CHS Initial Hall of Fame Class (2015):
Steven Moore (’71), Annesa (Conrad) Bergstrom (’94), 1994 CHS State Championship Softball Team
Moore is Carlisle High School’s first state champion wrestler, earning his title at 138 pounds in 1971. Moore graduated from CHS in 1971 and currently lives in Loveland, CO, with his wife, Mary. Moore was drafted into the army after high school and is currently retired.
Bergstrom led the CHS softball team to the school’s first state softball title in 1994 as a senior outfielder. She was selected first-team all-state elite (all classes) and Iowa Player of the Year in 1994 after leading the Wildcats to a 48-3 overall record. Bergstrom still ranks among Iowa’s all-time leaders in single season hits (101), batting average (.601) and tops the season stolen base record board with 91 and career stolen base list with 210. Her 91 consecutive stolen bases in a season remains a national record, as does her 158 consecutive bases mark set from 1992-94. A five-year starter, Bergstrom was named a 1994 Fast Pitch World High School All-American and recorded a .496 prep career batting average. Earning 13 letters during her high school career, she was a standout basketball player and 12-event state track qualifier. After high school, Bergstrom was a member of the Central College softball team and Iowa State University softball programs. She graduated from Iowa State in 1998 with a sociology degree. She is married to John Bergstrom and they have two children, Maya and Miles, and reside in Carlisle.
1994 State Championship Softball Team: Michelle Erb, Kylie Sloan, Mickey Shenk, Jennifer (Cope) Swihart, Mandy (McCarl) Lee, Milissa (Avitt) Olson, Terri (Black) Tudor, Jill (Lindaman) Prall, Penny (Cope) Freeman, Katie (Erickson) Hernandez, Molly Pickering, Tonia (Pezzetti) Ryan, Celeste (Kading) Hollingshead, Tanya (Wilson) Enos, Alicia (Avitt) Clark, Gina (Keul) Ward, Lori (Greubel) Reha, Annesa (Conrad) Bergstrom, head coach Jim Flaws and assistant coach Lee Brecht. The team went 48-3 overall en route to a conference title and the school’s first state softball title.
CHS Hall of Fame Class 2016:
Dr. Robert E. (Bob) Sweeney (’55), Penny (Cope) Freeman (’97), 2003 State Championship Baseball Team
Sweeney is Carlisle High School’s first state champion in any sport, earning titles in pole vault and high jump in 1955. Currently living in Blair, NE, with his wife Libby, Sweeney was a track and field standout in addition to playing football, basketball and baseball for the Wildcats. He also sang and played in the band. Sweeney earned his first state title with his record 11’2” pole vault at the Iowa State Class C Indoor Championships. He then bettered that mark and earned the state title in the outdoor meet when he vaulted 11’4”. Sweeney was also named state champion in the high jump when he recorded a 5’10” leap at the outdoor meet, which was also a state record.
In addition to his state titles that spring, Sweeney teamed with his twin brother, Dick, Larry Ballard and Jim Burns to place fifth in the mile relay and his brother placed second in the 440-yd dash and third in the pole vault to help rack up enough team points to lead Carlisle to a fifth-place team finish in the state meet. Upon graduation, this prolific Wildcat held 10 state, district, conference or school records in relay and individual events.
Important to note, at the time of these monumental moments in Carlisle Wildcats athletic history, the school had no track on which the students could train. The kids ran on the streets in town in preparation for meets. “Good” tracks were all cinder and the flexible fiberglass pole for vaulting had not yet been invented. Sweeney used a rigid aluminum pole purchased by his father after first learning to vault with a broom handle and tree sapling at home. The high jump competitors jumped into a pile of sand that was shoveled and leveled between jumps.
Following graduation, Sweeney earned letters in cross country and track at Drake University before transferring to Iowa State University where he earned his BS degree in Farm Operations. He then graduated from Louisiana State University with an MS in Agriculture Economics in 1965 and Georgia State University with a Ph.D. in Economics in 1969. Sweeney is retired president and CEO Emeritus of the Applied Information Management Institute.
