El Camino College honored the Class of 2014 at the 26th Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. Flanked by members of the 1963 golf team are (left to right): Dennis Hansen, Al Greenleaf, Nick Carr, Sylvia Gurrola, Kenny Talanoa, Chuck Shaffer, Tike Karavas, Scott Provin, three sons of Dan Titus (deceased) from the golf team and Heidi Nelson. Photo by Brad Jacobson
The El Camino College Athletic Hall of Fame honored its Class of 2014 Thursday at the 26th Annual Induction Dinner Ceremony held at Ayres Hotel in Hawthorne.
Membership in the Athletic Hall of Fame is a tribute to those athletes, coaches, and other distinguished individuals, who deserve recognition for their outstanding accomplishments in athletics and for their support of the El Camino College athletic program.
This year’s inductees included:
Nick Carr (Cross Country/Track, 1978-81): In his first track season, Nick Carr won the Bakersfield Tournament Invitational 1500-meter race; placed second in the Southern California Championships 1500-meter final; ran a leg on the school-record 4×800-meter relay (a record which still stands today); and ended the season among the state leaders. The next year, Carr went on to win the Southern California Championship 1500-meter title and set an ECC record in 3:49.08 which stood for 30 years. Additionally, he ran the mile anchor leg of the current school-record 9:67.7 distance medley relay team.
Carr’s athletic and academic achievement earned him a scholarship to the University of Colorado, Boulder where he was a member of two Big 8 Championships cross country teams; won the 1500-meters at the 1982 Kansas and Drake Relays; won the University of Colorado relays mile and 5000-meters in 1982 and 1983; and came within seconds of breaking the four-minute mile barrier.
Carr continued to compete at the national level after college and still officiates track and field meets in Northern California.
Sylvia Gurrola (Volleyball/Softball, 1980-82): Sylvia Gurrola led her El Camino College teammates to not one, but two state titles: one in volleyball in 1981 and one in softball in 1982.
Her athletic honors include being a member of the 1980 and 1981 conference championship teams, receiving Honorable Mention in 1980 and being a force on the 1981 state championship team, the first-ever in the sport for El Camino. She earned First-Team All-Conference honors, First-Team All-State honors, the Metro Conference MVP award and was named El Camino’s Athlete of the Year.
Beginning in the spring of 1981, Gurrola competed in softball for two seasons. She was a pitcher and led the Warriors to the conference championship in 1982 earning All-Conference First-Team honors, being named the Metro Conference MVP, All-Start team and once again El Camino’s Athlete of the Year.
She received a full athletic scholarship to the United States International University in San Diego in volleyball. She was an assistant volleyball coach at ECC for two years and coached at Leuzinger High School for three years.
Dennis Hansen (Cross Country/Track, 1960-61): Dennis Hansen was recruited by Coach Ray Southstone to run track and cross country at El Camino College from Torrance High School where he had just broken the venerable Louis Zamperini’s long-standing Torrance High mile record. In his one year of both sports, Hansen excelled and helped the cross country team to a successful season, while also setting the school record in the mile of 4:23.2 and earning the “Blanket Award” for both sports. Even more impressive though, was his earning the Outstanding Runner Award, the Outstanding Performance Award; and ultimately, the Athlete of the Year Award for all sports. At that time, he was the first athlete in El Camino College’s history to win both the Outstanding Performance and Athlete of the Year awards in the same year.
Tike Karavas (Basketball, 1956-59): Tike Karavas came to El Camino College from Redondo Union High School where he played basketball and baseball. He spent two seasons at ECC, 1956-57 and 1958-59, playing basketball under Coach George Stanich. He earned All-Metro honorable mention honors as a forward in 1958-59. He shot 40 percent from the field, 67 percent at the free throw line and average 13 points per game with 36 assists.
After El Camino College, the Redondo Beach native went on to play at Pasadena Nazarene College and coached at the junior high level for five years. In 1963, Tike led the summer AAU league in scoring at Bell Gardens. One night he scored 43 points and was offered a contract to travel with the Harlem Globetrotters to play on the opposing team. He traveled the world with the Harlem Globetrotters for seven years where he was also an advocate for other South Bay players to go on tour.
