Local Sports Journal is hosting its first ever Varsity Blues Athletic Awards Show on Saturday at the Frauenthal Theater in downtown Muskegon.
Part of the evening celebrates the excellence of high school student/athletes who compete in this area. Fans who want to attend this year’s event, can purchase tickets by clicking here or by visiting the Frauenthal Theater box office.
The top athlete awards are focused on a handful of individuals who have shown exemplary performances on the playing surfaces. From football to golf to basketball to motorcycle racing, Varsity Blues acknowledges these top high school athletes.
West Michigan includes some of the best high school golfers in the state.
This year, we went through an entire list of golfers with an eye on statistics and personal results. LSJ staff pored over stat sheets and talked to coaches to come up with this year’s list of nominees for the Sally Sessions Golf Award.
Here is the list of nominees:
Eddie Kuznar, Mona Shores
Jacob Sharp, Manistee
Kody Vis, Spring Lake
Paige Anderson, Reeths-Puffer
Emma McKinley, Ludington
Mayson Southland, Mona Shores
The Sally Sessions award was created based on the legacy of the North Muskegon native.
One of the 13 founding members of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA), Sessions earned her greatest fame as an amateur and professional golfer, but she was also a gifted athlete in other sports.
She was a standout basketball, softball and tennis player in high school from 1938 to 1940. At age 16, Sally claimed a state championship in tennis in the novice division. After graduation from North Muskegon in 1940, she enrolled at the University of Michigan.
With the encouragement of her parents and Muskegon Country Club professional Lee Kosten, Sally began to concentrate on the game of golf and almost overnight became the top female golfer in the Muskegon area. But she continued to participate in tennis and softball.
Sally’s athletic skills and competitive spirit earned her the rare feat of winning the City of Muskegon tennis and golf championships in the same year (1942) – in fact on the same day. However, golf soon became her primary focus.
By the age of 18, she was already a serious contender for the women’s state championship, winning the Michigan Jr. Golf Championship in 1941 and finishing among the leaders in 1942. In 1947, she entered major national tournaments, including the US Women’s Open at Greensboro, NC. Still an amateur, she finished runner-up. Soon afterward, she won the Mexican Women’s Open. In 1947, she made golf headlines by becoming the first woman to break men’s par at Pinehurst, NC Country Club.
Sessions turned professional in January 1948 and joined the small group of women golfers that gave birth to the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA).