William M. Barker, '90
Albion captured its lone championships in the sport of women’s golf during the 1999 and 2000 seasons.
Boosted by rounds of 80 by Melissa Hall, an individual inductee tonight, and Stacy Chapman, Albion won the MIAA’s first jamboree of the 1999 season by 21 strokes and never looked back as it finished the season with a 113-stroke margin over the second-place team. Albion won six of the seven jamborees and placed Hall and Katie Pritchard on the all-league first team with 84.3 and 84.4-stroke averages, respectively. Chapman, who averaged 87.9 strokes, and Lindsey Franson, 91.5, achieved all-league second-team status.
Albion won five of the seven jamborees to win the 2000 title by 98 strokes. Hall turned in her low round of the season when her 78 boosted her to medalist honors in the jamboree played at The Medalist Golf Club. Lindsey Densmore, co-medalist of the round at Thornapple Point in Grand Rapids, and Chapman, medalist of the round at Alwyn Downs, joined Hall on the all-league first team. Franson and Pritchard, the medalist at Milham Park, were second-team performers.
Karen Baird coached the teams. Additional letter winners included Kathryn Bretz, Kariann Lopez Negrete Van Burgel, Jennifer Purucker, and Cortney Schaffer.
Steven J. Cohen, '94
Steve Cohen enjoyed a successful career in the pool and overcame a serious shoulder injury he suffered in high school with the help and support of Coach Keith Havens and his teammates.
Steve made an immediate splash by breaking a school record in his first race at Albion. He went on to hold school records in five individual and two relay events upon retiring from competition in 1992.
A two-time recipient of the team’s most valuable swimmer award, Steve went on to win the MIAA title, finish third in the NCAA Division III championships, and obtain All-America status in the 1,650 freestyle in 1991. He received honorable mention All-America honors in the same event in 1992. He achieved All-MIAA status in 1991 and 1992.
Steve also achieved all-academic status from the College Swimming Coaches Association of America in 1992.
Inspired to make a difference in communities after taking Myron Levine’s urban policy course, Steve completed his bachelor’s degree at Michigan State University in 1994. He earned his master’s degree in urban and regional planning from MSU in 1999.
Currently the director of community development for the city of Auburn Hills, Steve is actively involved in church activities and Auburn Hills Optimist Club. Steve and his wife, Sarah, reside in Linden with children Abigail and Casey.
Victor S. Cuiss, '51
Vic Cuiss helped usher in a golden era in men’s golf at Albion as an integral member of the 1950 and 1951 MIAA championship teams. He received the Britons’ most valuable player award when he boosted the team to the 1950 title by posting the team’s low score–153–in the MIAA tournament at Kalamazoo. He served as team captain in 1951.
The Britons went on to hold at least a share of the league title through 1956.
Vic’s path to Albion was not traditional, by any means, as he graduated from Jackson Junior College in 1939 before serving in the Army Air Corps during World War II. He returned to Jackson in 1945 and went to work before resuming his education at Albion.
Involved in the community, Vic served on the governing boards of the Jackson Kiwanis Club, Jackson County Parks and Recreation Commission, and Sharp Park. He was a longtime high school basketball and football official and the director of officials for the Western Conference of the Michigan Community College Athletic Association.
Vic continued to be active on the course as he served as chairman of the Michigan Amateur Committee from 1974 to 1986 and was chosen to serve as president of the Golf Association of Michigan in 1987-88. The Vic Cuiss Cup is the trophy awarded by the Jackson Masters Golf Championship. Vic passed away April 17, 2013, at age 94.
F. Scott Newsome, '92
Scott Newsome was a three-time all-league performer as the track and field teams led by Dave Egnatuk enjoyed success in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He ran away with individual league titles in the 110-meter hurdles in 1989 and 1990 and in the 400 hurdles in 1990. Scott added All-America status in 1989 when he finished seventh in the 110 hurdles at the NCAA Division III championships.
He held the school and league records in the 110 hurdles when he graduated.
Scott jumped into a teaching position with the Okemos Public Schools after graduating magna cum laude. He went on to earn a master’s degree in educational administration from Michigan State University.
Currently working as a writer, Scott resides in Eaton Rapids with his wife, Lisa, and daughter, Eliza.
Patrick D. Slone, '99
Patrick Slone’s dominance in football and track and field made him a prime candidate for the Athletic Hall of Fame just a year after becoming eligible for induction.
