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Lansing Athletics Hall Of Fame

The Lansing Athletic Hall of Fame Committee announced this week that the 2016 'Class' inductees will include Dara Porterfield, Charlie Moon, the 1967-68 Wresting Team and the 1982-83 Men’s Basketball Team.  The induction and dinner will be held at the LakeWatch Inn on Saturday, November 26th.  As always Geoff Wright will be the Master of Ceremonies. 

Porterfield (1995) helped the LadyCats Swimming and Diving team win four consecutive Section IV titles, hold a #1 state ranking, and a national ranking.  Moon (2002) was a record-setting Track & Field runner who placed 2nd and 4th in state championship events.  The 1982-83 Men’s Basketball Team also set records, including 23 wins in a row.  The 1967-68 Wresting Team won their 5th consecutive league title, taking the IAC championship and finishing 6th in the Sectional Championships.

Lansing Athletics Hall Of FameGeoff Wright, the voice of Lansing athletics, MCs the Hall of Fame inductions, recounting athletes' achievements in his sports announcer voice, bringing their high school athletics careers to life as each inductee is introduced.

Nominations come from the public on a form the committee provides online.  Then the real work begins.  Hall of Fame Committee member Steve Colt, who last year was himself inducted, says researching the nominees is the most time consuming part, but the committee is helped by families of the players.

"Let's face it -- whose mom didn't keep a scrapbook for their son or their daughter athlete?" he says.  "You just hope that whoever did it did a good job so they could give you enough information to fill in the gaps.  Geoff Wright does most of the heavy lifting on this thing.  He does a lot of work.  He's really good as MC, and whatever the committee receives and works with he has to almost double that information to present the program he gives that night."

Since the first 'Class of 1998' was inducted into the Lansing Athletics Hall of Fame, Lansing has honored its high school athletes every year.  It took almost 18 years to fill the wall behind the Lansing High School gymnasium with plaques honoring Hall Of Fame members, and it has moved around the corner into an adjoining hallway.

Lansing Athletics Hall Of FameThe induction banquet has changed quite a bit since moving to the Lake Watch Inn. Before the move the ceremony tok place at the high school gym between varsity and junior varsity basketball games, with a small reception room nearby. Now it is a formal dinner that stands on its own.

To be eligible for induction  athletes must have competed in more than one varsity sport unless they excelled so highly in one sport that the multiple sport requirement is waived.  Teams, coaches, administrators, and contributors are, likewise eligible for maintaining high standards and achieving success.  All but contributors are not eligible until ten years after they completed their last season.

The big change this year is that the inauguration dinner will be on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  In past years it has been held the Saturday after Christmas on the assumption that athletes would be coming home to visit their families for the holidays, thus improving the chances they will be able to attend.  But this year Christmas Eve and Christmas fall on a Saturday and Sunday.

"On the assumption that Lansing people will come home for the holiday we're asking them to stay another couple of days if they don't already have the time off was a good way to get most of the people," Colt says.  "What you may get with this that you don't get with the December date, is better weather.  It's not an event you can put off for a week.  And I think the group wanted to just try this earlier date and see how it works.  So this will be a trial run and we hope the weather will stay decent so people can travel."

Tickets are on sale at the Lansing Parks and Recreation Department at 29 Auburn Rd in Lansing.   After the Town Hall closes for the holiday tickets will still be available at the door, either for reservations or walk-ins.  Out-of-towners can call the Lansing Parks and Recreation Department at (607) 533-7388 for reservations.

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