St. Clair Shores Hall of Fame ceremony to honor outstanding local athletes

By: Jason Carmel Davis | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published March 4, 2016

 Travis Conlan, a 1994 graduate of St. Clair Shores Lake Shore and a member of the school’s 1994 state title-winning boys basketball team, is one of the members of the first class of the St. Clair Shores Sports Hall of Fame. Conlan is pictured with his daughter, Lani, during a ceremony honoring the 1994 state champion boys basketball team.

Travis Conlan, a 1994 graduate of St. Clair Shores Lake Shore and a member of the school’s 1994 state title-winning boys basketball team, is one of the members of the first class of the St. Clair Shores Sports Hall of Fame. Conlan is pictured with his daughter, Lani, during a ceremony honoring the 1994 state champion boys basketball team.

File photo by Sean Work

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ST. CLAIR SHORES — Hall of Famer is a title all athletes aspire to one day earn.

A group of athletes who made their names in St. Clair Shores will be honored with Hall of Fame status during a ceremony later this month, as the St. Clair Shores Sports Hall of Fame will honor athletes who have lived and/or played prep sports in the city, or played with a youth sports organization in St. Clair Shores.

Honorees include Mark Wells, a 1975 graduate of St. Clair Shores Lake Shore and a member of the 1980 U.S. men’s gold medal-winning hockey team; George Allen, a three-sport star at Lake Shore who went on to coach in the NFL; and the 1975 and 1978 state title-winning St. Clair Shores Lakeview hockey teams.

An induction ceremony is set for 1-4 p.m. March 13 at Blossom Heath Inn in St. Clair Shores. 

Plaques honoring the Hall of Famers will be on display at the St. Clair Shores Civic Arena.

Tickets for the ceremony cost $35 and must be purchased in advance.

This is the first class to be inducted. No decision has been made as to future induction ceremonies. 

“I think it’s a long time coming for the city to put a Hall of Fame together to honor people who have done great things in the city because those people should be recognized,” said Lake Shore Athletic Director John Hartley, a member of the committee that selected the inductees. 

“The history of sports in the community shows that there are a lot of people who are worthy of being in here. We’ll have quality candidates however often we decide to do this.”

Nominated athletes remain eligible for three years. That means anyone not selected for the first class has a chance to be inducted in 2017 or 2018.

St. Clair Shores Mayor Kip Walby announced the inductees Dec. 7. More than 50 teams and athletes were considered for the honor.

St. Clair Shores Parks and Recreation Director Greg Esler said he’s hopeful that the ceremony will bring a measure of excitement to the city.

“I’m very excited about the first class going into (the St. Clair Shores) Hall of Fame,” Esler said. “All of the inductees have had a huge impact on our community.”

A nine-member panel comprising the athletic directors from Lake Shore, Lakeview and St. Clair Shores South Lake, Walby, a liaison from the St. Clair Shores City Council, Esler, two Parks and Recreation Commission members, and a member appointed by Esler met over several nights to select the first group of inductees.


Hallowed hall

The following athletes and teams comprise the inaugural class of the St. Clair Shores Hall of Fame.

• Mark Wells, a 1975 graduate of Lake Shore and center on the 1980 Olympic gold medal-winning U.S. men’s hockey team.

• Travis Conlan, a “dream team” member for basketball and soccer, and a key part of Lake Shore High School’s 1994 state title-winning team. He was a two-year captain for the University of Michigan basketball team and is currently the director of basketball operations for the Wolverines.

• Richard Black, Lakeview athletic director and head basketball coach for more than 30 years.

• George Allen, a three-sport star at Lake Shore who went on to coach in the NFL with the Los Angeles Rams and Washington Redskins. He was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2002. Allen died in 1990 at 72.

• George Kaufman, who earned 16 letters for participation in various sports at Lakeview, played in the St. Louis Browns minor league baseball system, and served as the first St. Clair Shores parks and recreation director. Kaufman died last year at 91.

• The 1975 state champion Lakeview hockey team.

• The 1978 state champion Lakeview hockey team.

• Lauren Gdula, a Lakeview graduate and bowler who was on the Detroit Free Press Dream Team and earned a high school state title.

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