Class of 2013: Quincy Blue Devil Sports Hall of Fame inductees

Posted: Nov. 30, 2013 12:06 am Updated: Dec. 21, 2013 1:15 am

This year's inductees into the Quincy Blue Devil Sports Hall of Fame will be honored Saturday night between the final two games of the 43rd annual QHS Thanksgiving Tournament at Blue Devil Gym. Here is a closer look at the Class of 2013:


1997-98 boys

basketball team

The Quincy High School boys basketball team's last appearance at the Class AA state tournament is one fans of the Western Big Six Conference won't soon forget.

That winter, both Quincy and Galesburg made it to Peoria, marking the only time two WB6 schools have won trophies at the same state tournament.

The Blue Devils' third-place finish -- the 13th state trophy in program history -- was highlighted by remarkable postseason victories against the toughest of odds.

In the sectional final, Ryan Kelly's effort defending Lincoln's Brian Cook -- Kelly was 11 inches shorter than the 6-foot-10 Cook -- helped Quincy survive 55-53 in double overtime as Luis Rivas hit a 12-foot jumper for the lead with six seconds remaining.

In the super-sectional, the Blue Devils dismantled four-time defending state champion Peoria Manual as Rivas piled up 30 points and 13 rebounds in the 72-52 victory.

That sent Quincy to the state tournament for the first time since the venue changed from Assembly Hall in Champaign to Carver Arena in Peoria.

A victory over Joliet in the quarterfinals guaranteed the Blue Devils a trophy, and a 66-63 victory over Maine West in the third-place game wrapped up a season in which Quincy finished 27-6 while winning the QHS Thanksgiving Tournament and the Collinsville Schnucks Holiday Classic.

Team members were: Kori Douglas, Kevin Douglas, Luis Rivas, Ryan Hintz, Ryan Kelly, Adam McNett, Isaac Miller, Tyler Tomlinson, Peter Bond, Tim Leeds, Keith Bockhold, J.D. Summers, Andy Douglas, D.J. Douglas and Jake Moore.

The Blue Devils were coached by Loren Wallace, Jose Quintero, Dan Sparrow and Chris Boller.


Jennifer Nobis

Now retired from professional athletics and involved in CrossFit training and coaching, Jennifer Nobis became Quincy's first female professional soccer player. She played in two different U.S. professional leagues and made a name for herself in international circles while playing in Sweden.

A 2002 QHS graduate who also played basketball, Nobis owns school records for career goals, assists and scoring with 107 goals, 49 assists and 263 points. She established the single-season record for goals with 43 her junior season.

She also is one of only two players in school history to have four seasons with 20 or more goals. Still, Nobis is remembered for her physical, relentless play as much as she is for her scoring.

"Her aggressiveness and enthusiasm are contagious," former QHS coach Bill Sanders once said.

It showed in the Blue Devils' record. Nobis suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee in October of her senior year and missed the first eight games while undergoing rehabilitation. She returned to spark a run to the sectional as the Blue Devils went 8-3 with her in the lineup.

Overall, QHS compiled a .753 winning percentage with a 69-21-5 record during Nobis' career.

She went on to play at the University of Missouri, where she finished her career in the top three in school history in goals, assists and scoring. She also earned second-team All-Big 12 Conference and third-team all-region honors.


Fritz Ostermueller

A left-handed pitcher from Quincy who spent 15 seasons in the major leagues, Fritz Ostermueller didn't possess an overpowering fastball. But he was crafty, using his curveball and changeup to befuddle left-handed hitters.

The Cardinals' Stan Musial, a lifetime .331 hitter and Hall of Famer, batted just .212 against Ostermueller.

"I had some pitchers who, no matter what I did, I could hit," Musial told the Post-Dispatch in a 1985 interview. "There were others who gave me fits. ... There was a pitcher for the Pirates like that, a guy named Ostermueller. For some reason, he just gave me fits."

Musial wasn't alone. Ostermueller gave plenty of left-handers fits. Ultimately, that lead to a lengthy, productive career -- the longest professional playing career of any Quincyan.

Ostermueller won 13 games twice -- once for Boston and once for Pittsburgh -- and won 10 or more games seven times. He finished with a career record of 114-115 and an earned run average of 3.99.

