By Trevor Austin

SPRING LAKE–Nearly 60 years ago, the folks in Spring Lake voted to split from Grand Haven and establish their own school district.

Since then, the sports teams at Spring Lake have produced exceptional talent in a wide variety of sports.

Those standouts are being recognized with establishment of the Spring Lake Hall of Fame.

In the early years, the school only offered football, basketball and baseball. That number has swelled to 26 for both boys and girls. Both females and males have seen a strong group of student/athletes enter the prestigious Laker hall of fame.

Photo courtesy of LSJ photographer Leo Valdez

One of the most recent inductees, Mark Adams, excelled in football, baseball and tennis.

On the gridiron, Adams was a co-captain of the undefeated 1966 football team. Adams was a solid running back and cornerback. He began his high school career with a bang by scoring a whopping 50 points in his first four games before an injury knocked him out the remainder of the season.

He was co-captain of the basketball team and was an All-Conference point guard and was a member off the 1966-1967 conference and district championship teams.

His leadership didn’t just show in football and basketball. He also took his excellence onto the baseball field where he also was a co-captain. Those teams won the conference title and he was named the conference’s top second baseman. His batting average that season was .459.

He partnered with fellow hall of famer Doug Boynik to finish second in doubles at the tennis regionals and they also qualified for the state tournament in 1967.

Adams went on to spend 2 years at Muskegon Community College where, in his sophomore year, he led the Jayhawks basketball team in scoring with 17 points per  game and also played No. 1 singles and doubles on the tennis team.

He became a Laker once again when he elected to enroll for two years at Grand Valley State University. He started half the Lake games in basketball and played two seasons on the tennis team.

The odds are stacked against anyone that wants to get into professional sports. Moreso for females than males, but the 2019 Hall of Fame inductee and 2010 graduate of Spring Lake, Annie Steinlage, beat the odds.

Steinlage, a soccer standout, had a breakout year in 2010. She received the Michigan Gatorade Player of the Year Award, earned All-American honors, was a Muskegon Chronicle Female Hall of Fame inductee, Len Fase recipient and was named Michigan’s Miss Soccer.

During her tenure as a Laker, she earned first team All-State honors three times.

Upon graduating, she went on to Michigan State where she played from 2010-2012. At MSU, she continued to earn accolades for her skills on the soccer field.

In 2011-2012, she was first-team All Big Ten and third-team NSCAA All-Great Lake Region. The following year, in 2012, she made fourth team Women’s Soccer Madness All-American.

To cap off her collegiate caereer, she joined the University of Virginia for 2013-2014 and was on the Klockner Classic All-Tournament Team. She was on a Cavalier squad that went undefeated and were the regular-season ACC champions who eventually made it all the way to the Final Four.

She started 85 games in college and scored four goals, including three game-winners.

But her playing days still weren’t over as she was the 27th pick in the 2014 NWSL draft by the Western New York Flash, which was coming off a top finish the year before.

After a stint in the NWSL, she spent some time getting some W League experience playing for the Ottawa Fury and the Seattle Sounders. She headed home in 2019 and signed with the Grand Rapids Football Club

While the honorees in the Laker Hall of Fame come from a wide variety of sports, there is a common theme.

Their skills in high school, and beyond, will forever be enshrined in the Spring Lake Hall of Fame based on their skills and dedication to hard work.

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