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Marinette High School Inducts 7 New Members into its Athletic Hall of Fame

Marinette High School inducted seven new members to its Athletic Hall of Fame Saturday, Oct. 29 at Little River Country Club.

This year's inductees were the following: Paul Neverman, Duke Larson, George Sladky, Allen Felch, Roger Molander, George "Rick" Schoener and Jodi (Bolen) Schultz.

Schultz was a member of Marinette's class of 1996. She participated in basketball, cross country and track and field at Marinette before going on to compete on the track at Marquette University. As a Marine, she won four track and field state titles and ran on state championship teams in 1993 and 1994. She won state in the 800 meter run as a junior and senior, placing third as a freshman and fourth as a sophomore. She also ran on Marinette's state-title-winning 1,600 meter relay team as a freshman and in 1994, she ran on Marinette's state-title-winning 3,200 meter relay team, which posted the best time in the nation.

"That relay was such a cool thing. That was amazing"It was huge and it was a lot of pressure. I'll never forget that race," Schultz said of the 3,200 meter relay event.

In cross country, Schultz ran on three Marine teams that qualified for state competition. In basketball, she put up big numbers her junior and senior seasons. She missed a large portion of her junior season due to injuries, but still averaged 15.9 points, six rebounds and 9.5 steals per game. The next season, she averaged 12.4 points and nine steals per game. She made the conference second team each year.

At Marquette, she ran on two Conference USA championship teams. As a sophomore, she ran on Marquette's second-place medley relay tea at the C-USA Championships. She competed in the 1,000 and 1,500 meter competitions at Marquette as well.

Schultz accepted her award from Hall of Fame Treasurer Dean Furton. Schultz is now the youngest member of the Hall of Fame, and this was her first year of eligibility. Two 1994 graduates were in the original 2014 class, Janet and Jenni Westphal.

Schultz spoke highly of them both. "If I wouldn't have had Jenni and Janet Westphal there, I don't think I would have been who I am now," Schultz said, referencing past workouts with the two.

George "Rick" Schoener, a 1968 Marinette graduate, was a former Marine baseball player drafted by the New York Yankees as an outfielder in the free agent draft. He never played for the Yankees, as he instead elected to accept a baseball scholarship to attend the University of Minnesota, where he earned all-Big Ten honors in 1970 and 1971.

In his time at Marinette, he played baseball, basketball and football, while also running track. In baseball, the left-hander pitched and played outfield. He began his Marinette Junior Legion baseball career at age 13, and by 1968, he had earned four consecutive Fox Valley Legion League batting titles. In football, he played quarterback, running back and defensive back. He scored eight total touchdowns between his junior and senior seasons, and was recruited by Ivy League programs Dartmouth and Cornell.

Schoener said that the 1966 M&M Football game, which Marinette won 32-0, was one of the main sports moments that stood out to him even now. The Maroons came in undefeated, holding the top rank in the UP at the time

In basketball, he started at guard for the Marines, who won 13 straight games in 1967-68. He tied the 100-yard dash record school record in 1967 with a time of 10.0, and broke it the year after in Peshtigo with a time of 9.85.

After his athletic career had ended, he had a successful career. He worked for the U.S. Department of Transportation as a deputy assistant secretary, the highest career position in the department, and led the development of national transportation legislation in the Clinton and Bush administrations.

Schoener accepted his award from Hall of Fame Executive Board Member George Ihler.

Roger Molander graduated from Marinette in 1959, and was an excellent student to complement his athletic ability. He ran track and played basketball and football as a Marine.

He was a starter in basketball and made the all-conference second team in football. He scored five touchdowns as a senior fullback, one of which came in the M&M game against Menominee.

As a sophomore in track, he qualified for state in the hurdles. The next year, he placed second at state in the 180-yard low hurdles and fourth in the 120 high hurdles. He went back his senior season, again taking second, this time in the 120 high hurdles. He took third in the 180 low hurdles his senior year.

After high school, he went on to the University of Wisconsin and eventually received his doctorate in engineering science and nuclear engineering from the University of California-Berkeley. He worked for the Institute for Defense Analyses and then served on the National Security Council under the Ford and Carter administrations.

In 1981, Molander founded Ground Zero, a grassroots organization geared towards educating and involving the American public and media in an effort to prevent nuclear war. From 1983 to 1989, he headed the Roosevelt Center for American Policy Studies. Afterwards, he joined the Rand Corporation as a senior research scientist and policy analyst. There, he worked on nuclear arms and other national security issues. He continued in that role until shortly before his death in 2012.

