Five Balboa greats, one historic team to be enshrined in Hall 

On Oct. 24, five of Balboa High School’s sports heroes will be inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame. In addition to the individual accolades, the Balboa Alumni Association will honor all members of the 1967 boys’ basketball team.

Darrell Fregia led the talented and deep ’67 team to Balboa’s first-ever city basketball championship.

He’ll be flying in for the biennial induction ceremonies from his home in Seattle, accompanied by his two younger children. 

“It’s kind of neat that they’ll see that their dad did something while he was young,” Fregia said. 

Dad accomplished quite a lot on and off the court in those years.

In the championship season of 1967, the team’s leading scorer and AAA Conference Co-Player of the Year led the Buccaneers to the title game of the Tournament of Champions and was a first-team All-Northern California selection.

Fregia went on to be an All-Golden Gate Conference guard at City College of San Francisco before attending Stanford, where he was a starter his senior year. Fregia attended graduate school at the University of Washington and works for the state of Washington as a financial manager.

Graduating 37 years apart, Bill Rathbun (’55) and George Ismael (’92) were, in their respective days, giants on the gridiron.

They followed the same path as Fregia by continuing their athletic careers at City College. Rathbun was a do-it-all fullback in Balboa’s three-back formation. He opened holes for the halfbacks, threw passes on end runs and racked up yardage on the ground.

“I had the ability of getting lower than the guy who was going to tackle me,” Rathbun said. “I had good
balance.”

One of Rathbun’s highlights was scoring the winning touchdown to beat Polytechnic High in 1954 after six consecutive losses to Poly.

He was so fond of his teammates that his son is the namesake of quarterback Dan Kirby. After City College, Rathbun continued to play football, of the flag variety, for the city of Sacramento and his church. 

Another hard-hitter on the football field, Ismael was a two-time first-team All-City lineman. Awarded AAA Conference Lineman of the Year in 1992, he also made the second team of the All-Bay Area defensive unit. Keeping himself busy in the offseason, Ismael was an All-City shot putter in ’92.

He transferred from City College to play football at Florida A&M.

Angelo Pastorino, from the class of 1951, was a slugging first baseman and a unanimous first-team All-City selection. He’ll be joined on the dais by the evening’s final inductee, Tony Graham.

The soccer star also stayed local after graduating from Balboa in 1973. He played on USF’s 1976 NCAA championship team before attaining success in the professional soccer ranks.

 

The inductees

- Angelo Pastorino, Class of 1951
- Bill Rathbun, Class of 1955
- Darrell Fregia, Class of 1967
- Tony Graham, Class of 1973
- George Ismael, Class of 1992
- 1967 boys basketball team

 

Balboa Hall of Fame banquet ceremonies

When: Oct. 24, 5:30 p.m. reception, 6:30 p.m. dinner
Where: Patio Español, 2850 Alemany Blvd., S.F.
Info: (650) 851-8101; www.balbucs.net

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Staff Report

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