by MEGAN EDMUNDS, LSSU Sports Information Office
Lake Superior State University invites the public to celebrate five of Lake Superior State University’s most distinguished athletes during the LSSU Athletics Hall of Fame 2018 induction, part of Great Lake State Weekend, Nov. 2-4. The program is at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3 in the LSSU Arts Center, with reception following in the Cisler Center Superior Room.
This year’s inductees include two members of the 1992 NCAA National Championship-winning hockey team, Darrin Madeley and Mark Astley, as well as basketball player Benjamin Dewar, volleyball player Jean Kreidler, and multi-sport athlete Margaret “Mugs” Olson Pollard, who spent time on the softball, volleyball and basketball teams.
Benjamin Dewar grew up in Wixom, Mich. and attended Lake Superior State University from 1999-2003. He was a high scorer on the basketball team during each of his seasons in a Laker jersey.
“Hearing of my induction into the Hall of Fame at Lake State gave me goosebumps,” says Dewar. “I started my college career as a skinny, nervous kid still getting over my awkward high school years. By the end of my career I was a confident man ready to take on any challenge that came my way.”
In his final season, Dewar played in 26 of the team’s 27 games and led the team in points per game by nearly ten points, averaging 23.9 after scoring a total of 622. He also earned a mention in Sports Illustrated’s “Faces in the Crowd” column, honoring the best up-and-coming amateur athletes around the nation, after setting a tournament record in points with 90 scored in three games at the Disney Division II Tip-Off Classic.
Dewar also captured multiple milestones in the Laker record book – he ranks third in career scoring with 1,856 points, third in career three-point field goals with 242, and third in free throws with 436. His top honors include being named to the All-GLIAC Second Team in 2000-2001, his sophomore year. Dewar followed that up with All-Defensive Team honors in 2001-2002 along with first-team honors in 2001-2002 and 2002-2003.
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 2003, Dewar went on to play professional basketball internationally. Following a season-long stint in Denmark 2003-04, Dewar went on to play in France where he joined Orleans Loiret Basket. He won the French ProB Championship in 2006 and took home the Finals MVP honor. Orleans Loiret Basket was promoted to the ProA ranks the following season. Dewar continued to excel, even at the higher level of play, and earned a spot on the league’s all-star team as a result.
A move to Spain in 2011 continued his career with Lucentum Alicante. They made it to the Spanish Basketball Cup, an annual cup competition hosted by Liga ACB, Spain’s top professional league. He remained in Spain for three more seasons, splitting time with Rio Natura Monbus Obradoiro and ICL Manresa. For the 2016-2017 season, Dewar’s final season in professional basketball, he returned to France to play for Cholet Basket. He captained the team – an honor he received three other times during his career.
“This accomplishment may seem like it is about me as a basketball player, but for me it is more about my family, every coach, every teacher, and all my friends, who formed my character as a kid,” says Dewar. “And just as importantly, about my coaches and teammates at Lake State who created a comfortable environment for me to thrive away from home.”
Dewar now lives in De Pere, Wis., with his wife Kristina and children Mariana (6) and Sebastian (5). Dewar works in sales for Fabio Perini, CSR, providing guidance and support to paper converting companies. He collaborates with engineers and technicians to find creative solutions for customers’ needs.
Margaret Olson Pollard, fondly known as “Mugs” or “Mugzy” by her teammates, was a three-sport athlete from Cheboygan, Mich. She was recruited by LSSU’s first women’s basketball coach and 1996 Hall of Fame inductee Gunile Myers-Devault to play basketball and softball on a full-ride scholarship. She added volleyball to her undertaking after joining the team as a walk-on when she came to campus in 1977.
“I am so excited, proud and honored to be inducted as a member of the LSSU Athletic Hall of Fame for playing softball, basketball and volleyball,” says Olson Pollard. “I’m looking forward to sharing this wonderful experience with very special people including my husband, Tom Pollard (married 34 years!), family, coaches, friends and former athletes/ Laker sisters.”
This is Pollard’s second appearance in the LSSU Athletics Hall of Fame, as she was a member of the 1978 volleyball team that was honored in the 2007 induction class. That group’s accomplishments include sustaining the best record in school history (28-7-1 overall, 10-0 GLIAC), LSSU’s first league championship in volleyball and a winning streak spanning nineteen matches.
On the basketball side, Pollard was a part of the 1981 team that took second place in the SMAIAW state tournament. It was in that championship where she set a school record for most free throws attempted and completed in a game, successful in thirteen out of fifteen attempts.
During four years on the softball team, Pollard played in every game. She was primarily a pitcher, but when she wasn’t pitching, she could be found on third base. In all four years on the pitchers’ mound, she received the honor of All Conference GLIAC First Team Pitcher, as well as All State SMAIAW First Team Pitcher. During both the 1978 and 1981 seasons, she was recognized as LSSC Softball’s Most Valuable Player.
“LSSU coaches were tough, demanding and disciplined on the court/ballfield , and always encouraged me to better myself,” she says. “They also were very sympathetic, had a heart of gold, and a lot of fun off the court. Their coaching style encouraged me to strive for higher goals and excellence. They had a great impact in my life as well as all my teammates.”
In 1981, Olson Pollard graduated with an associate degree in nursing, a career she has maintained for the past 37 years.
