A four-time letter winner, recognized with All-MIAA honors in 1966, 1968 and 1969, James Bell was named the team's Most Valuable Player and a Little All-American in 1969.
During his senior year, the 1969 Briton football team fought to an outstanding finish—undefeated, untied and undisputed MIAA champions. The big game of the season was against the defending MIAA champions, Alma. Bell scored the winning touchdown in the team's 7-3 win over Alma, the game dubbed the “small college classic of the year.” Bell also had a 98-yard punt return that year and was named the team's Most Valuable Player.
Bell is currently the assistant to the dean of student affairs at California State University, Dominguez Hills. He lives in Walnut, Calif.
While Paul L. Cook, professor of chemistry, emeritus, did not play or coach at Albion College, his contributions to athletics at Albion and for the MIAA were very important.
Cook began teaching chemistry at Albion College in 1954. He began his service to the MIAA in 1955 as conference secretary and as the faculty representative to the MIAA, a position he would hold until 1982. Cook was selected twice as the MIAA Field Day honorary referee, a distinction given to those who have demonstrated exemplary service to their school and MIAA athletics. Only the second person to be chosen for this honor twice, Cook was selected in 1968 and in 1982. In 1968, with regards to Cook's selection as honorary referee, Elkin “Ike” Isaac, Albion College athletic director, was quoted, “His service to Albion College and the MIAA is indicative of his high regard for the contributions of athletics as a vital supplement to the intellectual demands of college life.” Cook began working with the basketball program as a timer in 1962, a job he had for 30 years. He also served Albion College as a timer for football for over 20 years.
Cook was a member of the First United Methodist Church and the American Chemical Society. He enjoyed all sports and collecting stamps and coins. He passed away Feb. 2, 2010.
Selected to the All-MIAA second team his freshman year, honorable mention as a sophomore and first team his junior and senior years, Paul T. Cryderman was also a Briton tri-captain and team MVP his junior and senior years. He ended his final season tied for the team lead in scoring at 12.4 points per game, established a record for the number of field goals in a game and finished his career with 1,104 points. He also set a Briton record in 1977 with 688 rebounds.
Following graduation, Cryderman taught high school English for one year in the Vandercook Lake Public Schools and then went on to graduate sixth out of 133 in the 95th Michigan State Police Recruit School in 1978. He is currently a sergeant for the Michigan State Police.
Cryderman and his wife Debra live in Dimondale with their three children: Chelsea, Kyle and Kacy.
A member of the field hockey team that captured the MIAA championship in her senior year, Mary Ann Stokes Egnatuk was selected for the Michigan College Field Hockey Association team that played in the Great Lakes Sectional Tournament. She also earned varsity letters in track and field in 1975 and 1976, and in swimming.
While she only swam one year at Albion College, Egnatuk's contribution to the sport, particularly in the City of Albion, is immense. After beginning her coaching career at Ogemaw Heights High School, she returned to Albion where for almost 20 years she has built outstanding swimming programs. The Albion Wildcats girls' swimming team has captured three conference titles under Egnatuk's leadership. She is the head coach for the Aquacat swimming program and organizes swimming lessons and lifeguarding programs in the summer for area youth. Egnatuk received the Regional Coach of the Year Award in 1986 and 1992. In 1994-95 she was selected as the Albion High School Coach of the Year and in 1996 received recognition for the Advancement of Women in Sports from the City of Albion.
Egnatuk lives in Albion with her husband Dave, '71, and their three daughters: Christine, Tracy and Jessica.
An intercollegiate tennis and field hockey standout all four years she attended Albion, Virginia Amrein Fergueson also participated in basketball, softball, volleyball, swimming and bowling at the intramural level. She excelled at volleyball and basketball, playing on the intramural All-Star teams, and receiving a national rating in volleyball. In 1966, Fergueson was president of the Women's Athletic Association (WAA), was chosen to receive the WAA Senior Award and represented Albion College as the state president of the Athletic and Recreation Federation of Michigan College Women.
She went on to coach recreational and school teams in basketball, softball, volleyball, tennis and soccer, and for 21 years officiated high school and collegiate volleyball. Fergueson is currently a teacher in the Lake Washington School District in Kirkland, Wash. Married to John Fergueson, '66, she lives in Bothell, Wash. The Ferguesons have two children: Susan, '95, and Daniel, '99.
A true track and field champion, John W. Haas was an important part of some of Albion's best track and field teams. Setting records in the shot put and discus during those years, he was voted Albion College Most Valuable Player in 1950. With the records he set, one would never imagine Haas had a 30 percent disability from wartime service prior to attending Albion.
The four years Haas competed included a long streak of championships for the Briton track and field team. As a freshman, Haas placed first in the MIAA meet in the shot put. At the Ohio Wesleyan indoor meet, he tossed the shot 43' 7.5" to break a 24-year-old field house record. Haas set the Albion College shot put record in 1950, and was the MIAA shot put and discus champion in 1949, 1950 and 1951.
