Busy weekend at MSU-N includes Shepherd, Zanto and Lawrence Hall of Fame inductions
George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor firstname.lastname@example.org
As far as sporting events go, as far as honoring history is concerned, weekends don’t get any bigger then this coming one at Montana State University-Northern. On Friday, MSU-N will kick off its 2006 homecoming and alumni weekend. And there will be a little bit of something for every one in Havre. Alumni weekend is a special time at MSUN and always has been. But since the school started putting the alumni gathering and homecoming together, the weekend has taken on a festive atmosphere and this year should be no different. Headlining the weekend will be the annual induction ceremonies to the MSU-Northern Athletic Hall of Fame. This year’s inductees are longtime Havre radio broadcasters Dan Shepherd and Barry Zanto, as well as former MSU-N Skylight Kristin Lawrence. Homecoming also features the No. 9- ranked MSU-Northern Lights’ football team playing host to the UM-Western Bulldogs on Saturday afternoon, as well as alumni games in men’s and women’s basketball, wrestling and volleyball. Homecoming and alumni weekend will also mark the debut of the MSU-N Skylights, as they take on both the University of Calgary and the University of Regina in nonconference basketball action. The busy weekend gets under way on Friday night with the MSU-N women’s alumni game at 6 p.m. The game will pit the 2006- 2007 Skylights against past Skylight players. The alumni roster includes, recent Skylights Anna Bateman, Jaci Heny and Camille Gardner as well as past Skylight legends like Lawrence, Anna Colton Cambridge, Traci Alexander, Charlene Noreen Wasson, Wendy Badgett Clark and Lee Anne Elliot Knobloch. The men’s alumni game will tip off at 8 p. m. and the men’s alumni roster will feature former MSU-N standouts Jordan Matthews, Charlie Ereaux, Adrian Nelson and Landon Grant.
The team will also consist of past Lights’ greats Tom Hennessey, Shawn Wetzel, Ty Ridgeway and the great Buck Meriweather. At halftime of the Lights’ game, Lawrence, Shepherd and Zanto will be inducted into the MSU-N Athletic Hall of Fame. Lawrence played for the Skylights from 1991-1995. In that time, the Skylights lost just 15 games while winning four Frontier Conference championships, and the 1993 NAIA National Championship. In her career, Lawrence earned first- and second-team allconference honors twice. Lawrence was also named a Kodak All-American in her sophomore season. She is currently fifth in scoring on MSU-N’s all-time list. After graduating from MSU-N, Lawrence played professional basketball in Tasmania, Australia, in 1998 and now resides in Sidney, Mont. “I am very honored to be selected into the elite group of the Northern Hall of Fame. My proudest moments of my life were being part of the Skylight basketball program, due to a wonderful coach in Sherry Winn and, of course, the best assistant ever in Jerry Wier, great teammates and more than anything, the community. I am so greatful for my adopted mom and dad, Renelle and Wayne, and also my real mom and dad, Gary and Susan, who wouldn’t let me fail when times were tough. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have been an All-American and a national all-star.” Meanwhile, Shepherd and Zanto are receiving Hall of Fame Meritorious Service Awards for their contributions to MSU-N athletics and all Montana Sports. The pair have been the voice of the Lights and Skylights for the last 30 years, and together they have not only covered MSU-N athletics on the radio but thousands of Havre High and other Montana high school games. The duo called their first game for KOJM in 1977. Shepherd, aside from countless community service efforts in Havre and across the Hi- Line has received numerous awards for sports journalism, including the United Press International Sports Journalist of the Year in 1980.
He was also awarded the E.B. Craney Broadcasting Award in 1989, 1992 and 1993. The award recognizes excellence in Montana broadcasting. Zanto is a 1970 graduate of Northern and was a teacher and administrator with Havre Public Schools until he retired in 2005. In 1967, Zanto and partner John Olson captured the collegiate championship in doubles bowling. Zanto started at KOJM-AM and KPQX in 1977. Zanto has served on countless committees and charities in Havre, both athletic and otherwise. He is a native of Geraldine. Alumni and homecoming festivities will run all day Saturday and will include the annual MSU-N wrestling alumni dual at 11 a. m. at the MSU-Northern Fieldhouse. The Lights and Bulldogs game will kick off at 1 p. m. at Blue Pony Stadium, and the Skylights’ season-opener with Calgary will start at 6 p.m. The weekend wraps up Sunday with the MSU-N alumni volleyball game at 10 a.m. and the Skylights taking on Regina at 2 p.m.