Newest members of U.P. Sports Hall of Fame officially inducted

The 47th annual Upper Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame induction banquet was held Saturday at Island Resort & Casino in Harris. Inductees include: front row from left, Don Mickelson of Munising, representing his late father Walfred (Mike) Mickelson, Herb Grenke of Marquette, Don Michaelson of L'Anse, Pete Pericolosi of Iron Mountain/Menominee, Jim Karabetsos of Marquette and Jack Ingalls of Gladstone/St. Ignace; rear, Ingrid Gallo of Ironwood, Nancy McCarthy of Kingsford, representing her late husband Rich McCarthy of Kingsford, Karen Plaisier of Ishpeming and Sarah (Stream) Stanek of Ishpeming/Iron Mountain. Stanek attended despite the fact Saturday was also the due date for her second child. (Dennis Grall photo)

HARRIS — Jack Ingalls admits he was “an average Class C high school athlete.”

But Ingalls knew how to coach, work with his assistants and motivate his basketball players. For his accomplishments, Ingalls was inducted into the U.P. Sports Hall of Fame Saturday night.

“I am in here because of some success in coaching and success in coaching is due to lots of people,” Ingalls said. “If you don’t have people behind you, parents, and good kids and administration and so forth, you don’t turn out very good or go very far very long.”

Ingalls and nine others were honored at the 147th annual UPSHF Induction Banquet at the Island Resort and Casino. The other honorees were Ironwood’s Ingrid Gallo, Marquette’s Herb Grenke, Kingsford’s Rich McCarthy, Marquette’s Jim Karabetsos, L’Anse’s Don Michaelson, Eben/Munising’s Walfred (Mike) Mickelson, Iron Mountain/Menominee’s Pete Pericolosi, Ishpeming/Negaunee’s Karen Plaisier and Ishpeming’s Sarah (Stream) Stanek.

Also honored were the UPSHF senior student-athlete scholarship winners — Negaunee’s Clara Johnson, Lake Linden-Hubbell’s Laura Lyons, Marquette’s Luke Rambo and Ewen-Trout Creek’s Jake Witt.

Jack Ingalls

Ingalls, an East Jordan native, compiled a 263-159 record, which included 14 seasons at Gladstone and seven years at Vestaburg. He was the U.P. Class A-B Coach of the Year four times and led the Braves to two Class B quarterfinals.

In his career, Ingalls also coached track, football and Little League baseball, while serving as a volunteer coach for the five-time state champion St. Ignace LaSalle girls basketball teams.

“I have one recommendation for any young person who wants to be a coach,” Ingalls said. “That is get involved in Little League, get involved in elementary basketball yourself because there you can build a connection with kids and parents for what you are teaching and that takes care of some of the years between when things don’t go right. You already have that made. It’s awful important and you are teaching the skills the way you want it to be done too.”

Ingalls also excelled as a fastpitch softball hitter-outfielder during a 14-year career.

Ingalls thanked the Gladstone administration, his assistant coaches like Dave Lahtinen and Karl Dollhopf and the many players who bought into his program.

“It’s not my great knowledge or anything,” Ingalls said. “It’s how you get along with kids, how you can get them to play for you. Those kids played hard every time.”

Ingrid Gallo

“I just feel so privileged to be among this distinguished group of athletes,” Gallo said. “And I never thought when I was doing things that were fun like skiing and golfing that I would end up here. And particularly because I was before Title 9. I went to Luther L. Wright High School in Ironwood Michigan. There was a ski team and a skiing was culturally acceptable, so it was OK to train with the boys. It was even better for me because they worked hard and you wanted to beat them. It was great.”

Gallo, who won the 1972 U.P. Ladies Golf Association championship in 1972, played on the University of Minnesota women’s golf team (1974-76) and won the Big Ten title in 1974. She qualified for the 1978 U.S. Open, became a golf teacher and is among the top instructors in Minnesota.

Gallo also earned four letters as a skier in high school and won the U.P. slalom in 1972.

“I appreciate you honoring me and the others for moments of brilliance,” Gallo said. “That’s all we can hope for in life is for moments in brilliance. It’s really wonderful when you have support. It’s much easier to be successful when your family supports that.”

Herb Grenke

Grenke, a native of Oconto Falls, Wis., excelled as the head football coach at Northern Michigan University from 1983-90 while compiling a school-best 53-28-1 record. He also served as defensive line coach for NMU’s Division 2 championship team in 1975.

“What an honor,” Grenke said. “One of the questions I asked my friend who is a Yooper now, ‘Does this make me a Yooper?’ No. You have to be born here, right? And he also says it’s got to be a part of your DNA. But I feel like a Yooper.”

