The first Monache High School Athletic Hall of Fame class was introduced in February 2017 at the River Island Country Club. It was an impressive class as it included a Major League Baseball broadcaster (Monte Moore), a two-time Olympic wrestler (Tim Vanni), a Major League Baseball player who had a 16-year career (Rance Mulliniks), a three-star athlete who would later go on to be inducted into the Abilene Christian Athletic Hall of Fame (Deonna [Moore] Shake), a future two-sport letterman at USC (Jeff Brown) and the 1978 Valley champion wrestling squad.
Rance Mulliniks was introduced to baseball at an early age after being born in Tulare and growing up in Woodville. He was swinging a bat by the age of three and began batting practice at the age of seven.
Mulliniks would become a three-sport athlete at Monache High, playing football, basketball and baseball. He would be part of three East Yosemite League championship teams, including two for baseball. He became the first player in Monache basketball history to record 1,000 career points. He would turn down baseball scholarship offers from USC, Arizona State and Arizona to sign with the California Angels in 1974.
On June 15, 1977, Mulliniks would make his major league debut at Minnesota. He recorded his first MLB hit on June 23 in Chicago and his first home run on July 4 in Anaheim. He was traded to the Kansas City Royals in 1979 and would play in the 1980 World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies.
In 1982, Mulliniks was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays, where he would eventually play for the 1992 World Series champions. After the Blue Jays won the World Series, he would announce his retirement. Mulliniks played in 1,325 career MLB games with a .272 average, 972 hits, 73 home runs and 435 RBI. He hit .300 or better in a season three times during his career, including 1984 when he batted .324.
He would coach in the professional ranks for five years before returning to Tulare County in 2001 after the passing of his father.
He took a position with the Toronto Blue Jays as a member of their broadcasting team, a position he held through 2010. He currently holds his real estate license, as well as owning the Mulliniks Baseball School in Visalia.
From a modest upbringing in Oklahoma through his impact in Porterville, Monte Moore has been someone who has impacted the lives of many athletes at every level from the professional ranks to youth sports. He always made everyone feel like they were a big leaguer, which is why Moore received the Monache Athletic Hall of Fame Lifetime Service Award.
Moore graduated from Hollis (Okla.) High School in 1948 and attended the University of Oklahoma, where he began his sports broadcasting career. After serving two years in the Army, he returned to Lawton, Okla., where he broadcasted minor league baseball and other sports as the sports director for KSWO. His next stop was Hutchinson, Kansas, where he was offered the play-by-play position for the University of Kansas Sports Network to broadcast Jayhawks’ football and basketball. WDAF in Kansas City would later add Moore to its Big 8 Conference football and basketball Game of the Week package, along with calling games for the Kansas City Steers, a professional basketball team of the American Basketball League.
New Kansas City Athletics owner, Charlie O. Finley, heard his broadcasts and offered him the position as the number one announcer for the team. Moore would call 3,001 consecutive games and move with the team to Oakland. NBC would choose Moore to join Curt Gowdy and Tony Kubek for the 1972, 1973 and 1974 World Series, when the A’s won three straight titles.
In 1978, Moore left the A’s and purchased Porterville radio stations KTIP and KIOO. He would continue his television broadcasting career with the NBC Saturday Game of the Week and USA Network Thursday Night Game of the Week. He would broadcast many local Porterville events and use his radio stations to promote all events.
Moore received many awards for his community service with his largest project being the Big League Golf-A-Rama where he and Tex Clevenger would bring in 40 major league celebrities to play with local golfers every year. The event spanned 25 years and raised over $800,000 for local schools and the Porterville Youth Center.
As a wrestler at Monache High School, Tim Vanni’s high school days would provide a springboard to a remarkable amateur career that included him becoming a two-time Olympian.
While at Monache, Vanni posted a 70-3 record in his final two seasons and did not allow a takedown during that time. He was a three-time league champion, who never lost a league match. He was a two-time CIF Valley Masters champion and a member of the 1978 Valley championship team. He finished sixth in the California state championship in 1978 and second in 1979. Skipping his graduation ceremonies, Vanni competed in Chicago for the National Championships, earning two titles in freestyle and Greco Roman, and would add a third title in Germany.
After his career at Monache, Vanni was a four-year letterwinner at Cal State Bakersfield.
From 1981 to 1996, Vanni placed in the top four in every USA National Championship and won five overall titles. He would not lose a single match from May 1986 to June 1990.
In 1982 at the age of 21, Vanni was named to the United States National Team for the first time in his career. During his time with Team USA, he competed in over 30 countries and participated in numerous international competitions and events. He competed seven times at the World Championships, five times at the World Cup, and five times at the Pan American Games.
His two Olympic appearances came in 1988, finishing fourth in Seoul, Korea, and 1992, finished fifth in Barcelona, Spain.
Vanni became an assistant coach at Cal State Bakersfield from 1984-87, where the Roadrunners won the NCAA Division II national championship and added a third-place finish during his tenure before the program moved to Division I.
