Area well represented: 6 of 10 inductees in Upper Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame class of 2018 have direct area ties
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 Upper Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame on May 12.
“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 47th 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,
Here are thumbnail portraits of each inductee:
Jack Ingalls — Ingalls, an East Jordan native, compiled a 263-159 record, which included 14 seasons at Gladstone and seven 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.
Ingalls also coached track, football and Little League baseball, while serving as a volunteer coach for the five-time state champion St. Ignace girls basketball teams.
He also excelled as a fastpitch softball hitter-outfielder during a 14-year career.
Ingrid Gallo — Gallo, who won the 1972 U.P. Ladies Golf Association championship, played on the University of Minnesota women’s golf team from 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.
Herb Grenke — Grenke, a native of Oconto Falls, Wisconsin, 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 at the induction banquet. “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 Wisconsin-Milwaukee, had other coaching stints at UW-Platteville and Northern Illinois.
Grenke thanked his assistant coaches, especially Carl “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.
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 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 was selected to the Michigan High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame in 2007.
Jim Karabetsos — Karabetsos earned 11 varsity letters in four sports at Graveraet High School in Marquette 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, Wisconsin, and an assistant at Kansas University. He also was head coach for two seasons at Denver, coaching against UCLA’s legendary coach John Wooden.
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,” Karabetsos 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 at L’Anse 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 am glad to be representing Baraga County and Baraga County athletes at this stage,” he said. “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.”
Michaelson played football for two seasons at Mesabi, Minnesota, 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.
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 led the fund-raising campaign for an all-weather track in Munising for its opening in 1977.
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 titles.
His Menominee teams were Class A-B Team of the Year 13 times and twice he was U.P. Class A-B-C Coach of the Year.
In addition, Pericolosi also was a game official for 40 years.
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 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 on induction day, but it didn’t stop her from attending the banquet.
“To me, being a Yooper means being tough, hard-working, 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.