Born and raised in Oildale, John was an 08er from the crib. He attended Highland Elementary then Standard Junior High and participated in anything sports, excelling in several.
Entering high school in 1963 John played football and baseball. Was a member of the Class B football team and then as a sophomore was part of the JV team that won the SYL Championship. Moved up to varsity for his junior and senior years, playing under the legendary coach Turk Eliades. John was co-Captain of the 1966 team that won the SYL Championship and he earned several honors in the process. He was the first running back from North High to win the city “Back of the Year” award, gaining over 600 yards on the ground and many more through the passing game. He had the top single game rushing effort in the city as a senior when he gained nearly 200 yards and scored 5 touchdowns in a game against East High. He was also named All-City.
In baseball he played on the freshman team, moved up to JV as a sophomore and then excelled for two years on the varsity. Playing for another North High coaching legend Sam Barton, John was more valuable than a Swiss knife, playing every position on the field except pitcher and catcher. Amazingly as a senior he struck out only 3 times all year including twice in his final game. He was named 2nd team all-City as a senior.
He was awarded the Sam Lynn Award as the top senior athlete in the school. An excellent student as well, John was President of the “Big N” club and made the honor roll.
After graduation, John attended Bakersfield College and played football for yet another legend, Gerry Collis. As a freshman played mostly on the special teams and then as a sophomore contracted Valley fever and was limited to playing time. But he still received a football scholarship to the University of Las Vegas Nevada. He along with 14 other BC players headed to UNLV. After completing his education, he remained in Las Vegas and began teaching at Clark High coaching football, baseball and gymnastics until his retirement in 2001.
His best friend was football teammate Bill Jasper who introduced him to his younger sister Carolyn. John and her began dating throughout high school and have now been married 46 years. They have no children and now live in Bend, Oregon where John spends a lot of time fishing.
Congratulations John, a born and bred 08er.