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Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Four Western athletes selected for hall of fame

Wendy Wefer-Clinton had two stints at Western. She was selected to the All-Century team in 1999. // Photo by Connor Jalbert
Wendy Wefer-Clinton had two stints at Western. She was selected to the All-Century team in 1999. // Photo by Connor Jalbert

Western announced the names of four former athletes to become the latest class selected for induction into the Western Athletics Hall of Fame. The hall of fame, which was started in 1968, is the oldest collegiate hall of fame in the Pacific Northwest.  This year’s class brings the total numbers of inductees to 136. Each member of the class of 2016 was selected to Western’s All-Century Team for their respective sports in 1999.

Harold Doyal: Basketball

Harold Doyal grew up in Bellevue, Washington where he attended Interlake High School. Doyal said he looked up to his older brothers and they were responsible for getting him into basketball.

With the help of the 6-foot-9-inch Doyal, the Vikings won the regional playoffs in 1994, something he considers one of his defining moments with the program. Doyal finished his career as the second leading scorer in Western basketball history with 1,571 points. That mark is currently sixth best in school history.

After his time at Western he went on to play 12 seasons of professional basketball in Europe and Asia.

“Over there, it’s a brighter light on you because you’re actually brought in to win games. It was definitely a lot of pressure every year.  You had to perform.  You couldn’t have an off game,” Doyal said.

Doyal said he still keeps up with Western basketball and is impressed with the coaching and playing he sees.

Wendy Wefer-ClintonVolleyball

    Wendy Wefer-Clinton grew up in Bellingham. A multi-sport athlete for much of her high school career, Wefer-Clinton played volleyball, basketball and ran track and field at Sehome High School. However, volleyball quickly became her favorite sport, Wefer-Clinton said.

“Volleyball is just my passion. I love the game and everything about it.”

Wefer-Clinton decided to attend Western where she played volleyball in 1973 and 1974, helping the Vikings reach regional playoffs each year. After the 1974 season, Wefer-Clinton took a five-year break from Western to work and travel around the world. During her time away she continued to play volleyball, honing her skills and developing into a more complete player.

In 1979 she returned to Western to play two more seasons with the Vikings. She was named an all-star both seasons. After her time at Western, she continued to play volleyball in the United States Volleyball Association where she excelled, being named an all-star in multiple seasons.

Wefer-Clinton is now retired but still keeps up with the Vikings volleyball team.

“We are here every year watching them play and enjoying the matches. They did great this year. It’s really nice to see how the program has grown under Diane Flick-Williams,” Wefer-Clinton said.

Chris Nicholl: Football

  Chris Nicholl grew up on Mercer Island where he attended Mercer Island High School. Football was in the family for Chris. His father Dick Nicholl also played for Western and was the head football coach at Mercer Island while Chris was in high school. 

Nicholl was a star receiver for Western in his four years with the program. He became the first player in school history to record back-to-back seasons with 1,000 receiving yards. His senior year, the Vikings went to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Division II National Championship game. In a phone interview, he described that final season. 

“We lost, but it was still really a great experience. To be a part of that caliber of a team, to go that far, it was very exciting. We became really close [as a team]. It was a great group of guys,” Nicholl said.

    Nicholl ended his career as the school record holder in catches, receiving touchdowns and remains the recorder holder for most career receiving yards with 3,268.

After his time at Western, Nicholl went on to play one year of professional football in Germany for the Dusseldorf Panthers.

     Since his football career ended, Nicholl has been a software and digital media consultant. He is disappointed the university no longer has a team.

“I feel like the university is missing out on a part of campus life,” Nicholl said.

Devin Kemper: Track and Field

    Devin Kemper grew up in Oregon but later moved and attended Gig Harbor High School for his final three years of high school. Starting off as a soccer player, Kemper said he was encouraged by his parents to take up track and field as a way to stay in shape between seasons. Kemper went on to set Western school records for the 800m and 1000m during the 2000 season.

Although he was a record setting runner, Kemper said he remembers the relationships he formed more than his victories.

“When I look back at my time at Western, I’m most proud of being able to run with such an amazing group of people, many who are still my friends today,” Kemper said via email. “Pee Wee Halsell and Bill Roe put together an awesome program and were really great coaches. I’m proud to have been able to run for them and that I made a positive impact on the team.”

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