Jenny Stampe Johnson and Virginia Woldt Mills were honored as 2013 South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame (SDHSBBHOF) Pioneers of the Game during the 4th annual Induction Ceremony held at the Dakota Prairie Playhouse on Saturday afternoon.|
Johnson and Mills were teammates on the 1925 Rutland Ramblers girls' basketball team. They are the first lady pioneers to be honored by the SDHSBBHOF.
"I played three years at Rutland before our family moved away," Johnson said.
Other players on the 1925 Rutland team were Ethel (Hexom) Benson, Ora Halseth, Millie (Holvick) Pierson, Hazel Nicholson, Edith (Aukshun) Graff and Ella (Meyer) Kahler. The team was coached by L.O. Caldwell.
Pierson, Graff and Johnson were also on the 1924 team.
According to Johnson, some of the teams Rutland played were Chester, Winfred, Wentworth and Ramona and three or four more teams.
"We played Adrian, Minn. and beat them," she said.
Rutland was undefeated for the season until the state tournament. The Ramblers lost to Java in a heartbreaker. Johnson believes the referee was from Java.
"I never sat in any game," Mills told the full house on Saturday during the induction ceremony.
"I wish we could have dribbled more than once," Johnson said.
Johnson still enjoys watching basketball today.
"I love basketball and baseball," she said. "I liked everthing about basketball."
They were just two former South Dakota High School basketball players to be honored on Saturday. Others included Amy Mickelson (Brookings Bobcats, 1986), Scott Bosanko (Aberdeen Central Golden Eagles, 1977), Chris Divich (Doland Wheelers, 1952), Carol Freeman (Canova Eagles, 1979), Clyde Hagen (Webster Bearcats 1966), Garney Henley (Hayti Redbirds 1955), Kent Hyde (Onida Warriors, 1954), Gerald Lund (Belle Fourche Broncs, 1957), Mike Miller (Mitchell Kernels 1998), Chad Nelson (Yankton Bucks, 1974), Renee Ruesink (Castlewood Warriors, 1984), Jim Schlekeway (Britton Braves, 1964), Wayne Stone, (Mitchell Kernels, 1941), Wendy Swanhorst (Cresbard Comets, 1978), Marty Waukazoo (Rapid City Cobblers, 1967), Chuck Welke, Jr. (Warner Monarchs 1994), Bob Brink, contributor (Plankinton), and the Team of Excellence, the Howard Tigers (1964).
Each new member gave thanks to their families and expressed the love of basketball they had while they were playing.
"It is not just about basketball, but it is really about the people," said Hagen, including the coaches, fans and everyone they met while on the court.
Glenn Rasmussen, a member of the Howard Tigers 1964 team, praised his coaches Jim Cordts and Buck Eggert. "They helped us to find a role on the team and they never raised their voices. They are good men," he said.