In this Dec. 22, 2004 Rhinelander Daily News file photo, Casey Drake dribbles during a menís college basketball game between UW-Eau Claire and Finlandia University at the former Rhinelander High School gymnasium. Drake, a 2000 graduate of RHS, will be inducted into the Rhinelander Athletic Booster Club Hodag Hall of Fame next month along with swimmer Yves Riopel (class of 1970) and tennis player Brad Schmidt (class of 1989). (River News file photo)
4/18/2019 7:31:00 AM Drake, Riopel and Schmidt to be inducted into Hodag HOF
NOTE: In the initial version of this story the River News, citing information from a hall of fame application, incorrectly stated that the 1989 Rhinelander High School boys' tennis team was the only squad in school history to qualify for the WIAA state tournament. The 1967 RHS boys' tennis team qualified for the WIAA state tournament and placed second. A corrected version is below.
Three Rhinelander High School alumni who had distinguished prep sports careers will be inducted into the Rhinelander Athletic Booster Club's Hodag Hall of Fame next month.
The ABCs selection committee has announced Casey Drake (boys' basketball, Class of 2000), Yves Riopel (boys' swimming, Class of 1970) and Brad Schmidt (boys' tennis, Class of 1989) will comprise this year's induction class.
The group will be enshrined during the ABC's 39th annual banquet to be held Wednesday, May 29 at Holiday Acres Resort.
Drake was a three-year letter winner in both boys' basketball and baseball at RHS, but basketball was his primary sport. As a junior in 1999 he helped lead the Hodags to the WIAA state tournament, part of a run that saw the Hodags make it to Madison three times in five season.
Drake earned first team All-Wisconsin Valley Conference honors in 1999 and 2000, earning co-player of the year honors in 2000. He also received honorable mention all-state in 2000 and was a Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association All-Star.
The 684 points Drake amassed in Wisconsin Valley Conference games currently rank 36th on the Valley's all-time scoring list.
Drake went on to play collegiately at UW-Eau Claire, where he was an All-WIAC first-team honoree in 2004 and 2005. He led the Bluegolds with 17.6 points and 4.5 rebounds per game as a junior, and averaged 18 points per game as a senior.
Riopel was one of a host of WIAA state champions Rhinelander had in boys' swimming back in the 1960s, winning the 400-yard freestyle title as a junior in 1969 with a time of 4 minutes, 3.6 seconds. He was the state runner-up as a sophomore in the same event, according to an old Rhinelander Daily News press clipping.
Riopel was also part of a runner-up finish in the 200 medley relay in 1969 with teammates Larry Hyde, Bruce Grill and Mike DeBrock.
According to Riopel's Hall of Fame application, a copy of which was obtained by the River News, he was a four-year letter winner in swimming at RHS and went on to swim collegiately at UW-Madison.
Schmidt was a four-year letter winner for coach Bob Heideman and the RHS boys' tennis team in the late 1980s.
Individually, Schmidt qualified for the WIAA state tournament in both 1988 and 1989, reaching the round of 16 in 1989. He was also the WVC champion at both No. 1 doubles and No. 2 singles in 1989. He went 19-0 in doubles and 21-3 in singles that year. The 1988 and 1989 squads were two of the most successful in program history, winning back-to-back WVC and sectional titles. The 1989 squad also qualified for the WIAA state tournament, the lone Hodag tennis team to do so in Heideman's tenure. The 1967 tennis team, under the direction of Bob Smith, placed second in the WIAA state tournament.
After high school, Schmidt played four years of tennis at Gustavus Adolphus College in Saint Peter, Minn., where he was a four-year letterwinner.
About the Hall of Fame/ABC
The inductions of Drake, Riopel and Schmidt will bring the Hodag Hall of Fame up to 111 members - which include former standout athletes, coaches and teams in Rhinelander High School history.
Hall of Fame inductees have their portraits displayed at RHS in the hallway between the Jim Miazga Community Gymnasium and the Aspirus Community Fitness Center, as well as on touchscreen kiosks located at RHS. A complete list of hall of famers can be found at http://gallery.rhinelander.k12.wi.us/?page_id=93.
In addition to enshrining this year's Hodag Hall of Famers, the ABC banquet will include the presentation of the club's Heart of the Hodag award, given yearly to a volunteer supporter within the Rhinelander sports community. The club will also present its two $1,000 scholarships to an RHS senior male and female student-athlete.
The May 29 event will begin with a social hour at 5 p.m., dinner at 6 p.m., followed by the ceremony. To RSVP for the banquet, contact ABC board member Kelsy Bontz at 715-360-5624.
The ABC is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that supports Rhinelander area high school, middle school and youth sports endeavors through monetary grants. Since 2002, the ABC has given back more than $280,000 to the community.
For more information regarding the ABC, including information on how to nominate past RHS student athletes for enshrinement in the Hodag Hall of Fame, visit the organization's website, www.rhinelanderabc.org.
Jeremy Mayo may be reached at email@example.com.
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