By Jon Gremmels
Herald Sports Editor
---- — CAMANCHE — Picking the most notable athletic people in the history of Camanche High School wasn't an easy process, but athletic director Todd Borrison is impressed with the school's inaugural Hall of Fame Class.
Borrison announced the group of 14 former athletes and coaches this week. The inaugural Hall of Fame class will be introduced on Friday, Jan. 24, during the school's pack-the-gym boys-girls basketball doubleheader. A banquet will be held the following night.
"It was tough," he said. "There were 105 nominations on the original board. We got it down to 30, then to 20, then 14. It was a long, drawn-out process but a lot of fun.
"We thought 14 was a great number. That way we got in some pioneers, and I know how much people of Camanche appreciate them, then that leaves us with ten-ish athletes."
Members of the inaugural Hall of Fame class are:
• Klaus Andresen, a standout football and basketball player in the 1970s who was invited to play in both sports' Shrine Bowl games. He averaged more than 20 points and 20 rebounds as a senior.
• Dan Bolte, who played baseball and football at Camanche, was a catcher for Iowa State, then returned to Camanche and won 330 baseball games as coach, including the 1987 state title.
• Joe Carstensen, a state champion wrestler who placed second in the 1970 NCAA Championships at 134 pounds for the University of Iowa.
• Gary Cross, who started the football program and holds the school record for 74 wins. He also won 96 games as baseball coach and coached basketball, too, then served as athletic director and principal. "He was one of those early pioneers who kind of molded Camanche and affected a lot of students," Borrison said.
• Alysia Gonzales, who won six state titles in track and still holds the 12th-fastest 400 hurdle time in the state. She was a two-time first-team all-stater in volleyball and a four-year starter at Texas A&M, where she twice was named All-Southwest Conference.
• Gary Foster, who won nine state titles as tennis coach, had two runner-up teams and was a four-time state coach of the year.
• Audrey Everson, and all-state player in volleyball and basketball who won four state titles in track and was a 15-time NCAA Division III All-American at Simpson College.
• Sara Meyermann, an all-state volleyball player and two-time first-team all-state basketball who earned All-Big Ten honors in volleyball for the University of Iowa and played in the World University Games. She still owns six school records at Camanche, where she also played on state championship tennis teams.
• Jane Montgomery, another pioneer who started the volleyball, basketball, track and softball programs. She won four state titles as a track coach, took a team to the volleyball state tournament and was an assistant on the 1986 volleyball team. "She was very influential on all the girls finalists and had a lot to do with developing their skills," Borrison said.
• Mark Reese, a four-time state qualifier in wrestling who placed third in the state three times. He also was all-Eastern Iowa in football, was a three-year starter in baseball and was a four-time state qualifier in track. He competed in wrestling at Northern Iowa.
• Jason Siemon, an all-state player and the school's record-holder in the high jump. He became a star an NCAA Division II Morningside, then took his basketball talents overseas where he was a nine-time all-Europe player.
• Bernie Vogel, who at one time held 20 school records and still holds eight, including all the school pitching marks. He also scored 44 points in a basketball game.
• Barb Willis, a star basketball and tennis player who earned first-team all-state honors in volleyball and then was a unanimous All-Big Ten player in that sport at the University of Iowa, played professionally and was an Olympic alternate.
• Rick Willis, a standout player in football, basketball and baseball at Camanche. He was a two-sport all-conference player for Cornell College and currently is head football coach and athletic director at Wartburg College.
The inductees had to have been out of Camanche High for at least 10 years to be eligible.
The Hall of Fame class was selected by Borrison, boys basketball and volleyball coach Josh Davis, principal Chuck Wiebenga, booster club president Albert McManus, Foster and several former coaches, Vern Deters, John Harlson, LuAnn Borrison and Willard Larsen.
Borrison said the school would like to add to the Hall of Fame each year.
"Our goal is to go to 10 next year," he said. "I feel that really gets it going. Then we'll be going to four or five a year after that. One thing we really wanted to stress to people in the community is anybody deserving to get in will get in."