DeKALB - The DeKalb Wrestling Club (DWC) held its sixth Hall of Fame Banquet Nov. 23, celebrating 60 years of wrestling in DeKalb. Master of ceremonies was Arch Richoz, retired teacher and wrestling coach, and former board member and president of the DeKalb Wrestling Club.
Justin Keck and Jared Johnsen of the DWC and Mike Pater, DeKalb High School head wrestling coach, presented awards in the categories of Lifetime Friends of Wrestling, Individual Wrestlers, Coach, and Team.
Lifetime Friends of Wrestling have supported wrestling, exhibited good sportsmanship in that support, and otherwise contributed to the sport of wrestling. Receiving that award were Kathy Keck, Linda Levine, Judy Neal (posthumously), Mary Rita Nelson, Joan Richoz, Ron Pearson, Mike Petros, Albert Sullivan, Earl Sullivan, Greg Sullivan, and Guy Protano.
Individual wrestlers are DHS alumni, out of school at least four years, who have exhibited a high degree of athletic success, personal integrity, good sportsmanship and leadership during their lifetime. Honored were: Ryan Ackland, Max Hiatt, Mike Hodge, Derek Simonson, Phil Szukis, Ron Webber, and Larry Nolin.
Coach inductees must have been out of coaching at least four years, exhibited a high degree of personal integrity, good sportsmanship and leadership during his lifetime and have made a significant contribution to wrestling in DeKalb. Honored were Gene Drendel (posthumously), Chuck Dayton (posthumously), Dan Jones, Vito Bianco, Jim Davidson, Mike Elias, and Alan Nordman.
Wrestling teams can be nominated any time after their successful season, must have achieved outstanding success at the level at which they competed and must have served as an inspiration to the wrestling community. This year’s inductees were from the Team of 1954-55, 1957-58, and 1962-63.
The team of 1954-55, the first team at DHS, had a record of 1-8-1, but laid the groundwork for the success of future teams. Members of that team were Jack Walt, Jerri White, Tom Finnan, Carl Borine, Marshall Hayes, Jon Eggum, C. Fuller, John Nopulos, Larry Nolin, Jim Farley, Roger Larson, Dave Makala, Glen Golden, Stu Hammett, Karl Ryan, and Bryce Plapp, coached by Don Flavin.
The team of 1957-58 had a record of 12-1-1, first in District, second in Sectional, second in Palatine Invitational, third in State Finals. Team members were James Hanagen, Jack Walt, Ronald Wood, Ronald Olsen, Stoddard Allen, John Gorenz, Ronald Hayes, Robin Bosworth, Thomas Kinniry, Jerri White(captain), Roger Plapp, Larry Gilbreath (manager), coached by Don Flavin.
The team of 1962-63 had a record of 11-2, first in Conference, first in District, first in Sectional. Team members were Mark Bloyd (manager), George McCartney, Jim Cliffe, Dave Walker, Tim Hart, Rich Olsen, Jerry Wallin, Ken Hulmes, Don Hammett, Larry Rogers, Corky Roach, Terry Parkhouse, Bob Benson, Vic Lynch, Dick Snow, John Stewart, coached by Don Flavin.
The guest speaker for the evening was Dan Cliffe, a two-time DHS State Champion with a career record of 79-7-2 for three years and a 65-1 record his junior and senior years, a First Team High School All American Champion, and a Junior Greco-Roman National Champion. He was head wrestling coach at DHS for 13 years with a 233-48-2 dual meet record. He is in the IWCOA Wrestling Hall of Fame and the DeKalb Wrestling Hall of Fame, and in 2008 awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.