Athletes Inducted to Hall of Fame

Athletes and representatives of athletes inducted into the Union High School's Athletic Hall of Fame inaugural class. 

Twelve former Union High School athletes were honored for their athletic accomplishments during the inaugural UHS Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony Saturday evening.

Athletes must be a graduate of UHS and out of school for at least 10 years before they can be nominated.

All biographies have been edited for length. To see the full biographies, visit unionwildcats.touchpros.com.

Those inducted are listed below.

Ivan Barnhart — Barnhart, who passed away in 1989, played baseball, boys basketball and track and field at UHS.

He was a state champion in pole vault in 1936 and all-state track in pole vault in 1937.

Barnhart also was a member of the 1937 district championship basketball team and played professional baseball for the St. Louis Browns. His career ended in a devastating slide into home plate when he tore ligaments in his knee.

He worked for State Farm for 30 years and won numerous awards, including the prestigious Millionaire Club.

Additionally, Barnhart served on the Frederick School Board for 18 years. He and his wife, Elvira, had three children.

Doug Bentlage — Bentlage played football, boys basketball, baseball and was in track and field.

He was named all-state in football and track and all-conference in all four sports.

He graduated UHS in 1972 and was the first ever all-state football player at Union. He also was an all-state track performer in the shot put. His record stood from 1971 until 1984.

Bentlage went on to play football at the University of Missouri.

When he turned 50, he began throwing the shot put again for the Senior Olympics. He also has been throwing for the USATF Masters Division.

Bentlage lives in Muskego, Wis., with his wife, Debbie, and son, Nick.

For the past eight years, he has been coaching grade school basketball, volleyball and track.

George “Buzzy” Brown — A 1932 UHS graduate, Brown participated in track and field and boys basketball.

Brown, who passed away in 1983, was a state champion in high jump and won second place in long jump in 1932.

After school, Brown worked for the Bourbeuse Shoe Company, Deb Shoe Company and Zero Manufacturing. He also refereed high school basketball throughout Missouri.

Brown was instrumental in forming the Union Khoury League and managed several teams.

He was appointed to the Union Defense Savings Committee in 1941 and 1942.

From 1959-1962, he served on the Union R-XI School Board.

In 1995, Brown was inducted into the Four Rivers USBC (United States Bowling Congress) Hall of Fame.

Brown was married to Anita “Dolly” Brown and had three sons and five grandchildren.

Eric Crumpecker — Crumpecker played boys football and track and field. He was a 1987 Post-Dispatch scholar athlete and all-state in track in 1986 and 1987.

Crumpecker is a 1987 graduate of Union High School.

In football, Crumpecker was an all-conference selection his sophomore, junior and senior seasons.

He was an all-district tackle his junior and senior season as well, and served as captain of his team as a senior.

In track, Crumpecker qualified for state in his sophomore, junior and senior seasons.

As a junior, he placed second in the shot put and fourth in discus.

In his senior year, he placed fifth in the shot put. Crumpecker finished high school as the career point leader in boys track and field.

Crumpecker went on to play football and track at the University of Missouri-Rolla where was a two-time MVP of his track and field team and set the school record for the indoor and outdoor shot put.

He later served as the head track coach at Southeast Missouri State University and was the Ohio Valley conference coach of the year six times.

Eric and his wife, Amy, were married in 2004 and have a daughter, Ella,and son, Jake.

Brenda “Benny” Freiberger — Freiberger played softball, girls volleyball and track an field at UHS.

Freiberger graduated from UHS in 1974.

She was named the “Most Athletic” in her class and was also named in Who’s Who Among American High School Students.

Freiberger then played softball and volleyball at East Central College and Southwest Missouri State University.

She was instrumental in getting both the volleyball and softball programs initiated at ECC, and helped the school attain conference and regional titles.

She also was the first woman to referee high school and junior college basketball, for both boys and girls, at ECC.

She was awarded a scholarship to Southwest Missouri State University, now Missouri State, for volleyball and softball, where she helped both teams compete successfully until her graduation two years later.

Freiberger was a member of the 1980 Olympic handball team. She competed and won gold medals in the National Sports Festivals twice, which later became the Olympic Festival.

Freiberger lives in Reno, Nev.

Robert “Bob” Hanneken — Hanneken was in track and cross country. He is the UHS mile record holder, with a 4:27.4-minute mile.

In 1956, he was all-state for cross country in 1956 and all-state in track for 1957.

Hanneken ran track and cross country at the University of Missouri and was an all-American in cross country in 1960.

In the fall of 1956, he finished fifth out of 190 runners in the state cross country meet.

In 1957, Hanneken set county records in the mile and the 880-yard run at the county championships.

Hanneken attended the University of Missouri on a track scholarship. In 1958, he placed 81st in the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championship meet.

In 1960, he won many awards and qualified to compete in the 1960 Olympics trials, but chose not to compete.

During his time at Mizzou, Haneken held the mile record, the 2-mile record, the 5K record, the mile relay record, and the 4-mile record.

A newspaper article heading in 1961 said “Bob Hanneken Best Distance Runner in Missouri History.”

Hanneken’s UHS mile record is still standing.

Hanneken lives on a farm in Stroud, Okla. He and his wife Sylvia have two sons.

Matt Heidmann — Heidmann played football, basketball and baseball at UHS. He is a 1983 graduate.

