Mattson, Ziegler named hall of fame scholars

Munising's Frankie Mattson lines up a return during the Upper Peninsula Division 2 Finals in girls tennis at the Kingsford courts on Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2016. (Iron Mountain Daily News photo by Adam Niemi)

By Escanaba Daily Press

HARRIS — Two student-athletes from Marquette and Alger counties will be among five to be recognized Saturday night at the Upper Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame banquet to be held at the Island Resort & Casino in Harris.

Four of the honorees, all who happen to be the valedictorians of their senior graduating classes, will receive $2,000 scholarships for four years from the UPSHF.

The honorees are Munising’s Frankie Mattson, Negaunee’s Thomas Ziegler, North Central’s Jason Whitens, Gladstone’s Leigha Woelffer and Sault Ste. Marie’s Ryley Alaspa.

Whitens will not receive a scholarship from the hall of fame committee since he has accepted an NCAA Division I scholarship at Western Michigan University.

Mattson is this year’s valedictorian at Munising, where she also earned a 4.0 grade-point average.

She has earned 20 varsity letters in five sports — tennis, volleyball, basketball, track and golf — and has earned several individual awards, including U.P. Division 2 Player of the Year in tennis and Most Valuable Player awards. She has also led the Mustangs to district championships in basketball and volleyball.

Mattson will attend Alma College, where she will play basketball and major in secondary education in hopes of becoming a high school math teacher.

Zeigler has earned eight varsity letters in cross country and in track and field. He has taken the most rigorous curriculum possible at Negaunee, where he is valedictorian with a 4.33 GPA.

He is active in many school and out-of-school musical groups, and with the Ishpeming Ski Club where he teaches physically handicapped kids to ski.

Ziegler will attend Michigan Tech to major in aerospace and computer engineering.

Whitens led North Central to three straight Class D state basketball championships and back-to-back eight-player state football titles.

Whitens, who maintained a 3.8 GPA, plans to major in business at WMU.

Woelffer has 10 varsity letters in three sports — cross country, basketball and track — and is valedictorian with a 4.0 GPA at Gladstone.

She achieved a score of 34 on the ACT test as a junior and received All-U.P. honors in cross country and basketball.

Alaspa is this year’s valedictorian at Sault High where he carries a 4.07 GPA and earned seven varsity letters in three sports — football, basketball and baseball.

He has shown compassion and consistency as a volunteer with long-term care patients at War Memorial Hospital.

Alaspa will attend the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, where he’ll major in mechanical engineering and play football.

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