With a packed house of longtime fans, friends, and community members in attendance, the Palo Verde Valley Historical Society & Museum's Yellow Jacket Class of 2019 Hall of Fame were welcomed to center field to be accordingly honored.
Inducted at Palo Verde High School's (PVHS) Scott Stadium on Oct. 25, this year's class included Irma Gonzalez Dagnino (1994-1997), Jeff Phipps (1990-1993), and David Rowden (1980-1983).
With past, current and future Yellow Jacket alumni in attendance, the three hometown student-athlete legends were presented with an honorary plaque to mark the distinction.
Gonzalez Dagnino played three sports during her PVHS career, including varsity basketball (1994-1997); three-year varsity volleyball; one-year varsity softball.
Additionally, Gonzalez Dagnino’s awards while at PVHS include: 1996 1st team All-IVL (Imperial Valley League [basketball]); 1996 1st team All-IVL (volleyball); 1996 Team Captain (basketball); 1996 Team Captain (volleyball); 1997 1st Team All-IVL (basketball); 1997 1st Team All-IVL (volleyball); 1997 Team Captain (basketball); 1997 Team Captain (volleyball).
Along with a 1996 Homecoming Queen title, Gonzalez Dagnino attended San Diego Mesa College and played basketball for two years on the Mesa College Lady Olympians team. The team earned Pacific Coast Athletic Conference Championship from 1998 to 2000.
During his time as a Yellow Jacket, Phipps played four sports, including one year of golf; three years of football; three years of basketball; and three years of baseball.
Phipps’ awards while at PVHS include 1991 All-DVL (football); 1991 All-Inland Empire — football as a sophomore (”[According to] the Los Angeles Times, this is the first time a sophomore had accomplished this at PVHS,” stated the Yellow Jackets Hall of Fame); 1991 All Riverside County (Press Enterprise, sophomore year); 1991 All-CIF (California Interscholastic Federation [football]); 1991 All-DVL (basketball); 1991 All-CIF (basketball); 1992 All-DVL (football); 1992 All-DVL (basketball); 1992 All-CIF (basketball); 1992 All-DVL (baseball); 1993 All-DVL (basketball); 1993 All-CIF (basketball); 1993 McDonalds All-American (basketball); 1993 All-DVL (baseball); 1993 All-CIF (baseball); and a U.S. Army Scholar Athlete Award in 1993.
Phipps played baseball for Delta College and was subsequently drafted by the Kansas City Royals and the Baltimore Orioles in 1993, and he played in the minor leagues for two years.
During his time as a Yellow Jacket, Rowden played four sports including three years varsity football; three years of varsity basketball; four years on varsity track; and two years varsity baseball.
Rowden’s awards while at PVHS include 1981 All-DVL; 1981 All-Riverside County (Press Enterprise) Football Award; 1982 All-DVL receiver in football; 1982 All-DVL Defensive Player of the Year (football); 1983 All-DVL (football)• 1983 DVL League Most Valuable Player (football); 1983 All DVL (basketball), and advanced to the CIF Playoffs.
Rowden attended Golden West College where, in 1983-1984, he was All-Conference PAC (Pacific Athletic Conference) 9 football and defensive captain.
This year’s class of local sports icons were assessed for induction using a point-based system for nominations by the museum’s volunteer board.
Each received a set number of points for previous high school, collegiate, and/or professional experience. Also taken into account were the number of verified varsity, letter, MVP (Most Valuable Player), all-county, CIF/IVL accomplishments, and more.
The inductees will also have their photograph placed among the ranks of the Palo Verde Valley Historical Society & Museum's Yellow Jacket Hall of Fame wall. The local museum is now open for its winter season, Monday through Friday, from noon to 4 p.m.; and Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.