Inductee Class of 2017
The first female to ski jump off fabled Pine Mountain Ski Jump in Iron Mountain in 1978, 17-year-old Therese Altobelli was a pioneer in a male-dominated sport. She was the only female jumper at many Central Division tournaments and faced various obstacles and roadblocks before retiring in 1981. Her exploits helped pave the way for other women to compete and become a sport in the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Carl "Scuppy" Backstrom
A three-sport letterman at Calumet High School and recipient of the George Gipp Award, Carl Backstrom earned football and basketball scholarships to Michigan Tech University and in 1953 signed a pro baseball minor league contract with the Boston Red Sox. Sidelined by an arm injury, he later played small-college baseball and basketball, graduated from Northern Michigan University and then became a teacher-coach and a recreation director at two U.P. correctional facilities.
Mary (Seaton) Brush
One of the early Upper Peninsula female sports standouts once Title IX was adopted, Mary Seaton was MVP of the first Hancock High School track and girls basketball teams and was a four-time all-state skier. She placed 10th in slalom and 17th in giant slalom at the 1976 Winter Olympics and was on the U.S. Class A ski team from 1975-79. She then skied at the University of Vermont and was college skier of the year and an All-American in 1980. She raced on the women's pro circuit in 1981-83.
The Lindsay, Ont. native directed the Calumet Copper Kings to six high school state hockey championships and three runner-up finishes from 1984-2015. He came to Calumet in 1973 to play professional hockey in the United States Hockey League. His Calumet teams were 533-270-20 and his win total ranked third in the state when he retired.
A four-year football and hockey letterman at Hancock High School, Chris Givens was a two-time all-state hockey player and received a football scholarship to Central Michigan University. He has been hockey coach at Traverse City Central High School since 1995 and led the Trojans to the D-2 state championship in 2006. He is a two-time state coach of the year and has a 322-200-25 career record.
Lisa (Roell) Harry
A basketball and track standout at North Dickinson High School, Lisa Roell received a basketball scholarship to the University of Minnesota in 1991. She received the Gophers' coaches award in 1995. She set the U.P. girls basketball career scoring record of 1,897 points - now No. 6 - and is part of eight MHSAA state basketball records. She compiled a 100-50 record as Kingsford High School's girls basketball coach (1996-2003). She became KHS girls track coach in 2003 and is also a volleyball official.
A four-year basketball letterman at Northern Michigan University, Al Inkala was also a standout in football, tennis and track at Wakefield High School. He then coached basketball at Adrian, St. Claire and Holt high schools before spending 20 years as tennis coach at Okemos High School. At Okemos, he led the Chieftans to six state tennis championships, two in Class A and four straight (1998-2001) in Class B. Okemos was also second four times before he retired in 2013.
A native of Ishpeming and a former Wakefield resident, Greg Londo became a track standout at Gwinn High School and at West Point Military Academy. He won five U.P. track titles (Class C 100, 200, 400 and 800 at Gwinn and Class D 800 at Wakefield) and was an All-U.P. football defensive back. At West Point he was an eight-time Patriot League champion (200, 400, 500 runs) and part of a Penn Relays 4 x 400 record-setting quartet. He received a Bronze Star during Operation Iraq Freedom.
(Sault Ste. Marie)
After earning seven varsity letters at Sault Ste. Marie High School, Brad Shouldice became one of six multi-sport stars inducted into the Lake Superior State University Sports Hall of Fame. He was a four-time track MVP and set three school records at LSSU. In basketball at LSSU, he scored 1,590 points and his 891 rebounds is still second in school history. He was a two-time NAIA District 23 basketball all-star.
Born in 1916, he launched his professional wrestling career at age 16 under the direction of Ed "Strangler" Lewis. His first pro title came in 1937, he won the American Wrestling Association title in 1938 and won National Wrestling Association world crowns in 1939, 1947 and 1948. He participated in more than 6,000 matches in a career that spanned more than 50 years, retiring in 1992.