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Franti selected to U.P. Sports Hall of Fame

 

Jason Juno/Daily Globe

ONTONAGON BASKETBALL coach Dick Franti is one of 10 people chosen to be inducted into the Upper Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame next spring.

HANCOCK - Three former professional athletes who hail from the Upper Peninsula are among 10 new inductees into the Upper Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame.

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. Their UM coach, Kevin Borseth of Bessemer, was a 2004 UPSHF inductee.

Also selected were Jack Hooper of Iron Mountain, Dick Franti of Ontonagon, the late Don Miller of Houghton, Wayne Sickler of Calumet and Steve Swanson of Ishpeming.

Feldhausen, Hooper and Murray are in the pre-1970 era while Benson, Clement, Franti, Iverson, Miller, Sickler and Swanson are in the post-1970 era. Benson, Clement, Franti and Iverson were among 18 new nominees while Sickler was the longest standing nominee of the group, from 1985.

The class of 2015 will be inducted May 9, 2015, at Island Resort & Casino in Harris, Mich. at the 44th annual banquet.

The UPSHF council made the selections recently at the Ramada Inn in Hancock during their annual meeting. The council also selected Michigan Tech University athletic director Suzanne Sanregret as treasurer. She replaces the retiring Steve Swanson. Gildo Canale is the only other person to hold that position since the UPSHF was formed in 1972.

Former executive director Duane Tirschel of Iron Mountain also retired from the council, and charter council member Gene Maki of Wakefield was made an emeritus member.

PAUL FELDHAUSEN (Iron Mountain) - A nine 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. Feldhausen has been inducted into Northland's Sports Hall of Fame. He was drafted in the 11th round by the NFL's Boston Patriots in 1968 in the first common AFL-NFL draft and played three seasons before a back injury ended his career. He also spent 40 years as a football and baseball official for the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association and was National Federation of High Schools Umpire of the Year in 1993.

JACK HOOPER (Iron Mountain) - 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. He was second in 1967 and fourth in 1978. He also won 17 men's club titles at Iron Mountain Pine Grove Country Club and won the Dickinson County championship 23 times.

HUGH "Muzz" MURRAY (Sault Ste. Marie) - 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 cancelled 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. After one more year with Seattle he concluded his major league hockey career with Calgary of the Western Canada League. Previously, in his amateur days with Sault Ste Marie, he led them to the MacNaughton Cup in 1915.

CARLY (Benson) Harrington (Carney) - 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. In high school she helped the Wolves win the Class D state title as a freshman in 2001. She is the school's all-time scoring leader with 1,864 points and was a two-time U.P. Class D player of the year. She was also a four-year letterwinner in volleyball, cross country and track.

KRISTA CLEMENT (St. Ignace) - The first Upper Peninsula athlete to earn Miss Basketball of Michigan (2003), Clement was also Michigan's Gatorade Player of the Year and Detroit Athletic Club high school athlete of the year. She is the all-time scoring leader at St. Ignace LaSalle High School with 2,060 points and also holds three school records in track. She helped the Saints win the Class C state title in 2000 and finish second in 2002 while helping the team to a four-year record of 99-5. She was a four-year captain of the University of Michigan women's basketball team, one of only two UM athletes with that distinction.

DICK FRANTI (Ontonagon) - 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. His combined 746 victories are among the highest in state history. For 18 years, he coached girls basketball in fall and boys basketball in winter, at Bergland and Ontonagon. Only two of his teams during 32 seasons did not post winning seasons.

BECKY IVERSON (Gladstone) - 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 win on the Hooter's Tour. She was player of the year on the 1993 Central Florida Tour. Iverson, who played for the U.S. team in the Solheim Cup in 2000, finished second in the British Open and the du Maurier Classic in 2000 and tied for sixth at the LPGA Championship in 2001. She won the Michigan Junior Amateur by 20 strokes in 1985, won the 1987 Michigan Women's Amateur championship and won the Upper Peninsula Ladies Golf Association title in 1989. She played golf for four years at Michigan State University and was selected to the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame in 2014. She currently is director of golf at The Bridges Club in Madison, Wis.

DON MILLER (Houghton) - 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. His brother, Rick, won 357 games, making them the top brother tandem in the country. He was also a fine hockey player for Portage Lake and Eagle River, Wis. for many years.

WAYNE SICKLER (Calumet) - 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. He spent 12 seasons coaching at Munising and Calumet high schools, was U.P. coach of the year in 1966, then was athletic director at Calumet, twice earning U.P. athletic director of the year awards. He has also been inducted into the NMU and Calumet High School sports hall of fames.

STEVE SWANSON (National Mine/Ishpeming) - The only National Mine High School alum to play an NCAA Division 1 sport, Swanson pitched for Central Michigan University for three seasons before getting 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. He was UPSHF treasurer from 1993-2014.