Wildcats remembered in Hall of Fame

Screen shot 2013-10-14 at 7.55.15 PMThe Chico State Athletic Hall of Fame welcomed eight new members into its family last weekend.

Becky Blankenship, Walter Ulrich, Michelle Flowers Wilson, Anthony Hilliard, William Leone, Ronald Martinez,  Cloy Stapleton, and honorary inductee Thomas Wigton were all part of the 2013 Hall of Fame class.

Every class is special in its own way, but the fact that a few of these athletes still hold records shows just how amazing they were during their time at Chico.

Michelle Flowers Wilson still holds the record for career blocks — 148 — for the women’s basketball team. And that record has held up for over 20 years. She is also still in the top 10 in school history in career and single-season rebounds, single-season blocks and blocks per game.

Anthony Hilliard still ranks 10th in all-time points per game with 17.1. Hilliard still remembers the last game he played as a Wildcat.

“The last game I played at Chico State was against Cal State Stanislaus, and we won to get us into the Final Four for California,” Hilliard said. “I got a dunk on the last play of the game. I will always remember that day.”

Three of the inductees were great football players for Chico State. But one, Ronald Martinez, was considered the greatest linebacker in Chico State history by five former coaches during a Chico State football reunion in 2009.

Martinez’s nickname during his playing days was “Sergeant Rock” because of his hard-hitting playing style. Martinez suffered a season-ending knee injury in 1969. But in only one and a half seasons he was still able to compile 155 tackles and 135 assists.

“It feels special to be here,” he said. “A lot of my buddies were inducted and I get to join them.”

If there’s one thing Martinez learned from Chico and his former coach Pete Riehlman, it was how to do things the correct way.

All inductees were present at the ceremony except Becky Blankenship, who was unable to attend.


Sergio Sanchez can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_sports on Twitter.