Strong family principles represent much of the basis for high school athletics and is hoped current school programs may benefit from an annual example of what a family accomplished.
The family of Joe and Viola Fischer, orginally from the St. Edward area, consists of six boys and three girls: Cletus, Ken, Rex, Jack, Pat, Jerry, Bernadine, Joan and Donafae. The values exhibited by the Fischer family and their many and varied contributions to high school sports in the 1940’s & 1950’s, and into the college, professional and coaching ranks, are symbolic of the Nebraska High School Hall of Fame’s ideals.
As the Hall of Fame developed an idea to introduce an award that would honor families whose involvement, contributions and leadership made a significant impact on the high school sports scene, the easiest part of the process was the name.
Call it the Fischer Family Award. It just had to be. While making many and varied contributions to sports, beginning with high school in the 1940’s and 1950’s, the Fischers exhibited strong values being carried on by subsequent generations. Theirs is one of the top stories of the 20th century in Nebraska sports.
Three family members, Cletus, Ken and Pat, were inducted in the the Nebraska High School Hall of Fame in 1995, recognizing their individual contributions to high school, college and professional sports.
An annual award, starting with the 1999 banquet. The Syracuse Nannens’ were the first recipient.
To be based on efforts of several members of the same family, to include one, two even three generations. Emphasis should be on the athletics prowess of the family, but can also be tied to coaching, officiating and making over-all contributions to high school sports.
To nominate, click here: Fischer Family Award Nomination Form.
Winners by Year
Small towns can produce big influence on high school athletics, and the Del and Marilyn Stracke family of Stuart proved that. Three daughters and two sons have played, coached and won on the biggest stages, starting with their youngest daughter, Darcy is the leading scorer in basketball and a Hall of Fame inductee as … Continue reading “2018-Del and Marilyn Stracke Family”
Pat was a 3 sport letter winner and 1955 graduate of Tekamah High School. They were 9-0 in football, 18-3 in basketball, and Pat competed at the state track meet in the high hurdles, high jump, and long jump. He competed at Peru State for one year and … Continue reading “2017-June and Pat Novacek Family”
Chadron Standout athletes at Mayville (N.D.) State, Jerry and Tina McLain moved to Chadron in 1991 where all six of their children participated in three sports every year of high school, helping the Cardinals forge a golden era of success. The boys excelled in football and baseball. From 2002 to 2008, Chadron High won 52 … Continue reading “2016:Jerry and Tina McLain Family”
Arnold and MaryAnn Thiele Family On the basketball court, volleyball court, golf course, or anywhere else prep athletes compete for championships, you can find the children and grandchildren of MaryAnn and the late Arnold Thiele. Their eight children, Bill, Bonnie, Tom, Ron, Ken, Carolyn, Kevin and Tim participated in a wide variety of activities in … Continue reading “2015: Arnold and MaryAnn Thiele Family”
Bill & Dolores Kropp Family From the NBA to professional beach volleyball to legends in the coaching ranks, the children and grandchildren of Bill and Delores Kropp have put their mark on high school athletics. Bill set the tone for the family, coaching basketball for 38 years at Norfolk, Dodge, Clarkson, Aurora, and Grand Island, … Continue reading “2014: Bill & Dolores Kropp Family”
The Bahe Family legacy of exceptional athletes, outstanding coaches, and supportive fans started with Al’s all-around athletic ability at Wayne Prep and then at Wayne State College. He turned his experiences into a coaching career that included stops at West Point and Central City before he put down roots for a coaching and administrative career … Continue reading “2013: Al & Patti Bahe Family”
The John and Connie Makovicka family moved easily from the playing fields of Nebraska’s smallest high schools to the national spotlight. The family legacy started with John’s all-around athletic ability resulting in 12 letters in football, baseball and track at Kearney State College. He set the school record for touchdowns in 1970 when he was … Continue reading “2012: John & Connie Makovicka Family”
Clarence and Helen Swanson Family: Clockwise from bottom left: Tom Ruud,Jamie Ruud, Bo Ruud , Barret Ruud, Kim Ruud, Helen and Clarence Swanson, Jim Swanson, Joan Swanson, Will Stalder, Jenny Stalder, Wallis Stalder, Bill Stalder, Bob Martin, Anne Martin, Jay Martin, Lee Martin, Sheri Martin, Steve Torrence, Brett Torrence, Kay Torrence, Hallie Torrence, Bottom L … Continue reading “2011: Clarence & Helen Swanson Family”
Roger, a decorated athlete at Schuyler and coach at Omaha Cathedral, had four sons-Michael, Kelly, Tim and John-and four daughters-Mary Beth, Kathleen, Cecilia and Teresa-who have been involved in athletics at all levels as players, coaches, officials, administrators and supporters. All four sons participated in college athletics with Tim earning NAIA All-American honors whole playing … Continue reading “2010: Roger and Donna Higgins Family Omaha”
