Six athletes to enter GV Athletic Hall of Fame

Courtesy Photo / SID Office
Fehsenfeld will be inducted into the GVSU Hall of Fame

Courtesy Photo / SID Office Fehsenfeld will be inducted into the GVSU Hall of Fame

Brady Fredericksen

Headed by Harlon Hill-winning quarterback Curt Anes (1999-2002), the class features former athletic standouts such as 1,000-point scorer Ed Crisman (basketball, 1966-69), All-GLIAC outside hitter Chara Fehsenfeld (volleyball, 1999-2002), two-time All-American pitcher Jennifer Mackson (softball, 2001-04), former Director of Aquatics and coach Dewey Newsome (swimming, 1984-2007) and two-time GLIAC Women’s Golfer of the Year Melissa Sneller (golf, 2001-05) who drive one of the most highly-touted Hall of Fame classes in terms of success in the new millennium.

The group will be inducted Friday in a banquet at the Kirkoff Center and honored during halftime of Saturday’s football game against Northern Michigan University.

“It’s a humbling experience to be able to join all of the great athletes that came before me,” said Anes, a four-year starter for the Lakers. “

The members of the Hall of Fame class of 2010 have all had their own individual impacts on the school, but Anes’ influence on both GVSU and the football program has helped both reach the level they are at today. Anes’ career is specifically special because, along with Mackson, he may be the most decorated athlete in school history.

“The school has always been phenomenal academically,” Anes said. “But when Grand Valley was put on the map thanks to the athletics, I think it really brought it to a new level and started to make it a household name.”

It’s not just football that has helped in that growth. Athletes such as three-time GLIAC Player of the Year Mackson or 2004 individual National Champion Sneller have felt the impact GVSU has made on them even after their careers are over.

“Going through the whole college experience at GVSU taught me more about who I was as a person,” said Mackson, who guided the Lakers to the 2002 National Championship game in softball. “Playing a sport brings out some of your better qualities, and with your teammates you really find out what to do and how to be as a person. The coaches didn’t just talk to us about softball, they talked about things to look forward to in life.”

Anes, a graduate of Grand Rapids’ East Kentwood High School, almost decided not to come to GVSU.

Before the national championships and exposure, the program’s draw was not as strong as it is today. However, after meeting with former coach Brian Kelly and experiencing the campus for a weekend during his senior year, Anes decided to come to Allendale.

“After the weekend, I ended up committing and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made,” said Anes, who played with the Detroit Lions during two preseasons from 2003-04.

After redshirting during his freshman year in 1998, Anes entered the following season in a backup role. By the end of the season he was the starting quarterback and had compiled 2,248 total yards in 10 appearances, including seven as the starting quarterback.

After starting in 11 games during his sophomore year, Anes built chemistry with wide receiver and fellow sophomore David Kircus. Kircus ended up being Anes’ favorite target.

“I consider myself lucky to have played my entire college career with Curt at GVSU,” said Kircus, who also spent time in the NFL with the Lions and Denver Broncos following his career as a Laker.

The Anes-Kircus combo was one of the GLIAC’s best during the 2001 season as the team rumbled to a perfect 9-0 record in the conference and a berth in the 2001 National Championship game. Unfortunately, a knee injury during the team’s first playoff game put Anes on the sidelines as the Lakers fell to the University North Dakota in the National Championship, 17-14.

“When we were at the National Championship game, (then) president Mark Murray came in to talk to us. I don’t think the players had any idea of how big this game really was for both the program and the school,” Anes said.

Though they lost that game, the following year the team rolled to another appearance in the National Championships. This time, the team defeated Valdosta State University in a game where Anes, the year’s Harlon Hill award winner as the Division II college football player of the year, led a game winning touchdown drive in the final three minutes to win the school’s first national championship.

Anes’ on-field achievements will forever be linked to GVSU football, but his positive experiences were not limited to the championship.

“My experience was top notch, and that wasn’t just on field.” he said. “It was the people I met and the relationships I built while there that I truly cherish. When things are good and when things are bad, you’ve got people that will support you.”

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