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  • James Townsend

PHS Athletic Hall of Fame to Induct its 12th Class

The Portland Athletic Hall of Fame will induct its 12th Hall of Fame class on Saturday, October 5, 2019 at Willow Wood Golf Club. This year’s class include six (6) athletes; one (1) coach; one (1) honorary; and two (2) teams. Each, as individuals or as a team, have contributed to many of the successes of our great Portland Raider athletic history. They serve as an inspiration to past, present and future Raiders.

The members of the 2019 PHS Athletic Hall of Fame are:

Denise (Mallek) Johnson (Class of 1984): Denise was an outstanding student-athlete. She excelled in cheerleading and ran track for two years. She was selected as 1 of only 2 juniors on the Michigan Cheer Coaches All-Star Team. She finished 2nd competing against over 150 at the United States Cheerleading Associations’ National Individuals Chapionships.

Ben Spitzley (Class of 1998): Ben was an excellent athlete excelling in both wrestling and football. He was a 3-time state qualifier in wresting and finished 2nd his junior year and 5th his senior year. He was a league champion and won 138 matches in his career. He was also a 3 year starter on the varsity football team.

Josh Hutchinson (Class of 2000): According to his tennis coach, Jim Niebling, Josh helped Portland establish a statewide reputation during the programs 2nd season as a school-sponsored sport. Josh was a 4-time Ingham County League Champion and won regionals twice and placed 2nd once. He was selected his team’s MVP both his junior and senior year.

Jonah Lyon (Class of 2001): Jonah was a 2 sport athlete while at Portland High School. He ran cross country and wrestled all four years at PHS. He excelled in wrestling posting a career record of 130 – 22. He was a two-time All-State wrestler. He placed 1st in 2000 and 2nd in 2001 at the state meet and was an Ingham County League champion 3-times. He was selected to the Lansing State Journal Dream team his junior and senior year.

Quinn Hoffman (Class of 2004): Quinn is was the best golfer to play for Portland High School. He was 1st team Ingham County League All-Conference all 4 years and the ICL Individual Champion three times. He was also 1st Team All-State in Division 3 three times.

Lindsey (Pettit) Banktson (Class of 2008): Lindsey was the Valedictorian of her class and earned 12 varsity letters in 3 sports at PHS. She played 4 years on the varsity volleyball, basketball and softball teams. She was All-Conference 11 of those 12 seasons. She earned All-State recognition twice in basketball and three times in softball. Lindsey went on to play basketball and softball at Ferris State University.

Coach Jim Niebling: “Mr. Raider Tennis” would be an appropriate name for Coach Niebling. He started the Portland High School tennis program as a “tennis club” which became a PHS sport in the 1995-96 school year. He built the program into one of the best in the state with a lot of success. His teams have won 18 league titles and qualified for states 29 times. He has been inducted to both the Michigan High School Tennis Coaches Association and the Michigan High School Coaches Association Hall of Fames.

Harvey Hoskins (Honorary): Harvey is a very community minded individual and gives his time generously to the Raider athletic program. Since coming to Portland while in high school, Harvey has been a PHS athlete, middle school coach, and a volunteer. He has walked the football sidelines many years as a part of the chain crew. He also served on the Portland Athletic Association board as treasurer, vice-president and 7 years as president.

1961 Football Team: This team followed two undefeated teams and the loss of 17 players from the year before. Under new head coach Fred Lowery, the inexperience Raider team posted a 7 – 1 -1 record to claim the Central Michigan “C” championship.

1965 Football Team: In what was thought to be a rebuilding year by many for the Raiders under head coach Hank Dugan actually was a continuation of the great football tradition in Portland. The 1965 team went undefeated (7-0-1) and won the Central Michigan “C” championship. A strong defense that allowed only 20 points all season led the Raiders.

The 2019 PHS Athletic Hall of Fame class will be inducted at a dinner held in their honor at Willow Wood Golf Course, Saturday, October 5th. We thank each of them on behalf of Raiders everywhere for their combined contributions to the success and history of excellence in PHS athletics.

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