The inaugural class of inductees for the St. Johns High School Athletic Hall of Fame has been inducted. This group, chosen by the Hall of Fame committee, includes individuals and teams that made significant contributions to the success of the school’s athletic program.
The 2016 inductees include: Jim Makarauskas, Paul Sternburgh, Beth Swears, the 1949, 1950 and 1951 football teams, the 1978-79 boys swim team, Dale Knight, Gina Mazzolini, Anne (Brocker) Pierson, Jenny (Poff) Pruett and Levi Rost.
Jim Makarauskas: Former swim and dive coach who coached the boys for 25 seasons and the girls for 16 seasons; coached a combined 49 seasons as head coach and assistant coach over a 40 year stretch; honored with MISCA’s Matt Mann Award (’98); inducted into the Michigan High School Coaches Hall of Fame (’09).
Paul Sternburgh: Current golf coach who has coached the boys for 36 seasons; inducted into Michigan Intercollegiate Golf Coaches Association Hall of Fame (’11); previously coached softball for 19 years earning a 363-140 overall record.
Beth Swears: Former basketball coach who coached the girls for 26 seasons earning a 380-199 overall record; Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan Coach of the Year (’90); inducted into the BCAM Hall of Fame (’07).
1949, ’50 & ’51 Football Teams: Completed three consecutive undefeated seasons with a 26 game winning streak; inducted into the Greater Lansing Sports Hall of Fame (’06). Team was coached by Terry Carey.
1978-79 Boys Swim Team: Completed 11-1 season and earned first conference championship in school history; outscored its opponents by average of 42 points per meet; finished in 7th place in the state. Team was coached by Jim Makarauskas.
Dale Knight (Football, Basketball): Earned 13 varsity letters during high school; four-year starter in football; member of the 1952 Michigan State University Football national championship team; member of the 1953 MSU Big Ten and Rose Bowl championship team; 1950 SJHS graduate.
Gina Mazzolini (Girls Basketball, Volleyball): First ever SJHS Female Athlete of the Year (’74); four-year letter winner at Central Michigan University in basketball and volleyball; inducted into the CMU Athletic Hall of Fame (’92); 1974 SJHS graduate.
Anne (Brocker) Pierson (Girls Basketball, Track and Field): SJHS Female Athlete of the Year (’89); All-State basketball player (’88); four-year letter winner at Canisius College; inducted into the Canisius Athletic Hall of Fame (’05); 1989 SJHS graduate.
Jenny (Poff) Pruett (Basketball, Softball): SJHS Female Athlete of the Year (’05); Current SJHS record holder in assists, steals, 3-point field goals, free throw percentage and second in points scored; Runner up in Miss Basketball Award (’04); two-time All-State in softball; played basketball collegiately at Michigan State University and Ohio University; 2005 SJHS graduate.
Levi Rost (Basketball, Baseball): Basketball standout who played two years at Lansing Community College and earned junior college All-American honors; played two years at Western Michigan University earning All-MAC honors; played professionally in Europe for 10 seasons; 2001 SJHS graduate.
Donations to the Hall of Fame:
Although associated with St. Johns Public Schools, the St. Johns High School Athletic Hall of Fame is privately funded with the support of local community members and businesses. Individuals and businesses interested in making a donation to this effort are urged to contact the SJHS Activities Office at (989) 227-4134 or view the Hall of Fame website at www.sjredwings.org/athletics.