Two hall of famers were legends

The term legend is one of the most overused in the world of sports.

But for at least two of the people, Sarah (Stream) Stanek and Don Michaelson inducted into the Upper Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame this past weekend, it’s a very fitting term.

It didn’t take long for me to recognize that Stream was the most complete girls basketball player I had ever watched.

The former Westwood High product was one of those players who stood out as soon as she stepped on the basketball court.

She always looked for teammates and had an uncanny knack for hanging in the air when she went up for a shot.

She was solid in every respect on the floor and was the floor leader for a very good Patriots teams in the early 2000s.

I had the chance to see her play in a few of her prep games, most notably when the U.P. regionals were held at the Michigan Tech SDC.

That was in a more enlightened period when regionals were being held at university facilities instead of high school gyms.

After Westwood was eliminated by St. Ignace in heart-breaking fashion (a last-second 3-point shot) in her junior season in the regional finals, she came back as a senior as the Patriots went all the way.

She almost singlehandedly helped Westwood knock off defending Class C state champ Inkster in the finals, scoring 38 points.

The Inkster coach didn’t have enough kind words for Stream, describing her as the “Energizer Bunny, she just kept going and going.”

She went on to play at Michigan Tech, and despite some nagging knee injuries, had a very nice career for the Huskies.

While I never had the chance to watch Don Michaelson in action (an Army hitch the reason), I read and heard a lot about his exploits.

A three-sport star, Michaelson excelled on the football field. He held the U.P. record for most career rushing yards with nearly 5,000 for more a decade.

And he once scored six touchdowns in a game despite touching the ball just six times. He scored in almost conceivable way, by rushing, receiving, returning kicks and taking back an interception in a game versus Baraga.

Former LHS football coach and athletic director Jim Mattson described him as the finest athlete ever at L’Anse.

“In track, we could put him in any event, and he would more than likely win it,” Mattson recalled a few years ago.

Michaelson played college football at Mesabi (Minn.) Junior College and later at Eastern Michigan University, specializing in returns.

Not surprising, both athletes credited their families, teammates and coaches for their success at the HOF banquet.

That’s the kind of people they are.

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