Randall McDaniel leads Hall's Class of 2012

Randall McDaniel leads Hall's Class of 2012


Randall McDaniel leads Hall's Class of 2012


An all-everything football talent, a dynamic soccer wizard and a charismatic runner whose life was tragically cut short make up the fifth class of inductees into the azcentral.com Arizona High School Sports Hall of Fame.

Randall McDaniel, Greg Vanney and Sally Meyerhoff comprise the 2012 Hall of Fame class, the smallest in the Hall’s short history.

For McDaniel, the honor is just the latest in a long list of Hall of Fame inductions. A 1983 graduate of Avondale Agua Fria, his standout career saw him enshrined in both the College Football and Pro Football Halls of Fame, as well as the National High School Football Hall of Fame.

At Agua Fria, McDaniel played four sports and excelled at them all. He was a two-time All-State selection in both basketball and football and set the school record in the 100-meter dash, while also playing for the baseball team. After high school, he stuck with football and changed positions from tight end to left guard, going on to a lengthy and successful career at Arizona State and in the NFL.

Vanney was a joy to watch on the pitch at Tempe Marcos de Niza, from which he graduated in 1992. He set single-season school records in goals and assists, and led the Padres to three consecutive state championships.

He was named the Class 5A Player of the Year and the Gatorade Player of the Year as a senior, before playing for UCLA, Major League Soccer and the U.S. national team.

Meyerhoff was one of the best distance runners ever to come out of Arizona. Always gracious with fans and media, her genial personality belied her intense drive on the track.

She won nine individual state championships (seven in track, two in cross country) in her career at Phoenix Mountain Pointe, which ended in 2002. She became an All-American in track and cross country at Duke and was still heavily involved in running when she was killed in a bicycle accident in 2011 at the age of 28.

Meyerhoff received the most votes of any candidate, falling one short of becoming a unanimous selection.

Four other athletes just missed joining the Hall. Phoenix North’s Jim Brewer (graduated in 1957; track and field), Chandler’s Cindy Johnson (1982; track), Tucson’s Bill Lenoir (1960; tennis) and Tucson Salpointe Catholic’s Kendra Strohm (2002; tennis and basketball) all received 11 of the 12 votes needed for induction.

The virtual Hall of Fame now has 36 athletes inducted over five years. Nine were chosen for the Hall’s inaugural 2007 class, with eight being voted in each year from 2008 to 2010. A vote was not held in 2011.

Up to 30 athletes who have been out of high school for at least 10 years are placed on a ballot each year. This year, an 18-member committee made up of current and former sportswriters who covered high school sports for The Arizona Republic or The Phoenix Gazette voted for up to 15 athletes on the ballot. Election requires a two-thirds majority.

The public is invited to submit nominations by e-mail to prephalloffame@azcentral.com.


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