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Two from FWay are bound for Hall of Fame
Two men who have settled down in Federal Way since their athletic heydays will be inducted into the Tacoma-Pierce County Sports Hall of Fame next month.
Don Flye, a national-caliber tennis player in the 1950s, and Vince Goldsmith, rated one of Washington's top high school football players of the 20th century, will join 168 other new members of the group that recognizes premier athletic accomplishments.
Billed as the biggest all-sports banquet in the area's history, the May 7 event already has attracted more than 1,300 reservations from athletes scattered throughout Washington and in Florida, Washington D.C., Ohio, Michigan, Missouri, Hawaii, Utah, Nevada, Colorado, Arizona, California and Oregon.
The occasion will also include three inducations into the Washington Sports Hall of Fame and announcements of the Male and Female High School Athletes of the Year.
Flye and Goldsmith are originally from Tacoma and now live in Federal Way, according to Marc Blau, a Tacoma-Pierce County Sports Hall of Fame banquet organizer.
Their hall-worthy credentials "are significant," Blau said.
Flye was a member of the 1953 U.S. Junior Davis Cup team and was nationally ranked in 1954. He participated in three U.S. Open singles events and three U.S. Open doubles championships, in addition to Wimbledon. He reached the semifinals and quarterfinals of several major singles and doubles tennis tour events and won matches against Wimbledon champions Ashley Coper and Sidney Wood.
Flye broke onto the U.S. tennis scene as a nationally ranked 14-year-old. He won the national junior doubles title in 1951.
He played one year at Modesto (Calif.) Junior College, winning a national championship, and three more years at the University of Washington. With the Huskies, he won three divisional conference doubles championships and one singles crown
Goldsmith made his mark in football and track and field, starting at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma, where he was an all-state and all-American defensive lineman and a national shot put champion in 1977. He also was a two-time state champion in the shot put (he still holds the state record of 69 feet 11 inches).
He later was named one to the Washington State High School Football Team of the Century.
At the University of Oregon, Goldsmith earned second-team All-America honors as a defensive lineman in 1980.
He moved on to the Canadian Football League, earning Rookie of the Year and All-CFL honors. He also played for a Grey Cup championship team in 1989.
Other new hall inductees next month will include Frosty Westering, who is one year into retirement after a long, national championship-winning career as Pacific Lutheran University's football coach; Ahmad Rashad, the former college and professional football star-turned-sports broadcaster; Kaye Hall-Gref, an Olympics gold medalist swimmer; Earl Anthony, now deceased, who was a dominant professional bowler; and braodcaster Bob Robertson.
The Hall of Fame is the brainchild of longtime sportscaster, sports writer and radio station owner Clay Huntington. He encouraged the Tacoma Athletic Commission to honor the community's brightest sports stars for their achievements over the years.
The first inductions were made in 1957. More were added into the 1970s before the organization stopped honoring local athletes. It's been revived through the Tacoma Athletic Commission (TAC), leading to next month's mass induction of 170 new members.
Criteria for their selection includes:
Must be retired from active competition. Exception are made for coaches, administrators, officials, broadcasters or sportswriters still active at the age of 70.
Must be born and raised in Pierce County or must have maintained significant long-term residence in the community. Exceptions can be made by the selection committee.
The committee of past and current sportswriters and broadcasters, TAC directors and hall members vote for new inductees from a list of candidates.
Making its debut at the May 7 banquet will be a new book by Blau,"Playgrounds to the Pros: An Illustrated History of Sports in Tacoma-Pierce County." Funded by TAC and community sponsors, the 500-page, 450-photograph book celebrates 60-plus years of local sports, Blau said.