For 2023 Colorado State University Pueblo Athletics Hall of Famer Shelly Watts Pearcey, she might live in northern Colorado for the past five decades, but she has not forgotten the closeness of the athletes that created her collegiate memories that she has not forgotten.
Returning for her induction on October 6 during homecoming weekend activities at Colorado State Pueblo, Watts Pearcey said “all the athletes were very close and supported each other” when she attended the University of Southern Colorado.
“It was such a great place to be a part of,” said Watts Pearcey, who was a two-time All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference honoree in 1986 and 1987. “I created some of my best friendships there that are still a big part of my life today.”
The 14th annual CSU Pueblo Athletes Hall of Fame Banquet during Homecoming weekend will be held in the Occhiato Student Center Ballroom on October 6. The 2023 inductees will then be recognized during the homecoming football game on October 7 against Adams State that will be played in the ThunderBowl.
Joining Watts Pearcey as 2023 inductees are or Bobby Graham (men’s basketball, 1963-66), Bailey Hughes (women’s cross country, track & field, 2015-17), Deborah Hunter (women’s basketball, volleyball, 1985-87), Ryan Jensen (football, 2009-12), and Derrick Williams (men’s cross country, track & field, 2014-18).
Mike Friedman (football, 1974-83) will also be inducted as the along with the Trahern Family, who spanned 13 seasons and over 400 games and matches in both volleyball and basketball, will join the Hall as Legacy Contributors.
The 2016-17 women’s basketball team that posted a 28-4 overall record and captured the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference regular season title and hosted the NCAA South Regional Tournament for the first and only time in school history will join the Hall of Fame in the Team category.
In the women’s basketball record book at CSU Pueblo, Watts Pearcey ranks second in field goal percentage (50.5 percent), ninth in free throw percentage (66.2 percent), sixth in both scoring average (14.8) and rebounds (651), ninth in career points (1,185) and 10th in rebound average (8.1).
“When I played my first year at a junior college in Nebraska (Scottsbluff), I realized that I wanted to move to a University the following year,” said Watts Pearcey. “I was invited to visit a few different colleges and USC was one of them. The school had finished their season without a single win–they went 0-25. They hired a new coach, Rick Arguello, and he asked me to hear him out prior to making my decision.”
After meeting with Arguello, Watts Pearcey said, “I decided that I wanted to be a part of the team that would change the program at USC. I was willing and excited to put in the work that needed to be done. Coach Arguello was tough, and we worked hard and put in the hours needed to make it a winning program again. I have always said that my high school coach, Gail Crawford, taught me discipline and Coach Arguello taught me the game.”
As for memories from her USC days, Watts Pearcey said, “Father Beno was our biggest fan and never missed a home game. Dave Socier’s sports articles in the Pueblo Chieftain, the road trip to play UTEP which was a huge step for us, winning the RMAC league for the first time, making the playoffs our senior year, and how we ended every practice by having three people each shoot a free throw and if the three people each made the free throw, then we were done. If the first person missed, then you ran three up and backs. If the first person made it and the second missed, then you ran two up and back, etc. Some days that would take hours for us to get accomplished, but we were never allowed to not finish this drill.”
In her three seasons at USC, Watts Pearcey led the team in scoring and rebounding each campaign as the Indians compiled a 41-41 record after winning only 17 of 77 games the previous three years. In RMAC play, Watts Pearcey and her teammates posted a 26-18 record in three seasons after going 13-37 in the previous three campaigns.
As a senior, Watts Pearcey led the Indians to the NAIA District No. 7 Playoffs and finished the campaign with a 17-10 record highlighted by a 12-2 RMAC mark. In her final campaign, she led the RMAC in field goal percentage for the second-straight season.
Watts Pearcey and her fellow 2023 inductee Hunter played together at USC.
“Deborah was strong and did great rebounding for our team,” said Watts Pearcey. “She was a great teammate. She was a quiet leader who played hard every game and led by example.”
A Business Management graduate from USC in 1990, Watts Pearcey has been married for 32 years and currently lives in Eaton, Colo., after moving from nearby Windsor where she and her husband Scott Pearcey raised their three children–Evanee (a teacher in Fort Morgan), Whitnee (Scannell, a recruiter in Castle Rock) and Luke (a firefighter in Windsor)
A 1984 graduate from Eads High on the eastern plains of Colorado where she played on the Eagles first-ever state championship basketball team, Watts Pearcey was married in her hometown in December 1990. Scott Pearcey is also an alum of CSU Pueblo and an Agricultural /Commercial Field Specialist at American National Property And Casualty Company in Eaton.
“We currently have two granddaughters (Oakley Reese and Breckyn Blaze Scannell) and I have worked in banking most of my career and am currently employed for Adams Bank Trust in the mortgage department as Underwriter and Assistant operations manager,” said Watts Pearcey.
“I am looking forward to returning as my time at USC was fun, exciting, and very rewarding,” added Watts Pearcey. “I have been back to campus in Pueblo a couple of times, but it has been a few years.”