Superior Hall of Fame announces 2013 inducteesBeing inducted into the Academic Hall of Fame under the category of Lifetime Achievement is Andy Lisak and Jim Hawkins. The 2013 inductees for the Athletic Hall of Fame are Patrick “PK” O’Handley and Gerard “Gerry” Uchytil in the Coaching Achievement category, Casey VanDamme and Josh Noble in the Individual Athletic category and in the team category the 1994-95 Superior Senior High School girls basketball team.
The Superior High School Athletic and Academic Hall of Fames announced their induction class for 2013.
Being inducted into the Academic Hall of Fame under the category of Lifetime Achievement is Andy Lisak and Jim Hawkins. The 2013 inductees for the Athletic Hall of Fame are Patrick “PK” O’Handley and Gerard “Gerry” Uchytil in the Coaching Achievement category, Casey VanDamme and Josh Noble in the Individual Athletic category and in the team category the 1994-95 Superior Senior High School girls basketball team.
The 2013 induction ceremony will take place at Superior Middle School on Saturday, March 23. Doors open at 5 p.m., dinner is at 6 p.m. and the induction ceremony begins at 7 p.m.
Tickets cost $40 and may be purchased from any hall of fame committee member, the Superior Douglas County Chamber of Commerce, the School District of Superior board office or from the treasurer at SHS. All money raised from this event will go towards supporting SHS athletic and academic teams.
Following are short bios on the 2013 inductees.
Andy Lisak is a 1980 SSHS graduate and a graduate of Cornell University. He is currently the Douglas County Administrator. He has earned several awards related to his career and has been instrumental in the revitalization of Superior and Douglas County.
Jim Hawkins is a 1962 graduate of Superior Cathedral High School and earned a BS in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Hawkins is a member of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America and has written many books and received many honors and awards related to his writing. He was one of the youngest everyday baseball writers in the country in 1970 when, at 25, he began covering the Detroit Tigers and Major League Baseball for the Detroit Free Press.
Hawkins was the runner-up in the BWAA “Taylor Spink Award”, the association’s highest honor which is a part of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Hawkins has covered World Series, All-Star games and baseball winter meetings and was the Detroit Tigers correspondent for The Sporting News. He has also covered pro and college football including three Super Bowls and 10 bowl games; boxing including heavyweight championship fights between Joe Frazier and Mike Tyson, golf including 11 Masters and three Rider Cups; and auto racing, including nine Daytona 500s and nine Indianapolis 500s.
Casey VanDamme is a 1977 graduate of SSHS. He was named a high school All-American in 1976 and 1977. He set a single-season scoring record with 77 points in 1976-77.
He attended UW-Superior and lettered in hockey four years where he earned several team, conference, NAIA and NCHA awards and ranks third all-time in points at UWS. VanDamme was inducted into the UWS Hall of Fame in 1996.
He played professional hockey in 81-82 in the CNHL, where he was a first-team all-star. In 1983 he formed the Fire Wagon Hockey Inc., which is a non-profit organization that helps fundraise for various Midwest youth hockey associations and was instrumental in starting a youth hockey association in Crystal Lake Ill., called the “Yellowjackets.”
Josh Noble graduated in 1994 from SSHS and has won numerous medals and ribbons in Special Olympic swimming, track and bowling. He received the Superintendents Award of Excellence from the School District of Superior in April of 2007 and was deemed UW-Superior’s Mentor of the Year in 2006-07.
Noble was the 2012 Homecoming Parade Grand Marshall for SHS and is known as “Superiors Biggest Sport Fan” and assistant activities director at SHS. Despite all of the life’s challenges Noble attends every sporting event possible. He lives for sports and supports all of Superior’s teams.
Gerard Uchytil is a 1971 graduate of SSHS were he lettered in football, wrestling and track. In track he set the WIAA sectional record in the pole vault and qualified for state. At UWS he had a very successful career where he earned several WSUC, NAIA and district awards and lettered his senior year in football, gymnastics and track.
Uchytil started his coaching career as an assistant at Chippewa Falls McDonell and was promoted to head coach. During his career at McDonell his teams were known as the No. 1 passing team in the country and featured in USA Today and other publications. Four quarterbacks that played for him would set 18 national records. He eventually moved to Hudson and coached football for 14 years there and is currently Hudson’s head track coach.
Patrick “PK” O’Handley was a 1985 graduate of SSHS and is currently the head coach for the Waterloo Black Hawks in the United State Hockey League. His resume includes accomplishments at the college, professional and international levels for over 30 years.
The 1994-95 SSHS girls basketball team, led by head coach Tom Mestelle, is currently the only Spartan girls basketball team to qualify for the WIAA state tournament.
They were region and sectional champions as well as champions of the Lakeland Christmas Holiday tournament.
Members of the 1994-95 SSHS girls basketball team were Nicole Gilbertson, Mandy Mestelle, Sarah Mattson, Laura Jordan, Greta Nelson, Kelli Hanson, Bethany Koehler, Shereen Lindley, Shara Halverson, Carrie Brandt, Grettel Hecht, Darcy Olson, Christy Rozowski, Toni Vendela and Becky Waldron.
Mestelle’s assistant coaches were Dave Williams and Mike Tucker and the team manager was Christine Harshman.