Napa’s Howard Fish was inducted into the USA Judo Hall of Fame for Athletic Achievement during the annual Night of Champions Award and Recognition Dinner on June 1 in Las Vegas.
Fish began his judo career at the YMCA at the age of 15 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and went on to become a competitive athlete on the storied San Jose State University judo team.
He won a gold medal in the 1965 National Collegiate Championships, a bronze in the 1966 U.S. National Championships, and another gold in the 1967 U.S. National Championships. He also appeared on the 1968 cover of Black Belt Magazine.
Also in 1968, Fish received a four-month scholarship from Black Belt Magazine in order to train at the Kodokan. He represented San Jose State as the only U.S. competitor in the 1968 World University Games, where he won two bronze medals.
Fish passed away gently in his sleep at the age or 78 after a long fight with myelofibrosis, a rare form of leukemia, according to an obituary at go.teamusa.org/2KiJNFU. It says that a service celebrating Fish’s life will be from 11 a.m. to noon Tuesday, June 18 at Tulocay Cemetery and Funeral home in Napa.
The inductees were a group of worthy judokas who reach back decades, showcasing the rich history of judo in the United States. In total, seven athletes and two contributors were honored, including Jim Colgan and Hal Sharp for Lifetime of Service, and Gene LeBell, Paul Maruyama, Hayward Nishioka, Tosh Seino, Kazuo Shinohara and Rene Zeelenberg for Athletic Achievement.
The USA Judo Hall of Fame was created in 2008 to recognize those who have achieved outstanding accomplishments within and outside the U.S. judo community. The 2019 induction was the first since the inaugural class in 2008. Selections are made by an internal USA Judo.
A member organization of the U.S. Olympic Committee, USA Judo is responsible for the development, support and selection of Olympic, Pan American and World Championship Teams. It is dedicated to the growth and development of the sport from grassroots through elite levels. Men’s judo was added to the Olympic program in 1964 and women’s judo was added in 1988.
Prep Swim and Dive
Vintage hands out awards
At the recent end-of-season awards banquet, the Crushers recognized girls captains Lindie Clem, Grace O’Dwyer and Ally Peterson and boys captain Aidan Davis.
For the varsity girls, the Most Inspirational award went to Josephine Borsetto, Most Valuable were Ava Anderson and Peterson, Most Improved was Ainsley Adams, and the Coaches Award went to Emily Hayashi.
For the junior varsity girls, Most Inspirational was Alessia Gressi, Most Valuable were Leilani Fraser and Ellie Kidd, Most Improved was Bella Celsi, and the Coaches Awards went to Emma Enos and Jackie Cole.
For the varsity boys, Most Inspirational was Nico D’Angelo, Most Valuable were Tyler Kortie and Davis, Most Improved was Mateo Roldan, and the Coaches Award went to Jackson Carmichael.
For the JV boys, Most Inspirational was Nico Solorio, Most Valuable was Mason Davis, Most Improved was Emilio Castro, and the Coaches Award went to Luke Williams.
Making the All-Vine Valley Athletic League First Team were divers Peterson and Aidan Davis. On the Second Team are Dominic Dandini (50 freestyle), Castro (diving) and Frazer (diving).