On the gridiron, the defensive lineman smothered opponents during the 1998 season by wrapping up 23 tackles for loss, including 12 quarterback sacks. Both of those marks still stand as school records today. He was rewarded with first-team status on the All-America teams sponsored by Football Gazette and Hewlett Packard and the MIAA’s defensive most valuable player award as the Britons rolled to the league title with a perfect 6-0 record against league rivals.
Patrick also was awarded All-MIAA first-team status in 1996 as the Britons turned in a championship season with a 5-0 record against league rivals.
In addition to throwing rivals for a loss, Patrick also sailed into the Albion record book with a shot put measured at 54’ 11 ½” in 1999. He was an all-league performer in 1998 and an All-American in 1999 when he finished fifth in the NCAA Division III championships.
The eight-time letterwinner also won a pair of intramural basketball championships during his time on campus.
Currently working as a probation officer for the circuit court in Port Huron, Patrick and his wife, Heidi, ’00, reside in Croswell with their children, Ezekiel, Kiah, Faith, Grace, Rachel, and Hope.
Kathryn S. Snedeker, '82
Kathy Snedeker was a member of three league champion field hockey squads, serving as one of the captains for the 1980 team. She went on to captain the 1981 field hockey team as well as the softball squad her junior and senior years.
On the diamond, she collected 28 hits and drove in 15 runs in league play during her career.
Off the field, she was a member of the Title IX advisory board and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
After earning honors in religious studies with a thesis on the “Depth Psychological Perspective of Dreams in the Bible” and graduating magna cum laude from Albion, Kathy completed her master’s degree at the Duke University Divinity School. She coached the field hockey team at the Durham Academy High School for a time while there.
During the 2010 Athletic Hall of Fame ceremony, she also joined her teammates and Coach Char Duff from the 1978 and 1979 field hockey teams as they are honored with induction in the Hall of Fame.
A mentor for Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Kathy serves as an elder in the Detroit Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church and has been in ministry for 25 years. The past 13 years have been at Saginaw First United Methodist Church, where she currently serves as senior pastor.
She is married to the Rev. Dr. Haldon Ferris, a retired Detroit Conference pastor.
Tonya A. Taylor, '96
Tonya Taylor was one of the first athletes to earn All-MIAA first-team recognition in women’s soccer in each of her four collegiate seasons, achieving the feat from 1992 to 1995.
Playing alongside Christie Cleland Hursey, ’96, a 2007 Athletic Hall of Fame inductee, Tonya helped the Britons record 38 wins in the three-year stretch from 1993 to 1995. Albion’s second-place finish in the MIAA in 1995 was the program’s highest ranking in the league at that time.
Tonya was a prolific scorer, and she continues to hold the school standards for most goals (48), assists (34), and points (130) in a career.
In addition to her all-conference awards, the National Soccer Coaches Association of America selected Tonya to the All-Great Lakes Region third team her senior year. She also achieved distinction on the MIAA’s Academic Honor Roll three times.
When not getting her kicks on the soccer field, Tonya served as a manager for the women’s basketball and softball programs.
Tonya graduated from Albion cum laude and received a master’s degree from the University of Utah. She currently works as a physical therapist in the pediatric rehabilitation department at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing.
Ronald A. Vanderlinden, '78
Ron Vanderlinden earned seven varsity letters during his Albion career, but he is best known for his achievements with the football program as an offensive lineman.
While the defense dubbed “The Wrecking Crew” garnered most of the attention, Ron helped Albion rank first in the MIAA in total offense and rushing offense in 1977. A brochure published after the season touted Ron as “[having] a keen ability to read the opposing defense, a strong blocker who rarely missed an assignment, and the key to Albion’s inside rushing attack.”
Albion was undefeated in league play in 1976 and 1977, and Ron was an all-conference first-team selection both years. The 1977 squad became the MIAA’s first representative to the NCAA Division III championships, where the Britons bowed to the University of Minnesota-Morris, 13-10, in a hard-fought contest.
On the diamond, Ron was a member of the Britons’ 1976 MIAA championship squad.
Ron has steadily climbed in the coaching ranks since completing stints as a graduate assistant at Bowling Green State University and the University of Michigan. He has served as an assistant coach to Joe Paterno at Penn State University since 2001 where he has been pivotal in restoring the Nittany Lions’ reputation as “Linebacker U.”
Ron and his wife, Lisa, reside in State College, Pa., and are the parents of a daughter, Chelsea, and a son, Reid.
1978 and 1979 Women's Field Hockey Teams
The 1978 and 1979 field hockey teams were placed in the middle of a great period in which Albion won or shared five consecutive MIAA titles.
The Britons combined for a 20-7-2 record over the two seasons and four of the losses were to Division I powers Michigan and Michigan State.
