MOSES LAKE — The day is set to honor the deeds and the people and teams that took Big Bend Community College to a new level of athletic excellence and the college will usher in its Hall of Fame Class of 2018 on Saturday at the ATEC Building, beginning at 5 p.m. with the social hour.
Big Bend Community College will honor 16 individuals from five different sports, as well as the 1968-69 Team Washington State Community College championship wrestling team and the 1998-99 men’s basketball team, which reached the NWAC Final Four.
The dinner is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. and Hall of Fame ceremony will follow with a night of memories and recognition to some of the best athletes in Viking history.
The 2018 inductees represent a wide variety of talent and experience, many of which went on to play at the NCAA Division II and Division I levels. Some extended their Big Bend experience into professional careers.
From the baseball team, Brandon Esparza was an All-NWAC selection, who set the school record for saves (14). He received the Art Fiero Award for NWAC scholar athlete and later played at Washington State, Central Washington and the Northwest League Wenatchee AppleSox.
Gordon Corder, a two-time Eastern Region most valuable player, led the NWAC in hitting with a batting average of .429 (2001) and .449 (2002). He was drafted by the Oakland Athletics and played in the minor league system in Vancouver, B.C.
Mike Rios wrapped up his Big Bend career in 1992 as the Vikings most valuable player with 107 strikeouts. He was a first-team all-region pitcher and second team selection at first base. He later played at the University of Pacific (1994) and was drafted by the Oakland A’s, where he posted 2.20 ERA in the A's farm system (1995-96).
The Vikings Hall of Fame will also usher in a stellar group of basketball players, including Eastern-Region MVP Justin Henry, a 46 percent 3-point shooter and sixth in the NWAC.
Todd Nealey later went on to play professionally in Australia in 1999. Nealey was a part of the 1993-94 and 1995-96 teams that qualified for the NWAC Tournament.
In all, Big Bend will induct nine men’s basketball players. On the women’s side, Dana Bates, a first-team All-East Region selection that averaged a double-double (17.5 points, 10 rebounds), will be recognized for her efforts. She is currently ranked sixth in scoring and second in rebounding in the NWAC and went on to become a two-year starter at Westminster College.
Vikings volleyball player Rebecca Moudree was an All-Eastern Region selection at Big Bend and later enjoyed a NCAA Division I career.
List of inductees
Brian Esparza, Gordon Corder, Mike Rios
1998-99 NWAC Final Four team, Justin Henry, Todd Nealy, Troy Nealey, Isaac Turley, Rhett Soliday, John Galbreath, Duke Wood, Brant Mayo
1968-69 state championship team, Terry Dawson, George Hara, Larry Paull
Country Chuck Boyk