Class of 1997

Curtis Adams

    One of the finest running backs ever to come out of the Muskegon area, Orchard View High School’s Curtis Adams set school records at prep and college levels before embarking on a five-year career in the National Football League.  A 1981 graduate of Orchard View, Curtis starred in three sports for the Cardinals - football, basketball and track.  In football, he rushed for 3,275 yards from 1978-80 to establish a school record.  In basketball, he averaged 17.2 points per game with a career total of 1,098 - another school record.  In track, he also set school records in the 100-meter and 200- meter dashes, the 110-meter high hurdles, the high jump and the long jump.
    He continued to set records in college as one of Central Michigan University's finest tailbacks in school history. His 44 career touchdowns at CMU were a school and conference record.  His 4,126 career rushing yards were also a school record, and at the time ranked third all-time in the history of the Mid-American Conference.  While at CMU, he was first team All-MAC three straight years and second team All-American in 1984.  In his sophomore year (1982) he gained 238 yards against Ohio University and at season’s end was named MAC Offensive Player of the Year.
    He was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the eighth round of the 1985 NFL draft.  Curtis remained with the Chargers for five seasons in a valuable utility role, accumulating 1,178 total yards as a running back and special teams performer.  In 1989, he played briefly with the Oakland Raiders and New York Jets until a calf injury forced him into early retirement. 

Tom McShannock

    The name Tom McShannock is indelibly linked to the great tradition of sports at his alma mater, Muskegon High School.  His long career, beginning with his remarkable prep years as a three-sport athlete for the Big Reds, followed by some solid athletic accomplishments at Michigan State University and a 32-year tenure as coach and athletic director at Muskegon High School, makes him one of the area’s sports icons.  McShannock won seven varsity letters in football, basketball and track at Muskegon in the mid-30s, including all-state honors in football, conference and regional championships in track, and all-conference selection in basketball.  He enrolled at MSU on a football scholarship and earned two varsity letters as the Spartans’ starting center in 1937-38.   The highlights of his grid career at MSU included a crucial blocked punt recovery in the end zone versus Temple and a starring role against Auburn in the 1938 Orange Bowl.
    After college, McShannock served in the Army Air Corps during the WWII, then returned to Muskegon High in 1947 as an assistant to Harry Potter’s football program and head coach for basketball and track.  His crowning achievement as a coach was his success in track & field and cross-country.  His track teams were always competitive and his cross-country teams claimed a remarkable 28 consecutive victories and a regional championship.  He also taught swimming and was a community leader in water safety and lifeguard programs for the City of Muskegon.  In 1966 he became Athletic Director at Muskegon High and served in that capacity with distinction and integrity until his retirement in 1979.  Tom was inducted into the Michigan High School Coaches Hall of Fame in 1971 and was honored as State Athletic Director of the Year in 1980. In 1992, he received the Michigan High School Athletic Association's highest honor, the Charles E. Forsythe award, for his years of service to high school sports.

Fred Stevens

    One of the finest three-sport athletes ever to hail from Hart, Fred Stevens went on to become a sports legend at Western Michigan Normal (now Western MIchigan University) in Kalamazoo.  From 1936 to 1940, Stevens was without argument Hart High School’s finest all-around athlete.  In football he first starred at end, then finished his career as a triple-threat quarterback.  He captained and led the Hart basketball team in scoring in four years with the varsity cagers.  He also starred as a hard-hitting first baseman on the baseball team.
    Stevens enrolled at Western Michigan in the fall of 1940 and immediately resumed his three-sport brilliance for Bronco teams.  He was a halfback on the 1941 undefeated football squad, a forward on the basketball team and a first baseman on the baseball team.  The war years temporarily interrupted his collegiate sports career; he served in the US Navy until his discharge at war’s end.  Stevens returned to Western and finished up his college eligibility in the spring of 1946 with a flourish in his favorite sport - baseball.  Stevens had another fine season and became the school’s first genuine All-American in any major sport.  He was team captain and first baseman and was selected to play in the East-West College All-Star game at Boston’s Fenway Park.
    Stevens bypassed offers to play professional baseball and returned to WMU and joined the Bronco coaching staff as an assistant in the major sports and as head coach of freshman teams.  His thorough knowledge of all sports and his ability to teach fundamentals made him a major contributor to the athletic programs for the next 19 seasons.  He concluded up his “official” coaching duties as assistant baseball coach in 1986, but he continued to dispense his sports expertise in a voluntary role after retirement.
    Stevens was inducted into the WMU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1980 and was named “Man of the Year” by the WMU Alumni “W” Club in 1984. 

Muskegon Heights Tigers Basketball Teams
High School State Champions
1955-56 and 1956-57

    Beginning with a Class A state championship in 1954, the Muskegon Heights Tigers emerged two years later as one of the most dominant basketball teams in the history of the state tournament.  The 1955-56 and 1956-57 squads captured consecutive Class A basketball championships, their second and third in four years, to establish a prep dynasty that is arguably among the finest ever seen in Michigan.  Legendary coach Oscar “Okie” Johnson’s teams were led by towering High School All-American center Ed Burton plus a supporting cast of talented teammates, many with All-State credentials. 
    Over the two-year period, the Tigers won 40 of 41 games, losing only to Benton Harbor in the first year 52-50.  The average margin of victory over the two seasons was well over 20 points and the team was seldom seriously challenged even in tough tournament competition.  The Tigers subdued Hamtramck 63-53 in the ‘56 title game and crushed Detroit Austin 61-49 in the '57 finale to punctuate their incredible two-year dominance of Michigan High School basketball.  The remarkable winning chemistry of the ‘56 and '57 championship teams was something that blesses a high school program once in a lifetime and for many schools will never be - a true “dream team” for the ages.
    Team members were  Terry Banta, Dan Barberini, Roland Bingham, Harry Bomers, Ed Burton, Floyd Cook, Jr., Cliff Cummings, Larry Eikenberry, David Fox, Lucius Green, Richard Hanson, Earlie Harris, Fred Hilliard, Kennedy Howell, J.B. Huey, Nate Hunter, Steve Jackson, Ossie McCarty, Willie McCarty, Michael Murphy, Lieutenant Myles, Tom O’Neil, Art Oliver, Pete Peliotes, Ted Perry, Ron Peterson, Ron Piasecki, Ron Robinson, Don Sanborn, Bob Slezak, Leon Smith, Jim Stapel, Lloyd Swelnis, Paul VanOveren, Dan Wright and Ron Zimmer.