April (Allison) Russell

April (Allison) Russell, Northridge High School graduate, is shown with her induction plaque when she went into the Bethel University Athletic Hall of Fame in 2010. Russell is one of nine former area high school athletes in the Bethel HOF.

MISHAWAKA — When Mandy (Yoder) Stump entered the Bethel University Athletic Hall of Fame she became the third former NorthWood High School athlete to be so honored and the sixth athlete with ties to local area prep programs.

Stump joined AJ Whitehead and Ryne Lightfoot as former Panthers so honored.

Other local products are Brian Bechtel of Fairfield, April (Allison) Russell and Dean Weirich of Northridge, Brittney (Hire) Lightfoot of Concord, Staci Weisser of Wawasee and Dave Troyer of Westview.

The 2020 class also included men’s track and field standout Calen Boyd, women’s track and field competitor Irene Kangai, men’s and women’s head golf coach and men’s and women’s assistant basketball coach Christopher Hess and men’s and women’s head track and field coach and men’s assistant basketball coach Tony Natali.

According to the Bethel web site, the Dr. Albert J. Beutler Bethel Athletics Hall of Fame (established in 1994) is dedicated in memory of Dr. Albert J. Beutler, a former Bethel University president and the first head coach in the history of Bethel Athletics (men’s basketball, 1958-59).

Membership is awarded for athletic performance, coaching or administrative accomplishments, and reflection of the goals and standards of Bethel University in his or her personal and professional life. Emphasis upon Christian values, moral character, and personal integrity is primary in the selection process.

AJ WHITEHEAD

She graduated from Bethel in 2001 and was a member of the 2010 HOF class. She was an NCCAA All-American in 1999, 2000 and 2001, the NCCAA National Tournament MVP as the Pilots won the 2000 national title and was All-Mid-Central Conference in 1999, 2000 and 2001. Whitehead remains fifth in career scoring (1,676 points), third in field goal percentage (50.1) and sixth in rebounds (804).

RYNE LIGHTFOOT

He graduated from Bethel in 2010 and was a member of the 2018 HOF Class. One of two players in Pilot history with at least 2,000 points, 500 rebounds and 700 assists. He was a two-time NAIA All-American, a two-time NAIA Scholar-Athlete, the winner of the NCCAA Pete Maravich Award in 2010 and a three-time NCCAA All-American. As a freshman, he led the Pilots to the NCCAA National Championship. Lightfoot ranks 10th in career scoring (2,075 points), third in free throws made (564), seventh in 3-pointers made (251) fifth in 3-point percentage (41.4) and fifth in assists (702).

BRIAN BECHTEL

He graduated in 1994 and was a member of the 2002 HOF Class. Played on 1992 and 1993 NCCAA National Championship teams and member of the 1994 NAIA National Championship team, first in school history. Bethel was the winner of the Pete Maravich Award (NCCAA National Player of the Year) in 1994 and was an NCCAA All-American in 1993 and 1994. He is 29th in career scoring (1,478), fourth in 3-pointers made (299), fifth in 3-point percentage (42.2) and third in assists (714).

APRIL RUSSELL

She graduated in 2001 and was a member of the 2010 HOF Class. A four-year letterwinner in both volleyball and softball, she was an NCCAA All-American in softball in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002 and NAIA All-American in 1999, an NAIA and NCCAA Academic All-American in softball in 2000 and 2001 and in volleyball in 1999 and 2000 and the Mid-Central Conference Player of the Year in softball in 1999. Russell was a member of the NCCAA National Championship volleyball team in 1998. She is 10th in softball in career batting average (.380), fifth in single-season batting average (.458 in 1999), tied for 10th in runs batted in (112) with Natalie Newell and third in career triples (18) in softball.

DEAN WEIRICH

He graduated in 1976 and was a member of the 1995 HOF Class. Weirich was an NCCAA All-American in 1978 and the winner of the Ben Paulsen Award for the top male athlete of the year at Bethel in 1975-76. He was a two-time team MVP. Weirich established a then-school record with 665 points in the 1975-76 season. He remains 58th in career scoring (1,023 points) and third in career scoring averages (22.896 points per game).

BRITTNEY LIGHTFOOT

She graduated in 2009 and was a member of the 2017 HOF Class. The three-year letterwinner and two-time NAIA First Team All-American led the Pilots to a 149-23 record in her career, including a single-season record 52 wins in 2009 and three NAIA National Tournament appearances. She was a three-time NCCAA All-American, was named the 2007 NCCAA National Player of the Year while winning the National Championships and collecting MVP and All-Tournament honors. Her 1.39 career ERA is seventh in program history, 25 wins in 2008 are second, 24 in 2007 tied for third, 71 wins in her career is first, 244 strikeouts in 2007 is tied for third and 644 in her career tied for second, 503 1/3 career innings pitched is fourth, 13 shutouts in 2007 are first and 25 in her career is tied for first with Natalie Newell.

DAVE TROYER

He graduated in 1993 and was a member of the 2002 HOF Class. Troyer was named to the Mid-Central Conference All-Conference First Team three times and was the Player of the Year in 1992. He was a member of the 1992 NCCAA National Championship team, NCCAA National Tournament MVP and NCCAA All-American in 1992. His 2,084 career points are eighth-best in program history, his career field goal percentage of 59.4 percent is seventh and his 1,098 career rebounds are seventh.

STACI WEISSER

She graduated in 2002 and was a member of the 2018 HOF Class. A four-year letterwinner in women’s cross country and track and field, she won three NCCAA individual national championships, including 2001 indoor high jump, 2003 indoor triple jump and 2003 outdoor triple jump. She was the 2004 NCCAA Dan Wheeler for cross country. She was a seven-time NCCAA All-American and an NCCAA Scholar-Athlete in 2003 and 2004. She earned NAIA All-American honors in the high jump in 2003 and 2004.

Greg Keim can be reached at greg.keim@goshennews.com or 574-533-2151, ext. 326. Follow Greg on Twitter @gkeim_TGN

Greg Keim can be reached at greg.keim@goshennews.com or 574-533-2151, ext. 326. Follow Greg on Twitter @gkeim_TGN

React to this story:

0
0
0
0
0

Recommended for you