Byron Shewman, 2018
Byron Shewman attended Mar Vista High School Southwestern JC, and finished college at San Diego State. He was a USVBA All-American and a starting outside hitter for the USA National Team from 1971-75. He played on the USA team that lost to Cuba in 1975 NORCECA finals at the LA Sports Arena to just miss making the 1976 Montreal Olympics after coming close for the 1972 Munich Olympics. He kept playing in the IVA Pro League and then in Europe before retiring.
After his good friend Kirk Kilgour was hurt in a 1976 Italian League training accident, Shewman dedicated his life to helping others. He moved to Paris to begin working with the blind and mentally disabled. Then in the 1980s he went to Santa Barbara to work with Dr. Laszlo Kiraly to help amputee patients with rehabilitation. With the ability to speak three languages—English, Spanish and French—he traveled the world on missions to assist natural disaster victims.
After taking time off to publish ‘Volleyball Centennial: The First 100 Years’ in 1996 and also working an an editor at ‘Volleyball Magazine’, Shewman began coaching an inner-city volleyball team in San Diego with 2017 SCIVHOF inductee Kim Oden. That was the start of the Starlings Volleyball Club, a non-profit youth team he created to provide girls from lower socioeconomic backgrounds the opportunity to play the sport where they couldn’t afford the club dues. Today through Shewman’s work, Starlings has involved over 3,000 girls from more than 50 USA club cities and over 300 have gone on to compete in college. The Starlings motto of ‘giving all girls a chance to soar’ is put on display each June in San Diego when Shewman hosts a national competition.
Elissa Sato, 2017
Elissa Sato has been involved in Southern California volleyball for almost 50 years and the Sato name has been around the college and international scene for almost as long. Elissa is deserving of the first SCIVBHOF Lifetime Service Award because she has probably worked and viewed more local, national and international volleyball matches than just about anybody else that could be considered for such an honor. Her volleyball work is most noted for being the college match scorekeeper starting in the 1970s. She was a regular at UCLA, USC, Pepperdine and Loyola-Marymount matches and did that job into the 2000s. She also assisted the volleyball programs at Santa Monica High School and Santa Monica College where her children competed. She also helped in running summer volleyball camps for Marv Dunphy at Pepperdine.
However, she and her deceased husband Richard are most known for the Sato family name and the VB accomplishments of her children and grandchildren that started at Santa Monica High School. Gary Sato was part of Pepperdine’s 1978 & 2005 NCAA title teams and is still coaching today at USC. He helped coach his younger brother Eric, who was the defensive specialist on the 1988 USA Gold Medal team and 1992 Bronze Medal squad. His sister Liane competed in the 1988 Olympics and won a bronze in 1992 Games. Eric coaches in San Diego and Liane returned to Santa Monica HS and has won a California State Title. Two other brothers Scott (San Diego State) and Glenn (Loyola-Marymount) also played college volleyball. Elissa has grandchildren playing in college (Andrew at Long Beach State, Katie at CS Northridge, Blossom at Mississippi State and Malia will start college in the fall at USC). Elissa still tries to attend as many matches as possible.