LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – The 34th Annual Kelly-Perles-Secchia Golf Classic which raises money to benefit the Special Olympics of Michigan, was once again a star-studded event. Michigan State football coach Mel Tucker played alongside former Michigan State Spartan, Detroit Tiger, and Major League Baseball legend Kirk Gibson.

When speaking with the event organizer Don Loding, who was a friend of George Perles, he gave us some insight into how much this event meant to the former MSU football coach with a big heart.

“For many years that we’ve been here and the many years we did this…this event always brought a tear to his eye,” said Loding. “He always claimed he had an eye problem that caused him to water but we knew better.”

Along with the players on the course, several members of the East Lansing High School football team were in attendance. The Trojans helped usher players throughout the course and marked where their shots had landed. When speaking with the Trojans’ freshman team assistant coach, Don Dimick, he shared with us how great it was for his Trojans to once again be a part of this event.

“They got the jersey on and people know they’re East Lansing Trojan football players but they get to be who they are without the jersey on, kind of,” said Dimick. “It’s interesting, the first few groups that come by they’re very stiff. Then as more people come through asking them how the season’s going asking them how school went this year, they’re asking about COVID, how were things during the pauses last year, how id it playing football in January, their guard comes down and they become 16 and 17-year-olds again. It’s pretty nice to see that.”

After having a remarkable 2020-2021 season that saw the Trojans make it all the way to the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) Division 2 Regional Quarterfinal game against Muskegon Mona Shores, Dimick shared how with us the outlook for this year’s squad.

“Well we wanna build on last year, we took it right to the…to the bitter end you know we were playing in January and not many people were, the (Detroit) Lions weren’t,” said Dimick. “Making it to the regional game was big but we definitely want to go all the way this year and the kids have been focused in the weight room and we’ve had a fairly good turnout for the summer conditioning and they’re learning the plays and we’ve put a few wrinkles in this year that we haven’t had before and they seem to be cottoning to that pretty well. So we’re hoping for big things.”

Make sure you stick with 6 Sports for continued coverage of local sports events like this one and the high school football season which is three weeks away.