The Kitsap Athletic Roundtable hosted its 35th Kitsap Sports Hall of Fame banquet at Kiana Lodge Feb. 3.
The banquet honored 14 individuals and two teams.
Brent Stenman began the event as the Rex Brown Distinguished Service Award winner. The award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions that have impacted youth sports in Kitsap County.
Stenman was involved with Babe Ruth Baseball in Poulsbo for 35 years, serving as president, board member and coach for the 2006 team that reached the World Series. In addition, he is the crew chief of the chain gang for North Kitsap football, a baseball volunteer coach and a basketball scorekeeper.
“I am a little embarrassed for getting this award compared to all the actual athletes today,” Stenman said.
Kevin Mayo won the Dick Todd Officials Award, recognizing Kitsap officials who were greatly respected and had the best interest for the game and the players.
Mayo, a Central Kitsap graduate, refereed for 36 years. He began working on high school games in 1980 and worked 21 playoff games, including a WIAA state semi-final game. In addition, Mayo served the Peninsula Football Officials Association as president, vice president and training coordinator.
“When I first joined, I was twenty years old and had long hair over my ears, which was frowned upon. I want to thank Dick Todd who was more concerned about my officiating than the length of my hair.”
Mayo recalled his worst moment when he refereed Bainbridge and Ferndale in a playoff battle. “Ferndale…decided to go for a two-point conversion. They ran a dive up the middle and blew my whistle to signal no good because Bainbridge stopped it. Out of the corner of my eye, I see the quarterback running toward the goal line with the ball in his hand.”
Scott Peck won the Lifetime Achievement Award after taking care of Olympic High athletes for 32 years as an athletic trainer. Peck has been the WIAA Athletic Training State Medical Director since 2010.
Peck recalled one of his funniest moments. “I walked into the training room as a senior in high school and sat down at this table and this football player was 285 pounds and had a silver tooth. He injured his ankle the next year, and I was involved with his rehab. The first time I did manual resistance, he shot me across the room and my chair rolled. I was sweating more than he was.”
Steven Gray headlined the inductees as one of the best basketball players ever in Kitsap County. Gray was a four-time All-State selection and led Bainbridge to a state championships game his senior season. He still is the fifth all-time scorer in state history.
He was a two-time All-West Coast Conference first-team selection at Gonzaga and participated in four NCAA tournaments, including facing Stephen Curry and Davidson.
Gray played pro in multiple countries and became an all-star in Greece, Latvia and France. Gray discussed how his basketball journey was similar to a hiking trip up Mount Rainier. “Last year, I was gifted the opportunity to be the first all-indigenous to climb Mount Rainier,” Gray said. “There were about nine stops.”
“My first stop was at Chimacum and having a great state tournament and being able to get an offer to Gonzaga. Then, I followed by going to Bainbridge and found a lot of success. We get to the fourth spot and had to get through the ice. We were in pain and reminded me of my first time at Gonzaga and hitting the weight room and my forearms were swollen.”
Gray finished with when they reached the top and compared it to his best moment overseas when he created the record for the most-efficient game in history, shooting 10/13 and scoring 29 points.
Bob Hill was inducted after pioneering the American development of Butokukan karate in Kitsap County. The Bremerton native reached second-degree black belt.
By 1997, Hill was given the title of Grand Master of Butokukan. “I opened the first school in Bremerton and created a lot of black belts in the area,” Hill said. “From that one school in Bremerton, we have created over 350 black belts. We put on fifty tournaments since 1968 in the county.”
Eric Canton was honored as a multi-sport athlete at South Kitsap High. Canton played football, basketball and baseball and was a part of seven league championship teams and made all-league nine times. Canton shined brightest as a defensive back, holding a previous record of 13 interceptions as a sophomore. He continued to play at the University of Washington after graduating in 1986.
Canton discussed his recruitment to UCLA. He discussed the Bruins were interested in Canton as a quarterback but decided to take NFL Hall of Famer Troy Aikman instead. “Canton ended his speech with, ‘Hey Troy, I’m in the Hall of Fame, too.’”
Bob Garman was one of the best offensive linemen in Kitsap County history. The 1987 Olympic High graduate earned a Pac-10 honorable mention twice and was team captain of the 1992 Copper Bowl team at Washington State University.
“It was a great four years at Olympic High School, and there were some great players who played next to me who could be here as well,” Garman said.
