AUGUSTA — Before any program leaps into the national spotlight – like the University of Maine men’s ice hockey team did in 1993 when it won an NCAA championship – there is always a starting point.

Eric Weinrich was a key cog in the Black Bears’ ascension in the late 1980s, playing in 83 games over three seasons before moving on to the National Hockey League after the 1987-88 season.

On Sunday at the Augusta Civic Center, Weinrich was one of nine inductees into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame.

“Eric was a great player at Maine and obviously fashioned a tremendous NHL career,” current Maine Coach Red Gendron said. “More important than anything else, it’s his quality as a human being. That goes all the way back to his family and being raised in Maine, and Maine values.”

The other 2015 inductees were benefactor William Alfond of Dexter and Waterville, sports agent Peter Carlisle of South Portland, football player Glenn Dumont of Winslow, soccer player Roger Levesque of Falmouth, track All-American Rob Pendergist of Ellsworth, basketball player Marcie Lane Schulenberg of Augusta, Olympic rower Anna Goodale of Camden and Gardiner, and track standout Amy Winchester of Brewer.

“It’s probably one of the nicest honors any Maine person could accept,” said Weinrich, who lived in Poland, Rumford and Gardiner when he was growing up before attending North Yarmouth Academy. “If you look at the list of the athletes in Maine, especially the list of inductees here, it’s quite the accomplished group of people. It’s just an honor to be included with them.”

Weinrich played in the 1988 Olympics and spent 17 seasons in the NHL as a defenseman. His fellow inductees had some impressive accomplishments of their own.

“To read the accomplishments of all these people is just unbelievable what they’ve done,” said Schulenberg, a 1989 graduate of Cony High. “The hard work and stuff that they’ve put in in sports is incredible.”

Schulenberg was a standout basketball player who was known for her tenacity and toughness, even though she was just 5-foot-2. In her four years at Cony, the Rams went 83-4 and won a pair of Class A state championships under coach Paul Vachon, a 2014 inductee.

Schulenberg, who was also a standout field hockey and softball player, went on to play basketball at Boston University and the University of New Hampshire.

In addition to being humbled by the honor, Schulenberg was also happy to meet Levesque, a star soccer, basketball and baseball player at Falmouth High. After graduation, Levesque played for Stanford University, then had a productive 10-year professional career with the Seattle Sounders.

“It’s so special,” Levesque said. “I don’t make it back to Maine as often as I would like to. For this event, to be a part of that with all these amazing athletes, all the way from the scholar-athletes all the way up to these people who are legends in Maine athletics and have done so much for the sport, it’s really exciting.”

While Levesque wishes he could make it back to his home state more often, Dumont never really left. He was a star football player at Winslow High in the mid-1960s who went on to have one of the greatest careers a running back has ever had at American International College.

By the time he graduated, he had broken almost every rushing, scoring, kickoff return and punt return record at AIC, and he is still the leading scorer in program history with 242 points and 40 touchdowns.

“It was great football,” Dumont said. “I didn’t realize I could compete at that level, but I did. I excelled at it, and it was a great time.”

He was selected in the 14th round of the 1970 NFL draft by the Kansas City Chiefs but did not make the team and returned home to Winslow to teach and coach football.

Also honored Sunday were five student-athlete recipients of $5,000 Maine Sports Hall of Fame scholarships: Caleb Abbott of Freeport; Caleb Gauvin of Mountain Valley; Lydia Roy of Waterville; Kathryn Taylor of Noble; and Kevin Barrett of Thornton Academy.