Photos: 40-Years-Later Celebration of Rolfe’s Road to the 1971 Girls’ State Basketball Tournament (Part I)


All of the photos in this post were taken on April 16, 2011, the day of our celebration. Pictured here is the outside of the gym of the Rolfe Community School District. The class of 1990 was the last class to graduate from Rolfe, Iowa. The district is now a part of the Pocahontas Area district. The gym is now owned by the City of Rolfe and is called the RAM Event Center. If you aren't already aware of the details of the celebration or of the history of Rolfe girls' basketball, you may find links for both by copying and pasting the following link into your browser:

Clicking on any of these images will enlarge them.

As a team, in the locker room we always prayed before and after our games. Several of us thought it fitting that we do the same before our marathon celebration day.


The basement locker room is just about the same as always! Damp, for sure. No longer is there that squishy pad that we were supposed to step on (to prevent athlete's foot?) every time we exited the shower. Apparently, until not long before our celebration, this locker room had been pretty dank and would have been unpleasant for us to spend any time there. However, due to vandalism at the school prior to our celebration, some youth had to work community service hours. Some or all of those hours were spent cleaning up this locker room. Laurie was in charge of our locker room get-together. Notice how she even had votive candles to help cover any smell (which there ended up not being much of or none at was quite comfortable). Clockwise from lower left: Pam Van Houten Sukalski (head coach Al Van Houten's daughter), Carol Wiegert Franken, Karen Brinkman Vinson, Linda Pedersen Tutt, Julie Brinkman Mintz, Laurie Brinkman Jensen and assistant coach Dennis Duerling. I doesn't look like we are praying, but we really did ask God to bless the day.


For the team, 1971 faculty, and anyone else who wished to attend, a 1:15 program was scheduled in the former home ec. room. Our assistant coach Dennis Duerling shared stories about each of the players. Interesting! (Greg Kaiser is at the left side of this photo. Once a photographer, always a photographer. Just think of all that history Greg covered as owner/editor of the Rolfe Arrow.)


It was in the same room as the above and next photo where we spread out the fabric for our red dresses…our team before-and-after games “uniform.” (You can see them in the last video clip in the previous post.) The way I remember it is that Beverly Weigert (who was a former home ec. teacher and mom of teammate Carol) was instrumental in the construction of these dresses.

Here we are at our 1:15 program in the former home ec. room. Dennis provided his introductions after which we took turns with free-flowing conversation from anyone who wished to speak. Hmmm...who knew that some of the teachers used to drink beer in the home ec. room??? And, who knew that Mrs. Pohlman loved her job of teaching so much that at the beginning of one Thanksgiving break she cried because she'd be away from her students for four days?! Or, who knew that the teachers got scolded by Mr. Strickfaden for there being too much of the teachers' laughter heard in the hall outside the teachers' lounge? Our teachers were so dedicated. A common thread of discussion from the "students" that afternoon was that we so appreciated when we got to college and, because of our Rolfe educators, had a leg up compared to many other students, especially in the sciences, math and language arts. Clockwise starting at the far left with Bette Brinkman in the green sweater, Dave Spaulding, Pam Van Houten Sukalski, Laurie Brinkman Jensen, Linda Pedersen Tutt, LeRoy Mann, Robert Detmering, Jill Brinkman Detmering, Linda Lopour's husband, Linda Lopour, Cheryl Rickard Van De Voorde, Jean Brinkman Longnecker, Ilene Pohlman, Roger Pohlman, Bob Liston, Al Gilbertson, Donna Gilbertson, Suzie Liston, Carol Wiegert Franken, Karen Brinkman Vinson, Julie Brinkman Mintz, Louise Gunderson Shimon.


We caught a moment after our 1:15 program for a group photo. Front row L to R: Laurie Brinkman Jensen^, Louise Gunderson Shimon^, Carol Wiegert Franken^, Karen Brinkman Vinson^. Middle row seated: Dennis Duerling, Jill Brinkman Detmering+, Cheryl Rickard Van De Voorde+, Deb Zeman Gillespie>, Pam Van Houten Sukalski. Back row: Jean Brinkman Longnecker^, Paulelda Harrold Gilbert<, Connie Henderson Boyd<, Lynn Neugent Debel^, Linda Pedersen Tutt^, Julie Brinkman Mintz^, Karin Zeman Ives<. (Varsity unable to attend: players Michele Pomerenke Piprude^, Lynn Robinson^, Joyce Baade Coburn^, Jeanell Winkleblack Piconi^, manager Mary Martin Field+, and our beloved head coach Al Van Houten who passed away in 1996. Present but not in the photo was Joan Behrendsen Gouge+.)

Seven of the eighteen 1970-71 Rolfe High School faculty members attended the April 16th celebration. Front row L to R: Dennis Duerling, Ilene Pohlman, Roger Pohlman, Dave Spaulding. Back row: Bob Liston, Al Gilbertson, Dick Barrett. (Photo supplied by Linda Tutt.)


* * * * * * * *


I have more photos to post and will do so, hopefully within the next week. I’m sorry to say that I have very few action photos.

^designates varsity player on the 1970-71 Rolfe girls’ state tournament team

+ designates managers/statisticians for the 1970-71 Rolfe girl’s state tournament team

<designates player on the 1970-71 Rolfe girls’ JV team

>designates 1970-71 Rolfe high school varsity basketball cheerleader

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


One Response to “Photos: 40-Years-Later Celebration of Rolfe’s Road to the 1971 Girls’ State Basketball Tournament (Part I)”

  1. Marti Carlson Says:

    I love seeing the photos. What a terrific weekend. Would have been fun to be there.

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