Two former La Cañada High School standouts — Guillermo Padilla (Class of 2014) and Koko Kurdoghlian (Class of 2016) — will be inducted into the LCHS Athletic Hall of Fame on Thursday, May 25, during a ceremony in the school auditorium at 5 p.m.
The La Cañada High School Athletic Hall of Fame was founded by then-Athletic Director James Harvey on June 1, 1989, with an inaugural class of 18 former Spartan star athletes. The main criteria for induction are outstanding accomplishments and contribution to the La Cañada High School Athletic Department, Harvey said.
Guillermo Padilla had an outstanding career in football and wrestling at LCHS. He played two years of varsity football under coach James Sims and, as a senior, was All-Rio Hondo League first team on defense and second team on offense. He was also selected to the All-West San Gabriel Valley first team by the Pasadena Star-News.
However, “wrestling was the sport Guillermo really excelled in,” Harvey said. A four-year letterman, Gavin Williams served as his head coach for his first three years before being coached by Justin Luthey as a senior. At the time, Williams said that Padilla was among the top three wrestlers in school history. (The other two were 1978 LCHS grad Scott Seely and 2007 grad Spencer Tompkins, both of whom are members of the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame.
Padilla was heavyweight Rio Hondo League champion as a sophomore and junior. He could not wrestle in the league meet during his senior year due to injury and would have been the overwhelming favorite to three-peat.
In CIF competition, he placed sixth his sophomore year, fourth his junior year, and fifth his senior year. Guillermo was one match away from qualifying for the state meet his junior year.
He was named to the all-area first team by the Pasadena Star-News during his junior and senior years. After high school, he had a successful junior college career at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut.
KoKo Kurdoghlian had an outstanding basketball career at La Cañada High School. He played on the varsity all four years for record-setting coach Tom Hofman. KoKo is the only boys’ basketball player in school history to be All-Rio Hondo first team or MVP all four years.
Kurdoghlian was all-league first team his freshman year, league MVP as a sophomore, and co-MVP his final two seasons.
KoKo is also only the second player in school history to be All-CIF first team for three years.
He is the school’s all-time leader in rebounds with 910 and fourth on the all-time list with 1,465 points. He is second all-time in career steals with 193.
After high school, he played collegiately for UC Berkeley.
First published in the May 18 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.