Bob Every believes the latest Greater Lansing Hall of Fame class is a well-rounded mix of some of the area’s past standouts.
A brother wrestling tandem and a legendary basketball coach are among the 10 individuals and three teams that are part of the Hall of Fame’s 40th class.
Andy Simmons (Williamston wrestling), Nick Simmons (Williamston wrestling), Stephanie Smiley (Holt basketball/softball), Fritz Kellerman (Sexton wrestling), Johnny Jones (Everett basketball coach), Kim Spalsbury (Fowler/Grand Ledge track/cross country coach), Jesse Gallegos (Waverly football/baseball), Chuck Block (LCC track/cross country coach), Jamie Wesley (Morrice basketball) and Scott Kemp (Grand Ledge baseball) are the individuals in this year’s class, which will be formally inducted in July.
They will be joined by the 1960 Haslett football team, the 1977 DeWitt softball team and the 1979 Eastern boys golf team. Larry Cockroft and Judge George Economy are the Dick Letts Community Service Award winners.
“I think this class has a nice balance for the 40th anniversary of the Greater Lansing Hall of Fame,” Every said. “All these people are very recognizable in our community by not only people in their own group, but all across the board of athletes. You’d be hard pressed to mention any of these names to anybody in this community and not have them know who any of these people are.”
Andy Simmons was a four-time state wrestling champ (1999-2002) and went 219-0 during his prep career before going on to Michigan State where he was a two-time All-American. Nick Simmons was a four-time state wrestling champ (1998-2001) and went 211-0 while in high school before a standout career at MSU where he was a four-time All-American. He was a 2008 and 2012 U.S. Olympic alternate.
Stephanie Smiley was a standout at Holt before becoming a star women’s basketball player under Suzy Merchant at Eastern Michigan. She is the only player in Mid-American Conference history (man or woman) to record 1,400 career points, 700 career rebounds and 500 career assists.
Kellerman was an undefeated state wrestling champ as a senior at Sexton (1958) and was a three-time Big Ten wrestling champ at Michigan.
Jones spent 32 years as a basketball coach at Everett where he spent time leading both the girls and boys teams. He led the girls team to Class A state titles in 2000 and 2001 and the boys to a state championship in 2004.
Spalsbury spent 30-plus years as a cross country and track coach in the Lansing-area, working at Fowler and Grand Ledge. He won nine state team titles and had nine runner-up finishes.
Gallegos was a four-time state Golden Gloves boxing champion and an all-city football and basketball performer at Waverly.
Block was a successful cross country and track coach at Lansing Community College (2001-2013) and guided the men’s cross country team to the 2007 National Junior College Athletic Association national title.
Wesley, a 1994 Morrice graduate, was a two-time first team Class D all-state selection before going on to play at MSU. Kemp, a 1978 Grand Ledge graduate, was a two-time all-state first baseman before going to Eastern Michigan where he earned All-MAC honors as a senior.
The 1960 Haslett football team went undefeated (8-0) in the Ingham County League and finished in the top five of the final Class C rankings. The 1977 DeWitt softball team won the Class C state title to become the first area team to win a softball championship. The 1979 Eastern golf team won the Class A state title and is the only Lansing city school to win a golf championship.