Standout football defender, grappler to join sports hall of fame

Avon Lake

By Michael Fitzpatrick

A standout football player, wrestler and 1997 graduate is another in the 2017 Class of the Avon Lake Sports Hall of Fame.

Erik Mathisen was a two-time All-Southwestern Conference defensive end and also a three-time state qualifier in wrestling. He capped off his senior year by finishing second in the state in his weight class at the 1997 state wrestling tournament. That followed up a junior year in which he finished sixth in the state.

In football, he was a captain his senior year in 1997 and earned first team all-Southwestern conference honors at the defensive end spot.

He was also a standout in the classroom. He was named a Lorain County Scholar Athlete and attended Columbia University for two years, where he also played football before he transferred to Ohio University to finish up his college degree.

The Avon Lake Sports Hall of Fame was established in 1985 to give “lasting recognition to the outstanding sports figures and or teams of Avon Lake who have demonstrated outstanding athletic ability at the high school, college, amateur or professional sports levels.”

Inductees must have been a resident of the city; be at least 35 or deceased and have “high moral values in life.”

Joining Mathisen in the 2017 class are Shawn Pavlovich, ’93, Football; Meg Ryan, Basketball/Soccer, ’00; Gary Wetherill, Football, ’67; ’94 Boys Cross Country Team; Ray Bartel, Swimmer, ’99; Brad Bartel, Swimmer, ‘2000.

These athletes will be honored at a dinner and induction ceremony May 20 at the Fountain Bleau in Avon Lake. The festivities will continue the following day with the hall of fame’s 26th annual Golf Outing at Sweetbriar County Club.

Friends and family members of the 2017 class are invited to attend both events. Reservation forms can be found on the Avon Lake Sports Hall of Fame’s website at For information regarding sponsorships for either the dinner or golf outing, call 933-2959.



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