St. Francis' hall grows to 88

The St. Francis High Athletic Hall of Fame grew to 88 members Friday when five Golden Knights were inducted in a ceremony held during St. Francis' home football game against West Ranch.

James Todhunter, Robert Vilven, Lou De Vita and brothers Michael and Steve Miller were all inducted as part of St. Francis' 2011 Hall of Fame class in a halftime ceremony Friday, before the Golden Knights prevailed, 35-0.

Todhunter, a 1961 St. Francis graduate, excelled on both the baseball field and basketball court. He was a three-year varsity starter in basketball, taking home Most Valuable Player awards and All-CIF honors as a senior. He also played shortstop for the Golden Knights baseball team for three years. As a senior, he led St. Francis to a CIF championship in baseball, while reaping first-team All-CIF and MVP honors, after hitting .350 in 1961.

After St. Francis, Todhunter played baseball at Valley College for a year, before signing with the Houston Colt 45's (today known as the Houston Astros) in 1962. He played there for four years and went on to play for the Washington Senators and Chicago Cubs before retiring.

Vilven graduated from St. Francis in 1969, after excelling in football, basketball and track and field for the Golden Knights. He anchored the Golden Knights' offensive line for two years and reaped All-Dey Rey League and Outstanding Lineman of the Year honors as a senior. He garnered MVP honors and advanced to the CIF Meet in track, qualifying for the semifinals in the high hurdles and high jump.

On the basketball court, Vilven set a league record for most rebounds. As the team's senior captain and eventual MVP, he averaged a double-double (15 points and 19 rebounds). He was named St. Francis' Sportsman of the Year in 1969.

After high school, Vilven received a basketball scholarship to the United States International University in San Diego. He was named captain of the squad as a senior and went on to compete professionally in basketball and track and field in Europe.

De Vita made a quick impact on St. Francis' football and track and field teams, lettering in varsity on both teams for three years. As a senior wide receiver, he led the Golden Knights in receptions, yards and receiving touchdowns. He was an all-league, area and CIF selection and was named the team's MVP as a senior. De Vita graduated in 1982 and went on to play football at Northern Arizona University on a full-athletic scholarship.

Michael Miller led St. Francis' football team to the CIF semifinals in 1981. He was an All-CIF and Del-Rey League selection as a senior defensive end. The 1982 graduate went on to play at Cal Lutheran on a scholarship and was named the school's Most Valuable Freshman. He received all-league honors in the Western Football Conference three years in a row and signed an NFL contract with the Los Angeles Raiders in 1987. He went on to play for the San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles, Ottowa Roughriders of the Canadian Football League and Chicago Bruisers of the Arena Football League before retiring from football.

Steve Miller, a football and track athlete, earned all-league and area honors as a senior guard for the Golden Knights' football team. After graduating from St. Francis in 1982, Steve played football at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo on a scholarship. He lettered all four years and was an All-Western Football Conference guard as a junior. As a senior, he transitioned to tight end and earned all-conference honors there.

—Andrew Shortall

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