Rolfe, Iowa, Basketball: It All Started in Junior High (1965-66)


In preparation for the April 16th celebration in Rolfe, I am posting pre-1971 photos that include members of Rolfe’s one-and-only girls’ state tournament basketball team.

When the Rolfe, Iowa, 1971 girls’ basketball team played in the state tournament, we had just one senior teammate. She was Laurie Brinkman. She is pictured below as a member of the 1965-66 Rolfe girls’ junior high basketball team.

On that same’65-’66 junior high team was Jill Brinkman. Like Laurie, in 1971 Jill was a senior. Jill was also one of our team managers when we went to State in 1971.


Rolfe's 1965-66 junior high girls' basketball team. Front Row L to R: Laurie Brinkman, Barbara Shimon, Nancy Vainreb, Jill Brinkman, Nancy Pedersen, Ruth Rickard. Back Row L to R: Coach Allan Gilbertson, Cheryl Wilson, Becki Wood, Janis Ferguson, Diana Smith, Vicki Trimble, Linda Lopour.* (Click on photo to magnify image.)

In Rolfe we didn’t have AAU or other organized year-round basketball. If I recall correctly, the closest we came to year-round ball was practicing in barns on the farms were many of us lived. Some of our more dedicated 1971 team members (Laurie and her sister, Karen, and maybe others) also attended summer basketball camps. I don’t think I had the work ethic to attend summer camp. Also, the thought of summer camps intimidated me. My fuzzy recollection is that I didn’t have confidence in my stamina or talent to survive what I assumed to be intense summer camps.

After seeing the girls’ picture, I was curious to see the picture of the junior high boys’ team from the same ’65-66 year.


Rolfe's 1965-66 junior high boys' basketball team.L to R: Duane Anderson, LeRoy Mann, Tom Winkleblack, Mark Feldmann, Don Marine, Dennis Ricklefs, Douglas Post, Mike Hood, Mike Pedersen, John Brinkman, David Loxterkamp. Kneeling: Mr. Elder. (Click on photo to magnify image.)

Within the next few days, I’ll include photos of Rolfe’s 1967, 1968 and 1969 junior high girls’ teams. I think I also have a photo of the boys’ team from at least one of those years.

* * * * * * * *

Both photos are from the 1965-1966 Rolfe school yearbook.

The yearbook lists Mr. Gilbertson’s responsibilities that year as, “Biology, Sr. Math, Geometry, Girls’ Athletics, Sophomore Sponsor.” Mr. (Eugene) Elder’s responsibilities that year were, “Industrial Arts, Eighth Science, Boys’ Athletics, Sophomore Sponsor.”

*The girls’ names in the caption are from the yearbook. They do not reflect any name changes.

(Click here to go to Louise Gunderson Shimon’s blog’s home page.)


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