Former Renegade athletes will be honored at BHS hall of fame dinner

Leanne Cave, Special to the Rip

By Leanne Cave

Special to the Rip

The Eighth Annual Driller Football Hall of Fame Banquet and Induction Ceremony will take place May 10 at the Marriott Ballroom at 801 Truxtun Ave.

Several of the inductees also played sports at Bakersfield College.

Social hour begins at 6 p.m., dinner is at 7 p.m. with the Induction Ceremony capping off the evening at 8 p.m.

Seven more Driller greats and three more Valley Championship teams, 1937-39, will light up the Driller Hall on this evening.

The Inductees are: Jim Kennedy, Jerry Tarr, Bill Rankin, John Van Osdel, Jim Kunau, Doug Loman and Gary Williams.

What is unique about this year’s class of inductees are the special ties and memories of playing for the Bakersfield College Renegades after their high school years as Drillers.

At one time in history, Bakersfield High and BC shared the BHS Campus on California Avenue.

Jim Kennedy attended Bakersfield High from 1948-52. He played both offense and defense, but primarily right tackle for BHS his junior and senior years. In ’51, Kennedy helped lead the Drillers to a 27th Valley Championship.

He recalls there was not much of a transformation from high school to college. Not only did BHS and BC have classes on the same campus, they shared the same playing field (Griffith Field) and locker room.

Jerry Tarr attended BHS from ’53-’57. He played offensive and defense for the Drillers for two years and in’56 (his junior year), he helped lead BHS to another Valley title.

He also participated in track for three years while at BHS.

After high school, Tarr attended BC where he participated in football and track. Tarr won numerous awards while participating in track and football for the Renegades and has been inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame.

He transferred to the University of Oregon where he competed in football and track and in ’61 won the NCAA High Hurdles Championship.

He is in the University of Oregon’s Hall of Fame and was inducted in the Bob Elias Hall of Fame in ’76.

Tarr played a short time in the National Football League for the Denver Broncos before returning to Bakersfield.

Bill Rankin attended Bakersfield High from’61-’64.

He played varsity football as a right tackle on offense and a left tackle on defense.

He also participated in track for three years while at BHS.

Rankin received several prestigious awards, including the Harry Coffee Most Inspirational Player Award and the Gold Championship Football that his dad received in the 1920’s.

Rankin also wrestled his sophomore year and participated in track and field.

John Van Osdel attended BHS from ’61-65. While at BHS, Van Osdel competed in football, basketball and baseball.

For the football Drillers he played at the tight end and defensive end positions. Van Osdel was one of the most complete and spirited players while attending BHS and received several awards including All-City.

Van Osdel received a scholarship to play for the University of Colorado Buffaloes where he played for a year.

He then returned home to play for BC where he earned All-Metro Tight End. He graduated from Fresno State in 1972.

Jim Kunau attended BHS from ’72-’76. Kunau played football all four years, starring as a defensive back and quarterback for the Drillers.

He was chosen as Most Dedicated Player in the ’74-’75 season. He also played basketball and baseball while at BHS.

Doug Loman attended BHS from ’72-’76. Loman played football all four years as quarterback and/or linebacker for the Drillers and earned All-City honors his junior and senior years.

 In ’76, he was selected as “Player of the Year.”

Loman attended BC in ’76-’77 and played baseball for the Renegades. In ’78, he was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the second round. He played for the Brewers’ organization for eight years.

Gary “Sugar Bear” Williams attended BHS from ’74-’78. He played varsity football all four years. Williams played linebacker for the Drillers and accumulated several prestigious awards.

In ’76, he was named the Frank Gifford Most Inspirational Player, in ’77, the Harry Coffee Most Valuable Player; All-City and All-League in ’76 and ’77. Bakersfield Californian Lineman-of-the Year in ’77 and he was also team captain in ’77.