Eight is great for East Bakersfield High School. That's the number of classes it has inducted into its Hall of Fame. The 2018 batch of honorees, a mix of athletes and honor students, will be recognized at a ceremony this Saturday at the Bakersfield Marriott.
The new class of Blade Hall of Fame inductees will be honored Saturday at the Marriott Hotel, presided over by Master of Ceremonies and East High grad Steve Gradowitz.
The 2018 inductees are:
Marsha Baer Yeager was chosen outstanding senior in 1958 before attending law school at the University of Colorado. In 1969, she became the first woman district attorney in Boulder County, Colo., then in 1975 she became the first female judge in Boulder County and sat on the bench until her retirement in 1998.
Ruben Elias (class of 1963) was an outstanding student athlete for the Blades. One of 18 kids in his family, all but three graduated from East High. After receiving a master’s degree from Stanford, Elias embarked on a 37-year career in education, spending 36 of those with the Kern High School District.
Rudy Gonzalez (class of 1968) was an outstanding wrestler for Leon Tedder’s Blades before going on to be a member of a state championship team at Bakersfield College and a member of the first-ever wrestling team at Cal State Bakersfield. He later taught and coached for the Blades, spending more than 30 years on the East High campus.
Mary Gordon Trichell (class of 1963) was an honor student at East High and went on with husband Ray Trichell to help build W.A Thompson Distributors into one of the biggest in Kern County. She has been recognized in the community for her time and generosity to many nonprofit groups in Bakersfield. Trichell is also a member of the Bakersfield College Alumni Hall of Fame.
Julio Mercado followed his time as an East High student by becoming a longtime educator and coach in the Kern High School District at Foothill, South and BHS. He has become one of the most successful tennis coaches in the Central Section and is a three-time Bakersfield Californian All-Area coach of the year for the Drillers in tennis.
Milt Henderson has been associated with East High for more than six decades, from a silky smooth all-city basketball player for Ralph Krafve to becoming an assistant coach for Joe Dominguez and later moving up as the head coach of the Blades for 20 years. He is still on-campus as an outreach counselor.
Dr. Caleb Thompson (class of 1995) was selected outstanding senior and valedictorian of his class at East High. He went on to graduate from Berkeley before receiving his medical degree from St. George University. He is now a practicing cardiologist in Santa Barbara.
Mike Mangrum (class of 1970) was a hard-charging athlete for the Blades in football and wrestling and went on to be a Bakersfield College MVP in football, before finishing his college career as a two-year starter for the University of Pacific.
Dr. Jim Nuanez is a native of Arizona who started his teaching career at East High before taking over the Blade wrestling program from Leon Tedder. He later moved to East High's counseling office, where he spent more than 30 years. He was named grand marshal of the homecoming festivities in 1996, before his retirement.
Ron Ray was an outstanding three-sport athlete for the Blades, just like his younger brother, Bob Ray. He was selected “Bobby Blade” his senior year, and after graduating from San Jose State University he embarked on a successful business career both in Bakersfield and Las Vegas.
The induction will be held Saturday night at the Bakersfield Marriott, 801 Truxtun Ave. Doors open at 5 p.m. and dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $85, $750 for a table of 10, and can be purchased at the Finance Office at East High, 2200 Quincy St., or by contacting Rick Van Horne at 565-7185.