Former Johannesburg-Lewiston boys basketball player Jim Payne will always remember how excruciating it was seeing his Cardinals lose multiple games in overtime as a senior during the 1978-79 season.
But the 5-foot-7 All-Northern Lakes first-teamer will never forget how exciting it was to upset rival and state-ranked St. Mary that same year.
The Cardinals overcame a 12-point halftime deficit, led by five straight field goals from Payne in the third quarter, to edge the Snowbirds, 71-66.
No one, not even the Cardinals, saw that upset coming.
"We beat them by the most points anyone else did that whole year," remembered Payne, who the Greater Otsego County Sports Hall of Fame will induct into its Class of 2016 later this fall. "St. Mary made it to the state semifinal that year, and they lost two games all year, and we ended up beating them at home. It was pretty crazy there.
"The gym was packed, obviously, and it was exciting."
The Cardinals ultimately ended that season with an 85-70 loss to state-ranked Mio in the Class D regional semifinal. Payne scored 19 points and was 9-for-12 from the foul line. Mio went on to win the regional title.
J-L won its fourth district championship in five seasons that year. Payne averaged 20 points a game.
But that win over St. Mary will be what he'll always cherish about his final season with the Cardinals.
"Joburg people were pretty happy," he said. "St. Mary people weren't very happy, and it was the biggest upset at the time."
Now Payne is trying to grasp getting inducted into the Hall of Fame.
"I was kind of shocked and excited when I heard I was going in it," Payne said. "I never dreamed that it would happen. Now that I go back and think about high school, it's been pretty neat to relive some of the football, basketball and baseball days."
Payne excelled in four sports, including track and field, and will never forget when the Cardinals edged Posen 9-8 during the football team's season finale in 1978. J-L needed a 46-yard pass from Chuck Westphal to Ron Keyser with 4:43 left to earn the comeback win.
His team went undefeated in the Northern Lakes that season, finishing 6-3 and narrowly missing a playoff berth. He rushed for 700 yards.
Payne joins Tom Pratt and Terry Walker of Gaylord High, Matt Collins of St. Mary, Gina Robinson of Vanderbilt, Coach Bob Neff of J-L and the 1999 St. Mary football team as members of the Hall of Fame's Class of 2016. Stuart Clark will be awarded the Distinguished Service Award. They'll be inducted during an Oct. 15 ceremony at the Eagles Hall in Gaylord. The cost for the dinner is $35.
Purchase tickets by contacting Jeff Shoff at (989) 350-5750 or Tom Johnson at (989) 614-1298.
ATLANTA — The rain kept down pouring Sunday at Elk Ridge Golf Club.
But that didn't keep 88 golfers from supporting Johannesburg-Lewiston during its annual Athletic Program Golf Outing.
The Cardinals' athletic staff raised almost $8,000 with their four-person scramble that included a silent auction, closest to the pin and hole-in-one contests and a catered dinner afterward.
"It was just awesome having that many people there," said Joe Smokevitch, J-L's athletic director and football coach. "Having people help raise money for the athletic department was awesome. It's just great to be in a community that supports our kids like that."
The fundraising will benefit all sports programs.
The money raised during past outings have purchased things such as pitching machines for the baseball and softball teams as well as fund bus trips for teams that make deep postseason runs.
Smokevitch referred to them as big-ticket items the school doesn't usually budget for throughout the school year.
"It goes into our fundraiser account and for a lack of a better word, it's our rainy day fund for big-ticket things we need to buy," he said.
"This year we bought the softball team a pitching machine because theirs died. In the past, we've bought a pitching machine for the baseball team. We earmark the money for big-ticket things like that.
"We don't have $2,000 laying around to buy pitching machines because the general fund is tight when we use it for basic everyday things. So raising this money is huge for us."
The golfers who attended the outing included former J-L faculty and coaches as well current coaches. It also saw members from the Johannesburg, Lewiston, Gaylord and Atlanta communities golf a round of best ball.
"For me, it was nice to see the community members from elsewhere and not just Joburg out there," J-L assistant football coach Cody Proctor said. "It's special to get support from those guys, including people like retired principals and old coaches, because getting everyone to come together was fun and for a good cause."
Added Smokevitch: "It's just awesome to see support for our athletics from people who aren't even affiliated with our programs. We had people from downstate, Gaylord people and some from Atlanta.
Treat opponents the way you would like to be treated.
Respect the integrity and judgment of game
officials and coaches.
Refrain from taunting or making any kind
of derogatory remarks.
J-L Sporting Event Ticket Prices