24 members inducted into RSIC Athletics Hall of Fame’s second class | FirstNationsFocus.com

24 members inducted into RSIC Athletics Hall of Fame’s second class

By Reno-Sparks Indian Colony | Special to First Nation's Focus

A look at some of the 24 inductees into the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony’s 2017 Athletics Hall of Fame.

RENO, Nev. — The Reno-Sparks Indian Colony inducted its second-ever Athletics Hall of Fame class in November, with a mission not just to honor the colony's past athletes and culture, but to inspire its current generation of athletes.

With a class of 24 inductees, the 2017 Hall of Fame class is highlighted by its first female athletes — Ramona Darrough, Ivy L, Christy and Lorri Chasing Crow; and two former Golden Glove boxers — cousins Steve and Chuck Sampson. Steve Sampson boxed during his service as a United States Marine in the late 70s.

The Nov. 2 ceremony, held at the Colony Gym, 34 Reservation Road, started with prayer and included a community dinner, honor songs, a keynote speaker and speeches by representatives of the inductees.

Randy Melendez, an assistant in the RSIC Recreation Department who developed the idea for the Athletics Hall of Fame, gave the keynote.

Melendez — a retired high school educator who is a member of the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association Hall of Fame — was part of the RSIC's inaugural Hall of Fame Class of 2015.

Melendez who is responsible for most of the colony's historical research, said that the tribe wants to have an Athletics Hall of Fame for three reasons.

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"We want to honor our past because these athletes were really remarkable, and sports like running and basketball are still a big part of the culture of our community," said Melendez, a former college athlete. "Plus, we want to send a message to our youth that these are role models, and if today's athletes work hard, they, too, can be anything they want to be."

Melendez also believes there skills learned through athletics are important like skills, too.

"Sports guided me to my place in the world," Melendez said. "From an early age, with support from my family and some very influential coaches, I saw the value and opportunities that athletics could provide me not just to stay close to sports, but ultimately to build a career."

Among the

Native Americans — despite being part of 562 federal recognized American Indian tribes in the United States — are the most under-represented ethnicity on NCAA teams.

"We believe that by honoring our past athletes, our youth will be inspired to strive for their own excellence," Melendez said. "My dream came true and I got to be teacher and coach, so I am proof that athletics can lead to a healthy, happy, quality existence."

This article first published in the RSIC's monthly newsletter, The Camp News, in its November edition, and is republished by First Nation's Focus with permission. Visit http://www.rsic.org/rsic-newsletter to learn more.

The inductees

Following is a complete listing of the 2017 RSIC Athletics Hall of Fame members:

NAME             GRAD YEAR         SCHOOL           

Sam Uribe                 1948               Stewart Indian School

Dean Paddy               1955               Reno High

Ralph Bryan              1958               Reno High

James Wasson          1968               Pershing County High (Lovelock)

Bob O’Daye               1970               Wooster High

Bucky Sampson       1970               Stewart Indian School

Nelson Aleck             1972               Wooster High

Chuck Sampson         1974               Wooster High

Jonsey Dressler           1973               Wooster High

Steve Sampson           1977               Reed High

Kevin O’Daye             1982               Wooster High

Ralph Sabola               1977              Wooster High

Ramona Darrough       1982               Pyramid Lake High

Ivy L. Christy             1984               Washoe High

George Moore             1987               Pyramid Lake High

Allan Tobey               1988               Pyramid Lake High

Bennett Nutumya       1988               Pyramid Lake High

Curtis Cypher Jr         1988               Pyramid Lake High

Jody McCloud           1992               Wooster High

Shawn O’Daye           2001               Wooster High

Sonny Malone             2001               Pyramid Lake High

Lori Chasing Crow     2002               Pyramid Lake High

Kyle Coffman             2004               Pyramid Lake High

Lyndsey Rivers           2004               Pyramid Lake High