BORN: JULY 30, 1960, MUSKEGON, MI
Kenny Sutton became a world class champion in speed roller skating in the
late 1970's and early 1980's. Competing against the world's best speed
skaters, Sutton consistently won gold medals and established new world record
times, especially in shorter distances.
Sutton took up competitive roller skating at age 11, racing in local and state events. By the time he graduated from Muskegon High School in 1978, he had competed in the US Amateur Roller Skating Championships five times, winning top honors in his own age division each time. He also found time to represent the Big Reds in wrestling and track and field, where he specialized in the 100-yard dash. In the spring of 1978, just before graduation, he traveled to Argentina to compete in the World Roller Skating Championships where he won some individual speed skating medals and finished fifth overall.
The following year, he represented the USA in the Pan-American games at San Juan, Puerto Rico and became the first American athlete to win a gold medal in that competition. In fact, he won two golds in 500-meter skating and set a new world record time of 50.01 seconds. He also claimed a silver medal in the 10,000-meter, two-man relay event. In 1988, he entered the prestigious World Championships in Italy and was the top US entry in the 300-meter sprint, winning a bronze medal and earning a ranking as the third fastest skater in the world.
Throughout the '80s, he continued to compete successfully in national and international meets. Sutton earned six gold medals in national indoor races and three more in outdoor races against US competition. Against an international field in four Olympic Sports Festivals, he came home with seven gold medals and four bronze. In his era he was easily the most dominant American speed roller skater - a true champion in his chosen sport.
BORN: AUGUST 2, 1946, SAULT STE. MARIE, ONTARIO, CANADA
many Canadian youths, Bob Tombari dreamed of a career in the National Hockey
League. Skating for the hometown Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, Tombari
notched 65 goals and 57 assists during the 1966-67 season - his final year
of junior competition. The 122-point total established a new Northern
Ontario Hockey Association record and Tombari's ability caught the eye of professional scouts. The Chicago Blackhawks
selected the 5-11 left wing with their first pick - the seventh overall - in
the 1967 amateur draft. However, the thrill of being drafted by Chicago was
quickly tempered by the fact that the Hawks had numerous seasoned stars at
the wing, including the Hull brothers, Bobby and Dennis, and All-Star Ken
The 1967-68 season marked the beginning of the expansion era for the NHL, as the league doubled in size from six to 12 teams. Even with expansion hockey talent was plentiful, as demand for NHL quality players had been minimal for nearly a quarter-century. Chicago sent Tombari to Dallas, its affiliate in the Central Hockey League, but he was not offered a contract. Instead, Bob signed with the Muskegon Mohawks of the International Hockey League.
"Tomba," as he was called by his teammates, blended in well. His hustle, strong defensive skills and ability to put the puck in the net were major assets for the Mohawks, who cruised to the Turner Cup under the leadership of Carl Brewer, a three-time NHL All-Star defenseman, veteran Bryan McLay and fellow rookies Gary Ford and Lynn Margarit.
McLay and this trio of rookies formed the nucleus of the Mohawks for years to come. Tombari notched four goals in the Mohawks' 1968-69 season opener, finishing the year with 35 goals and 46 assists for 81 points in 65 games. "Tomba" tallied 100 points on 35 goals and 65 assists and was named to the league's first team All-Star squad during the 1972-73 campaign. During the 1974-75 season, he notched 33 goals and 55 assists and earned second-team All-Star honors as the Mohawks captured the Huber Trophy as regular season champions for the fifth time since Tombari's arrival.
In 1978, at the age of 32, the longtime captain of the Mohawks announced his retirement. Tombari wrapped up his 11-year IHL professional career with a total of 774 points on 308 goals and 466 assists. At the time of his retirement, the point total ranked third in team history and 10th in the league. His 881 career IHL contests ranked seventh in the IHL overall. Tombari's 732 consecutive games established a Muskegon iron man mark. His jersey number 15 was retired by the Muskegon franchise on January 19, 1992.
Following his retirement from professional hockey, Tombari became director of the Norton Shores youth hockey program. He remained at the helm of the program for 18 years, helping to develop and expand the curriculum.
North Muskegon High School
FOOTBALL TEAMS OF 1941 and 1942
Muskegon football squads of 1941 and 1942 compiled a streak of 15
consecutive shutout victories, going undefeated,
untied and unscored upon from the sixth game of the 1940 season through the
fourth game of the 1942 schedule. No
other Muskegon area prep grid team have gone through a
single season of all shutout victories, let alone compile such a record over
a two-year period. This incredible streak still stands as a state record in
high school competition. A Class C high school in terms of enrollment, the
Norsemen faced larger Class B schools in over half of those 15
games. In another unusual twist, the Norsemen established this record
under two different head coaches.
Lyle McNitt, who took over as athletic director and football coach when the new school matured into full varsity sports competition in 1934, guided the Norsemen's football program through the 1941 season, a full schedule of shutout victories that year that stretched the record to 10. McNitt departed after that season to accept another coaching position, leaving behind a brilliant record of 33-4-1 and five straight West Michigan Conference championships. With most of the starters from 1941 returning, new head coach Paul Moyes continued the shutout victory string as the 1942 season was underway. Another perfect season appeared well within the grasp of the Norsemen as they continued to dominate all opponents as the season progressed. The streak reached 15 when conference opponent Scottville finally penetrated the North Muskegon end zone in a 25-6 loss. The Norsemen finished out the schedule with two more shutout victories - another undefeated season and yet another conference championship. A successful debut for Coach Moyes, but dampened by a lost opportunity to stretch the record to 18.