On November 24, at a ceremony at Red Mountain High School, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community member and Lehi resident Gabriel Scabby was inducted into the City of Mesa Sports Hall of Fame as a member of Westwood High School’s 1994 championship cross country team.
Scabby, a technical rescue team member with the Salt River Fire Department in Ladder Company 293, started running cross country as a sophomore at Westwood, walking right onto the varsity team.
Scabby and his teammates won three consecutive championships. Now, 20 years later, they found out that the team would be inducted in the City of Mesa Sports Hall of Fame.
“When I found out I was being inducted into the hall of fame, it blew my mind,” said Scabby. “It’s an amazing feeling. I never thought I would be in a hall of fame.” He described how he felt at the ceremony as “a combination of accomplishment and to think back and relive the memories of 20 years ago.”
Smiling big, Scabby said that during the ceremony it felt like he was also graduating all over again.
“The amount of commitment my parents [Deanna and Bob Scabby] showed to me in sports really helped me throughout my high school years. I am actually promoting that as well in my own children,” said Scabby.
Scabby will be inducted two more times for all three years of being on the championship team.
Encouraging today’s high school athletes, Scabby said, “I want to let the SRPMIC kids today know that through training and hard work you can have the same accomplishments as I did in representing your Community.”
Also that night, SRPMIC Chief Judge Ryan Andrews was inducted into the hall of fame for wrestling at Red Mountain High School.
Andrews competed in the heavyweight division, 190 to 275 pounds. At 205, he wrestled as a small heavyweight.
“My wresting team won state back in 1994—we won the 5A state title,” said Andrews. “I was actually surprised that we as a team were being inducted, and also that it has been 20 years since then. My coach [contacted] a number of us and told us what was going to be taking place [at the induction ceremony]. It’s an honor to be inducted, even as a team. We took a lot of pride in it; we received certificates and our coaches made shirts for us that read ‘2014 City of Mesa Sports Hall of Fame.’”
Andrews started wrestling in junior high and competed all year round.
“Practice hard and work hard; you will not get anywhere without it,” said Andrews. “ … The years I wrestled actually trained me to help overcome different things in my life. [Through] good times, bad times or whatever it may be, it’s actually a lesson that will carry you forward.”
Past inductees from the Community include the late Berkeley Cough and Chuck Schurz.