Fruitport prepares to induct its 2015 Hall of Fame class

Local Sports Journal

FRUITPORT – Two undefeated football teams from the 1970s will be among the featured former athletes honored when Fruitport High School inducts its 2015 Hall of Fame class on March 14.

Fruitport’s 1971 and 1972 Trojan teams both went 9-0 and captured Seaway Conference football championships .

Other inductees will be former swimmer Lynn Wadaga Bloomberg, basketball standout Bob Sarachman, longtime tennis coach John Grossa, and softball player Shelly Tozer. A special Service Award also will be presented to Len Vargas, who has worked on the Fruitport athletic film crew since 1989.

The 1971 and 1972 football teams dominated the opposition both years as Fruitport ended up third in the final Associated Press State Class B poll in 1972. The Trojans were considered a Class A team during the 1971 season.

Fruitport, coached by Tom Holden, later extended its unbeaten streak to 22 games during the 1973 season before finally losing.

Standout players for the two football teams included running back Bob Furgerson, lineman Phil Cannon, and end Larry Hall, all of whom signed to play college football. The 1972 team featured an offensive line averaging 245 pounds.

Wadaga Bloomberg graduated from Fruitport in 1981. She won the Michigan High School Athletic Association Class B 1-meter diving title in 1979 and held the state record in that class for points from 1979 through 1993. She also held numerous Fruitport school records for both boys and girls diving before becoming a collegiate All-American at the University of Wisconsin Green Bay in both 1- and 3-meter diving in 1982.

Sarachman had Fruitport’s school scoring record in basketball for three decades with his 1,129 points during the 1960s, He still owns Fruitport’s single-game high of 38 points for the boys’ teams. He played 4 years at Central Michigan University and earned varsity letters there during the 1969-70 and 1970-71 seasons.

Grossa coached track, football and basketball at Fruitport from 1966-1984 and served as the school’s tennis coach from 1982-2000. His teams won more than 250 matches in tennis. He also was voted the regional tennis coach of the year six times and the Division 3 Michigan Coach of the Year in 1999.

Tozer played softball for Fruitport and earned All-State honors in the sport in 1985 and 1986. She still holds the school record for most stolen bases in a season with 55. She went on to earn all-conference and all-region honors in softball at Grand Valley State University. She holds GVSU records for career steals and most base hits in a season. She has since been inducted into the Oklahoma City Softball Hall of Fame.

Vargas has filmed nearly 800 varsity and sub-varsity football games for Fruitport’s program. He has missed just one varsity game in 26 seasons and is an honorary lifetime member of the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association. He also has helped out as a volunteer in support of the football concessions stand at Fruitport.

Tickets for the induction ceremony are $35 per person and are on sale through Feb. 27 in Fruitport’s athletic office at the high school. The banquet is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Trillium Events Center, 17246 Van Wagoner, Ferrysburg.

Other activities that weekend include an open house with all inductees and guests from 6-7:30 p.m. in the Fruitport High School gymnasium. That will be followed by the Fruitport Athletic Foundation’s Main Event at Pope’s Pub, from 7-11 p.m.por

Dinner tickets may be ordered by calling the athletic office at (231) 865-4034.

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