Courtesy of the Mason County Sports Hall of Fame
The hall will induct Bob Cameron, Lyford Young, Al Hardman, Christy Christmas, Jill (Treml) Stickney and Mike Evans.
“It is extremely difficult, out of so many deserving athletes, to choose only six to be honored each year,” Vic Burwell, president of the Mason County Sports Hall of Fame, said. “We have a couple hundred names on our list of athletes who have been nominated to the Hall and all seem deserving,
“The MCSHOF is proud to induct these outstanding athletes into their new home of honor and recognition,” Burwell said. “The MCSHOF Class of 2022 certainly brings a level of athletic achievement that merits their enshrinement into this hall of honor. ”
Their achievements will be recognized at noon on June 25 with the unveiling of the plaques at Historic White Pine Village. A banquet is set for 6 p.m. at Lincoln Hills Golf and Country Club.
Bob Cameron, of Scottville, graduated in 1979 from Mason County Central. His senior year he was undefeated at 167 pounds and went on to claim the state championship in wrestling and the team claimed the state runner-up title that year. Cameron went to Western Michigan University intending to wrestle, but WMU dropped their wrestling program. Bob also participated in track and cross country in high school, earning three varsity letters in each. He ran a career-best 4:30 mile his senior year.
Cameron was also a standout fastpitch softball player after high school. He played on an ASA Class B State Championship team in 1988 and in the National Tournament in Las Cruses, New Mexico that same year. He also was a member of an ASA Class A State Championship team and played in Nationals in Sacramento, California. Cameron also played on two ISC State Championship teams and in the World Tourney in Victoria, British Columbia and in Sioux City, Iowa. These honors occurred while playing for Schoenherr Investments or Floracraft, both high caliber teams from Mason County.
Later, Cameron played with Kelder Poured Walls that won the NAFA National Championship in Mankato, Minnestoa. Cameron was selected as an All-American.
Lyford Young played basketball and ran track at Free Soil High School. He graduated in 1955. Lyford was a first team All-West Michigan D Conference selection in 1953, 1954 and 1955. His team won the district championship in 1954 and 1955. In the 1954-55 season, Young scored 420 points (19.1 points per game). Young went on to score 975 points in his high school career. In both 1954 and 1955 Young was selected first-team All-State. Young played basketball in 1955-56 at Adrian College.
Lyford Young also excelled in track at Free Soil. He earned four varsity letters in track and was WMD champion in 1953 in the 100-yard dash, the 220-yard dash and was first at the CMU Relays in the Sprint Medley Relay. In 1954, he was again WMD champion in the 220-yard dash and in the shot put and the Medley Relay.
Lyford Young passed away in January 2016 at the age of 79.
Alvin “Al” Hardman loved adventure, and when he was in his 50s, he competed in his first of four Iditarod sled dog races, one of the most grueling sports events in the world. The Iditarod is 1,151 miles long. Hardman’s best finish was in 2002 when he was 21st. His last Iditarod was run in 2004 when he was in his early 60s. Hardman competed in races across the United States, finishing fourth in “Race to the Sky” in Montana in 2011 and 10th in the “Can Am” in Maine in 2012, at the age of 69.
Hardman built a successful construction company in Ludington – Hardman Construction – and was generous in giving back to his community. He demonstrated and cultivated great leadership at the company.
Hardman had a love for the outdoors and enjoyed hunting, fishing and loved the adventure of a good whitewater rafting run. Hardman passed away in March 2021, at the age of 78.
Christy Christmas, of Ludington, graduated in 1979 from Mason County Central. Christmas coached softball at Mason County Central where the team accumulated 302 wins during her tenure. She had seven West Michigan Conference titles, six district titles, three regional titles, and twice took her team to the state semifinals, each time losing by one run to the eventual state champion. Christmas was a six-time District Coach of the Year and three-time Regional Coach of the Year. She was selected to coach in the Muskegon Community College and Michigan High School Softball Coaches Association All-Star softball games and was selected All-Area Softball Coach by The Muskegon Chronicle. Christmas also coached volleyball at Mason County Central where her teams were ranked as high as eighth in the state coaches’ poll.
As a sophomore, Christmas was a starter on the 1976 MHSAA Class C state runner-up basketball team. She played softball, basketball and volleyball at Grand Rapids Baptist College, now Cornerstone University, where she was an All-Conference selection and MVP. She scored 1,109 points in basketball and is a member of the Cornerstone University Athletic Hall of Fame.
Playing ASA fast-pitch softball, Christmas played on state championship teams with the Scottville Scotties and Metalworks. The Metalworks team competed in three National ASA tournaments with a runner-up finish in College Station, Texas, where Christmas was selected as a second-team All-American.
Jill (Treml) Stickney, of Custer, played basketball, softball and ran track at Mason County Eastern. In 1979, her senior year, Stickney was a state champion in the shot put, setting a new state record of 41-7 3/8. She also placed fifth in the discus with a throw of 107′-2 and was the Mason County track champion in shot put and discus. The 1979 track team was the state runner-up. Stickney also took second place in shot put at the state meet and fourth in 1977 and second in 1976, all in shot put.
Stickney also excelled in softball, first as a member of the 1977 state runner-up softball team at MCE, when she pitched and played center field and then as a member of the ASA state champion Scottville Scotties team, where she played left field. She received numerous honors for her outstanding play. Stickney was also a WMD All-Conference selection in 1978 and 1979.
Along with throwing shot put and discus, Stickney began throwing javelin while a member of the track team at Ferris State University. Upon graduation from Ferris, Stickney held numerous college records at Ferris. Her best throw in shot put was 41-6, still the fifth-best throw in FSU history.
Jill (Treml) Stickney also coached softball at Mason County Central, from 1983-1994. She also had a teaching career in special education and was assistant principal at the high school for several years.
Mike Evans graduated from Ludington High School in 1963. He played basketball and baseball for the Orioles, and in 1963, was a Detroit Free Press all-state first team selection. He averaged more than 18 points per game in 1963 and was chosen to Wood TV’s West Michigan All Star Team. In both 1962 and 1963, Evans was selected to the North Central Conference first team.
Evans was considered to be on the cutting edge for guards in the state with vision of the court and his “no-look” snap pass to a cutting teammate. He also was highly skilled at the mid-range jump shot.
Evans went on to play four years of varsity basketball at Northwood College, starting three of those years.
The Mason County Sports Hall of Fame, located in Ludington, Michigan, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving, honoring and enshrining those who have made outstanding contributions to sports in Mason County. The Hall of Fame is housed at Historic White Pine Village, as is the newly renovated, interactive Beyond the Game: The Value of Sports exhibit. This exhibit is dedicated to educating individuals about the life lessons learned through sport and the positive life-long impact sports has on those who compete.