Size not prerequisite for success

It’s a common perception, that in sports, size is everything.

I would beg to differ.

You only have to look at Jamie Dompier of Chassell High to see that dynamite often does come in small packages.

Dompier, a recent CHS graduate, sprinted to easy victories in the 100-, 200- and 400-meter dashes at the Upper Peninsula Track and Field Finals this past weekend in Kingsford to complete an amazing career.

Standing just 5-foot-1, Dompier was also an outstanding basketball player for the Panthers. She gained all-conference and All-U.P. honors the past two seasons.

Dompier will attend Michigan Tech and compete in track for the Huskies next season.

But she’s far from being an exception to the rule.

Over the past four decades, I can recall numerous so-called undersized athletes who managed to excel in their respective sports.

Lake Linden-Hubbell tailback Ricky Marcotte had an outstanding football career for the Lakes, despite standing just 5-6 and weighing around 150 pounds.

Former LL-H coach Ron Warner, who coached many “pony-sized” backs in his long and successful career in Lake Linden, often said that Marcotte was a game-buster.

“He (Marcotte) wasn’t big, but he had very good speed and was a real strong runner,” Warner once said.

Going back into the early 1960s, George Michaelson of John. A. Doelle High was another sterling example of a smaller player who often showed up larger players.

A mere 5-8, Michaelson led all U.P. prep basketball players in scoring as a junior and senior. Besides averaging better than 28 points a game, Michaelson also led his team in rebounds, steals and assists both seasons.

Possessing a variety of skills, he still ranks as one of the top five local players I have seen play.

The late Roger Lewis of Houghton was another prime example of a person who never let lack of size slow him down.

While competing in football and hockey for the Gremlins, the 5-6, 145-pound Lewis never let up, and often left bigger opponents more than a little bruised.

Before his tragic death this past winter, Lewis put together a successful hockey career at Northern Michigan University and for the Portage Lake Pioneers.

There are many others I could mention that fall into the same category as the above standout players.

And I’m certain that right now there are youngsters out there who have been told they are too small to succeed in athletics.

They shouldn’t believe it.