(Editor's Note: WisSports.net basketball writer Mark Miller is using the extra time available due to COVID-19 to research the high school basketball history of some of Wisconsin's larger cities. His All-Time Best series will run on WisSports.net during the next few months).
Lots of future coaches. Lots of tremendous team players. And lots of all-state performers.
Neenah/Menasha may have not produced as many all-state players in recent seasons as it once did, but the history of the programs at Menasha, Neenah and St. Mary Catholic are rich and exceptionally deep.
Neenah has played in the WIAA State Tournament a record 27 times. Menasha has done so five times. And St. Mary Catholic has advanced to the WIAA tourney just once, but made multiple state-tournament trips in the old WISAA/WCIAA.
All three schools have won state championships with Menasha and St. Mary Catholic capturing state crowns in the same season, 1952-53. All three have multiple coaches in the WBCA Hall of Fame. And all three have players inducted into the Hall of Fame as well.
Here is a complete breakdown of the best to ever come out of Neenah-Menasha:
Criteria For All-Time Neenah-Menasha Teams
1) In order to be chosen to the first, second, third or fourth all-time team, a player must have earned first, second, third or fourth team all-state honors from either the Associated Press or United Press International. Exceptions will be made, but will be rare.
2) In addition to the accomplishments a player achieved in high school, their college honors in the sport also weigh heavily when selecting the teams.
|NAME||HEIGHT||GRADUATION YEAR||HIGH SCHOOL||All-State Team|
|Wayne Kreklow||6'4"||1975||Neenah||1st (AP)|
|Ron Dibelius||6'1"||1956||St. Mary Catholic||No All-State team in 1956|
|Don Smolinski||6'5"||1980||Menasha||1st (AP)|
|Tim Skalmoski||6'6"||1978||Neenah||1st (AP)|
|Matt Heldt||6'10"||2015||Neenah||1st (AP)|
Wayne Kreklow, 6-4, G/F, 1975, Neenah
First Team All-State 1975 AP
A smooth, athletic, skilled and extremely unselfish player who could handle the ball, play on the perimeter or operate in the post for coach Ron Einerson and the Neenah Rockets, Kreklow excelled on the basketball court after moving to Neenah from Mayville at the start of his sophomore year. He scored 916 career points in three seasons, including 499 in 25 games (20.0 ppg) as a senior when Neenah went 22-3 and defeated Milwaukee Marshall 64-55 in the WIAA Class A state-title contest. Kreklow was named Player of the Year in the state by UPI and later accepted a basketball scholarship to play at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. He wound up scoring 1,471 points at Drake and averaged 19.8 ppg as a senior in 1978-79. The Boston Celtics drafted Krewlow in the third round of the 1979 NBA draft and Kreklow stuck with the team for the season, scoring 21 points in 16 career games. He later player professional basketball in Australia and with the Wisconsin Flyers of the Continental Basketball Association.
Ron Dibelius, 6-1, G, 1956, St. Mary Catholic
No All-State Teams
The Associated Press began publishing all-state basketball teams in March of 1957 so Dibelius missed out on that accolade by a year. But he didn't miss out on many more honors as he is regarded by many as one of the best to ever come out of the Neenah/Menasha area. A 6-foot-1 playmaker with a great shot and quickness with the ball in his hands, Dibelius scored a whopping 1,863 points during an era when reaching 1,000 was considered highly unusual. He helped St. Mary Catholic to a 77-17 record during his four years of playing for legendary coach Ralph McClone, including Catholic-school state titles in 1953 and 1955. A four-time all-Catholic tournament selection, Dibelius scored 31 points as a freshman in a 71-61 upset of Milwaukee Don Bosco in the semifinals of the state event held at St. Norbert College. He then had 18 points in a 69-67 victory over Superior Cathedral in the title game. Cathedral's squad that year was led by forward Dave Tucker, a WBCA Hall of Fame member who went on to star at Minnesota. Dibelius scored a career-high 76 points against Columbus as a senior, making 33 of 39 shots from the floor and 10 of 13 free throws. He also had 17 rebounds in the 118-30 romp victory. The 76 points scored is the second-highest single-game scoring spree in state history, trailing just the 88 points Aaron Ritchay put up for Mellen in 1917. Dibelius accepted a scholarship to play basketball at Marquette and scored 29 points in his first varsity contest, a 100-90 loss at Illinois. He averaged 14.0 ppg for coach Jack Nagle at Marquette. Also an accomplished baseball player, Dibelius agreed to a $20,000 signing bonus to join the Washington Senators organization in the summer of 1958. His career at Marquette was over due to NCAA rules, but he was able to play two seasons at NAIA UW-Oshkosh, where he led the team in scoring twice. Dibelius was drafted in the 10th round by the New York Knicks in 1961, but never reported to camp and then spent the rest of his working career in collegiate athletics.