Brittany Miller Towe
Brittany Miller as a South Kitsap fastpitch pitcher won All-Olympic League honors and played collegiately at Linfield. She holds multiple pitching records there and was inducted into that school’s Hall of Fame in 2019.
Towe was a four-time first-team All-Northwest Conference pitcher and twice singled out as NWC Pitcher of the Year. She went on to win 84% of her starts. “To be honest, I could never pick up a softball again and be OK with it,” Towe said. “I spent countless days on the field with injuries or irritated but those people and those places felt like home. It was a place to build confidence and learn to trust in myself and help coaches to find my limits.”
Ashli Payne was the youngest inductee this year. Payne is one of the most successful basketball players in Kitsap County. She was a former All-Olympic League MVP from Olympic High. After a quick stint at Umpqua Community College, Payne competed two seasons at Eastern Washington University and overseas. She was selected as forward of the year and an all-star in the Portugese League and an SBL all-star in the Australian League.
Payne retired early due to knee injuries but has looked to pursue her coaching career and promote women’s sports in Washington. “This means a lot to me and I don’t take it lightly at all,” Payne said. “I want to thank my parents for always supporting me in all my decisions and always showing up for me.”
Steve Haggerty was inducted as a pioneer for soccer in Kitsap County. Haggerty started boys and girls soccer at Olympic High School in 1981 and still coaches the girls teams. He has taken 19 teams to state and won several league titles.
He also helped mentor Klahowya coaches Troy Oelschlager and Jeff Quinn. “It’s amazing to me that I am honored for something I love to do,” Haggerty said. “For over forty years I have been a part of Kitsap athletics and coaching soccer teams. I like to think I had some impact on the players and their sportsmanship and individual development as human beings.”
Brenda George was inducted for her fastpitch career at North Kitsap. The current Kingston High softball coach earned all-league honors in basketball and softball at NK. She played at Seattle University and earned Great Northwest Athletic Conference All-League honors three out of her four years.
“The impact my coaches had on me transcends beyond playing a game,” George said. “Sport has so much to do with life lessons and friendships and apply what I have learned in how I can raise my children and relationships.”
Greg Mutchler was inducted for his impact on gymnastics. Mutchler took over the Olympic Gymnastics Center in 1987 and grew it into a 10,000-square-foot facility in Silverdale. In addition, he has developed over 100 state, regional and national champions.
James and Robert Bryan
James and Robert Bryan were the first of two father-son duos inducted into the Kitsap Hall of Fame. Robert Bryan attended Bremerton schools and was a member of the 1952 Bremerton High basketball team that placed third in state.
He walked on at the University of Washington and also competed in track as a Husky. He competed in the high jump, long jump, discus and hurdles.
James Bryan also competed at the UW as a football and basketball player, and thrower in track. He was the first Husky represented in the East-West Shrine game in 1925 and was a second-team All-American.
Dwight and Zachary Malhiot
The second father-son duo inducted was Dwight and Zachary Malhiot. The two brought boat racing titles back to Kitsap County. Dwight has won two national titles, while Zach has won seven.
In addition, Dwight served as a Commodore for the Seattle Outboard Association and on the national level as a Pro Division commissioner for the American Power Boat Association.
Dwight said, “Everybody has talked about how they had great coaches. I started with no coach telling me anything. It was a self-taught thing, and I learned and am trying to pass it on.”
1973 Bremerton High Football
Bremerton’s West High 1973 football team was one of two teams honored. The Wildcats were one of the best football teams in Kitsap County, featuring All-State fullback Paul Morgen and 13 All-League selections. The offense averaged 26 points per game, and the defense allowed 2.5 points per game, earning them the “Blue Meanies” nickname.
The Wildcats fell short in the playoffs to Evergreen of Seattle 33-22. Assistant coach Lanny Dowell said, “Everyone of these guys on the stage here I would love to have a son. They are fantastic young men and winners at everything they do.”
1999 Klahowya Girls Soccer
The second team honored was the 1999 Klahowya girls soccer team. The Eagles started its girls soccer program in 1997 with five players and an 0-15 record. A couple of years later, Klahowya took home its first state title in school history.
The Eagles finished 10-10-1 and defeated Riverside 2-0 in the finals. Hilary Crisman said, “Winning doesn’t come immediately but takes time. We started to think of ways on how to make a tradition. When I drive to Klahowya, there are signs when you drive in and the first sign is the 1999 girls soccer state champs. There must be at least thirty signs, and it all started here.”