Elk Rapids inducts 7 into HOF, headlined by NFL TE Adam Trautman

Jan. 19—ELK RAPIDS — No better way to start a Hall of Fame than with a National Football League veteran.

Elk Rapids inducted alumnus and Denver Broncos tight end Adam Trautman in the inaugural class of the school's athletic Hall of Fame on Friday night.

"One of the coolest things was I literally just walked in through this hallway and Scott Easton, a sophomore on the (basketball) team was like, 'Hey, what's up man? Hi, Mr. Trautman.' He was calling me Mr. Trautman and I'm like, 'What?' And then I walked down the other side of the hall and kids have my jersey on, so it's really cool."

The four-year NFL vet is an impending free agent this offseason after an All-American college career at the University of Dayton.

"It's an exciting time," Trautman said. "You always want to hit free agency and you always want to come off of playing well and being available, playing all 17 games like I did, which is a huge deal in your contract year."

Trautman caught 22 passes for 204 yards and three touchdowns, but he is known as one of the best blocking ends in the league. For his career, he has 82 receptions for 845 yards and seven TDs.

His first NFL touchdown came on the road against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a rookie. The Bucs' scoreboard crew didn't have a photo of Trautman on file, so they used one of then-Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff instead. Now, Trautman and Goff have the same agent.

"I still remember looking up there after being notified by our strength coach on the sideline," Trautman said. "He's like, 'Hey, look at your picture.' I still remember that. I actually met Jared this past year in the offseason, so that was kind of cool. I didn't bring it up to him."

It's not the first case of mistaken identity for Trautman. When he was drafted in the third round during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, ESPN showed highlights from college and high school. One was of his older brother Andrew.

Everyone knew who he was Friday.

The Hall of Fame class also included:

—Kathy Moody-Breece, the Elks softball coach from 1990-2003 and the program's all-time winningest coach with 264 victories. She won seven district titles, two regionals and later coached softball at Traverse City West. It's her sixth Hall of Fame induction, joining the Michigan High School Coaches Association in 2020, the Belding High School in 2011, Central Michigan University in 2018 and the Michigan High School Softball Coaches Association in 2009.

—Kim Schneider, a 1990 graduate who is still the Elk Rapids career girls basketball scoring leader at 1,968 points. She also holds records for single-game points (44), career scoring average (21.2), career assists (613), career steals (595) and 3-pointers made (102). She passed away in 2014 at age 42 from breast cancer.

—J.Coleman Young, a basketball coach in the 1920s who led the Elks to four district titles, a regional crown and a runner-up spot in the 1929 state finals. He was also a principal and superintendent at Elk Rapids Schools.

—John Boals, a 1967 grad who coached football from 1973-92, including seven seasons as varsity head coach. He started the Elk Rapids wrestling program in 1973 and coached that from 1973-80.

—Tracy Elliot, a 1969 graduate who was the 1968 Class C-D individual cross country state champion and 1969 Class D state champ in the 3,200-meter run.

—Keith Morrison, 1970 graduate and all-state football and basketball player who averaged 20.4 points a game as a senior. He had 1,041 rushing yards as a senior and intercepted four passes in one game.

The Elk Rapids Athletics Hall of Fame had several previous inductees but didn't add entrants on a yearly basis. Second-year athletic director Brett Graham inducted former athletic director (from 2002-22) and Elks standout athlete Jim Standerfer. The other earlier inductees included football coach and the stadium's namesake Don Glowicki in 2005, girls basketball coach Bob Schneider, baseball coach Aaron Coleman and football player Gordon Hulburt in 2006 and former basketball coach Ray Graham in 2015.

Brett Graham said the Elks plan to have an annual additional to the hall of fame, picking this year's class out of 30 nominations.

Trautman said he was humbled to be added to the hall of fame and to have a line waiting to get autographs.

"It's cool to have," Trautman said. "They look up to me, and people are watching and everything. That truly means a lot."

Trautman said he'd like to return to the Broncos. He said when he asked the Saints to trade him, one of his other preferred destinations was Detroit, because current head coach Dan Campbell was his tight ends coach as a rookie in New Orleans. Denver and head coach Sean Payton traded a draft pick to New Orleans for the tight end Payton drafted three years earlier.

"It was an awesome feeling," Trautman said. "I asked to get moved at the time. He traded for me with picks in the draft to (move) up and get me in the draft. He did it again. That says a lot about how much he believes in me, and I just wanted to be back with someone who did believe in me — and I found the right spot."

Elks head football coach Nate Butte had Trautman autograph several helmets and footballs to raffle off later for team fundraising.

The high school library where he signed autographs and posed for photos for an hour and a half before the varsity basketball game against Charlevoix had a projection screen playing Trautman highlights, including the ESPN feed from when he was drafted.

His brothers, Alec and Andrew, came from Cincinnati and Houston, respectively, for the ceremony. They also flew in for Adam's game against the Lions, where their father, Rod Trautman, said about 50-60 people from Elk Rapids and former Dayton teammates came to watch him play.

Follow @Jamescook14 on Twitter.