The Mason County Sports Hall of Fame announced its 16th induction class Friday, and it includes standouts in fastpitch softball, soccer, tennis, basketball, motocross and volleyball.
The hall of fame’s Class of 2020 will induct Robert Ayers, Adam Johnson, Dave Killips, Kelly Smith, Dr. Annie (Tewel) Sadosty and the 2006-07 Mason County Central volleyball team.
The induction will be June 27, 2020, with an enshrinement ceremony at Historic White Pine Village and a banquet in the evening.
“The Mason County Sports Hall of Fame is proud to recognize, honor and enshrine these outstanding athletes for the Class of 2020,” stated Hall President Vic Burwell. “We honor the first individual member of our rich soccer heritage, a softball player that tossed a perfect game in a state tournament, a world champion, arguably the best male amateur tennis player of our area, a multi all-state female basketball and track athlete and the best volleyball team of our area.”
Ayers was a standout in the circle in fastpitch softball, helping to hurl the famed Urka 8s to the Class B state championship in both 1958 and 1965 while also finishing as the state runner-up three other times. Outside the diamond, Ayers was a key person in organizing fastpitch, serving as the president of the 55-team Mason County Softball Association from 1953 to 1966.
In high school, Ayers made his mark in track for Ludington High School. He was the state runner-up in the high hurdles in 1944, and he finished fifth in the low hurdles at the same meet.
Johnson was a standout soccer player at Ludington High School, playing on a state runner-up team in 1994. He was a first-team All-State selection in both his junior and senior seasons with the Orioles to go with conference, region and area honors.
He went on to play at Western Michigan University for the Broncos — the first Mason County soccer player to play at a Division I school. He also played for Thames Valley University in London in 1998 and started on the North London Cup championship team. Johnson played semi-pro soccer with the Grand Rapids Explosion and West Michigan Edge, and competed in the U.S. Open Cup Lamar Hunt Trophy tournament.
Johnson was also a three-year letterwinner in basketball.
Killips won 100-plus matches at Ludington High School in tennis as he qualified for the state tournament in doubles play in 1971 and in singles play in 1972 and 1973. In three seasons, he lost just one singles match in conference play. He was 29-2 at No. 1 singles in his senior year, finishing at the Class B semifinals.
After high school, Killips went on to play at Central Michigan where set the freshman record for victories and was his flight’s champion in the Mid-American Conference. He qualified for the NCAA championship, too. He played at No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles as a junior and senior for the Chippewas, and he was their team captain.
He also played football, earning all-conference and all-state honorable mention honors.
Dr. Sadosty was a four-year varsity letterwinner, earning all-Seaway Conference honors in her final three years and finishing with 1,054 career points at Ludington High School. She was an all-area basketball player her junior and senior year, and she was first-team All-State. She went on to play two seasons at Dartmouth University.
She was a two-sport star in high school, also being a conference champion in distance running events when the events were in yards and then later in meters. She was a league champion in 1984 and 1985 as well as a regional champion. She was All-State in the 1987 state meet in the 3,200 and a part of an All-State two-mile relay in 1984.
Smith, of Ludington, was a standout in the world of motocross professionally. He is a three-time East Coast four-stroke national champion, a two-time U.S. Open of Supercross Champion, the first ever Motocross Outdoor National winner on a KTM motorcycle and an 11-time national Arenacross winner.
Recently, Smith switched to watercross, and he is a two-time world championship. He began racing jet skis and boats, and he quickly was successful with national title in the Pro Sport GP class.
The 2006-07 Mason County Central volleyball team went 52-9-3 on its way to becoming the MHSAA Class B state runner-up. The previous two seasons, the Spartans won a district championship, but picked up the regional title in the winter of the 2006-07 school year. It was the final season for volleyball to be played in the winter before the volleyball and girls basketball seasons — including several others — switched in 2007-08.
The team was coached by Scott Stone and was comprised of Stephanie Morong, Abby Shereda, Ashley Melchert, Jamie Melchert, Liz Deller, Amanda Brown, Marla Nelson, Lauren Geers, Krystal Dunblazer, Carli Geers, Tiffany Christmas and Kailey Jensen. Stone was assisted by Shelley Christmas, Amy Stone and Cheryl Swinehart.