OSCODA – Final preparations are underway for the 2021 Oscoda High School (OHS) Sports Hall of Fame event this Friday at 4:45 p.m.
As previously reported, the OHS Sports Hall of Fame Committee will be holding a tailgate from 4:45 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., followed by a Hall of Fame presentation in the high school gymnasium. At 6.30 p.m. the inductees will be brought to the football field for a presentation. The Oscoda Owls v East Jordan Red Devils will follow shortly thereafter at 7 p.m.
One of seven to be inducted into the Hall of Fame this Friday is Mike Walker, who was 6’11 and had been playing basketball since he was in 7th grade.
âHe was really good with people and that got him to play sports,â said his brother Cary Walker.
He also played soccer his first year and tennis his last year. According to his former coach and nominator Doug Ehle, Walker played basketball for six years, including three years in college.
While at the OHS he received many accolades, including the Most Valuable Player and Coach award in 1991, he was named to several teams in all conferences and states. He also scored 1,120 points during his high school career, becoming the fourth leading scorer in school history and racked up a single-season rebound record of 262 rebounds, according to fellow nominee Seth Alda.
In the Northeast Michigan high school conference, he won two conference championships, two district championships and one regional championship. In 1990 the team’s record was 21-5 and in 1991 it was 19-6. He was also named All American Honorable Mention by Street and Smith, a national sports magazine, and according to Ehle, he was shortlisted to play in the B / C All Stars Indiana Top 20 All Star Game on July 27, 1990.
âAs a junior and senior, Walker has received a lot of attention from colleges and universities across the United States. He was one of the few juniors selected by Digger Phelps to attend Notre Dame Junior Recruiting Weekend, âEhle said in his appointment. âAs Mike’s coach, I handled all the recruiting and have been contacted by many universities and colleges. “
They included Notre Dame, University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Oklahoma State, Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, Vanderbilt, Ohio State, Evansville, Miami, and Indiana.
âMike has been recruited from almost every major conference in Division 1 and many universities in Divisions 2 and 3,â Ehle said.
In 1991, Walker graduated from OHS and played basketball at Evansville University in Indiana for two years. According to Cary, one of those years he had the opportunity to compete in the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s March Madness competition, where he received a watch and ring.
He then transferred to Central Michigan University (CMU) and became the team’s captain. At CMU, he obtained a degree in criminal justice and sociology and became a juvenile probation officer. He first moved to Alcona, but for the past 21 years has worked with the Shiawassee County Community and Family Health Court.
âHis size and personality made him a perfect fit, all little kids admired him. They gave him some of the more difficult cases because he could connect with them and make changes, âCary said.
Cary said receiving the call from OHS athletic director Cheri Meier, with the news of his brother’s appointment, was a surprise.
âI never even thought about it. I never put it together when she said that, it was just awesome. It’s a good way to remember Mike. It means a lot to the family, âCary said.
Walker passed away on September 16, 2020. He was married to Wendy Walker and has two children, Sage and Stone. Members of his family will attend the induction.
The latest person to be inducted into the OHS Athletic Hall of Fame this Friday is Mickey Kimsel who played baseball at the OHS. He was named by David Beauchamp and started playing several sports at a very young age.
âMy parents raised me in sports. My dad played baseball and he coached me. We traveled because he was in the military, so we lived in Okinawa, so that’s where we started playing sports, âKimsel said. “I was about four years old, so when you start out that young you’re pretty natural.”
He said throughout his school years that he played baseball as a left-handed pitcher. During his time at OHS he received a number of accolades, including Student of the Week, a letter from the principal saying he was an outstanding student and a most valuable player, not to mention name a few.
In 1992, he graduated from OHS and continued to play ball at Saginaw Valley State University. (SVSU). In his final year at SVSU, he placed in the top ten in three career pitching categories and was the only top ten pitcher to have more career strikeouts than sleeves launched. He placed 2nd for saves, 3rd for appearances and 10th for strikeouts.
âIn college, I walked, so I came in relief. I would start a few games, but the last two years I was intermediate, my junior and senior year, I was the closest, âsaid Kimsel.
According to his head coach Walt Head SVSU, Kimsel was an exceptional young man and had the best curveball of any pitching pitcher he has ever coached, including some big leaguers. In college, he racked up a number of other accolades including a region-wide second team, four college letters, all American SVSU nominees, and was on the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Championship team. Conference in 1995.
