New members inducted at the 31st Alpena Sports Hall of Fame banquet
In their athletic careers, Jim Glennie, Darvin Walmsley, Faith Egli and Scott MacKenzie won professional tournaments, state titles, national honors and a whole host of other awards.
As accomplished as the quartet was however, each of them was humbled upon their induction into the Alpena Sports Hall of Fame at the 31stannual banquet on Saturday at the APlex and credited the people who shaped them behind the scenes for their athletic successes.
The foursome made up the Class of 2013 and was honored along with Phil Heath and Cecelia Bullien as Boosters of the Year and the 1979-80 Alpena High Football team as Team of the Year.
Egli, who is currently a golf professional at an Ohio country club, has led quite the career on the links. As an Alpena Wildcat, Egli played on the boys golf team before going on to an all-Big Ten career at Michigan State. After graduating, she became a golf professional and went on to play LPGA tour events, win numerous honors for teaching and also spent time as a coach at a small college in Ohio.
“I feel fortunate to be from Alpena because I feel like all the tools I learned in order to be successful, I learned right here in Alpena,” Egli said. “Through golf, I’ve been able to travel around the world and meet a lot of wonderful people.”
MacKenzie was a gymnastics star for the Wildcats and won a state championship on trampoline as a senior. He went on to compete for Central Michigan before returning to Alpena. For more than 30 years, MacKenzie has served as coach for various teams and was Alpena’s varsity baseball coach for 11 years.
He joins his uncle Harley MacKenzie-inducted in 2008-in the Hall of Fame.
“There were a lot of people behind the scenes that put me here and I want to say thank you,” MacKenzie said. “For every hour I spent at practice, I had a coach there with me saying, ‘Do it again, do it again, do it again.’ That’s why I’m here.”
Walmsley is one of just two shooters inducted into the Hall of Fame along with Ray LaCross. Walmsley joined the Michigan National Guard after high school and went on to have a decorated career in competitive shooting. After just three years of shooting, he earned the United States Army Distinguished Shooting Medal in pistol and in later years he won many trophies in local competition.
“It’s a privilege to be elected to the Hall of Fame,” Walmsley said. “(Competitive shooting) is a difficult sport to get involved in.”
Glennie was a basketball and baseball star at Alpena and earned all-state honors in basketball his senior season after averaging 23 points a game. He also starred on the baseball diamond and played in baseball leagues until he was 54. Aside from playing, Glennie was instrumental in forming a women’s baseball league in Michigan; a league that eventually led to the formation of a national organization and an international Women’s Baseball World Series.
“When I looked at the rogues gallery of the Hall of Fame, I realized how fortunate I am and how lucky I am,” Glennie said.
Bullen is a longtime member of the Alpena Figure Skating Club and has dedicated more than 30 years to mentoring local skaters of all ages. She has competed in adult competitions and has served on local and national figure skating boards of directors.
Heath has been a jack-of-all-trades for the Alpena Boosters Club for more than 30 years and also been an official for more than 30 years. He has become a mainstay at local fundraisers and functions as a volunteer.
“There’s a lot of people that could be up here besides me, but I appreciate it,” Heath said.
The 1979-80 Alpena High football team posted an 8-1 record and was of the last winning football teams Alpena had for a while after Black Friday in 1981. The team outscored opponents 221-76 and its only defeat that year was against Escanaba.
Several players were on hand for the banquet and many of them expressed gratitude at playing on such a tight-knit and successful team.
“I can’t express how wonderful I feel to be connected to these guys, especially when they come back and thank you for coaching them,” assistant coach Lee Hall said with a laugh. “Because there were a lot of times when they didn’t thank me for coaching them.”
James Andersen can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5694. Follow James on Twitter @ja_alpenanews.