Albion’s football team featured an outstanding defense, dubbed “the wrecking crew,” as the Britons surged to the 1976 MIAA title with a 5-0 record. The individuals on that defense have been honored in recent years, and now Dave Abbott takes his place alongside Fred Cromie, Jim Haskins, and Rick Otis in the Athletic Hall of Fame.
“Dave was a good cover guy,” Otis, a 2005 inductee, said. “He worked hard and was someone we all could count on to cover his assignments. Our defense was an excellent squad that loved to play the game and excelled at winning.”
A four-year starter for the Britons, Dave had a reputation as a hard hitter who took the ball away from the opponents. Those traits helped him achieve MIAA All-Conference status in 1976. He led the MIAA in interceptions in 1975 and 1976, and he tied with Cromie as the league leader in fumble recoveries in 1976. Albion’s defense led the nation in total defense and points allowed, ranked second in rushing defense, and fifth in passing defense in 1976.
Off the gridiron, Dave was a member of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and the lacrosse club. He enjoyed a stellar lacrosse career, earning a pair of most valuable midfielder awards, leading the team in scoring in 1976, and serving as one of the captains and as player-coach in 1977.
Dave has remained active in lacrosse since graduating, holding certification as an official at the high school and collegiate levels and earning the Southern California Lacrosse High School Coach of the Year award in 2004.
Dave served in the Marine Corps for 22 years, retiring with the rank of lieutenant colonel in 1999. He currently serves as the regional vice president for an event technology company in Long Beach, Calif. Dave and his wife, Sally, have two sons, Joshua and Jacob, and a daughter, Jessica.
Despite a 5’ 2” frame that often got knocked around by opponents, John Farnese displayed a tenacity that helped him become the third Briton soccer player to achieve MIAA All-Conference first-team status at least twice in a career. John earned MIAA All-Conference first-team honors in 1984 and 1987, and earned second-team honors in 1985 and 1986.
“John was very small, but he had great ball control, and he never gave up on a ball in the (penalty) box,” said Ralph Teagle, who coached the Britons in 1984 and 1985. “He was able to create magic in the penalty box.”
He added, “John wasn’t a selfish player. You can tell that by the number of assists. He was a good teammate who wouldn’t let the team get down.”
Twenty years after he graduated, John’s 57 goals and 129 career points still stand as Albion records. He ranks fourth on the MIAA career lists for goals (46) and points (106) scored in league competition.
John scored 13 goals and four assists in 1984, lifting the Britons to an 11-4-2 season which included a third-place finish in the MIAA with a 7-3-2 league record. Albion again won 11 matches in 1985 with John scoring 14 goals and providing eight assists.
He continued to play competitive soccer in the metro Detroit area until 2005.
A member of Delta Sigma Phi fraternity, John graduated from Albion with a degree in physics, and he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering from Wayne State University. He currently serves as an engineering manager for Warren Screw Products. John and his wife, Carolina, have two daughters, Talia and Giovani. They live in Macomb.
Sarah Hall blazed a trail when she earned a place on the first two MIAA All-Conference teams in cross country. She was the third runner to cross the finish line at the MIAA Championships in 1982, completing the 5K course in 18 minutes and 30 seconds. She improved to second in the 1983 league meet with a time of 18:23. She also was the third runner to cross the finish line in the 1983 Great Lakes Regional meet.
Although the MIAA did not recognize an All-Conference team in 1981, Sarah helped the Britons gain a share of the first league title when she finished ninth at the league meet with a time of 19 minutes and 6 seconds.
Sarah was the Britons’ most valuable performer in 1982 as well as a co-captain in 1983. Her 1983 highlights included placing first in all four dual meets and breaking the MIAA record at Alma.
“Sarah was an athlete who just came out and worked hard,” said Tim Williams, her cross country coach at Albion and a member of the Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2005. “She didn’t brag about her (high school) accolades. ‘Continuous improvement’—those are the best words I can use to describe her.”
Sarah also was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority.
A self-employed interior designer, Sarah currently lives in Bozeman, Mont. and has a son, Andrew. She has volunteered with the Intermountain Therapy Animals program, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and the Big Sky Ski Education Foundation. She also continues to be active in running, hiking, and skiing.
Christie Cleland Hursey made MIAA history during the 1995-96 academic year when she became the only woman to achieve first-team status in three sports in one school year. Christie, who was just the third athlete (male or female) in the MIAA to make the All-Conference first team in three sports in one year, finished her career as a six-time first-team award winner, achieving first-team status in soccer all four years.
She began her senior year by becoming the first Briton to claim the MIAA most valuable player award in soccer after producing then-school records of 18 goals and 46 points. The Great Lakes Region second-team selection also made 10 assists during the 1995 campaign to tie another former single-season school mark.
On the basketball court, Christie led the MIAA and ranked 14th among NCAA Division III players in assists with an average of 6.1 per game. She also finished 17th in Division III in free-throw percentage, sinking 94 of 115 attempts from the charity stripe.
