‘22 Esky Wall of Fame
ESCANABA — Six more were recently inducted into the Escanaba Wall of Fame at the Escanaba Athletic Field — Dennis Victorson, Alex Rosemurgy, Jerry Olson, Jim Olsen, David Falish and Phil Hiney.
Dennis Victorson won two varsity letters competing in football and two additional letters for varsity baseball. During his JV year, coach Frank Miketinac taught the importance of downfield blocking and that became one of Victorson’s strengths as he allowed Esky running backs to gain additional yardage down the field.
On special teams, Dennis was a standout covering kickoffs and punts. In 1958, he received multiple awards, including All-Great Lakes Conference End First Team and All-U.P. First Team End as well.
After high school, he attended Stout State College in Menominee, Wisconsin where he was also a member of their football team. He later served four years in the United States Air Force. Dennis and his wife Nancy reside in Escanaba.
An Escanaba native, Rosemurgy was a member of the football team during his high school tenure.
“In the games here in my youth, my predecessors were warriors, worthy of my adulation,” Rosemurgy said. “I wanted to be like them. With great coaching and great teammates, ultimately, I was able to play here, making those days some of the best of my life. Fresh cut grass, fans, pals I played with, cheerleaders, and football; there’s nothing like Friday night football. I loved it all.”
Rosemurgy graduated in 1971 and attended the University of Wisconsin, the University of Michigan and the University of Chicago.
He moved to Tampa in 1984 and rose to be Professor of Surgery, Professor of Medicine and Associate Dean for Academic Enrichment at the University of South Florida. He was also the recipient of the Reeves/Culverhouse Endowed chair in Digestive Disorders.
With the advent of robotic surgery, Rosemurgy built one of the busiest programs for robotic liver surgery and for robotic pancreatic surgery in the USA.
Jerry Olson began his football career in 1953 in the eighth grade.
Upon entering the senior high school in 1955 as a sophomore, he was invited to join the varsity team and that invitation led to three years of varsity football.
At the conclusion of his senior year, Olson was selected as a member of the All-U.P. First Team.
“What I remember most about those years was the close working, playing and social relationships between all of us on our team,” Olson said. “Escanaba was a small town and most of us knew each other through various activities as we grew up together. It was a magic time and playing for Escanaba was an experience we all loved and shared.”
Olson worked for various universities following his high school graduation, retiring as an assistant vice president for the University of New Hampshire.
JIM ‘HUNTER’ OLSEN
Jim “Hunter” Olsen, class of 1969, played under coach Jerry Cvengros.
He was one of five sophomores to be moved up to the varsity after the second varsity game in 1966. Olsen played both fullback and defensive end.
His Eskymo career netted him 24 touchdowns and over 1,000 rushing yards.
Olsen was mentioned both in the Great Northern Conference and the All-U.P. awards throughout his Eskymos tenure.
As a team, they received many achievements, winning the Floyd Barber Trophy two years in a row for the top high school football team in the U.P. and ended with a winning streak of 19 wins and one tie.
Olsen also played basketball and accumulated 20 plus metals and ribbons while running in track. He received nine letters.
After high school, Olsen enlisted in the Navy. After an honorable discharge, he started work at Mead Paper where he retired after 42 years of service.
He married his high school sweetheart Debbie Judson and together they have two daughters and two granddaughters.
David Falish was moved up to the varsity during his sophomore football season and was a versatile player throughout his career.
He started on offense, defense, and special teams — typically only on the sidelines for kick-off. Defensively, he played safety, while offensively he played wide receiver his sophomore and junior seasons and was switched to quarterback for his senior season.
He accumulated over 35 touchdowns, 1,700 rushing yards, 1,200 receiving yards and 750 passing yards, breaking two school records along the way and helping the team to a state playoff berth in 2011.
Falish earned All-Conference, All-Conference Offensive Player of the Year, All-U.P. and All-State honors as well as being named to the U.P. All-Star Team.
Besides football, Falish lettered in baseball, basketball, and wrestling, and at the end of his senior year, he received the Pfotenhauer/Gessner Trophy and the Abrahamson Trophy.
Falish graduated with a 4.15 cumulative GPA and 25 college credits, and he was awarded academic and athletic scholarships to attend and play football at Michigan Technological University where he was a three-year starter as wide receiver.
During the 2014 season, he helped the team to a national playoff berth, and they tied the school record for most wins in a season. Over his college career he received team, conference, and national recognition for student-athlete academic excellence.
He completed both his Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Engineering and Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering with a 4.00 GPA.
He is now working as an engineer and living in Escanaba with his wife and son.
Phil Hiney graduated from Negaunee High School where he played football, basketball and baseball.
After high school, he enrolled at Northern Michigan University where he started as a guard on the varsity football team as a freshman.
He later went on to coach football at Rudyard and Munising high schools before moving his family to Escanaba in 1962.
While at Escanaba, Hiney worked with Frank Miketinac on the junior varsity level. Hiney was in charge of teaching the offense and defensive linemen the fundamentals needed for Escanaba’s program.
Phil finished his professional career teaching math, coaching football and wrestling, and became a trusted volunteer for other sports programs even after retirement.
Phil lived with his wife Lorna and children, Judy, Jeff and Vance.