By Renata Terrazzan
Three coaches and 18 athletes were inducted into the 2014 Walled Lake Central Coaches Association (WLCCA) Hall of Fame on February 1 during a ceremony at the Walled Lake Central gymnasium.
The day’s festivities began at 12:00 with a girls’ varsity basketball game. That was followed by the presentation of a ring of honor to each inductee and the official Hall of Fame inauguration. There was another varsity basketball game, this time boys’ basketball, at 2:30 p.m. At 5:30 a social gathering began at the Baker’s of Milford, including dinner and at 7:30 the induction speeches occurred.
The Hall of Fame has been just an idea for three years, ever since the Walled Lake Central Coaches Association (WLCCA) started. But this year, it has finally come to life. “It was a complete surprise, I had only heard about it through the grapevine,” said Kristen Bramwell, Walled Central English teacher, alumna, and Athletic Hall of Fame inductee. “I thought it was just a medal and an award. At first, I didn’t realize what a big deal it was; how significant it was,” Bramwell said when she first found out about her induction.
Besides Bramwell, many others were inducted for football, basketball and volleyball: coaches Dave Smith, John VanSicklen (football), and Mike Lindstrom (volleyball); and athletes Becky Cummings (volleyball and basketball), Julie Amann, Kristie Bonner, Bramwell, Haley Breniser, Cummings, Sue Furgenson, Laura Hochthanner, Katie Horton, Jenny Keeler, Amanda Mendenhall, Renee Miller, Nicole Mullins Hewson, Sabrina Nordeen, Jaclyn Pilkiewicz, Jessica Regentin, Rebecca Saldana, and Mary Tudor Kistler (volleyball).
The volleyball players inducted all played on the 1995-1996 varsity volleyball team. That team was fourth in the state that year. They were led by Lindstrom, who passed a few years after the girls graduated. “It was awful. I was in college when I found out, I came home and it was a huge loss,” Bramwell said, “He was the best coach, for volleyball, life skills, anything. Lindstrom and his team’s induction marked the perfect end of their journey, after all, “He was the big coach, and we were the big team,” said Bramwell.
The induction speeches were a very emotional part of the day, especially when the subject was Lindstrom. “Patty Lindstrom’s, Mike’s wife, and his two sons, Eric’s and Brian’s speeches were definitely the most touching,” said Bramwell.
The 2014 Hall of Fame has been a way to honor the best contributors to Walled Lake Central sport life, like Lindstrom, and it couldn’t have been a better success.