Glory Hole Sports was first established in 1984 by Tom Schachten. Tom quickly expanded the small tackle shop by taking over the neighboring building space that had closed up its doors. With that expansion came the gas station, mini mart and deli to go along with the existing tackle shop, making Glory Hole Sports, a one stop shopping store you see today.
In 1996, Tom decided it was time to move on and sold Glory Hole Sports to locals Dan & Melanie Lewis who would frequent the store quite a bit. They successfully owned and operated the store for another 20 years, putting Glory Hole Sports on the map and making its name known especially among the fishing community near and far. (It even made it on the Jay Leno Show).
On March 1, 2016, after 20 long years Dan & Melanie passed the torch on to Gene Hildebrand and his fiancé Dawn Masters from Southern California. They knew that when they met Gene and Dawn they were the right ones to carry the torch and keep Glory Hole Sports that “special” store she had become, not just in the community, but with tourists and travelers alike that have come through her doors year after year.
Meet the Glory Hole Sports Team
Gene and Dawn
Gene and Dawn spent the first 6 months learning the ropes of retail, gas station operations, and the challenges of a very small Deli. He was a general contractor for over 30 years and she came from the legal world. “After hours” were spent giving the ole’ gal a bit of a much needed face lift, including a new seating area for the dine-in deli customers, fresh paint and custom wood work throughout the store; designed and installed by Gene himself. They plan to expand upon the business by adding new inventory such as archery, hunting and more camping equipment to go along with the huge selection of tackle, rods & reels, marine products and of course water toys. The Glory Hole Sports is truly a one stop shopping experience.
When they are not working at the store, they are off exploring the beautiful lakes and trails that the Sierras have to offer.
John has been with Glory Hole Sports since 2010 and is very involved in the store. The customers have become his friends and he takes a lot of pride in helping make the store a success. If you’re wondering how, when and where to catch fish, stop by the store and he will gladly talk fishin’.
Fishing is a way of life for John; as he is the 4th generation in the Sierras. John was born and raised in the small mountain town of White Pines. He grew up fishing, hunting and spending time in the outdoors. His parents owned a tackle/fly shop (White Pines Outdoors) for 14-years where he learned the tackle industry and expanded upon his fishing knowledge.
Once John was old enough he started doing guided fishing trips, he spent many hours on the river teaching the art of fly casting and catching beautiful native trout. John, now a professional guide, and his father Dan are offering guided fly trips and bass fishing trips on New Melones Lake.
Sherryl Van Sanden
Sherryl also has been with Glory Hole Sports since 2010. She handles the marine boating area, but has the experience and knowledge to run the whole store. You can find Sherryl either at the counter talking fishin’ while running the registers or in the Deli making sandwiches. She also maintains inventory and ordering for the convenience side of the store as well as the Deli.
When Sherryl is not at the store, you will find her out fishing and enjoying the outdoors, she has been fortunate to call Murphys her home for the last 30 years, where she raised 2 daughters.
Kelli has been with Glory Hole Sports since 2014, and is affectionately called the “Queen of the Deli”, as she manages everything from ordering, prepping, stocking, barbequing, and of course creates and presents the most awesome deli sandwiches on our menu (and all with a smile on her face). You will also find her behind the register, or wherever she is needed. (Just don’t ask her to get crickets!)
Kelli has lived in Valley Springs for the last 9 years with her husband and 3 sons. Her oldest son is currently serving overseas in the Air Force. When she is not at the store Kelli likes to fish and hunt with her husband and 2 younger sons.