The Whitehall Sports Hall of Fame will welcome four new inductees this Saturday (November 12, 2022) at the Whitehall American Legion Algot Johnson Post 69.
Dale Meinert, Gordy McLouth, Natalie (Geyer) Walther and Kurt Huizenga are the latest candidates.
Social hour begins at 5:00pm, followed by dinner at 6:00pm and awards ceremony at 7:00pm. Tickets are $50 per person and can be purchased from Kirk Mikkelson at [email protected] Dinner consists of roast beef or chicken, which you choose when purchasing a ticket.
Meinert grew up in Montague, attended Montague Public Schools and graduated in 1972. He loved sports, but only played basketball because he was busy planting in the spring and harvesting in the fall.
After graduating from high school, Meinert worked a variety of jobs before getting a job in Whitehall’s maintenance department in 1987. Meinert worked for the district for 30 years and retired in 2017. Meinert now spends time with his wife Marge and their five grandchildren and is involved in activities at their Faith Lutheran church.
McLouth was a triple-time standout from the Class of 1958. He was a three-year starter in football and basketball and a four-year state meet qualifier in track and field. McLouth’s combination of speed, strength, vision and leadership made him difficult to contain.
In basketball, McLouth led the team to the West Michigan Conference’s first undefeated league season. The squad also lost a heartbreaking district championship by a point over eventual state champion Western Michigan Christian.
In football, McLouth’s junior season was a turning point for the Vikings program. After two under-.500 seasons in his freshman and sophomore years, the Vikings recorded two winning seasons in his junior and senior seasons.
In track and field, McLouth was a four-year state meeting qualifier. His unique skills allowed him to excel in the sprint, relay, high jump and hurdles. Off the field, McLouth participated in 10 other extracurricular activities.
Walther graduated from Whitehall High School in 1984 as a dual athlete. During her high school career, she managed her tennis and volleyball teams, culminating in her senior season with state honors in volleyball and an unbeaten record in doubles in tennis.
Walther placed first in the city tournament, Seaway Conference Tournament and regional tournament as she led her team to a berth in the state championships for the 1984 tennis season.
Huizenga graduated from Whitehall in 1990 after competing in four sports during his high school career. He played football for two years, golf for two years, basketball for four years, and baseball for four years, and somehow excelled at all of them.
Huizenga was a quarterback on the football team, an all-conference golfer, the starting point guard on the basketball team, and a total superstar on the baseball team. His school career culminated with the Oliver J. Byam Award, presented annually to the top athlete in class.
Huizenga launched a distinguished baseball career at Aquinas College, where he was twice named to the All-American First Team. After college he played professional ball in the Midwest Independent League before returning to Whitehall to teach and train. He was inducted into the Aquinas College Athletic Hall of Fame in September 2021.