Heidi Nelson (Swimming, 1999): Heidi Nelson swam at El Camino College in 1999. She already had a degree from UC Santa Barbara after transferring there from Northwestern University where she has a successful freshman year in the pool. Deciding to return to school to pursue a nursing degree brought her to the pool and a return to collegiate swimming. Nelson stayed involved with aquatics via masters swimming to stay in shape for her LA County Beach Lifeguard job and ocean competition. At the grand old age of 28 she decided that one more year of competition would be fun since she was going to school full time again.
Nelson stepped up her training and ended up with fantastic results. She broke two national records, three state records, three conference records and eight school records. The best part of all was the lifetime best in the 100-meter butterfly, which was her signature event. She was selected to the High Point winner at the state championships and never lost a race all season. Nelson was very encouraging to all the members of her team. She turned her education into a career in nursing and continues to give back to swimming by helping to coach Mira Costa High School.
Scott Provin (Football, 1983-84): Scott Provin came to El Camino College from West Torrance High School where he participated in both football and volleyball. He was a two-year starter at offensive tackle for the Warriors where he earned All-Conference, All-State and All-American honors. Provin remains one of the finest offensive linemen to ever play for the El Camino College Warriors.
Provin received a full scholarship to the University of Miami where he played in two national championship games, winning in 1987. Provin earned Metro Conference Honorable Mention in 1983. He had the opportunity to block for Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Vinnie Testaverde and visit the White House to meet then-President Ronald Reagan. As a senior, Provin received the Toyota National Leadership Award presented to the scholar-athlete who excelled in leadership, citizenship and athletic performance.
Chuck Shaffer (Meritorious Award, Football): Chuck Shaffer has been the game ball manager for the El Camino College football team for the past 34 seasons. He has faithfully devoted countless hours to helping support the success of the Warrior Football program. Shaffer’s longevity is truly remarkable as he has served through the coaching reigns of three different head coaches and in the entire time, has not missed a single game.
Prior to coming to El Camino College, Shaffer served in the same capacity with both Beverly Hills High School and El Segundo High School. Besides football, he would also serve with each school’s basketball and baseball programs. He continues to do double duty at both El Camino College and El Segundo High School to this day.
In 2002, Shaffer was honored by being named the Grand Marshall of the El Segundo Homecoming Parade. As a game ball manager, one of Shaffer’s responsibilities has been to supervise the young ball boys who work the games. He is responsible to not only keep them on task but also make sure they are safe on the sidelines. Under his tutelage, these boys have grown into young men who have a deep appreciation and respect for the game. For 34 years Shaffer has rendered amazing service to these boys, the plays, coaches and equipment attendants at El Camino College.
Kenny Talanoa (Football, 1991-92): Kenny Talanoa was a three-sport athlete at El Segundo High School excelling in baseball, basketball and football. He received All-Star recognition in all three. He received a football scholarship to the University of Hawaii but after a redshirt year, he returned home to help support his family and play for the Warriors. In his two years at El Camino College, Talanoa developed into one of the fiercest and most domination defensive linemen in college history. His fourth quarter hit on Long Beach’s quarterback in 1992 remains one of the most memorable hits in Warrior football history.
Talanoa received a scholarship to Arizona State University where he started for the Sun Devils in 1993 and 1994. After his collegiate playing days, Talanoa moved to professional football playing three seasons in the NFL with the Redskins and Broncos and then nine years in the Arena Football League. Talanoa is currently serving as an assistant coach for the Warriors coaching the defensive line.
1963 State Championship Golf Team: Led by Coach Al Greenleaf, Dennis Drury, Ken Ghirardi, Steve Hallberg, Dave Scott, Larry Sprengel, Steve Strom, Dan Titus, Les Warr comprised the El Camino College 1963 golf team that was the first athletic team to win a state championship in the history of the school.
The state tournament was held at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego. The one-day tournament consisted of 36 holes over both the north and south courses. ECC upset San Mateo who had won the previous four state championships. El Camino posted a 780 for a one-shot lead over San Mateo (781), and then avoided a playoff when San Mateo missed a chip on the 36th hole.