Sam and Edward Schwartzkopf families of Lincoln: Front: Cody Fultz, Ed SchwartzkoJf, Sam Schwartzkopf, Dorthy Schwartzkopf, Kaile Schroff, Sarah Heacock Row 2:Mrs Sam Schwartzkopf, Mrs. Ed Schwartzkopf, Steve Schwartzkopf, Stepahnie Schwartzkopf, Hannah Schroff Row 3: Michelle Schwartzkoph, Linda Schwartzkopf Fultz, Becky Schwartzkopf, Louis Schwartzkopf, Suzie Schwartzkoph Heacock, Kate Heacock Amy Heacock Anderson, Christi Nelson Heacock, … Continue reading “2009: Sam and Ed Schwartzkopf Families Lincoln”
Front: Ann & Victor Borer Back: Paul, Ted, Tom, Mark, Pete, Tori, Beth and JayVictor and Ann Borer’s eight children figured prominently in Albion High School’s athletic success dating from the 1960s through the 1980s. All six sons carried the family name onto the wrestling mat, and into the Nebraska Scholastic Wrestling Coaches Association Hall … Continue reading “2008: The Borer Family Albion”
WolbachHenry and Ethel Rother Family of Wolbach Married in 1941, Henry and Ethel have seen their family grow to 18 children, 55 grandchildren and 41 greatgrandchildren. Each family has excelled in multiple high school activities including football, basketball, wrestling, track, softball, baseball, golf, soccer, rodeo and cheerleading. The family trophy case includes numerous All-Conference and … Continue reading “2007: Henry and Ethel Rother Family Wolbach”
2006: Wolbach’s Algie and Lollie Wibbels Children Edsel, Leonard, Ray, Florence Teter and Mel, and their families
Children Edsel, Leonard, Ray, Florence Teter and Mel, and their familiesThe boys starred at Wolbach, with Edsel’s discus achievements bringing his induction into the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame. They were all four-year standouts in football and track. After high school, Leonard signed a pro baseball contract and played in the St. Louis … Continue reading “2006: Wolbach’s Algie and Lollie Wibbels Children Edsel, Leonard, Ray, Florence Teter and Mel, and their families”
Scribner…250 High School Letters, 34 All-State Awards, 50 College Letters… The family of Leon and Mayme Dostal of Scribner and the families of their children, Bob, Larry, Ken, Norm, Rich, Dave, Don, Irma Dostal, Mary Ann Johnson, Janet Bailey and Rosie Hanna are honored as the 2005 Hall of Fame Family. Sports have been, and … Continue reading “2005: Leon and Mayme Dostal Family Scribner”
2004: Bertrand’s LeRoy and Patricia Hoehner Children Kyle, Kelly, Chris and Carrie; and grandchildren
Back in mid-1950’s, collegian LeRoy Hoehner, a star athlete at McCook Junior College, fell in love with the head cheerleader. LeRoy and Patricia later married and together raised a family which stands for everything good in high school activities. LeRoy taught and coached at Overton, Bertrand and McCook high schools. At Bertrand, head basketball coach … Continue reading “2004: Bertrand’s LeRoy and Patricia Hoehner Children Kyle, Kelly, Chris and Carrie; and grandchildren”
Schuyler Chester and Ruth Bailey had four sons — Keith, Gary, Don, and Steve — who gave years of time and dedication to the student athletes of Nebraska and Iowa. The brothers are graduates of Schuyler High School and attended either Wayne or Midland where they received their Bachelors degrees and launched careers in the … Continue reading “2003: The Chester and Ruth Bailey Family Schuyler”
Battle CreekFront, from left: Linda Walker, Lorraine & Bob, Mary Nordhues. Back, from left: Craig, Jean Cull, Sandy Gnirk, Robb The Schnitzlers have a nice home in Battle Creek but, the truth of it, their children grew up in the gymnasium, football fields and other playing fields around. Bob and Lorraine’s six children all were … Continue reading “2002: Family of Bob & Lorraine Schnitzler Battle Creek”
LoomisTop from left, Dennis, Stuart, Charlie, Jim Sitting: Mom & Dad, Earl and Lenore Earl and Lenore Thorell of Loomis produced five offspring who were four-year letterwinners in sports at Loomis High School and all went into coaching and teaching. Their combined longevity totals 133 years of coaching. Earl, the family patriach, himself earned four … Continue reading “2001: Family of Earl and Lenore Thorel Loomis”
Hayes CenterFrom left, Lois, Kent, Kim, Rick and Rocky Three Generations Of Three-Sport Stars The family of Richard and Lois May has been contributing to Nebraska’s sports heritage for three generations. Richard was a three sport athlete in high school placing third in the 880 at the 1935 State Track Meet. After high school, he … Continue reading “2000: Family of Richard and Lois May Hayes Center”
Syracuse From left: Mom & Dad Nannen, Joyce,Bob. Back, from left: Gene, Michael, Neil, Lyle, Dick The family of Raymond (deceased) and Margaret Nannen has been making noteworthy contributions to high school sports since their own playing days. Raymond played four years of basketball and was a member of Hallam’s 1925 Class F State Championship … Continue reading “1999: Family of Raymond & Margaret Nannen Syracuse”