Alma, Mich. – Alma College will induct two teams and five individuals into its Athletics Hall of Fame during a ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 12 at noon. The ceremony will take place before Alma football's home opener against Manchester University (Ind.)
"Alma College Athletics is very pleased to announce the Hall of Fame Class for 2020," said Director of Athletics Sarah Dehring. "The committee took special care in selecting this group of individuals and teams. We are looking forward to hosting the event on Alma's campus this fall in conjunction with our football home opener."
The 1964 men's golf team shot the lowest recorded score in the MIAA Tournament in the 82-year history of the conference and maintains that record to this day. The Scots won the 1964 MIAA men's golf tournament with a score of 773, the lowest score in the 29 years the MIAA determined the champion in the manner; the previous lowest score was 784. From 1949-1977, the MIAA determined its champion through "a combination of points accumulated in dual meets and the season-ending league tournament," according to the MIAA website. Prior to the MIAA Conference Tournament, the Scots went 6-0 in league dual matches, including a win at Gull Lake Country Club in the rain over rival Kalamazoo.
In the league tournament, each team had to count the scores from all five of its golfers over 36 holes. Today, all eight MIAA teams compete against each other over four Jamborees during the regular season and one two-round tournament at the conclusion of the regular season to determine the conference champion. In addition, only the top four scores of the team's five admitted golfers count towards the team's total.
The team consisted of John Peace (Captain), John Perrin, Mike Tucker, Denny Nelson, John O'Dell, Pete Sawyer, Paul Riddell and Al Baker.
The 1999 softball team is the fifth and perhaps most accomplished softball team to be inducted into Alma's Hall of Fame. The Scots went 46-7 in 1999 – the most wins in program history – and went 16-0 in the MIAA for the second consecutive year. The softball team had made it to the NCAA Tournament four times before, but no team made it further than the `99 team did until that point and only one team has made it as far since. Alma swept its opponents in three games in the Regional round and won three more in the national round before falling to eventual runner-up Chapman University (Calif.). The Scots won the MIAA Championship for the third straight year and sixth time overall in 1999; the stats recorded from that year remain the program record for runs scored (350), hits (501), RBI (293), batting average (.356) in a season.
Three players were named All-Americans. Danielle Pease earned a spot on the First Team for the second straight year; Becky Pierce found herself on the Second Team, and Sarah Lefke was named to the Third Team. Heather Bruder was named First Team All-Region and Brandee Brower was named Second Team All-Region. Heather Bruder, Holly Bruder, Amy Czabala, Kathryn Nordin, Jackie Cowan, Brower, Pease, Pierce and Lefke were all named All-MIAA players.
Pierce threw a perfect game against Saint Mary's that year – it was one of three no-hitters she threw in her career. To this day, no pitcher has thrown more innings than Pierce's 200.2 in 1999. Pierce amassed a program-best 27 wins and five losses in her 31 starts – no other Alma player has started or won more games in a single season and no other player has more than 21 wins in a season.
Pease scored a program-high 62 runs and had 75 hits – one away from tying the program record. Pease's 1999 stats in batting average, on-base percentage, runs, hits, triples, and stolen bases remain in the top-ten on the all-time Alma list. Cowan had 39 RBI, a program-high at the time, and Lefke and Heather Bruder each had 37.
The rest of the `99 team includes Mitzi Janukaitis, Elizabeth Krochel, Sara Stone, Susan Vander Putten, Stacie Vietzke, Jessi Ross, Erin LaCosse, Katie Allis, Reannon Broekema, Katrina Dinallo, Heather Svejcara and Jennifer Zank.
Chuck Fiebernitz `80, one of three dual-sport inductees in the 2020 class, was a member of both the football and baseball teams and was a decorated athlete in both sports. Fiebernitz was named to All-MIAA teams five different times from 1978-80 and was particularly a crucial member of the baseball team as the Scots won the MIAA twice in his four-year career.
