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Calumet announces 2016 Athletic Hall of Fame Class

CALUMET – Calumet High School announced the latest members to join the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame. The 2016 class includes: Tim Baroni, Al Eckhart, Greg Eckhart, Tim Frantti, Kristin (Hager) Peterson, Carl “Cookie” Johnson and Joseph A. Savini. The induction ceremony will take place on Aug. 27 at 11 a.m. with a coffee social in the Calumet School Commons. The induction ceremony is free of charge and open to the public.

Tim Baroni lettered in football, basketball and track while attending Calumet High School and was chosen to captain all three teams during his career between 1972-1976. Tim quarterbacked CHS to a Copper Country Conference football championship with a 4-0-1 record and an overall record of 5-2-1 in 1974. He also led the football Kings to a 6-2-0 record and was selected as quarterback on the C. C. All-Conference 1st team and All-U.P. honorable mention in 1975. As a sophomore, he started and averaged 15.9 points per game on the CHS basketball team which won the school’s first conference championship since the 1950-51 season. Tim was named to the C.C. All-Conference 2nd team in 1973-74. As a junior in 1974-75, Tim was named to the C.C. All-Conference basketball 1st team and selected as All-U.P. honorable mention in helping the Copper Kings to a 15-5 overall record. He scored 398 points and averaged 20.0 points per game as a senior in helping his team to a 14-5 record and a second place finish in the conference. Tim was selected to the C.C. All-Conference basketball 1st team, the All-U.P. 2nd team and All-State honorable mention in 1975-76. He set CHS basketball season records with 448 field goal attempts and 177 field goals, both of which still stand. He scored a then record 45 points in a game against L’Anse. Tim finished with 980 career points in an era prior to the 3 point shot. In track, Tim ran the 120 yard low hurdles, 220 yard dash, 440 yard run, mile relay and long jumped in becoming one of the leading point producers on the CHS track team (1973-76). He helped the Copper Kings to three straight C.C. Conference and Regional Track Championships (1973-76), and was a member of the 1975 Class A-B Upper Peninsula championship track team and the 1976 squad which finished runner-up in Class A-B. Tim is one of the very few CHS track athletes to have had four 1st place finishes in a meet (1975). He set a still standing school record with a time of 51.55 seconds in the 440 yard run (1976). Tim received the George Gipp Award as the outstanding senior male athlete in the class of 1976. He went on to earn three letters while playing varsity basketball at Michigan Tech. Tim graduated from MTU in 1980 with a degree in business administration. Tim Baroni was an outstanding athlete and leader at CHS during one of the Copper Kings’ most successful eras of athletic accomplishment.

Al Eckhart lettered in football, basketball and track while attending Calumet High School between 1963-67. While earning two letters in football, he helped lead the Copper Kings in back-to-back 6-2-0 seasons in 1965 and 1966. During this time, he and CHS Hall of Fame running back, George Oikarinen, formed the fastest backfield tandem in school history. In basketball, he earned two letters including his senior year when the team finished with a fine 10-5 record in the Copper Country Conference (1965-67).

Al earned four letters in track while running in the dashes, hurdles, relays and long jump (1963-1967). As a sophomore, he was already one of the Copper Kings’ leading point producers. During his career, the Copper Kings won four consecutive Copper Country Conference track championships, and the 1965 Upper Peninsula Class A-B track championship. He set school records in the 100 and 220 yard dashes and as a member of the 880 yard relay team (1967). His time in the 100 (10.05) and 220 (21.40) yard dashes were both among the five fastest in the entire state that year. Al also set a school and meet record in the 60 yard dash with a time of 6.5 seconds at the Northern Michigan Indoor Relays at Marquette (1967). He was a consensus choice on the All-Conference, All-U.P. and All-State track teams in 1967. Al accepted a four-year scholarship to play football at Michigan Tech, but only played one year before leaving school to enlist in the U. S. Army where he served as a tank commander in Vietnam for two years (1969-70).

He enrolled again at Michigan Tech after three years of military service and lettered in track and field while completing his Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree. Following college, he enlisted once again into the Army and retired, with the rank of Major, after 18 more years of service. Al Eckhart was an excellent three-sport athlete who had one of the most illustrious track careers in CHS history and later served his country with distinction as an officer in the U.S. Army.

