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Athletics: ‘The Great 8’ of Saugus

Star-studded Hall of Fame class being honored at Saugus High

Posted: September 6, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: September 6, 2012 1:55 a.m.

The ticket for Saugus High's upcoming 2012 Hall of Fame ceremony shows some of the school's top athletes to graduate. The list includes pro athletes and an Olympian.

Saugus High School has produced some of the Santa Clarita Valley’s most accomplished athletes over the last decade.

That statement is validated by the school’s 2012 Hall of Fame class.

Saugus will induct graduates David Smith (a 2012 Olympian), Tommy Milone (a Major League baseball player), Nick Delio (a professional golfer), nine-time CIF champion runner Amber Murakami, career, season and single-game basketball assist leader AnnMarie Summerhays, all-time basketball leading scorer BJ Willkomm and football stars Desi Rodriguez and Ryan Zirbel on Sept. 13.

“As a professional golfer, professional baseball player, an Olympian — that takes center stage over (past Saugus Hall of Fame ceremonies),” said Saugus High Principal Bill Bolde. “When you look at someone like Amber Murakami — with nine CIF and state championships, I don’t know if anyone’s been better than that. That’s probably something no one else has done. To think about Ryan and Desi — everything they did, and BJ Willkomm and AnnMarie Summerhays. This is really something special.”

The event will take place at the Saugus High Library at 6:30 p.m. and admission is $10.

Saugus has welcomed some stellar talent to its Hall of Fame since it first started the honor in 1999.

Legendary local athletes like Roger Salkeld, Jamie Gillies, Nicole Giordano and Shannon Murakami have been honored in the past, as well as some of the valley’s most important coaches, such as John Clark, Doug Worley and Rene Paragas.

But this group of athletes represents some of the best in the Santa Clarita Valley over the last decade and beyond.

Smith, a 2003 Saugus grad and the boys volleyball team Most Valuable Player that year, went on to become UC Irvine’s career blocks leader and a member of the 2012 U.S. Men’s Volleyball team, which competed in the London Olympics.

Milone was the valley’s baseball player of the year in 2005, the year he graduated.

The former power hitting first baseman and pitcher has been one of the playoff contending Oakland A’s top starting pitchers this season.

Both are unable to attend the event, as is

Murakami, a junior on the UCLA cross country team.

Murakami, a 2010 Saugus grad, won four straight state championships as a member of the Saugus cross country team (2006-2009), four CIF-Southern Section division titles with cross country and a 2009 CIF team track and field title.

Delio was the best golfer in the area of the four-year stretch between 2004 and 2007 and currently plays on the National Pro Golf Tour.

Summerhays (Class of 2003) and Willkomm (Class of 2004) were both basketball stars for their respective programs.

Rodriguez was the valley’s player of the year in 2008 and Zirbel its top rusher in leading the Centurions to their first-ever Foothill League football title.

Zirbel is also the school’s all-time leading rusher.

“We have outstanding athletes all across the Santa Clarita Valley. We are blessed that we have such an elite group of athletes,” Bolde said. “We’re very proud of this group. We’re calling this group affectionately ‘The Great 8.’”

For more information on how to purchase tickets, email Saugus Athletic Director Jeff Hallman at or Bolde at or call Saugus High at 661-297-7491.


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