Don Smolinski, 6-5, G, 1980, Menasha
First Team All-State 1980 AP
An accurate shooter from the perimeter and foul line, Smolinski led Menasha High School to a 19-4 record, the Fox Valley Association championship and a trip to the WIAA State Tournament as a senior in 1979-80. He led the FVA in scoring, was named the league's Player of the Year and had 31 points and 15 rebounds in a sectional-semifinal victory over rival Neenah. Teaming with talented classmates Todd Mielke (6-3) and Kreg Schmitting (6-1), Smolinski and Co. turned back Sheboygan South 61-59 in a sectional final at the Kolf Sports Center to earn the school's first state-tournament berth since 1953. At the state tournament, Smolinski scored 17 points despite sitting out nearly the entire third period with three fouls. The Bluejays suffered a 52-50 loss to Sussex Hamilton in the quarterfinal round of the annual event at the University of Wisconsin Fieldhouse. A first-team all-FVA pick as a junior and senior, Smolinski left Menasha as the school's all-time leading scorer with 1,129 points. He accepted a scholarship to play college basketball at Marquette and scored 59 points in four years in the Warriors' program.
Tim Skalmoski, 6-6, F/C, 1978, Neenah
First Team All-State 1980 AP
The best player on the only unbeaten team in Neenah High School history, Skalmoski improved each and every year he played, from Conant Junior High to playing his final game as a senior on the University of Wisconsin Fieldhouse floor for coach Ron Einerson and the Rockets. Skamoski scored 19 points and helped Neenah rally from a 31-13 deficit in the second period to register a 58-49 triumph over Beloit Memorial in the 1978 Class A title game. It capped a memorable 26-0 season, one that included the Fox Valley Association title, a narrow 66-65 victory over Homestead in the state quarterfinals and a convincing 73-56 triumph over Clintonville in the state semifinals. The co-Player of the Year in the FVA with Gregg Jensen of Kaukauna in 1978, Skalmoski averaged 20.9 points during the Rockets' impressive playoff run. He went on to play four years of college basketball at UW-Stevens Point.
Matt Heldt, 6-10, C, 2015, Neenah
First Team All-State AP 2015
An unselfish player who developed very good foot work and moves around the basket, Heldt was a three-year standout for coach Scott Bork at Neenah. He transferred to Neenah from Fox Valley Association-rival Appleton West following his freshman year. Heldt earned first-team all-conference honors three times and twice was named the league's Player of the Year. He helped the Rockets to the league title, a 26-2 overall record and a runner-up finish to Germantown in the 2014 WIAA Division 1 State Tournament, scoring 27 points in a semifinal victory over Mukwonago. During his three years at Neenah, the Rockets strung together a combined record of 64-12. Heldt completed his prep career with 1,392 points and went on to play four years of college basketball at Marquette, scoring 245 points and grabbing 301 rebounds in 112 career games for the Golden Eagles.
|NAME||HEIGHT||GRADUATION YEAR||HIGH SCHOOL||All-State Team|
|Mike Kreklow||6'6"||1979||Neenah||1st (AP)|
|Mike Karisny||6'2"||1986||St. Mary Catholic||2nd (AP)|
|Mike Prasher||6'3"||1985||Menasha||1st (AP)|
|Max Klesmit||6'3"||2020||Neenah||2nd (AP)|
|Chris Fahrbach||6'8"||1975||St. Mary Catholic||4th (AP)|
Mike Kreklow, 6-6, F, 1979, Neenah
First Team All-State 1979 AP
Neenah was Wisconsin's dominant high school program in the 1970s and the Kreklow brothers played an enromous role in the Rockets' success under coach Ron Einerson. The younger brother of Wayne Kreklow, Mike Kreklow helped Neenah to its fifth straight Fox Valley Association title as a senior in 1978-79 when he averaged 25.3 points and 9.8 rebounds en route to earning Player of the Year honors in the conference. Kreklow had 26 points in his final prep game, a loss to rival Menasha at the WIAA Class A regional level. Neenah went 16-4 in 1978-79, a year after winning the state title and finishing 26-0. Kreklow ended his two-year varsity career at Neenah with 735 points. He accepted a scholarship offer to play at Wisconsin and started 13 games as a sophomore in 1980-81. He scored 106 points in two seasons with Wisconsin before deciding to transfer to Drake University for his final two seasons.
Mike Karisny, 6-1, G, 1986, St. Mary Catholic
Second Team All-State 1986 AP
A sharpshooter from deep with an incredibly quick release, Karisny was a standout for four seasons at St. Mary Catholic. Playing for coach Steve Larson, Karisny earned first-team all-Fox Valley Christian Conference honors as a junior and senior. Karisny was chosen as the league's Player of the Year in 1985-86 as he led the Zephyrs to a 22-0 regular-season record. Karisny scored 25 or more points in 18 games, including a career-best 50 in a triumph over Marinette Catholic Central. The son of long-time St. Mary Catholic coach Bob Karisny, Mike Karisny had 40 points in his final high school contest, an 80-76 upset loss to Lourdes Academy in a WISAA regional contest. Karisny scored 1,605 career points at St. Mary Catholic and led the Zephyrs to their first league title in 10 years. Karisny went on to play for coach Dick Bennett at UW-Green Bay and still ranks among the top three-point shooters in school history.
