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CSU Pueblo Athletics Announces Hall of Fame Class of 2023: Trahern Family and Shelly (Watts) Pearcey Among Recipients

By Administrator

July 5, 2023

The Colorado State University Pueblo Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2023 features six former student-athletes, a former football coach, the Trahern Family (Jim, Bob, Sue, Jake and Ty) and the 2016-17 women’s basketball team.

This year’s group of inductees will assemble at the 14th Annual CSU Pueblo Athletes Hall of Fame Banquet during Homecoming weekend set for Oct. 6-7. The Hall of Fame Induction ceremony will be held in the Occhiato Student Center Ballroom on the CSU Pueblo campus on Friday, Oct. 6. The Hall of Fame Class of 2023 inductees will then be recognized during the Homecoming football game on Oct. 7 against Adams State that will be played in the CSU Pueblo ThunderBowl.

The members of the Hall of Fame Class of 2023 are former men’s basketball player Bobby Graham (1963-66), former women’s cross country and women’s track and field athlete Bailey Hughes (2015-17), former women’s basketball and volleyball player Deborah Hunter (1985-87), former football player and current nine-year NFL veteran center Ryan Jensen (2009-12), former women’s basketball player Shelly Watts (1985-88) and former men’s cross country and track and field athlete and 14-time All-American Derrick Williams (2014-18). Additionally, former football coach Mike Friedman (1974-83) will join the Hall of Fame as a coach, while the Trahern Family, who spanned 13 seasons and over 400 games and matches in both volleyball and basketball, will join the Hall of the Fame as a Legacy Contributor and the 2016-17 women’s basketball team that posted a 28-4 overall record and captured the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference regular season title and hosted the NCAA South Regional Tournament for the first and only time in school history will join the Hall of Fame in the Team category.

Here are the biographies of this year’s Hall of Fame Class of 2023 Inductees (local interest). They include Shelly (Watts) Pearcey who graduated in 1984 from Eads High School and was on the first-ever girls’ state championship team for the Eagles; and the Trahern family from Kit Carson who has developed an impressive legacy of athletic accomplishment and coaching achievement, as well. All four Traherns from Kit Carson named in the award have coached at various levels and for various teams. Finally, Lamar High School’s Chelsey Vallejos was on the most successful ever Thunderwolves Womens’ Basketball in 2016-2017:

Shelly Watts (Women’s Basketball, 1985-88) – Watts was a two-time All-RMAC selection in women’s basketball as she was a Second-Team honoree in 1987 and received Honorable Mention accolades in 1986 … She currently ranks second in school history in field goal percentage (50.5 percent), sixth in career scoring average (14.8), seventh in career rebounds (651) and 11th in career scoring (1,185 points) … One of 16 women’s basketball players in school history to score 1,000 or more career points … Played in 80 games over three seasons with the Pack … Watts’ 1987-88 Pack team won a then school record 17 games, finished the season with a 17-10 overall record and a 12-2 mark in the RMAC and advanced to the NAIA District Tournament in Cedar City, Utah … Was a part of 41 overall wins and 26 RMAC wins during her time with the Pack.

Trahern Family – Legacy Contributors – When one asks what family has had the greatest impact on athletics at CSU Pueblo, the Trahern name ranks among the best … The Trahern family legacy spanned 13 seasons and over 400 games and matches … Perhaps the best known of those Trahern’s was Sue Northrup Trahern, who was a standout volleyball and women’s basketball player at CSU Pueblo from 1978-80 and was inducted into the CSU Pueblo Athletics Hall of Fame in 2015 … Sue Northrup Trahern gave birth to two sons – Jake and Ty – that competed for the Pack in men’s basketball from 2005-09 for Jake and 2008-12 for Ty … Along with Sue, Jake and Ty, there were brothers – Jim and Bob – that competed in men’s basketball at CSU Pueblo in the late 1970s and early 1980s … The Trahern run ended in the 2000s when Jim and Sue’s sons competed for the ThunderWolves in basketball and both players were recipients of the Harry “Chief” Simmons Scholarship … When recapping the five Trahern’s basketball statistics from their time at CSU Pueblo, the family combined to play in 378 games and tally 2,865 points, 1,493 rebounds, 680 assists and 149 blocked shots while shooting 51.1 percent from the field and 67.1 percent from the free throw line … Here are the members of the Trahern family and the years they played basketball at CSU Pueblo–Jim Trahern (1979-81), Bob Trahern (1981-85), Sue Northrup Trahern (1978-80), Jake Trahern (2005-09) and Ty Trahern (2008-12).

2016-17 Women’s Basketball Team – Team Category – The 2016-17 women’s basketball team that was coached by Jim Turgeon and led by Tuileisu Anderson and Molly Rohrer was one of the top women’s basketball teams in the program’s illustrious history … Turgeon’s 2016-17 squad captured the 2017 RMAC regular season title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament … The team finished the season with a 28-4 overall record and a 20-2 mark in the RMAC … The 28 wins were a school record, while the 20 wins in RMAC play are tied for the most wins in league play in school history … The Pack earned the No. 1 seed in the South Central Region and hosted the NCAA Regional Tournament at Massari Arena for the first time in school history … At the NCAA South Central Regional Tournament, the Pack fell in the regional semifinals to West Texas A&M after picking up a win over Tarleton State in tournament’s first round.

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