Elkhorn adds second Hall of Fame class

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Todd Mishler | October 5, 2016

Elkhorn Area High School's booster club will celebrate its second Hall of Fame class on Saturday, Oct. 15.

Here are bios of the 10 inductees:

Jon Kelly

From 1982-'87, Kelly distinguished himself as a three-sport athlete. He played defensive end, long snapper and guard in football, earning three letters while helping the Elks win a conference title his sophomore year. He made the second team all-league squad as a junior and was all-conference both ways and made the all-district unit after his senior season.

Kelly also excelled in track, lettering twice for shot put and discus and finishing fourth at state in the latter event his senior year.

Kelly's most notable accomplishments came on the wrestling mat. He lettered all four years at 185 pounds, winning conference, regional and sectional championships in 1986-'87, placing fourth and first at state his final two years, respectively. His high school career record was 97-15-1. Additionally, he was the Junior Olympics free-style state champion and competed at nationals. 

Kelly walked on for the University of Wisconsin wrestling team, competing with the Badgers for three years. He was an academic Big 10 choice all four years before getting his engineering degree. 

Lloyd “Mitts” Thompson

Lloyd already was a standout athlete during elementary school, so much so that a coach put him into a high school basketball game as an eighth grader. This had the unfortunate result of making him ineligible for the entire basketball season his senior year.

Lloyd began at EAHS in 1932 and lettered in football and baseball all four years and in basketball his first three years. When he graduated he was awarded the American Legion medal as the top senior athlete.

In 1936 he went to Notre Dame on a baseball scholarship, making the traveling squad as a pitcher his freshman year. After his third year, Lloyd dropped out for a year to earn enough money to complete his education. 

However, Lloyd decided he only had enough money to finish at a state school, transferring to the state teachers college in La Crosse, where he played hoops and earned his letter.

In September 1942, he joined the Army Air Corps. After training at Lowry Field in Denver, where he was the star pitcher for the base's team, he served in the South Pacific until the end of the war.

Former Elkhorn coach Henry Tall was the superintendent of schools in Onalaska and hired Lloyd as a coach at Onalaska High School starting in January 1946, where he taught and coached several sports for the next six years.

His coaching reputation was made during the 1949-50 and 1950-51 school years when his Onalaska basketball team made back-to-back appearances among the eight teams to go to state. This was at a time when there was only one division, and Onalaska had only 150 students.

In 1952, Lloyd accepted a position at Michigan Lutheran Seminary in Saginaw, Michigan, a private high school where he served as basketball and baseball coach for 16 years. He started the school's football program and taught biology and physical education. In 1968 he returned to Wisconsin and served as athletic director, coach and professor at Milwaukee Lutheran Teachers College. In 1970 he moved to Northwestern College in Watertown, where he served for 15 years as athletic director and head football, basketball and baseball coach.

Scott Wedige

Wedige participated in football, basketball and track. The football team went 11-3 and advanced to the state semifinals his sophomore year. He was recognized for numerous awards such as all-conference, MVP, team captain and All-County in football and basketball.

Wedige earned a football scholarship to Northern Illinois University, starting every game at center as a junior and senior for the Huskies. He earned first team Mid-America Conference, was NIU's Offensive Lineman of the Week three times, second team All-America and NIU Co-Offensive Lineman of the Year.

The Huskies broke numerous records during his senior year and helped them to an overall record of 22-6 and 15-1 in the MAC his final two seasons.

His pro career began April 30, 2012, when he signed with the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted free agent. He also spent time with the New York Giants, Cincinnati Bengals and New York Jets before his NFL career ended April 28, 2014.

Glen “Bud” Thompson

Lloyd Thompson's younger brother helped give Elkhorn a dynamic duo.

Glen entered Elkhorn High in 1933 and enjoyed a four-year run in football, basketball and baseball, seeing action as a halfback in football, a second-stringer in basketball and as a varsity baseball pitching staff. Glen also received the American Legion award the year after his brother.

During his prep career, the Elkhorn baseball team combined for a 41-6 record. Glen pitched almost half of those games, compiling a 19-3 record. As a senior, he pitched a no-hitter against South Beloit.

Glen decided he wanted to help his brother make it through college before he went himself, so he took a job with the Elkhorn Light and Water Commission. But he continued to play ball with the local American Legion teams and was on the radar of professional scouts, those of the St. Louis Cardinals in particular. The Cards signed him early in 1940; he spent two seasons with their Springfield, Missouri, farm team. But he gave up his big league dreams and returned to Elkhorn and went back to work for the Light and Water Commission.

In June 1942, Glen enlisted in the Army Air Corps and trained as a pilot in California and Texas, gaining his wings and commission as a lieutenant in November 1943. He then received training as a bomber co-pilot in Idaho and Nebraska. In May 1944 he shipped out for England where he volunteered to fly his B-24 Liberator behind enemy lines with the Carpetbaggers, dropping supplies for the French Underground. On June 19, 1944, he and his crew were killed when their plane crashed on a mission in France.

Don Koepnick

Koepnick graduated in 1959 after playing baseball, basketball, football and tennis and accumulating 12 varsity letters.

In baseball, he played second base and shortstop.  During his EAHS basketball career, Koepnick played under Coach Fred Suchy, one of last year's inaugural inductees. Koepnick's basketball awards included second team SLC honors as the Elks won the league crown his junior year.