After graduating from SVSU with a criminal justice degree, he went to police academy. Since graduating, he has been a police officer for 23 years. After graduation, Kimsel also went to play baseball in Flint and later in Florida, where he played in recent years on two different teams. In addition to baseball, he has also competed twice in the AuSable Canoe Marathon.
“It was hard. The first time was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, so it’s a fun workout, but it was tough, âKimsel said.
He also continued to stay active by lifting weights, running races, doing triathlons and taekwondo. Regarding his reaction to the news, he said he was surprised.
âI was surprised and ecstatic about it,â Kimsel said.
The second and final team to be inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame this Friday is the 1971 Oscoda Men’s Golf Team. Their history and stats were provided by former player Daryl Hollnagel and their nominator Michael Poland .
âWe are truly honored that this is happening to us. We’re essentially on our 50th anniversary of winning the state championship, âsaid Burt Poland.
According to Burt, this long-standing friendship began at AuSable River Golf Course in seventh grade. Burt has said himself that Hollnagel and Mike Quellman all work there.
âOur parents were dropping us off like the weekend and it was nothing for us to walk and play 45 holes of golf,â Burt said.
Burt said that a few years later he and his friends would create a golf team, the first in Oscoda’s history, to win the Class B State Championship in 1971. The players on the team understood , Rick Quellman (class of ’71), Mike Quellman (class of “72), Craig Summers (class of ’72), Burt Poland (class of ’72), Rich Mahar (” class of ’72) and Daryl Hollnagel ( class of ’72).
âExpectations were high for this team, but it took a lot of work to compete with the strong teams in the big cities of southern Michigan. Practice began in the winter with the team hitting plastic golf balls on the high school auditorium stage, âHollnagel said. âDuring spring break, the team, along with coach Charles Furtaw and OHS group manager Jack Brewster, took a weeklong golf trip to southern Ohio to escape the winter. in northern Michigan, training and preparing for the season ahead. After spring break, the team was able to play and train at the Greenbush Golf Course, the first of the region’s golf courses to open for the season.
According to Hollnagel, the 1971 team were the first to play at Lakewood Shores. Lakewood had opened the previous summer and its management, especially pro chef Tom Stewart, was avid supporters of high school golf. Lakewood allowed Coach Furtaw and the Owls to host the Oscoda High School Invitational that spring.
Hollnagel said more than 20 teams from across Michigan participated in the inaugural Oscoda Invitational. The Owls were undefeated (12-0) in the two-way competition, they won the Northern B Conference Championship with five individuals sweeping the five individual conference spots. The team won the Oscoda Invitational.
The Owls won the regional championship by qualifying for the state championship to be held at Black River in Port Huron. This is where the Owls had their only disappointment of the spring season, finishing sixth in the state on 32 teams. Rick Quellman graduated, went on to play college golf at CMU, and built a career with the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA).
Golf became a fall sport in 1971. In 1971, they again won the Oscoda Invitational.
âThis time Rich Mahar was the individual Invitational champion with a 74 on the tough Lakewood course and tied for first with Dan Pohl,â said Hollnagel.
The five seniors of the 71 Fall Owl Golf team also won the Northern B Conference Championship held at the Bay County Golf Course in Bay City. The Owls won the Regional Championship played at Cadillac and qualified for the State Championship to be held at Burroughs Farms in Brighton.
âBeing on this team was one of the most important things that ever happened to me. We were fortunate to have a great coach and mentor and the team members have become lifelong friends, âsaid Hollnagel.
Fifty years ago, on a rainy October day, the team won the Michigan Class B State Championship by a large margin in 1971. According to Hollnagel. The team was led that day by Burt, who despite the wind, rain and cold, shot a 75 on the Burroughs Farms course, finishing third individually in the state.
“For us, the golfers who have played in this state championship and the championship team, it created a bond for us that has lasted decades there and we still meet every year and we get together,” Burt said.
To this day, the team have remained friends and still come together to see each other. Mahar is a PGA golf professional and owns a golf course in Ashland, Ky. He played a number of events on the PGA Tour in the 1980s. Hollnagel is a business lawyer in Charlotte, NC Summers is an executive for an international manufacturing company and lives in Batesville, Indiana. Burt is a well-known Oscoda entrepreneur and has continued the team’s coaching tradition as his son, Michael, is now the coach of the highly successful Owl college boys basketball team and which resurfaces.