The Forest Grove High School Hall of Fame selection committee recently announced its inductees for the Class of 2017.
Honorees include Robert Nixon (Class of 1944), archery and basketball; the 2007 state champion softball team; Gina Buckiewicz (Class of 1978), track and field; Neil Strachan (Class of 1977), football and baseball; and the Forest Grove Booster Club.
Robert "Bob" Nixon's accomplishments include a team and individual state archery championship in 1942 and a third place finish in the 1943 National Archery Championships held in Portland — all prior to playing basketball for both Willamette and Pacific universities. Nixon was trained as a medic during World War II but prior to service the war ended and he attended the University of Oregon, where he obtained an education in dentistry. Nixon remains an active member of the Noon Rotary Club and is currently president of the Pioneer Cemetery Mountain View Memorial Gardens.
In 1942 the FGHS archery team won the state title and Nixon won the individual title. As a reward for his state title he was given a small cedar tree, which now stands 70 feet tall behind the beauty shop on Hawthorne Street.
The 2007 softball team, consisting of players Nicole Kemper, Leah VanDomelen, Vanessa Betancourt, Brenda Betancourt, Sarah Rivera, Andrea Burkhardt, Emily Kaufmann, Crystal Bond, Emma Gronseth, Claire VanDomelen, Krystal Huffman, Katy Brosig, Faith Evenson, Lindsey Rennie, Bridget White, Molly Normandin, Kami Eggert and head coach Ole Evenson, won a state championship after finishing third in the then-Pacific Conference. The Vikings defeated Central Catholic in the final, and the title was the first softball state championship in the school's history.
Gina Buckiewicz was a three-time district long jump champion and still holds the school record of 18-03.75. The three-time state meet qualifier placed sixth in the long jump in both 1976 and 1978 and was the district all-around gymnastics champion in 1976. She went on to compete in track and field at the University of Oregon for four years .
Neil Strachan played three years of varsity baseball and football at Forest Grove High, and won a number of awards, including the National Babe Ruth Baseball Athlete of the Year, Coast Valley League first-team all-league running back twice, all-league linebacker once and second-team all-state running back his senior year. He was the first running back in school history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season, finished second in the state in scoring and represented the Vikings in the 1977 Shriners All-Star Football Game. He later went on to play football and baseball at Pacific University.
The Forest Grove Booster Club, which was established in 1995, was created in response to the Forest Grove School District cutting funding for athletics and activities. Over the last 22 years, the group created by then-Athletic Director Jeff Basinski has been responsible for projects including — but not limited to — the concession stand construction at Dick Hendricks Field, team uniforms, grad night activities, band programs, wrestling mats, weight room improvements and the artificial turf football/soccer/lacrosse field at the high school.
All Hall of Fame inductees will be introduced during the halftime of the Friday, Dec. 1, varsity boys basketball game versus Newberg. The Hall of Fame Induction banquet will be held at 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in North Plains.