East Bakersfield High is gearing up to honor distinguished alumni in its third annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony Saturday.
Chosen by a committee of East Bakersfield High School alumni and administrators, the honorees represent the best East has produced in its 75-year history in athletics, academics and an array of post-high school careers.
Don Rodewald, class of 1945
When longtime Bakersfield residents hear that phrase, one friendly face comes to mind: Don Rodewald. For 17 years, the East alum hosted "The Afternoon Show" for KERO-TV, first on Channel 10, which became Channel 23.
Born in 1927, Rodewald was raised on the east side, attending Jefferson Elementary and Washington Junior High before heading to East, where he served as student body president for the 1944-45 school year.
After high school, Rodewald enlisted in the Navy and served until the end of World War II.
Rodewald earned his degree in speech and radio from the University of the Pacific and got his first job at KWSO in Wasco, hosting the morning show "Wasco Calling." His big break came while doing commercials at Channel 10.
After retiring from television and radio, Rodewald joined the faculty at Bakersfield College, teaching speech and radio/television production.
Ruscel Grimes Reader, class of 1969
Ruscel Grimes Reader was involved in all facets of East High life: cheerleader, president of the Interracial Club and student body rally chairman. Afterward, she headed to Bakersfield College and Oregon State University.
Grimes Reader returned to Bakersfield to earn her master's degree at Cal State, where she was named outstanding student in the school of education and in the educational administration program.
As principal, she led Cesar E. Chavez Science Magnet School to a California Distinguished School award in 2010 and 2011, among other achievements. In 2012, the Association of California School Administrators named her administrator of the year.
Bakersfield Mayor Harvey Hall proclaimed May 31, 2012, as Ruscel Reader Day for her 40 years of service as an educator.
Rick McLeod, class of 1983
Rick McLeod is one of the few athletes to come out of Bakersfield who was seriously recruited in two major sports. A two-time all-city football player for coach Mike Keese, he was recruited by every major college in the country as a defensive lineman. His 6-foot-7-inch frame also made recruiters take notice when he was on the basketball courts. Twice selected all-city in basketball, McLeod was the league's most valuable player in the sport, and was selected all-state. With scholarship offers pouring in for both sports, McLeod chose the football route.
He played at Texas A&M, Bakersfield College and the University of Washington. In 1985, he was named all-conference offensive lineman for the Gades. McLeod continued as an offensive lineman at University of Washington, where he played in two bowl games, among other honors. In 1988, the Seattle Seahawks drafted him, making McLeod only the second Blade to be drafted by the NFL. McLeod ended his football career with the Los Angeles Rams.
Terry Moreland, class of 1963
Terry Moreland was a varsity letterman in football and wrestling for two legendary coaches: "Migs" Apsit and Leon Tedder.
From East, Moreland attended Bakersfield College, where he wrestled, receiving a scholarship to the University of Nevada, Reno. After college, he started a teaching/coaching career at Delano High (1968--1975), where he turned the wrestling program into a valley powerhouse, highlighted by his 72-4 dual meet record. In 1972, Moreland was selected as coach of the United States Junior Wrestling World team that competed in Italy; the team finished second.
In 2012, he received the California Wrestling Hall of Fame's lifetime achievement award.
In 1975, Moreland joined the family construction business, formed in 1956 by his father, Carl Moreland. He and brothers Dan and Steve created the Moreland Corporation, which expanded into commercial and residential development. In 1995, he graduated from the California Pacific School of Law.
Cornell Jordan, class of 1970
Cornell Jordan was a three-sport star for the Blades, lettering in football, basketball and track, but it was in football that he got his ferocious reputation around town as the hardest-hitting player in the league. After high school, Jordan attended Bakersfield College, where he was an all-metro selection for coach Gerry Collis as a linebacker in 1970. Upon returning from college at San Jose State, Jordan served as the athletic trainer at East for 20 years. He died in 2007.
