Induction of Russ Dorr and Shawn Bovenkamp will be Friday
LYNDEN — Two former Lions, coach Russ Dorr and athlete Shawn Bovenkamp, are being inducted as Lynden High School’s 13th Hall of Fame class on Jan. 10.
The formal induction takes place at halftime of the Hall of Fame boys basketball game against Sehome at 7:15 p.m. Friday in Jake Maberry Gymnasium. A members-only dinner will be held in the library before the game.
Few coaches can say they were a part of a program from the moment it began, but Russ Dorr is one who can. Not only was Dorr an integral part of establishing the Lynden High School golf program, but he led the team for over two successful decades.
As the son of two Bellingham High School teachers, Dorr did not grow up a Lynden fan. Rather, he said, it was in his DNA to compete against Lynden. He remembers playing against Jake Maberry’s basketball teams in the old middle school gym in the 1960s.
Dorr began his journey in the early ‘90s with Lynden High School athletics after he received a call from a fellow high school graduate and family friend. He was being asked to coach a golf program that as yet was non-existent. After petitioning the school board and getting the green light from Homestead Golf Course to allow LHS golfers to play for free, the school board approved Lynden’s very first prep golf program.
Throughout Dorr’s 22 years at the helm of the program, Lynden won league titles, district championships and numerous team trophies. While still in the 3A classification, Lynden won its first state championship in 2001 and then snagged the 2A title in 2009.
When Dorr looks back on his years at the helm, the accolades are not what stand out in his mind. He said the best part about being a coach is the lifelong friendships acquired along the way. He considers all those years of coaching as more of an honor than a job.
“I felt then as I do now,” Dorr said. “Blessed.”
Shawn Bovenkamp made an impact on the Lynden boys basketball program, which continued on to his career at Western Washington University.
Bovenkamp received a green and gold basketball from his grandfather when he was in kindergarten, and ever since he’s been passionate about the Lions and the game. He remembers growing up watching the LHS basketball games when they were played at the old middle school gym on Main Street.
Basketball became an even bigger part of his life during eighth grade. On the first day of practice he got the tragic news that his father had passed away. While he was a middle school boy trying to cope with this immense loss, basketball became one of the main outlets for his grief. He continued going to practice and would stay after school for hours perfecting his game.
During one of those practices the legendary high school coach Jake Maberry paid him a visit. He was taken aback when Maberry pulled him aside and said, “Your dad was the only player I ever knew that could just walk into a gym and dunk the basketball without warming up.”
Basketball not only became a connection to his dad, but a way of life.
Bovenkamp earned varsity letters his last three years of high school. He helped the Lions finish third in state as a sophomore in 1985 and followed that up with second place at state his junior year, when he received the “Most Improved” award. Bovenkamp won Northwest Conference MVP as a senior in 1987, totaling 697 points during his high school career. He threw down seven dunks during the state tourney and 22 dunks his senior year.
After marrying his high school sweetheart, Kim, and graduating from Western Washington University with a computer science degree, Bovenkamp now writes custom accounting software. He continued his athletic passion by coaching youth sports, playing city league basketball and watching his own kids play sports at Lynden. However, his mark will always remain for LHS as one of the most dedicated, humble and entertaining basketball players that Lynden has ever seen.