Mike Prasher, 6-3, F, 1985, Menasha
First Team All-State 1985 AP
Playing for long-time Menasha coach Clem Massey as a junior, Prasher averaged a rather ordinary 13.7 points and 7.9 rebounds for a team that struggled to a 3-16 record. A year later, the relentless, athletic and physically strong wing broke out in a big-time way for first-year coach Bill Sepnafski and the Bluejays, who rebounded nicely to post an 11-9 record, including a 10-4 mark in the Fox Valley Association. The turnaround was led by Prasher, who averaged 23.0 points and led the league in both scoring and rebounding. In his final high school game, Prasher scored 36 points in a 63-62 loss to rival Neenah in a WIAA Class A regional contest. Prasher went on to excel at UW-Eau Claire, earning first-team all-Wisconsin State University Conference recognition and honorable mention NAIA All-American laurels in 1990-91. He scored 1,770 career points for coach Ken Anderson and the Blugolds and ranks fourth on the school's all-time scoring list.
Max Klesmit, 6-3, G, 2020, Neenah
Second Team All-State 2020 AP
Easily the all-time leading scorer in the rich basketball tradition of Neenah High School, Klesmit was voted Player of the Year in the Fox Valley Association as a senior after averaging 25.5 points, 7.8 rebounds and 4.6 assists while helping Neenah to a 23-2 record and runner-up finish in the league standings under coach Lee Rabas. An aggressive player who could score in a lot of different ways, Klesmit also earned first-team all-league recognition in the Fox Valley Association as a junior when hee averaged 24.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game while helping Neenah to a 19-8 record and a spot in the WIAA Division 1 State Tournament. Klesmit scored a career-best 42 points in a victory over Appleton East as a junior. He accepted a NCAA Division I scholarship offer from Wofford last fall.
Chris Fahrbach, 6-8, F, 1975, St. Mary Catholic
Fourth Team All-State 1975 AP
A very good scorer and rebounder, Fahrbach led St. Mary Catholic to the Fox Valley Christian Conference title and a 20-4 record as a senior in 1974-75. He averaged 21.4 points and 15.2 rebounds and was named Player of the Year in the FVCC for the second year in a row under coach Ralph McClone. Fahrbach scored a career-best 40 points during a WISAA regional game against Wisconsin Rapids Assumption as a junior, and then had 37 points in a league win over Fond du Lac St. Mary's Springs as a senior. Fahrbach played three years of varsity basketball for the Zephyrs and scored 1,242 career points. He went on to enjoy a stellar four-year career at the University of North Dakota, where he earned all-league honors three times and scored 1,442 career points. Fahrbach averaged 18.1 ppg and 8.0 rpg as a senior at North Dakota in 1978-79 and was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 1979 NBA draft.
|NAME||HEIGHT||GRADUATION YEAR||HIGH SCHOOL||All-State Team|
|Pat Hawley||6'0"||1970||Neenah||2nd (AP)|
|Gary Losse||5'11"||1967||Neenah||1st (AP)|
|Rick Matson||6'5"||1971||Neenah||1st (AP)|
|John Koslowski||6'5"||1980||St. Mary Catholic||None|
|Jerry Curtin||6'6"||1988||Neenah||1st (AP)|
Pat Hawley, 6-0, G, 1970, Neenah
Second Team All-State 1970 AP
The floor general for a Neenah squad that won 24 straight games before sustaining a heart-breaking 58-57 loss to Appleton West in the 1970 WIAA championship game, Hawley averaged 18.6 ppg as a senior for coach Ron Einerson and the Rockets. Appleton's Scott Hanson made a jump shot with under five seconds left in the game to give the Terrors the victory over the Rockets. Hawley, who netted 29 points in the Rockets' 79-72 victory over West Allis Hale in the state-tournament quarterfinals, finished his three-year varsity career with 830 points and currently ranks eighth on the school's all-time scoring list. He attended UW-Eau Claire after graduating for Neenah, but did not play intercollegiate basketball.
Gary Losse, 5-11, G, 1967, Neenah
First Team All-State 1967 UPI
In two years of playing varsity basketball for coach Doug Martin at Neenah, Losse scored 810 points, led the Rockets to a Mid-Eastern Conference title, earned first-team all-league honors as a junior and senior, and was an instrumental figure on the Rockets' 1966 WIAA State Tournament squad. In overtime losses to Alma and Eau Claire Memorial at the University of Wisconsin Fieldhouse, Losse scored 23 and 22 points, respectively. Neenah went 33-11 during Losse's two seasons with the varsity club. An all-state quarterback for the Rockets' undefeated 1966 football squad, Losse went on to play on the grid iron at the University of Wisconsin.
Rick Matson, 6-5, F, 1971, Neenah
First Team All-State 1971 AP
A good all-around athlete who excelled in track and field in addition to basketball, Matson helped Neenah to a 24-1 record in 1970-71 and was a key reserve on the Rockets' 1969-70 WIAA state runner-up team that went 24-2. The Fox Valley Association's Player of the Year averaged 17.6 points and 10.0 rebounds as a senior and scored 15 points in the Rockets' 54-52 state-semifinal loss to eventual-champion Janesville Parker. Matson shot 59 percent from the field as a senior and earned first-team all-state honors from AP and second-team all-state recognition from UPI.
