Athlete, Pre 1960
Roger Folsom is a true hometown athlete. He was born and raised in Riverside and attended Grant Elementary, Central Junior High, Riverside Poly High School , and Riverside City College . Along the way, he compiled a stellar record as a three sport player in football, basketball, and baseball.
As a high school athlete at Poly, Roger was a three year letterman and earned All Citrus Belt League honors in these three sports, as well as an All-American award in football. In 1954 he was voted Poly’s Athlete of the year.
At RCC, he was a two-year starter in three sports and was named All-Eastern Conference in football and baseball. He remembers his Tiger athletic career with great pleasure. Roger was deeply honored when, in 2003, he was inducted into the RCC Athletic Hall of Fame.
His feats as a Tiger athlete won Roger a scholarship to Cal Poly Pomona. At Cal Poly he continued to build his reputation as a triple sport athlete. Cal Poly football coach Don Warhurst called Roger, “The best all-around athlete I ever coached,” a statement borne out by Roger’s selection as the 1959 Bronco of the Year in football, the Outstanding Baseball Player of the Year, and the Outstanding Athlete of the year. He was one of the first inductees into the Cal Poly Athletic Hall of fame in 1986.
At Cal Poly, Roger earned a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and later completed his master’s degree in Education. After a teaching assignment at Bishop Montgomery High School in Torrance , Roger came back to Riverside in 1965. He spent six years teaching and coaching at Norte Vista High School before hiring on at La Sierra High School as a teacher and head football coach. He remained at La Sierra for twenty five years. His nine year football coaching career produced three San Andreas League football championships and a C.I.F. finalist. He was named Riverside County Football Coach of the year in 1976, and went on to serve as La Sierra’s Athletic Director until his retirement in 1996. Roger was a member of the Citrus Belt Area Athletic Directors Association during this time. His leadership and dedication were partly responsible for many of the policies the Association has today. He served as president in 1993 and he was inducted into their Hall of Fame in 1997.
Now married for forty-four years, JoAnn has been the love of his life and their family has grown to include three daughters and son-in laws and five grandchildren. Roger plays golf, hikes, travels, carves decoys, pits for an off-road racing team, and still can “ski the Colorado River .” He has run a marathon and occasionally travels to St George, Utah to participate in the Huntsman Senior Games .He is humbled by the awards and recognitions that he has received. His greatest joy now comes from his family and watching his grandchildren participate in their many different activities.