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BY LEANNE BROCK CAVE Special to The Californian
Seven individuals and three 1930s Valley championship football teams will be inducted into the Driller Football Hall of Fame during Bakersfield High's Eighth Annual banquet and induction ceremony May 10 at the Marriott Ballroom, 801 Truxtun Ave.
Social hour begins at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m. and the induction ceremony at 8. For more information, call (661) 393-4027.
This year's inductees:
Jim Kennedy, 1948-52
Played both offense and defense, but primarily right tackle for BHS his junior and senior years. In '51, Kennedy helped lead the Drillers to a 27th Valley championship. Kennedy states the most powerful influences while playing for BHS, as well as in his life, was coach Driller Hall of Fame coach Homer Beatty and team doctor Romain Clerou. Kennedy practiced medicine for 50 years and is retired and living in the Bay area.
Jerry Tarr, 1953-57
He played offense and defense for the Drillers for two years and in '56, he helped lead BHS to a Valley title. He also participated in track for three years while at BHS.
After high school, Tarr attended Bakersfield College, where he participated in football and track and won numerous awards. Tarr is a member of the BC Sports Hall of Fame. At the University of Oregon, he competed in football and track and in '61 won an NCAA high hurdles title. Tarr, who played for the Denver Broncos in 1962 and '63, also is in the Oregon and Kern County Bob Elias halls of fame.
He is retired in Las Vegas.
Bill Rankin, 1961-64
Rankin was a two-way lineman in football who also participated in track for three years and a year of wrestling. He received several prestigious awards including Most Inspirational honor, and the Gold Championship Football that his dad received in the 1920s. Rankin, who played two years for UC Davis, was a third-generation Driller, following his grandfather Lee and father Leroy.
John Van Osdel, 1961-65
Van Osdel competed in football, basketball and baseball. Van Osdel, a tight end and defensive end, was an All-City selection.
Van Osdel states, "We didn't have Valley when I played so we just beat everybody in the city as well as up and down the state, including Fresno and Merced teams. We started a 27-game winning streak, the second longest in school history."
He played one year at Colorado then transferred to Bakersfield College, where he earned All-Metro Conference honors as a tight end. He graduated from Fresno State in 1972. He resides in Bakersfield with his wife Priscilla. They own and operate Advanced Follar Nutrients.
Jim Kunau, 1972-76
Played defensive back and quarterback for four years, and also competed in basketball and baseball. He was chosen as Most Dedicated Player in 1974 and '75.
Kunau played football four years for California Lutheran University before embarking on a successful high school coaching career. He coached at Orange Lutheran from1993-2011, earning the Coach of the Decade Award, the CIF Pac 5 Coach of the Year and Orange County Register Coach of the Year honors while compiled an amazing record of 182-52-3. He now coaches at Anaheim Hills-Canyon.
Doug Loman, 1972-76
Loman played football all four years as quarterback and/or linebacker for the Drillers and earned All-City honors his junior and senior years. In 1976, he was selected as Player of the Year. Loman also played baseball for the Drillers, and then for two years at Bakersfield College.
In 1978, he was a second-round draft pick of the Milwaukee Brewers. He played in the Brewers' organization for eight years.
Loman currently is a pastor in Las Vegas, where he lives with his family.
Gary Williams, 1974-78
"Sugar Bear" played linebacker all four years and accumulated several prestigious awards. In '76, he earned Most Inspirational Player honors, in '77 he was MVP, all-league and All-City and All-League in '76 and '77, as well as the Californian's Lineman-of-the Year in '77, when he was a team captain. Gary resides in Bakersfield with his wife of 20 years, Mary.
1937 football team
Dwight "Goldie" Griffith was in his 30th season as Driller coach in 1937. His team posted a mediocre 3-4-1 record, claimed a "county championship" by beating rival Taft 10-0. The Drillers were awarded a co-Valley Championship with Fresno High after Fresno forfeited the final due to the death of a team member in the week before the game. This Driller team was led by Howard Shively, Jack Trout, George Valos, and All-Valley guard Don Stewart. Trout went on to USC, where he became a track star.
1938 football team
The '38 season was bittersweet for the Drillers (6-2-2), who had to settle for a co-Valley championship with Fresno High as they tied 7-7 in the finale. The Drillers, who featured stars such as Burr Baldwin, Tom Pappas and Leo Meacher, defeated the reserves of junior college powerhouses Compton and Pasadena. Baldwin became an All-American receiver and hall of famer at UCLA, as well as a Bob Elias Hall of Famer in 1969.
1939 football team
The '39 Drillers were considered one of the greatest teams in school history, going 9-0 despite a powerhouse schedule that included foes in Phoenix and San Diego.
Led by team captain Burr Baldwin, along with Bill Brubaker, Dick Golden and Nate Morrison, the Drillers defeated Los Banos High 39-6 for their sixth Valley title of the decade.