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Wilson, Adkins inducted into Hall of Fame
Ceres Youth Softball officials Gary Wilson and Ron Adkins were inducted into the Greater San Joaquin Softball Association Hall of Fame on Saturday, Jan. 17 in Lodi.

Wilson, 61, gained admittance as an administrator.

He's been affiliated with Ceres' youth softball program for 20 years. Gary's been a board member 17 years, including the last 13 as vice president.

"It caught me totally by surprise," Wilson said when asked about being rewarded for his long-time dedication. "I'm the one that likes to sit back and work behind the scenes."

Gary and his wife Vicki have lived in Ceres since 1985. They've coached recreational and travel softball at every level.

"I started because my daughter (Traci) wanted to play softball," Gary said. "I've been there ever since. The reason I do it is to keep the kids off the street and out of trouble. I'm going to continue to do this for as long as they need me."

Adkins, 56, has dedicated 26 years of his life to umpiring. The Modesto resident has been the Ceres Youth Softball program's umpire-in-chief for the past 14 years.

"It's a big honor," said Ron, who officiates over 200 youth, college and adult softball games throughout the United States each year.

Just two Cereans have been enshrined in the Greater San Joaquin Softball Association Hall of Fame since its inception in 1945.

Laura Norwood, who passed away at the age of 62 on Jan. 11, was inducted in 2007 as a coach and volunteer.

Mike Corsaut, former Ceres High varsity softball coach, praised Norwood for making a difference.

"She's had a major impact, especially in Ceres," he said. "The way she worked with girls was amazing. She was all about the kids and making them better. It was great seeing the camaraderie they had with each other."

Laura coached recreational softball at the youth level in Ceres before joining the Lodi-based California Grapettes travel club.

She was instrumental in the development of players.

Her daughter was a standout pitcher for Ceres High in the 1990s. Sara assisted Mike during his first season with the Bulldogs in 2001-02.