Penny Cope Freeman, one of the most decorated pitchers in Iowa history, led the CHS softball team to state titles in 1994, 1996 and 1997 and five consecutive conference championships. She was a four-time all-state selection and three-time 2A Player of the Year. Elected to the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union Hall of Fame in 2002, Freeman accumulated a prep career record of 173-15 in the circle. Leading her team to state in four of her five years, the high school all-American posted an unblemished 12-0 record in state tournament games and was named to the all-tournament team three times, including the illustrious captain title twice. She also received the Jack North Player of the Year and Bernie Saggau Award her senior year.
Following graduation, Freeman attended the University of Alabama and then the University of Nebraska where she was a part of SEC and Big 12 Conference and Tournament Championships, while earning individual softball and academic accolades.
2003 State Championship Baseball Team: Hupke, Cataldo, Joey Bauman, Nyle Claypool, David Dunn, Ryan Edwards, Jacob Flaws, Scott Gladson, Todd Gladson, Drew Laidig, Bill Nelson, Jeremy Parker, Bill Reynolds, Josh Sims, Travis Smith, Tad Stoner, Mack Worthington, manager Zac Anthony, head coach Dave Dirkx and assistant coaches Mitch Krumweide, Brian Baker and Ben Barry.
On August 2, 2003, the Carlisle High School baseball team brought home the program’s first state title, ending an amazing season with a 32-5 overall record. The Wildcats, who were also Raccoon River Conference Champs that summer and ranked among the top-5 2A teams all season, recorded three wins in Marshalltown, including a dramatic come-from-behind 6-2 victory over Dyersville Beckman in the finals, to secure the championship after entering the tournament as the No. 1 seed.
After bowing out in the opening round of the state tournament the year prior, Carlisle shut out Sergeant Bluff-Luton 10-0 in a shortened six-inning game to open play in Marshalltown before outlasting No. 5 Jesup, 7-5, in the semifinals to advance to the championship. In the title game, the Wildcats found themselves down 2-1 heading into the sixth inning when Drew Hupke led off with a double and TJ Cataldo followed with his second home run of the contest to put the Cats up for good, 3-2. Carlisle would add three insurance runs in the top of the seventh to secure the school’s first boys team championship.
CHS Hall of Fame Class 2017:
Doug Titus (1993), Kylie Sloan Davis (1996), Jordan Gronewold (2010) and the 1961 state championship mile medley relay team of Les Lane, the late Lynn Owens, Jack Cooper and Tom Hardin.
Doug Titus is the only Wildcat to earn back-to-back state individual wrestling titles, capturing the crown in 1992 at 112 pounds and repeating the feat in 1993 at 119 pounds. Only the second Wildcat wrestler to win a state title for CHS, Titus capped a near-perfect junior season at 36-0-1 by defeating the favored defending state champion in the title bout 8-4 and added his second championship title to his long list of accomplishments his senior year after a perfect 32-0 season. Titus finished his career with a 123-8-1 record after also having placed third in the state meet at 103 pounds as a sophomore.
During his high school career, the four-time letter winner racked up a school-record 297 takedowns. Serving as team captain his senior season, Titus was also named to the 1993 High School All-American Team by Wrestling USA. Graduating in the top 15 percent of his class academically, Titus was tagged with the wrestling team’s best individual grade point average all four years and was a member of the National Honor Society.
After graduating from CHS, Titus enrolled at Cornell University where he earned a varsity letter while wrestling for the Big Red. He graduated from Cornell in 1998 and returned to Carlisle to serve as a volunteer wrestling coach for two seasons. Titus now lives in Connecticut with his wife, Amber, and his four boys Ethan, Reese, Sean, and Kai. Doug is a Southern New England Regional Business Manager for Tarkett who enjoys spending time with his family hiking and biking. Over the past seven years, he has volunteered as a youth wrestling coach and is excited to share wrestling with his young boys.
