From two former football players who left an indelible mark to two others who helped shaped youth baseball to a new hockey team that changed the face of Las Vegas to a writer who covered almost all of it.
They were part of the most recent class in the Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame that was announced Friday at The Orleans.
Former UNLV football players Hunkie Cooper and Steve Stallworth, youth baseball figures Manny Guerra and Mike Martin, the Golden Knights and former Review-Journal sports writer Steve Carp make up the class, which formally will be inducted June 14.
Cooper, the wide receivers coach at San Diego State, was two-time All-Big West Conference for the Rebels and is in the Arena Football League Hall of Fame.
Stallworth is a former UNLV quarterback who became one of the more recognizable faces in the Las Vegas sporting landscape and an integral part of its growth. He is the South Point Arena’s general manager.
Guerra and Martin helped build the quality of youth baseball in the valley.
Guerra, a St. Louis Cardinals scout for 26 years, spent 56 years developing youth baseball, including creating a showcase for college and pro prospects in 1998. He died Aug. 1 at 88 from complications of stomach cancer.
“I could probably talk for days about my father, but I can tell you he would be extremely honored and humbled by his selection,” said Mike Guerra, fighting back tears. “Our family is extremely happy. But the biggest thing he ever said was, ‘It’s all about the kids.’ He wanted all the kids to either play professionally or go to school and get an education.”
Martin, a member of the original Las Vegas Stars in 1983, helped create the Las Vegas Baseball Academy. The LVBA Christmas Camp has for the past 35 years drawn players from across the country hoping to get scouted.
The Golden Knights broke several expansion records last season and made the Stanley Cup Final before losing to the Washington Capitals in five games. Team president Kerry Bubolz said there was initial concern about being selected for the Hall of Fame because of the longtime contributions of so many others to local sports.
“We’re only a year and a half old, and it didn’t feel like it was the right fit,” Bubolz said. “But, ultimately, as we thought more about it, we’re excited to accept this nomination and just really appreciate that from the Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame.”
Carp covered many notable local sporting events, from UNLV basketball’s glory years to the Golden Knights. He is a six-time Nevada sports writer of the year.
Class of 2019
Steve Carp: Six-time Nevada sports writer of the year.
Hunkie Cooper: Two-time All-Big West Conference at UNLV and Arena Football League Hall of Famer.
Manny Guerra: Helped develop youth baseball for 56 years.
Mike Martin: Helped begin the Las Vegas Baseball Academy.
Steve Stallworth: A key local figure in sports marketing and growth of area sports.
Vegas Golden Knights: Advanced to the 2018 Stanley Cup Finals as an expansion team.