NWHOF-California Chapter Announces 2023 Inductees

The California Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame will be hosting its annual induction banquet in the Laguna Hills Community Center on Sunday, August 20, 2023, with a social gathering starting at 2:00pm. The banquet and presentations will begin at 4:00pm.

This year’s honorees for “Lifetime Service” to wrestling include ten Southern California residents: Donald Apodaca, John Beresford, Mark “Cal” Calentino, Neal Campbell, Dr. Kenneth C. Lane, Michael Lengyel, Tony Leon, John Phillips, Ricardo Trevino and Michael S. Young

Donald Apodaca

Donald Apodaca was 2nd in the California Community College Athletic Association in 1965 for El Camino, then 1st in the Rocky Mountain Conference and MIWA, 2nd in NAIA, all in 1968 at Adams State University in Colorado. He has coached at several So Cal high schools: Carson (1969), Mater Dei (2000-08), Segerstrom (2009-15), and Tustin (2015-22). In 1993, Apodaca was a World Veteran Champion. While officiating from 2008-14, he also was a five-time USA Wrestling Masters Champion. Don started the Women’s Team at Santa Ana College and coaches there currently with Sadie Morales. He joined the National Wrestling Hall of Fame-CA Chapter board in 1998.

John Beresford

John Beresford began the Rim of the World Wrestling Club in 1961 and started the wrestling program at Rim of the World High School (Lake Arrowhead) in 1965, serving as Head Coach there for 28 seasons through 1993. John’s teams won 16 League Championships and two CIF-Southern Section Division titles, with a dual meet record of 210-20. He initiated the Freelance Tournament and the Beresford Tournament in 1992, with girls added in 2022. He coached three-time State Champion Scott Chapman and Marcie Van Dusen, a member of the 2008 Olympic team in Beijing. The U.S. Army veteran was an assistant coach for another 10 years after he retired.

Mark “Cal” Calentino

Mark “Cal” Calentino was Head Coach at San Clemente High School from 1991 to 2022 with a career dual match record of 426-98. Before then, he had served as an assistant coach at several Orange County high schools: Laguna Hills, Los Amigos and San Clemente. Calentino started the San Clemente Youth Wrestling Club in 2005, directing it until 2012. In 2017, he started the Girls Wrestling Team at SCHS, and he served as an assistant coach there last season. Cal’s teams won 18 League Champion- ships and six CIF Championships. President of the Orange County Wrestling Coaches Association for four years, he has worked with the Laguna Beach Police Department.

Neal Campbell

Neal Campbell, a Pennsylvania native, moved his young family to Corona in 1970. Neal began officiating in 1972, and he continues to add to his 51-year career. The consummate sports official began officiating football, wrestling and track, and after retiring from ALCOA, he added softball and volleyball to his schedules. Campbell has officiated at eight CIF Sectionals, five CIF Dual Championships, eight Battle of the Bell, and two or three league tournaments per season. He was Assignment Chairman of the Foothill Association for 20 years and in the Inland Empire Association for 10. An International Official for AAU, USAW and FILA, he received the Golden Whistle in 2016.

Kenneth C. Lane, M.D

Kenneth C. Lane, M.D. wrestled for Hall of Fame Coach Alan Polite at Bakersfield High School where he was a League Champion and CIF Medalist. After wrestling at UCLA, Dr. Lane became a Family & Sports Medicine Specialist, and he has been a Team Physician for USA Wrestling for 25 years. He served at National, World and CIF Championships, in NCAA tournaments and for Olympic Trials. The USA National Team Physician served in wrestling events across the U.S. and around the world. In 2019, Dr. Lane made a contribution to begin the Legacy Giving Program for USA Wrestling, stating “wrestling not only changed my character, but it also changed my life.”

Michael Lengyel

Michael Lengyel has been officiating wrestling matches 53 years on a high school level and 16 years for colleges. He began officiating in his home state of Pennsyl- vania (1969), then in Florida (1970-77), and he has served in the Southern California Wrestling Officials Association since then. Lengyel has officiated many college duals, junior college tournaments, and high school events including 39 league champion- ships, 12 CIF Masters for boys and 7 for girls, Beast of the East 13 times, the Five Counties 19 times, Mann Classic 9 times, TOC 7 times, the CIF State Championship, and USA National high school events. He received the Golden Whistle award in 2018.

Tony Leon

Tony Leon attended Brawley High School and Imperial Valley Community College. He returned to Brawley HS as an assistant wrestling coach in 1998, and he became Head Coach in 2001. His teams have won 24 consecutive League Championships and 17 CIF Division Championships. Leon’s teams have also placed in the Top Three at the San Diego Masters Meet fi ve times. Tony has coached 25 CIF-SD Section champions, four CIF-State Championships placers, and numerous California USA Wrestling place winners. The CA Wrestling Coaches Association selected him as Coach of the Year, and he was inducted into the CA Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2022.

John Phillips

John Phillips began wrestling in the fall of 1969, his freshman year in high school. He was active in wrestling rooms for over 50 years. He was 2nd in CIF and 1st Team All- South Bay before wrestling at LA Pierce College and then at CSU-Bakers fi eld where he was on two National Championship teams (1975-77). As Head Coach at Artesia HS, his teams won fi ve Suburban League championships. He moved to Irvine HS in 1987 and was Head Coach there for 34 seasons, and his teams won 20 titles in three di ff erent leagues, were in nine semi fi nal Dual Meet Championships, and placed in the Top 10 of CIF-SS Divisions 22 times. His teams won 428 dual matches.

Ricardo “Rich” Trevino

Ricardo “Rich” Trevino was a four-time CIF quali fi er, two-time CIF-SS Masters quali fi er, and an Orange County All-Star in 1997. He wrestled for Vince Silva at Santa Ana College before coaching at high schools: Santa Ana Valley, Mater Dei (1998 and 2000-04) and Santa Margarita (2005-12). Rich moved to Aliso Niguel High School in 2012, and he has been Girls Head Coach there since 2015 on the fi rst full girls team in South OC, adding to his 25 years of coaching. A self-described “mat rat,” he helps anyone and everyone interested in the sport that “saved my life.” He preaches LRL (love, respect and loyalty) in wrestling and in the personal lives of students he teaches.

Michael S. Young

Michael S. Young wrestled at San Fernando High School under Sam DeJohn who inspired him to become a teacher and coach. He wrestled at CSU-Northridge while earning his degrees in History and English. As Head Coach at Highland High School in Palmdale, he developed the team into a CIF-Southern Section power. After starting with freshmen in 1989, he led teams to 548 varsity dual match victories 1990-2009, earning 15 Golden League Championships since entering it in 1992. Young’s teams won four CIF-SS Championships, and they were runners-up another four times. The powerful man and leader was called the godfather of wrestling in the Antelope Valley.