Manuel Oroz, class of 1960
Manuel Oroz owns and operates Manuel's Auto Body Shop, a family-run business since 1938, located in his beloved east Bakersfield. A staunch supporter of East High with both his time and money, he sent two children to his alma mater.
Oroz has helped raise thousands of dollars for East, serving as the Blade Booster Club president for five years during the 1980s. Now he has grandchildren at the school, so he's once again involved.
In 2012, Oroz served as grand marshal of the East Bakersfield High homecoming due to his dedication and community support, not only of East High, but the entire east Bakersfield community.
Ed Granillo, class of 1970
Ed Granillo earned eight varsity letters and was a two-time valley champ in cross-country, leading the Blades to a team valley championship.
At Bakersfield College, Granillo led the Renegades to two team state junior college championships in 1971 and 1972, while winning a Metro Conference title in the mile run, among other achievements. He continued his education at Cal State Northridge, winning a CCAA cross-country championship, becoming the Matadors' first All-American in cross-county.
Bob Boyer, class of 1963
Bob Boyer, an all-city tight end for the Blades in 1962, really excelled in the swimming pool: He was a five-time SYL champion in three events, adding a valley championship in 1963 in the 100-yard freestyle.
At Bakersfield College, he racked up several honors, culminating with a junior college state championship in the 50 freestyle, breaking the national record in 1964. He earned JC All-American status, while being named outstanding freshman athlete in 1964.
At the University of Oregon, Boyer was the Pac-8 record holder in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle, earning team MVP and All-American status for the Ducks. In 1967, he set the Canadian record in the 100-meter freestyle, earning a berth in the 1968 Olympic swim trials.
Boyer spent 41 years as a coach and athletic director at Cabrillo High, where he coached swimming, water polo and girls' basketball, leading the teams to several championships and one CIF title. Boyer is a member of the University of Oregon athletic hall of fame and the Northern Santa Barbara County athletic hall of fame.
Don Galey, class of 1951
Born in Bakersfield in 1933, Don Galey has kept his roots in east Bakersfield his entire life. At East, Galey participated in football, basketball and four years of swimming before heading off to San Jose State.
After college, he returned home to the family business, Galey's Marine Supply, started by his father, Otto Galey. He eventually bought the business from his father and kept the same location, deep in the heart of east Bakersfield on Bernard Street, where perhaps the most whistled jingle of any local business originated: "There's nothing Galey's hasn't got, from a little putt-putt to a great big yacht."
Galey moved the business to its present location in the Bakersfield Auto Mall in 1999.
The businessman has served on many community and alumni boards over the years and currently is chairman of the Union Cemetery historical board.
Vernon Bell, educator
Vernon Bell was born in Keyport, N.J., in 1927 and remained there until he joined the Air Force in 1946. Upon graduation from the University of Utah, Bell headed west to start his career at East High -- which also is where he ended it.
A popular teacher, Bell went from the classroom to head the English department, became a counselor, and finally director of the high academic program. He was known to be a great motivator, especially for students who were struggling. He retired in 1994 and that same year was selected East High's grand marshal of the Homecoming parade.
Dean Jones, class of 1976
Dean Jones was a four-year varsity letterman in basketball for both Ralph Krafve and Joe Dominguez. A two-time all-city point guard, he led the Blades to a 21-4 record his senior year before taking his talents to Bakersfield College. Jones led the Renegades to a state title in 1978 -- the first and only state title BC has won in basketball.
In 1979, Jones became a USC Trojan, leading the team in a number of categories, ultimately winning the Forrest Twogood Memorial Award for best defensive player on the USC team.
Larry Press, former Californian sports columnist
Although Larry Press did not graduate from or teach at East, he developed strong ties to the school. He wrote about a multitude of East High athletes in his column, called the Press Box, and was a fixture on Monday mornings in the office of legendary football coach Migs Apsit, talking all things sports.