8 per game in 1966-67 ranks as the 7th-best average in a season. He was the team’s Most Inspirational Player and was named to the Oregon Collegiate Conference All-Star Team as a senior. In track and field, he led the team in points all four years and was named team MVP three times. He established school records in the high jump (6-1) and the 110-yard high hurdles (15.1), both since broken.
Women’s Basketball/Track & Field 1995-1997
A two-sport star in women’s track and field and basketball at George Fox, Becci Harper became the third Bruin athlete to repeat as a national champion when she captured back-to-back javelin titles and All-America honors in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics National Championships in 1996 and 1997. She established the George Fox javelin record in 1996 with a throw of 156-11. In basketball, she received honorable mention for All-Northwest Conference in 1995-96 and was an All-NWC First Team selection in 1996-97. She scored the winning basket in the waning seconds as the Bruins upset the NAIA’s No. 1 ranked team, Western Oregon University, early in the 1995 season. In her two seasons, she scored 706 points in 50 games (14.1 ppg), grabbed 450 rebounds (9.0 rpg), and made 64 three-point field goals, leading the team in that category both years.
Coach, Men’s Basketball 1913-14, 1915-21
In six seasons of coaching, Russell Lewis posted the second-best winning percentage (.698) among all George Fox men’s basketball coaches. Lewis’ teams went 44-19, starting with an 8-3 mark in 1913-14. After relinquishing the reins of the program for a year, he returned to guide the Bruins to 11-2 and 10-2 records in 1915-16 and 1916-17. His 1916-17 team beat Oregon State University 35-24 and captured the Willamette Valley League championship. He closed out his coaching career with a 6-3 record in 1920-21 as the Bruins again won the WVL crown. He was the head of the English department for more than 30 years (1912-35 and 1940-49).
DR. ALVIS & BARBARA FORBES
Dr. Alvis Forbes and his wife Barbara were loyal Bruin supporters who sent four children to George Fox who all became All-America and/or Academic All-America athletes: daughter Amy (volleyball, track and field 1997-2001), daughter Colleen (cross country, track and field 1998-2002), daughter Michelle (track and field 2000-04, assistant track and field coach 2005-12), and son Ryan (track and field 2005-09). The Forbes regularly traveled from their home in Wyoming to watch the Bruins compete, never missing the numerous national championship meets in which their children participated. He became an “unofficial” team doctor, assisting the George Fox athletic training staff in tending to the aches, pains, and unexpected injuries of the track team whenever needed. A man who loved God, his family, athletics and George Fox University, it was his caring and giving nature to always offer a helping hand in whatever way he could. A member of the U.S. military, the first place he went upon returning from the Middle East for the last time in 2005 was to a George Fox volleyball match to reunite with Ryan and Michelle. The Forbes had planned to move to Newberg to become a permanent member of the community when Alvis unexpectedly passed away on Oct. 1, 2007, while on the way back to Wyoming from George Fox.
1998 WOMEN’S SOCCER
With an overall record of 15-4-2 and a second-place finish in the Northwest Conference at 11-3-2, the 1998 George Fox women’s soccer team established several school records. The Bruins received an at-large bid to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Pacific Northwest Regional, becoming the first George Fox team to reach the regionals. George Fox was ranked 10th in the NAIA at end of the regular season, the program’s highest ranking ever. The team set school records for consecutive wins (7), consecutive games without a loss (14, with two ties), wins (15), winning percentage (.762), fewest goals allowed (15), and shutouts (9). Forward Karli Holub and defender Beth Liljenberg received NAIA All-America honorable mention. Holub, Liljenberg and midfielder Sarah Bowder were named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-Northwest Region First Team, and forward Jen Overstreet was Second Team. Holub, Liljenberg, and Bowder were All-NWC First Team selections, and defender April Sterhan was Second Team. Holub set season records for goals (15) and points (37), and goalkeeper Meghan Gibson ranked 4th nationally with a school-record goals-against average (0.62) while setting a season record for shutouts (9). Coach Byron Shenk was the Northwest Conference Coach of the Year and the NSCAA/Adidas NAIA West Region Coach of the Year.
Team members: Head coach Byron Shenk, assistant coach Tim Tsohantaridis, goalkeepers coach Todd Williams, Sarah Bowder, Shannon Clinton, Valerie Cole, Katrina Crabb, Megan Diefenbaugh, Meghan Gibson, Karli Holub, Ashleigh Hughes, Darla Imhausen, Beth Kahut, Beth Liljenberg, Kelly McCabe, Katie McCoy, Noelle Miller, Erin Oates, Jen Overstreet, April Sterhan, Annie Walsh, Kyla Yokers.