Nine to be inducted into UW-RF Athletic Hall of FameUW-River Falls will induct nine new members into its Athletic Hall of Fame Saturday, Oct. 17.
By: UW Sports Information, River Falls Journal
UW-River Falls will induct nine new members into its Athletic Hall of Fame Saturday, Oct. 17.
The nine include Jim Abbs (football), Steve Frantl (football), Gary Gray (track and field), Russ Johnson (hockey), Carl Kuss (basketball, coach), Crystal Lamont (softball), Chad Meschke (basketball), Sarah Peterson-Law (track and field) and Anna Schmidt-Maass (volleyball).
The inductees will be honored at halftime of the UW-RF football game against UW-La Crosse that starts at 1 p.m., at Ramer Field. A reception and the induction ceremonies will be held starting at 5 p.m., at the River Falls Best Western Hotel.
For tickets or more information contact the UW-RF Alumni Office at 425-3505.
Jim Abbs was a four-year letterwinner with the Falcon football team from 1978-81 and helped the 1979 and 1980 Falcons to WIAC championships. In his four-year career, Abbs rushed for 1,309 yards and scored 19 touchdowns in the Falcons’ wishbone offense. An outstanding student, Abbs was named the WIAC’s football Scholar-Athlete after the 1980 and 1981 seasons, and in 19981 he earned the first ever NAIA Football Coaches Association Scholarship award. The award was given for high academic, scholastic and extracurricular accomplishments. Abbs, a 1982 graduate, earned his Juris Doctorate degree from Washburn University and is currently the Chiefs Public Defender in the Noble County Public Defender Agency.
Steve Frantl was a linebacker who earned four letters for the Falcon football team from 1982-85 and helped lead the Falcons to WIAC championships in 1984 and 1985. He earned All-WIAC first team honors and the team’s Defensive Player of the Year awards in 1984 and 1985 and was voted the team’s Most Valuable Player in 1985 while earning All-American honors. He is second all-time in total tackles at UW-RF. Frantl, a 1987 graduate of UW-RF, is the owner of Frantl Industries, Inc.
Gary Gray won five WIAC championships while competing for the UW-RF track and field team from 1970-73. He holds school records in the indoor 60-yard dash (6.2 seconds), the indoor 300 (32.1) and the outdoor 100-meters (10.5). A 1974 graduate of UW-RF, Gray currently teaches fourth graders at the Westcreek Elementary School in Fort Worth, Texas.
Russ Johnson played three seasons with the Falcon men’s hockey team from 1993-96. In 1994 he helped the team to a NCAA National Championship while the 1995 and 1996 teams placed third in the NCAA tournament. Johnson, who played wing, led the team in scoring in 1994 (12 goals, 32 assists, 44 points) and 1995 (14-30-44) and tied for the team lead in 1996 (15-21-36). He earned AHCA All-American honors after his senior season in 1996.
Johnson was also an outstanding student and earned the WIAC’s Scholar-Athlete award after the 1996 season. He was named to the NCHA All-Academic teams in 1995 and 1996. Johnson is a 1996 graduate of UW-RF and owns seven Batteries Plus stores in South Carolina.
Carl Kuss competed in football, basketball and baseball for the Falcons and earned 11 letters. He was a member of the R Club from 1931-34 and served as the club’s vice president in 1934. After his playing career at UW-RF, Kuss taught and coached (football, basketball, and baseball) at Owens High School from 1935-41. He was hired by West Bend Public Schools in 1941 and served in the U.S. Army from 1941-46 in the European and Pacific Theaters during World War II, achieving the rank of captain. After the war, he returned to West Bend where he taught and coached until his death in 1966.
Kuss was the West Bend athletic director from 1958-66 and also served as the chairman for the WIAA Advisory Committee. In 1987, the West Bend Regner City Park baseball field was dedicated as the Carl M. Kuss Memorial Field in recognition of his lifelong contributions to the community. Kuss is a 1934 graduate of UW-RF.
Crystal Lamont played softball for the Falcons from 1993-96. After the 1995 season she was named to the AFCA All-Midwest Region first team and after the 1996 campaign she was named to the AFCA All-Midwest Region third team.
Lamont, who played second base, holds school records for games played in a single season (46, 1995), career games (175) and is second in career at bats (518), career hits (187), career RBI (123), career sacrifices (54) and third in career batting average (.361). A 2002 graduate of UW-RF, she is currently an elementary physical education and adapted physical education teacher in the Waterville-Elysian-Morristown school district. She is also the head volleyball coach and an assistant coach with the girls basketball and softball teams at W-E-M.
Chad Meschke played basketball for the Falcons from 1994-98 and was named the team’s Most Valuable Player after the 1997 and 1998 seasons when he led the Falcons in scoring with an average of 18.8 points per game.
He is sixth in career scoring at UW-RF with 1,483 points. He is fifth in career assists (341), fourth in career free throws (386) and fourth in career three-point field goals (135). Meschke is a 1998 graduate of UW-RF and is currently a commodity trader for North Central Commodities.
Sarah Peterson-Law earned NCAA All-American honors six times during her track and field career at UW-RF. In 1998 she earned the honor in three events; the indoor shot put and the outdoor triple jump and heptathlon. She also earned the honor three times in the 1999 season; in the indoor shot put and triple jump and the outdoor heptathlon. She was named the NCAA Div. III outdoor track and field National Athlete of the Year after her 1999 season. Peterson-Law holds the school record in the indoor triple jump (37-9) set in 1998, the outdoor triple jump (38-2) set in 1997, the outdoor hammer (169-10) set in 1999 and is a member of the record holding 4 X 200 relay team (1:49.92) set in 1997. After the 1999 indoor season she was named the WIAC’s Scholar-Athlete. Peterson-Law is a 2000 graduate of UW-RF and is a teacher in the Little Lambs Daycare.
Anna Schmidt-Maass played volleyball for the Falcons from 1993-96 and earned four letters. UW-RF won its first ever WIAC regular season championship, and its only WIAC Tournament playoff title, in 1996. The 1995 and 1996 teams both advanced to the NCAA National Championships. All-time, Schmidt-Maass is third in games played (515), fourth in kills (1,359), second in attacks (3,935), 10th in kill percentage (.218), second in aces (220), third in digs (1,649) and third in solo blocks (215) at UW-RF.
Schmidt-Maass is a 1998 graduate of UW-RF. She also earned a master’s degree in educational leadership. She is currently an assistant principal, athletic director and head volleyball coach at Little Chute High School.