Central names three to hall of honor
PELLA — Two former athletes and a coach who combined to win 12 Iowa Conference team championships will be the newest additions to the Central College Athletics Hall of Honor this fall.
All-American football linebacker and track and field conference discus titleist Rick Sanger ’96, four-time league men’s tennis champ Jeff Schneekloth ’86 and three-time NCAA Division III champion volleyball coach Megan Clayberg will be inducted as part of Central’s homecoming festivities Oct. 3-5.
A banquet for the honorees is set for 6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3 in the Harry and Bernice Vermeer Banquet Hall in the Graham Conference Center while the induction will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 4 in the Schipper Fitness Center lobby. Both events are open to the public. Cost of the banquet is $20 and reservations are required. There is no admission charge for the induction ceremony. Call the athletics department office at 641-628-5226 for more information.
Established in 2002, Central’s hall of honor is intended to recognize those who were exceptional performers in the athletics arena as a student-athlete, coach or administrator, and who have distinguished themselves in life after graduation through service and leadership. To be eligible for consideration, a nominee must have graduated or served as a Central coach/administrator at least 15 years earlier. Current Central staff members are not eligible for consideration. This year’s inductions will raise the hall’s membership level to 47.
Two-sport all-conference honoree—A finalist for the 1995 Gagliardi Award as the Division III football player of the year, Sanger was a two-time all-America linebacker for the Dutch. He helped lead Central to a 38-4 record over four seasons with three NCAA playoff berths as well as Iowa Conference titles in 1994 and 1995. Sanger racked up 373 career tackles, including 129 in 1994. His 24 tackles against Loras on Oct. 15, 1994 tied the school single-game record. He received the Lankelma Award as Central’s outstanding underclassman in 1994 and the Heerema-Schilder Award as team MVP in 1995. He also served as a 1995 team co-captain.
In track and field he was a three-time conference discus champ and four-time league placewinner in the event. He also placed fifth and seventh in 1995 and 1996, respectively, in the conference shot put. Sanger was tabbed as the team’s most valuable field event performer in 1996 and was a team co-captain that year.
Following graduation Sanger earned a master’s degree at Iowa State University and is an information technology specialist, working for Alliance Technologies in Des Moines since 1996. He’s director of partner product support.
Sanger is one of four brothers who were football and track and field standouts at Central and his oldest brother, Kevin, was inducted into the hall of honor in 2011. They’re the second set of hall of honor siblings at Central, preceded by Rich (2011) and Mark (2013) Kacmarynski.
NCAA champion three-peat—Clayberg piloted Central in one of the most successful eras for a team in Division III volleyball history. A member of the Central staff from 1991-2008, Clayberg was head coach from 1991-2002, compiling a lofty 370-107 (.775) career record. She guided the Dutch to seven NCAA tournament berths with four consecutive final four appearances and national championships in 1998, 1999 and 2000. The 1999 squad was among the all-time best, posting a 41-0 record and only getting pushed to a full five games once. Central rolled up a 60-match win streak over three seasons, an all-divisions NCAA record at the time. Clayberg’s teams won eight conference titles. She was the league coach of the year three times, while winning regional honors five times and the national award in 2000.
A graduate of Wayne State University (Neb.), Clayberg was a two-time all-league player and two-time team captain and was inducted into the school’s hall of fame in 2002. She received a master’s degree at Fort Hays State University (Kan.).
Clayberg gave up head coaching duties to become associate head coach in 2003, then returned as junior varsity coach in 2008. She is now an instructor and coach at Pella High School.
Eight-time league champ—Schneekloth was a key cog in Central’s men’s tennis dynasty that saw the Dutch reel off 11 consecutive league crowns from 1977-87. He’s the only player in school history to be a four-time league champ in both singles and doubles. He captured the No. 3 singles crown as a freshman in 1983, took the No. 2 title in 1984 and won at No. 1 in 1985 and 1986, while winning the No. 1 doubles championship all four years. Schneekloth was tabbed as conference MVP in 1985 and 1986. He was an NCAA Division III national tourney qualifier in doubles in 1983 and 1984, then was chosen in singles in 1985 and 1986.
After spending two years as a tennis teaching professional in Arizona and California following graduation, Schneekloth became an educator, teaching for six years before becoming an administrator, earning a masters degree in educational administration—secondary princiaplship at the University of Northern Iowa in 1995. Since 2010 has served as associate principal at Taft Middle School in Cedar Rapids.
Central College Athletics Hall of Honor inductees
Vern Den Herder football, basketball
Dr. Camilla Ratering McCalmont cross country, track and field
Ron Schipper football coach, athletics director
Dick Schultz baseball, basketball, football
Richard “Babe” Tysseling baseball, basketball, football, track and field; football coach; athletics director
Jeff Verhoef basketball
Dr. Richard Dykstra football
Gertrude Beintema athletics department office manager
Marcie Thurn Rohach track and field
Clarence Wilkins basketball
Brian Goldsworthy golf
Denise Boll basketball
Dr. Kenneth Weller Central president
Dana Snoap basketball
Tom Stone football
Nancy Cisar Wright track and field
Scot Storjohann football, wrestling
Laurie Sutten Flynn softball, basketball
Joe Jaspers golf, basketball
Scott Lindell football
Lori Nolte cross country, track and field
Eldon Schulte.football, baseball, basketball, track and field
Lisa Broek track and field
Rich Thomas football
Bruce Heerema football, baseball, track and field
Harold De Bie basketball
Christi Van Werden softball
Dick Bowzer football, basketball, baseball, tennis, coach
Kim Doyle golf
Mark Muyskens cross country, track and field
Jamie Mahnke Zyzda softball
Jeff Blythe football
Gary Boeyink baseball, basketball, coach
Emilie Hanson Brownbasketball
Shannan Mattiace tennis
Rich Kacmarynski football, coach
Kevin Sanger track and field, football, coach
Tim Hackel wrestling
Jon McGovern wrestling
Emily Grimes Rottinghaus softball
Jack Walvoord basketball, coach
John Bermel golf
Mark Kacmarynski football
Brian O’Donnell football
Cindy (Kline) Olson golf
Megan Clayberg volleyball coach
Rick Sanger football, track and field
Jeff Schneekloth tennis