Kirk sisters go into Kitsap Sports Hall of Fame

The greatest local athletes of the last several generations recently received hall of fame honors from the Bremerton Athletic Roundtable.

The Roundtable inducted 14 individuals and three teams into its Kitsap Sports Hall of Fame during the 22nd annual ceremony Oct. 3 at Olympic College. Among the honorees were Bremerton swimmers Tara and Dana Kirk, the 1969 state champion Central Kitsap High School football and basketball teams and their coaches, and former South Kitsap football star Benji Olson.

Also inducted were North Kitsap baseball great Aaron Sele, former basketball coach Jim Harney and multi-sport star Pam Clark Marquardt.

Seattle comedian John Keister, the former host of the local late-night comedy show “Almost Live,” emceed the afternoon’s events, kicking things off with a stand-up routine.

Bremerton’s Olympic gold medalist Nathan Adrian welcomed the crowd, thanking Roundtable members for their support.

“Your support has really helped,” he said. “No matter where I am, whether I’m in Beijing, China or Berkeley, California.”

Inductees used the time not only to congratulate each other, but to reflect on the role athletics have played in their lives.

“It’s so rewarding now to have so many friends that played for me,” said Harney, who helps out with open gyms at North Kitsap High School. “It’s been a long, long time, and I’m still at it. I love it so much.”

Rick Gehring, co-owner of Buck’s A&W in Port Orchard, was presented with the Rex Brown Distinguished Service Award during the ceremony. The restaurant has hosted fundraisers and South Kitsap High School athletic activities over the years. Gehring thanked the women in his life — his wife, mother, aunt and office manager — for helping him run the A&W.

“Without them, A&W couldn’t be the business that’s able to help youth,” he said.

The athletes also praised the Kitsap community and their families for raising them to be successful.

“I was very lucky,” Dana Kirk said of her upbringing. “It really set up my life to have a great trajectory.”

Marquardt, a multi-sport star at NKHS in the early 1980s, expanded on Kirk’s comments.

“This community has been one that has shown support to young athletes,” she said. “I am very privileged to play sports in this community.”

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