Grenke, who served in the Marine Corps and played football at the UW-Milwaukee, had other coaching stints at UW-Platteville and Northern Illinois.

Grenke thanked his assistant coaches, especially Buck Nystrom, players and the family culture that was created on his watch.

“We didn’t block and tackle anybody, so what this is about is the players,” Grenke said. “I am here because of the players. I told them three things — believe in yourself, believe in each other, care about one another and they did that. And we won a lot of games. We won a lot of championships.

“They still care about each other. Recently, we had two members of our group die, Bill Rademacher, who is a member of this Hall of Fame, and Brian Franks, who is from Escanaba. If you went to either of those services, you saw how much they cared for one another.”

Rich McCarthy

McCarthy, who earned 11 letters in four sports at Kingsford High School, excelled as an athlete and high school coach in the Muskegon area for 32 years before his death in 2003. McCarthy lived with serious health issues his whole life and had four kidney transplants and one liver transplant.

“Rich was a man of great courage amidst difficult times,” Nancy McCarthy said about her late husband. “He enjoyed each day, though, and he lived in the moment as most of us have trouble doing. He was grateful for every day he opened his eyes and put his feet on the floor.”

McCarthy was a three-year starting quarterback at NMU, where he owned 10 school records and was MVP of the 1969 team.

In Muskegon, McCarthy served as head coach at Oakridge High School for five years and was an assistant coach for 21 years at Orchard View and Reeths-Puffer. He also was girls track coach for 12 years at Reeths-Puffer, earned Michigan’s Assistant Coach of the Year in 1997 and was selected to the Michigan High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame in 2007.

“Rich loved life,” McCarthy said. “He loved his family. He had a strong faith and he sure did love the U.P. I know he would be extremely grateful to be getting this award tonight. He’d also probably say he didn’t deserve it. Even though he had a stellar college and high school record, he was a very humble guy who never sought accolades for himself. Don’t get me wrong he was a fierce competitor and he liked to win as anybody who played with him or against him would attest.

“But throughout his years of playing and coaching sports, the team spirit, the working together toward a common goal is what was really important to him. As a coach he not only taught kids the game, but also tried to teach them life lessons like kindness and caring, the importance of doing your best and helping others to succeed, pride in your accomplishments and not letting defeat keep you from not getting up and trying again. Rich not only taught these lessons, but he modeled them in his personal and professional life. He lived with kidney disease all of his life and had many ups and downs. But he never let the disease define him and he really defied the odds in many ways.”

Jim Karabetsos

Karabetsos earned 11 varsity letters in four sports at Marquette Graveraet High School and was a four-year letterman at NMU on a basketball scholarship. He was team captain in 1961-62, helping NMU to a school-best 24-3 record in 1960-61 highlighted by a home victory against Michigan State University.

He was head basketball coach at Ashland, Wis., and an assistant at Kansas University. He also was head coach for two seasons at Denver, where he coached against UCLA and legendary Coach John Wooden.

“What a treat it was to coach against (Wooden) and to play against players like Bill Walton, Henry Bibby, Larry Farmer and many other players who became excellent NBA players,” Karabetsos said.

Karabetsos also served as assistant athletic director at the University of North Dakota from 1982-86 and spent 13 years as professor of sport management at Western Illinois University.

“In my journey in sports, I lived in many states and represented many universities,” Karebetsos said. “However, through all the stops I remained connected to the good old Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Whenever I read the names of Yoopers like (Tom) Izzo, (Steve) Mariucci, (Lloyd) Carr, (Jerry) Glanville, (Bill) Rademacher and a host of others, I had to burn the ears of anyone who was around me. Now with this enshrinement, with such a group, it gives me great pride.”

Don Michaelson

Michaelson was a standout football player who also excelled in basketball and track. He was the U.P. Back of the Year and a Class C all-stater in 1970. In track, he helped the Purple Hornets win the 1971 U.P. Class C track title by winning the shot put.

“I feel grateful, excited and humbled,” Michaelson said. “I am glad to be representing Baraga County and Baraga County athletes at this stage. None of this would be possible without having great teammates and great coaches.

“We come from a little town in L’Anse where it was kind of unusual to have a whole group of really good athletes on one team. But we did. We had good teammates and good coaches and we played hard and we had fun.”

Michaelson played football for two seasons at Mesabi, Minn., State Junior College, where he helped the team win the state junior college title while earning Junior College All-America honors in 1972.

Michaelson also played two years of football at Eastern Michigan University.

