OLS basketball celebrates 65 years

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This year, Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic School, Ladysmith, is celebrating the 65th year of its basketball program. Started in 1953 and coached by Bernie Webb, owner/operator of Webb’s Army Store, the team practiced outdoors because the Catholic school had no gym, according to Servite Sr. Cecilia Fandel, former school principal. Pictured are members of the 1954 boys team, eighth-grade cheerleaders and elementary-age girls, who served as mascots. They are (back, left to right) David Closs, Harold Fandel, Bill Morgan, Gene Stusek, Coach Bernie Webb, Bill Haasl, Ray Barton, Tony VanDoorn and John Charais; and (front, left to right) unidentified mascot, Dorothy Kostka, Richard Howard, James Closs, Mary Therese Tennessen, Janilee Young, Pat Verdegan, Judy Leonard, Lawrence Ludvik, Joseph Ludvik, and an unidentified mascot. (Submitted photos)

Our Lady of Sorrows’ basketball program for girls, which was launched in 1980, is now 37 years old. These are the members of the 2009 team; “our record that year was 20-5,” Sr. Cecilia added. Kneeling (left to right) are Aleya Steckel and Abby Bullard; standing (left to right) are Kelly Engelhardt, Evyn Engelhardt, Hannah Abbiehl, Lauren Nisbit, Taylor Gibbs, Vanessa Hoefs, Liz Sarauer and coach Jeff Closs.  Not pictured was Closs’ nephew, Brody Closs, who assisted.


Before Christmas, Sr. Cecilia and fellow Servite Sr. Lucy Daniels decided to give signed basketballs to Charlie and Louis Zimmer, their prayer partners at Our Lady of Sorrows School, since the two boys just started in the OLS basketball program. Former OLS players and coaches signed the balls. “The boys were thrilled when they opened their presents,” Sr. Cecilia added. Pictured are Sr. Cecilia Fandel, Louis Zimmer, Charlie Zimmer and Sr. Lucy Daniels.

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