Greg Eckhart lettered in football, basketball and track while attending Calumet High School between 1965-1969. In football, he was selected to the Copper Country Conference 2nd team as a running back (1967). Greg led the conference in scoring with 85 points by scoring 14 touchdowns and one extra point (1968). In 1968, he ran for 260 yards on 21 carries in a game against Ontonagon, which is second in school history behind only CHS Hall of Famer Fred Barry’s total of 308 yards against Negaunee in 1953. Greg was named to the All-Conference 1st team at running back after helping the Copper Kings to a conference championship and a 6-2 overall record, and was elected to the All-U.P. Class AB 1st team as a defensive back in 1968. He earned three letters in basketball, including two years as a starter, and was selected to the All-Conference 3rd team after his senior season (1966-69). Greg earned three letters in track as a strong performer on teams that won three consecutive conference championships between 1966-69. He set, what were then, school records in the 440 yard dash (53.2 sec.) and as a member of the mile relay team (3:42.1) in 1969. Greg received the George Gipp Award as the outstanding senior male athlete in the class of 1969. He was recruited to play football at Michigan Tech as a defensive specialist and went on to earn four varsity letters during his career at MTU. Greg helped the Huskies to a 26-12 record over his four seasons (1974-1977), including an undefeated 9-0 season and conference championship in 1974.

Greg Eckhart was a highly competitive three-sport athlete at CHS who also distinguished himself on the football field with the Michigan Tech Huskies.

Tim Frantti lettered in football, hockey and track while attending Calumet High School between 1977-1981. As the quarterback, he led the Copper King football team to back-to-back conference championships with a 10-5-0 overall record in 1979 and 1980.

Tim was named to the Superior Six All-Conference 1st team and All-U.P. honorable mention in 1980. In hockey, Tim led the Copper Kings in scoring with 15 goals, 20 assists and 35 points and was an honorable mention on the Lake Superior All-Conference hockey team in 1979-80. He was selected to the Lake Superior All-Conference team after scoring 22 goals and assisting on 24 others for 46 points as he helped his team to a 18-6-0 record in 1980-81.

Tim was named to the Michigan High School All-State squad as a 3rd team forward in 1980-81. He finished his high school hockey career with 37 goals and 44 assists for 81 points which, at the time, was the third highest point total in CHS hockey history (1979-1981). In track and field, Tim competed and placed in the high jump, discus, shot-put, 120 yard and 110 meter high hurdles, 330 yard and 300 meter low hurdles and 400 meter relay (1977-1981). He compiled many first place finishes in the high jump and 120 yard and 110 meter high hurdles. Tim set a CHS school record with a time of 16.0 seconds in the 110 meter high hurdles in 1981. Tim received the George Gipp Award as the outstanding senior male athlete in the class of 1981.

He was recruited to play football at Northern Michigan University by legendary college line coach, Buck Nystrom in 1981, and became a three year starter as an offensive tackle for the Wildcats while winning the most improved lineman award and three varsity letters (1982-1984). Tim accepted a free agent tryout with the Detroit Lions after also receiving offers from five other NFL teams in 1986. In softball, Tim was one of the premier power-hitting players in the Upper Peninsula for three decades (1980-2010).

He has given back to the community as a coach, board member and registrar of the Calumet Hockey Association for 25 years (1991-present). Tim Frantti was an excellent three sport athlete at CHS who went on to an outstanding football career at Northern Michigan University between 1981-1984.

Kristin (Hager) Peterson lettered in both basketball and track while attending Calumet High School between 1984-1988. In track, she competed in the long jump, high jump, 400 meter run, 800 and 1600 meter relays. Kristin qualified for the U.P. Track Finals in the 1600 meter relay and long jump and helped CHS to the U.P. Class C championship in 1988. In basketball, she set a CHS single game school record with 15 free throws against Ontonagon and a single season school record by making 90.1% of her free throw attempts. Kristin had a career 80.2% free throw shooting percentage while also hitting 47.5% from the field on 458 attempts, with all three marks setting school records for a career (1984-1987). She set a game and career high by scoring 40 points against Chassell in 1986. Kristin helped lead the Copper Kings to the Class C district championship in 1987. She became the first CHS basketball player, male or female, to score 1000 points or more during a career (1984-87).