She continued to contribute time in women’s athletics by stepping into coaching, becoming the first varsity softball head coach at Cheboygan Area High School. She spearheaded the program from 1983-1990 and captured accomplishments, including District Coach of the Year in 1988 from the Michigan High School Coaches Association.
She also had stints as the head coach of the junior varsity volleyball and basketball teams at Cheboygan Area High School. Under her reign, the basketball team had an overall record of 113-40, captured a JV tournament win and several conference and district championships.
Jean Kreidler played for the LSSU volleyball team from 1980 to 1984. She was named GLIAC Player of the Week twice throughout her career – once in 1982 after leading the Lakers to five straight wins thanks to her .461 attack percentage, and once in 1983 after compiling 40 kills in two wins against Northern Michigan and Hillsdale. She also earned All-GLIAC First Team Honors for those two seasons. Kreidler holds LSSU’s record for single-match kills with 34 against Michigan Tech on October 11, 1982.
“It’s an honor to be selected into the LSSU Athletic Hall of Fame,” Kreidler said. “My volleyball coach Deb McPherson, former teammates, and my education at LSSU, taught me the importance of dedication, determination, and discipline.”
After graduating from Lake State, Kreidler continued her involvement in volleyball as a coach for Sault High School’s junior varsity team. She currently resides in Huron, Ohio and is a wraparound facilitator through the Erie County Juvenile Court, where she works alongside at-risk youth and their families.
Previously, Kreidler worked as a case manager for the EUP Mental Health. She volunteered for the Special Olympics and in 2011, she was presented with the EDSY Award from the Ohio Self-Determination Association for her continued efforts to advance self-determination for individuals with developmental disabilities. She was honored with this award after assisting an individual with starting her own t-shirt business.
“The memories and friendships with my fellow Laker Sisters, are such a blessing,” she continues. “Having the opportunity to live in the Women’s Athletic House my freshman year with my fellow athletes, was something I will never forget!”
Mark Astley came to Lake Superior State as a defenseman on the hockey team from 1988-1992. He was an integral part of the 1992 National Championship team that he co-captained.
Adding to the honors received after capturing the championship, Astley was named CCHA Best Offensive Defenseman. He was also named to the All-Tournament team, NCAA First-Team All-American and All-CCHA First Team.
He holds multiple school records, as well – he’s the top in single-season assists by a defenseman, after notching 37 in the 1991-1992 season. He shares the school record for most goals in a series by a defenseman with three scored against MSU in October 1990 and ranks third on LSSU’s all-time list for career assists by a defenseman.
Astley was selected by the Buffalo Sabres 194th overall in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft and went on to play professional hockey after his time at LSSU. He kicked off a pro career in Switzerland with HC Lugano in the 1992-1993 season and played for HC Ambri-Piotta in the same league the following season, 1993-1994.
He made his NHL debut in 1993, appearing in one game with Buffalo. He represented Team Canada in the 1994 Winter Olympics, where he took home a silver medal. Following his time on the Canadian National Team, he played in the Sabres organization where he split time between the NHL and AHL until 1996. The Los Angeles Kings signed him as a free agent in 1996 and he spent that season with the Phoenix Roadrunners, their IHL affiliate. He returned to Switzerland for the 1997-1998 season, playing for HC Lugano, and remained with them until 2004. Astley was a part of two Swiss NLA Championship-winning teams during his tenure there, adding to his three Spengler Cup championships earned with Team Canada in 1992, 2002, and 2003.
He retired from hockey in 2007 and moved back to his hometown of Calgary, Alberta.
“It is a great honor to be recognized and inducted into the LSSU Athletic Hall of Fame,” says Astley. “I credit the players I played with, the coaches who coached me, the Laker hockey fans and the great people of Soo, Michigan. It is even more special to be inducted with such a deserving inductee as Darrin Madeley.”
Darrin Madeley, from Holland Landing, Ont., was goalie for LSSU from 1989-1992. He led the team to two national championship tournaments during his three seasons on the squad and won the title in 1992.
Madeley’s play was awarded multiple honors during his final two seasons at Lake State, including NCAA All-America First Team, CCHA First Team and All-Tournament team honors in 1991 and 1992. He was named CCHA Tournament MVP in 1992 and was also a Hobey Baker finalist that season as one of the nation’s top collegiate hockey players.
After leaving LSSU, he signed with the Ottawa Senators as a free agent during their expansion season and split time between the NHL and AHL over the next few seasons. His post-NHL career included stints in the Finland SM-liiga and the Deutsche Eishockey League (Germany).
He played his final professional season with the ECHL’s Pensacola Ice Pilots and then went on to serve as a player coach for the Saginaw Gears in the United Hockey League.
In 2003, after his retirement from hockey, Madeley finished his degree cum laude from Saginaw Valley State University. He was an assistant coach and hockey camp director for the USA Hockey National team, where his roles included working with the defensemen and goaltenders on the Under 18 team and running the USA Hockey summer camp.
Since 2005, he has served as the Athletic Director/Director of Hockey at Lake Forest Academy. His roles include managing the entire athletic program, running the LFA hockey camps, and overseeing the scheduling and rentals of the rink, pool, turf fields and gym.
Go to www.lssu.edu/glsw for more information about other Great Lake State Weekend activities.