“My family and I are very proud for this moment,” Michaelson said. “I have two brothers who have passed, Pat and Mike. They were pretty good athletes themselves. They were very instrumental in leading me down the path with sports.”

Walfred (Mike) Mickelson

Mickelson, a 1936 Eben graduate who died in 2002, made the most of his coaching opportunities, including a lack of basketball facilities at Eben and track facilities at Munising.

In basketball, he led Eben to Class D district titles in 1946 and 1947 while playing home games in Trenary and Munising. In track, he guided Munising to U.P. titles in 1957 and 1958.

Mickelson’s cross country teams at Eben also won four U.P. titles.

Mickelson was a catalyst to generate funds for a new Eben gym in 1950 and he led the fund-raising campaign for an all-weather track at Munising Memorial Field when it opened in 1977.

“When he was fundraising, he said, ‘I’m the biggest beggar there is,'” said Don Mickelson, who was representing his late father.

In his sports career, Mickelson set track records in the both hurdle events and broad jump.

He also had a 55-year career officiating high school athletic events and was a member of the Army’s “Black Devils Brigade” during World War II.

“He was just an awesome man,” Don Mickelson said. “He just loved teaching. The biggest thing with dad is sports and students. He just loved them.”

Pete Pericolosi

Pericolosi, an All-U.P. basketball player at Iron Mountain, left his mark at Menominee with a 30-year career as boys’ varsity basketball coach.

He compiled a 366-253 record, with one Class B regional title and quarterfinal victory. He led the Maroons to six district crowns and 11 Great Northern Conference championships.

Menominee was named Class A-B Team of the Year 13 times under Pericolosi and he was a two-time U.P. Class A-B-C Coach of the Year.

In addition, Pericolosi also was a game official for 40 years.

Pericolosi thanked his family, friends, assistants and former coaches. And he put in perspective coaching basketball at a school with a storied football tradition.

“It wasn’t easy coaching in Menominee,” Pericolosi said. “If you don’t know, Menominee is a little bit of a football town. Just a little bit. The running joke was, well, the football team scores more points than the basketball team. And the sad part about it, it was true.

“Some years we couldn’t throw it in the bay and that is the truth. But we always were physical, we were good defensively and we were good at blocking cutters. We had a lot of good players in Menominee to win that many games.”

Karen Plaisier

Plaisier made her marks as a three-sport high school coach over four decades and a standout golfer.

She coached Negaunee boys and girls golf teams from 1990-2011, leading the boys to the U.P. Class A-B title in 1993 and Class C in 200. She also coached Negaunee girls track, winning four U.P. Class C titles.

In addition, Plaisier was the Negaunee girls basketball coach from 1975-84.

Plaisier wanted her teams to play loose and have fun.

“When you first start teaching you don’t have much money,” Plaisier said. “I got this little Chevette. The girls thought it was really funny. I came out from the office after practice one day and they had lifted that car up onto the lawn and said it wasn’t fit for the road. And that is what humor was when I coached. I loved to have humor with the kids and it was really a lot of fun.”

In golf, Plaisier claimed 20 Wawonowin Country Club women’s titles and won more than 100 tournaments in the U.P. and Northern Michigan.

She also was 65 years old when she won the Upper Peninsula Ladies Golf Association championship in 2015 for the first time after finishing second six times. She has five UPLGA senior titles under her belt.

Winning the UPLGA championship at 65 was special, Plaisier admitted.

“I am the oldest champion at age 65,” she said. “I always told my athletes, ‘never give up.’ And this kind of proves it, so you can tell your athletes, ‘Never give up.’

Sarah (Stream) Stanek

Stanek was due to deliver her second child Saturday, but it didn’t stop her from attending the banquet.

“To me, being a Yooper, means being tough, hardworking, resilient and being proud of where you come from,” she said. “So to be officially inducted into the U.P. Sports Hall of Fame and be alongside some of the best Yoopers of all-time is a very humbling experience.”

Stanek excelled as a talented point guard at Westwood, leading the Patriots to the 2003 Class C state championship. She was the U.P. Class A-B-C Player of the Year and earned all-state.

Stanek ranks as the school’s all-time scoring leader with 1,842 points.

At Michigan Tech, she owns the career assist record (459) and is sixth with 1,464 career points. Stanek, who was the GLIAC Freshman of the Year, was a three-time team captain and MVP in 2006-07 and started a program-record 126 games.

Stanek thanked her parents, siblings and coaches along the way.

“I am the youngest of four kids,” she said. “I grew up watching them play sports and being proud to be their little sister. They taught me to be tough, to not be a sore loser and they made me compete. I looked up to them and I still do more than they will ever know.”

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