Teamwork is an essential part of sports, and the Corunna High School Athletic Hall of Fame is no exception.
Three teams and four individuals will be honored at halftime of the Cavaliers’ home football game Sept. 20 against Goodrich. Athletic director Jason Beldyga hopes that will lead to more nominations as people learn of the hall’s existence.
The teams are state champions from 1947 and 1955, as well as the 1983 boys basketball team which won the Class B title.
The individuals are former football coach Nick Annese, for whom Corunna’s football field is named; Jerry Dutcher, who went on to play football at Michigan; Jamie Kryzminski, a runner who went to Michigan State, and Frank Corrin, the longtime public address announcer at Corunna High School.
“It’s something a lot of schools have done,” said former Corunna athletic director Nikki Norris, who started the process before leaving for a similar job at East Lansing. “We thought it would be a good way to honor some of the outstanding athletes and teams and coaches we’ve had at Corunna.”
Norris helped get the process started, but Beldyga took over when he became Corunna’s AD last summer and has taken it from there.
A total of 22 athletes, teams, coaches and contributors were nominated for the first class, and those who won’t be inducted this year will be on the ballot for five years, with the possibility of being renominated for another five-year stint on the ballot.
Nominees have to be graduates of at least five years, while coaches will be assessed on their success at Corunna.
A committee of 15 Corunna residents will vote on each year’s list. The committee itself will be randomly selected each year.
“Some might be on the selection committee for four or five years, but it will be random,” Beldyga said. “Every school does it differently. Some are on their committees for ‘X’ number of years. We wanted it to be different every year.”
Beldyga said hall of fame plaques will be hung along the main corridor of Corunna High School, but the design and placement of the plaques is yet to be determined.
“As we go through this first year, we’re going to learn,” he said. “We can change the induction ceremony. There’s been talk of a banquet where people purchase tickets. Instead of a speech from the inductees, we’re going to let them pen a letter that we’ll publish in a color program for the (Goodrich) game.”
Among those who plan to be in attendance is Ted “Bud” Fattal, a member of the 1947 team which won the mythical Class C football title. His sons John — Corunna’s superintendent — and Ted were also accomplished athletes at Corunna.
“He lives near the football field,” Beldyga said. “He’s very excited.”
Another former Cavalier who plans to attend is Jerry Dutcher, who played on Bo Schembechler’s first team in 1969.
“He lives in Florida these days, and he’s very excited,” Beldyga said. “He lives in Florida now, but he’s coming up for a Big Ten championship celebration. He said he would be more than happy to come up for the hall of fame celebration. He’s looking forward to it.”
Beldyga is most appreciative of the help he’s gotten from committee members who have taken on projects like organizing a golf outing as a fundraiser and designing the plaques for the honorees.
“It’s a huge undertaking,” Norris said. “There’s no way a single person could do it on their own. We’ve had some amazing people step up.”
Beldyga, who took the handoff from Norris last year, is looking forward to the first induction.
“I’m nervous and I’m excited,” he said. “I’m hoping we get it right.”