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Sierra High inducts 5 into Hall of Fame
Sierra High Hall of Fame inductee Amanda Rosas is surrounded by family. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

Five more inductees have joined the  Sierra High Hall of Fame.

Rudy Gutierrez, Daniel Mahaffie, Amanda Rosas, Justin Silva, and Mikey Thompson were honored during ceremonies in the Sierra High library on Sunday.

They join 18 others enriched previously.

uClass of 2012:  Rick Arucan, Vern Gebhardt, Lindsey Pavao, David Ulibarri

uClass of 2013:  Rigo Ledezma, Jamie Hernandez Ledezma, Mario Enriquez, Michael Torres, Sharon Amick, Ed Almaas, Manuel Pires and the 1999 Soccer team, first girl’s Sac-Joaquin Section championship, Mike Rosendin and the 1995 Cross Country team, the first boy’s Sac-Joaquin Section championship, Matthew Vaughan.

uClass of 2014:  Lorie Hoffman Garnett, Katherine Greenwood, Frank Guinta, Nigel Malone, Melanie Schoeppe

The 2015 class members and their backgrounds are as follows:

Rudy Gutierrez

Gutierrez has been with Sierra High School since the doors opened back in 1994.  First year Coach Greg Leland coached and taught Rudy at Manteca High School in the 1980’s.  Before the doors ever opened at Sierra, Rudy was recruited by Coach Leland to be the team manager for the football program.  Rudy embraced his role as a Timberwolf and he has been here ever since.

Over the past 21 years, Rudy has never missed a practice or a game, until this year.  Rudy was recently hospitalized with some health issues, causing him to miss two weeks earlier in the season.  Head Coach Jeff Harbison quickly realized how much Rudy meant to the program.  “He takes care of the team by doing the small things that mean so much to our football team.” 

Rudy has been described by those of us who love him as responsible, dependable, trustworthy, and most of all, loyal.  He has been a major part of both Valley Oak League football championships in 2010 and 2014.  In the off-season, Rudy can often be seen at a home basketball game, helping to supervise the gymnasium. 

Over the years Rudy has always been selfless and caring.  A few years ago, Rudy found out that one of the players could not afford a yearbook.  On his own, Rudy purchased the yearbook for the young man.

Rudy doesn’t work for the money; he works for the love of the game and his loyalty to Sierra High School.  Head Football Coach Harbison sums it up best, “Rudy’s the hardest working man on the staff!” 

Daniel Mahaffie

Msahaffie was a member of the second graduating class in 1998.  His class was the first group of students to attend Sierra High School for four years, beginning as a freshman in 1994.  Dan excelled in both football and baseball, earning All-Valley Oak League recognition as a baseball player.  Baseball Coach Jack Thomson recalls that “Dan epitomized the Sac Joaquin Section Victory with Honor and Character Counts Program while he participated in Athletics at Sierra High School.  Dan was a highly competitive individual, but always played within the rules and demonstrated great leadership and sportsmanship qualities.”

His athletic accomplishments during his senior year led him to be selected as the Co-Senior Athlete of the Year, sharing the honor with current Athletic Director-Vice Principal Anthony Chapman. 

Dan is currently the Youth Pastor at Sequoia Heights Baptist Church, the same church he was a member of as a teen.  He received his Associate of Arts degree from Delta College and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from California Baptist University in Riverside.  He received his Master of Divinity degree at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary.

Dan’s influence goes well beyond Sierra High and the Manteca community.  As a pastor, he has led several missionary trips to remote areas of Africa, spreading good will and helping to teach others how to survive and feed their families.  His humanitarian efforts have positively impacted African communities and have contributed to a healthier way of life and a better world.

Dan and his wife Carrie, have four children, daughter Tayler, 9, son Cameron, 6, son Kyle, 3, and daughter Maya, 2.

Amanda Rosas

A 2010 Sierra High School graduate, Rosas was a 4-year member of the Leadership class and our cheerleading squad. 

Since the age of 9, Amanda has built a resume of service to others, pouring her heart and soul into important causes such as, the fight against drinking and driving, ending local and world hunger, raising funds for research and patient services for those afflicted with Multiple Sclerosis, and donating thousands of hours to her community as a member of Manteca Youth Focus.  She is a 10-time recipient of the Gold Level President’s Volunteer Service Award from the Points of Light Foundation, signed by Former President George W. Bush and current President Barack Obama. 

