Five Inducted Into Minster Athletic HOF

Staff Writer

Minster’s Athletic boosters auctioned off four large framed autographed pictures of the four Minster teams who have added state championship trophies to school’s trophy case in the last nine months. Representing baseball, football, girls’ cross country and girls’ basketball, they all went for handsome sums to benefit the boosters’ organization. The foundations for those teams were again well represented by five individuals who laid the groundwork before them.

The Knights of Columbus hall in MInster was again abuzz as a packed house of family, friends, neighbors, school officials, and well-wishers all gathered to recognize those five new members to Minster’s Athletic Hall of Fame last Saturday evening.

The eldest, one of the members of Minster’s first football team, 1953 grad Robert “Zeke” Tebbe, 1989 state football champ ’90 grad Byron Albers, 1993 girls’ basketball leader Jodie Prenger Blindauer, girls’ basketball state champ 2005 grad Karen Brackman and boys’ basketball Coach Mike Lee each shared stories of their moments as members of the Minster athletic family that has spanned the generations and excelled to the enjoyment and betterment of the entire community.

Mike Wolf, again emceed the event and described Jodie Prenger Blindauer as “instrumental” in turning the Minster girls’ basketball around in the 1990s.  “Minster has gone on to 24 winning seasons and three state titles since then, Jodie is still in the top three in four statistical categories in Minster history, including top rebounder in a single season, and only two others have scored more points.”  Her coach Nann Stechschulte referred to her as “a true blue collar player, a woman of great faith who always had her priorities straight.” Her all--conference career landed her a scholarsip to the University of Charleston (W. Va.) where she again was a team leader, scoring just shy of 1,500 points and top rebounder and free throw shooter in her college career. Today, she, her husband Mike, children Ethan, Addison and Olivia reside in McCartyville, where she coordinates youth ministries at Sacred Heart of Jesus and also teaches as a sub at Anna.

Referring to herself as “part of a very amazing basketball team (who won the state championship in 2004), Karen Brackman was considered by  Stechschulte to be a tireless worker who could lull defenses to sleep and make some of the best cuts to the hoop. “A wonderful young lady who puts others first,” she also starred in three state track championship teams. Her prowess on the hardwood earned her a basketball scholarship at Northern Kentucky, where she was part of two conference championship teams, one  of which won the Div. II national title in 2008.  Karen now works with faith-based nonprofit Athletes in Action out of Ft. Collins, CO, helping athletes to grow in their faith.

 Lee, who coached boys’ basketball from 1993 through 2016 shared about being raised on a farm, but also spent 10 years before coming to Minster in Continental and Anna where he also mentored tennis, cross country, baseball, track as well as basketball teams. At Minster  Lee is responsible of half of Minster’s 628 career wins. Lee was known to be a coach who got the most out of his teams, known for making long tournament runs. He was named Coach of the Year in 2005 when Minster had made eight straight district finals.

Robert ”Zeke” Tebbe was truly a forerunner as a member of the very first Minster football team in 1949. He also played basketball and baseball for Minster in a time there wasn’t much in the way of recognition except for the varsity letters he earned.

Considered undisputed leader of the first Minster football team to win a state title in 1989,  Albers also starred on the baseball and basketball teams. Wolf recalled Byron taking the mic at a packed pep rally, stating simply, “Let’s play football!” He went on to play at the University of Dayton and is today a football coach as well as family man.