John Koslowski, 6-5, F, 1980, St. Mary Catholic
No All-State honors
Although Koslowski did not receive all-state honors, there is no doubting his immense impact on the St. Mary Catholic basketball program from 1976-80. Playing for coaches Ralph McClone, Mike Curtin and Pat Long, Koslowski earned first-team all-Fox Valley Christian Conference honors following his sophomore, junior and senior seasons. He scored 1,384 career points for the Zephyrs, including a career-high 32 points in a 66-64 loss to Milwaukee Pulaski. Koslowski went on to star at Lakeland University, scoring 2,008 career points and grabbing 759 career rebounds while playing for coach Duane (Moose) Woltzen.
Jerry Curtin, 6-5, F, 1988, Neenah
First Team All-State 1988 AP
When Curtin left Neenah High School in the spring of 1988, no other player in the long and storied history of the program had scored more points for the Rockets. In just two seasons, the prolific Curtin netted 931 points while leading coach Ron Einerson's Rockets to a pair of Fox Valley Association titles and a runner-up finish to Onalaska in the 1988 WIAA Class A state-championship game. Curtin, a wing player with deep shooting range, scored 29 points in victories over Janesville Craig and Milwaukee Pulaski leading up to the title contest with Onalaska. He was held to 14 points in that outing as the Hilltoppers shot well from outside the three-point arc and notched a 70-62 victory. Curtin, a two-time first-team all-FVA selection, played one season at South Dakota following his prep days at Neenah. He completed his collegiate career at California Poly-Pomona where he averaged 10.6 points per game in 1992-93.
|NAME||HEIGHT||GRADUATION YEAR||HIGH SCHOOL||All-State Team|
|Adam Pohlman||6'0"||2014||Neenah||3rd (AP)|
|Jeff Dehn||6'2"||1981||Neenah||4th (UPI)|
|Todd Herreid||6'6"||1976||Neenah||3rd (AP)|
|Jim Crist||6'1"||1972||Neenah||3rd (UPI)|
|Tom Kopitzke||6'3"||1969||Neenah||3rd (AP)|
|Dan Jankowski||6'3"||1968||Neenah||4th (AP)|
|Gus Laemmrich||6'2"||1961||St. Mary Catholic||1st (UPI -- Catholic)|
|Dean Schreiner||5'11"||1960||St. Mary Catholic||1st (UPI -- Catholic)|
|Pete Vanderhyden||6'0"||1960||St. Mary Catholic||2nd (UPI -- Catholic)|
|Jack Ankerson||6'2"||1960||Neenah||3rd (UPI)|
|Gary Batley||5'11"||1959||St. Mary Catholic||1st (UPI -- Catholic)|
|Fred Seggelink||6'3"||1958||Neenah||3rd (AP)|
Notes (2000s): Adam Pohlman (6-0) teamed with Matt Heldt on Neenah's hugely successful 2013-14 squad that won the Fox Valley Association title and went 26-2, losing to Germantown in the WIAA Division 1 title game. A four-year varsity performer for the Rockets, Pohlman scored 830 career points and earned first-team all-FVA honors as a junior and senior. He shared Player of the Year laurels in the league with Heldt as a senior. Pohlman went on to play college basketball at NCAA Division II St. Leo and Lindenwood.
Notes (1980s): Jeff Dehn (6-2) shared Player of the Year honors in 1981 with Appleton West's Linus VanderWyst after helping Neenah to a 19-3 record and the Fox Valley Association title under coach Ron Einerson. Dehn averaged 17.0 ppg for the Rockets, who lost a sectional final contest to Plymouth 52-50. Dehn went on to play college football at UW-La Crosse.
Notes (1970s): Todd Herreid (6-6) was picked as the Player of the Year in the Fox Valley Association as a senior in 1975-76 after leading the Rockets to a 19-5 record and a spot in the WIAA Class A State Tournament. Herreid had 26 points and 15 rebounds in the Rockets' 66-57 victory over Beaver Dam in the sectional final and finished his senior campaign with 451 points. He went on to play four years of college basketball at UW-La Crosse and ranks fifth on the school's all-time scoring list (1,404) and among the all-time leaders in rebounds with 648. Herreid also earned first-team all-Wisconsin State University Conference twice ... Jim Crist (6-1) was named to the WIAA All-Tournament team as a senior in 1972 after helping Neenah to a runner-up finish to Milwaukee Hamilton. Crist scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the Rockets' 58-52 loss to Hamilton that ended a 23-3 season for the Ron Einerson-coached squad. Crist was chosen as the Player of the Year in the Fox Valley Association and scored 629 points in two seasons with the varsity squad. Crist went on to play college basketball at St. Olaf College in Minnesota.
