JC to induct new class into HOFThe Jamestown roots run deep for the newest group of Jimmies headed into the school’s Hall of Fame. Steve Braunberger, Deb (Clark) Hornung, Andrew Menninger and the 1986-87 women’s basketball team, coached by Lawrie Paulson, will be inducted into the Jamestown College Hall of Fame. Marney Shirley and John “Jack” Lynch will also be honored with the Rollie Greeno Award today at 9 a.m. in Level Two of the Nafus Center. The event is open to the public. Cost is $8. Braunberger and Shirley are lifetime Jamestown residents.
The Jamestown roots run deep for the newest group of Jimmies headed into the school’s Hall of Fame.
Steve Braunberger, Deb (Clark) Hornung, Andrew Menninger and the 1986-87 women’s basketball team, coached by Lawrie Paulson, will be inducted into the Jamestown College Hall of Fame. Marney Shirley and John “Jack” Lynch will also be honored with the Rollie Greeno Award today at 9 a.m. in Level Two of the Nafus Center. The event is open to the public. Cost is $8.
Braunberger and Shirley are lifetime Jamestown residents.
Braunberger starred in track and cross country under Greeno. The 1980 graduate speaks glowingly of his time at the campus, when it was about a third of the size it is now.
“Everybody was it in together. We knew the college was struggling. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out, but we all looked out for each other,” said Braunberger, who ranks among the top point scorers in school history in track. “If you were looking for fancy sweat suits or great facilities, that’s not what we were about. We made due with what we had. But what we did have was a great leader and a bunch of kids that cared about each other and doing whatever it took to be successful.
“I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to compete in that environment. I wouldn’t have traded it for anything.”
Like Braunberger, Hornung’s ties to the college and community remain strong.
The 1985 graduate, who teaches at Gussner Elementary, was a three-sport standout at JC, competing in track and field, basketball and cross country.
She had the unique opportunity to be coached by her brother — Jim Clark — who still continues to lead the successful track and field and cross country programs at Jamestown College.
“He helped me, and many others, accomplish more than what we thought we were capable of,” said Hornung, who still ranks among the top 20 point scorers in school history in track. “Jamestown College means a lot to me and my family.”
Hornung’s husband, Dan, was a longtime assistant women’s basketball coach at the school. Her daughter Madey is currently a member of the track and cross country teams.
Steve is the second Braunberger to enter the JC Hall of Fame. His brother, Brad, was inducted in 1989 for his exploits in track and cross country. Bob Piatz, a three-sport standout for the Jimmies, and Braunberger’s brother-in-law, was a member of the 1985 Hall of Fame class.
“All of the coaches recruited self-starters. They recruited people from Napoleon, Wishek, Ashley, Zeeland — places other people looked past,” Braunberger said, who was a key member of the 1979 cross country team that placed 19th at the national meet under Greeno. “But it wasn’t just about athletics or succeeding individually. Rollie made sure we went to class. He was much more concerned that we were developing into good people. He wanted us to succeed after we left Jamestown College. He wanted good citizens.”
Those are many of the same lessons Shirley continues to preach at Jamestown High School where she is in her 41st year as the girls’ head swimming coach. She also coaches the JHS boys’ team.
When she graduated from Jamestown College in 1970 she had a passion to coach, but for more than four decades?
“I never would have dreamt I’d have been teaching for 41 years, let alone coaching,” she said. “I still find some pleasure in helping kids get better.”
How long will she keep going?
“It’s hard to think of not having it as part of my life,” she said.
Paulson, the winner of the Greeno Award in 2004 and the school’s athletic director, was in his second season as the women’s basketball coach when he guided the ’86-87 team to a conference championship.
“I probably learned a lot more from them than they learned from me,” said Paulson. “They were the hardest working team I ever coached, that’s literally the truth.
“We didn’t have any first-team All-Americans. It was just a really unique group of girls. The pieces just fit.”
That seemed to be a familiar theme for this weekend’s honorees, who were as proud of their time on campus as what they accomplished individually.
“There was a family-feeling to every part of what we did at Jamestown College,” Hornung said. “It’s a special place to a lot of people. I’m certainly proud to call myself a Jimmie.”