Alma captures Renner Award for fourth straight year

Alma captures Renner Award for fourth straight year

Alma, Mich. - Harrison LaLone '18, a member of the Alma College Sports Information staff, has been selected as the recipient of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association's Tom Renner Award, the league office announced today (Tuesday, June 19). The award, named in honor of longtime MIAA Publicist and Hope College Sports Information Director Tom Renner, is presented annually to a student assistant at an MIAA member college sports information office for outstanding service. This is the fourth consecutive year a student from Alma College has received the honor. 

"I'm glad I could continue the tradition we've built at Alma," LaLone said. "Each of the previous three winners during my tenure have had a hand in my development and I hope I've done enough for future candidates from Alma to say the same. 

"I'd also like to thank (Sports Information Director) Paul (Thomas) and (Assistant Sports Information Director) Zach (Russo) for their trust in me and my abilities. Their influence on me will be vital as I move forward in my career."

A member of the Alma College sports information staff for three years, LaLone began working with the department as a sophomore and developed into a vital part of the Scots' staff, handling responsibilities in nearly every area of the office's operation. LaLone was a critical part of enhancing Alma's webcasting capabilities and produced the 2016 MIAA Softball Tournament and NCAA Division III Softball Regional, and also served as a broadcaster for women's basketball home games. Over the past two years, LaLone has been the primary contact for the Scots' cross country and track and field teams, and served as an assistant with the baseball program, making trips with the Scots to Florida to handle statistics in the last two seasons. 

As a senior, LaLone added the responsibilities for the wrestling program and was a part of nearly every game day crew for home events, serving as the main statistical inputter at home volleyball and basketball games while helping to train students. He also handled public address announcer duties at several home events, including all baseball games over the past two seasons as well as the majority of soccer games at Scotland Yard. 

LaLone also served as a member of the media services staff at the 2018 First and Second Rounds of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at Little Caesar's Arena in Detroit and was a frequent member of the baseball statistics crew at Central Michigan University over the past two years. 

Originally from Mount Pleasant, Mich., and a graduate of Shepherd High School, LaLone will be pursing his Master's Degree in sport management at the University of Southern Indiana and has been hired as a graduate assistant in the Screaming Eagles' Athletic Communications office. He graduated from Alma College in April with a degree in communications.  

LaLone is the fourth consecutive Alma student assistant to receive the Renner Award and fifth since the award's inception in 2008. Grace Wheeler '15, who served as the assistant sports information director at Alma College in 2015-16 and later served on the athletics communications staff at Michigan State University, began the string, and was followed by Brad Vannatter '16, who currently works in statistical quality control with the National Football League. Ali Holmquist '17 received the honor last year and is now the assistant women's lacrosse coach at Bethany College (W. Va.) after spending a year on the athletics communications staff at Eastern Michigan University.

Tom Renner served as Hope's sports information director for 47 years before stepping down from his position in 2013. For 41 years, Renner was also the MIAA publicist (1967-2008) and still remains with the conference as the league's historian.

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