Public recommendations for ’13 [Hall of Fame]
With voting for the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2013 right around the corner, here is a batch of reader recommendations:
Recommendation: Bobby D. Smith
Submitted by: Micah Robertson
Why: Although rodeo is not as big as it was prior to 2000, Bobby was a great. He was a 7 time state champion bull rider, and also rode bucking horses and roped a little. Besides being a great competitor in the arena, he has helped a lot of young aspiring cowboys to learn the sport of bull riding. Not only has Bobby been able to accomplish all of this, he has done it with a lack of vision and hearing.
Recommendation: Iron Dog
Submitted by: Megan Rolinger
Why: Iron Dog is the longest and most rigorous snowmachine races! The racers go against all that Mother Nature throws at them! If a basketball player can be placed in the hall of fame for making so many baskets or having so many rebounds, then it’s an absolute disgrace that an iron dogger has not been placed into the hall of fame. They aren’t just racers … for example two time champion Chris Olds also travels around the state talking to young adults about suicide prevention, these efforts should be recognized. They train hard and have to work as a team, even stopping along the trail to help another team out of a bad situation they deserve recognition!
Recommendation: Dennis Sorenson
Submitted by: Vicky Dunlap
Why: Not only did he have a record breaking year with Dimond hockey taking the triple crown of high school hockey by winning their division, winning the Cook Inlet Conference and winning state, they did it undefeated under his guidance. Dennis has devoted many years to youth hockey as a parent, coach and referee. In addition to that, Dennis was an outstanding player during his tenure at UAA (1981-84) and was the leading 100-point scorer (70-127-197) until Dean Larson broke his record in 1992. Dennis is a fine example of everything a sports mentor should be and I believe that he deserves the recognition for his accomplishments.
Recommendation: Leroy McFall
Submitted by: Marianne Strahle
Why: Roy died this summer at the age of 87. He was a very successful dog trainer & handler and during his life Roy amassed over 1,400 all age points handling retrievers, which I believe is an unprecedented number for anyone dead or alive. In a sport that is usually dominated by folks who live in the Lower 48, Roy accomplished what he did while living in Alaska and travelling extensively in order to participate in the number of trials he did. Roy’s dogs include several field champions, all of which he trained and handled himself, including 1982 National Amateur Field Champion and Canadian Amateur Field Champion Piper’s Pacer. His dog Hiwood Piper is an inductee in the Retriever Hall of Fame with a total of 347.5 points.
Recommendation: Vassar Bradford
Submitted by: David Hjellen
Why: Vassar is a karate champion at the national and international level. Currently he is the reigning North American (USA, Canada & Mexico) karate champion.