Alumni honored for athletics Sunday at Lowell High

2012-05-30T00:00:00Z 2012-05-30T10:40:09Z Alumni honored for athletics Sunday at Lowell HighBy Marlene A. Zloza marlene.zloza@nwi.com, (219) 662-5340 nwitimes.com

LOWELL | Lowell High School's Athletic Hall of Fame 2012 induction ceremony will take place at 6 p.m. Sunday in the school auditorium, 2051 E. Commercial Ave.  

The Hall of Fame committee meets annually to select  new honorees. This year’s selections include two nostalgic honorees, Grant Chase and Loren Gidley;  five contemporary honorees, Don Alkire, Kara Duncan-Weatherman, Lori Korte-Durr, Paul Sharkey and Brian Vance; and one team honoree, the 1993 Red Devil varsity baseball team.

"We really think this is a special honor, and we have some very deserving athletes to honor this year,"  Athletic Director Patti McCormack said.

Grant Chase graduated from LHS in 1932 with an impressive record of 12 varsity letters. He was a fullback and punter on the football team, played center for the basketball team, and participated in track. Chase was named to the Little 7 First Conference Team in both football and basketball. A conference champion in the high jump, he was a charter officer of the L Club.

Loren Gidley graduated from LHS in 1959 after playing football and basketball for four years, track for three years and baseball one year. Gidley earned Second Team All Conference and Honorable Mention recognition for football and was awarded All Conference honors for basketball and track.  As a senior, Gidley set school records in the 100-yard dash and 220-yard dash, and both school and conference records in the broad (long) jump at 22'4.5," which stands as the school record after 52 years. Gidley's award will be received posthumously by his children.

The 1993 baseball team was led by coach Kent Hess, and assistant coaches Randy Bays and Michael Magley. Players were Anthony Wunsh, Jose Rizzo, Aaron Hoyt, Steven Frederick, David Hudak, Neil Blankenship, Justin Gorball, Brian Swisher, Mike Bielefeld, Mike Buchler, Jeff Funston, Jim Suggs, Jason Loggins, Steve Haluska, Eric McClean, Jeff Dillingham and Shane Lawrence.

The team ended the regular season at 18-9 and won the Kankakee Valley Sectional championship and regional title - the first regional baseball title in school history.

Don Alkire graduated from LHS in 1970 and received both All-Calumet Conference and Times All-Star recognition for football. He was co-captain of the basketball team and received All-Conference Honorable Mention in baseball. He was also a member of the 1967 Sectional Championship baseball team.

A 1988 LHS graduate, Kara Duncan-Weatherman participated in swimming, track & field and as a team manager. She swam varsity four years, breaking school records in the 200 medley relay, 200 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 500 freestyle and the 400 freestyle relay. She received First and Second Team All-Conference recognition in 1987. She was a sectional runner-up in 1985, 1986 and 1987 in multiple events and, in 1985 and 1987, qualified for state in the 200 medley relay, She qualified for state in the 200 yard freestyle in 1987, as well.

Lori Korte-Durr graduated from LHS in 1993, participated in volleyball, basketball and softball and received All-Conference recognition seven times, All-Sectional recognition three times and All-Area recognition three times. She received several Best Offensive Player, Best Defensive Player and MVP honors. She was also a member of the International Sports Exchange Indiana Basketball Team that competed in Sydney, Australia in 1993. Korte-Durr received three captain stars and four, three-year sport participation awards. She served as secretary and president of the L-Club and was also a scholar-athlete.

A 1978 LHS graduate, Paul Sharkey participated in football and wrestling all four years. In football, he received All-Conference, All-Stars, All-Area, All-State, MVP and captain honors. Sharkey wrestled heavyweight in the 1977-78 season and finished 23-2 . He was the conference and sectional champion, as well as champion of the Logansport, Portage and Goshen invitationals and a semi-state qualifier.

Brian Vance graduated from LHS in 1991 and participated in football, wrestling and track & field. In football, he received recognition as Academic All-State, Honorable Mention All-State, All-Conference, and Most Valuable Defensive Lineman. In wrestling, he received Academic All-State honors. He was the Most Valuable Thrower in track & field, served as captain in all three sports and was the recipient of the Outstanding Senior Male Athlete award in 1991.

"It is truly a great honor for each of these individuals to be recognized for their athletic accomplishments," McCormack said.

The public is welcome to attend the induction ceremony, held in conjunction with the Senior Athletic Awards, at 6 p.m. Sunday, following a private reception for the inductees and their families. There is no cost, and no tickets are required.

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