Columbia Basin College

CBC to induct 2 athletes, 2 teams into Hall of Fame

PASCO -- Two former athletes and two more teams will be inducted into the Columbia Basin College athletic hall of fame tonight in the fifth annual annual Follow Your Dreams banquet.

The program begins at 5 p.m. at the Byron Gjerde Center on campus with a social hour, followed by dinner at 6 p.m., and the program starting at 6:30 p.m.

Those being honored tonight include former wrestler Darrell Keller, former basketball star Byron Beck, the unbeaten men's basketball team from the 1963-64 season, and the 1978 national champion football team.

As a freshman at CBC, Keller went 20-0 at 123 pounds and won the National Junior College Championship title. Keller, a Kennewick High grad, transferred to Oklahoma State, where he won two NCAA titles.

Beck was a 6-8 center who led CBC to the men's Washington Junior College Association basketball titles in both 1964 and 1965.

Beck went on to the University of Denver and was later drafted by the Denver Rockets in the 1967 ABA draft. Beck played 10 seasons with Denver and was a two-time all-star. He was the first player to have his number retired by the Nuggets franchise.

The 1963-64 team went 27-0 and was coached by Jim Rodgers. It was the fourth time in a row that the Hawks won the title.

That season, CBC averaged 82 points a game and surrendered just 62.

The Hawks had four players average in double figures -- John Rucker at 15.2 points a game, Beck at 14.3, and Jerry Skaife and Theartis Wallace at 12.2 each.

The 1978 football team was coached by Dick Zornes and featured four JC All-Americans -- running back Tom Ramberg, defensive back Mark Kafentzis, offensive lineman John Little, and defensive end Dave Schneider.

Seventeen players off that team earned Division I scholarships and three -- Kafentzis (Baltimore Colts); tight end Smiley Cresswell (New England); and tight end Clint Didier (Washington Redskins, including three Super Bowl rings) -- played in the NFL.

Meanwhile, a former CBC men's basketball coach will be inducted into the Northwest Nazarene Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday night.

Ed Weidenbach, who led the CBC Hawks to the NWAACC title in 1990, compiled a 159-95 record over eight seasons at NNU.

His teams made six consecutive trips to the NAIA national tournament, and his 1995 team played in the national title game.

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