Swanson among newest inductees to U.P. Sports Hall
HANCOCK – Steve Swanson of National Mine-Ishpeming is one of 10 new inductees into the Upper Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame.
One of seven inductees from the post-1970 era, Swanson will be among those feted on May 9, 2015, at the Island Resort & Casino in Harris during the 44th annual banquet.
The newest UPSHF class features three former professional athletes who hail from the U.P.
Paul Feldhausen of Iron Mountain spent three years in the National Football League; the late Hugh (Muzz) Murray of Sault Ste. Marie played in two National Hockey League Stanley Cup finals; and Becky Iverson of Gladstone had a 14-year career on the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) tour.
A pair of former teammates on the University of Michigan women’s basketball team – Krista Clement of St. Ignace and Carly Benson of Carney – were also selected.
Also selected were Jack Hooper of Iron Mountain, Dick Franti of Ontonagon, the late Don Miller of Houghton and Wayne Sickler of Calumet.
The UPSHF council made the selections recently at the Ramada Inn in Hancock during their annual meeting.
Swanson is the only National Mine High School alum to play an NCAA Division 1 sport. He pitched for Central Michigan University for three seasons before being sidelined by a rotator cuff injury as a senior. He was 3-3-1 during an injury-riddled CMU career.
He also pitched in the Upper Peninsula’s Wishigan League, going 15-1 in 1973. He was MVP of the 1973 Felch Labor Day tournament. In American Legion, high school and Wishigan League baseball, Swanson had seven no-hitters and 10 one-hitters, including two perfect games.
He was 40-7 in Legion baseball and 20-5 in high school.
At National Mine, he scored 929 points in basketball and earned 11 varsity letters.
Thumbnail sketches of the other honorees follow:
FELDHAUSEN: A nine-time letterwinner at Iron Mountain High School, Feldhausen was MVP of his football and basketball teams in 1963-64. A two-time captain of his Northland College football teams, he was a Little All-America (small college) lineman in 1966 and 1967. He was drafted in the 11th round by the NFL’s Boston Patriots in 1968 and played three seasons before a back injury ended his career.
HOOPER: An accomplished ski jumper and golfer, Hooper’s career spanned more than 60 years. He won the Class B national ski jump championship in 1955, then participated in Class A tournaments. After a back injury ended his U.S. Olympic hopes, Hooper switched to golf and won the U.P. Golf Association men’s title in 1988.
MURRAY: A member of the United States Hockey Hall of Fame, Murray was the second American-developed player to participate in the Stanley Cup Final. He played for the Seattle Metropolitans in 1919 when that Final was canceled after a 2-2-1 tied series due to the world wide influenza epidemic. He returned to the Final in 1920 when Seattle finished as runners up to the champion Ottawa Senators.
BENSON-HARRINGTON: An all-state basketball player at Carney-Nadeau High School, Benson was a four-year regular on the University of Michigan women’s basketball team. She scored 1,020 points and set a school record with 192 three-point field goals in 2008-9. She’s C-N’s all-time scoring leader with 1,864 points and was a two-time U.P. Class D Player of the Year.
CLEMENT: The first U.P. athlete to earn Miss Basketball of Michigan (2003) honors, Clement was also Michigan’s Gatorade Player of the Year. She’s the all-time scoring leader at St. Ignace LaSalle High School with 2,060 points. She helped the Saints win the Class C state title in 2000. She was a four-year captain of the University of Michigan women’s basketball team, one of only two UM athletes with that distinction.
FRANTI: One of three Upper Peninsula girls basketball coaches in the 500-win club, Franti ended the 2013-14 season with a career record of 501-221. He has also coached boys basketball, posting a 245-147 record.
IVERSON: A 14-year member of the LPGA Tour, Iverson won the Friendly’s Classic championship in 1995 while recording a career-best 63 in the second round. She turned professional in 1989 and earned $1,556,622 in her career. She also had three wins on the LPGA Futures Tour and one on the Hooter’s Tour. She won the Michigan Junior Amateur by 20 strokes in 1985, won the 1987 Michigan Women’s Amateur championship and took the U.P. Ladies Golf Association title in 1989.
MILLER: The winningest high school hockey coach in Michigan, Miller began the Houghton High School program in 1969 and guided the Gremlins to one state championship and five runner-up finishes. Miller posted a 378-260-23 record, including five regional titles. Twice he was named Michigan Class B coach of the year and in 1997 was selected the top high school hockey coach by the National High School Athletic Association.
SICKLER: A winner of 10 varsity letters at Calumet High School, Sickler played football at Northern Michigan University and then became a prep coach and administrator. He was an all-state end in 1957 and 1958 and also played basketball and track. At NMU, he was on the Associated Press NAIA All-Star football team in 1960 and 1961, was the state’s top scorer with 70 points in 1961 and set two school records.