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2018-09-12 / Front Page

NHS Announces 2018 Athletic Hall of Fame Additions


Clifton Young-1993 Clifton Young-1993 Newberry High School will induct its sixth class into the Athletic Hall of Fame Saturday, September 29.

The event will start at 5:00 p.m. with a 5:30 p.m. dinner in the high school cafeteria. Tickets for the dinner can be purchased at the high school office, or call 293-3243.

The induction ceremony will take place in the Bystrom Auditorium at 7:00 p.m. The ceremony will be open to the public at no charge.

This year’s induction includes: Charlie Smith, class of 1913; Robert Pike, class of 1969; Keith Laabs, class of 1977; K.C. Wilson, class of 1981; and Clifton Young, class of 1994.

Charlie Smith—The newspapers of the 1910s had numerous accounts of “probably the fastest quarterback ever developed in high school circles in the U.P.

“Charlie Smith at QB proved himself to be one of the best field generals in the U.P. With the ball in his hands, one could safely count on a substantial lessening of the distance to the enemy’s goal posts. Surveying the scene with a cool head and a clear eye, he unerringly picked the weakest spots in the opposing line and cruised through it relentlessly.”

Smith played in the era before forward passing was a practical option and most of the accounts are of his making long runs from scrimmage. In 1911 he led his NHS team to an unbeaten record. Although they only played four games, two of those games were against Sault High, along with Marquette and Manistique.

He led “in the conversation” among possible state champions. Smith was also an outstanding baseball and basketball player for NHS.

Robert Pike—Robert Pike was a 1969 NHS graduate, playing football and basketball during his high school career.

Pike also competed in track, in which he set two records in the triple jump and 110-yard-high hurdles. His 110-hurdle record stood for 48 years.

In football Pike was an outstanding defensive end, gaining All-Conference honors and honorable mention All-U.P. He was the leading rebounder and one of the top scorers in basketball for all four years of high school. He also competed in golf for three years.

Keith Laabs—Keith was a graduate of the class of 1977. He lettered in basketball, which is the sport he excelled in throughout his career. His love for the game and competitive nature was evident when he played.

As a junior he led the team in both scoring and rebounding. Laabs averaged 22 points per game during his junior year and was named second team all-U.P.

During his senior season he again surpassed a 20- points-per-game average, leading the team in rebounding. He was named first team All-U.P and Class C State Honorable Mention, and was the team MVP (Tom Villemure Award). Laabs still holds the record for most offensive rebounds in a game at 14.

His most memorable performance was in the team’s victory over St. Ignace in the District Championship game in St. Ignace. He scored 29 points and hauled down 24 rebounds.

As a senior Laabs was selected as recipient of the John Nutkins award, which is the accomplishment of which he’s most proud. He continued his basketball career at Lake Superior State College, where he played from 1978 - 81.

K.C. Wilson—K.C. Wilson was a 1981 NHS graduate. A four-year Varsity starter in basketball, he was team MVP in 1980, and team captain and defensive player in 1981.

Wilson was a standout in football, playing in the Varsity all four years. At the time of his induction he holds all of the receiving records at Newberry: receptions in a game (11) and during a season (53); receiving yards in a game (221) and during a season (1,033); and receiving touchdowns in a season (22) and throughout his career (31).

Wilson was named first Team All-State in Class C in both 1979 and 1980, as well as First Team All-UP Class ABC in 1979 and 1980.

Clifton Young—Young, a NHS graduate of 1994, earned seven Varsity letters in football (3) and basketball (4).

While knee injuries derailed his junior- and senioryear football seasons (limiting him to only four total games), Young was able to succeed on the hardcourt.

As the school’s all-time leader in blocked shots, he’s also one of only three NHS male cagers to score more than 1,000 career points. In each of his four Varsity seasons he led his team in scoring rebounding and blocked shots.

Young won the Tom Villemure Award (Team MVP) his sophomore, junior and senior years, and played in the U.P. All-Star game as a senior. In each of his sophomore, junior and senior campaigns he was awarded both All-U.P. and honorable mention All-State honors.

After graduation Young went on to play one year of football at Lakeland University before transferring and playing at Grand Valley State University. He currently serves as an English/ Communications professor at Muskegon Community College.

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