As a senior, he led the conference in scoring with over 20 points per game to win the Southern Lakes' MVP award and earn a spot on UPI's All-State third team. He also was a first teamer in football and went undefeated with his doubles partner in tennis.

Koepnick added four letters in basketball and two in tennis at UW-River Falls. As a junior, he was a second team choice and the league's leading scorer, averaging about 27 ppg. Koepnick led the Falcons in scoring for three years and was inducted into the school's Athletic Hall of Fame in 1983.

Koepnick became the boys varsity basketball coach at Lomira, Menomonie, Viroqua and LaFarge high schools during a 22-year span. His five-year coaching record at Lomira included two conference titles and an overall record of 75-24. As a baseball coach, Koepnick's Lomira team won three league crowns. While in Viroqua, Koepnick's teams captured three conference and three regional titles and one sectional championship. His record in Viroqua was 102-27, including an undefeated 1985 season. In 2000, Koepnick was inducted into the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Christine Palenshus Scaro

Palenshus Scaro was a member of the Elkhorn track team from 1976-1979. She held records in the 200 meters and 400 and 800 relays. In 1976 and 1977, she was conference champion in the 220 and set a league record in '77. In 1978 she earned first in conference in the 400 and 800 relays and took third at state in the 440 relay and first in the 880 relay. She finished sixth at state in the 400 relay in 1979. She was the team MVP in 1976 and '79.

But her achievements were not exhausted in Elkhorn.  

At UW-Whitewater, she was the 1980 medley relay conference champion. Palenshus Scaro became a national finalist and placed third in the medley relay in 1982 while finishing sixth in the 800 relay. She was All-America in 1982.  

Returning to Elkhorn, she served as an assistant track coach for three years and the sophomore volleyball coach for one year.  

JoAnn Schaffer

Before Schaffer's career as a teacher and coach at Elkhorn, girls could play sports but could not officially compete in them.

Schaffer's belief in the equity of sports programs for females paved the way for girls athletics at EAHS. In fact, Schaffer's fondest memory from her teaching days is when girls earned the right to have equal opportunities as boys in athletics — Title IX was adopted in June 1972.

Until 1975, Schaffer was the sole head coach of golf, tennis, gymnastics, volleyball, basketball and track. She has coached conference or divisional championships in volleyball (1981 and '82), gymnastics (1973-'74 and 1974-'75) and track (1988).

Schaffer has held many titles at EAHS: physical education teacher; Girls Athletic Association adviser (1968-'74); head coach for golf (1969-'72), tennis (1968-'75), volleyball (1974-'88), basketball (1974-'88) and track (1969-2011); and JV and/or assistant coach for gymnastics, volleyball (1989-'99), basketball (1984-'99) and track (2012-present).

What Schaffer's coaching statistics and teaching record do not indicate are the countless hours she has tirelessly worked in order to benefit the school's athletes and athletics program. Barbara Luchsinger said Schaffer has performed numerous tasks such as lining the old cinder track, campaigning for equipment and new uniforms, advocating for more coaching staff, keeping extensive records for athletes for them to improve each year, repairing equipment, organizing intramural competitions,  developing middle school feeder programs and teaching lifelong lessons to all of the athletes under her guidance.

Frank Eames

Eames began high school in 1943 and was a member of the 1946 football team that won the first year of the SWANI Conference, which included three Illinois teams but later became the Southern Lakes. He graduated in 1947 and attended Beloit College, where he played football for four years. After graduating from Beloit College in 1952, Eames joined the Navy and served with two air squadrons based on the West Coast. He was deployed on tours in the Philippines and Japan.

After being discharged in 1956, he returned to Elkhorn and began writing about sports for the Elkhorn Independent, which his grandfather, F.H. Eames, bought into in 1898 and eventually owned starting in 1913. Frank started folding race programs for the Walworth County Fair in 1935 at the age of 5. As he got older, he moved into the front office, where he started selling advertising and writing news. When his father retired in 1960, he took over as editor but still continued to write sports until the early 1970s.

J.P. Fisher

Fisher's stellar 40-plus year coaching career at Elkhorn included golf, basketball and baseball.

As the boys head golf coach for 42 years, Fisher's teams boasted 274 wins, 33 winning seasons, 34 tournament wins and 15 tourney titles.

His girls golf program, which he led for 31 years, added to that legacy, accumulating 186 wins and five Southern Lakes Conference championships, including an undefeated dual match and SLC marks in 2003.

Fisher drew large numbers of kids to the sport because of his love of the game, unique coaching style and personable demeanor.

Katie Hommen Quigg

She earned 11 letters, which included being named the school's MVP award in golf all four years. She capped her career with an eighth-place finish her senior year to make the All-State second team.

Even more impressive was her record-breaking statistics in basketball. Katie led the Elks to the WIAA Division 2 state title.  She made the conference's first team three times while earning Walworth County Player of the Year laurels and honorable mention All-State recognition. She lettered one year in track before switching to softball, where she made the conference's first team twice and MVP her senior year.

Hommen Quigg was the American Legion and Roberta Fiskum award winner and earned the Women's Sports Advocates Wisconsin Award of Excellence.

She continued her athletic career at UW-Eau Claire, where she lettered four times in golf while helping the Blugolds win two league titles and qualify twice for the NCAA Division III national tournament.



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