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Celebrating the NHS Athletic Hall of Fame

web Sebek
Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown
Dick Sebek has been part of the Nordhoff High School faculty for 45 years and was one of the founding members of the school’s athletic Hall of Fame.

With high school sports on hold again until at least December, the Ojai Valley News continues to celebrate past sports legends by highlighting the Nordhoff High School Athletic Hall of Fame. This three-part series will feature some of the area’s best student athletes and administrators. We start by featuring sports historian and 45-year teacher and coach Dick Sebek. 

Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
Dick Sebek came to Nordhoff High School in 1975 when he was hired to teach English and coach the boys’ varsity basketball team. During his tenure at the school, he also taught physical education, served as the athletic director, coached baseball, and has been the boys’ golf coach for an amazing 41 years and he has also coached the girls team for 20 years. If you attend any NHS football games, you’ll also recognize Sebek’s voice because he is also the longtime announcer. 
Sebek grew up just outside of Chicago, but went to college in Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University, where he played basketball and graduated in 1968. In 1975, Sebek and his wife Kathy moved to Ojai and the rest is history. Speaking of history, those who know Sebek are aware he is a walking encyclopedia when it comes to local sports, so we sat down with him to explore the history of the Hall of Fame. Here are the questions we started with and his responses.

 

 

Nordhoff has had a rich athletic tradition; why do you think a small school like NHS has been so successful? 
“Nordhoff's athletic success can be attributed to many things. Through the years, we've had tremendous leadership and support from our administrations and we've been fortunate to have many great coaches. Without a doubt, the most important ingredient has been the student-athletes themselves; the desire and dedication of our youth has always been exemplary. Finally, the cooperation among all the coaches and the tremendous support we receive from the community helps us to achieve our lofty goals.”

In all of your years you have been associated with Nordhoff, who is the most exciting athlete or team you have seen?
“It's impossible for me to select one team or one athlete as the best or most exciting. We've had state championship teams, CIF championship teams, league championship teams, and other highly successful teams in all of our sports. I feel I would be doing a disservice to so many of our teams and players if I tried to choose the best. Suffice to say, we've had a wonderful history of both great teams and exceptional individuals in the last 45 years.”

You are widely known as one of the most knowledgeable sports historians in the valley; why do you think it is important to tell the history of the NHS athletics?
“The history of anything is important and that goes for Nordhoff athletics as well. Knowing what came before us allows us to have a greater amount of pride in what it means to be a Nordhoff Ranger. That's also why I think it's necessary for me to have a knowledge of Nordhoff's earlier years before I arrived in Ojai. Living in a small somewhat isolated community with only one public high school is a special situation.”

Next week will share the history of the NHS Hall of Fame and how it got started. We will also highlight and celebrate some of the first inductees.

 

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