Saturday, May 16, 2020

Gone, Lost & Forgotten: Their Best = Lake Superior State

 A school that had success at various levels, The Lake Superior State Lakers, were one of the best teams that the state of Michigan ever lost.  A seventh place finish at the NCAA Division III championships in 1974.  A eighth place finish at the 1978 NAIA tournament, followed up by a sixth place finish in 1980.  At the NCAA Division II level the Lakers finished in eighth place in 1982, seventh place in 1991 & again in eighth in 1993.  I'm not sure how many Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) titles they won in all, but I know of at least two.  One in 1981 & another in 1991.   

For the record, current Central Michigan Chippewas head coach Tom Borrelli headed the Lakers from the 1986-1987 season through the 1990-1991 season.  Along with the vast accomplishments that he has had at CMU, you can add 17 All Americans, two NCAA finalist & 26 NCAA qualifiers that he produced while at LSS. 

Jim Leyndyke
126 lbs
97 career victories, 32 of which were by fall, Jim Leyndyke had an outstanding career for the Lakers. A four time GLIAC champion, he finished at the NAIA runner up in 1972 & followed it up with a fourth place finish at the 1974 NCAA Division III championships.

Dave Jirkikovic
142 lbs
Jirkikovic took sixth place All American honors at the 1974 NCAA Division III championships.

Jim Fallis
158 lbs
A four time NAIA All American, Fallis is one of the best to ever grace the royal blue & gold.  He placed second in 1971 & fourth in 1972, before winning titles in both 1973 & 1974.  Not only did he win the 1974 NAIA's but he followed that up by winning the 1974 NCAA Division III title.  Along with these accomplishments, Fallis also placed sixth at the prestigious Midlands championships both his junior & senior seasons.   A career record of 142-19, he later became head coach at Lake Superior State as well as athletic director.

Roger Dallas
158 lbs
Accumulating 115 career victories, Roger Dallas had a phenomenal career for the Lakers.  A two time GLIAC champion, Dallas was a three time All American.  Finishing in third place at the 1977 NAIA championships & as the runner up in 1978.  He would take runner-up honors at the 1979 NCAA Division II championships.
Shawn Murdock
142 lbs
Murdock was a two time All American at the NCAA Division II level.  He placed fourth in 1985 & third in 1986.

Mike Cribbs
Another wrestler known for his pinning prowess, Cribbs racked up 35 pins during his time as a Laker.  He finished sixth at the 1981 NAIA championships & took fifth in the same season at the NCAA Division II championships.  He ended his career by winning the NCAA Division II title in 1982.

Randy Sieler
Lake Superior State must have been a school that emphasized the fall, because out of the 105 victories Randy Sieler had during his career, fifty of them were by pin.  In  fact during his senior season 19 of his 38 victories were by fall.  The guy liked to pin. 

Taking fifth place honors at the NCAA Division II championships in 1987, he would earn runner-up honors after winning a GLIAC title (& being named the Outstanding wrestler) in 1988. His runner-up finish earned him qualification to the NCAA Division I tournament where he damn near became the Lakers first DI All American.  Ironically enough he lost in the blood round to Todd Sieler of Wisconsin.   Unique last name, but no relation.

Roberts Symans
118 lbs
Symans finished as the 1989 NCAA Division II runner up and followed it with two sixth place finishes in 1990 & 1991.

Jason Bringaman
Another pinner, out of 129 victories, Bringaman won 51 of them by fall.   A four time NCAA Division II All American, Bringaman took sixth in 1991 & runner up honors in 1994, winning championships in 1992 & 1993.

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