Sweers inducted into Hall of Fame

Error message

  • Warning: array_merge(): Expected parameter 1 to be an array, bool given in _simpleads_render_ajax_template() (line 133 of /home/pdccourier/www/www/sites/all/modules/simpleads/includes/simpleads.helper.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to get property 'settings' of non-object in _simpleads_adgroup_settings() (line 343 of /home/pdccourier/www/www/sites/all/modules/simpleads/includes/simpleads.helper.inc).
  • Warning: array_merge(): Expected parameter 1 to be an array, bool given in _simpleads_render_ajax_template() (line 157 of /home/pdccourier/www/www/sites/all/modules/simpleads/includes/simpleads.helper.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in include() (line 24 of /home/pdccourier/www/www/sites/all/modules/simpleads/templates/simpleads_ajax_call.tpl.php).

Bob Sweers, number 32 with the Britt Eagles, scored 28 points and had two 2-point conversions during the State Championship game against Mount Vernon played at Kennick Stadium, University of Iowa. The Eagles beat the Mustangs 34 - 13. (Photo submitted)

By Caroline Rosacker

On Aug. 26 former Clayton Ridge middle school teacher and coach Bob Sweers of Guttenberg was inducted into the inaugural Athletes Hall of Fame in his hometown of Britt during halftime of the season opener football game. 

"They introduced us at halftime and a reception followed at the country club," Sweers commented. "I was humbled and honored."

Among others inducted at the same time were Jerry Steenlage, four-time State wrestling champion; John and Brent Hagen, three time State wrestling champions; Kari Wallen State champion basketball, Jeff Nielsen four-time State track champion, and Sweers, State football champion.  

Although Britt's school district is smaller than Clayton Ridge it has a mighty reputation. "I graduated in 1974. Britt had a very impressive track record for producing champion athletes," he recalled. "We had three State Champion teams that year – football, wrestling and track. I was an integral part of the track team that year also. I was very fast." 

Sweers played fullback  and led the state of Iowa in rushing with 1800 yards – a little over ten yards a carry. After graduating, Sweers attended NIACC, a two-year junior college in Mason City. "I led the conference in rushing my freshman year, and then injured my MCL, ACL and medial collateral the first game of my sophomore year," he explained.  Although Kansas State and Nebraska were interested in signing Sweers, he ended up walking on at the University of Iowa. "I guess I always wanted to play for Iowa," he remembered "The coaches ran me hard for about a week and had one of the team physicians, who was considered an expert in his field, run some tests and take a bunch of x-rays of my knee. He told me I would be in a wheelchair by the time I was 30 years old." 

Sweers career-ending knee injury was a blessing in disguise. "I would have never quit Iowa and went on to the University of Northern Iowa where I met my beautiful wife, Johnna," he said with a smile. "We have four wonderful children and all those beautiful granddaughters and a grandson on the way." 

Sweers graduated with a teaching degree and taught at North Kossuth in Swea City before coming to Guttenberg where he taught elementary students for 33 years. The last years of his teaching career he began coaching middle school athletes and continues to coach girls volleyball even though he retired five years ago. "I have always had successful seasons in the past. We will see what this year brings," he commented. 

Sweers still hold the record for the 220-yard dash at his former Alma Mater. "I will probably hold it for infinity, because it's now measured in meters," he shared. "When they told me I still held the record I thought it was funny because I never knew I held it in the first place!"

Britt has always been known for fast athletes and good football players. "Basketball was my favorite sport, and football was next, then baseball. We had a good team there too," said Sweers.  "We were dedicated. Our senior year we showed up every Sunday to get in condition for the upcoming season."

Sweers concluded, "I remember sitting in the UNI-Dome next to one of the Sadewasser boys when it was announced that my old record, that had stood for about 30 years, was broke by another athlete. Sadewasser asked, 'Whose that Sweers guy?'"

Rate this article: 
No votes yet