Notes (1960s): Tom Kopitzke (6-3) turned in a monster senior season for first-year coach Ron Einerson and the Neenah Rockets in 1968-69. A very good outside shooter, Kopitzke set a then-single season school record with 533 points while helping the Rockets to a 21-5 record and a share of the Fox River Valley Conference title with Green Bay East and Green Bay West. Kopitzke scored a game-high 27 points in the Rockets' heart-breaking 80-79 double overtime loss to Beloit Memorial in the WIAA state-title game at the University of Wisconsin Fieldhouse ... Dan Jankowski (6-3) was perhaps the most productive rebounder in the history of the Neenah program. The three-year varsity performer grabbed 1,005 career rebounds for the Rockets, who won the Mid-Eastern Conference title under coach Doug Martin during Jankowski's senior season in 1967-68. Jankowski also scored 876 career points and averaged 15.8 points and 13.0 rebounds in 1968-69 when the Rockets advanced to the WIAA sectional finals. Jankowski went on to play college football at the University of Wisconsin ... Gus Laemmrich (6-2) was a stellar jumper and productive forward for coach Ralph McClone and the St. Mary Catholic Zephyrs. Laemmrich helped his teams to a combined record of 70-11, three straight Fox Valley Catholic Conference titles and the 1960 Catholic state title. Laemmrich and his teammates on the 1960-61 squad also took part in a national Catholic high school tournament in Newport, Rhode Island, finishing 2-1 with wins over Bergen Catholic of New Jersey and St. Peter of Staten Island, New York. Laemmrich went on to play college basketball at Texas A&I and later served as a head coach at both Hortonville and Xavier ... Jack Ankerson (6-2) earned first-team all-league honors in the Mid-Eastern Conference as a senior at Neenah in 1959-60. He scored 428 points in 20 games, averaging 21.4 ppg for coach Ole Jorgenson and the Rockets. Ankerson went on to earn nine letters at Ripon College, excelling in football, basketball and tennis. He later served as a general manager for both the San Antonio Spurs and Virginia Squires in the old American Basketball Association ... Dean Schreiner (5-11) was a member of the St. Mary Catholic squad that went 26-1 and beat highly regarded Racine St. Catherine's 32-30 in the Catholic-school championship game in 1960. Schreiner scored eight points in that contest and had 14 in a state-semifinal triumph over Wisconsin Rapids Assumption. Schreiner earned first-team all-Fox Valley Catholic Conference honors as a junior and senior playing for coach Ralph McClone and those two teams went a combined 49-5 ... Pete Vanderhyden (6-0) was a backcourt teammate of Schreiner from 1958-60 and excelled in all facets of the game, but particularly on defense. An all-state tennis player, Vanderhyden scored 41 points in three Catholic-school state-tournament victories in 1960 and earned all-Fox Valley Catholic Conference honors. He went on to play college basketball and tennis at Marquette University.
Notes (1950s): Fred Seggelink (6-3) played varsity basketball for four seasons at Neenah and started every game he played as a sophomore, junior and senior. He helped the Rockets to an 18-4 record as a senior in 1957-58 and first-team all-Mid-Eastern Conference honors for the second year in a row in the process. Playing for coach Ole Jorgensen, Seggelink scored 35 points in a regional victory over Menasha in 1958. He went on to play four years of college basketball at UW-Stout. More than 55 years since he last played a collegiate game, Seggelink still ranks fourth on Stout's all-time scoring list with 1,441 points and third on the school's all-time rebounding chart with 1,181 rebounds ... Gary Batley (5-11) was a member of the exceptionally talented St. Mary Catholic squads of the late 1950s. Playing for coach Ralph McClone, Batley was a first-team all-Fox Valley Catholic Conference performer as a senior in 1958-59. He scored a career-high 29 points in a 72-62 victory over Little Chute St. John's that season and helped the Zephyrs to a 23-4 record, the league title and a runner-up finish in the state Catholic tournament in De Pere.
|NAME||HEIGHT||GRADUATION YEAR||HIGH SCHOOL|
|Ken Konkol||5'8"||1956||St. Mary Catholic|
|Torchy Clark||5'11"||1947||St. Mary Catholic|
|Gunner Johnson||6'2"||1941||St. Mary Catholic|
|Bill Resch||6'0"||1940||St. Mary Catholic|
|Reuben Prunuske||6'2"||1939||St. Mary Catholic|
Notes (1950s): Ron Dibelius got the headlines -- and rightfully so -- but Ken Konkol (5-8) was hugely instrumental in the success of coach Ralph McClone's teams from 1952-56. A three-time all-Catholic state tournament selection, Konkol was very quick with the ball in his hands and often set the table for Dibelius and other teammates with his stellar quickness, ball handling and passing. Konkol played on teams that went a combined 75-17, won two Fox Valley Catholic Conference titles and two Catholic-school state championships ... Bob Jedwabny (6-4) was a starter as a junior on Menasha's WIAA state-title team and then was one of the top scorers and rebounders in the Mid-Eastern Conference as a senior when the Bluejays went 19-4 under coach Eric Kitzman. Jedwabny set a then-school record with 39 points in a game against New London as a