Exceptional women were celebrated in style at the 2022 Carlson High School Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.
The event, held April 28 at Arnaldo’s Banquet Center in Riverview, marked the first time in the school’s Hall of Fame history that an all-female class was inducted. The first class of the Hall of Fame was inducted in 2012.
The cheerleading squads in 2008 and 2009 were unique in several ways. Coached by Christina Wilson and Danielle Jokella, the team had a core of girls who all shared the same mindset when it came to setting goals.
“We didn’t have any seniors on our state championship team in 2008, so we had already built the bond for 2009,” Wilson said. “Yes, we added members to the team in 2009, but the transition was smooth. There was no doubt about the goals. There was no wondering if everyone was on the same page – it was just a given. They worked hard and did it for each other. Same for Danielle and me. We were all in it together – everyone together with 110% commitment. »
Becoming Michigan High School Athletic Association state champions two years in a row doesn’t happen by accident. According to Wilson, the sport requires more than normal built-in hours of practice.
“Our kids have been spending more time in the gym facilities and at home honing their skills,” she said. “That was just part of what they did. We didn’t have to ask them to do it, they did it. We didn’t expect to win in 2008. It was the furthest thing from our minds, but in 2009 there was no doubt. Winning a state championship had become the expectation.
Wilson, who named the Hall of Fame induction teams, said she and Jokella are still in touch with many former cheerleaders. As with other championship teams in other sports, a bond is formed between the members that lasts well beyond their school days.
Wilson and Jokella have attended weddings, held babies of former team members and, in a few cases, just shared a chat with some of the young women they used to coach.
“They are a special group,” Wilson said. “We have a saying – ‘state champions forever’ because that’s really who we are. Nothing can take it away. Many of the women are still great friends to this day, finding each other in their marriages, sharing experiences far beyond cheerleading and high school. They grew up together and continue to do so today. For me, that’s one of the things I’m most proud of. Winning is great, don’t get me wrong, but I always have a huge smile on my face when I see these women succeed in life.
The other two inductees into this year’s Hall of Fame class may not have been cheerleaders, but they’ve been strong supporters of Carlson High School and have deep roots in the district. school.
Brenda Greear graduated from Carlson in 1983 and currently serves as the school’s athletic secretary.
Michael Pehote, the school librarian who chairs the Hall of Fame committee, said Greear is well respected and loved by athletic directors, coaches and athletes at Carlson High School.
Nominated by former coach Chad Liptow, Greear is the winner of the Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Administration Association’s first-ever Athletic Administrative Assistant of the Year award.
Glenda Sheets, who was nominated by English teacher Erika Madgwick, has the distinction of being a member of the Class of 1966, Carlson High School’s first class.
After graduating, she returned to the Gibraltar School District, where she taught for over 25 years. Carlson’s former English teacher retired in 2007.
Anyone interested in nominating candidates for the School’s Hall of Fame can find nomination records on Carlson’s Hall of Fame webpage: https://www.gibdist.net/carlson-high/hall-of -fame