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lo Sports i WESTERN CHRISTIAN HIGH SCHOOL BOYS BASKETBALL As Indians or Wolves, WC is an unequaled tradition Team has 26-13 career record at state since first trip in 1981 By &7"c YlccaJ'o EDITOR hulleditor@ncppub.corn DES MOINES In 1981 at venera- ble Veterans Auditorium, Western Christian's boys basketball program sig- naled its arrival on the state level despite losing in overtime, 54-52, to Fort Dodge's St. Edmond in the consolation final. Gene Hospers, who still serves as Wolfpack track and field coach, guided WC to state that season. Jim Eelchoff was an assistant coach under Hospers that season. Four years later, with Eekhoff at the helm, WC pounded Camanche 83-57 and the maroon-and-white garnered its first-ever state championship. Since then, WC and state tournament appearances have gone hand-in-hand like a strong marriage. "It's been very humbling," Eekhoff said. "I feel God placed me here for a reason. But, I've also said 'Why meT' There are a number of coaches that just as well could have had the same suc- cess." Here are the meaty numbers: 16 state appearances, 20 district championships and five state crowns for the overflow- ing trophy case at WC. The school is 26- 13 in state tournament games (.667 win- ning percentage), tied for sixth all-time with Dubuque-Wahlert. Eekhoff said the Westem Christian team from 1985, back then under the banner of the Indians mascot, was a Cinderella story. "We were unmted the whole season and nobody in Hull expected much," Eekhoff said. In the end, Jerry Boer, Derrick Altena, Tim Kleinwolterink and company dom- inated foes like was never seen before. WC opened the state tournament by pounding Webster City, 100-61. The Indians then took care of Denison, 66- 44, and toppled Camanche. Boer ended up becoming a volunteer assistant coach at WC for 12 seasons under Eekhoff. Altena averaged a triple- double during the postseason in 1985. Overall, the Indians beat three oppo- nents by an average differential of 29 points. During the 1980s, WC made the state field five times, including a third-place effort in 1989. The Indians followed that up with six appearances during the 1990s. Dave Van Essen, who arguably belongs in the Iowa High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame, was named the Class 2A player of the year that season. Van Essen serves as a basketball offi- cial today. The team also featured Curt Hofman, who works these days as a trucker. All Hoffnan did was establish a state record for points in a tournament game with 56 during the 1991 title ran. WC opened the tournament thumping Clarinda, 104-48. The Indians dis- patched Davenport Assumption, 76-64, in the semifinals. The maroon-and-white finished with a resounding 23-point win over now-defunct Cedar Rapids Regis. "That 1990-91 team was one of the best ones I've ever had and ever coached," Eekhoff stated. "We were rated No. 1 all season and we were the No. 1 seeded team in the tournament. We only lost once (to Minnesota school Russell-Tyler-Ruthton and its future National Football League quarterback Todd Bouman)." WC finished third in 1992 and fourth in 1993 before claiming its third cham- pionship during the 1995-96 campaign playing up in Class 3A. "That was an exciting tournament and we won the championship by one point over Algona," Eekhoff recalled. Before taking care of Algona, 53-52, in the fmal, WC thrashed New Hampton, 80-32, and then nipped Creston, 62-60, in the semifmals. WC's team that season featured first- team all-state selection Nathan Mulder, steady point guard Michael Ribbens and post Randy Oostra, who still holds the school record with 170 career blocked shots. Closing out the decade, WC claimed third place in 1999 with a 95-50 demoli- tion of Algona. In the aughts (00s) as they're called, the mascot eventually became the Wolfpack and the maroon-and-white made four state runs during the decade with back- to-back state championships in tow from the 2007 and 2008 campaigns. "That was a surprise team," Eekhoff said of the 2006-07 title winning squad. "I thought that team was one, two years away (from winning it all)." The squad featured Trevor Wolterstorff, older brother of current star Tyler Wolterstorff, Brandon Oldenkamp and Jon Vogel. Wolterstorff and Oldenkamp play for Dordt College under Ross Douma, another former WC player from the late 1980s and early 1990s. During the 2007 tournament at Wells Fargo Arena (which replaced Veterans Auditorium last decade as the champi- onship venue) in Des Moines, the Wolfpack opened with, a breezy, easy 85-39 win over Northeast-Goose Lake. WC followed that with a 16-point con- quest over Nodaway Valley and the Wolfpack wrapped up title No. 4 with a 67-62 victory