Hammond Sports Hall of Fame
The Class of 2018 Inductees

 
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John Bobalik


Wilbur P. Buerckholtz

David Tyrone Higgs

Elias (Lee) Marks

Marcus Smith

Rick Stanford

Frank Tokoly


2018 Inductees:

JOHN BOBALIK
This 1965 Bishop Noll alumnus helped popularize marathon and road race running in NW Indiana. The former Boston marathoner overall completed 20 marathons—5 during the 1970s in times of 2 hours, 39.1 minutes or faster. The former BNI and Lewis University runner also helped found the Calumet Region Striders Track Club and introduced the annual Highland Thanksgiving Pumpkin Plod road race. He coached at Noll, Highland and Munster High Schools. As a fitness expert, he initiated the Hammond Clinic Corporate Fitness Program and co-developed the Purdue University Northwest Fitness Center.







WILBUR P. BUERCKHOLTZ
While attending Clark High School during the late 1930s, he excelled as a basketball center and track & field jumper and shot putter. But it was on the baseball field, playing in American Legion and semi-pro circuits that he attracted the interest of the St. Louis Cardinals. From 1939 through ’41 and again in ’46, after serving his country in World War II, he competed for Cardinals farm teams in Hamilton, Ontario; Lynchburg, Va.; Duluth, Minn.; and Columbus, Ohio.










DAVID TYRONE HIGGS
Within the proud, accomplished stable of Hammond High football quarterbacks, this 1982 alumnus had athletic ability second to none. He was a 2-time all-stater for Hammond Sports Hall of Fame coach George Hall. As a runner and passer, he made big plays in helping lead the Wildcats to 2 conference titles. As a versatile athlete, he also was a capable basketball point guard and baseball outfielder.




 


 


MARCUS SMITH
He was a 1993 Class 3A all-state football wide receiver for Bishop Noll, but it was on the baseball field where the talented outfielder attracted big time attention. After belting 4 home runs in a single game as a high school senior and gaining numerous honors, he went on to play at Valencia Community College. In ’96 he received a scholarship offer from the University of Central Florida, but opted instead to sign and play with the Minnesota Twins farm system.





RICK STANFORD
The playing achievements of this 1969 Hammond High alumnus are impressive enough: football all-state honorable mention, 4-year baseball letterman and basketball monogram recipient. What followed may be even more impressive: an award-winning, 40-year career (1972-2012) as a high school football official and baseball umpire. He worked state title games in football in ‘87, ’99, ‘03 & ’07 and in baseball in ’88. The Indiana High School Athletic Association honored him in 2013 as Football Official of the Year.


   

FRANK TOKOLY
This Class of 1967 Morton basketball standout was one of NW Indiana’s top scorers his senior season with a 22.5 average. He also contributed a scoring-rebounding double-double effort during the Governors’ 65-62, Hammond Sectional 1st round upset victory over state-ranked Hammond High in ’67. Additionally, he combined athleticism and size as an all-conference end for the ’66, state-ranked Governors’ football squad.





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