Kristin was honored by being selected to the Copper Country All-Conference 1st team, All-Class U.P. 1st team and the All-State Class C 4th team (1987). She completed her high school career by being named to play in the U.P. All-Star Classic basketball game and was voted the game MVP in 1988. Kristin was recruited to play basketball at Michigan Tech by head coach Kevin Borseth, and went on to earn four letters in basketball while attending Michigan Tech between 1988-1993. As a freshman in 1989-1990, she led the MTU Huskies with a 36.7% average on 3-point shots. During the 1991-1992 season, she led the Huskies by hitting on 95% of her free throw attempts. Kristin played on three GLIAC championship teams, a GLIAC tournament champion and a third place finish in the 1993 NCAA National Division II Tournament. The overall team record during this time was 92-27 (1989-1993). Kristin received the Michigan Tech Scholastic Achievement Award in each of the four years she was on the team. This award is given annually to the player with the highest academic standing on the team. After college, Kristin returned to CHS to coach JV basketball during the 1994 and 1995 seasons. Kristin Hager was an outstanding high school basketball player and student at CHS who went on to have a fine career as a student-athlete at Michigan Tech. She graduated with honors from the School of Business Administration in 1993.

Carl “Cookie” Johnson lettered in football and basketball while attending Calumet High School between 1939-1942. He captained the 1942 CHS football team that finished the season undefeated and is still the last Calumet football team to accomplish that feat. Carl was named an honorable mention running back on the 1942 All-U.P. football team. Carl left school during his senior year to join the United States Navy and served for four years (1942-1945) during World War II. He returned to CHS after the war to finish his studies so he could attend college.

In 1947, Carl entered Michigan Tech and lettered in football as a freshman running back. He transferred to Northern Michigan University the following year and lettered in football for the Wildcats while earning his teaching degree (1948-1951). Carl began his varsity head coaching career at Baraga High School when he took over the basketball program in 1955. During his coaching career with the Vikings, his teams won seven conference championships, eight district championships, two regional championships and twice finished as state runners-up (1960 & 1964). Carl was honored by being named Copper Country Coach of the Year on four occasions and Upper Peninsula Coach of the Year once, in 1960.

The Vikings also received the George Rudness Memorial Trophy which is presented to the Upper Peninsula Basketball Team of the Year in 1964. Carl retired after 23 years as Baraga’s head basketball coach with a 309-191 (.618) overall record, including an impressive 43-21 (.672) mark in post-season play-off action (1955-1976 & 1982-1984). Carl was one of only five U.P. coaches to reach the elite 300 win club at the time of his retirement. Along with an outstanding basketball coaching career, he also coached football and track during his time at Baraga and was also a referee for various sporting events in the area. Carl “Cookie” Johnson was excellent high school and college athlete who left high school early to serve his country in time of war, and then returned to distinguish himself as one of the finest high school basketball coaches in Upper Peninsula history.

Joseph A. Savini lettered in both baseball and hockey while attending Calumet High School between 1910-1914. After high school, he played semi-pro baseball with Calumet in the American Baseball Association (1914-1916). Joe was a catcher and teammate of George Gipp on the Calumet senior baseball team (1916-1920) which won the Upper Peninsula Senior Championship in 1919.

Joe played high school, intermediate, senior and semi-pro hockey as a goaltender and defenseman (1909-1929), including a stint with the semi-pro Calumet Miners of the Northern Michigan Hockey League. One of his teammates on the 1915-16 team was Jack Adams from Fort William, Ontario who became a future NHL player with Toronto and later the Hall of Fame coach and general manager of the Detroit Red Wings. Joe was a member of the Calumet Hawks when they became the first Calumet team to win the MacNaughton Cup (1926-27) and retained it by winning again the following year (1927-28). Joe was also the manager of the Calumet Colosseum from 1922-1942 and also the Amphidrome, now Dee Stadium, from 1935-1938. Joe began his coaching career with Sacred Heart (1923-24) and CHS hockey teams (1924-1930, 1940-1942). Two of his CHS teams were undefeated Copper Country champions (1928-29 & 1941-42). As conference champions, CHS won the Gipp Trophy for three straight years (1926-29) and the James R. Dee Trophy (1941-42). After retiring as a player, he increased his attention to coaching by organizing a youth intermediate league that played their games in the Colosseum.

One of the early teams he coached, led by future Detroit Red Wing Johnny Sherf, won the American Amateur Championship in 1930-1931. Joe went on to become the head coach of the Michigan Tech Huskies for three years (1935-1938). He also won the MacNaughton Cup four times as a coach with Calumet senior teams, the Aristocrats (1935-1936), Olympics (1937-1938), Chevrolets (1939-40) and the Radars (1950-51). He coached two Calumet senior teams to Gibson Cup championships, the Calumet-Laurium Merchants (1946-1947) and the C-L-K Radars (1952-1953).

Joe retired from coaching after finishing the season with the C-L-K Radars in 1955-56. Joe Savini dedicated a major portion of his life to playing, coaching, organizing and promoting the game of baseball and hockey in the Calumet-Laurium-Keweenaw area.