PIERRE WEIL / CHRONICLE PHOTO - Dan Davis, speaking from the stage at Creswell High School's gymnasium on Saturday night, recalls his time with Mark Few (32) in the on-screen photo behind him.
CRESWELL – Dan Davis was inducted into the Creswell High School Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday at CHS. The induction took place at the 16th Annual Creswell Athletics Booster Club dinner and auction, the first since the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Davis, a member of the CHS Class of 1967, was the lone inductee this year. Davis had a distinguished high school career and was also the head coach of the freshman basketball team in the 70s and 80s. Davis was joined at the event by his wife Sandra, and was introduced to a standing ovation by his son-in-law Stan Mercer, who lauded the newest Hall of Famer member.
“Beyond being one of the school’s more remarkable athletes, Dan has been a lifelong Creswell resident and tireless supporter of the sports teams that compete here,” Mercer said. “He has inspired and coached hundreds of student-athletes who have gone on to compete, coach, and inspire still others.”
During his high school career, Davis was a member of the famed basketball team that was dubbed “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves,” as they had no member over 5 feet, 10 inches. The coach of that team was none other than Harland Towne, a member of the inaugural class of Hall of Famers.
Dan and Sandra Davis pose with the CHS Bulldogs Hall of Fame plaque following the festivities Saturday night.
Despite his accomplishments on the court, Davis is most known for his abilities in track and field. Davis set the Creswell long jump record of 22 feet, 7 inches which still stands 55 years later. He took home fourth place in the long jump at the state championships in 1966, and second place in 1967 before going on to compete at Western Oregon State College (now Western Oregon University).
Davis reflected on his time at CHS, including running mornings with his coach’s twin sons before the crack of dawn, and competing against Pleasant Hill High School, who he says had “some animals out there.”
Davis was certainly appreciative of the honor, noting at one point that he “wouldn’t change a minute of it.”
The other big point of action was the auctions, both silent and live. The silent auction was held before the induction and live auction, and included items ranging from Aquarium and Safari tickets to coffee and wine packages, and at least 10 different art pieces.
The live auction was hosted by MC and volunteer auctioneer Justin Criddle, who remarked to the laughter of the crowd that auctioneers “normally charge about $4,000, so I’m getting ripped off tonight.”
Criddle said the booster club was attempting to meet the benchmark set at the most recent banquet in 2019 in which the boosters raised $38,224 for the athletic program. This time around the donations will be going to many different areas, most notably a new softball scoreboard and safety nets for baseball.
Within all of the festivities and donations, the constant thread throughout the night was an appreciation for the booster club. CHS Senior Carter Kruger got up at one point and gave an emotional thanks to the boosters for their efforts in giving students the opportunity to learn and grow from sports.
“Sports are so much more than just practices and games, and they truly teach kids the meaning of community,” Kruger said. “These aren’t just donations, but they’re an investment into our communities future.”
Anna Baltrusch, Head Coach of the CHS Volleyball team and a member of the CHS HOF herself, similarly expressed her appreciation for the event.
“I’ve been coming to these for forever, and this was really wonderful,” Baltrusch said. “Everyone that put this on did a great job.”
It remains to be seen exactly how much money the entire event raised, but the environment of the community being able to come together and raise money for athletics was a refreshing sight. Stan Mercer perhaps said it best in his introduction speech.
“Having played and coached in multiple sports in multiple leagues,” he said. “I can say, unequivocally, that Creswell has a tradition in sports that is unlike any other I’ve been in contact with.”