senior, and scored three points in the Bluejays' 61-57 triumph over Sheboygan Central in the WIAA championship game as a junior. In a state-semifinal triumph over Hartford, Jedwabny established a then-state tournament record for best free throw percentage in a game by making 10 of 11 foul shots for .909 percent. Jedwabny finished with 12 points in that contest. He later played college basketball at Kansas State ... Fred Schmidt (5-10) was the top player on Menasha's 1952-53 state-championship squad coached by Eric Kitzman. Schmidt led the team in scoring and earned first-team all-Mid-Eastern Conference honors along with WIAA All-Tournament recognition. He scored 30 points in a regional victory over Neenah and had 13 in the Bluejays' 61-57 triumph over Sheboygan Central in the title contest ... Pat O'Keefe (5-10) is the first player in Menasha High history to score 1,000 points as he ended his brilliant prep career with the Bluejays with 1,101 points. An exceptionally accurate shooter, O'Keefe scored 405 points for coach Eric Kitzman and Menasha as a senior in 1951-52, and helped the Bluejays to the WIAA State Tournament as a junior. The two-time first-team all-Northeastern Wisconsin Conference performer scored a career-high 34 points in a victory over Kaukauna and earned a remarkable 13 letters while playing five different spots at Menasha. He went on to play three years of college basketball at Marquette for coaches Tex Winter and Jack Nagle ... Don Metz (6-2) played with O'Keefe at Marquette and earned letters in 1954, 1955 and 1956. Prior to going to Milwaukee, Metz was a standout for coach Ole Jorgensen at Neenah, scoring 399 points as a senior in 1951-52 while helping the Rockets to an 18-8 record and consolation runner-up laurels at the WIAA State Tournament. Metz later became an assistant coach under Ralph McClone at St. Mary Catholic ... Dick Jorgensen (5-11), the son of Neenah coach Ole Jorgensen, earned all-WIAA State Tournament first-team honors as a senior in 1951-52 as he scored 14 points in a state-quarterfinal loss to Superior Central, 14 in a consolation semifinal win over Altoona and 17 in a 66-65 overtime loss to Wauwatosa in the consolation title game. Jorgensen won nine letters during his time at Neenah, excelling in football, basketball, track and field, and tennis. He went on to play college basketball at the University of Wisconsin and served as team captain in 1955-56. Jorgensen also spent 22 seasons in the NFL as an official, working the 1990 Super Bowl. He died in 1990 at the age of 56.
Notes (1940s): Charlie (Chuck) Block (5-10) put on a show for the University of Wisconsin Fieldhouse crowd in Menasha's 63-51 triumph over Wisconsin Rapids in the quarterfinal round of the WIAA State Tournament in 1948. The small but skilled and aggressive backcourt performer scored a game-high 25 points and was named Player of the Day by United Press International. He then scored 23 points for coach Les Ansorge and the Bluejays in their 56-45 loss to Wauwatosa in the state semifinals. The all-Northeastern Conference performer scored 418 points as a senior, leading the team to the league title and a 22-2 record. Block scored a career-high 35 points in a triumph over New London. He went on to play college basketball at the University of Wisconsin and Bradley ... Gene (Torchy) Clark (5-11) played for coach Doug Trish at St. Mary Catholic and the Oshkosh native must have picked up a few things from Trish as he himself became a WBCA Hall of Famer after leading Appleton Xavier to tremendous success throughout the 1960s. At St. Mary Catholic, Clark played on teams that went 53-16 from 1944-47. As a junior, Clark scored a career-high 30 points in a 57-54 overtime triumph over Mount Calvary St. Lawrence Seminary. He went on to play at Marquette University before embarking on his stellar coaching career that included stops at Gilman, Xavier and Florida Tech (now Central Florida) ... Bill Resch (6-0) and Farnham (Gunner) Johnson (6-2) were teammates on St. Mary Catholic's 1940 Catholic school title team and each earned all-tournament recognition after helping the Zephyrs defeat Marinette Lourdes, Little Chute St. John's and La Crosse Aquinas en route to the title. Resch, who scored 36 points in a victory over Oshkosh St. Mary during the regular season, played in the backcourt for coach Bob Zuercher while Johnson, a burly, muscular player who later played professional football for the Chicago Rockets, manned the middle. In addition to helping St. Mary Catholic to the state Catholic crown, Resch and Johnson played well for the Zephyrs in a national Catholic high school tournament at Loyola University in Chicago ... Harland Hesselman (6-2) was a key member of Neenah squads that advanced to the WIAA State Tournament in 1939 and 1940. As a junior, Hesselman helped coach Ole Jorgensen's squad to a 19-4 record and a runner-up finish in the Class B portion of the state meet. A year later, Hesselman scored 12 points in a 28-23 quarterfinal win over Superior East and nine points in an 18-17 semifinal loss to Marshfield at the WIAA State Tournament. Hesselman, who helped Neenah to consecutive league championships in 1939 and 1940, went on to play basketball at UW-Stout and later football at Lawrence University.