Led by the scoring of Kim Rae (seven goals and two assists) and Tommi Polizzi (six goals and one assist), Albion posted a 4-0-2 record against league rivals to share the 1978 title with Alma. Polizzi was the MIAA’s second-leading scorer with nine goals and three assists in 1979 as Albion outscored its league rivals by a 23-3 margin.
The team members included Kelly Apt, Jill Barry, Donna Beauregard, Sherry Burlingame, Lisa Daniels, Janis Dillard, Sue DiTommaso, Ellen Doetsch, Kathy Feid, Susan Fincham, Susan Fisher, Kim Good, Bonnie Goodman, Kelly Howerth, Sandy Humenny, Cammie Huth, Amy Johns, Sue Kandarian, Carol Kehres, Jean Kennary, Sue Lane, Mary Jane Lang, Jill Lorentz, Kim Mann, Sarah Mather, Betsy McCullough, Christine McManaway, Desiree Mehrabian, Lisa Nehra, Joan Pentecost, Sharon Pontius, Susan Putalik, Barb Rehmus, Mary Rooney, Lori Rottenbiller, Molly Sawyer, Barbara Schmitt, Kathy Snedeker, Lisa Stokes, Carol Strecker, Melissa Washburn, and Laura Wills.
The teams were coached by Char Duff.
1989 Football Team
Albion eked out a four-point victory over Olivet and a two-point victory over Alma in the final two games of the season to secure a share of its twenty-second league title. It was the beginning of a golden era for Albion’s football program under the direction of Coach Pete Schmidt as the Britons would reel off a string of outright MIAA titles the next seven years.
Although the final record stood at 7-2, former sports information director Robin Hartman, a Hall of Fame inductee in 2004, reported that “seven points…two tipped passes…two goal line stands” were all that stood in the way of an undefeated campaign.
Albion boasted one of the nation’s best defensive units which yielded less than 100 yards per game on the ground and only 11 points per contest. The offense gained 400 or more yards in its last three games. Fifteen offensive records were broken, including a single-season rushing mark for Bill Barker, career total yardage and passing yardage, completions, and percentage records for Jan Firek, and career receiving totals for Jon Baarda.
Scott Ammons and Barker were tabbed as the MIAA’s most valuable defensive and offensive players, respectively. Baarda, Barker, offensive linemen Kevin Mahoney and Tom Riva, defensive linemen Ammons and Bill Johansson, and defensive back James DeBardelaben were accorded All-MIAA first-team status. Firek, receiver Tom Harty, kicker Steve Moffatt, linebacker Rob Shurmur, and defensive back Lance Coleman were recognized as second-team performers on the all-conference squad.
The roster also included Jim Anderson, George Badalow, David Badour, Brian Barden, Brian Baser, Marty Bingaman, Scott Bissell, John Brannan, Brian Brown, Troy Burton, Gordon Cady, Dave Canine, Jon Chick, Greg Colagross, Brian Coon, David Coon, Rob Cooney, Joe D’Angelo, Brian Dawood, Pat DeBruyn, Luke Decker, Bill Deery, Mike DeShone, Dan Drahnak, Vern Elliott, Chris Fast, Rich Foster, Steve Gilbert, Art Gray, Daymond Grifka, Doug Hawkins, Torrell Humphries, Ryan Irish, Brian Johns, Leander Jones, Mike Juchno, Andy Kenney, Kris Knobloch, Brett Kuhlman, Tony Lasher, Jamie Little, Rob MacDonald, Doug Malcolm, David Marshall, Dan Martin, Matt McElroy, Mike McWilliams, Scott Merchant, Tim Mikesell, Lee Missler, Cam Mueller, Joe Mullen, Mike Murray, Phil Nagorski, Pat Ong, Aaron Parsons, Scott Parsons, Dave Pavlov, John Punches, Eric Reinholt, Dave Richardson, Joel Scheffler, Dan Schmidt, Steve Sheridan, Brad Smiles, Brett Stadler, Matt Sutter, Keith Tidball, B.J. Tillotson, Chris Timmer, Scott Tinson, Paul Tippin, Mark Tithof, Dave Tooley, Joe Tousignaut, Ty Trudeau, David Umphrey, Jeff Urbanski, Gregg Vander Kooi, Jason Vandeven, Hank Wineman, Mike Woodcock, Tim Wyman, and Aaron Yaverski.
The team’s assistant coaches included Dave Egnatuk, Len Vanden Bos, Dennis Bongard, Ron Parker, Chuck Finch, Brad Perkins, and Darrall Briggs.