In coach-laden class, ex-UNLV star cites Valley High mentor

Freddie Banks still has fond memories of playing basketball at Valley High School. The state hasn’t forgotten Banks, either.

Banks is the lone athlete in a nine-member class to be inducted into the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association Hall of Fame on Feb. 24.

The NIAA also will induct six coaches: Larry Adams, Larry Barnson, Kirk Brotherson, Lou Pisani, Del Sagers and Dean Weible. Frank Brusa will be inducted as an administrator, and former Review-Journal sports writer Royce Feour will be inducted as a contributor.

Banks led Valley to three state championships before graduating in 1983. The Vikings went 90-8 in his three seasons.

“Just being a Valley Viking, it was a privilege and an honor playing for a great coach, William Bobier,” said Banks, now an assistant coach at Canyon Springs. “I miss him a lot. If it wasn’t for him, I would not be where I am.”

After high school, Banks went on to star at UNLV, leading the Rebels to the Final Four in 1987.

Brotherson gained induction for his distinguished coaching career at Virgin Valley. He coached boys basketball there for 30 years, compiling a 537-285 record and winning 12 state championships. Brotherson also coached girls basketball, baseball and softball and posted a 740-437 record in all sports. The Bulldogs won the state baseball title in 1980.

Barnson coached football and track at Clark, winning the state football title in 1969 and 1993 and state track championships in 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980 and 1982. Barnson was 58-20 as head football coach, and his track teams went undefeated in dual meets.

Pisani coached baseball for 30 years at Las Vegas High, winning state championships in 1968 and 1971. He also coached at Bishop Gorman for five years.

Sagers led Green Valley’s girls golf team to a 157-5 record in dual meets, and four consecutive zone and state titles from 1996 to 1999. He led the Gator boys to a 141-3 record and three state titles.

Weible coached Western’s track teams to a 70-9 record in dual meets from 1970 to 1980, and his teams won two state track championships. His cross country teams posted a 79-3 record in dual meets and won four state titles.

Adams was a state championship track and cross country coach at Moapa Valley.

Brusa was an administrator in the Clark County School District for 26 years. He was a charter member of the Southern Nevada Officials Association’s wrestling chapter and worked postseason meets for more than 15 years. He also was a member of the NIAA Board of Control.

Feour began writing for the Review-Journal while a sophomore at Las Vegas High in 1954. After graduating from UNR, Feour worked for the Las Vegas Sun for five years before joining the Review-Journal in 1968. Before his retirement in 2004, Feour covered nearly everything from high school events to world championship boxing matches.

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