Notes (1930s): Reuben Prunuske (6-2) played the center position for coach Marvin Miller at St. Mary Catholic and scored 156 points as a senior in 1938-39 while leading the Zephyrs to the Fox Valley Catholic Conference title and the consolation title of the Catholic State Tournament. An All-Catholic Tournament selection, Prunuske averaged 7.1 ppg and went on to play college football and basketball at St. Norbert College.
|NAME||HEIGHT||GRADUATION YEAR||HIGH SCHOOL||POINTS|
|Ron Dibelius||6'1"||1956||St. Mary Catholic||1,863|
|Mike Karisny||6'1"||1986||St. Mary Catholic||1,605|
|Robert Michalkiewicz||6'1"||2005||St. Mary Catholic||1,407|
|Matt Heldt||6'10"||2015||Appleton West/Neenah||1,392|
|John Koslowski||6'5"||1980||St. Mary Catholic||1,384|
|David Schedgick||6'6"||1995||St. Mary Catholic||1,293|
|Chris Fahrbach||6'8"||1975||St. Mary Catholic||1,242|
|Robert Frozena||6'2"||2007||St. Mary Catholic||1,226|
|Chad Heroux||5'11"||1992||St. Mary Catholic||1,174|
|Mike Heroux||5'10"||1967||St. Mary Catholic||1,124|
|Sam Koslowski||6'2"||2010||St. Mary Catholic||1,032|
|Mike Gage||6'2"||1967||St. Mary Catholic||958|
|Dan Pier||6'2"||1990||St. Mary Cathlic||950|
Notes (2000s): Jacob Everson (6-2) played four years of varsity basketball for coaches Adam Maulick and Sam Koslowski at Menasha, scoring a school-record 1,676 points. As a senior in 2018-19, Everson averaged 26.7 points, 7.9 rebounds and 5.9 assists en route to earning first-team all-Bay Conference recognition. He currently is in the basketball program at NCAA Division II Concordia-St. Paul ... Sam Koslowski (6-2), the son of ex-St. Mary Catholic great John Koslowski, had a prolific career of his own for the Zephyrs, scoring 1,032 points for coach Brian Jakubek, who guided the Zephyrs to the WIAA State Tournament in 2009. Koslowski went on to play at Marian University in Fond du Lac and currently is the head coach at Menasha High ... Robert Frozena (6-2) scored 34 points in games against Hilbert and Chilton as a senior while helping St. Mary Catholic to a 15-7 record under coach Mark Ziebell in 2006-07. The two-time first-team all-Olympian Conference performer scored 1,226 career points and played college basketball as a walkon at Marquette ... Robert Michalkiewicz (6-1) excelled in football, basketball and baseball at St. Mary Catholic and is one of the top all-around athletes to ever come out of the school. On the basketball court, Michalkiewicz used his smooth left-handed jump shot and physical strength on drives to the basket to score 1,407 points for coach Mark Ziebell and the Zephyrs from 1999-03. The two-time first-team all-Olympian Conference performer went on to play baseball at UW-Milwaukee. Michalkiewicz's father, Dave (1973), and brothers, David (2001) and Jordan (2005), also were outstanding basketball players at St. Mary Catholic.
Notes (1990s): Dave Schedgick (6-5) used his strength and athleticism to likely record more dunks than any other player in Twin Cities history. He played four years of varsity basketball at St. Mary Catholic for coaches Bob Karisny and Mark Ziebell and scored 1,293 career points while also earning first-team all-Fox Valley Christian Conference honors as a junior and senior. Schedgick went on to earn an engineering degree from Marquette, but did not play college basketball ... Chad Heroux (5-10), the nephew of former St. Mary Catholic great Mike Heroux (5-10), wound up scoring 50 more points than his uncle during his prep days playing for coach Bob Karisny and the Zephyrs. Heroux scored 1,174 career points and had a career-high 36 in a 61-56 loss to Fox Valley Lutheran as a junior in 1990-91. Heroux earned first-team all-Fox Valley Christian Conference honors as a junior and senior for the Zephyrs.
Notes (1980s): Kevin Rule (6-6) played three seasons of varsity basketball for coach Ron Einerson at Neenah and shared Player of the Year honors in the Fox Valley Association with Peter Franck of Appleton East as a senior in 1988-89. As a junior, Rule was an instrumental part of Neenah's squad that went 25-2 and lost to Onalaska in the WIAA Class A title game. Rule, who scored 836 career points, had 12 points and 13 rebounds in the Rockets' state-quarterfinal victory over Janesville Craig in 1988.
Notes (1960s): Mike Heroux (5-10) was a standout scorer for coach Bob Karisny and St. Mary Catholic from 1964-67. He earned first-team all-Fox Valley Catholic Conference honors as a sophomore and senior, and second-team laurels as a junior as the Zephyrs went 30-35 during his time with the varsity. Heroux scored 30 or more points seven times during his prep career, including a career-best 40 in an 83-75 victory over Green Bay Premontre on December 17, 1965. Heroux went on to play college basketball at the University of Montana ... Mike Gage (6-2) teamed with Heroux to give coach Bob Karisny a terrific one-two scoring punch. Gage, who commuted to St. Mary Catholic from Kimberly, played three seasons of varsity basketball and earned Player of the Year honors in the Fox Valley Catholic Conference as a junior in 1965-66. He scored a career-high 37 points in a victory over Pacelli as a junior and later attended Princeton and became an Outagamie County judge ... Don Steffin (6-2) played three seasons of varsity basketball at Menasha for coaches Clem Massey and Barry Ewald. Steffin averaged 20.9 ppg as a senior in 1965-66 and scored 37 in a loss to Kaukauna. The first-team all-Mid-Eastern Conference performer went on to play basketball and baseball at Ripon College.
