Six former Tigers inducted into DHS football Hall of Fame
Six former Tigers were inducted into the Douglas High football Hall of Fame on Friday night at Keith Roman Field.
Floyd “Skip” Brown (1947), V.L. “Bud” Neller (1948), Ron Roberts (1975), Gil Castillo (1976), Russ Wheaton (1977) and Ron Spallone (1983) all were honored in a ceremony before the Tigers’ 46-14 win over the South Tahoe Vikings.
Brown earned varsity letters in football and track from 1944 through 1947. He earned first-team All-State football honors in each of his four years at Douglas.
Brown lives in Coleville with his wife of 49 years, Loretta.
Neller played tailback in Walt Powers’ single-wing offense and played middle linebacker on defense. He earned second-team All-Conference honors at tailback as a senior.
Neller recently moved to Carson City after a 50-year stay in California.
Roberts played linebacker and offensive guard for the Tigers’ AA 1974 State championship team. He was named first-team All-State at linebacker and second-team All-State at guard in 1974.
Roberts, the manager of Napa, The Parts House in Gardnerville, suffered a broken neck that ended his playing career in his first college football game at DeAnza Junior College in Cupertino, Calif.
Wheaton was a three-year varsity starter from 1974 through 1976. He earned first-team All-State honors at defensive back in each of his last two seasons, when he also started at quarterback.
Wheaton made the game-saving tackle on a fourth-and-goal play late in the fourth quarter of the Tigers’ 6-0 win over Fallon in the 1974 AA State championship game.
He went on to play one year of football at United States International University in San Diego.
Wheaton currently works as an equipment operator for a local contractor and lives in Indian Hills.
Castillo also played for the 1974 State champion Douglas Tigers and earned first-team All-State recognition at nose guard during that season as a junior. In 1975, he was the only high school player in Nevada to be named first-team All-State on offense and defense for his play at nose guard and running back.
He went on to play two years at Chabot College in Hayward, Calif., and two years at San Francisco State University, where he was a two-time first-team All-Far Western Conference selection at inside linebacker.
Castillo is an engineer senior fire fighter EMT for the Oakley Fire Protection District in Oakley, Calif., near Concord. On Friday, he said it had been six years since his last visit to the Carson Valley.
“I love this place,” Castillo said. “I want to thank all the coaches of my era. I really appreciate all the knowledge and the leadership they passed on to me. I’ve been able to use that in my life.”
Spallone was named first-team All-Conference at quarterback and second-team All-State at defensive back as a senior in 1982.
He earned a full-ride athletic scholarship to play football at UNR, where he played cornerback, strong safety, linebacker and was an outstanding special teams player for four years.
He then played one year of professional football in Europe with the Bremerhaven Seahawks.
Spallone is a chiropractor and owns one of the largest chiropractic clinics in Lakewood, Colo., where he treats many professional athletes, including San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds.
Former Douglas football star and current assistant football coach Todd Wilcks and DHS public address announcer Ken Carr contributed to this story