In the spring, she posted a .400 batting average for the softball team. She led the team in hits, runs batted in, and stolen bases, and tied for first in runs scored and walks.
“Her secret to success is simple and can be summed up in two words—hard work,” said former Albion softball coach Lisa Melz. “Christie is the true epitome of what it means to be an Albion College student-athlete.”
Christie graduated magna cum laude and was selected for Academic All-America teams in soccer and softball. She went on to complete a master’s degree in athletic administration at Michigan State University in 2001, and she currently teaches physical education classes and serves as the soccer coach at Mason High School. Christie and her husband, Tyler, are the parents of a son, Andrew, and a daughter, Rachel.
G. Thomson Pantlind was a member of the 1963 and 1964 swimming and diving teams that have entered the Athletic Hall of Fame. The All-American now takes his place in the hall as an individual inductee after helping the Britons to an outstanding 31-8 record from 1963 to 1965 and accumulating a school-record 343 points during his career.
Tom starred on the 1964 team which captured the MIAA Championship with an 11-3 record, the best record for any swimming team in Albion’s history. He swam to third place in the 50-yard freestyle in the NCAA College Division Championships, setting an Albion record in the process.
He was voted the most valuable performer on the 1963 team which posted a 10-3 record including a pair of victories over Central Michigan University. Current Division I institutions Valparaiso University and Ball State University were among Albion’s victims as well.
James Russell, ’63, a 2006 Hall of Fame inductee, remembered Tom by saying, “In the first meet against Central Michigan he anchored the freestyle relay, the last race. I lost my race to my eternal disappointment because it would have clinched a victory. That meant we had to win the freestyle relay, which we knew would be tough. He came from behind to win it.”
Russell continued, “I enjoyed his companionship and felt he was a leader of the team, not just the freshmen.”
Tom was also awarded a letter in track and field in 1963. When he wasn’t involved in athletics, Tom served as secretary of the student body, and a member of the University Club and Delta Tau Delta fraternity.
Tom went on to earn a master’s degree from the University of Michigan before settling into a career as a certified public accountant and an insurance company owner. With grace, courage, and hope for another day, Tom passed away on October 22, 2002. He is survived by his wife, Sheila, and sons John and G. Thomson II and daughters Emily and Katie.
Majed Sahouri claimed six MIAA titles in track and field, winning individual titles in the 100 and 200 meters and as a member of the 400 relay teams in 1987 and 1988. Majed shared the MIAA most valuable performer award with John Dunlop (a 2005 Athletic Hall of Fame inductee) in 1988, but the legacy he left for future sprinters was just as impressive as what he accomplished when he wore the purple and gold uniform.
“Majed was a fiery, tough competitor who pushed me to another level,” said track and field All-American Lance Coleman, ’91, a 2006 Athletic Hall of Fame inductee. “He taught me the finer points of warming up, cooling down, and mental preparation, and he set the tone for what future short sprinters had to do by running the mile relay.”
By virtue of his individual titles, Majed was automatically placed on the MIAA All-Conference teams in 1987 and 1988.
Majed transitioned from an Albion sprinter to a distance runner in finishing the Chicago Marathon in 2002. He earned an M.D. degree from Wayne State University in 1992 and is an ophthalmologist. Majed resides in Saginaw with his wife, Rheame, and children, Elizabeth, Demetri, and Andrew.
Entering his second year at Albion, Frank Shipp had never played football, though he had watched the team practice. Frank didn’t even own the equipment to play, but everything changed when one of his friends was going to be away.
“The first team was always looking for ‘scrubs’ to come out and be pushed around so the team could have some practice,” Frank wrote in a memoir. “One day a friend of mine who had a suit, and was going to be away for a few days, brought his suit . . . and asked me to go out the next day and take his place on the ‘scrubs’, which I consented to do. After a little ball tossing the teams lined up for practice. I was placed on the left end, told to stop anyone who came around that way. Jake Anderson was playing left half for the regulars, an excellent player and a hard runner. Soon I saw him coming my way and I tackled him low and stopped him in his tracks. That play was the turning point in my career at Albion.”
Frank went on to become captain of the 1894 football team and the school’s first letter winner. Albion’s 1894 football squad posted a 6-1-1 record that included a win and a tie in games with the University of Notre Dame on the road and splitting contests with the University of Michigan.
“I always played until graduation,” Frank wrote. “This experience gave me some of the self-confidence I so much needed, for I had done something which won the applause of students.”
After graduating, Frank taught school and later was the superintendent of schools in Gaylord. He then served as vice president and general manager of Dayton Last Block Works from 1904 to 1930 before moving into the presidency of the Gaylord State Bank.
Frank passed away in 1951 and has been the patriarch of a long Albion legacy with his daughter, Eleanor Shipp Peterson, ’21, and son, Leland Parmater Shipp, ’26, and three grandsons, Samuel Shipp Butcher, ’58, George Butcher, ’61, and Frank F. Shipp, ’61.
