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St. Helena High School logo

Four standout athletes, whose graduating years span six decades, and a longtime coach who was recognized as one of California’s 10 CIF Section Honor Coaches in 1971 for track and field, comprise the 2018 class of inductees for the St. Helena High School Athletic Hall of Fame, organizers announced this week.

The newest inductees are Harold “Toppa” Rutherford, from the Class of 1941; Brian Smith, from the Class of 1971; Lisa Carston Lyon, from the Class of 1988; Cliff Little, from the Class of 1999; and coach Roger Snipe, who was St. Helena’s track and field coach from 1961-1971.

This is the sixth year of the St. Helena High School Athletic Hall of Fame. Ceremonies honoring the newest inductees will be on Oct. 13 at Native Sons Hall in St. Helena. A cocktail hour begins at 6 p.m. and is followed by a dinner at 7 p.m.

The cost is $55 per person. Checks are to be made payable to “SHHS Hall of Fame” and mailed to 1075 Crinella Ct., St. Helena, CA 94574.

Reservations for this year’s Hall of Fame ceremonies will be accepted after July 15, organizers said.

For more information, contact Mike Werle at (707) 963-2420 or, or Tom Hoppe at (707) 963-0500 or

The motto of the Hall of Fame is “Preserving History, Honoring Excellence, Connecting Generations.”

A look at each of the inductees:

  • Harold “Toppa” Rutherford: A three-sport athlete, Rutherford played football, basketball and baseball.

Rutherford was a four-year varsity player in football and a three-year starting guard and defensive end. Rutherford had four fumble recoveries and shares the school record with Al DelBondio with five blocked punts.

He was a three-year varsity starter in basketball and played in 52 games. Rutherford scored 370 career points and averaged 7.1 points per game on back-to-back North Bay League II championship teams.

Rutherford played in 42 games in baseball and finished with a career .397 batting average, the seventh-best in school history. Rutherford also had 15 doubles, five triples, three home runs, 35 RBIs, and a .595 slugging percentage.

  • Brian Smith: Smith was a standout in three sports – football, wrestling, track and field.

He played center and tackle as a junior, and played guard and linebacker as a senior for the Saints in football.

He wrestled as a heavyweight.

Smith holds the school record in the discus, a throw of 169-10, and is second all-time in school history in the shot put, with a throw of 53-7.

He finished eighth in the discus at the state meet in 1971 at UCLA.

Smith earned All-America honors in the hammer throw at Chico State.

  • Lisa Carston Lyon: Carston Lyon played four sports – volleyball, softball, basketball, tennis.

Carston Lyon scored 317 career points, an average of 8.1 points per game, in basketball.

Her .423 career batting average is the second best in school history. Carston Lyon is one of the best in school history, with 60 RBIs (school record), 66 hits (third-most in school history), .547 slugging percentage (fourth-best in school history), 53 runs scored (second-most in school history).

As a pitcher, Carston Lyon threw 200 innings (third-most in school history) and compiled a 17-2 record and a 3.20 earned run average. The 17 wins is a school record.

Carston Lyon had an 11-1 record in singles matches in tennis.

  • Cliff Little: As a three-sport athlete, Little played football, basketball and baseball.

Little has four school records in football: 104 pass receptions, 2,012 yards receiving, 30 touchdown receptions, and nine games with 100-plus yards receiving.

He was also a standout on defense, intercepting seven passes, the fourth-most in school history.

Little scored 889 career points in basketball, the 10th-most in school history, and averaged 15.4 points per game, the eighth-best in school history.

  • Roger Snipe: As St. Helena’s track and field coach, Snipe won 11 consecutive league championships – a combination of NBL II (1961-64) and North Central League I (1965-71). St. Helena won the North Coast Section Division III title in 1971.

Snipe had a 38-4 dual meet record and a total meet overall record of 81-7.

He was the North Coast Section representative as an honor coach at the state meet.

Snipe had a 26-year career as a track and cross country coach.

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Executive Sports Editor

Executive Sports Editor Marty James has been with the Napa Valley Register since 1979. He is a member of the Associated Press Sports Editors, California Prep Sportswriters Association, and the California Golf Writers Association. He was inducted into the