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Class 2021 inducted into the GR Sports Hall of Fame

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Peter Stuursma Joins GR Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Show

New members entered into the Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame on Tuesday included all of the East Grand Rapids football teams who won a record five consecutive state championships from 2006 to 2010.

“Consistency,” said EGR team head coach Peter Stuursma. “Our guys just had a belief. Every day they got off the bus or our locker room, they thought they were going into town. Just kidding, if we were playing against the Chicago Bears that day, I think they thought they could win this game. “

Tia Brooks-Wannamacher was a star pitcher at East Kentwood and the University of Oklahoma and a member of the 2012 Olympic team.

She says it was the coaches here that left her fond memories and that is why she now coaches in high school in Ohio.

“It’s amazing,” Brooks-Wannemacher said of the coaches she had when competing. “I have learned so much as a person and as an athlete with my training, so being able to give back to the sport that has given me so much is an incredible opportunity.”

Beth Launière is in her 32nd season as the head coach of volleyball at the University of Utah, winning more than 600 games and 17 appearances in the NCAA tournament.

The graduate of Northview High School and Aquinas College knew from an early age that she wanted to be a coach.

“I probably knew it when I was ten,” said Launière. “And I was talking to my high school dive coach about what the programming should be like in Northville Park. I have a degree in business and economics from Aquinas, but I kind of knew that was something I was doing. wanted to do and then I had a great opportunity. “

Kelly Butler played football at Purdue and eventually played for the Lions and Browns in the NFL and then in Canada as well.

He says the things he learned at Union High School in the late 1990s playing for Scott VanEssen gave him a chance to be successful.

“First and foremost, I remember running this hill with Coach VanEssen,” said Butler. “I remember in order to be able to stand out you have to be able to stand out, so the work ethic was one thing. So looking at the whole experience, the hard work was first and foremost if you put in to work. . could at least give yourself a chance. “

Tom Werkmeister had a legendary amateur golf career before bringing his talents to the PGA Tour champions, among his accomplishments Werkmeister won six mid-amateur championships from the Golf Association of Michigan and was the GAM Player of the Year five times.

“It’s crazy actually,” Werkemister said. “That’s the cool part of this Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame that it’s anyone in any sport and being a golfer here is pretty neat.”

Bob Kaser, the incredible voice of the Grand Rapids Griffins, won the Warren Reynolds Lifetime Achievement Award.

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