By John Hernandez
The San Manuel High School Athletic Hall of Fame was a long time coming, but now that the first group of deserving people has been inducted, it should get better and bigger each year.
The first four inductees into the Hall of Fame were former NFL player Warner Smith, decorated softball coach Sheila Baize, accomplished athlete/educator Greg Parker and community leader John Dicus.
With the help of the community, alumni and the high school Hall of Fame Committee, the San Manuel High School Athletic Hall of Fame works toward recognizing those individuals who made exceptional contributions to San Manuel High School athletics.
The Hall is an inspiration to young athletes and to the community in supporting the school and the athletic programs.
Warner Smith was a student athlete at San Manuel High School from 1987 to 1991. He participated in football, basketball and track. In football, Smith was First-Team High School All-American, Gatorade Arizona MVP of the year and a University of Arizona Football four-year Letterman.
In 1995, he was a member of the NFL Indianapolis Colts. Warner lives in Tucson where he is a marketing specialist for Garmin. He also referees high school basketball.
Sheila Baize coached varsity badminton, basketball and softball as well as JV volleyball at San Manuel High School. She was the first Varsity Basketball and Softball Coach at SMHS, arriving at a time when Title IX was being implemented.
She helped develop the female sports programs and built the softball program into a state powerhouse. Her softball teams had one of the highest winning percentages in the nation, compiling a record of 185 wins including five state championships and only 15 losses. Fifteen of her softball players would earn college athletic scholarships. In 1985, she was named National High School Association Softball Coach of the Year. She was honored by Sports Illustrated magazine in their “Faces in the Crowd” section.
After leaving San Manuel, Baize continued her career as the Athletic Director of Tucson Unified School District where she won awards as an administrator and sports official.
Greg Parker was a student athlete at San Manuel High School from 1961 to 1965 lettering in football, basketball, baseball, and track. He is one of the few if not the only SMHS athlete to letter in four sports.
Parker would follow Coach Eustice to Cochise College where he earned an athletic scholarship for baseball and would play basketball and baseball. He would letter in baseball at the University of Iowa.
Parker returned to San Manuel for a while, teaching and coaching at the high school. He lives in Kingman with his wife, Betsy, where they raised their two boys, Josh and Adam. He retired from the Kingman School District where he was a principal, varsity golf coach, athletic director, and director of human resources.
John Dicus and his wife Jamie have been pillars of the community for many years. John arrived in San Manuel in 1956. His father opened up the Dicus Chevron Station in town where it operated for many years. The Dicus Station sponsored athletic teams, donated to Little League, different organizations and the school district.
Dicus was heavily involved in Rotary, volunteering his time for and being supportive of the Rotary Track Meet. He has been a Mammoth-San Manuel School District Board member, a member of the SMHS Booster Club and a member of the Mammoth-San Manuel Education Foundation.
He is still active in the community and serves on the Board for Sun Life Family Health Centers. His contributions to the community of San Manuel and to the SMHS athletic program are deserving of the honor as the first community member/athletic patron to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.