The hall of fame is the brainchild of Dave Trimble, a 1970 SLHS grad now living in Sarasota, Florida.
A few years ago, one of his friends was inducted into his high school’s athletic hall of fame. That lit a fire under Trimble, who began the process of starting a similar hall of fame for his alma mater.
“I wrote a letter to (Lakers’ athletic director) Cavin Mohrhardt in May of 2016 and said, ‘I’m going to be home in October, and hopefully we can talk about it,’” Trimble said. “George DeVries, our first athletic director at Spring Lake, lives down here in Venice, and I ran it by him, and he thought it was a great idea. When I went up to Michigan, I ran it by Mr. (Tom) Hickman, and he liked it. I ran it by Cavin and he thought it was great.”
From there, Trimble formed a board of directors, which was incorporated last year. He built a website and began a Facebook page for it, and the board of directors came up with some guidelines.
“Our bylaws allow (up to) 10 inductees the first and second year, and five thereafter,” Trimble said. “Inductees can be individuals, coaches, teams and community members who have contributed to athletics in Spring Lake. It’s a pretty wide-open hall. When you take certain people who have announced for 20-some years or held the sticks at a football game for a few decades, they’re all volunteers who deserve to be recognized.”
The nomination period for this year’s hall of fame class began April 1 and continues through May 31. Nominations can be made online at www.springlakehighschoolathletichalloffame.com.
“On the website, you can read a little bit about Spring Lake’s sports history, and you can also nominate people for the 2018 hall of fame,” Trimble said.
Once the nomination period ends, the board of directors will consider the nominations and select a class.
The directors include Trimble, DeVries, Hickman, Mohrhardt, Charlie Bassett, Larry Aldridge and Jim Schaap.
The initial class will be announced later this year, with an induction ceremony planned for Sept. 6 at Spring Lake Country Club. The Lakers host a football game the following night, at which the hall of fame inductees will be honored.
A kiosk near the athletic office and the gym at Spring Lake High School will offer information about those who have been inducted into the hall of fame.
Trimble said the nominations are already pouring in.
“We’ve had several people who have been nominated several times, so that’s pretty good,” he said. “It shows you the depth of that player’s accomplishments.”