By Christy Christmas
Mason County Sports Hall of Fame
LUDINGTON–The Mason County Sports Hall of Fame (MCSHOF) released the names of the Class of 2022 inductees and gave a brief introduction to their accomplishments. “It is extremely difficult, among so many deserving athletes, to choose only six to honor each year,” commented Vic Burwell, president of the Mason County Sports Hall of Fame. “We have a few hundred names on our list of athletes who have been nominated to the Hall and all of them look deserving,” Burwell continued.
The selection process takes several months, as the board spends a lot of time researching, reviewing and discussing qualified candidates before efforts culminate in a selection night when those chosen for induction are to receive a vote. 2/3 of the administrators.
The Class of 2022 includes a state wrestling champion who also excelled nationally and globally in fastpitch softball, where he received U.S. honors; an all-around Free Soil athlete who played in the 1950s and was twice named a first-team states basketball player and was a state track champion; an athlete who has competed in four Iditarod dog sled races, braving icy terrain in a race that takes the brave men and women who attempt it, along with their sled dog team, through the great state of Alaska ; a coach with 302 softball wins and a .728 winning percentage and is a fastpitch softball all-American; a track star who threw the javelin, chatted and shot put at Ferris State University, was a state record shot put state champion in 1979 and a member of a runner-up softball team in ‘State; and a first-team all-state basketball star who played four years of basketball at Northwood College.
The Hall will induct Bob Cameron; Lyford Young; Al Hardman; Christy Christmas; Jill (Treml) Stickney; and Mike Evans in the Class of 2022.
“The MCSHOF is proud to induct these exceptional athletes into their new home of honor and recognition. The MCSHOF Class of 2022 certainly brings a level of athletic achievement that deserves its enshrinement in this hall of honor. We will be introducing people from the Ludington, Mason County Central, Mason County Eastern and Free Soil High Schools, as well as another longtime Mason County resident.This class of 2022 has enjoyed a degree of success in sports that ranks on par with those previously inducted in our Heritage Hall. The MCSHOF Board of Directors congratulates these athletes and looks forward to celebrating the Dedication Festivities on June 25, 2022; at noon for the unveiling of the plaques at the Historic White Pine Village and the banquet at 6:00 p.m. at Lincoln Hills Golf and Country Club,” Burwell said.
Bob Cameron, of Scottville, graduated in 1979 from Mason County Central. In his senior year, he was undefeated at 167 pounds and won the state wrestling championship as he helped his team win the state runner-up title that year. Cameron went to Western Michigan University with the intention of wrestling, but WMU dropped out of their wrestling program. Bob also competed in track and cross country in high school, earning three varsity letters in each. He ran a 4:30 mile his senior year.
Cameron was also an outstanding fastpitch softball player after high school. He played on an ASA Class B state championship team in 1988 and in the national tournament in Las Cruses, New Mexico that same year. He was also a member of an ASA Class A State Championship team and played in the Nationals in Sacremento, CA. Cameron also played on two ISC State Championship teams and in the World Tournament in Victoria, BC and Sioux City, Iowa. Those honors came while playing for Schoenherr Investments or Floracraft, two top Mason County teams.
Later Cameron played with Kelder Poured Walls and that team won the NAFA National Championship in Mankato, Minnestoa and Cameron was selected as an All-American.
Young Lyford played basketball and ran track at Free Soil High School, graduating with the class of 1955. Lyford was a first-team All-WMD conference selection in 1953, 1954, and 1955. His team won the district championship in 1954 and 1955. In the 1954-55 season, Young scored 420 points, averaging 19.1 points per game. Young went on to score 975 points during his high school career. In 1954 and 1955, Young was selected to the All-State First Team. Young played basketball in 1955-56 at Adrian College.
Lyford Young also excelled on the track at Free Soil. He earned four varsity letters in track and was WMD champion in 1953 in the 100-yard dash, 220-yard dash and was first in the CMU relays in the Sprint Medley relay. In 1954, he was again WMD champion in the 220-yard sprint, shot put and Medley relay.
Lyford Young died in January 2016 at the age of 79.
