PENDLETON — The Pendleton Linebacker’s Club is adding 14 new inductees into their Hall of Fame this weekend, and Buckaroo fans will get a chance to see it all happen.
This Friday, the Linebacker’s Club is hosting a reception in honor of their Hall of Fame’s newest members, all of whom were voted on by the Pendleton athletic community at the beginning of the year.
Among this year’s honorees is Casey Hunt, who graduated from Pendleton High School in 1998. Hunt was a three-time Intermountain Conference wrestling champion and placed third in the state as a junior before going 35-0 at 135 pounds as a senior. He would later go on to become a three-year letterman at the University of Oregon at 141 and 149 pounds.
Sarah Keeler, a highly decorated Buckaroo basketball player from the class of 1999, will also be honored. After high school, Keeler continued her career on the court at the University of Washington, where her team won the PAC-10 Conference once and competed twice in the NCAA, making it to the Elite 8.
Current Pendleton baseball assistant coach Mike Hodgen will also be inducted. Hodgen played football, basketball, and baseball as a PHS student. He has spent over 40 years as a high school baseball coach.
“Let’s face it,” said Linebacker’s Club President Dennis Hunt, “a lot of people probably don’t know much about these nominees, but they are all people who have contributed so much to Pendleton athletics. Most of them were not only great high school athletes, but had tremendous college careers. Everyone here is outstanding in their field.”
The Linebacker’s Club is an ever-changing organization. The club was established in 1983 and kickstarted the Don Requa Memorial Golf Tournament in 1989 to preserve the longtime Pendleton coach’s memory.
In 2004, they introduced the Football Hall of Fame to honor players, coaches, staff, and other key members in the Pendleton football community with the stipulation that all honorees must have graduated from PHS at least 10 years prior.
In 2017, the Hall of Fame expanded to include men and women from all Pendleton sports to represent the best of the school’s athletic programs.
“Women’s athletics have been around for over 40 years,” Hunt said. “It’s about time they got recognized.”
In addition to the 14 Hall of Fame inductees, a select few current Buckaroo athletes will receive scholarship funds for their college educations.
Aiden Patterson of 2019’s graduating class is this year’s Don Requa Award recipient. He’ll receive $10,000 for his upcoming four years at Western Oregon University, where he’ll play football for the Wolves. Patterson is a four-time letterman in wrestling and qualified for the OSAA 5A state championships in his junior and senior years. He is also a three-time letterman in football, and holds two letters in track and field.
Kirk Liscom, who spent four years on the Bucks’ football team and was named to the 5A all-state football first team as a linebacker for his senior year, will receive the Alex Stuvland Memorial Scholarship, which grants $4,000 to a selected Pendleton football player. Liscom was a 4.0 student and reports to the United States Naval Academy today, making him unable to attend Friday’s reception.
The $10,000-Schindler Bush Scholarship, which is awarded to a three-sport athlete that exemplifies “integrity and true Buckaroo values,” will be awarded to Shawn Yeager, a Pendleton football, wrestling and track athlete who will attend Eastern Oregon University this fall.
This year, the Linebacker’s Club will introduce their own $1,200 award that was funded by donations. Hunter Blake, Pendleton’s first-ever female varsity football player, has been chosen as the award’s premier recipient.
Cocktails, dinner, and an auction will precede the Hall of Fame induction, starting at 5 p.m. at the Pendleton Convention Center. The ceremony follows at 6:45 p.m.
On Saturday, the 29th annual Don Requa Memorial Golf Tournament tees off at the Wildhorse Golf Resort. The event has a shotgun start at 8 a.m. with awards and a lunch to follow at 1 p.m. Registration opens before the tee-off, and Hunt said it fills up fast.