From Manteca’s Miss Young Winter Fest in 2002 to Miss California State in 2010, Amanda has earned 10 different Manteca and California State titles over the years.  Her crowns have included: Miss Young Pumpkin Fair, Miss Young Manteca, Miss Teen Manteca, 2007 Teen Entertainer of the Year, 2008 Adult Entertainer of the Year, Manteca Idol winner, and 2009 Miss Manteca. She is the most highly decorated alumni in the history of Manteca Youth Focus. 

Amanda earned her BA degree in Communication Studies at California State University Stanislaus and she is currently completing her MBA degree with a graduation date scheduled for May of 2017.  She is employed as the Marketing & Sponsorships Coordinator for Warrior Athletics department at Cal State University Stanislaus.  She continues to give back to her community as an Assistant Director for the Manteca Youth Focus Scholarship Competitions and as a member of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Turlock.

Justin Silva

Silva graduated in 2002 from Sierra High School.  Justin entered the military service in 2003 and proudly represented our United States Army until 2012.  Justin fought in both The War on Terror in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom.  Combined in both wars, Justin had four tours, totaling 4 ½ years of deployment.  In between those tours, Justin provided support for Hurricane Katrina and by attending a prestigious military training program, Justin successfully completing Sapper school, earning him his Sapper Tab. 

Justin earned several honors while fighting for our country.  Most notably, he received Army Commendation Medals and Army Achievement Medals for his bravery and over and above achievements.  Justin was honored with a Joint Service Medal, presented to him for his role as the Bradley Fighting Vehicle Commander for Task Force one-six, which was comprised of Special Forces, Rangers, Delta Force and the British SAS. He was selected to assist in these critical missions, because he graduated the top of Master Gunner School and ranked number one Gunner in the First Calvary Division.  He was also presented with two Purple Heart Medals, awarded to him for wounds obtained in combat, signed by the President of the United States.

Justin is a patriotic Sierra alum, who went into the military post high school graduation.  He is a very compassionate person, always willing to help others in need.  His love for sports has driven him to provide continued support to Sierra High School athletics, since his return home to Manteca.  Justin is now reaping the rewards of giving back to his school, having the honor to coach Sierra High’s offensive line for the varsity football squad.

Justin is a stay at home Dad, due to injuries he sustained while fighting for his country.  His wife Stephanie is also a 2002 Sierra High graduate.  Justin and Stephanie are the proud parents of 4-year old son Jake and 6-month old baby Murphy.

Mikey Thompson

Michael “Mikey” Thomson, a lifelong resident of Manteca, went to be with the Lord on Saturday, January 6, 2007. “Mikey, or “Mikey T” as he was often called, the son of Sierra High School teacher and coach Jack Thomson and his wife, Paula, was killed (in 2007) after he was hit by a car while riding his bike.

Mikey is a Sierra High School success story.  Counselor Paul Bennett said, “I knew Mikey close to 21 years, and I can sincerely say he was one of my favorite people. Enthusiastic, positive, friendly — he was a joy to be around. He just may be, literally, the only person I knew whom I never heard complain. Never. Anytime I attended a Sierra High event, I’d look for Mikey. And I’d usually find him. He was the ultimate Timberwolves booster!”

Mike was the voice of both the freshman football team and the varsity girls’ basketball team, a scorekeeper, team manager, snack bar helper ... the list goes on and on. If someone needed help, he was there. A 1999 Sierra graduate, Mikey was an RSP student and huge Sierra fan.  He helped establish a culture of respect, inclusion, and acceptance at Sierra. Mikey’s limitations never defined him. He was such an inspiration to so many, he had the most positive attitude and never had a single enemy. He modeled the six pillars of character –trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship. He had a great reputation and fellow students loved him. He was always considerate of the feelings of others and he was always the first to lend a hand if help was needed. He did all he could to make Sierra a better place. 

He inspired students and teachers to be better persons. His senior year he was voted homecoming king. Known to friends and family as “Mikey T”, he was a faithful member of St. Anthony’s Catholic Church and a servant of the community, as he was a proud member of the Knights of Columbus.  He participated in tennis, football, wrestling and was a proud 4-year member of the band at Sierra. He worked at the Marketplace 10 Movie Theatre for 6 years and then in the IAP World Services at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, for 2 years until the time of his death. Mikey T was a huge sports fan. He was a dedicated fan of the San Francisco Giants and 49ers.

Mikey T was also involved in the University of the Pacific Baseball Program as an honorary member of the team one weekend, every season. A Mikey Thomson Memorial Scholarship is presented to special education students each year to help pay for their college expenses.