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Three former Lakeland athletes were inducted into the college's Athletic Hall of Fame as part of Homecoming weekend activities.
Debra (Reindl) Gabriel, a 1993 Lakeland graduate, Mark Holzman, a 1991 graduate, and Rick Meyer, a 1987 graduate, were recognized for their outstanding athletic careers. They bring the total number of members of the Lakeland Hall of Fame to 127.
Gabriel, who lives in Manitowoc with her husband Tim, a 1988 Lakeland graduate, and their children, played basketball and softball at Lakeland. She was the first Lakeland softball player to earn NAIA All-American honors when she was named honorable mention in 1989.
Gabriel earned all-conference honors and was named team most valuable player all four years. She hit .466 in 1987, and helped lead the 1989 team to a conference and conference tournament championship.
She was inducted by former teammate and Lakeland roommate Diane Kipp, a 1989 Lakeland graduate who is also a member of the Hall of Fame. The two have been lifelong friends since meeting at Lakeland.
"My college years here were very rewarding," Gabriel said.
Holzman, who lives in Howards Grove with his wife Shaun, a 1994 Lakeland graduate, and their sons, played basketball and baseball at Lakeland. In baseball he was all-District in 1990, all-conference all four years, conference rookie of the year in 1987 and team MVP twice. He helped lead the 1988 baseball team to the district regional championship and the conference title.
Holzman was inducted by his wife, who he met at Lakeland, and several former teammates, who had some good-natured pokes of fun.
"We would stop, all of us, and look at the plaques there (in the Hall of Fame) and gaze at the athletes Lakeland College had in the past," Holzman said. "To be one of them is humbling and a great honor."
Meyer, a Plymouth resident who recently wrapped up a 23-year playing career with the Plymouth Flames baseball team, was an all-conference baseball player for three seasons, NAIA all-District in 1986 and team MVP twice. A career .324 hitter, he had an 11-2 record pitching in conference games.
He was inducted by Jeff Elzinga, a Lakeland writing professor and Meyer's academic advisor when he was a student. Elzinga recalled Meyer's senior writing project, a piece about the 1982 Plymouth High School state championship baseball team that Meyer played on.
"This means a lot to me to be in this position," Meyer said. "Everything just worked out so well for me here. There is something special about this school."
The three inductees served as honorary captains for Saturday's football game and participated in the pre-game coin toss.