Rams Host Wrestling Hall of Fame Dinner


Photo by: Courtesy of Mark Tabay

Fresno Wrestling Hall of Fame Inductees Dewayne Zinkin Sr. his three sons Nick, Harold, Dewayne Jr. and Rodney Balch stand with FCC Head Coach Paul Keysaw.

Story By: Derek Bullis, Opinion Editor

The Fresno City College wrestling team hosted the Fresno Wrestling Hall of Fame on Saturday, Oct. 5, at 6 p.m. in the FCC Old Administration Building Courtyard. 

Head Coach Paul Keysaw opened up the night by honoring new inductees DeWayne Zinkin, Sr., his three sons DeWayne Zinkin, Jr., Harold Zinkin, Nick Zinkin and Rodney Balch.

Dewayne Zinkin Sr. and his three sons have been involved in wrestling for most of their lives.

Dewayne Sr. got his start as a young boy wrestling at his dad’s gym. He would later compete with Fresno High School’s wrestling team. 

After having an undefeated regular season, he went on to the Valley Finals losing in the championship match. 

Following high school, he enrolled to Fresno City College but had a short lived wrestling career after an injury. 

Since his FCC days he become a successful real estate developer, attorney and is the former California State Athletic Commissioner.

His sons Harold, Dewayne Jr. and Nick took up the wrestling legacy of their father. 

In their early high school years, the three brothers would each place in the CIF State Wrestling Championships and all are Doc Buchanan Tournament Champions. 

After high school, all would go on to attend and compete for Fresno State and would all earn the chance to attend the NCAA National Championship Tournament. 

In 1993, Harold would attain All-Ameican honors. Dewayne, Jr. followed earning honors in 1995. 

Since completing their wrestling careers, the Zinkins remain very involved in the wrestling community. Dewane Sr. has donated time and financially supported youth and college wrestling programs in the areas.

All have been involved in the reinstatement of Fresno State’s wrestling program.  

Rodney Balch was born and raised in Clovis. He wrestled for Clovis High School and earned the CIF California State Championship in 1974 wrestling at 138 lbs. 

After high school, Balch would attend FCC where he became Junior College State Champion in 1975. 

He later transferred to Cal-State Bakersfield. While there, he was a three-time CCAA Conference champion and placed 2nd at the NCAA Division II National Championships. 

Balch ended his wrestling career with 96-24-2 record.  

Shortly after college, Balch began assistant coaching for Wasco High School. He then made the move to coaching at his alma mater in 1980. 

After just a year of assistant coaching at Clovis High School he would take on the Head Coach position. 

During his tenure as head coach from 1982-95, Balch would lead the Cougars to eight league championships, seven CIF championships and seven division championships, coaching 28 CIF individual Champions and 29 state placers. 

Balch would end his coaching career with an 248-21-3 overall record. 

The Rams were happy to host this ceremony and are on their way to earning a fourth state title. Catch them next at home against the Modesto Junior College Pirates on Oct. 16 at 6 p.m.