Sports Hall of Fame announces 2016 inductees.

November 27, 2015
MCC 1986 boys track team.

MCC 1986 boys track team.

LUDINGTON — The Mason County Sports Hall of Fame has announced its 12th induction class, the Class of 2016.

The Hall of Fame will induct Mike Benedict, George Cartier, Bud Dodson, Ross Donley, Jenny (Irwin) Every and the 1986 Mason County Central boys track team.

Bud Dodson

Bud Dodson

“This year’s class, the Class of 2016 will be another outstanding group of individuals that epitomize the concept of a Hall of Fame,” said Mason County Sports Hall of Fame President Vic Burwell. “To recognize, honor and enshrine those athletes, contributors or teams that have excelled in their respective areas of interest.  It is their achievements and accomplishments that our sports’ heritage and legacy of Mason County are founded, and should never be forgotten.  Memories and stories were made by this Class! The Mason County Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors are honored to announce this remarkable group of talented individuals that will be the MCSHF Class of 2016.”

Benedict was a standout runner at Ludington High School. He was the state champion his senior year in 1981 in Class B and finished 19th his junior year in cross country. Twice he was an all-conference performer in track and won the Seaway Conference title in the two-mile in 1982. He also played on two fast-pitch softball state championship teams and remains one of Mason County’s standout bowlers as he has bowled several perfect games and owned the county’s highest scratch series title.

George Cartier

George Cartier

Mike Benedict

Mike Benedict

Cartier was one of Ludington’s lumber barons more than a century ago, and continued to run a lumber company in South Bend, Wash., after graduating from Notre Dame. Before joining the family business, he was Notre Dame’s first ever quarterback. His involvement with athletics continued, though, as he was a member of the Ludington Baseball Club. He was also an avid deer hunter. He is the younger brother of Warren A. Cartier, who donated funds, land and lumber to Notre Dame to create Cartier Field. The field hosted Notre Dame’s Four Horseman and Fighting Irish football until replaced by Notre Dame Stadium, situated directly north of Cartier Field.

Dodson started his involvement with Special Olympics in 1986 and became director of Area 24 Special Olympics 10 years later. Under Dodson’s oversight and leadership, the group went from a budget of $6,000 to $84,000 and transformed the program for uniforms, trips and aiding the 115 and more athletes in their opportunity to pursue gold through Special Olympics. Athletes in Area 24, which includes Mason County, compete in a variety of sports from poly hockey and basketball to cross country skiing and snow shoeing. A major contributor to our sports heritage.

Ross Donley

Ross Donley

Donley has guided more than a generation of student-athletes at Ludington High School through its track and field program. He came to Ludington in 1975 after a three-year coaching/teaching stint at Mayville and went on to coach cross country at Ludington for 26 years and track and field for 37 years. His cross country teams won six league titles, four regional titles and his girls teams were in the top 10 in the state three times. In the spring, his track teams won 16 league titles, four regional titles and three times had teams finish in the top 10 in the state. He is a multiple regional coach of the year and has won a MITCA Coach of the Year honor, also. He was one of the founders of the Ludington Lakestride, served 12 years on the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life steer committee and served 20 years on the West Michigan All-Star Track and Field Meet’s steering committee.

(Irwin) Every is a 2002 graduate of Mason County Central where she was a standout distance runner for the Spartans and eventually rewrote several records at Ferris State University. Every was a four-year state qualifier in track and field in the distance events, and her runs in the 1,600-meter run were the best including a state title in 1999. At Ferris State, she set two outdoor track records and three indoor records while taking All-American honors and competing at the national meet three consecutive years. She was the Ferris State Women’s Bulldog of the Year and was awarded the Helen Bennett Memorial Award. She was one of nine finalists for NCAA Women of the Year.

Jenny Every

Jenny Every

The 1986 boys track and field team at Mason County Central has the distinct honor of being the school’s team state champion. The Spartans edged Detroit St. Martin dePorres by two points at the MHSAA Class C state meet hosted by Bangor. Central placed in five events. The Spartans also won large invitational at Fremont, East Grand Rapids and Traverse City along with West Michigan Conference and MHSAA Class C regional top honors. The Spartans were coached by Bruce Krieger. Members of the team were Brian Adams, Jeff Barnett, Jeff Christensen, Steve Citko, Jeff Cross, Kevin Duncil, Steve Glamzi, Bob Jensen, Tom Johnson, Dave Keefer, Ken Kimes, Kevin Kimes, Andy Knudsen, John Letsinger, Joe Luce, Jim McCann, Mike McCumber, Alan Olson, Mike Root, Joe Schihl, Chuck Shereda, Scott Talsma, Chris Thurow and Jim Tyndall.

The Mason County Sports Hall of Fame, located in Ludington, Mich., is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation, honoring and education of others in the outstanding historical contributions in sports and athletics in Mason County. The Hall of Fame is currently housed at Historic White Pine Village at the Max K. Rahn Building.

The 2016 induction ceremony will be on June 18, 2016 with an enshrinement ceremony at Historic White Pine Village and a banquet in the evening at Lincoln Hills Golf Club in Ludington.

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