Brimley Volleyball

Brimley VolleyballFrom the MHSAAs "Legends of the Games" series

With the passage of Title IX, several new sports were implemented at schools to create new opportunities for girls to compete. Volleyball was one of these newly added sports and by the late 1970s, dozens of schools around the U.P. were fielding teams.

Brimley High School created a new volleyball team for girls at the school. Charles Compo became the coach of the team, though he had no previous experi­ence coaching the sport. Compo decided to take his team to tournaments in Lower Michigan, where there was tougher competition. Both he and his players learned the game together and over the next few years developed into the most dominant volleyball program in the U.P.

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Calumet Hockey

Jim Crawford's 500th victory, 2012Jim Crawford leads his Copper Kings to his 500th victory, 2012.
Image courtesy of the Daily Mining Gazette.
Hockey and the town of Calumet go hand in hand. The game has been played in the community in one way or another going back to the 19th century. As early as the 1900s, Calumet High School was fielding a team, which would play other high schools or the many professional and semi-pro teams in the area.

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Crystal Falls Forest Park

Crystal Falls Forest Park team photoCrystal Falls Forest Park 1975 Class D State Championship football team.
Image courtesy of the Michigan High School Athletic Association.
On the very same day in 1975 that Ishpeming de­feated Hudson for the Class C Title, Crystal Falls Forest Park Trojans won the most lopsided State Final in Michigan history, in the Class D champion­ship in Kalamazoo. After pounding Posen 67-0 in the State Semifinal, CFFP soundly defeated Flint Holy Rosary in the final, 50-0. The team was led with four rushing touchdowns by Bill Santilli, a state final record that stood for 35 years. The Trojans, under the coaching legend Richard Mettlach, would return the next year to beat Holy Rosary again by a much closer score of 14-6. But a dynasty had been created that represents the U.P.s most dominant and success­ful football program to date.

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E-TC Basketball

1971-72 Ewen Trout Creek Basketballl Team Class D Boys State Champs1971-72 Ewen - Trout Creek Basketball Team
Class D Boys State Champions
From L to R Row 1: Mike McLaughlin, Mike Carlisle, Keith Hemming. Row 2: Bryan Besonen, George Hardes, Bob Bessen, Jim Leaf. Row 3: Coach Perhalla, John Hardes, Gary Fors, Cliff N., Pat Laitinen, Mgr.
There are many good basketball programs in the Upper Peninsula and a few great ones. But maybe no program has a greater combination of wins, titles and individual records than that of Ewen-Trout Creek. Located in southern Ontonagon County, this consoli­dated school district has produced some of the finest players and coaches in Upper Peninsula sports his­tory.

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Iron Mountain 1981-82

Iron Mountain Boys' Basketball Team, 1981-82Nick Johnson, left, and Bob Landsee hoist Coach Rick Olds on their shoulders after Iron Mountain defeated Negaunee 60-50 Saturday to win a Class C regional basketball championship. The undefeated Mountaineers, 21-0, face Reed City at 6:30 pm CST Wednesday at Cheboygan in quarterfinal action.Some schools are dominant in one sport and some are jack-of-all trades, or competitive in several different sports. On rare occasions, a school will excel in ev­erything it attempts. Such was the case of Iron Moun­tain High School during the 1981-82 academic year. Over the course of the year, the boys' and girls' teams won five U.P. titles and six conference titles in five separate sports.

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Menominee Football 2006-2007

There have been many great football teams from the Upper Peninsula over the past 120 years. Perenni­ally U.P. teams have competed in the State tourna­ment and earned great respect from coaches and fans throughout the State of Michigan. But the longest winning streak ever was set by one of the most domi­nant teams in U.P. history, the 2006 and 2007 Menomi­nee Maroons.

Coach Ken Hofer had coached many great teams before those two seasons, including a Class BB State Championship in 1998. His unique single-wing of­fense was often too much to handle for other teams not used to its combination of speed, execution and trickery. But in 2006, his team perfected the single wing to the point of being completely unstoppable and the offense was matched by an incredibly stingy defense. The Maroons marched through the 2006 campaign unstained, culminating in a 41-6 trouncing of Madison Heights Madison in the Division 5 State Championship game. To underscore the team's domi­nance, Menominee scored 538 points during the season and only gave up 44!

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Negaunee Basketball

Negaunee BasketballThe Miners celebrate their second Class B State Championship in 1957. The team won seven playoff games to win the title, defeating Harper Woods in the Final, 68-66
Image courtesy of the Negaunee Public Schools.
It would be impossible to say that any one basketball program is better than any other in the Upper Penin­sula. Some have won the most State Championships, but year in and year out, none have been more consis­tent than the Negaunee Miners. Over the past cen­tury, they have had some of the best teams in the U.P. and the record to prove it. Since 1950, the Miners have the best winning percentage and the most wins in post-season play (128 wins vs. 60 losses, .681). In that same time, they won 31 district titles, 13 regionals and two state championships.

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Pickford Track

1952 Pickford Panthers Track/Baseball Team1952 Pickford Panthers Track/Baseball Team Class D U.P.There are winning streaks and then there is THE winning streak. That is what could be said about the Pickford boys track program, which has won more titles than any school in Michigan history. It isn’t just about the number they’ve won, but that in­credible stretch from 1952 to 1978, when they set a championship streak that has never been (and prob­ably never will be) equaled.

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