Haas worked for American Cyanamid from 1955 to 1988 and has begun a second career with Home and Store News in Ramsey, N.J. Haas and his wife Janice live in Ramsey, N.J. They have four children: Kristie, Jeffrey, Mark and Kim.
Lettering in football and baseball all four years, Charles E. “Chappy” Marvin was named to the All-MIAA first team in 1950 and 1951 and also served as team captain his senior year.
After graduating from Albion, Marvin spent a summer playing professional baseball with the Boston Red Sox organization and as a teacher and coach in Battle Creek; Arlington, Va. and Adrian. Marvin received his M.A. from the University of Michigan in 1956. He then went on to coach football and baseball at Adrian College from 1962 to 1968. Following coaching, Marvin served Adrian College as the dean of students until 1971. He then completed an M.A. in guidance and counseling at Eastern Michigan University, and went on to be an administrator at Eisenhower High School in Saginaw until 1988.
Marvin lives in Midland with his wife, Carol Wear Marvin, '52. The Marvins have three children: Todd, Teri Marvin May, '87, and Jenny.
A member of the track team all four years at Albion, Jack D. McClellan, Jr. served as co-captain of the team for two years. He began his three-year winning streak as the MIAA Field Day champion in the 100-yard dash in 1973, breaking the Albion College record. In 1974, he was the MIAA Field Day champion in the 220-yard dash. Selected to the All-MIAA track and field teams in 1973, 1974 and 1975, McClellan was also named Albion College's track and field Most Valuable Player in both his junior and senior years. In 1975, along with his contribution to the 440-yard relay team's school record of 43.5 seconds, McClellan was chosen as the MIAA track and field Most Valuable Player.
Upon graduation, McClellan began a career with DeWitt Products Company in Detroit, where he is currently the vice president of research and development. McClellan and his wife Joanna live in Livonia with their three children: Jordan, Jared and Jenna.
David H. Moeller contributed to some of Albion's best baseball teams, playing varsity baseball all four years at Albion College. In his freshman year, Moeller contributed to the team's 1968 MIAA championship. In 1970, Moeller was named to the All-MIAA second team.
The 1971 season, Moeller's senior year, was an incredible one. The Britons captured the MIAA championship, and co-captain Moeller set Albion College and MIAA records for stolen bases. He was never caught stealing in MIAA competition that season. After winning the 1971 league batting crown with a .500 average, Moeller was selected to the All-MIAA first team, and named both the Albion College and MIAA Most Valuable Player, the first MVP in league history to be chosen by a unanimous vote.
Upon graduation, Moeller chose a career as a United States Air Force aviator. In 1992, Moeller became part owner of the Country Meadows Golf Resort. He enjoys playing golf, tennis and skiing. He lives in Peoria, Ariz.
Earning 11 varsity letters, three in basketball, four in volleyball and track and field, Katherine Dec Prohaska also served as captain of the volleyball team in her junior year, and led all three sports as team captain her senior year.
Named to the All-MIAA volleyball second team in 1985, Prohaska's finest moments came in track and field. An All-MIAA first team selection for track and field and conference discus champion in 1983, 1984 and 1985, she finished tenth in the 1984 NCAA track and field championships and sixth in 1985 when she was named an All-American. The Albion College Most Valuable Player in both her junior and senior years and MIAA's Most Valuable Player for track and field in her senior season, she set Albion records in the discus, javelin and the 400-meter hurdles. Prohaska broke her own record for the discus three years in a row to set the MIAA women's track and field record in 1985 with a toss of 136' 9".
Currently a physician at the Sheltering Arms Physical Rehabilitation Hospital in Virginia, she has been the sports physician for high school and collegiate teams at national meets and international championships. She currently lives in Richmond, Va. with her husband, Scott Prohaska, '84.
A three-sport athlete, Thomas E. Sowles played varsity football and baseball for three years and varsity basketball all four years. During his football career, the halfback was one of the team's leading rushers.
In basketball, he was selected as the rookie of the year in his freshman season and was a co-captain his senior year.
Sowles was the starting right fielder on the baseball team in his freshman year and as a junior served the Britons as co-captain, was named the Albion College Most Valuable Player and to the All-MIAA first team. Following his junior year, Sowles was picked by the Cleveland Indians in the thirteenth round of the major league free agent draft and joined the Indians' Rookie League team.
Sowles went on to coach varsity basketball for seven years and varsity football for four years at Athens High School and baseball for six years and basketball for four years at Marshall High School. He is currently the athletic director for the Olivet Community Schools.
Sowles and his wife Denise live in Marshall with their four daughters: Aimee, Melissa, Rachel and Jessica.
Selected as the Albion College Most Valuable Player of both the track and field and cross country teams, Gary G. Stokes ran for the varsity track team in 1971, 1972 and 1976. In his senior year he served as the track team captain, was selected to the All-MIAA track and field team and set the MIAA mile run record.
In 1971 and 1972, Stokes was the captain of the cross country team. During his senior year, he was selected as the Albion College Most Valuable Player, was named to the All-MIAA cross country team, and broke the cross country course record.
