FLINT — To be a student athlete means much more than just exceling at ones sport.
Last Wednesday, 160 of the Greater Flint area high school student athletes were mentored by Greater Flint Sports Hall of Famers on sports skills and drills, lectures and community involvement opportunities. Student athletes from Lapeer West, Atherton, Brandon, Byron, Carman-Ainsworth, Clio, Davison, Fenton, Flushing, Goodrich, Hamady, Kearsley, Lake Fenton, Flint Northern, Flint Northwestern, Flint Powers and Swartz Creek took part.
The event was hosted by the Genesys Athletic Club in partnership with the Greater Flint Sports Hall of Fame in a half-day workshop. It was intended to help student athletes improve their leadership skill as an athlete, in the classroom and as future community leaders, said Cindy Ficorelli of Genesys’ Marketing Department.
“Our goal is to provide these students with a solid framework for building leadership skills they can incorporate in all aspects of their life – not just as a team leader, but also as a classmate, friend and vital member of the community today and in the future. We are teaching them skills they can use for the rest of their life,” said Jim Mongrain, general manager of GAC.
Featured speakers in the sessions included:
• Otis Wiley, a three-sport star at Carman-Ainsworth High School lettering in track, football and basketball. Wiley captained the football and basketball teams his senior year. He was an All -State football player and led his basketball team to two state finals. He attended Michigan State University on a football scholarship and was a threeyear starter.
• Tim Wakeham, the Michigan State University head strength and conditioning coach for Olympic sports.
Mentors on the day included:
• Cheryl Histed, who earned a total of 16 varsity letters in three sports at
Kearsley High School, in volleyball, basketball and softball. She was one of the most decorated female athletes in the history of the Big Nine conference. After high school, she went on to a record-setting volleyball career at Michigan State University.
• Paul Stroba, an All-State athlete in three sports at St. Matthew’s High School in Flint. He went on to play football with the University of Michigan and led the Big Ten in punting. After college, he played for the Cleveland Browns.
• Steve Schmidt, head basketball coach for Mott Community College. He claims the title of winningest coach in the college’s history with a record of 573-12. He also is the winningest active coach in the nation at the NJCAA level.
Opening comments were delivered by Bob Burek, Hall of Fame board member, followed by messages from a student athlete at Fenton High School; a nutrition lecture from a GAC personal trainer; and speed, agility, power and endurance drills conducted by GAC personal trainers.
All participants were afforded one-onone conversations with each speaker and mentor.