Personal friend Dan Roetzer accepted Molander's award, presented by Hall of Fame Second Vice President Jim Wagner.

Allen Felch played fullback for the Marinette Marines football team in the late 1940s before being recruited by legendary football coach coach Paul "Bear" Bryant, who would win six national championships with Alabama, to play fullback at the University of Kentucky.

In 1949, Felch earned 1,026 yards and 10 touchdowns in just eight games for the Marines. In 1949 M&M game, he ran for 125 yards and caught a 47-yard pass out of the backfield.

Felch started as a freshman on the Kentucky squad. He played from 1951 to 1953 for the Wildcats, and was part of Kentucky's 1952 Cotton Bowl win over Texas Christian University (TCU). One of Felch's most notable performances came in that same season, when Kentucky beat Cincinnati behind 117 yards from Felch.

Felch joined the army after his time at Kentucky, earning the rank of corporal. At age 23, he was due to be discharged in four days when he broke his spine diving into a lake. He then learned to operate a device connected to his hands so he could sandpaper lamp bases. Another device helped him turn the pages of books and magazines when he touched a button with his chin. He died in 1986.

Felch's sister Carl Voigt received the award on his behalf, which was presented by Hall of Fame President Corry Lambie.

Class of 1947 graduate George Sladky became the NFL's first instant replay official in 1987. His officiating career began in 1953 when he began officiating Wisconsin high school football and basketball games. In 1966, he joined the Big Ten Conference basketball officiating crew, and in 1970 he was added to the Big Ten football crew. He worked six total bowl games, including the 1975 Rose Bowl. He became a Southwest Conference football official in 1979.

Sladky grew up on Miller Street in Marinette. He played high school football, basketball and tennis at Marinette High School. He was a two-year starter at forward in basketball, and played various positions in football. He played blocking back, left guard, right guard, defensive line and kicker. He signed with the Green Bay Packers to return kicks, but got injured and never played a game. Post high-school, he also won a conference javelin title at La Crosse State Teachers College, where he played football and basketball. In 2011, he was inducted into the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Sladky accepted the award from Hall of Fame Executive Board Member George Ihler.

Duke Larson led the Marinette basketball team to the 1942 basketball state finals. Duke scored 267 points as a junior and 141 as a senior during a different era in basketball, when basketball scores often resided in the 20s. One of his most notable performances came in the 1942 state quarterfinals, where he scored 19 points. His 43 points in the Madison tournament led all scorers and earned him a guard spot on the All-State first team.

Larson also played football for Marinette, lining up at wide receiver and defensive lineman. He also played baseball and softball in the area. His hobbies included fishing, downhill skiing and playing tennis and golf. He also enjoyed building furniture and remodeling, building his own homes in Marathon, Fla. And Stoney Point.

On February 16, 1943, he joined the Coast Guard at the height of World War II, serving on the USS Casper, a troop transport carrier that circumnavigated the globe. During his time on the Coast Guard, he developed a love for the sea and played on an all-services team that faced off with the Harlem Globetrotters. He sailed many races of 100 miles and races from Chicago to Mackinac Island.

Larson's daughter Sandy Baron accepted on his behalf, with the plaque presented by Dean Furton.

Paul Neverman, Marinette Superintendent from 1919 to 1924, was born in Peshtigo in 1886 and died in Marinette in 1958. He helped to form the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA). He became the first executive secretary of the WIAA when it began in Marinette in 1924. He also helped found the National Federation of State High School Athletic Associations and helped adapt playing rules to high school ages. He was also a strong advocate of protective equipment in high school sports, with his efforts helping spur various equipment changes to protect high school athletes. In 1984, he was inducted into the National Federation of High Schools.

His son Dennis Neverman accepted on his behalf. A plaque was presented to him by Jim Wagner.

This was the third induction ceremony of the Marinette High School Athletic Hall of Fame. Athletes may be nominated after a minimum of 20 years have passed following graduation. A person may be nominated for induction in the coaching category after a minimum of five years have passed since coaching. A team may be nominated after 20 years have passed since graduation. Any person may be nominated for induction in the category of Meritorious Service at any time at the discretion of the Board of Directors and the Nomination/Selection Committee. Neverman was the first inducted in the category of Meritorious Service. No teams or coaches have been inducted yet either.

Master of ceremonies was Tim Stauss. After the event, he spoke on the importance of the event. "I think it connects the former traditional legends with our current people and students right now. I think a lot of them walking the halls right now don't know how iconic some of these people are."

With this year's inductions, there are 23 members in the Hall of Fame. At this time, the board hopes to keep inductions on an annual basis.


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