Stokes may be best known for setting the route for “Stokes Loop.” Stokes often ran out Hannah Street to Haven Road, continuing around the perimeter of the Whitehouse Nature Center on Newburg Road to finish back at the corner of Erie and Hannah. This route, still dubbed “Stokes Loop” is a run made by hundreds of Albion students each year.
Stokes currently serves as a software development manager for Lockheed Martin M and DS in Philadelphia, Pa. He lives in Westchester, Pa., with his wife Linda and their two sons: Michael and Ryan.
As the athletic trainer and equipment manager for all Albion College sports teams for 26 years, Walter M. Swyers provided an invaluable service to the players and coaches of the teams with whom he worked. His impact on Albion College athletics is reflected in the testimonies of Swyer's service from many Briton coaches and student athletes.
During his years as athletic trainer and equipment manager, Swyers not only supervised the students who worked in the athletic department, but also looked out for them both on and off the field. He was known for taking students into his home, and making sure they felt they had a home away from home in Albion.
The coaches with whom Swyers worked also depended on him on and off the field. According to Frank Joranko, professor of physical education, emeritus, “Walt was very loyal to all the coaches—whether we were winning or losing. He was the kind of man who would do anything for you.”
In recognition for his service, Swyers received an award from the National Athletic Trainers Association.
Swyers lives in Albion with his wife Caroline. The Swyers have five children: Harry, Linda, Beverly, Sheila and Janet.
The 1947 Briton cross county team began a tradition of excellence, and it was not just about winning contests. Members of the cross country team developed a philosophy under coach Dale Sprankle: they ran as a team and won as a team.
Cross country came into its own at Albion College during the 1947 season as the Briton squad won the first of four consecutive MIAA championships. The 1947 squad won eight out of nine regular season meets and, for the first time in the history of the College, walked off with top honors at the conference meet.
The Britons won the league crown for 1948 by winning the MIAA meet, led by Ted Hagadone's first-place finish, along with nine conference contests. They lost only to Central Michigan College, but avenged that loss at the National Collegiate meet, finishing in fifteenth place.
The Briton harriers claimed their third consecutive conference championship in 1949, as captain Ted Hagadone successfully defended his individual runner's title. The Britons concluded the season at the Central Collegiate Cross Country meet, where Hagadone placed 21st in a field of over 100 and the Briton team placed ninth against such powers as Notre Dame, Purdue and Michigan State.
The team compiled six victories during the 1950 season, losing only to non-conference foe Bowling Green State University, and captured their fourth straight MIAA title while ending the conference schedule undefeated for the fourth consecutive season.
The Albion College student newspaper, The Pleiad, said of the teams: “Albion is rapidly securing the reputation throughout the Middle West as being a small college powerhouse in cross country. . . . After his Hornets were blanked last week Kalamazoo's athletic publicity man and cross country runner Fred Winkler commented to a bystander, `Running against Albion in cross country is like playing Notre Dame in football.'”
Members of the 1947-50 squads were: James Barrett, Robert Blyhoulder, John Brundage, Carl Cappel, John Carter, Louis Culman, Gordon Davis, Jim Dettman, Tom DeVries, Jim Dobie, William Fetner, Chuck Fry, Keith Griffin, Ken Grodavent, Jim Hadden, Ted Hagadone, Linus Heydon, Richard Hiderly, Walter Hinrichs, Richard Higgs, Jim Holmes, Lee Holmes, McKenzie Howser, Clark Jacot, Norm Keehn, Richard MacDonald, Ed McCurry, Sam Neiberg, Al Nichols, Francis Passarelli, Howard Richardson, Jack Sharp, Joe Serra, William Shenefelt, Alan Stevenson, John Stewart, Jerry Trombley, Roger Tuck, Don Vandivort, Bill Wahlberg, Keith Wilson and managers Philip Paul, Howard Richardson and Ken Grodavent.
Albion earned its first WMIAA tennis championship in 1954, and until 1993, that squad was the only women's tennis team in Albion College history to win a league championship.
Tennis is the oldest women's sport in the MIAA. Unlike today, there was no flight play in women's tennis. In 1954, the WMIAA seeded players and employed a single elimination tournament, and women were not allowed to participate in both singles and doubles competitions. The league championship was decided solely based on the annual tournament. The 1954 Briton squad captured both the singles and doubles championships. It was led by captain Susan H. Little, the WMIAA singles champion, who also had served as team captain the season before.
Tragically, Little was killed in August 1954. The following year, the WMIAA initiated the Sue Little Sportsmanship Award, an annual award for outstanding sportsmanship, in memory of Little, who exemplified courtesy and a sense of fair play both on and off the court. In 1958, the Albion College Women's Athletic Association dedicated the tennis court in Wesley Acres in honor of Little.
Coached by Betty Beese, the team included: JoAnn Epley Asplin Branden, Janice Redhead Carmien, Ann Dustman Ferrell, Barbara Priest Jeske, Susan H. Little, Lois Werner Kluver, Elizabeth Buckle Sydow and June Lang Dunlop.