St. Anthony HS to induct 10 into Athletic Hall of Fame
On Nov. 9, they will be honored as the first 10 inductees into the St. Anthony High School Athletic Hall of Fame. The St. Anthony High School Benefit Ball, a black-tie optional gala, will be held at the Grand Event Center in Long Beach.
“Thousands of Saints have paved the way for our school’s success since our founding as Long Beach’s first college preparatory Catholic high school in 1920,” said Brian Walsh, assistant principal and athletic director. “During that time, many outstanding athletes have graduated from St. Anthony, now among the fastest growing high schools in Southern California. These first Athletic Hall of Fame honorees are truly legendary Saints.”
The inaugural Hall of Fame class will include a civic as well as athletic pioneer in Doris Walker Topsy-Elvord (class of 1949), the first African American student-athlete to attend and graduate from St. Anthony High School and a star athlete in three sports. A Cal State Long Beach graduate, she later was vice mayor for the City of Long Beach and a Port of Long Beach Harbor Commissioner, and was appointed by Cardinal Roger Mahony to the first Justice and Peace Commission for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
The athletes and coaches, chosen by the St. Anthony selection committee, include two other members of the class of 1949, both members of St. Anthony’s 1948 CIF championship football team: running back Johnny Olszewski and quarterback Bill “B.I.” Mais, who led the Saints — playing against schools with much larger enrollments — to the title at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. (The Saints actually tied Santa Barbara 7-7, but were awarded the title by having made more first downs, 16-12.)
Both Olszewski and Mais earned All-CIF honors and with backfield mates John Peterson and Dean O’Hare enrolled at the University of California (Berkeley). Olszewski and Mais were co-captains of the 1952 Golden Bears, a season in which Olszewski earned All-America honors.
A 1953 NFL first round draft pick (No. 4 overall) by the Chicago Cardinals, Olszewski was a Pro Bowl selection in 1953 and 1955. He also played for Washington, Detroit and Denver before retiring in 1963, and was later head lifeguard for the City of Long Beach; he died in 1996.
Another gridiron star selected to the Athletic Hall of Fame was Jack Snow (class of 1961), a wide receiver who went from All-CIF honors at St. Anthony to All-America honors at the University of Notre Dame in 1964 (teaming with Heisman Trophy winner John Huarte of Servite High). An NFL first round draft pick (eighth overall) in 1965, Snow played 11 years with the Los Angeles Rams (1965-75), was selected for the 1967 Pro Bowl, and later became a broadcaster for the team.
St. Anthony’s basketball program will be represented by several selections, including Bill Bond (class of 1953), California State High School Player of the Year in 1953, and named the outstanding Catholic player in the U.S., once scoring 59 points in a game against Serra High. He then lettered three years at Stanford, averaging 14 points a game.
Jack Errion coached for 22 seasons at St. Anthony (1954-75), leading the boys basketball, football and baseball teams, even driving the bus to take his teams to games (among the athletes he coached: future Congressman and state Attorney General Dan Lundgren). He later led Corona del Mar High School to two CIF basketball championships, retiring in 1986, and he died in 1990. The Jack Errion Memorial Gym bears his name.
Darrick Martin (class of 1988) was a high school All-American who starred at UCLA and played in the NBA for the Los Angeles Clippers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Vancouver Grizzlies, Sacramento Kings, Dallas Mavericks and Toronto Raptors. During his playing career, Martin also began a charitable foundation and summer youth basketball camp at St. Anthony; in 2009, the school’s new gymnasium floor was named in his honor.
Baseball is represented by two former major leaguers. Long Beach native Lou Berberet (class of 1947) was Long Beach athlete of the year in 1947 and played baseball and football at Santa Clara University. Regarded as an excellent defensive player, he played professionally for the Yankees, Senators, Red Sox and Tigers (1954-60), and led all catchers with a 1.000 fielding percentage in 1957. He later coached and officiated youth baseball, and died in 2004.
Joe Amalfitano (class of 1951), born in San Pedro, was an infielder at Loyola and USC, and was a player (1954-67) and/or coach for the Giants, Colt .45s, Cubs, Padres and Reds. For 16 seasons (1983-88) he was the Los Angeles Dodgers’ third base coach, and now serves as a special assistant for player development for the Giants.
Also selected was Annett Buckner Davis (class of 1991), two-time CIF player of the year in Division 1-A and a member of St. Anthony’s 1988 CIF 1-A championship team. She was later a two-time UCLA All-American, 1994 national team member, world-ranked professional beach volleyball player and member of the U.S. 2000 Beach Volleyball Olympic team, who paired with UCLA teammate Jenny Johnson-Jordan to reach the quarterfinals at Sydney.
St. Anthony High School’s Founders Award will be presented to Rosemary Ashley, daughter of Clarence Layden, varsity football coach for St. Anthony High School’s first league championship team in 1938. The Sports Advocate Award will be presented to Dan Sullivan (class of 1953), long-time title sponsor of the annual St. Anthony’s Monsignor Gualderon Golf Classic.
All proceeds of the Benefit Ball will support the Saints and the renovation of St. Anthony’s athletic field located at Clark and Del Amo in Long Beach (next to St. Cyprian Church).
For more information or to request an invitation to the Benefit Ball, contact Sheila O’Rourke, Alumni & Public Relations Office, at (562) 435-4496, ext. 1229 or email SABenefitBall@longbeachsaints.org.