Don Inglis bought a video camera in the late 1970s. He took it with him to football games on Friday nights so that he could record action of his oldest son, Donald, playing for Napa High School.
Les Franco, Napa’s head coach at the time, saw what Don Inglis was doing and wanted to not only borrow the tape, but had a job offer in mind.
“He looked at my film and asked me if I wanted a job,” Inglis recalled. “I told him that I would loan him my tape, but it was mostly of the line, because my boys played on the line. He said that will be OK.”
Inglis was soon doing much more. With an absolute love for the high school game, he accepted Franco’s offer and was filming each of Napa’s games – both home and away – in their entirety, starting in 1980, going year after year, as a volunteer.
“I love the crowd, especially when there’s a large crowd, because you can really get into it and the fans are into it,” Inglis said before the Grizzlies’ nonleague game last week against Armijo at Napa Memorial Stadium. “And you know, I just love high school football. It is my love. I’m grateful to Les, because it’s lasted 40 years. I’m glad that I can continue to do it.”
Inglis’ three sons – Donald, Michael, Curtis – each played football for Napa, with their years spanning from 1979 to 1987.
Don Inglis is now in his 40th year of filming football games, from high atop the press box, for Napa.
He shares the duties with Bob Chance, who films the games from the end zone camera. Chance began by filming NHS freshman games in 1997 and joined Inglis in 2007.
“I have just enjoyed being around sports. I always have,” said Chance. “Don and I have done this just out of an appreciation of all the work that the coaches do and the fact that the athletes work so hard. This is one of those teaching tools that’s essential for them to have. We do the best job we can and try and help. It’s just been fun.”
Inglis and Chance will each be honored when they are inducted into the Napa High Athletic Hall of Fame next month as special category inductees.
“This is so awesome to be recognized with such a prestigious award. I’m sure that Bob’s enjoying that as much as I am,” said Inglis. “I don’t know what to say.”
Added Chance: “I’m just blown away by it. I’m totally honored and so grateful to Troy (Mott) and the other coaches who put us up for this. To end up in the Hall of Fame is just icing on the cake. It’s a great thrill. I’ve enjoyed so much working with all the coaches over the years.”
Scott Ruggiero (1988 graduate), Jillian Imrie (1998) and Joe LeMasters (2003) were also selected for the 2019 Hall of Fame class, as chosen by a committee and announced in June. Ruggiero will be inducted posthumously.
The newest class will be honored at a dinner and induction ceremony on Oct. 12 at Embassy Suites by Hilton Napa Valley. A social hour begins at 5:30 p.m. and is followed by dinner at 7 p.m.
Indian Hall of Fame
To date, there are 149 members of the Indian Hall of Fame, whose membership dates to 1912.
In 1997, the Hall of Fame was formed, with 36 inductees in the inaugural class.
The purpose of the Napa High Athletic Hall of Fame Foundation, a nonprofit organization that is now in its 23rd year, is to honor the school and its department of athletics by recognizing the achievements of former athletes, coaches and others who have made significant contributions to the school’s athletic programs, while celebrating Napa High School scholar-athletes for their work in the classroom, community and in athletics, according to napahighhof.org.
The Hall of Fame’s selection committee votes on the nominees after reviewing the nominations and hearing presentations by nominators. A successful nominee needs 75 percent of the total points possible.
Individuals may be nominated in one of three categories: athlete, coach and special.
The Hall of Fame has awarded $90,000 in scholarships to student-athletes over the years. The scholarships are funded by contributions. The Hall of Fame awards two annual scholarships to deserving scholar-athletes who have represented Napa High well in athletic competition, as well as in the classroom and community, according to napahighhof.org.
Inglis, Chance to join Hall of Fame
Inglis, 77, and Chance, 69, who are both retired, were nominated for the Hall of Fame by former Napa High head coach Troy Mott, the winningest head football coach in school history. Mott directed Napa to five Monticello Empire League titles, the 2007 CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division I championship, and to Northern California and state rankings.
To be eligible in the special category, an individual must have participated in an activity that brought honor or positive recognition to the athletic department of Napa High, contributed in some substantial way to the improvement of Napa High athletic programs, and lived an adult life that did not discredit the school or the community.
“Those guys just represent our community and our program with the utmost class,” said Mott, who compiled a 94-35 record in 11 years (2006-2016) of leading the program. “I just have the most respect for them and appreciate so much the job they did for our kids and for our coaches. They give so much of their time for the kids and are behind the scenes.
“I know coaches who have struggled finding people like that, for their program. The Hall of Fame honoring them is an amazing honor and a sign of respect for all the hours and years that they have each put into this. Everywhere we went, they were there. They showed up to every game. They were at away games. They were on time.
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“Don and Bob always provided good film with great angles. The clarity was always really good.”
Don Inglis has missed only 10 games over all the years due to having hip replacement surgery.
Chance has filmed games from the sideline and end zone cameras. He has also filmed track and field meets and basketball games for Napa coaches.
Football coaches can look at video of the game as soon as the game is over.
Grading, studying and analyzing game video is very important as it relates to evaluating player personnel, schemes and techniques, said Mott, who became Napa’s all-time winningest head football coach during the 2015 season. He was also honored by the CIF state office as a Model Coach Award winner during the 2015-16 school year.
“You use the film to really break down your own team. And then you’re able to make corrections and/or adjustments through the film,” said Mott. “Having film to analyze your own team and to really understand how well or how poor you’re kind of putting things together, it’s of the utmost importance.
“That’s where the real coaching happens, when you’re able to break down film on your opponents and trying your best each and every week to put your players in the best possible situation to have success.”
”… Hudl is a sports analysis software company serving teams at every level with the tools to study and improve performance,” according to www.hudl.com.
Inglis is from Napa and graduated from NHS in 1960. He retired from Pacific Telephone as a building specialist.
He can take all of his gear in the elevator, from field level to the press box, and then climb a ladder to the roof of the press box on the east side of the stadium.
“I love my job, being up high, getting to see the beautiful Memorial Stadium,” said Inglis. “I loved the old (Memorial Stadium). One of the things I’ve always loved about the Napa stadiums, both of them, is that we do not have a track around the field, which gives everybody a much closer view. And the field is just awesome.”
Inglis and Chance arrive early, for both home and away games, setting up their cameras about an hour prior to the junior varsity game.
There are two monitors under a canopy on the NHS sidelines, where players and coaches can see action of the previous play throughout the game.
“They have the ability to get a real-time shot at what we are actually shooting on the field. It’s pretty cool,” said Chance. “It’s a great set-up. It’s been really helpful for the coaches and obviously for the players, too. It’s just a great tool.
“There’s now a computer program and it’s all linked up together.”
Chance retired from the West Contra Costa Unified School District as a teacher.
He has worked at College Park High-Pleasant Hill, leading the track and field team as the head coach, and also worked for County Superintendent of Schools-Contra Costa County.
He taught adaptive P.E. and ran an adaptive swim program for handicapped youths for 25 years in West Contra Costa. He has also been involved in coaching Special Olympics.
He has filmed basketball and track and field for NHS.
Chance ran on cross country and track and field teams in college at Diablo Valley College-Pleasant Hill and Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo. He graduated from Cal Poly in 1973 with a degree in P.E.
Chance is also one of the hosts of the KVON “SportsVine” on Saturday. The hour-long show starts at 9 a.m. on KVON-1440 AM. It is re-aired the following Wednesday at 10 a.m. each week on KVON.
Hall of Fame information
To make a reservation for the dinner program, contact Carol Stein at (707) 226-5090 or email@example.com.
For more information, visit napahighhof.org.