HERMANSVILLE — The 83rd annual Gold Medal Classic basketball tournament tips off Thursday evening with four games at the Meyer Township Community Club in Hermansville.
Now the epicenter of Midwest independent basketball tournaments, the event opens at 6 p.m. CDT when Jeffrey John Seamless Gutters of Norway takes on Fireplace North of Iron Mountain in Class EE.
The Gutter Hangers feature some recent Norway High School players, including this spring’s All-Upper Peninsula Division 4 Second Team selection Nolan Amundson, 2020 and 2021 Division 1-3 Second Team All-U.P. selection Logan Parolini and Zachary Seat — the grandson of longtime Gold Medal tournament director, the late Raymond P. Bray.
The 7 p.m. game is in Class C between two longtime tournament stalwarts. Kakuk Construction of Daggett takes on Iron River Shamco as Kakuk’s features seniors from the 2022 MHSAA Division 3 state runner-up Menominee Maroons, along with their head coach Sam Larson and his assistants.
The Upper Peninsula Sportswriters and Sportscasters Division 1-3 2022 player of the year Aidan Bellisle of Menominee will play for Kakuk’s.
A pair of Class D games conclude the opening nights, with the 8 p.m. game pairing Jim’s Plumbing of Wallace taking on Stihl Saw Sales of Powers.
Jim’s Plumbing, owned by Jim Starzinski, is another longtime sponsor of teams in the tournament.
The final game Thursday night will feature a group of Menominee County farmers, including Class of 1995 North Central standout Tom Granquist and Bark River-Harris standout Justin Blonairz of Perronville. The group will call themselves Farmersonly.com and take on Wilson Farms of Stephenson at 9 p.m.
Friday night’s schedule of four games begins at 6 p.m. with a Class EE game between Bellmore Farms of French Town and NutriFeed of Powers.
The 7 p.m. contest is the opening Class E game, as Hermansville Wildwood takes on Jim’s Plumbing. Shamco’s Class D squad will take on Rapid River at 8 p.m.
The final game Friday will be in Class C between Juice Promotions of Carney and Dave’s Auto of Iron Mountain. Former Norway High standout Joey Pontbriand and former Iron Mountain All-U.P. performer Jake Hogberg will join Carney-Nadeau graduates, the Polfus brothers, Jacob and Mike, on Juice Promotions. Dave’s Auto features Kingsford graduate Geoff Smart, as well as Iron Mountain grads Pat Flood and Kyle Johnson.
Longtime Gold Medal Tournament official and lifelong Hermansville resident, the late Frank Rodman, will be honored by the Meyer Township Board and the current Gold Medal Tournament Committee in renaming the hallowed Community Center building in his name.
Board member Chad Knodl will deliver a speech on behalf of Meyer Township, and Matt “Sweets” McCarthy of Niagara, Wisconsin, will speak on behalf of the Gold Medal tournament committee.
After taking Monday evening off, the tournament resumes Tuesday evening through April 17.
Classes C, D, E and EE conclude on April 15, with Class B and the Women’s Division to be held April 16-17.