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Former Esky cager tries softball

Sports Den

February 24, 2011
By Dennis Grall

ESCANABA - Michelle Carne of Escanaba is switching sports as a junior at St. Mary's University of Minnesota.

After playing basketball for two years, she has walked on to play softball, possibly third base or catcher. She was a standout in both sports at Escanaba High School, earning All-U.P. honors in basketball.

She gave up basketball because of a foot injury.

Article Photos

Dennis Grall

* Jamie and Julie Iverson of Escanaba received recognition at the American Speed Association's Midwest Tour championship banquet recently in Apple Valley, Minn.

They were spotlighted in a video thanking them for their participation in the Ford Racing development program. They both received a Ford Racing jacket, and at the end of the upcoming season will receive a Ford racing engine.

Iverson and rookie of the year Ross Kenseth as 2011 Swiss Colony Touring stars. Kenseth is the son of NASCAR racer Matt Kenseth.

* Escanaba native Bob McGinn recently received a big endorsement from one of the country's most respected NFL writers.

Peter King of Sports Illustrated wrote an article on voting for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, discussing a variety of issues that have come up since the most recent class was selected.

Regarding qualifications of those on the selection panel, King, one of the selectees, said he is not opposed to expanding the committee. He then added he would like to see "more nationally respected people in the room," naming McGinn and Cris Collinsworth.

McGinn, a member of the U.P. Sports Hall of Fame, is the lead reporter of the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers for the Milwaukee JournalSentinel while Collinsworth is an NBC football analyst and is a former NFL wide receiver.

* Former North Central High School football coach Jim Sandborn recently received a major honor when he was named High School Counselor of the Year in Nevada.

Sandborn, who retired from Cadillac High School in 2000, has been at Mesquite, Nev. for five years. He spent six years revamping Career and Technical Education in Texas after leaving Cadillac.

Nevada is near the bottom of the rankings in education, but Virgin Valley High School has met Annual Yearing Progress in the past five years and was recognized as "high achieving."

Sandborn plans to retire soon and will settle around Houghton Lake.

* Dick Mettlach has escaped the harsh Upper Peninsula winter for sunshine in Arizona.

The former Gwinn football and golf coach made the move recently when his daughter bought their home. That prompted his decision to retire as football coach, and he has decided not to return in spring to take the golf programs. He may get into coaching in Arizona.

Mettlach, son of the former Crystal Falls Forest Park football coach, was 89-115 in two football stints at Gwinn over 23 years. Gwinn was 3-6 last year.

* Dick Zeratsky, a native of Menominee and a legendary independent baseball star, was recently inducted into the Wisconsin State League Hall of Fame.

Zeratsky, 78, is currently helping coach the St. Norbert College baseball team that includes Garrick Fisher and Chris Hillesheim of Escanaba.

The former Menominee American Legion standout played semipro ball for Little Chute, Wis. and the Green Bay Blue Ribbons, ending at age 58.

An outstanding hitter throughout his career, Zeratsky picked up tips by watching Hall of Famers Ted Williams, Frank Robinson and Paul Molitor.

"All your hitting is from your wrists to your elbow," he said. "I was never satisfied if I didn't go 5-for-5."

His son Rod was an outstanding catcher at Ashwaubenon High School 30 years ago.



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