Root for the home team

Olympic athletes. Rodeo kings. Pro Bowl stars. The northernmost counties of the state of California have their fair share of sports standouts. The fine folks at Shasta County Sports Hall of Fame ( have compiled a long list of Northstate sports figures. (To make the actual Hall of Fame they have to have a direct Shasta County connection.) We’ve culled the list to those closest to Chico.

Sports figure city achievement

Kathy Arendsen Chico State 13-time ASA All-American; Ntl. Softball HOF

Joe Baumgartner Red Bluff 10-time PRCA National Finals and 8-time PBR Finals bullfighter

Nelson Briles Chico Major League Baseball pitcher with Pittsburgh Pirates

Clay Dalrymple Dairyville/Chico Catcher for 12 MLB seasons 1960-71

Leslie Deniz Gridley Silver medalist in discus at 1984 Olympics

Doug Dressler Chico State 6 seasons as a running back for NFL Cincinnati Bengals

Gale Gilbert Red Bluff Back-up NFL QB participated in 5 straight losing Super Bowls

Mort Kaer Red Bluff USC football great. Placed 4th in the pentathlon at 1924 Olympic games

Brian Keyser Chico Pitched two seasons for MLB Chicago White Sox in 1995 and 1996

Kyle Lohse Hamilton City MLB pitcher for the Minnesota Twins

Danny Payne Chico State Played for Atlanta in North American Soccer league (NASL) in 1981 & 1982

Mike Sherrard Chico Nine seasons as wide receiver in NFL with several teams

Jeff Stover Corning Starting defensive end with NFL 49ers 1982-88 earning three Super Bowl rings.

Chris Verhulst Chico State TE with NFL Houston Oilers in 1988 & 1989 and Denver Broncos in 1990.

Deanne Vochhatzer Chico State Head coach of the U.S. Women’s 1996 Olympic Track and Field team