The inaugural class for the Union High School Athletic Hall of Fame has been announced.
The newly founded hall will feature 21 inductees, including coaches, teams, athletes and sports contributors. The inaugural class was capped at 20 members, but a tie increased it by one.
The goal of the hall of fame is to recognize the history of UHS athletics.
“I think this class represents what the committee wanted to do the first year,” said Athletic Director Chris Arand. “It includes a wide range of inductees from the early days of Union High School up to the date they’re eligible.”
Athletes must have graduated 10 or more years ago to be eligible. Coaches must be retired for three years before they’re eligible.
Inductees were selected by a 15-person committee comprised of community members and school officials, Arand explained. There was a two-part voting process. Judges selected from more than 50 nominations.
Arand said the committee wanted to include all sports.
The booster club will fund a digital display and recognition plaque to be located outside of the gym. It will include a 46-inch interactive touch screen.
Biography details are still being verified and will be released at the recognition ceremony tentatively set for Saturday, Sept. 9.
The school continues to seek nominations for later classes. The Hall of Fame bylaws can be viewed online, at http://urxi-mo.schoolloop.com/HOF.
Athletes, year of graduation and sports played are as follows:
Ivan Barnhart — 1938, track and field in high school, minor league baseball later;
Doug Bentlage — 1971, football;
George Brown — 1932,
track and field;
Eric Crumpecker — 1987, track and field, football, track coach;
Benny Freiberger — 1975, softball, volleyball;
Robert Hanneken — 1957, cross country, track and field;
Matt Heidmann — 1983, football, baseball;
Dionne Lamarque — 1990, track and field;
Larry Peirick — 1964, basketball;
Clifton Schuenemeyer — 1938, basketball, track, baseball;
Lynn (Strubberg) Lottmann — 1979, basketball; and
Stephanie Thater — 1989, volleyball.
Don Olszowka — Olszowka served as head track coach from the 1978 season through the 2000 track season. During that time Coach Olszowka’s teams won seven Four Rivers Conference Championships, four District Championships, as well as four teams being District runner-up.
During his tenure, Olszowka coached 313 state qualifiers in 173 events. He coached 40 athletes to all-state honors and his teams scored a total of 117 points at the state championships.
In 1987 Coach Olszowka was awarded the Outstanding Coach for the State of Missouri by the National Federation of Interscholastic Coaches Association, now known as the NFHS.
Olszowka also was instrumental in the development of the weight training program at UHS.
He also coached the UHS football team from 1972 through 1994.
Del Rinne — Rinne was one of the winningest football coaches in UHS history.
In 1970, he took over as the head coach and he led the Wildcats for 26 seasons, securing a spot in the Missouri Football Coaches Association hall of fame.
He went 200-98-2 in charge of the Wildcats. Rinne’s 1983 team reached the state championship game.
Dave Scheer — Scheer was a teacher and coach in the Union School District for 35 years. He was the head baseball coach for 25 years and named Missourian Coach of the Year in 1992.
Scheer is a member of the ABCA and charter member of the NHSBCA and Missouri High School Baseball Coaches Association (MHSBCA), and served as past vice president, president, and current all-state chair for MHSBCA.
He was inducted into MHSBCA Hall of Fame and also the St. Louis Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame.
Scheer served as head softball coach for two years, assistant softball coach for eight years and assistant basketball coach for 12 years.
1943-44 boys basketball team;
1983 volleyball team; and
1983 football team.
Dr. George Richardson — Dr. Richardson was instrumental in starting the football program at Union High School.
He served as the team doctor for more than 30 years.
Richardson was recognized by Union High School in 1965 for his contribution to the football program and by the Missouri State High School Athletic Association with the distinguished service award.
Ed and Sandy Stierberger — The late Ed Stierberger and Sandy Stierberger were fundamental in the building and completion of Stierberger Stadium.
Byron Trott — Trott sponsors the Scholar-Athlete Scholarship, to which he donates $12,000 each year.
He has sponsored the scholarships for more than 20 years. Trott also was a three-sport athlete at Union High School.