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Pines hall of fame to induct four Sept. 28 PDF Print E-mail

By Gary Ridderbusch

In a little more than two weeks, three standout athletes and a longtime supporter of Northland Pines  athletic programs will be inducted into the Eagle River/Northland Pines High School ­Athletic Hall of Fame.

The induction program is set for 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28, at the Northland Pines High School auditorium.

The three athletes to be inducted are 1987 graduate Chris Hartwig, 1984 graduate Kelly (O’Brien) Lacko and 1966 graduate Tom Martens. Allan Geiger, a longtime supporter of the Pines hockey program, will be inducted in the citation category.

Hartwig earned three letters in football and hockey, along with four letters in track. In track, he placed third at State in the shot put. In hockey, he had a 1.68 goals against average and helped his team win the 1986 State hockey championship. In football, he helped the Eagles win the Lumberjack Conference championship and reached the State championship. Hartwig went on to play college football at North Dakota State University in Fargo, N.D., where he helped his team win two NCAA Division II National championships.

Lacko was a three-sport athlete for the Eagles, earning eight varsity letters. In golf, she earned varsity letters playing on the boys golf team her junior and senior years. Her senior year, she was a medalist at the girls Sectional, but missed qualifying for the State tournament by one stroke. In basketball, she was a three-year starter and was named first-team all-conference her junior and senior years. In track, Lacko won Lumberjack Conference titles in the long jump and as a member of the 4x400 relay team and qualified for Sectionals all three years.

Martens was a three-time letterwinner in basketball and a three-time letterwinner in baseball. His basketball team went 18-1 during the 1965-’66 season when he averaged 28.8 points a game. The Eagles were ranked third in the state for small schools that season under coach Ernie Johnson. He was named to the Northern Lakes Conference all-conference team in both 1964-’65 and 1965-’66 and was named to the Channel 7 All-Star Team his senior year.

Geiger moved to Eagle River in 1990 and grew close to the Northland Pines hockey program after purchasing All Seasons Sporting Goods. Geiger, Tom Obrod­ovich and David Cox started the Northland Pines High School Alumni Hockey Tournament that, with donations, resulted in the construction of new high school team locker rooms at the Eagle River Sports Arena. He also helped start and coach the junior varsity hockey team for 11 years.

The hall of fame committee invites friends, classmates and family members of all inductees to the hall of fame induction ceremony prior to the Northland Pines football game against Bessemer, Mich. The inductees also will be introduced at halftime of the game and there will be an informal gathering following the game at the Eagle River Golf Course clubhouse.

The hall of fame, developed by a nine-member committee in 2003, recognizes selected persons and teams who have contributed or excelled in high school, college and professional sports, including players, coaches, teachers and citizens of the school district.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012 2:43 PM

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