West Hills College Coalinga Athletic Hall of Fame Celebration April 23, 2022
West Hills College Coalinga will induct several of its former athletes and one former team into its Athletic Hall of Fame on April 23 at the West Hills College Coalinga gymnasium.
This year’s 23rd Hall of Fame class includes Howard Redding - Football, Track (1970-72), Cedric Kizzee - Football, Track (1985-88), Thirkell DeBellotte - Basketball (1987-89), Gabrielle Brixey – Softball (2008-10), and the 2003 Football Team, coached by Mark Gritton (Pacific Graffiti Bowl Champions). Special recognitions include: Tony Avila and Ron Danner (posthumous).
“These individuals represent different eras in West Hills College Coalinga’s rich athletic tradition and have been successful in athletics, education, business and community involvement,” said Joe Hash, WHCC associate dean of athletics. “This is a special class in more ways than one. The inductees all share a passion for giving back and being leaders in the community. We are extremely proud that they are products of West Hills College Coalinga and we look forward to celebrating their many accomplishments.”
The Hall of Fame luncheon will begin with a social hour at 11 a.m., followed by a ceremony at noon, and lunch at 1 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased for $75 per person by contacting Gina Jason at 934-2452.
Howard Redding played football and was a member of the track team at West Hills College Coalinga from 1962-1972. Redding earned All-Conference honors in the 1970-1971 and 1971-1972 football seasons. He was also received an honorable mention for defensive back in the 1970-1971 football season and was awarded Most Valuable Player in the 1971-1972 football season. Redding went on to study at San Francisco State University. After college he worked with the world color press for 15 years. Currently he works at Dos Palos High where he has coached football, basketball, and track for over 15 years.
Cedric Kizzee played football and was a member of the track team at West Hills College Coalinga from 1985 to 1987. Kizzee was the leading wide receiver and earned numerous awards during his time at West Hills Coalinga, most notably, All Conference honors in 1987. He also earned several team awards in 1987, including Most Valuable Player and Most Valuable Offensive Player. He then went on to attend California State University at Northridge, where he played football until a career ending injury. Kizzee has worked in the safety industry for over 30 years, which demonstrates his love for people and the safety of others. He is a faithful servant in ministry at Word of Restoration International Church in Rosharon, TX. He has informally coached and supported many young athletes over the years. In addition, Kizzee and his wife, Pamela, donate their time and resources to several other notable charities and causes. Together, they have 4 children and 8 grandchildren, in which they are very proud.
Thirkell Debellotte attended West Hills College Coalinga from the fall of 1987-to the spring of 1987. Serving as the starting point guard on the basketball falcon basketball team. During his time on the team serve as the team captain and earned honorable mention and second team all-conference honors. After graduating West Hills College played basketball at California State University Hayward and Patten University Where he earned his teaching credential in Physical Education with a Minor in Youth Service Administration. After graduating, Debellotte coached high school boys and girls basketball at several high schools in San Francisco Bay Area. For 27 years, he has taught physical education and founded Mr. D’s Boys and Girls basketball camps which ran from 1995-2005. Debellotte has had plenty of successes on and off the court, but his greatest experiences were coaching his son Tredan in high school and graduating from college.
Gabrielle “Gaby” Brixey played softball at West Hills College Coalinga from 2008 to 2010 after graduating from Coalinga High School where she lettered in 3 sports. During her time at WHCC, Brixey started as a centerfielder for the softball program. She earned many honors during her time at West Hills College Coalinga, including two-time Central Valley First Team All-Conference, MVP, Gold Glove and team captain. After West Hills, Brixey went on to finish her degree and continue playing softball at Lesley University, located in Cambridge, MA. There, she helped lead her team to two NECC Conference Championships and two NCAA Division III Tournament appearances. She earned a two-time First Team All-NECC outfielder award, was named to the 2012 NFCA All-New England third-team, and was a 2012 NEISCA Honorable Mention All-Star selection. Brixey earned her bachelor’s in Business Management with an emphasis of Sports Management from Lesley University in 2012, and has a Master’s in Business Administration (Ottawa University 2013) and Master’s in Communication (Southern New Hampshire 2017). In 2013, Brixey joined the WHCC softball coaching staff, serving 4 years under Coach Staci Mosher. Currently, she is the head softball coach at Taft College where she has served for five years.
2003 West Hills College Falcon Football
The 2003 West Hills College Falcon Football team coached by Mark Gritton finished the fall season ranked 9th in the Northern California Football Conference (NCFC) and 19th Nationally. In addition, the team was crowned the 2003 Pacific Graffiti Bowl Champions defeating Laney College by a score of 28-24. The Falcons Football team started the season ranked nationally and finished the season in the top 20. The Falcons had signature wins over American River College, Hartnell College, Monterey Peninsula College, College of the Sequoias, Merced College, Modesto Junior College and Laney College. The win over Modesto Junior College made Head Coach Mark Gritton the winningest coach in West Hills College Football history and sent the Falcons to back-to-back NCFC bowl games. The team had successes off the field as much as they did on the field with avid participation in WHCC Football Community Outreach program where the Falcons volunteered in the community at the Ralph Neate Extended Care facility once a month, hosted a free youth camp, and read to children at Coalinga-Huron elementary schools each semester. In addition, 15+ student athletes signed national letters of intent and transferred to 4-year universities including University of Arkansas (FBS), University of Oklahoma (FBS), Iowa State University (FBS), University of Louisiana at Lafayette (FBS), Ball State university (FBS), North Carolina Central University (FCS), McNeese State University (FCS), California State University Sacramento (FCS), Lindenwood University (FCS), Morehouse College (D2), Emporia State University (D2), Humboldt State University (D2), Kansas Wesleyan University (NAIA), Sterling College (NAIA) and St. Ambrose University (NAIA). This monumental football team also produced a multi-year NFL player in Darius Vinnett who went on to be an NFL scout for the Arizona Cardinals. Many successful businessmen, teachers, coaches, husbands and fathers have been produced as a direct result of the hard work, dedication, education and foundation earned by being a proud member of the 2003 West Hills College Falcon Football Program.