Class of 2019 inducted into EC Athletic Hall of Fame

The+newest+members+of+the+El+Camino+College+Athletic+Hall+of+Fame+were+inducted+and+honored+Thursday%2C+May+23%2C+in+the+East+Dining+Room+at+El+Camino+College.+The+Athletic+Hall+of+Fame+class+of+2019+includes+14+inductees+and+one+team.+Photo+credit%3A+Melanie+Chacon
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Class of 2019 inducted into EC Athletic Hall of Fame

The newest members of the El Camino College Athletic Hall of Fame were inducted and honored Thursday, May 23, in the East Dining Room at El Camino College. The Athletic Hall of Fame class of 2019 includes 14 inductees and one team. Photo credit: Melanie Chacon

The newest members of the El Camino College Athletic Hall of Fame were inducted and honored Thursday, May 23, in the East Dining Room at El Camino College. The Athletic Hall of Fame class of 2019 includes 14 inductees and one team. Photo credit: Melanie Chacon

The newest members of the El Camino College Athletic Hall of Fame were inducted and honored Thursday, May 23, in the East Dining Room at El Camino College. The Athletic Hall of Fame class of 2019 includes 14 inductees and one team. Photo credit: Melanie Chacon

The newest members of the El Camino College Athletic Hall of Fame were inducted and honored Thursday, May 23, in the East Dining Room at El Camino College. The Athletic Hall of Fame class of 2019 includes 14 inductees and one team. Photo credit: Melanie Chacon

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As Frank Sinatra played softly in the background, small groups of people, old teammates, family and friends all began to trickle into El Camino College’s East Dining Room to honor the class of 2019.

EC celebrated its 29th Athletic Hall of Fame on Thursday, May 23, where thirteen individuals and one team selection, the 1950 football team, were inducted.

According to the EC website, membership in the EC Athletic Hall of Fame honors athletes, coaches and other distinguished individuals for their accomplishments in athletics and for their support of the athletic program.

Members of this new class include athletes from nine different sports played from 1950 to 2013.

Rochelle Esparza, women’s volleyball standout, was the South Coast Conference Most Valuable Player in 1997 and 1998. She was also named to the All-State Team in 1998.

“At first when I found out [about the induction], I was like, ‘Oh it’s cool, it’s no big deal’ then my husband was like, ‘It’s such a big deal,’” Esparza said. “It feels cool, it’s pretty amazing.”

Esparza, who is going through the recovery process from brain surgery earlier this year, came from New Mexico with her family to accept her plaque.

Charlie Brown was a two-time pole vault state champion for the Warriors in 1976-77.

“It was a special time… I have some great memories of us practicing out there.” Brown said. “Even in the old facilities that we thought were pretty good in the ’70s but don’t look anything like the facilities now.”

Brown still holds EC’s pole vault record with a mark of 17 feet 4 ¼ inches.

“I was very flattered. Surprised after all of these years,” Brown said on being inducted.

Chun Young-Shin is the first female tennis player to be inducted into the Hall.

“First of all, I was surprised because I just did my best during my time [at EC],” Young-Shin said. “I wasn’t sure I deserved the award.”

Young-Shin went 19-2 overall in singles competition in 2013 and helped lead the Warriors to the South Coast Conference Championship.

She advanced to the semifinals at the CCCAA State Championships and won the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Regional Sophomore Player of the Year Award.

Erica Shaw, women’s water polo and swimming standout, earned First Team All-Conference and All-Southern California in water polo in 2007 and 2009.

“It was a really great experience, I just love El Camino and the opportunity it gives you to play a next-level sport,” Shaw said. “My coaches were really awesome and I had great teammates so it just made my experience so great.”

Shaw, whose father, Steve Shaw, is the current women’s basketball coach at EC, currently ranks second in school history in the 50-yard backstroke (28.03); third in the 100-yard backstroke (1:00.42); and third in the 200-yard backstroke (2:13.64).

She earned All-American honors in the 50-yard and 100-yard backstroke in 2007 and 2009.

During the ceremony, each new member spoke on their time at EC and shared.

“This is where I grew up. This is where I learned to be a good student athlete,” Lawanda Cabell-Simmons said.

Cabell-Simmons won the 1984 state championship in the 400-meter race.

“My foundation was so strong that [after transfer] they made me captain right away at USC, and that’s because of El Camino College,” Cabell-Simmons said.

Members talked about coaches, teammates, teachers and counselors were positive forces in their lives.

“Anyone that knows me, knows that I’m not afraid of hard work and that’s because of what I learned at El Camino,” Vic Buttler said.

Buttler was an All-American and All-Southern California selection as a member of the Warriors baseball team in 2000. He was drafted in the 14th round of the 2000 MLB Draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates and played eight years in the minor leagues.

EC’s 29th Athletic Hall of Fame includes:

David Austin – men’s swimming and diving, 2008-09

Vic Buttler – baseball, 2000

Charlie Brown – men’s track and field, 1976-77

Lawanda Cabell-Simmons – women’s track and field, 1984

Matt Engle – football, 2003

Rochelle Esparza – women’s volleyball, 1997-98

Coy Hall – football, 1971

Dan Hatano – wrestling, 1982-83

Ralph Hughes – football, 1963

Jon Robertson – football, 1968

Latario Rachal – football, 1991-92

Erica Shaw – women’s water polo and swimming, 2007, 2009

Chun Young-Shin – women’s tennis, 2012-13

1950 Warriors football team

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