He was an all-state quarterback in 1982 and played football at Northeast Missouri State University (now Truman State).

Heidmann played in the American Football League for the New England Steamrollers 1988.

In football, Heidmann earned all-conference honors his junior and senior years and was first team all-state his senior year.

Heidmann was chosen to be the quarterback for the East Team in the Missouri All-State East/West Game in 1983.

In baseball, he was an all-conference performer in 1983.

Heidmann was a three-year starter in basketball. In his senior year, he was named second team All-MIAA.

He and his wife Marlin have one son, Matthew, and live in Washington.

Dionne Lamarque — Lamarque graduated from Union High School in 1990, and was the first female state champion in track.

She was the state champ in triple jump and 100-meter hurdles in 1989; won fourth place in the 100-meter hurdles in 1988 and 1990; and eighth-place in the triple jump in 1988.

After graduation, Lamarque attended Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield, where she ran track and field for the Bears.

After college Lamarque worked as a model and was a manager at JP Morgan Chase until she retired in 2013.

Lynn Strubberg-Lottmann — Lottmann, a 1979 UHS graduate, played basketball, softball and volleyball in high school.

She was an all-state basketball player in 1979 and played basketball at Southwest Missouri State University.

Lottmann was an All-American honorable mention at SMS and was inducted into the SMS Hall of Fame in 1994.

Lottmann was named first team all-conference her junior and senior years of high school and first team all-state in her senior season, where she averaged 21.6 points per game and 14.8 rebounds per game.

In her senior season, she led her team to a 26-1 record, capturing third place at state, and left UHS holding 32 basketball records.

Lottmann also was an all-conference volleyball player and played softball for three years.

At SMS, she became the leading scorer in 1983 with 1,641 career points, leading rebounder with 1,048 and leading free-throw with 355.

Lottmann received the AIAW Division II All-State honors 1980, 1981, and 1982; All-Region 1981-82 and was named Honorable Mention All-American during the 1980-1981 season.

She was selected as the Outstanding Female Athlete at SMS in 1983.

Lottmann taught and coached volleyball and basketball at Hazelwood West for two years. The next 28 years were spent at St. Clair High School teaching math and coaching basketball, where she helped them win their first district title.

Lottmann retired in 2013. She has been married to her husband Dennis for 33 years and they have two daughters and two granddaughters.

Larry Peirick — A 1964 graduate, Peirick played boys basketball at UHS. He is the all-time leading scorer with 1,402 points.

He was an all-state honorable mention and won a national championship at Moberly Junior College as a member of the Greyhounds.

Peirick played for the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1967-68.

At UHS, he led his team to a 25-6 overall record and a Four Rivers Conference Championship with a 12-2 record.

In 1966, Peirick and the Greyhounds won the National Junior College Championship where he scored 26 points in the National Championship game. He was named NJCAA All-State in 1966.

He and his wife, Jackie, have two daughters. The couple lives in Eureka.

Clifton Schuenemeyer — Schuenemeyer, a 1938 UHS graduate, played baseball, basketball and track and field.

He was a member of the first district basketball champion team and a top point scorer in the FCC track meet in 1937.

Schuenemeyer is a U.S. Army veteran and Purple Heart recipient.

After graduation, Schuenemeyer tried out for a position on the St. Louis Browns baseball team. He also attended the University of Missouri Columbia before he was drafted.

He worked as a U.S. Postal clerk/carrier until he was appointed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower as acting postmaster in July 1958.

Schuenemeyer successfully ran for the Second District seat on the Franklin County Administrative Court, Union, and served six years in that position.

As a young adult, he coached youth basketball and served as the chair of the Franklin County Youth Fair horseshoe pitching tournament and assisted in organizing the Franklin County Silver Games.

Between the years of 1990-2003, Schuenemeyer won over 80 medals, many which were gold, in table-tennis, golf, horseshoes, dancing and more.

In June 1966 at the age of 77, he got his first hole-in-one in golf.

Schuenemeyer and his wife, Jo, raised six children, all of whom were graduated from Union High School.

Stephanie Thater — Thater graduated from Union High School in 1989 as one of the most highly recruited athletes in any sport. She competed in volleyball, basketball and track.

To date, she is UHS’s only all-state volleyball player and was named first team all-state her sophomore, junior and senior seasons.

Thater attended the University of Nebraska. She was the second three-time All-American in Husker volleyball history.

She led her team to the NCAA semifinals as a sophomore and compiled an 81-14 record in her three years as a starter.

Her teams went 48-0 in regular season conference play, winning four Big Eight titles and three conference tournament championships.

Thater was a two-time Big Eight Player of the Year and a three-time all-conference selection.

She holds the school records for block assists in a five-game match with 14.

She was selected to the Nebraska Volleyball 25th anniversary team in 1999. Her jersey was retired in 2008 and she is only one out of seven volleyball athletes to have their jersey hanging in the rafters.

After Nebraska, Thater was a member of the USU Women’s Volleyball Team in 1994-1995. She played professionally for one season for Team Vakif Bank, a Women’s Professional Team in Turkey in 1996.

In 1997, she played for Team Arecibo in Puerto Rico and in 1998, played for the St. Louis Spirits, another women’s professional volleyball team.

Thater currently lives in Brookings, S.D., with her husband Clint and daughter Ava.