Additional Notes (2000s): Aaron Shaw (6-5) teamed with guard Sam Oatman (6-0) to help Neenah to a 19-5 record under coach Scott Anderson in 1999-00. Both Shaw and Oatman earned first-team all-Fox Valley Association honors with Shaw averaging 16 ppg and Oatman contributing 12 ppg. Shaw completed his prep career with 780 points and played college basketball at UW-Green Bay and Emporia State while Oatman ended his high school days with 764 points and played college basketball at East Tennessee State.
Additional Notes (1990s): Brad Tice (6-9) played varsity basketball for coaches Bob Karisny and Mark Ziebell at St. Mary Catholic and improved each season. He ended up earning second-team all-Fox Valley Christian Conference laurels as a senior in 1994-95 and helped the Zephyrs to an appearance in the WISAA State Tournament. Tice went on to play college basketball at Central Florida and Loyola (Chicago) ... Dennis Ruedinger (6-2) used his strength, mental toughness and overall skill to help Neenah to a 13-8 record as a senior in 1991-92. The first-team all-Fox Valley Association performer averaged 21.8 points per game for coach Ron Einerson and the Rockets. He scored 758 career points at Neenah and later became a two-time first-team all-league player while scoring 1,595 career points at UW-Oshkosh ... John Paveletzke (6-3) earned three varsity letters in basketball at Menasha. He averaged 16.7 points as a senior in 1991-92 while playing for coach Don Gosz and the Bluejays. A first-team all-Fox Valley Association selection, Paveletzke went on to play college basketball at St. Norbert.
Additional Notes (1980s): Craig Donaldson (6-5) was a rebounding machine for Neenah in the late 1980s. In a WIAA Class A State Tournament quarterfinal triumph over Janesville Craig, Donaldson grabbed 18 points and scored 15 points to help the Rockets get past the Cougars. Donaldson earned first-team all-Fox Valley Association recognition as a junior and senior while playing for coach Ron Einerson, and later played one year of college basketball at Northeastern Illinois ... Pat Wolff (6-5) became the third player in as many years to earn Player of the Year honors for St. Mary Catholic in 1988. Following in the footsteps of Mike Karisny and Mike Van Vandel, Wolff was the top player in the FVCC as a senior and helped the Zephyrs to a 15-9 record under coach Bob Karisny. He scored a career-high 32 points in a victory at Lourdes Academy, making all 16 of his field-goal attempts in the contest. Wolff went on to enjoy a stellar four-year career at Edgewood College, dropping in 1,980 career points to rank first on the school's all-time scoring list ... Kurt Woelffer (6-3) was a unanimous first-team all-Fox Valley Association pick as a junior for coach Bill Sepnafski at Menasha, but Woelffer missed his senior season in 1986-87 while recovering from knee surgery. His basketball career took another unexpected setback due to a car accident following high school, but he recovered and was able to play college basketball at UW-Oshkosh ... Bob Wittmann (6-3) played alongside Karisny at St. Mary Catholic under coach Steve Larson and earned second-team all-Fox Valley Christian Conference honors as a junior and first-team recognition as a senior. He played college basketball at UW-Milwaukee ... Rob Willey (6-9) had a bit of a checkered high school career due to a transfer and a training code violation. Still, he helped Neenah to an 18-5 record, the Fox Valley Association title and a regional title as a senior in 1984-85. Willey played at St. Mary Catholic through the middle of his junior year before opting to transfer to Neenah. He scored 15 points and hauled down 12 rebounds in a sectional-semifinal win over Waupun, and then had 11 points and five rebounds in a sectional-final loss to Sheboygan North. He earned a scholarship to play at the University of Wisconsin and scored 16 points and had 12 rebounds in three seasons with the Badgers.
Additional Notes: Clem Massey and Jack Wippich were members of Menasha's 1953 WIAA state-title team. Both were strong players for coach Eric Kitzman with Massey going on to play at Marquette and Wippich at UW-Oshkosh. In addition, both Massey and Wippich later became highly successful coaches as both are members of the WBCA Hall of Fame. Wippich coached basketball at St. Mary Catholic and Kimberly while Massey was the head coach at Menasha and Prairie du Chien Campion. Other coaches with ties to Neenah/Menasha in the WBCA Hall of Fame include:
* Ole Jorgensen and Ron Einerson, both long-time coaches at Neenah, and Doug Martin, who coached at Neenah, Eau Claire North and Wausau before entering collegiate coaching.
* St. Mary Catholic coaches Ralph McClone and Cliff Dilts.
* Menasha High coaches Les Ansorge and Gosz, who attended St. Mary Catholic.
* St. Mary Catholic graduates Gosz (Stockbridge, St. Mary's Springs, Campion, Dominican, Menasha), Jim Kersten (Winneconne, St. Catherine's and Roncalli), Torchy Clark (Gilman, Xavier, Florida Tech) and Steve Larson (St. Mary's Springs, St. Mary Catholic and Edgewood College).