If ever there is an event to highlight the impact of football on the Imperial Valley, the Imperial Valley Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame induction is surely at the pinnacle.
The IVFCA will hold its 13th annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony March 31 at the Southwest High multipurpose room in a showcase of the history and prestige of Valley football.
The IVFCA began when Swearingen, then coaching for Imperial High, and then-Holtville High coach Jim Sturgeon brainstormed a way for local coaches to promote football in the Valley.
“We met in my room one day in 1999 and we kicked around an idea of forming a coaches association,” Swearingen said.
“We got in touch with all the coaches in the Valley and formed a crude constitution and bylaws to form the association,” he said.
In addition to weightlifting competitions, relay events, and the popular football carnival that effectively kicks off each football season, the IVFCA holds its annual hall of fame induction.
Using local sources, microfilm and yearbooks, the association honors players, coaches, announcers, boosters, videographers, secretaries and others who have worked with local football from each decade of the Valley’s history.
“A lot of people have the misunderstanding that the football association makes the selections, but we don’t — these are made by different people in the community that knew those decades and eras,” Swearingen said.
The IVFCA is even looking into reviving an all-star game involving local high school seniors – albeit in a different format from past versions.
“What we’re looking at right now, what we’re trying to establish, is a senior all-star game between the Imperial Valley and possibly the Yuma schools at the end of the football season,” Swearingen hinted.
The 13th annual IVFCA Hall of Fame induction March 31 is limited to the first 300 individuals who reserve at a cost of $20 per person.
The dinner will start at 6 p.m., with the ceremony at 7 pm.
“It’s a great thing, it really is,” Swearingen said. “When I’m all set and done with athletics, that will be one of the key things I’m proud of, is that organization.”
(D) - deceased
Suzanne Rutherford, former IVFCA secretary
Gary Chargles, IVC 1962 undefeated football team induction