A Hancock homecoming

HOUGHTON – People separated by a half-century or more united Saturday on one common factor: they’re Bulldogs.

The Hancock Central High School All-School Reunion took place last week, ending with a banquet at Michigan Technological University Saturday.

Sandy Karjala Petrin of Escanaba, a 1964 graduate, said she comes to all of the reunions, held every three years.

“I like seeing all the different classes, and reuniting with memories,” she said.

Alumni awards were presented to Dave Strong and Gina Lepisto, both of whom have been active in planning the reunions over the years.

“I’ve made the most wonderful friends, and I’ve had some wonderful experiences,” Lepisto said. “… I’m hoping to see you all in 2016, and maybe one of you wants to take my job.”

Also at the dinner, six people were entered into the Hancock Sports Hall of Fame: Gerald Parker (Class of 1957), Joe Ricci (1945), Patricia Sullivan (1975), Richard Miller (1969), David Mickelsen (1956) and Elizabeth Pietila Aho (1998).

One of the first girls to play sports in Hancock after the passage of Title IX, Sullivan lettered in basketball and track and field and also played in the first all-school hockey program for area girls.

“It was exciting to have Title IX happen and be able to participate and enjoy sports,” she said. “It’s exciting to be part of a team.”

Mickelsen was a dominant basketball and football player, averaging 21.8 points per game in his senior year.

That year, he was named the Copper Country Conference’s Most Valuable Player and was voted to the Class B All-U.P. team.

“I have a lot of friends that played on those football teams and basketball teams,” he said. “It was a great fun ride.”