Gladstone High School announces 2013 Athletic Hall of Fame Class

GLADSTONE – A pair of former teammates are among five selections to the Gladstone High School Athletic Hall of Fame.

Desi Schultz and Jude VanDamme were football, basketball and track teammates at Gladstone High School, graduating in 1992. Both went on to play at Central Michigan University, Schultz in football and VanDamme in baseball.

Joining them are Mike Gobert and the late Alton Kircher in the player category along with coach Ron Klintworth. The 1987 wrestling team will also be honored along with the now defunct Delta Reporter as a community contributor.

The third annual induction banquet is Oct. 19 at Terrace Bay Motor Inn, starting at 5 p.m. Tickets are $25 and will be available at the Gladstone High School athletic office and from committee members. For details, contact Bob Hewitt (280-4641) or Ann Altese (280-0649).

Schultz earned 11 varsity letters for the Braves and played in the U.P. All-Star Classic basketball game and the state high school football all-star game. He was a four-year football letterman at CMU, where he played in Las Vegas Bowl III, was co-captain of the 1996 Chippewas and was most improved defensive player in 1996. He played on CMU’s Mid-American Conference championship team in 1994.

At Gladstone, he was a six-time all-state track selection and set school records in the 100 and 200-meter dashes. He was MVP of the 1991-92 basketball team and was U.P. defensive player of the year in football and all-state in 1991. He rushed for 2,952 yards for the Braves and scored 39 touchdowns. He was a three-time All-U.P. pick in football. He received the Cappy Keil Award in 1992 as the top male athlete at GHS.

VanDamme earned six varsity letters, two each in football, basketball and track. He was All-U.P. in football and basketball and joined with Schultz to help the Braves win U.P. Class A-B team of the year honors in basketball in 1992.

At CMU, VanDamme was a four-year baseball letterman and was the team’s MVP in 1996, when he finished second in the Mid-American Conference in batting with a .389 average. He was a MAC first-team all-star first baseman in 1996, was MAC hitter of the week in 1996 and MAC pitcher of the week in 1995.

VanDamme also spent five years as head baseball coach at Escanaba High School, leading the Eskymos to second place in the Division 2 state tournament in 2006 and a 119-15 record.

Kircher was an all-around athlete at Gladstone, then became a three-sport letterman at Michigan State University. He was also basketball coach at Marquette Gravearet and Trout Creek high schools, winning U.P. titles in 1935 and 1937.

Kircher was captain of MSU’s basketball team in 1934, played quarterback in football and was a baseball outfielder, leading the team with a .421 batting average one season. He was an assistant coach in all three sports at MSU from 1939-50 and was head basketball coach at East Lansing High School in 1949-50. He was also head football coach at Washington State University (1952-55).

Selected to the U.P. Sports Hall of Fame in 1985, Kircher received the Purple Heart, Silver Star and a pair of Bronze Stars for gallantry in action while serving in General George Patton’s tank unit in World War II. He particpated in the D-Day invasion of Normandy.

Gobert earned eight varsity letters in football, basketball and track at Gladstone and was co-captain in football. The 1965 GHS graduate led the Braves in rushing and scoring and was second in receiving in 1964 and set the school’s 220-yard dash record that stood for 25 years.

After receiving the Keil Award in 1965, Gobert played football at Northland College and Northern Michigan University. He also coached in the Gladstone Little League program for 23 years and is in the Michigan District 10 Little League Hall of Fame.

Klintworth spent 17 years as Gladstone’s wrestling coach, compiling a 233-44 record from 1976-93. He also spent six seasons as a varsity football assistant coach and coached freshman football. He was a four-year football letterman at Michigan Tech University.

The Hall of Fame selections are made by members who pay a one-time fee of $50 to join. Membership forms are available by contacting Hewitt (280-4641). Nominations for the 2014 voting process can be sent to Hewitt, 2108 13th Ave. S., Escanaba, 49829.