At the end of the 1987 college season, he took his first head coaching position in Einsiedeln, Switzerland, where he helped the club team finish second nationally while developing the youth program. He later moved to Arizona, serving as a volunteer assistant at Arizona State University and helping the team win the NCAA national championship in 1988 and a second-place finish in 1989. After five seasons, Vanni returned to Porterville, where he began to teach at Porterville High School.
His final competition as a wrestler would take place at the 1996 Olympic Trials, where he finished third at the age of 35.
During his tenure at Porterville High, his teams have won a total of nine East Yosemite League titles with eight Top 20 finishes at the CIF State Championship. The team finished in the Top 10 twice, including 2013 when the Panthers finished seventh.
In 2002, Vanni was named Distinguished Member of the California Wrestling Hall of Fame. He was the first Cal State Bakersfield athlete to ever be inducted into the Bob Elias Kern County Hall of Fame in 2003 and earned the 2011 National Wrestling Hall of Fame Lifetime Service Award.
Deonna (Moore) Shake
The first Monache High School Athletic Hall of Fame class is not only unique in the fact that Monte Moore received a lifetime award, but that his daughter, Deonna, also was part of the class based on her athletic prowess. She was four years old when the family moved to California and finished the eighth grade in 1978 when the family moved to Porterville.
Shake was a three-sport star at Monache High, playing volleyball, basketball and softball all four years. She was part of six East Yosemite League championship teams with her biggest improvement coming in basketball. Without a three-point line and playing with a men’s-sized basketball, Shake became the first female player in Monache history to record 1,000 points in her career.
After her high school career, Shake would attend Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas, where she would become a standout for the NCAA Division II program. Shake was a three-time All-American at ACU with the Wildcats winning four consecutive conference titles. In her four years, her team never lost a conference game at home.
While at ACU, Shake was named team captain twice, earned all-conference honors three years and conference defensive player of the year twice. She led the conference in field goal percentage and free throw percentage during her senior year and named the Paul Goad Most Outstanding Athlete for all ACU sports as a junior.
Shake would finish her career at ACU with over 1,200 career points, placing her in the school’s top ten career list for scoring. She graduated with a double major in health and physical education and was inducted into the Abilene Christian University Sports Hall of Fame in 2004. She would later add additional honors by being named to the All-Century and Lone Star Conference All-Time Starting Five teams.
After earning her master’s degree in 1986 at Abilene Christian, Shake would later serve as assistant coach for the ACU women’s basketball team. During her tenure, the Wildcats recorded a 49-game home winning streak, had a two-time National Player of the Year, won four conference titles and finished third in the nation one season after posting a 31-2 record.
Shake is now an exercise science and health professor at Abilene Christian.
Growing up nearby in Poplar, Jeff Brown started at Monache High School in 1976. He earned eight varsity letters as a three-sport athlete in football, wrestling and baseball. He was named team captain twice.
In his senior year, Brown was awarded the Double M Award as the school’s most outstanding athlete. He earned all-state football honors and All-Valley baseball recognition. After being selected by the New York Yankees in the 12th round of the 1980 Major League Baseball draft, Brown signed a national letter of intent to attend the University of Southern California, where he played both football and baseball.
During his senior year at USC, Brown was named team captain for both the football and baseball team. He earned All-Pac-10 Conference honorable mention for football honors and All-Pac-10 first team honors for baseball. He also was named most inspirational for both teams.
Brown participated in the 1984 Japan Bowl and was invited to the Dallas Cowboys’ training camp as a free agent. He later was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers and would play in the minor leagues until 1988, returning to USC to complete his degree in business. In 1989, he was named graduate assistant coach for the USC football team under head coach Larry Smith as the Trojans would go on to win the Pac-10 Conference title and defeat Michigan in the 1990 Rose Bowl.
In the spring of 1990, Brown accepted the head baseball coaching and assistant football coaching position at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. While at Trinity, the football team led the nation in three defensive categories for the NCAA Division III level as Brown was named National Defensive Coordinator of the Year. The baseball team won the SCAC league championship in 1995.
After two more coaching football stints at St. Mary’s (California) and Cal Poly, Brown returned to Porterville where he took over at Granite Hills High School. In his first two years, the Grizzlies compiled a 16-4 record as Brown earned Coach of the Year honors in 2002.
Brown is currently the principal at Harmony Magnet Academy in Strathmore. The school was named as a Blue Ribbon School in 2017 by the United States Department of Education.
1978 Monache High School Wrestling Team
Tim Vanni - 36-3 record
Yosemite Division Champion
CIF Central Section “Valley” Champion
Dan Vanni - 30-4 record
3rd Yosemite Division
2nd Central Section CIF “Valley”
George Rodriquez - 19-10 record
5th Yosemite Division
Waco McNutt - 23-4 record
Adam Gonzales - 27-7 record
4th Yosemite Division
Tim Whitlock - 11-10 record
Mark Della - 13-11-2 record
Randy Whitlock - 12-12-1 record
David Williams - 12-11 record
Dennis Townsend - 27-7 record
4th Yosemite Division
5th Central Section CIF “Valley”
Bill Kropog - 31-4 record
2nd Yosemite Division
Central Section CIF “Valley” Champion
Tim Dennis - 24-8 record
2nd Yosemite Division
2nd Central Section CIF “Valley”