Announcing the Pierce College Athletics Hall of Fame
Class of 2017
The Pierce College Athletic Department, in partnership with the Pierce College Foundation, is pleased to announce the Raider Hall of Fame inductees for the Class of 2017. This year’s induction ceremony will take place on Saturday, March 25, and will honor the outstanding accomplishments of Raider student-athletes and coaches from the 50-year history of intercollegiate athletics at Pierce College and Fort Steilacoom Community College.
Heather Carlsen (Luppy) was one of the very first recruits in new Raider head coach, Roberta Kalalau’s rebuilding of the Raider Volleyball program going into the 1996 season. Carlsen, a graduate from Auburn High School, became the cornerstone of the program at the beginning of the greatest five-year run in the history of Raider Volleyball. As the team’s freshman setter, Carlsen led the ’96 Raiders to a fourth place finish in the West Region (7-5 league record), and a return to the NWACC playoffs for the first time since 1985. Carlsen’s sophomore season proved to be one of the greatest in Raider Volleyball history. She led the Raiders to the program’s first ever West Region title, with an 11-1 record (34-9 overall), was named a First Team West Region All-Star, and played in the NWAACC Sophomore All-Star game. Carlsen capped her brilliant career by being the first Raider ever selected as an All-American by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.
After suffering a severe knee injury that shortened her freshman season, Jievielyn Howard (Terrell) made a remarkable recovery and in her sophomore year posted one of the most dominant power seasons in the history of the Raider Softball program. Over her abbreviated two-year career, she set single season marks for home runs (18) and slugging percentage (.985), and hit home runs at the phenomenal rate of one for every 7.5 at-bats. Howard’s career slugging percentage of .975 is also a Raider record. In 2007 she ranked in the Top 10 in the NWAACC in home runs (18), RBI’s (62), batting average (.489), and slugging percentage (.985). She helped lead the 2007 Raiders to the West Region title with a 26-4 league record (36-15 overall) – the first of five straight division crowns. Howard was named a First Team West Region All-Star, and became the first Raider to be selected by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association as a Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-American.
Michael Wright didn’t play basketball at Steilacoom High School. He played football. Following graduation, he tried out for the basketball team at Highline Community College, and was cut from the team. In the Fall of 2005, Wright enrolled at Pierce, tried out for the Raiders basketball team, and began one of the greatest two-year careers in the history of the program. In Wright’s freshman year, the team just missed the playoffs, but Wright earned West Region Second Team All-Star honors. As a sophomore, Wright led the Raiders to the West Region title with a 12-4 record (21-11 overall), and a Third Place finish at the NWAACC Championships. Wright averaged 16. 3 points per game, led the West with 13.7 rebounds per game, and was named the Most Valuable Player of the West Region. Wright went on to play for two seasons at Seattle University, and played against University of Kentucky celebrating the 50th anniversary of the SU vs UK national championship game (1958).
Ray Kinnaman was named the first athletic director and first men’s basketball coach at Fort Steilacoom Community College in the winter of 1968. As he prepared for the program’s inaugural season in 1968-69, Kinnaman had to locate a gym for the new program to practice and host home games, and helped lead the process for selecting the ‘Raider’ as the college’s new mascot. Kinnaman’s Raiders picked up the program’s first victory on January 10, 1969, with a 82-80 win over Centralia College. As a young student-athlete, Kinnaman excelled in track & field. He broke the State record in the discus in his sophomore year at Centralia High School (161 feet in 1954). Coach Kinnaman compiled a 26-43 career record in his three seasons with the Raiders. Kinnaman left FSCC in 1972, moved to Friday Harbor, Washington, and purchased the local movie theater, which he managed until his death in 2001.
The two-time defending West Region Champs had a new head coach going into the 1999 season, and a roster of only nine players – with eight freshmen. Coach Clyde Reis had some big shoes to fill, with the departure of Hall of Fame Coach Bert Kalalau. Coach Reis wasted little time proving he was more than up to the challenge. The ’99 squad was the first Raider team to win a West Region title (the program’s third straight) with a perfect 14-0 record (38-7 overall). The Raiders finished in Eighth Place at the NWAACC Championships, the program’s fourth consecutive playoff appearance. Freshman standout, Alicia Denny, was named the Most Valuable Player in the West Region. Kelby Saxwold and Natalie Zukowski were selected as West Region First Team All-Stars, and Nani Kalalau and Melissa Widdicombe were selected as Second Team All-Stars. In his first, and only year with the Raiders, Coach Reis was named West Region Coach of the Year.
Team members: Rebecca Brush, Heather Colley, Alicia Denny, Kristin Kalalau, Kyra Kiekhaefer, Kelby Saxwold, Jolene Stokesberry, Melissa Widdicombe, Natalie Zukowski
Head Coach: Clyde Reis
Assistant Coach: Fia Faatoafe
The 2004-05 Raiders broke a fifteen year playoff drought, when they finished second in the West Region, with a 11-5 league record (23-9 overall), then smashed all expectations when they made their first-ever appearance in the Tournament Championship game. Despite losing to West Region rival Lower Columbia in the title game, the Raiders capped the then most successful season in the history of the program, and began a thirteen year run which has seen the men’s basketball program qualify for the playoffs eight times, with three title game appearances. Defensive specialist Clem Benton, who led the NWAACC in steals and keyed the Raider offense, was named the Most Inspirational Player at the NWAACC Championships, and Devon Connor-Green and Jacob Mitchell were named to the All-Tournament Team for their outstanding performances. Benton, Connor-Green, and Mitchell were all selected as West Region All-Stars. Head Coach Bill Mendelson was recognized as the West Region Coach of the Year, in just his second year with the program.
Team members: Clem Benton, Colby Brewer, Devon Connor-Green, Trivone Curry, David Howard, Adam Lewis, Jacob Mitchell, Marcus Orona, Anthony Tennyson, Shinola Ward
Head Coach: Bill Mendelson
We invite you to join us on Saturday, March 25, as we celebrate and honor these outstanding individuals.
Saturday, March 25, 2017
6 p.m. – Reception
7 p.m. – Dinner and Induction Ceremony
Health Education Center
Pierce College Fort Steilacoom
9401 Farwest Dr. S.W.
Lakewood, WA 98498
$35 per adult dinner guest, $20 for children 12 and under. Tickets must be purchased by Tuesday, March 21, by 6 p.m.
Admission to this event is by pre-purchased tickets only. Tickets will not be sold at the door. Ticket sales will close at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 21.
If you would like to share this special evening with a group of family and friends, you can reserve a table by calling us at (253) 964-6613 for more information.
We hope you will join us as we celebrate the accomplishments of the very Best of Raider Athletics!
This event is sponsored by the Pierce College Foundation in support of the Pierce College Athletics Booster Club. We thank you for your support of Pierce College and Raider Athletics!
The Pierce College Athletics Hall of Fame was established in the Fall of 2009, to recognize and honor the outstanding athletic achievements of its former student-athletes, and the meritorious efforts of coaches, staff, alumni, and other individuals who have made significant contributions to the Pierce College Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. The Hall of Fame membership spans Pierce College's (formerly Fort Steilacoom Community College) athletic history and includes many of Pierce's finest athletes, coaches and supporters of the program.
The purpose of the Athletics Hall of Fame is to provide recognition and honor to individuals who demonstrate athletic excellence, outstanding support or dedicated service to the athletic programs at Pierce College, in one or more of the following areas: