The Reno-Sparks Indian Colony inducted its 2nd Athletics Hall of Fame class yesterday with a mission not just to honor its past athletes and its culture, but to inspire its current generation of athletes.
With a class of 24 inductees, the RSIC’s 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 ceremony, held at the Colony Gym, 34 Reservation Rd., started with prayer, 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.
A retired high school educator who is a member of the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association Hall of Fame, Melendez was part of the RSIC’s inaugural Hall of Fame Class of 2015.
Furthermore, Melendez who is responsible for most of the historical research, said that the tribe wants to have an Athletics Hall of Fame for three reasons.
“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 United States’ 562 federal recognized American Indian tribes, Native Americans 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.”
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 1957 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