Upper Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame banquest reservation deadline on Friday

HARRIS — The Upper Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame induction banquet returns Aug. 15 to the Island Resort & Casino in Harris. Ten Hall of Famers who would’ve been inducted at this banquet in 2020 have had to wait until this year due to COVID-19.

Among the inductees are state basketball championship coach of Jerry Racine of Ishpeming, U.S. Olympic boxing coach Al Mitchell of Marquette and golfer Jennifer (Kangas) Brody of L’Anse.

They’ll be joined by Escanaba natives and current college coach John Barnes and Todd Dagenais. Barnes now coaches at Youngstown State in Ohio in women’s basketball and Dagenais at Central Florida in volleyball.

In addition, the 2020 class includes former basketball standout Julie (Heldt) Wonders of Iron Mountain, multisport athlete-coach William Mannisto of Houghton and three men who have passed on — Dewey Lane of Wakefield, Victor Turosky of Iron River and Mickey Valesano of Wakefield.

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

Because of pandemic issues, several changes have been instituted for this year’s banquet.

There will be no tickets, with attendees required to submit their names to one among a trio of UPSHF council members by a deadline that has been set for Friday. And instead of the normal buffet meal, attendees will have meals brought to their seats.

To reserve seats at the induction banquet that begins at 6 p.m. EDT, guests can call council members Cathy Shamion at 906-364-0961, Mike Caruso at 906-396-9270 or Dennis Grall at 906-789-9005.

Four recent high school graduates will also receive the first of their four $500 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.


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