Upper Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame set for August 15

Courtesy: Dennis Grall, UPSHF Executive Secretary
Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 6:44 PM EDT
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HARRIS, Mich. (WLUC) - The Upper Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame induction banquet returns Aug. 15 to the Island Resort & Casino.

Ten people who were forced to miss last year’s induction due to COVID-19 will finally become Hall of Famers. John Barnes and Todd Dagenais, natives of Escanaba and current college coaches (Youngstown State women’s basketball and University of Central Florida volleyball, respectively), will be joined by golfer Jennifer (Kangas) Brody of L’Anse, boxing legend Al Mitchell of Marquette, state basketball championship coach Jerry Racine of Ishpeming, former basketball standout Julie (Heldt) Wonders of Iron Mountain, multi-sport athlete-coach William Mannisto of Houghton, and the late Dewey Lane of Wakefield, the late Victor Turosky of Iron River and the late Mickey Valesano of Wakefield.

Lane was also a high school football and track coach while Turosky was perhaps the Upper Peninsula’s first professional  football player, and Valesano was a four-sport letterman at Wakefield High School.

Because of pandemic issues, several changes are being instituted for this year’s banquet. The cost is 30 dollars, but there will be no tickets, with attendees required to submit their names to a trio of UPSHF council members by July 30. And instead of the normal buffet meal, attendees will have their meals brought to their seats. To reserve seats at the induction banquet, guests should call council members Cathy Shamion (906-364-0961), Mike Caruso (906-396-9270) or Dennis Grall (906-789-9005). July 30 is the deadline to reserve tickets. The banquet begins at 6 p.m. (EDT).

Four recent high school graduates will also receive their $1,000 scholarships from the UPSHF. The recipients include Bryant Maki of Escanaba, Dante Basanese of Iron Mountain, Elise Besonen of Ewen-Trout Creek and Melanie Wenzel of Kingsford. The 2020 Scholarship recipients also will be recognized. They are Nikolas Djerf of Calumet, Madelyn Koski from Westwood, Brooke Kriegl of Kingsford and Jason Waterman of Westwood.

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