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Presenting the 5 greatest athletes from Spring Lake since 2000

MLive - GrandRapids/Muskegon/Kalamazoo logo MLive - GrandRapids/Muskegon/Kalamazoo 5/21/2020 By Scott DeCamp,

When MLive Muskegon Chronicle requested nominations for Spring Lake’s greatest athletes since 2000, readers as well as the school’s coaches and athletic administrators came through a big way.

What it revealed is Spring Lake has boasted a rock-solid athletic program over the years in case you did not already know that.

But who are the greatest athletes from Spring Lake of the past two decades? That’s the riddle MLive attempted to solve as part of a series highlighting the best athletes from area schools in the last 20 years.

Spring Lake offered a number of great options. The top five, as well as a lengthy honorable-mention list, can be found below.

In MLive’s “five greatest athletes since 2000” series, a group of schools was listed in a weekly fan poll, from which readers selected the two that were featured the following week.

Last week, MLive Muskegon published a “last-chance poll,” in which each of the Muskegon-area schools not yet featured in the series got one final opportunity in the fan poll. Mona Shores and Spring Lake finished first and second, respectively, in last week’s poll, meaning the Sailors and Lakers are being featured this week.

Mona Shores was featured on Wednesday.

Here are capsules on the five greatest athletes from Spring Lake since 2000, listed in alphabetical order, followed by the honorable mention list.

Art Anderson

Football, basketball, baseball, track and field; Class of 2001

Anderson was a leader on the lone Spring Lake football team to make it to the state finals, rushing for 1,952 yards and registering 105 tackles during his senior season in 2000. He also became the first Laker to play in the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association East-West All-Star Game. Anderson was a well-rounded athlete, as a three-year varsity starter in basketball and a two-year varsity baseball player.

On the football field, the 6-foot-2, 200-pound Anderson used his speed and physical play to make an impact on both sides of the ball. He earned all-state special mention accolades as a senior and he was a two-time, first-team all-area performer by the Muskegon Chronicle. He set Spring Lake’s single-game rushing record with 275 yards. Anderson also was a nominee for the Muskegon Area Sports Hall of Fame Student-Athlete Award.

Robbie Aurich

Football, basketball, baseball, track and field; Class of 2006

Aurich was a four-year starter in varsity football and three-year varsity starter in both basketball in baseball, plus he lettered in track one season. He earned first-team all-conference in baseball and second-team all-league in basketball, but it was on the football field where he really shined. At Division II Minnesota Duluth, Aurich was a first-team All-American, a three-time all-conference performer and he helped the Bulldogs win national titles in 2008 and 2010.

Aurich graduated as Minnesota Duluth’s second-leading tackler with 310 stops. He was the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference defensive player of the year in 2009, when he earned All-American honors. At Spring Lake, Aurich amassed more than 3,500 rushing yards and 439 tackles in his career. The all-stater rushed for 1,200 yards and made 115 tackles as a senior and he was selected for the MHSFCA East-West All-Star Game. He was a three-time, first-team all-area performer in the Muskegon Chronicle. Aurich is now an assistant coach at South Dakota.

Vanessa King

Volleyball, basketball, track and field; Class of 2006

King dominated in each sport she played, but it was in volleyball where she really made her mark with Spring Lake and later at Michigan State University. She was Spring Lake’s first recipient of the Muskegon Area Sports Hall of Fame Student-Athlete Award and finished as a Miss Volleyball finalist before going on to MSU, where the 6-foot middle blocker earned All-Big Ten honors. She appears in the MSU record books in several categories.

At Spring Lake, King earned first-team all-state in volleyball as a senior and second-team all-state junior her junior season. She finished her career as the Lakers’ all-time leader in kills. In basketball, King received first-team all-conference accolades for three seasons. In her lone season of track and field, she set the school record in shot put. During her senior year at MSU, King was a team captain. As a junior, she was named the Spartans’ team MVP.

Evie Lorimer

Volleyball, basketball, softball; Class of 2012

Lorimer was a terrific three-sport athlete for the Lakers, but it was on the softball field where she made history. She is the lone Muskegon-area player to be named Miss Softball by the Michigan High School Softball Coaches Association. Lorimer was the Miss Softball position player award recipient in 2012 before she went on to play at Central Michigan University, where she received Academic All-MAC honors.

Lorimer earned MLive Muskegon Chronicle first-team all-area honors in volleyball and basketball. As a forward on the hardwood, she averaged a double-double (15.9 points, 10.1 rebounds) during her senior season. In softball, the speedy utility player posted a .490 batting average, .968 fielding percentage, 183 stolen bases and 180 runs scored in her Lakers career. Her 92 stolen bases as a senior would rank her second in the MHSAA’s record book. She batted .573 as a senior with 14 triples.

Annie Steinlage

Basketball, soccer; Class of 2010

Steinlage is arguably the most accomplished athlete to come from Spring Lake when it comes to awards and achievements at the high school, collegiate and professional levels. The talented soccer midfielder won the Michigan Miss Soccer award in 2010, twice captured the Gatorade Michigan Player of the Year award, was a two-time, first-team all-conference player at Michigan State, led Virginia to the final four and was drafted by the National Women’s Soccer League.

As a Spring Lake senior, Steinlage was selected the Muskegon Area Sports Hall of Fame Student-Athlete Award recipient. On the soccer field, she earned first-team all-state honors three times, made the MHSSCA’s Dream Team as a junior and was an All-American as a senior. In 2013, she was drafted by the NWSL’s New York Flash before she went on to play overseas. In 2017, she led the Grand Rapids Football Club to the United Women’s Soccer national championship. On top of that, Steinlage earned all-conference in basketball.


Val Alter (2003)

Carlyn Arteaga (2015)

Cameron Ball (2017)

Brittney Beeler (2013)

Adam Clauss (2013)

Jenna Core (2019)

John Ditmar (2002)

Patrick Duff (2004)

Chelsea Erickson (2002)

Keegan George (2016)

Katie Haynes (2006)

Cassidy (Bulthuis) Hazekamp (2007)

Andrew Hissom (2012)

Heidi Holmes (2007)

Lucas Holt (2010)

Austin Johnson (2013)

Reiko Johnson (2017)

Zach Keyser (2020)

Anna Kramer (2017)

Evie Lorimer (2012)

CR Mohrhardt (2009)

Madelyn Nelson (2018)

Cam Peel (2019)

Abbi Perkins (2020)

Isaiah Pierce (2017)

Carey Pohlman (2001)

Mark Rhem (2009)

Jon Ritchie (2007)

Troy Rosencrants (2007)

Phoebe Saunders (2020)

Josh Shattuck (2004)

Andy Skendrovic (2009)

Beth Skendrovic (2006)

Katie Skendrovic (2004)

Avery Steinlage (2006)

Gracie VanLangevelde (2019)

Noah Verlinde (2019)

Madeline Zenas (2019)

Kelsee Zuidema (2015)

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