By Trevor Austin

MUSKEGON–When it comes to top notch athletes coming from small schools, few can boast the success enjoyed by Muskegon Catholic Central.

Dozens of talented student/athletes are enshrined in the hallways of the school, forever remembered for their achievements and accolades during their time as a Crusader.

Football has strong roots at Muskegon Catholic and Kehren Stadium has provided the stage for these athletes to shine.

Ruvell Martin was a force on the gridiron and basketball court for the Crusaders. Whatever sport he played, Martin was a key component. He earned all-area honors in football and basketball and also an all-state honor for football.

Photo Courtesy of LSJ Photographer Leo Valdez

After graduating in 2000, Martin continued his playing days at Saginaw Valley State, where his skills earned him first team All-GLIAC in his senior year.

Confident he still had more to offer to a team, he made himself available to the National Football League and was signed by the San Diego Chargers as an undrafted free agent in 2004. However, he was waived shortly before the season and he ended up playing for NFL Europe for the Amsterdam Admirals.

As an Admiral, Martin led the Spring League in receiving yards with 679 and touchdowns with 12 as Amsterdam went on to win the World Bowl.

Martin found his big opportunity in 2006 with the Green Bay Packers. In 13 games, he caught 21 passes for 359 yards and a touchdown from Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre.

He also had stints at St. Louis, Seattle and Buffalo to round out his career as a player. And thanks to an old college teammate, Matt LaFleur, Martin found his way back to the Packers in a minority coaching fellowship role.

Photo Courtesy of LSJ Photographer Leo Valdez

Also representing the Crusaders on the football field was Bill Wolski, who earned a spot at Notre Dame as a running back.

A 1962 graduate, Wolski headed to South Bend and enrolled at Notre Dame, and despite not seeing the field in his first year, his determination and work ethic quickly moved him up the depth chart.

The following season, in 1953, he was given his shot and made the most of it with 70 rushes for 320 yards and two touchdowns. He also had three catches for 11 yards.

Wolski continued to work and earned more responsibilities for the Irish, and in 1964, he had his breakout season where he was the team’s leading rusher with 136 carries for 657 yards and nine touchdowns. He also had eight receptions for 130 yards and two receiving touchdowns.

He wasn’t finished as he enjoyed more success in 1965. He rushed for 452 yards on 103 carries and found the end zone eight times. Five of those touchdowns came in the same game.

His success in college earned him a spot in the draft. He was chosen in the 10th round by the New York Jets in the American Football League draft and the fifth round of the NFL draft by the Atlanta Falcons. He opted to play for the Falcons.

His NFL career was cut short after two games when a knee injury forced him to retire.

Another notable athlete for the Crusaders was three-time all-state wrestler and state champion Tony Ferguson. He also was the starting defensive back on The Crusaders state title team in 2000. He also played baseball for the Crusaders.

Photo Courtesy of LSJ Photographer Leo Valdez

He won the Division 4 state wrestling title at 152 pounds in 2002 and finished his high school career with a record of 47-2.

He moved on to compete at Grand Valley State University, where he won the National Collegiate Wrestling Association Championship at 165 pounds earned Division 2 all-American honors twice.

But what really rocketed Ferguson and his career was when he took his skills and talents onto the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) circuit in 2008. In 2011, Ferguson competed in, and won, the Ultimate Fighter Competition. That moved him up the ranks of the UFC and into plenty of notoriety in the sport.

Ferguson captured the UFC interim belt in the Lightweight Division in 2017 and is currently ranked No. 8 in that division with a UFC record of 15-4. His mixed martial arts (MMA) record is 24-3.

All photo’s below are courtesy of LSJ Photographer Leo Valdez