After claiming a pair of Athletic Hall of Fame awards as a member of the 1979 and 1982 MIAA champion baseball teams, Steve Taylor is earning an individual induction to the Athletic Hall of Fame in recognition of his accomplishments on the football and baseball fields.
Steve was voted to the MIAA All-Conference first team in both sports in 1981. On the diamond, the second baseman posted a .329 batting average and led the Britons with 22 runs and 14 runs batted in. On the gridiron, Steve placed the team’s most valuable player award on his mantel after breaking Bob Basselman’s school record for most receptions in a season by hauling in 53 passes for 836 yards. Steve was a special target in contests against Wabash (eight receptions for 146 yards and two touchdowns) and Hope (seven receptions for 136 yards and a touchdown).
“Steve never gave up and played with a fierce sense of competition,” former Briton quarterback Jon Vigi, ’81, said. “He was a cerebral player who thought out of the box instinctively. . . . He improvised before and during the play to be successful. He also had great hands.”
Vigi added, “He was and still is a man of true character and loyalty.”
He was an MIAA All-Conference second-team selection in football in 1980 and in baseball in 1982, batting .313 with 15 runs scored and 13 RBI.
Steve, who demonstrated his leadership as one of the tri-captains of the 1981 football team and as one of the co-captains of the 1982 baseball team, has used his economics and management degree from Albion to rise into the position of senior vice president of Technology Investment Partners. He and his wife, Anna, reside in Lake Orion and are the parents of Danielle and Jordan.
Although he lettered in two sports during his time at Albion, Bob Turner is best known for his accomplishments as a hurdler on the track.
Bob helped the track and field team to the 1965 MIAA title by winning the 120-yard high hurdles with a time of 15.3 seconds. He went on to claim back-to-back titles in the 330-yard intermediate hurdles in 1966 and 1967 which propelled him to team most valuable performer in 1965 and 1967, and MIAA most valuable performer in 1967.
“Turner was thought of as the consummate team player,” Michael Caswell, ’70, recalled. “If the track team needed him to change events in hopes of gaining more points and a greater chance of winning, Bob would do it. This ability gave him leadership status, which he used to better the team. Everyone looked to Bob for leadership, and no one came away disappointed.”
Outside of athletics, Bob was a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity, Kappa Mu Epsilon mathematics honorary, and Omicron Delta Kappa.
He continued his basketball career, begun with two seasons on the Albion squad, by playing at the division level with the Army in Europe in 1970.
Bob married classmate Beth Bullock, ’67, and completed a Ph.D. in chemistry from Michigan State University in 1972. The retired director of technology for DuPont Automotive currently resides in Maple City and works as an adjunct professor for Baker College. Bob and Beth have a daughter, Dawn, and a son, Mark.
Fifteen years after graduating from Albion, Hank Wineman continues to hold a number of school records as the legacy of a career that lifted the Britons to three MIAA football titles in 1989, 1990, and 1991.
“Hank was a strong, quick, agile running back,” said Lance Coleman, ’91, a 2006 Hall of Fame inductee. “He would make defenders miss, but when he did get hit, he would laugh it off and break off a long run on the next play.”
Hank reeled off a number of long runs in 1991 as he posted a 5.3-yard average in rushing for a single-season school record 1,629 yards. His production led him to a slew of postseason awards, including the MIAA most valuable player, first team in the American Football Coaches Association/Kodak All-America team, and third team in the Associated Press Little All-America team.
Also an MIAA All-Conference first-team honoree in 1990 and 1991, Hank continues to hold the school records for most consecutive 100-yard rushing games (18) and most rushing attempts in a season (307) and career (583).
Hank, who earned his J.D. degree from the Detroit College of Law at Michigan State University in 1995, is a partner in the Bloomfield Hills firm of Frasco, Caponigro, Wineman & Scheible, PLLC. He and his wife, Heidi, are the parents of two children, Jack and Jane.
Albion did not rest on its laurels after winning the MIAA title and finishing third in the NCAA Championships in 1978. The nine returning players from the 1978 squad, which was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame in 1991, used the team strengths of speed, shooting ability, jumping ability, and defense, to hang another MIAA championship banner from the Kresge Gymnasium rafters.
The Britons reeled off 11 consecutive victories after a January 17 loss to Adrian. Albion eked out a 57-55 victory over the Bulldogs on February 14 to complete league play at 11-1. Advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the second year in a row and first time in both school and MIAA history, the team finished the season with an overall record of 20-4.
John Nibert was unanimously selected as the MIAA most valuable player, and he was selected as Albion’s first All-American in the sport after averaging 24.3 points and 10.4 rebounds per contest. Milton Barnes joined Nibert on the MIAA All-Conference first team by shooting nearly 50 percent from the field en route to scoring 17.3 points per game.
The team was coached by head coach Mike Turner and assistant Tim Williams. Other team members included John Costa, Jeff Davis, Eric Harvey, Brian Jurasek, Bob Linke, Pete McKnight, Daryl Mitchell, Gary Nichols, Jack Peterson, Dave Riewald, Russ Sassack, and Tim Zeeman.