Rebirth of a ‘neighborhood’ _ Editorial

For one wonderful night time, a “neighborhood” that had sat dormant for a lot too lengthy got here again to life.

After being compelled to the sidelines from 2020-22 due to the COVID pandemic, the Chico Enterprise-Report was thrilled to carry again our forty eighth Chico Sports activities Corridor of Fame and Senior Awards Banquet on Tuesday night time at Manzanita Place. A crowd of proper round 400 folks got here not solely have a good time the easiest of our native highschool and collegiate athletic accomplishments from the previous 12 months, but additionally witness the induction of 4 new members of our Sports activities Corridor of Fame in addition to the naming of our 2022-23 Sportsperson of the Yr.

Ever since longtime E-R sports activities editor Ted Blofsky and another neighborhood leaders acquired the banquet began a half-century in the past, the occasion had stood as a real spring custom in Chico. Nearly like clockwork, a whole bunch of athletes, coaches, athletic administrators, directors, members of the family and associates from throughout Butte and Glenn counties had turned out yearly for many years, responding virtually instantly as quickly as we put out the decision.

This 12 months, we knew that may very well be extra of a problem than in years previous. We couldn’t assist however marvel if we’d be capable of recapture the magic of 47 years of momentum after the occasion had been halted three years in a row, particularly with a couple of longtime supporters of the banquet having moved on to different missions in life.

We needn’t of frightened. Most members of the outdated guard have been thrilled to assist us get it going once more, and the newcomers jumped on board immediately. too.

The outcome was the rebirth of this particular “neighborhood.” Not solely did an enormous cross-section of native athletes — athletes who go towards one another in extremely aggressive conditions the remainder of the 12 months — assemble underneath one roof for an evening of mutual appreciation, they have been additionally capable of be part of a number of generations of native sports activities icons from the previous and garner a couple of phrases of knowledge. The mix of these two issues at all times assist to make for a particular night time.

Bob Russ, “The Godfather” of Chico soccer (a tag he had loads of enjoyable with, because of a faux horse’s head), put it finest in his memorable speech at night time’s finish: Whereas the recollections of the night time might possible fade over time, in the present day’s technology of athletes ought to always remember the work they put into their sport and their contributions to their workforce. Collectively, we suspect, that’ll maintain lots of them coming again in future years, simply as so many members of our Corridor of Fame return yearly, too.

Kurt Kitayama, our Sportsperson of the Yr, was unable to attend since he had a Thursday morning tee time on the Byron Nelson Basic. However he did ship a shifting thank-you video, ensuring to congratulate runners-up Grant Foster and Meghan Weinrich for his or her unimaginable accomplishments as properly.

“Your perception in me has been a supply of inspiration and I’m proud to symbolize this unimaginable neighborhood wherever I’m going. … I promise to proceed striving for greatness and never just for myself, but additionally make you all proud,” he mentioned. “I’m honored to symbolize Chico, my beloved hometown because the Sportsperson of the Yr.”

So very properly mentioned, and you possibly can really feel comparable sentiments within the speeches of David Little, Ron Souza, Jill Silva Beyer and Russ, our 4 Corridor of Fame inductees for 2023. Associated Articles Site visitors cams: ‘No brainer’ or ‘no method’? | Editorial

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It was nice to be again, however we couldn’t assist however really feel a twinge of disappointment for the younger athletes who missed out on this banquet the previous three years. Particularly going again to the spring of 2020, many individuals have been unfairly robbed of one of the best athletic occasions of their lives in some instances and ended up studying probably the most harsh lesson of all, which is that life — like sports activities — isn’t at all times truthful.

All we are able to do is choose ourselves again up and maintain combating one other day, usually in one other area. On this case, it meant we dedicated to bringing the banquet again to life — one thing that might have been potential solely with the continued help of the neighborhood. By turning out in droves to buy tickets and assist us honor such a large cross-section of athletes, a whole bunch of oldsters, coaches and sports activities followers did simply that.

The top outcome was the rebirth of a neighborhood. For that, we thank everybody who performed an element.