The Firebaugh High School Athletic Boosters hosted their very first event, the “Night of Honor” dinner, on Aug. 12. All attendees walked up the path from the parking lot to the gym doors, through the inflatable Eagle that has been seen in use at the football games, where the players exit onto the field before the game.

From 6:30-7:30 p.m., social hour took place, which included a silent auction of over 20 items donated by various sports teams and community members. Just for fun, there was a photobooth set for the attendees.

A slideshow full of pictures from last year’s Firebaugh High School sports teams was put together by Alisa Kirk, the photography and athletic training teacher at FHS. The slides were displayed on a screen for the duration of social hour.

These pictures included Firebaugh’s lady tennis team, which placed second in last year’s Valley Championship, as well as the Division Five baseball championship team from the 2022-2023 school year.

After social hour passed, Blue Flame Diner provided a tri-tip dinner to each guest. Water and black tea were complimentary, and cold sodas were sold by the Boosters, with all proceeds going directly to their funds to enable athletic teams to attend events such as camps and to save for future scholarships for athletes.

Throughout the event, about two athletes from different sports were present to serve wherever they were needed. The student-athletes were wearing their jerseys that evening to represent their sport and school spirit. The athletes were mostly found working the refreshments booth, taking tickets or handing out the sodas, and refilling the water and tea pitchers on the tables of the guests.

Shortly after guests had eaten, Firebaugh High School’s Athletic Director, Kacey Jones, walked onstage to welcome all teachers, coaches, past athletes, and other guests who attended. She briefly mentioned some of the notable changes taking place on the high school campus. These announcements include the projected finish dates for both the new track and tennis courts.

The awards ceremony preceded the news, and included an award for five different categories. Chuck Norred was awarded The Golden Eagle award, which is the highest honor. He received both a plaque as well as a small eagle statue. In honor of his late father, Justin Norred received the awards.

This award was followed by the coach category, where Pedro Martinez was presented with a plaque and shared a few words on the impact being in Firebaugh has had on him as both an educator and coach.

Cleo Johnson, a long-time wrestler, was named the outstanding athlete in the athlete category.

The late Gilbert Coelho was nominated for the community member category and his wife, Carol Coelho, was present at the event to receive his award and expressed her gratitude for the community.

Lastly, the 1995 Firebaugh High School football team was awarded for the team category. Four players went up on stage to receive the award, and Gary Barragan spoke for the guys, thanking everyone and reminiscing on the year they won it all.

Samantha Rangel