2023 Wall of Fame of Inductees - October 13, 2023
ACS ATHLETIC WALL OF FAME WELCOMES
2023 INDUCTEES AT OCTOBER 13th HOMECOMING
New members were inducted to the Akron Central School Athletic “Wall of Fame” during a ceremony held in the performance gymnasium during the school's Homecoming festivities on Friday, October 13, 2023. ld at 6:00PM in the performance gymnasium during the school’s homecoming events scheduled for Friday, October 13, 2023. This year’s inductees include three individual athletes with exceptional athletic careers and a team induction. Additionally, the “Eye of the Tiger” award will be presented.
The Akron Bugle and its publisher, Mrs. Marilyn Kasperek, along with her late husband, Ken, was presented with the “Eye of the Tiger” award for their distinctive, long-standing contributions in support of the athletic program. The Bugle has been covering ACS sports since 1981, giving generations of student athletes and their parents countless scrapbook clippings for Athlete of the Week, school records, championships at the local, regional and state level, among so many other published articles recognizing athletic events. The Wall of Fame committee created the special award to recognize significant supporters of the ACS athletic program who may not be athletes or coaches themselves.
The youngest individual of this year’s inductees is Larson Sundown, a member of the Class of 2015, who enjoyed a fine high school career in football and basketball, but a stellar career in his beloved sport of lacrosse which has taken him to the professional level. Sundown, who served as team captain and was named MVP, was also a vocal proponent for the removal of team mascots that negatively portray Native Americans.
Larson continued his lacrosse career at the college level becoming an NCAA national champion at the junior college, D3, and D2 levels. In 2020, he was drafted into the National Lacrosse League by the New York Riptide and enjoys the hometown fans when the team comes to town to play the Buffalo Bandits at the Key Bank Center.
Sundown has also been recognized for his coaching abilities including as assistant coach for Tigers’ lacrosse, earning 2023 US Lacrosse Assistant Coach of the Year.
Joseph Carl “JC” Tretter, Class of 2009, has also made his mark as a professional athlete. He was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the fourth round of the 2013 draft of the National Football League. In 2017, he signed with the Cleveland Browns and played center. He is currently president of the NFL Players Association.
Tretter played football and basketball for the Tigers, serving as team captain and earning MVP in both sports, earning 2nd Team Class C All-State Selection and Class C North Defensive Player of the Year for football and All-WNY selection for basketball. He is Akron’s all-time leading scorer with over 1500 points and over 1000 rebounds, and was a Channel 7 Super & Athlete of the Week received the Buffalo Fan Awards Small School Player of the Year.
JC attended Cornell University where he played football for the Big Red and earned First Team All-Ivy League selection.
Lori Hirtzel of the Class of 1991 is also selected for a place on the Wall of Fame. Hirtzel excelled as a runner for the Tigers. She was a member of the track & field team for four years and the cross-country team for three years, serving as captain for both teams and earning MVP for both teams as well. Lori was a Section VI Top 10 Runner for cross-country twice and earned a spot at the NYS championship where she finished 23rd. She also swam with the Tigersharks for three years.
Lori continued running at Cleveland State University for the Vikings’ cross-country team as well as the indoor and outdoor track teams throughout her college career. She was a North Star Conference Champion and was named to the All-Conference Team.
The Wall of Fame is pleased to make the induction of the 2008-09 Varsity Boys Basketball Team to the Wall for earning the school’s first sectional championship, holding the school record for most wins in a row at 16 and most wins in a season with 20. The 2008-09 team was the seventh Tiger team to win the Niagara-Orleans League Championship.
The team, coached by Mr. Justin Gerstung, included captains Trevor Short and JC Tretter, plus Evan Falkowski, Seth Goodier, Ryan Lemieux, Dominic Marcello, Ryan Peters, Jon Rink, Alec Short, Jaime Salcedo, Bobby Stone, and Cody Wilkins.
The Wall of Fame Committee welcomed many fans and community members to the event following an appearance by the inductees in the annual Homecoming parade through the Village of Akron. They were also introduced during halftime of the 7v7 Tiger scrimmage that replaced the game against the forfeiting Eden Raiders.
For additional information about the ACS Wall of Fame, please contact Mr. Justin Gerstung, Chairman, at (716)542-5040 ext. 6126 and visit the website akronschools.org/WOF.