over Mid-Prairie of Wellman. Jeremy Zeutenhorst, who played much taller than his 6-foot-1 height, was a spotless ll-of-ll on field goals and he grabbed eight rebounds to lead the Wolfpack in that win over Mid-Prairie. Oldenkamp and Wolterstorff both con- tributed 13 points apiece. WC returned to state in 2008. As if the Wolfpack didn't need more firepower, Shawn Keizer transferred from Sioux Center to play for the maroon-and- white. "Big Game" Zeutenhorst came through again with 20 points on 10-of- 14 shooting from the floor in the cham- pionship game, a 71-61 triumph over longtime rival St. Edmond. Kevin Fopma, Keizer and Wolterstorff all chipped in with 12 points. Solon knocked out the Wolfpack in the semifinals with an 83-80 double-over- time victory during the 2009 tourna- ment, forcing WC to settle for third after winning the consolation title over, yup, St. Edmond. 'Tve been blessed with great players and assistant coaches," Eekhoff said. And how. Former assistant Loren De Jong guid- ed MOC-Floyd Valley to the Class 3A state championship, and that's now the subject of a feature-length film titled, "Winning Favor." Ex-assistant coach Kevin Vande Streek has put together .661 career winning percentage at Calvin College (Mich.), winning the NCAA Division III crown during the 1999-2000 campaign. Craig Stiemsma, another past assistant, now serves as the head women's basket- ball coach at Dordt and the Defenders compiled a 19-13 overall record and 10- 8 in the tough-as-nails Great Plains Athletic Conference. WC principal Bill Harmsen has been an assistant with Eekhoff for the past decade. So, what's the key for longstanding success? "Every team is different," Eekhoff said. "It's tough to compare this team with that team. Every team has its own personality, and I make adjustments from year to year with the team I have." Eekhoff currently ranks in the top-20 in the all-time coaching ranks for wins. As of Jan. 20, 2009, according to IHSAA records, his record was 520-121 through 28 seasons. And today, Western Christian is a known commodity in basketball across the Hawkeye state thanks to Hospers and Eekhoff, assistant coaches and players. Western Christian History By The Numbers Records Points In A Game -- Curt Hofman, 56, -1991, at the state tournament no less Points Per Game -- Mike Eekhoff, 24.3, 2006 3-Pointers In A Game -- Curt Hofman, 11, 1992; and Corey Runia, -11, 1993 Points In A Season -- Dave Van Essen, 626, 1991 Points In A Career -- Trevor Wolterstortf, 1,592, 2006-09 3-Pointers In A Season -- Curt Hofrnan, 90, 1991 EJetd-Goal Percentage +-- r, Faber ....... Veldkamp, 91.2 percent, 1975 Rebounds In A Game -- Mark Sybesma, 30, 1971 Rebounds In A Season- Dave Van Essen, 313, 199-1 Rebounds Per Game John Kooiker, 13.9, 1964 Rebounds In A Career -- Carrie Landegent, 612, 2004-06 Assists In A Season -- Derek Keizer, 243, 2003 Assists In A Career- Michael Ribbens, 459, 1995-97 Steals In A Career -- Derrick ARena, 148, 1984-86 Drawn Charges In A Season -- Dan Hospers, 20, 2OO1 Drawn Charges In A Career- Dan Hospers, 29, 2OOO-01 First-Team AII-Staters 1990 -- Joel Mulder 1991 -- Dave Van Essen, also the Iowa High School Athletic Association Class 1993 Jon Oostra 1996 -- Nathan Mutder 1997 -- Nathan Mulder -1999 -- Justin Van Meeteren 2006 -- Mike Eekhoff 2008 -- Trevor Wolterstorff 2009 -- Trevor Wotterstorff 2009 -- Shawn Keizer By The Year 1981, 1982, 1985, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1999, 2001, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 Wolf'pack preparing for the big show Left, Tyler Wolterstorff shoots during a drill during practice last Wednesday. Above, Bryce Groeneweg and Dilan Moss play defense on Ben Vant Hul. --Photos by Eric Viccaro, Sioux County- Index-Reporter. The Sioux, County Index-Reporter Wednesday, March 10, 2010 BOWLING SCORES Monday Night Men's League March 1 Team W_ Family Bowl 78.5 Van Ginkel Drywall 78.0 Pella 74.0 Cenex 53.5 21st Century Electric 51.5 Hardees 14.5 High games: Warren Boogerd, 289; Dave Hansen, 267; Marv Vis, 248 High series: Warren Boogerd, 749; Leroy Schwebach, 675; Dave Hansen 625 Tuesday Night Ladies League March 2 Team W Scissor Shack 147.0 Family Bowl Cafe 146.5 Doorenbos Farms 144.0 Brandes P and D 141.5 S C Hospital 138.5 Brommers 128.0 Te Slaa Trucking 124.0 Rocket Girls 107.5 High games: Karlene Tacke, 205; Card De Zeeuw, 201; Judy Riemersma High series: Judy Riemersma, 552; Jean Brandes, 508; Carri De Zeeuw, 507 Thursday Night Men's League March 4 Team W Weld Works 65.0 Schuiteman Feedlot 59.0 MT & T 50.5 Radio & TV Center_ 42.5 B & M Concrete 31.0 Hull Pharmacy 21.0 + High games: Jon Draayer, 279; Marty Kiers, 242; Matt Brummel, 236 High series: Jon Draayer, 708; Marty Kiers, 645; Marv Vis, 629