The History in Our Halls

The Wall of Fame at Fort Dodge High School


Eli Elsbecker, Staff Contributor

The History in our Halls

Making it onto The Dutch Huseman Wall of Fame is one of the most common goals for athletes at FDSH. It’s a way for your name to be remembered and it gives each person on the wall a sense of pride. The way to get onto the wall is simple; get on the all-state team for your sport. The wall is one of the most unique athletic achievements in the school because your name will be in the case for years to come. The Hall is named after the late Dutch Huseman who was an Athletic Director and former basketball coach from FDSH. He coached and taught for 25 years with 21 winning seasons, had an all-time record of 319-194, and three state tournament appearances. After his coaching career, he was an Athletic Director and Vice Principal for four years. He set the bar for student-athletes in this school and for other Athletic Directors to come. In my opinion and for me personally, it is my goal to get on the wall, I want to be remembered in this school as a positive role model and I believe this is a great way to do so. There are names on the board that go all the way back to 1938; that’s 80+ years being on the wall and more people should pay attention to the wall because it’s the history of our school. Next time you walk through the cafeteria, take a look at the names and pictures on the plaques. Pay attention to the veteran athletes of our school. For example, you can find the late Sgt. J.J. Bonnell’s remembrance plaque near the gym doors, also at Ed McNeil Field the tree planted in Bonnell’s name has grown quite tall since his death in 2007. 

Have you ever stopped to look at the trophy cases in the hall near the cafeteria?  Those cases show some of our school’s history – our athletic accomplishments through time. Looking at the Wall of Fame is like peering into our past. The Wall of Fame doesn’t name everyone. For example, Lisa Uhl does not appear on the wall – she didn’t win titles in high school but she turned it on as an Iowa State athlete. She was a four-time national champion for the Cyclones. She won the Big 12 track and field 10,000-meter run as a Freshmen in 2007, she set all kinds of records, she was named by ESPN the CoSIDA Academic All-America of the year for track and field, she was the first woman to win four straight conference titles in the same event. She even qualified for the London Olympics in 2012 in the 10,000-meter run, where she placed 13th. At that time she was the sixth fastest American to ever run the race. The list goes on and believe me, she was a phenomenal athlete and a great role model for Fort Dodge and our High School. You’ll find her in our Hall of Fame cases because of her performance. She should be a role model to all of us because she worked hard and persevered. As with all things, there are things that can be improved upon our wall needed some bylaws improved upon. For instance, there were old rules that stated if the player didn’t get first or second-team All state they couldn’t be on the board, and another rule was that once players graduated from the school, they couldn’t be added to the wall, even if they excelled in sports after high school. This is why Lisa wasn’t on the wall. Some of these bylaws were eventually changed by Matt Elsbecker, the former Athletic Director and the Dodger Athletic Hall of Fame committee. In my opinion, I’m glad the bylaws were changed. I think the old rules were disappointing; the Wall of Fame and the Hall of fame are positives for FDSH but I think you need to include every notable athlete that represented Fort Dodge in those sacred places. I say this because it shows the future generations what good role models look like and a lot of athletes in high school don’t mature fully until after high school but high school is where they got their start. The Wall of Fame is a record of positive events that took place in our school.   When you’re walking in the cafeteria make sure you stop and look at all the plaques and trophies that represent this school’s history because it truly is important.