Ben Laser joins SVSU Hall of Fame 11.17.2010

ben_laser.jpgA Waldron native was among the  honorees inducted into Saginaw Valley State University’s inaugural Athletic Hall of Fame.

Ben Laser, an All-American thrower, was a member of the national championship 1982 indoor track and field team. The track team members, along with six individuals, were inducted into the Hall of Fame during a ceremony Sept. 17 on the SVSU campus.

Laser was one of 10 All-American athletes from the talented track and field team that won the college’s first national championship in any sport. Many records set during the 1982 season still stand.

Other inductees were football coach Frank “Muddy” Waters; All-American basketball player Norwaine Reed; All-American football player Eugene Marve; All-American women’s basketball player Gayle Goestenkors; All-American golfer Steve Brady; and former athletic director and golf coach Robert Becker.

Laser competed in the hammer throw in outdoor track and in the 35-pound weight throw in the indoor season. He finished third in the nation in the NAIA Div. II competition when the Cardinals won the championship.

“We had some pretty good athletes on that team,” Laser said. “We were the first team north of the Mason-Dixon Line to win a national championship.”

At that time, Saginaw Valley State College had no indoor facilities and practices were held outdoors, despite the weather.

Laser said it was very enjoyable to visit with those team members who attended the ceremony, most of whom he hadn’t seen since college.

“It was phenomenal to see the successes of team members,” he said about the careers that the athletes developed.

In the early 1980s, only seven scholarships were given for track and cross country combined, Laser said, unlike today where athletic skills are often a student’s ticket into college.

Laser also played football with the Cardinals for three years.

Laser has served as a school administrator in Grayling, Springport and Alanson, and is in his third year as superintendent at Battle Creek Pennfield.

  • Front.web
    NICE WORK—A spider remains at the center of a web, awaiting visitors, during a moist morning last month. The was built in front of Eagle Funeral Home in Morenci.
  • Front.bridge Cross
    STEP BY STEP—Wyatt Stevens of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge Sunday during the Michigan DNR’s Great Outdoors Jamboree at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The Tecumseh Boy Scout Troop constructed the bridge again this year after taking a break in 2016. The Jamboree offered a variety of activities for a wide range of age groups. Morenci’s Stair District Library set up activities again this year and had visits with dozens of kids. See the back page for additional photos.
  • Front.bridge.17
    LEADING THE WAY—The Morenci Area High School marching band led the way across the pedestrian bridge on Morenci’s south side for the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. The Band Boosters shared profits from the sale of T-shirts with the walk’s sponsor, the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.eclipse
    LOOKING UP—More than 200 people showed up at Stair District Library Monday afternoon to view the big celestial event with free glasses provided by a grant from the Space Science Institute. The library offered craft activities from noon to 1 p.m., refreshments including Cosmic Cake from Zingerman’s Bakehouse and a live viewing of the eclipse from NASA on a large screen. As the sky darkened slightly, more and more people moved outside to the sidewalk to take a look at the shrinking sun. If you missed it, hang on for the next total eclipse in 2024 as the path comes even closer to this area.
  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.