Madison Sports Hall of Fame announces this year's award winners - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Madison Sports Hall of Fame announces this year's award winners

MADISON, Wis. -- The Madison Sports Hall of Fame Club will honor some of the areas top athletes and teams from the past year at its annual Hall of Fame Induction Banquet.  The banquet is set for Wednesday evening, June 6, at Monona Terrace.

Each year, the Hall of Fame Club not only inducts sports figures into its Hall of Fame, but honors outstanding performances from the past year.  

The Zimbrick Honda Madison Sportsman of the Year Award will be given to Chris Davis, UW-Whitewater and former Madison East basketball player. Davis was named an NCAA first team DIII All American, Most Valuable Player of the DIII title game won by the Warhawks and the WIAC Player of the Year.

The Strand Associates Madison Sportswoman of the Year Award winner is Amanda Kessel. The University of Minnesota sophomore was a member of the NCAA women's ice hockey champions. She was a finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Award and led the Golden Gophers in scoring this past season.

The Flad Development and Investment Area Sportsperson of the Year Award goes to Ryan O'Donnell. The McFarland senior concluded an outstanding swimming career by winning four events and leading the Spartans to their sixth straight WIAA D2 title. He set a WIAA record with 14 individual state titles in his four years.

The Edgewood College "Pat Richter" Favorite Sibling Award will be presented to Madison native Dan Schachte. Schachte retired after 30 years as a National Hockey League official. He officiated 2,009 games in a career that began in 1982.

The Madison Gas and Electric Friend of Sport Award will be presented to Dennis Helwig. He is the University of Wisconsin's Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Medicine. Helwig started at the UW in 1975 as athletic trainer for football and men's hockey. He became UW's head athletic trainer in 1985. He also was the 1984 Olympic hockey trainer.

The Mendota Gridiron Club's Pat O'Dea award recipient is former UW football great and athletic director, Pat Richter. The University of Wisconsin athletic department determines the award winner.

The Ganser Company Special Achievement Award Winners:
·        Chandler Diffee, LaFollette junior won the WIAA D1 cross country championship. Gatorade State boys cross country runner of the year.
·        Derek Straus, currently a UW football preferred walk-on, was first-team All State in baseball, led the state in scoring in hockey and played on back-to-back D2 state football champions his senior year at Waunakee.
·        Ivan Bruner, won the 85+ age division at the International Masters Racquetball tournament. It was his 12th international title to go along with 23 national titles.
·        Jeff Sauer, former Badger hockey coach, who coached the United States sled hockey team to its second straight World Championship.
·        Edgewood girls soccer, won the 2011 WIAA D2 soccer title with a 1-0 win over Notre Dame.
·        Madison Memorial boys swimming, won the WIAA D1 title for the 12th time in school history. It was their second consecutive title.

The Madison Sports Hall of Fame Club also is presenting the Otto Breitenbach scholarship to Madison West High School senior Alex Bastian, who is planning to compete at NCAA DIII Washington University in track and cross country next fall.

UW Journalism student John Veldhuis will receive the Tom Butler Scholarship. The senior-to-be covers football and basketball for the Badger Blitz web site and also writes for the Badger Herald.

Tom Bennett, Steve Brown, Jay Mortenson and Ellen Olson Wermuth will be inducted into the Hall of Fame that night.

Tickets for the event are $45. A limited number of tickets remain. The event is open to the public and everyone is encouraged to attend and salute this exceptional group of inductees. Contact Peg Mueller (238-5907) for tickets.

The Madison Sports Hall of Fame was started in 1963 to recognize and honor great athletes and sports figures from Madison. The club hosts weekly meetings from August through June and holds the induction ceremony every June. There are more than 200 inductees in the Madison Sports Hall of Fame. Go to to view the list of inductees and find other information about the Madison Sports Hall of Fame Club.

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