Quarterbacks headline Hall of Fame class

Nine athletes covering seven decades of competition in six sports from six high schools comprise the 2011 San Francisco Prep Hall of Fame induction class.

Zac Lee and Ray Calcagno, St. Ignatius quarterbacks from different generations, are two of the nine who will be honored at the May 21 ceremony. The third St. Ignatius football inductee is the late Jack McKay.

Lee, the youngest entrant, also will complete the first father-son tandem in the 319-member Hall of Fame when he is inducted. Dad Bob Lee, a 1963 Lowell High School graduate and a veteran of 14 seasons as an NFL quarterback, will proudly introduce his son at the awards banquet.

“It’s pretty cool to share this with my dad,” said Zac Lee, who will be traveling home from the University of Nebraska, where he transferred from City College of San Francisco to complete his college playing career and is currently considering his own professional football options while studying for an MBA. “What I learned from my dad is, whatever you’re doing in athletics, one day it’s going to end.”

But the on-field experiences are never forgotten. Lee savors the memory of the St. Francis homecoming game his senior year when the Wildcats scored 61 points to beat the highly ranked Lancers in Mountain View.

Thomas Callen also excelled at football and baseball, four decades before Lee and at St. Ignatius’s rival, Sacred Heart Cathedral. The fourth-generation San Franciscan was a four-year starter with great range at shortstop who went on to play baseball at CCSF and San Francisco State before launching a 30-year career as a San Francisco firefighter.

“I look forward to seeing the other inductees,” said Callen, who singled out Calcagno, an opponent of Callen’s on the football field.

Chris Delaney has St. Ignatius ties — he is employed at the school as a teacher-moderator while working toward his doctorate at University of San Francisco — but it was at Washington in the 1990s where he was a baseball-football standout.

David Fromer, another two-sport star from Washington, will be inducted for his accomplishments in soccer and track and field.

Lincoln’s Don Briemle was a first-team all-leaguer as a fullback-linebacker, as well as a track and field star in the same era as Fromer.

Belinda Arterberry will be the lone basketball player to be inducted this year. Noted as a pioneer in the early years of girls’ Academic Athletic Association hoops, the 1980 Lowell graduate averaged 22 points per game over her career.

The honoree with the most celebrated resume is 2003 Lick-Wilmerding graduate Ben Wildman-Tobriner. He has been a freestyle swimming champion at all competitive levels, including winning an Olympic gold medal.

Now retired from athletics, the third-year medical student at UC San Francisco is honored to be the fourth athlete from his alma mater inducted into the Prep Hall of Fame.

Lick-Wilmerding Athletic Director Eliot Smith recalls the world champion swimmer’s visit to the school in 2008.  

“He spoke about friendships, relationships and education to the student body,” Smith said. “He never focused on himself.”

Such humility and appreciation are common traits of this year’s inductees.

“To have my name on that plaque is a special and wonderful thing,” said Callen, now retired from the SFFD and living in Burlingame. “To be part of that group of community leaders is the icing on the cake to my career for me and my family.”

San Francisco Prep Hall of Fame

WHAT: 29th annual induction ceremonies

WHEN: May 21

WHERE: Spanish Cultural Center, Patio Espanol restaurant

TICKETS/INFO: (415) 826-3572

The honorees


Belinda Arterberry 1977-1980 Lowell   Basketball
Don Briemle           1956-1959 Lincoln Football, track and field
Ray Calcagno 1960-1964 St. Ignatius Football
Thomas Callen 1961-1965 Sacred Heart Baseball, football
Chris Delaney 1993-1997 Washington Baseball, football
David Fromer 1957-1960 Washington Soccer, track and field
Zac Lee 2001-2005 St. Ignatius Football, baseball
Bernard “Jack” McKay* 1949-1953 St. Ignatius Football
Ben Wildman-Tobriner 1999-2003 Lick-Wilmerding Swimming

* Deceased

Hall of Famehigh schoolPrep Sportssports

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