San Manuel High School Athletic Hall of Fame honors Don Payne, Pete Kron and Trent Brown

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Trent Brown and Don Payne were inducted into the San Manuel High School Hall of Fame.

   On Thursday, Jan. 26, San Manuel High School inducted three athletes into the San Manuel High School Athletic Hall of Fame. These outstanding athletes and coach were Trent Brown, Pete Kron and Don Payne. 

  Trent Brown is a 1995 graduate. He played football, basketball and baseball for the San Manuel Miners. He was an exceptional pitcher in baseball. His performance resume includes: 1st Team All Conference Pitcher – 1992, 1993, 1994; 1st Team All State Pitcher 1992, 1993, 1994; 1st Team All Arizona Pitcher 1991 & 1992; High School All American Pitcher 1992; Connie Mack State Championship Pitcher 1993; Team USA Pitcher 1993; U.S. Junior Olympic Team Pitcher 1994; Arizona Baseball Coaches Association Starting/Winning Pitcher 1995; Tampa Bay Devil Ray’s Organization Pitcher 1997.

  Trent also holds the San Manuel High School records for Most Shutouts in a Season: 5; Most Games Won in a Season: 16; Most Strikeouts in a Season: 165.

  He also holds Arizona State 3A Division records for Most Strikeouts in a Game: 22 vs. Superior 1994 and Most Wins in a Career: 46, 1992 – 1994.

Pete Kron’s photo in the San Manuel Miner’s Graduation edition.

  Pete Kron is a 1965 graduate, participating in track and football. He was All State in Track 1964 & 1965. He holds the San Manuel High School records for the shot put and discus. Pete was the State Champion in the shot put and discus in 1965. 

  He attended Oklahoma University on a track scholarship from 1965 – 1970. He was a Big 8 Conference scorer 1967, 1968, and 1969. 

  After graduating he joined the Navy and is a Veteran serving 1970 – 1974. 

  He was the Assistant Track Coach at Oklahoma University 1974 – 2000 where he coached several NCAA champions in the shotput and All-Americans in the discus, high jump, long jump and triple jump. He came out of retirement and was hired as the throws coach at Oklahoma Baptist University in 2007 where he is still coaching. 

  Pete was unable to attend the induction but sent a written statement which was read at the ceremony. The statement said: “I regret that I am unable to be there in person to share in this ceremony. I would like to congratulate the others receiving this honor, especially my classmate Don Payne.

  “I am honored and humbled at having been chosen to be inducted into the SMHS Hall of Fame, and I am grateful to coach Littau, coach Bunch and my teammates Marty Sanders and Don Becraft who helped me so much along the way.

  “San Manuel High School has a very special place in my heart and I have so many wonderful memories from my time there. The Class of 1965 had so many special people who made the high school experience such a memorable one, and this honor makes it even more special! 

  “I would like to take this opportunity to ask for your prayers for Mark Vancas, Class of 1965, who passed away last week. He was a close friend to all those who knew him.

  “Again, thank you for this honor today as it means more to me than any words can express!” 

    Don Payne was a 1965 graduate participating in baseball and football. He is entering the Hall of Fame as a Coach. Don or “Donnie” as he is also known coached football and baseball at San Manuel High School. He has been a Miner for six decades. As a football coach, his team won the Region Championship and State Championship in 1981.

  Don’s baseball teams won over 500 games, winning regional championships in 1971, 1974, 1981, 1983, 1985, 1992, and 1993. They were State Runner-ups in 1983, 1984, 1993, and 2009. Don coached the Miners to two Baseball State Championships in 1985 and 1992. He was selected as Arizona High School Baseball Coach of the Year in 1985, 1989, 1992 and 1993. He was named the National High School Baseball Coaches Association Coach of the Year for Region 7 in 1992. Don is in the Arizona Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, being inducted in 2003. His 1992 and 1993 teams hold the state record for Most Consecutive Wins in the 3A Division, winning 46 games in a row!  

  Congratulations to these Hall of Famers, who have set examples for others both on and off the field! 

John Hernandez (602 Posts)

John Hernandez lives in Oracle. He is retired and enjoys writing and traveling. He is active in the Oracle Historical Society. He covers numerous public events, researches historical features and writes business/artist profiles.


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