Meet the ALHS Hall of Fame inductee: James J. Pappas

Published 8:55 pm Tuesday, June 27, 2023

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Class of 1973

My family members and what I’m doing now: Mary (wife), retired respiratory therapist; Emily (daughter)wife, mom of four, physical therapist; Jennifer (daughter), wife, mom of three, business; Megan (daughter), deceased. Retired teacher/coach 40 years, enjoying our seven grandkids (four boys three girls), volunteer coach, Harmony Clothing Closet, gardening, hunting.

James Pappas

ALHS sports played: Wrestling, football and track

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Favorite ALHS sports memory: Everytime I put on that Tiger uniform and my teammmates — wow! It was the best!

Favorite memory outside of ALHS sports: Friends visiting our family restaurant, The Chef Café.

The most influential person in my athletic career: So many! Family: parents, John and Angie; brothers, Chuck and Mike. School: Ralph Summers, Lyle Ellinghuysen, Jerry Nelson, Gus, Paul Ehrhard, Neal Skaar, Jerry Kaphers, Tom Clawson, Dave Frame, Mr. Boom, Ted Anderson, Carl Granstand, Mr. Bartleson. College: John Grygelko, Billy Schmidt, Ernie Anderson, Edor Nelson, Bill Caris.

Something most people don’t know about me: Had a heart transplant two years ago Oct 1.

My advice for young athletes is: Be safe, be respectful, always do your best. In sports: Be prepared, play hard, always do your best, play mistake free, play with a sense of urgency.

The 2023 Albert Lea High School Athletic Hall of Fame Reception is July 28, starting at 5 p.m. Forms can be picked up at the downtown CVB office. Or go online to and then search the “Alumni/Educators” tab at the top. Since 2010, this event has been a fundraiser with all of the proceeds used to help reduce the cost of athletic participation for local student athletes.