Napa High Athletic Hall of Fame

This page is dedicated to graduates who have been inducted into the Napa High Athletic Hall of Fame. Please feel free to suggest names, articles, and information about inductees. Find their stories here. Our first article:

Kori Reid Stevenson Inducted into the Napa High Athletc Hall of Fame

Link:  Napa Register Article by Marty James 

Kori Reid Stevenson's Hall of Fame acceptance speech

Napa High Athletic Hall of Fame Dinner

Speech by Kori Reid Stevenson, Athletic Hall of Fame inductee.

October 25, 2014, at Embassy Suites Hotel, Napa, CA

Good evening.  It is an absolute pleasure and honor to be here.  Thank you to Terry Simpkins for nominating me, and to the Napa High Athletic Hall of Fame Association.  I am thrilled to be here and it is an incredible honor.

I enjoyed every moment of being an athlete at Napa High.  I had the privilege of many outstanding coaches over the course of my athletic career, including Frank Defilipis, Keith Orr, Jason Richmond, Justin Aaron, Denise Hibbard and, of course, Karin Blackwood and Barbara Franco, who I will get back to later.

My parents have shown me great support over the course of my life, including today.  Being a parent to an athlete that plays year-round means dedicating your weekends and down time to the success of your child.  It is tireless and expensive, and it means a lot of trips in the care to exotic places like Fresno and Stockton.  I want to thank my parents, Jim, Kim, Marilyn, and Don for being so supportive of me.  I love you.

The last thing that I want to mention is the importance of coaches, especially, in my case, of Karin Blackwood and Barbara Franco.  If you look at old video tapes of our 1996 Champion team, Karin spoke only to me at time-outs.  She helped me to stay steady under tremendous pressure.  She knew all the right things to say to keep me centered, which is a challenge for someone like me. Thank you, Karin!

Barb and I have known each other for over twenty years.  She was there when I walked the stage at Dominican, and she was there on my wedding day.  I was the kind of athlete that needed extra supervision.  Barb has always taken me in as one of her own—and it’s not because of the athlete that I am and what it would mean for her team, it was because she loves me.  She was a rock in my life when I needed it most!

It has been mentioned that much of my time today is spent working with alcoholics and addicts who are attempting to get sober.  This is my community, as someone who has  been  sober  almost nine years.  It’s similar to coaching, although some would argue that the stakes are a lot higher and that the losses are much more tragic.  If I can leave you with one simple message—it is that coaches are important.  What you say and do matters.  The lessons you teach are important on the court, and they are important later in life.  People like Barb instilled something in me, a confidence,  a  perseverance. She taught me that I am capable, and that I am part of something bigger than myself, that no matter how the odds may be stacked against me, that I can still show up on the court and in life.  And, in December of 2005 when I was in a personal abyss of addiction, with everything on the line, by the grace of God and the encouragement I have received over the course of my life, I made a decision to dig deeper and take my life back one day at a time.  For the people who made me a champion and whispered in my ear to never give up, my family, my children, and I are eternally grateful. Thank you.