The twenty second banquet and induction of the West Ottawa Athletic Hall of fame was held at the Haworth Inn & Conference Center on the Hope College Campus on Thursday, October 3, 2019. A capacity crowd included past inductees, patrons of the Hall of Fame, members of the Board of Education, teammates, coaches, friends, and family of the inductees. The evening was exciting and filled with many memories and great stories about and from the inductees.
The Hall of Fame began in 1997 and the membership now stands at 108 members of the Hall of Fame; 75* athletes, 17 coaches, and 17* at large inductees. (One inductee was inducted as an athlete and as an at large selection).
The new inductees, The Class of 2019 includes Katrina Balangue – Class of 2005, Audrey (Coates) Akland – Class of 1993, A. J. Visser – Class of 1965, and Keith G. Schaap – Coach.
Introductions were made highlighting the accomplishments of the inductees and acceptance speeches were given expressing thanks for those who made it possible for them to do what they loved and love to do … be part of West Ottawa Athletics. Two of the many highlights of the evening were given by A. J. Visser and Keith G. Schaap when they related stories from the mid sixties and the 44 plus years of coaching.
More comprehensive information about the 2019 Inductees may be found at: westottawa.net/athletics/PANTHER HQ/HALL OF FAME.
Anyone interested in nominating an athlete, coach, or an at large nominee may go to the above web site and obtain information regarding criteria and the nominating procedure. GO WO !!
22 YEARS OF EXCELLENCE
The West Ottawa Athletic Hall of Fame Includes:
108 Members **
17 At Large Members **
Contributing Over 500 Years of Service to West Ottawa
Over 410 Accumulated Years of Coaching,
Over 562 Accumulated Seasons of Coaching
59 Conference Championships, 27 District Championships,
16 Regional Championships
State Runner-Up 5 Times, 6 State Championships, and Over 3,325 Wins
75 Athletes **
Competed in Over 471 Seasons of Competition
Earning Over 493 Varsity Letters
Winning 76 Individual Conference Championships
All-State Honors 116 Times
24 Individual State Champions, High School All-American Honors 13 Times
11 Earning College All-American Honors, 1 Super Bowl Champion (Twice)
1 Olympic Gold Medalist
** ONE INDUCTEE AS AN ATHLETE & AT LARGE