Area ties to Ironwood Hall of Fame

IRONWOOD – Wayne Melchiori’s “favorite team” and former Florence, Wis., coach-teacher Percy Smith entered the Ironwood Area Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday.

Melchiori, a Stambaugh High School great, coached two undefeated Red Devil football teams. The unheralded 1963 squad, 8-0, scored 183 points and allowed 24.

“They would always ask, ‘What can we do to win?'” Melchiori told Pat Krause of The Daily Globe. “We all pulled together and we never had any problems.”

Smith, who played football for Melchiori, collected 12 Ironwood letters in four sports. His punting skills drew major college scholarship offers, including one from Michigan, but injuries curtailed his career.

Smith also led Ironwood to its first Class B regional basketball title in 19 years. The inductees also included basketball coach Harry Peterson.