Alvin “Al” Hardman loved adventure and when he was in his 50s he competed in his first of four Iditarod sled dog races, one of the most grueling sporting events in the world. The Iditarod is 1,151 miles long. Hardman’s best result was in 2002, when he was 21st. His last Iditarod was raced in 2004 when he was in his early 60s. Hardman competed in races across the United States, finishing fourth in the “Race to the Sky” in Montana in 2011 and 10th in the “Can Am” in Maine in 2012, aged 69.
Hardman built a successful construction business in Ludington, Hardman Construction, and was generous in giving back to his community. He demonstrated and cultivated great leadership within the company.
Hardman loved the outdoors and enjoyed hunting, fishing, and enjoyed the adventure of a good white water rafting run. Hardman died in March 2021, aged 78.
Christy Christmas, of Ludington, graduated in 1979 from Mason County Central. Christmas coached softball at Mason County Central where the team racked up 302 wins during his tenure. She won seven West Michigan Conference titles, six district titles, three regional titles and twice took her team to the state semifinals, each time losing by one point to the eventual champion. State. Christmas was District Coach of the Year six times and Regional Coach of the Year three times. She was selected to coach in Muskegon Community College and Michigan High School Softball Coaches Association All-Star softball games and was selected as an All-Area Softball Coach by the Muskegon Chronicle. Christmas also coached volleyball at Mason County Central where his teams were ranked as high as eighth in the state coaches poll.
As a sophomore, Christmas was a starter on the 1976 MHSAA Class C State Runner-up basketball team. She played softball, basketball, and volleyball at Grand Rapids Baptist College, now Cornerstone University, where she was an All-Conference selection and MVP. She scored 1,109 points in basketball and is a member of the Cornerstone University Sports Hall of Fame.
Playing fast softball for the ASA, Christmas played on state championship teams with Scottville Scotties and Metalworks. The Metalworks team has appeared in three ASA National Tournaments with a second place finish in College Station, Texas where Christmas was selected as a second team All-American.
Jill (Treml) Stickney, of Custer, played basketball and softball and ran track at Mason County Eastern. In 1979, her senior year, Stickney was state champion in the shot put, setting a new state record that year with a throw of 41′ 7 3/8″ (12.68 meters). She also placed fifth in discus with a throw of 107′ 2″ and was the Mason County track champion in the shot put and discus. The 1979 track team was the second in the state. Stickney also took second place in the shot put at the state meet and fourth in 1977 and second in 1976, all in the shot put.
Stickney also excelled in softball, first as a member of the 1977 MCE state runner-up softball team when she pitched and played center field, then as a member of the ASA Scottville Scotties State Champion team, where she played left field and received numerous honors for her outstanding defensive and offensive play. Stickney was also a WMD All-Conference selection in 1978 and 1979.
In addition to throwing the shot put and discus, Stickney began throwing the javelin while a member of the Ferris State University track team. After graduating from Ferris, Stickney held many college records at Ferris. His best throw in the shot put was 41′ 6″, still the fifth-best throw in FSU history.
Jill (Treml) Stickney also coached softball at Mason County Central from 1983 to 1994. She also had a career as a special education teacher and served as a high school vice-principal for a few years.
mike evans graduated from Ludington High School in 1963. He played basketball and baseball for the Orioles and in 1963 was a Free Press All-State First Team selection. He averaged over 18 points per game in 1963 and was selected to Wood TV’s West Michigan All Star Team. In 1962 and 1963, Evans was selected to the North Central Conference first team.
Evans was considered to be at the forefront of state guards with his incredible ability to do two things on the hard court that set him apart among playmakers of his day. First, his ability to see the whole pitch and make a ‘no look’ pass to a cup teammate for a classic assist. Second, getting the ball downfield and shooting up for a mid-range “jump shot” that other point guards in the state, at the time, couldn’t accomplish. An opposing team coach once said, “Evans was just smooth.”
Evans then played four years of college basketball at Northwood College, starting three of those years.
The Mason County Sports Hall of Fame, located in Ludington, Michigan, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving, honoring and enshrining those who have brought an outstanding contribution to the sport in Mason County. The Hall of Fame is housed in the historic White Pine Village, as is the newly renovated Interactive Center. Beyond the Game: The Value of Sport exposure. This exhibit is dedicated to educating individuals about the life lessons learned through sport and the lifelong positive impact of sport on those who compete.