Six to be inducted into Slicer Hubner Hall of Fame Jan. 31

The Hubner Athletic Hall of Fame at La Porte High School will be inducting 6 individuals between the JV and varsity boys basketball games vs. Crown Point on Jan. 31. Denny Mantick, Dick Hostetler, Eddie Dubbs, Greg Fruth, Elena Lancioni, and Mark Mannering are the 2020 inductees.

Denny Mantick

Denny Mantick was a Slicer athletic star in the early 1970s. In basketball he was a starter for most of the 1971 season and all of the 1972 season. He was the team leader in assists in ‘72 and was named All-Sectional in the same season as well as being chosen as Most Improved Player. He played for Slicer coach Skip Collins. He said one of his greatest thrills in athletics was beating Michigan City in 1971 at the Civic. In baseball he was a three-year starter in 1970, 71, and ‘72. He played second base and shortstop throughout his career. He also pitched, still owning the single-season record for ERA at 0.29. He was chosen as the team’s Most Valuable Player at the end of the 1972 season and finished with a career batting average of .322. His career pitching record was 23-2. He was twice named all conference and served as co-captain his senior year. The 1971 team won the State Championship. Denny noted that year the State Finals were played in Lafayette, and the Slicers played Lafayette Jeff in the final game. He said he always remembers that there were as many or more Slicer fans in the seats that night despite playing in their opponent’s hometown. Of course, he played for the legendary coach Ken Schreiber.
Denny was chosen as Senior Athlete of the Year at the end of the 1972 athletic season. After high school, Denny went to Western Illinois University on a baseball scholarship. He started for three seasons before being drafted by the Minnesota Twins. He set numerous records while at WIU as well as serving as co-captain on two different occasions. In the summer of 1975 he also was invited to play in the prestigious Central Illinois Collegiate League. He then played for four seasons in the Twins’ organization, making it as high as Triple A. He is a member of several halls of fame. He was chosen both individually and as part of a team in to the WIU Athletic Hall of Fame. He was named to the La Porte Old Timers Baseball Association Hall in 1985 and was in the inaugural class voted in to the La Porte Slicer Baseball Hall of Fame in 1994. Denny noted that both coaches mentioned earlier stressed discipline, dedication and hard work as the keys to winning.
Denny and his wife, Debby, have two children, Kyle and Kelly. Today Denny lives in Peoria, Illinois, and after a career in parks and recreation, still teaches physical education on on a part-time basis.

Dick Hostetler

Dick Hostetler was a three-sport athlete for LPHS who graduated in 1950. He participated in football, basketball and track. After high school he went on to the University of Chattanooga with the intent to play football and basketball.
At LPHS he was the leading scorer on the football team with 55 points his junior year. He was named all-conference that year as well. In his senior season he scored all of the Slicer points in a narrow 13-16 loss to eventual conference champion South Bend Riley. His senior season also found him named team Most Valuable Player, placed again on the All-Conference team, and being named All-State as well. In college, because there were four “Richards” on the football team, he became known as “Hosty.” In an injury-plagued career, he managed to score two touchdowns against Tampa. He played basketball and football in college. Dick died in 1968 at the age of 38.

Eddie Dubbs

Eddie Dubbs was a three-sport athlete who graduated from LPHS in 1990. His team accomplishments are 1990 sectional basketball champions and 1990 state baseball champions. His most memorable experience was winning the state baseball championship as a member of that team and also being awarded the L.V. Phillips Mental Attitude Award at the same State championship. He was awarded seven varsity letters in three years of varsity competition. In 1989 he was All-Conference in football for the Duneland Athletic Conference. In that same season, he was the recipient of the Dr. Gardner Mental Attitude Award.
Eddie credits his older brothers for always taking him with them to various athletic contests and therefore fostering his interest and desire to play these various sports. He also noted coaches Pat O’Neil and Roger Lowe for being great motivators. Eddie’s impact on local sports has lasted much longer than just his playing days. He has served as a coach in various sports at various levels over the years. He has coached Pop Warner Football, Babe Ruth and KVA Baseball, and Kesling Middle School Football.
He graduated from Ball State in 1994 and again later with a second degree in Nuclear Medicine Technology. He has since worked for 25 years at Franciscan Alliance in Michigan City in the Nuclear Medicine Department. Eddie has four children: Ella, Benjamin, Lydia and Nicholas.

Elena Lancioni

Track and cross country, Elena Lancioni’s forte in the world of sports, are thought to be individual sports by some. She is regarded today as the greatest female distance runner in LPHS history. A 2014 graduate of LPHS, Elena’s greatest focus was always on team success. She remembers, “To have all our work pay off and to have my team toeing the line at State alongside me was an amazing experience.” This quote was in reference to the LPHS girls team qualifying for State in 2013.
Elena qualified for State four times each in her cross country and track careers. When she graduated, she was the school record holder in the following races: 5K, 800m, 1600m, 3200m. Her times in the 5K and 1600m still stand today. She lettered eight times in cross country and track and was team MVP in seven of those seasons. She was named All State three times in cross country. She was the first female athlete to win three conference MVPs in any one sport in the Duneland Athletic Conference. She is also the first male or female athlete to win five conference MVPs. After graduation she was awarded an athletic scholarship to Bowling Green State University (BGSU). While participating in track and cross country at BGSU, she volunteered and helped organize a Girls on the Run chapter and worked with the Special Olympics. She participated in the 6K during cross country and qualified and participated in the Mid American Conference Championships for all four years. In track she ran the 5K and 10K events. In the 5K she qualified for the Conference Championships three times, and she qualified for the same twice in the 10K. She is currently still running and hopeful to be healthy enough to run the Boston Marathon, and she has the 2024 Marathon Trials in her sights. She credits her coaches John Dearing and Tim Beres for having faith in her that she was not sure she had. She said they made running fun but serious at the same time.
Elena graduated high school with a 4.0 GPA and was a member of many clubs and organizations. She is currently working on a Master’s in Public Health through Indiana University. She is the daughter of Mike and Sonja Lancioni.

