Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame announces 2017 class

(Image courtesy the Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame.)


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame has announced its 2017 class, featuring six local standouts.

This year’s class includes a wide arrange of people and groups with athletic achievements in several different sports across all levels of athletics.

The 2017 class includes:

  • Mike Franckowiak: Played football at West Catholic High School before starring at Central Michigan University, where he led the Chippewas to a NCAA Division II national championship as a quarterback. Upon leaving Mount Pleasant, Franckowiak had a four-year NFL career with the Denver Broncos and Buffalo Bills.
  • Kathy Grzegorski-Johnson: Starred as a basketball player at West Catholic High School in the infancy of women’s basketball becoming a varsity sport. She went on to become Aquinas College, where she became its all-time leading scorer with 2,037 points, a record that stood for 26 years.
  • Carla Sterk-Fles: Led South Christian High School to the 1988 Class B state championship. During her collegiate career at CMU, she became a record holder in blocked shots and ranks among the top five in several other categories.Sterk-Fles also played professionally before becoming Cornerstone University’s women’s basketball coach.
  • Bob Sakocius: Made the NAIA All-State team twice as a golfer at Aquinas College, and also won 25 local tournaments.
  • Sullivan’s Baseball: A baseball team created and coached for over 45 years by local business Bob Sullivan. Notable alumni of the team include Kirk Gibson, Jim Kaat and Al Kaline.
  • Ray Smith: Smith is being given the Warren Reynolds Lifetime Achievement Award winner for 2017. He is the winningest coach in MIAA history with nine championships in 25 years at Hope College. Following his coaching career, Smith became the college’s athletic director for 29 years.

The induction ceremony will take place on Sept. 26 at Van Andel Arena.