By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Foothill High, which is celebrating its 50th year of existence, will honor the inaugural class of inductees into the Foothill Athletic Hall of Fame with a night of celebration Friday.
Inductees were chosen for their achievements while at Foothill and in their post-high school careers.
The inaugural dinner is Friday, at Bakersfield Country Club. Tickets are $125 apiece, or $800 for a table of eight. Information and tickets are available online at foothillhalloffame.org or at (661) 872-1651.
The inaugural Hall class:
Lonnie Shelton, 1973
The road to the NBA finals started at Foothill High for Lonnie Shelton, who was an All-American in football and track, and All-State in basketball.
Shelton received a scholarship to Oregon State University, and in 1976 was drafted in the second round by the New York Knicks. He played for the Knicks, the Seattle Supersonics, where he won an NBA championship in 1979, and was an NBA All-Star in 1982.
Joey Porter, 1995
Sports Illustrated named Porter "The Most Feared Player in the NFL" on its September 2006 cover.
Porter's path to the NFL began at Foothill in 1991. He was a two-time All-Area pick, and also earned All-Section and All-State honors. At Colorado State, he was All-WAC and second in the nation in sacks.
Porter was selected in the third round of the 1999 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers, won a Super Bowl in 2006 and was named to the Pro Bowl four times. He played in Pittsburgh, Miami and Arizona during his 13-year NFL career, and retired in 2012.
Porter has always generously given back to his alma mater and community.
Gary Blackford, 1975
Set Trojan football records that still stand. He was named South Yosemite League Back of the Year as a sophomore, was an All-City pick three consecutive years, and remains Foothill's career rushing leader with more than 4,500 yards.
At Bakersfield College he earned All-Metro Conference honors and was on a Junior Rose Bowl championship team.
Jeff Houghton, 1975
Was a two-time All-City linebacker, All-State and high school All-American, All-City Lineman of the Year, and received a scholarship to play football for USC, where he played on three Rose Bowl teams.
Mike Ackerley, 1965
Was an All-City Lineman of the Year and high school All-American at Foothill, who later played for Bakersfield College and Colorado State. He later coached at numerous Division I colleges, and was defensive coordinator in the USFL; Ackerley coached and scouted for the NFL's Buccaneers, Rams, Titans and Texans; and retired in 2012 after a 20 year NFL career.
John Ackerley, 1966
Ackerley earned All-City and All-League football honors, and won two league championships. At Bakersfield College, he once had five interceptions in a game, and was an All-Metro Conference pick. He played at UNLV, and coached high school football in Las Vegas, winning a 1977 state championship. Tragically, Ackerley's life was cut short in a traffic accident in 1987.
Cheryl Alexander, 1972
Had an outstanding career in tennis, badminton and volleyball at Foothill. Was a state tennis champion at Bakersfield College and a Division II national champion at CSUB, where she coached women's volleyball and was the inaugural CSUB softball coach. She later coached numerous teams at Foothill.
Darrell Nerove, 1984
Was a state championship wrestler at Foothill in 1983, and won the Jim Tyack Award his senior year. He was appointed to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he became an NCAA Division All-American wrestler. He served as a helicopter pilot in the U.S. Army and is now a full professor at Strayer University.
1988 boys basketball, CIF State Div. II champions
The 1988 boys' basketball team did something no other high school basketball team in Kern County had ever done: win the Division II state championship.
Dr. William Baker, 1967, team physician
Played football at Foothill in 1965 and 1966, then at Bakersfield College. After graduating from medical school, Baker returned to Bakersfield to begin his medical practice. He offered his medical services to both BC and Foothill as team doctor for more than 25 years.
Dr. Richard Polson, team physician
In 1962 Polson was Foothill's first team doctor, and served for 23 years. He ensured the health and safety of countless Foothill athletes.
Ned Permenter, coach
Coached Trojan football for 40 years, leaving an indelible impression on the school, players, and the community. Career record of 220-157-9. He is third on the Central Section's list of coaching victories. His teams won 10 league championships; produced 150 all-league players, seven All-City linemen of the year and eight All-City backs of the year. Thirty-four of his players advanced to NCAA Division I football, 14 to the NFL.
Bob Ezell, coach
Became a partner in one of the most legendary coaching teams in Kern County history, when in 1965 he became an assistant football coach to Ned Permenter, a position he held for 37 years. Ezell retired in 2002.
Dave Edmondson, coach
Joined Foothill's staff in 1968, coached 48 teams during his 34 year career, and chaired Foothill's PE department for 28 years. Retired in 2002.
Ted Oliver, coach
Coached track and field, soccer and cross country for 27 years and was Foothill's athletic director for seven years in his 34-year tenure at Foothill.