School sports venues used to honor historic contributions

Loren Joostberns, a retired teacher and longtime football announcer, was surprised when he learned Hamilton Community Schools was dedicating its basketball court in his honor.

The announcement was made between varsity basketball games on Jan. 28 in front of a full gymnasium of cheering fans.

Joostberns basketball court

Superintendent Dave Tebo noted that no one had attended more Hamilton sporting events than Joostberns and he deserved the honor due to his dedication to the district and the community. 

“And we are going to dedicate this basketball court to Hamilton’s historian … Loren Joostberns,” Tebo said. 

As the crowd gave him a standing ovation, Joostberns received a framed picture with a rendering of what the gym floor will look like. 

Joostberns, a Hamilton native and current school board member, says the honor was unexpected.

"Thank you to everyone who was responsible for this honor. It came as a total surprise. It seems like everyone knew about it except me,” Joostberns says. “Maybe someday someone will ask, 'I wonder who that was?' and it will lead to their investing in kids. That’s what 'The Story of Us' is ultimately about — investing in kids. It was true in 1958 and is still true today. Be someone who invests in kids." 

Stoel wrestling room

Earlier in the month, Hamilton Community Schools also surprised retired Hamilton teacher and wrestling coach Bob Stoel and his son, Gregg Stoel, also a Hamilton teacher and current wrestling coach, with the dedication of the wrestling room as the “Stoel Wrestling Room.”

For all but one year in the history of the district’s wrestling program, either Bob or Gregg Stoel has served as the head coach. To add to the incredible commitment of the Stoels to Hamilton’s wrestling program, Gregg Stoel also recently received his 600th win as the Hamilton wrestling coach. 

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Read more articles by Shandra Martinez.