Prairie du Chien Hall of Fame inducts new members

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High School Principal Andy Banasik presents Belita Taylor with her plaque as a new member of the Prairie du Chien Athletic Hall of Fame during the halftime ceremony Friday night. (Photos by Rose Ziel)

Members of the 1975-76 Prairie du Chien basketball team present at the Hall of Fame ceremony Friday night were, front row: Kevin Kuchenbecker, Brian Slaght and Ted Sheckler. Back row: Jan Waller, Scott Reilly, Mark Bonney, Mark Oehler, Bob Dillman and Kent Hutchins.

John Howe holds up his plaque as a member of the Prairie du Chien Athletic Hall of Fame Friday night.

Stacey Petsche Johnson holds her plaque during the Hall of Fame ceremony Friday night.

Diana Temte holds the plaque depicting her late husband, Eric, who was inducted as a member of the Prairie du Chien Athletic Hall of Fame Friday night.

Several new members were inducted into the Prairie du Chien High School Athletic Hall of Fame during a halftime ceremony at Friday night’s home football game versus Darlington.

The following is the speech prepared by Brenda Lenzendorf and presented at the ceremony.

Good evening ladies and gentlemen! Welcome to Prairie du Chien High School’s 2017 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. Tonight we are delighted to recognize the following individuals for their contributions to the athletic programs in Prairie du Chien:

Our first honoree is a 1989 graduate from Prairie High. With only four prior years of the program, this individual was a major contributor to Prairie du Chien softball by leading the team to their first conference championship. As a pitcher her senior year, she earned Most Valuable Player of the conference and First Team All Conference recognition as well as Most Valuable Player and Co-captain of the team. In 1986, 1987 and 1988, she was the Most Valuable Player on the team, with All Conference recognition in the 1988 season, during which she was also honored with the best defensive award. 

This individual threw several no-hitters for her team and still holds many records for her softball achievements at Prairie High.

Ladies and gentlemen, Stacey Petsche Johnson.

Our next guest of honor is the first in to boast that he has followed in his father’s footsteps to become the first father/son inductees into the Prairie du Chien Hall of Fame. John Howe, son of Jack Howe, inductee of 2011, was a five-sport athlete at Prairie du Chien. John graduated in 1970 after playing football, basketball, baseball, track and wrestling. His team leadership as an outstanding blocker at the guard position on offense, and leading tackler on defense as a linebacker earned him all conference recognition in 1968 and 1969. In 1969, John was voted Most Valuable Player by his teammates, and Honorable Mention on the Associated Press All State Team and special mention on the United Press International All-Wisconsin Team. When asked about John Howe’s ability on the football field, Coach Bebow stated, “John was not only a tough athlete, he was and still is, an exceptional individual.”

Ladies and gentlemen, John Howe.

Our next inductee is a community member who has followed Prairie du Chien athletics for….oh…...I don’t know... just a couple of years! Belita Stokes Taylor came to the Prairie du Chien area with her husband, Earl, from La Crosse, Wisconsin. She started attending Prairie du Chien events, as many of us do, when her children became involved in various activities in the Prairie du Chien School District. Not only did Belita follow her own children, Steven, Lea, Ruth, and Lea’s husband, Craig Martin, she cheered on the Blackhawks when she had no relatives playing! Belita has been an enthusiast of Prairie du Chien athletics for three generations within her family. Her grandsons, Aaron, Matt, and Cory Martin, have all made their marks in the Prairie du Chien school system, and now Belita enjoys her great-grandchildren in Prairie du Chien, Grant and Hope Martin. Belita also follows grand and great grandchildren Josh Taylor, Brett, Sean, Austin, Brandon and Emma Martin. 

Belita now enjoys listening to the athletic broadcasts on WPRE and WQPC radio. Belita would like to thank everyone for their kindness towards her as well as special thanks to Jan Waller, Andy Banasik, and Greg Bender for going out of their way for her.

Ladies and gentlemen, Belita Taylor.

Many people don’t realize that coaches in the middle school athletic programs often set the standards for high school programs to become successful. Our next inductee was one such individual. Coach Eric Temte, or affectionately known as “Doc,” was at the Prairie du Chien Middle School level for 36 years where he was a teacher and coach for seventh and eighth graders and received many awards for basketball and football. After Mr. Temte retired, he could still be found in the scorekeeper’s booth keeping clock for various events. Coach Temte continued his community involvement with the Crawford County Historical Society, the Fort Crawford Medical Museum, and the Elkader Keystone Choir, as well as Hoffman Hall. 

Ladies and gentlemen, Eric “Doc” Temte is represented by his wife, Diana Temte.

As athletes reminisce about their athletic seasons of days gone by, many remember the close game, ones that were won or lost with a last second catch, out, or, in this team’s case, a shot that went in but was ruled “no good” because in the referee’s eyes, the player didn’t have control of the ball. However, that last second shot did not diminish the basketball season of 1975-1976, as this team went 22-2 and ended their conference season undefeated in 18 games. The team was led by Coach Jim McGrath, and assisted by Coach Zirgibel and Coach Howard. These athletes were a part of this memorable season: Brian White, Bob Dillman, Jan Waller, Scott Reilly, Ted Sheckler, Mark Bonney, Mark Oehler, Kevin Kuchenbecker, Brian Slaght, Kent Hutchins, Randy Jones, Mike McCoy, Stuart Remaly, Dave Weber, Keith Falls, and Ken Satter with Ben Govier, and Gary Hubbard as managers. Many members of the team are with us tonight to accept this award.

Ladies and gentlemen, the 1975-76 boy’s basketball team.

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