OSCODA – Final preparations are coming together for the 3rd annual Oscoda High School (OHS) Athletic Hall of Fame event this Friday at 5 p.m.
As previously reported, The OHS Athletic Hall of Fame committee will hold a tailgate at 5 p.m. with a hall of fame presentation in the high school gymnasium at 6 p.m. At 6:45 p.m. the inductees will be brought out onto the football field for a presentation. The Oscoda Owls versus Rogers City Hurons will follow shortly after at 7 p.m.
One of the six to be inducted into the hall of fame on Sept. 27, is Cory Gildersleeve. Gildersleeve starred in football and track during his time at OHS. According to his nominators and Hall of Fame Committee members Jim Draper and Rich Firebaugh, he was a two time all state football selection in his junior and senior year.
He also was a two time all conference selection in the Northern B Conference and was named the Most Valuable Player his junior year. Additionally, he was a co-captain his senior year. Nominators said also during his high school career, he was awarded the Bay City Times Golden Helmet Award for being the Class B player of the week.
In addition to football, he also participated in track and field where nominators cited that he was a fine shot putter.
“He broke the school record his sophomore year then broke his own record the following year,” said Firebaugh.
In 1969, his senior year, he was a member of the track team that finished 2nd in Class B. In addition to sports, he also was very involved in extra curricular activities.
According to the senior directory of the 1969 lumberjack, he participated and even held leadership positions in Key Club, Debate, Forensics, Audio Visual Club, National Honor Society and Honor Guard, among other organizations.
He graduated from OHS in 1969 and received a full ride scholarship to Yale and later entered the United States Navy where he rose to the level of Lt. Commander.
“He was a leader in all aspects of his life. A fine student as well as athlete,” said Draper.
Gildersleeve passed on June 3, 2009. He was married to Jeanne Gildersleeve who passed in 1998, according to nominators. Members of his family will be attending the induction.
The final athlete to be inducted this Friday is Sandra Niedergall who participated in basketball, volleyball and track during her time at OHS. According to nominators Cheri Meier and Mary Niedergall, Sandra was a standout athlete during her four years at OHS.
Throughout her high school career, from her freshman to senior year, Sandra was awarded top point earner, most valuable runner and was a member of a team undefeated in dual meets. In her freshman year, her team received first in the conference and 5th at the regional track meet.
Individually, Sandra qualified for the state track meet in the 440 yard dash as a member of the relay team. She set a school record in the 440 yard dash with a time of 60.9 seconds, the 880 yard relay in 1.48.9 seconds and the mile relay with a time of 4.16.0 seconds.
Her sophomore year her team was first in the conference once again and were regional champions. She also qualified for the state meet in the 440 yard dash and 880 yard relay, among other events.
In her junior year, Sandra qualified for the state meet in the dash and relay again; however, this time she placed 5th at the state meet in the 440 yard dash with a time of 58.6 seconds which was a new school record for her, according to nominators.
She was also a member of the 880 yard relay team that placed first at regionals. Additionally, in her junior year, she gained recognition as a member of a mile relay team consisting of her sisters Lisa, Alice, Mary and herself.
In 1981, her senior year, Sandra’s team completed their 5th consecutive season as an undefeated team in dual meets and placed 5th at the regional meets once again. She also qualified for a number of events at the state meet in her senior year.
According to nominators, when Sandra completed her track career at OHS she held records in the 440 yard dash, 880 yard relay and mile relay. Throughout her time at OHS, Sandra was awarded seven varsity letters with four in track and field, two in basketball and one in volleyball. Additionally, she was a starter in basketball and volleyball her senior seasons, according to nominators.
Sandra graduated from OHS in 1981 and received a full ride athletic scholarship for track at Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU). In her freshman and sophomore year at SVSU, she was a member of the SVSU outdoor track team that won the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) championship, placed in the conference indoor and outdoor meet in the 400 meter run and 400 relay team.
In her junior year she received National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) All-American Honors and was named NAIA Academic All-American team and was also a member of the 4x800 relay team that won the indoor NAIA national title setting a school record. Additionally, she was a member of the indoor and outdoor track and field team that won the GLIAC conference championship, placed 1st at the GLIAC indoor conference meet in the 600 meter race and was a member of the 4x400 relay and 4x800 relay team that placed at the indoor and outdoor conference meet.
Her senior year she was a team captain for middle distance runners; however, she sustained injuries that inhibited her from participating during the season.
In 1985, Sandra graduated from SVSU with a bachelor of arts in sociology. She went on to earn her masters of science from Northern Illinois University in education leadership and policy studies. According to her nominators, she has spent her professional life working in the arena of college athletics. She previously worked in administrative positions at Old Dominion University and University of Nevada-Reno. She currently serves as the Senior Associate Athletic Director at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell.
According to the nomination letter, Meier and Mary said Sandra is extremely deserving of induction into the Oscoda Hall of Fame as arguably the most accomplished track athlete in the history of OHS. They said Sandra qualified for the state meet all four years of her high school career which alone is quite a feat as it is very difficult to qualify and the pinnacle of success for most runners.
“I feel that Sandra is a fantastic reflection of Oscoda Area Schools and someone to be very proud of,” stated the nominators in their letter.