But he's best known for being tough on the lefties.

"Musial was the toughest man in baseball this season to pitch to and he was certainly poison to a right-hand pitcher. To a southpaw pitcher, he wasn't so tough and I do not think he troubled me too much," Ostermueller said at a 1948 Quincy Exchange Club luncheon.

Ostermueller began his career playing for St. John in the Quincy Parish League and joined the Quincy Three-I club -- his first professional team -- in 1926.

It would take eight years and seven stops in the minor leagues at places like Wheeling, W.Va., and Topeka, Kan., before Ostermueller would catch a break.

In 1932, he bounced between Rochester, Minn., of the Northern League and Greensboro, N.C., of the Piedmont League. He eventually settled in with Rochester in 1933 and earned his shot at a big league roster with a 14-3 mark that year.

Finally, on April 21, 1934, all the time he toiled in the minors paid off as made his major league debut for the Boston Red Sox against the Detroit Tigers.

After his career ended in 1948, Ostermueller returned to Quincy and opened the Diamond Motel with his wife, Faye. He died in 1957.


Casey Schnack-Schild

Casey Schnack-Schild is the most decorated girls swimmer in QHS history. She collected six state medals during her four state appearances from 1999-2002. In 2001, she became the first QHS girls swimmer to reach the finals in any event since 1980.

Schnack came closest to winning a state championship during her senior season in 2002. She was fourth in the 500-yard freestyle. In the same meet, she was also seventh in the 200 freestyle.

She rewrote the QHS record book, recording top times in the 200 freestyle, 500 freestyle, 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke. She also swam on the 400 freestyle relay team that set a school record. Schnack won five individual Western Big Six Conference titles and was a member of seven WB6 winning relay teams.

As a senior, she established a conference record in the 500 free.

She was the focus of an intense recruiting battle and wound up going to swim for Olympic medalist Pablo Morales at Nebraska. In college, she finished in the top 10 three straight years in the 1,650 freestyle at the Big 12 Championships, made the provisional cut for the NCAA Championships and was a three-time academic All-Big 12 performer.


1994-97 boys golf teams

With 13 state trophies to its credit, the Quincy High School boys golf program matches the boys basketball program as the most successful in school history.

And program -- boys or girls -- has done what the QHS golfers accomplished from 1994-97. That's win four consecutive state trophies with a pair each of second- and third-place finishes.

In 1994 and '95, the Blue Devils used sectional championships as a springboard to state success.

The 1994 team finished third, trailing state runner-up Galesburg by five stokes. Naperville North edged Galesburg by a stroke for the Class AA championship.

The 1994 state team included Eric Frese, Ryan T. Smith, Blayne Rosely, Joe Citro, John Kelly and Jason Traeder.

The 1995 finished in a tie for second with Belleville East. Citro took eighth individually, one of only two individual medals the Blue Devils earned during the run.

The 1995 state team included Citro, Rosely, Kelly, Todd Rodemich, Jason Traeder and Gerald Schwarz.

The 1996 and '97 teams made the postseason their playground, winning regional and sectional championships both years before capturing state hardware.

Quincy took third in 1996, edging St. Charles by a stroke.

The Blue Devils were 10 strokes off the pace and in fifth place after the first 18 holes. The move up the leaderboard started with Rodemich and Schwarz shooting 77s on the second as Quincy carded four rounds in the 70s and shot a 312 -- two strokes better than St. Charles.

Rodemich finished tied for third at 155, while Schwarz shot a 158.

The 1996 state team included Rodemich, Schwarz, Traeder, Brian Hendrian, Scott Steward and R.P. Schaller.

The 1997 team came the closest to winning a state championship, getting edged by three strokes by New Trier.

Todd Rodemich led Quincy with a 6-over 150, which tied him for the third best score of the tournament although he wasn't competing as an individual, while Jason Buxman posted a 152.

The 1997 state team included Rodemich, Buxman, Steward, Schaller, Tim Roth and Zach Ortbal.

The boys golf teams were coached by Don Kelly, who is a Quincy Blue Devil Sports Hall of Fame member.


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