Greg Fruth

Few individuals throughout the history of the City of La Porte are better known as a combination of athlete, coach, teacher, and Good Samaritan than Greg Fruth. Greg was a three-year letter winner in football and one-year letter winner in track. In football he played on the 1966 team, which is arguably one of the best in Slicer history. This team was ranked number one in the state for two weeks. He also played for two years at Upper Iowa University. In 1965 he received the Best Blocker Award and was selected honorable mention All-Conference. Greg had an intense desire to beat his opponent. His high school coach Stan Klimczak commented at the time that Greg took a “fiendish delight in hitting his opponents.” Thus, Coach Klimczak gave him the nickname “Crazy Man.” Greg had many coaches who influenced both his playing and coaching careers: Stan Klimczak, Bob Hoke, Dick Deardurff, Jack Allen, Wayne Graffis, Larry McKeever, and Ken Schreiber, to name a few. He also believes his parents were his greatest asset.
In addition to his playing career, Greg also coached football for 28 years at levels from 7th grade up to high school varsity. The number of players impacted positively from Greg’s coaching is incredible. Greg is also a member of the Slicer Football Association Hall of Fame.
Greg can be seen today dashing around town with datebook in hand on his way to his next volunteer assignment. He is proof that you can go home again … Once a Slicer, Always a Slicer! Greg and his wife Maria have three sons: Alex, Eric, and Kevin, along with four grandkids.

Mark Mannering

Considered one of the best to ever don a Slicer baseball uniform, Mark Mannering had a great career as a Slicer baseball player. He was a three-year starter. He had a career batting average of .350 while hitting .388 his junior year. He was chosen first team All-State his junior year along with being named team Most Valuable Player. His senior year he was named All-Conference, All-State, Duneland Athletic Conference MVP, and team MVP. He was inducted into the Slicer Baseball Hall of Fame in 1994. The combined record of his three years on the varsity was 97-15.
After his high school career, he went on to Miami of Ohio on a baseball scholarship. He was a four-year starter at first base and played every game. When he graduated with his degree in finance, he was in the top 10 of most every offensive category. In 1983 and 1985, he was All-Mid American Conference First Team. In 1983 he helped lead his Miami team to a Mid America Conference Tournament Championship. In 1993 he was inducted in to the Miami Athletic Hall of Fame.
Mark was drafted by the New York Yankees in 1986 and played in their farm system for two years. His A-league team won the Florida State League Championship in 1987 and was feted by none other than George Steinbrenner, famous Yankee owner. He also was coached by widely known Yankees Bucky Dent and Buck Showalter. Having played for Coach Ken Schreiber, Mark remembers that Coach truly cared for his players and the Slicer program. He also credits his older brother Steve for taking over the coaching of him when their dad died. A defining moment in his career, Mark believes, was in his sophomore season when he got the game-winning RBI in a regional semifinal game.
Mark currently works as a senior consumer loan officer in La Porte at First Source Bank. Mark and his wife, Linda, have five children, Clay, Adam, Heather, Allen and Catherine.

10 Responses to “Six to be inducted into Slicer Hubner Hall of Fame Jan. 31”

  1. Anna Lenardson

    Jan 03. 2020

    Congratulations to all of you! Each of your history stories show clearly why you were selected. Additional Congratulations to Elena Lancioni for being recognized at an early age for what she has accomplished and achieved. When records and achievements are made they should be recognized regardless of age.

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  2. Mike Kellems

    Jan 03. 2020

    Congratulations Greg Fruth!! Perfect person to receive this honor!!

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  3. john zakes

    Jan 03. 2020

    congrats Greg. great person and great friend!!! also interesting story on Mr. Hostetler. had never heard it before.

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  4. David Sirugo

    Jan 03. 2020

    CONGRATS Greg ! And to all the others as well !
    Go Slicers !

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  5. Susan Getz

    Jan 03. 2020

    Way to go Greg! You deserve this.One of the best guys I know. Congratulations.

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  6. Mark Shepard

    Jan 03. 2020

    Great work, Mark, truly a great honor although your induction is no surprise. You earned it, man, congratulations

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  7. Jeff Topp

    Jan 04. 2020

    Congratulations to you all!!!

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  8. Walter A.

    Jan 05. 2020

    Congratulations to all peoples for this year, especially Greg Fruth who I 1st met in 1974 as a sub teacher for Jim Reed. He’s a very good teacher and good person!

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  9. Doug Kiff

    Jan 05. 2020

    Congratulations to all these Slicer greats. Your off field and post athletic career accomplishments are truly admirable. One note is that Greg Fruth credited Bina Jack Allen for influencing him. Jack was a great man and I’m glad he is getting his due respect in Greg’s bio.

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  10. Mike Conklin

    Jan 18. 2020

    Proud to have played for (Fruth) and with (Dubbs) two of these shining examples of what it means to be a LaPorte Slicer. Congratulations to all!

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