Imlay City School's Hall of Fame got off to an impressive start last month when they inducted their inaugural class on January 26. The group of five honorees spanned multiple sports and eras in the district's storied athletic history and included those who've have made a lasting impact on their alma mater.
Milli Martinez Maggette, the first female (and so far youngest) Hall of Fame inductee, excelled in basketball and softball. After graduating in 1998, she went on to play college ball for Georgia Tech and landed on WNBA's Phoenix Mercury team roster in 2002. Although she made a name for herself on the basketball court, many aspiring athletes know her name for the donation she and husband, Corey Maggette, made to the district in 2007 to complete a state-of-the-art softball complex, Milagro Field. Lyle Powers, as an educator and multi-sport coach, had an impact on thousands of students during his storied career in Imlay City. He amassed impressive win records and dozens of championship trophies in football, basketball and baseball. His legacy shines a light on the importance of youth mentors.
Lee Weyer's love for sports made him a witness to history. As a Major League Baseball umpire, Weyer was behind the plate when Pete Rose broke Ty Cobb's hits record and was officiating when Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth's career home run record. Maybe most impressive is that he was just 25 years-old when he started his career in the majors.
Even though his football career took him away from Michigan Al Dorow had a deep loyalty to his hometown and home teams. When named grand marshal of the 2006 Imlay City Blueberry Festival parade, Dorow said nothing could keep him from being there. When family members accepted his award last month, they proudly wore the green and white of Dorow's other alma mater, Michigan State University.
Chester Marcol's life story is a fascinating one. The 15 year-old came to Imlay City from Poland in 1965 not knowing any English or much about football. Just seven years later, he was named the National Football League's Rookie of the year as a talented place kicker for the Green Bay Packers. Unfortunately, Chester's life after the NFL was marked with substance abuse but he managed to fight those addictions and developed a second career as a counselor. In 2011, he wrote an autobiography that recounted the highs and lows of fame in hopes that it could help others.
Kudos go to the school district and alumni association for launching the Hall of Fame. All school districts in the Tri-City area have graduates who've gone on to find great success in life. Efforts to recognize them help develop a rich legacy for their schools and empower current students to set lofty goals and be confident they can achieve them on the field, stage or in the boardroom.