Fiebernitz particularly excelled during his junior year. In the fall of 1978, he caught a league-best 31 passes – the most catches by any MIAA player in a 14-year span – for 376 yards, the second-most yards of any player that season. That earned him a spot on the All-MIAA First Team for the first time in his football career. Fiebernitz followed that up with a huge spring – he was a unanimous All-MIAA First-Team selection as he hit .412 and finished fifth in the league in total bases. It was the second consecutive year Fiebernitz was named a First Team All-Conference player; he was fourth in the MIAA in both batting average and doubles and tenth in RBI as a sophomore. His performance in the `79 season earned him the team MVP award as well as the title of team captain in 1980.
Fiebernitz continued his strong play as a senior when he caught 18 passes for 253 yards and two touchdowns in the fall, placing third in the MIAA and earning him a spot on the All-MIAA First-Team for the second straight year. He closed out his athletic career with one final appearance on the All-Conference First Team in the spring when he hit .302 as the Scots won their second MIAA championship in three seasons.
Overall, Fiebernitz was a five-time member of the All-MIAA First Team, three times as a baseball player and twice as a football player. The one year Fiebernitz did not make First-Team All-MIAA, he was named an honorable mention selection. He was a member of two baseball teams that won MIAA Championships in 1978 and 1980. Fiebernitz joins six of his baseball teammates in the Hall, including 1978 MIAA MVP Jim Davidson and 1980 MIAA MVP Bill Bardwell.
Scott Vicari `84 took the torch from Fiebernitz just as he graduated, soaring in both football and baseball for all four years. Vicari led the MIAA in interceptions for three straight years and finished his career with 19 career interceptions, the second-most in Alma history to this day. As a sophomore in 1981, Vicari was named the team's Most Improved Player and a Second-Team All-MIAA member. He had eight interceptions the following year to earn a spot on the First Team and the team captaincy as a senior when he found himself on the First Team for the second time.
On the diamond, Vicari was a four-year starter at second base from 1981-84, playing on both the `81 and `83 Alma College Hall of Fame teams. He hit .310 as a junior in 1983 to earn a spot on the All-MIAA Second Team in `83 and the title of team captain the following year. He outdid himself as a senior, hitting .397 and earning both a First-Team All-MIAA honor and the team MVP.
From 2000 to 2003, Josh Peters `03 set the tone for Alma College football's offensive live, one of a handful of Scots that helped to build the team into the offensive juggernaut it was in the early and mid-aughts. One of the only positions in sports that does not keep track of stats, Peters' play was strong enough for him to be identified as a First-Team All-Conference player all four years of his career – one of only four football athletes in the 126-year history of the MIAA to achieve this honor. Peters was also named a Second-Team Preseason All-American in 2002 by d3football.com.
Peters blocked for 2002 MIAA MVP Steve Slowke and 2006 Gagliardi Trophy winner Josh Brehm when Brehm was a freshman. The offensive lines he anchored were for teams that remain among the most prolific in Alma College history to this day; the 2001 and 2002 teams are all still in the top ten in total offense while the 2003 team is just outside.
Lynne Harvey `85 continued a run for Alma swimming in the 70s and 80s that three other Hall of Famers were a part of. Harvey owned the 100 and 200 butterfly events for the Scots, claiming the school records in both events – records that stood for a decade. She was a two-time MIAA Champion in 1985 and 1988, both in the 100 fly. Harvey currently holds the seventh spot on Alma's all-time 100 Butterfly (1:02.00).
The third two-sport athlete to be inducted is Charles Morrison `57, who is inducted as a Distinguished Alumnus. Morrison was a First-Team All-MIAA member and co-Captain of the baseball team in 1957 while doubling as the co-Captain and All-MIAA Honorable Mention player of the 1956 football team. Morrison also lettered in basketball as a freshman. Professionally, Morrison helped develop Northwood Institute (University) to its current institution. Morrison is also the Founder and CEO of Charles Morrison & Associates, a public relations and fundraising firm in Florida for non-profits. He is also the former Executive Director of Adam Walsh Children's Fund as well as the Vice President of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Morrison has spent time as a teacher and coach at Lakeview High School in St. Clair Shores, Mich.