Cumberland High School Names Initial Hall of Fame Class
Cumberland High School has named their initial Athletic Hall of Fame Class, which will be inducted on Friday, September 12. The project will name individuals to one of four classes, athletes, alumni, contributors, and coaches. The Banquet will take place at the Das Lach Haus and tickets will be on sale at several area businesses beginning August 1.
Five people, Principal Ritchie Narges, Athletic Director Mark Fuller, School Board member Don Horstman, Nancy Scharhag, and Chad Olson make up the Hall of Fame Committee. “We had some great names come in to us and picking the initial class was very difficult. We have many deserving people, who will make up the inductees over the next few years,” said Fuller.
The group still hopes to get more nominations from past or current community members. “Please send names of deserving individuals to me at the high school and we’ll go from there,” said Fuller.
The inductees will be recognized with plaques in the high school lobby. Besides the Banquet, they will be honored with a float in the Rutabaga Parade and at the Saturday afternoon, September 13 football game. “The School Board and Superintendent Barry Rose have been extremely supportive of the project and we’re all very excited to recognize some of the people who have played major roles in Cumberland’s outstanding athletic history,” Fuller added.
Making up the initial class are Athletes Julie Alphonse, John Schell, Phil Peterson, Buzz Moen, Jay Gagner, Jamie Olson, Molly Jacobson Lampignano, and Jessie Greener Sattler, Alumni Conway Thompson, John Peterson, Contributor Clarence Capra, and Coach Elmer Beran.
Alphonse played a huge role in Cumberland athletics during the late 20’s and early 30’s. A tremendous three-sport athlete, he played football, basketball, and baseball. An Honorable Mention All-State Basketball player at 5’9”, he played on an undefeated baseball team in 1930, but was probably best known as a football player. He would graduate from Cumberland and go to the University of Minnesota, where he would play football on two National Championship teams. He would later be drafted 20th overall in the NFL draft and would play two years for the Cleveland Rams, running, throwing, and catching the ball as a running back.
Buzz Moen graduated in 1958 winning 11 letters in football, basketball, and baseball. He was All-Conference in each sport. He was the HON’s leading scorer in basketball and average 14 strikeouts a game his final two high school baseball seasons.
He would go on to college ball at Division 1 Tulane University, where he would letter an incredible three years each in football and baseball. Freshmen were ineligible to play varsity in those years.
Phil Peterson also left Cumberland to play Division 1 football after his high school graduation in 1963. While at Cumberland he was twice a HON wrestling Champion, a State wrestling qualifier, a member of several good football teams, and a member of the baseball and track teams.
As a member of the Wisconsin Badgers football team, Peterson started at offensive guard from 1964-1966 and was named to the All-Big Ten Academic Team.
John Schell graduated in 1966, after earning 10 letters in football, baseball, and basketball. He would be First Team All-Conference in all three sports as well as an All-State Basketball player. The Beavers finished third at the State Tournament his senior year.
After his outstanding high school career, Schell would play basketball at the University of Wisconsin where he was a three year letterman and Team Captain. He would move on to a Hall of Fame coaching career at Stevens Point High School where his teams were 282-120, winning five Conference Championships.
Olson graduated in 1991 with many accomplishments. He was twice a First Team All-Conference Football player, won a State Wrestling Championship, and was a First Team All-State Baseball outfielder. He helped lead the baseball team to two State Tournament appearances.
Olson lettered 11 times in high school and went on to an excellent College Wrestling career at Augsburg, where he wrestled on two National Championship teams. He has gone on to a fine coaching career at Boyceville, where his Bulldogs have been perennial Division 3 State powers.
Gagner was the State of Wisconsin’s Baseball Player of the Year in 2000. He was First Team All-State as a kicker in Football and twice as a pitcher. He owns multiple School records in baseball and led the team to a HON Championship as a quarterback in 1998. He also started on two Regional Championship Basketball teams.
He went on to an excellent baseball career at the University of Minnesota, playing on four Big Ten Championship teams. His career college pitching record was 18-10. He has helped coached numerous High school and Legion Teams in the Twin Cities area since graduation.
The final two inductees as athletes are two women who came in after the WIAA added women sports in the mid-70’s.
Jessie Greener Sattler won 10 high school letters in volleyball, basketball, and track. She was All-Conference in all three sports. Although an excellent athlete in each, she excelled in track going to State all four years and serving as the team’s MVP three times. She still holds school and HON records in the sprints.
She went on to Loras College in Iowa, where she was a six-time All-American and was an Iowa Conference Champion multiple times. She has coached in both high school and for one year in Venezuela.
Molly Jacobson Lampigano battled knee injuries in high school, but still had numerous accomplishments. She was a three-sport athlete and was twice an All-Conference First Team Volleyball player. She was best known as a golfer, however, where she was a Conference Champion and finished seventh at the State Golf Meet. She was also an outstanding skier before her injuries, winning numerous awards.
She would go on to play four years at Division 1 New Mexico State, where she was twice named as a member of the Conference All-Scholar team and participated in the NCAA National finals. She also finished third at the Wisconsin State Association Tournament in 1990.
Three individuals were named for their accomplishments as Alumni, even though they were also distinguished high school athletes. Conway Thompson, John Peterson, and Ben Peterson are familiar names to the people of the Island City.
Thompson graduated in 1941 after playing baseball, golf, and basketball. In basketball he was All-Conference and Honorable Mention All-State. The Beavers also went to the State Tournament his senior year.
He then attended Gustavus Adolpus where his basketball career continued. He finished second in the country in scoring one season, trailing only Bob Kurland of Oklahoma.
Thompson would go into education and coach numerous sports. His Cambridge, Minnesota team won 10 consecutive Conference Championships.
John and Ben Peterson were good high school athletes, but their college and subsequent Olympic wrestling accomplishments helped put them in the National limelight. Both wrestled and played football in high school. Both credit their older brother Phil for helping them accomplish what they did in their careers.
John was a three-time WIAC Champion and 5th in the NAIA Tournament before his two Olympic Medals, while Ben was a three-time Big 8 Champion and two-time NCAA Champion before his Medals in 1972 and 1976. They were also each a World Cup Champion. Both Ben and John have been heavily involved in International and United States Coaching at various levels.
Clarence “Cappy” Capra will join the Athletic Hall of Fame as a contributor. He was a multiple sport athlete in high school, but his presence in helping support Cumberland athletics over the past 40 years won him his induction.
He served on both the wrestling and baseball boards, was involved in numerous sports welcome home celebrations, and helped in numerous fundraising ventures for bleachers and equipment. He also served as a baseball coach for the high school in the early 80’s as well as numerous youth teams. He played a key role in the development of Islander Park and its upkeep.
The final inductee is Coach Elmer Beran. He served as a Head Coach in football for 15 years as well as baseball head, but is best known for his 442-241 basketball record, which included nine HON Titles and three state appearances. The Gym was named after him in 1980, the same year he was named to the State Basketball Hall of Fame.
Conway Thompson played on his 1940 State Team and John Schell on the 1965 team. Beran coached one team or another for the Beavers from 1933 until 1970.
“The induction of these individuals will kick off what will become an annual celebration of Cumberland athletics, which our whole community can enjoy. This will be a great Banquet and the upcoming years promise to bring many other deserving people into our new Hall of Fame,” concluded Fuller. Look for information on ticket sales on August 1.