The 1975 State Champs!

trophyIn just a few short weeks the Beaumier Heritage Center will be unveiling its newest exhibit: U.P. POWER! High School Sports in Upper Michigan. To get everyone pumped, this post and next week’s will be dedicated to giving a tiny glimpse of what you can expect in this exciting new exhibit.

There are many great stories related to sports in the U.P. One of them is the story of the 1975 Ishpeming Hematites. Here is a small excerpt from their story that will be displayed in the coming exhibit:

November 22, 1975 was a watershed day in U.P. sports. For over 50 years, the best high school football teams from throughout the U.P. had been denied an opportunity to play their counterparts in the Lower Peninsula in a true state championship. Rather, there was a mythical championship given out by the State’s sports writers. But that all changed in 1975, when the Michigan High School Athletic Association held its first official state championship tournament.

On that very day in Mount Pleasant, the Ishpeming Hematites found themselves in a tough spot. Not only were they playing for their first state football title in 70 years but they were playing the much vaunted and dominant Hudson Tigers. Hudson entered the game with a national record winning streak of 72 consecutive games. During an eight year period, they had not allowed more than 21 points. Anticipation to the game was great but the odds were heavily in Hudson’s favor. Still, they had never played a team from the U.P. before and on that date, they met their match.

-Dan Truckey, Director of the BHC

Although we don’t want to give away all the details just yet, it is easy to tell where the rest of this story goes by the accompanying picture.

To learn more about the 1975 State Championships and other great moments in U.P High School sports history, be sure to check out the new exhibit at the Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center in Room 105 of Cohodas. It opens Saturday, October 20th at 1 p.m. with a reception in the Center.

All items for this exhibit, including this trophy, will be on display and are on loan to us from many places around the U.P.

Prepared by Stephen Glover of the BHC

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