Kylie Sloan Davis was an integral part of the first two state softball titles for CHS. As a sophomore in 1994, the outfielder turned shortstop recorded a school-record 58 RBI to help the Wildcats capture their first state title and then led her team to a second championship in 1996 after smashing a national-record 32 doubles. The prolific hitter earned first-team all-state status twice and was a five-time all-conference selection (girls in Iowa are allowed to play high school softball the summer following their 8th grade year). Her prep career doubles total of 110 ranks tops in the nation to this day (12, 16, 22, 28, 32). She also earned the Bernie Saggau Award her senior year, was an E. Wayne Cooley Award finalist and remains peppered throughout Carlisle’s career/season softball records more than 30 times.
Following graduation, Davis continued her softball career at the University of Northern Iowa where she was a four-year starter at shortstop. She earned unanimous all-conference accolades in 1999 and 2000 and led the Missouri Valley Conference in batting average, doubles, home runs, total bases and RBI. She ended her illustrious career as the UNI record holder for career doubles and a 0.941 fielding percentage, all the while maintaining excellence in the classroom and being selected to the Division I GTE Academic All-America Team, earning the MVC Commissioner’s Academic Excellence Award, Panther Athlete Scholar Award and the MVC Presidential Academic Excellence Award.
Davis, the daughter of Kurt and Jean Sloan, continued her education and graduated from Iowa State University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2004 and practiced in Illinois prior to returning to Carlisle in 2010. Davis and her husband, Mike, and twin girls Adelyn and Kinsie, currently live in Carlisle and own the Carlisle Veterinary Clinic.
Jordan Gronewold graduated from CHS in 2010 as a state champion and four-time first-team all-state softball pitcher. The Wildcats qualified for the state tournament three times while Gronewold was in the circle, finishing runners-up in 2009 before returning to Ft. Dodge to take the title her senior year. The five-time first-team all-conference honoree compiled a 140-22 overall mark on the mound with 1209 strikeouts, winning 30+ games four consecutive years. The 2010 3A Player of the Year contributed offensively as well, hitting .487 her final campaign with nine home runs, perhaps none bigger than a game-winning solo shot with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning against DC-G to send the Wildcats to the state tournament.
Gronewold, the daughter of Jerald and Pam Gronewold, was a multi-sport standout athlete at Carlisle, also earning second-team all-state honors in basketball and still holds numerous hoops records at CHS, including all-time leading scorer with 1475 points. Following her notable prep career, she transitioned into an NCAA Division I softball career at Drake University where she earned first-team all-Missouri Valley Conference honors twice. After a couple coaching stops, the former Wildcat currently serves as assistant softball coach at the University of Northern Kentucky, an NCAA Division I program and is also working toward a master’s degree in school counseling.
Carlisle won its first state track & field relay title in 1961 when the mile medley foursome of Les Lane, Lynn Owens, Jack Cooper and Tom Hardin ran a 3:44.8 to win the event at the state meet in Ames. After capturing the school’s first-ever district championship, the Wildcats qualified 13 boys for state and finished third of 95 schools with 25 points that year. The relay team’s state championship time remains the fourth fastest in school history more than a half century later.
Lane, a senior who also served as team captain for the 1961 squad, qualified for state in an unprecedented 12 events over his prep career and claimed seven conference titles. In addition to his state medley relay title, Lane was also state runner-up in the 180-low hurdles (21.2) and third in the broad jump (19-11) and 220-yard dash at the outdoor state championships his senior year after capturing state indoor runner-up titles in the 440m (53.5) and 60-low hurdles (7.5) and a third-place finish in the high jump (5-7.5). He went on to compete at Central Missouri State and eventually returned to Carlisle and served as mayor from 1977-1984.
Hardin and Cooper teamed up again their senior year (with Bucky Arnold and Ken Laverty) to capture an additional state title in the indoor mile medley relay (3:51.2) and a runner-up finish in the indoor mile relay to help the Wildcats finish fourth at the state indoor championships. They built on that momentum and led Carlisle to another outdoor district championship and third-place overall team finish at state. Cooper added a state title in the long jump (20-4) to his impressive list. Hardin and Cooper both qualified for state in seven events during their high school track & field careers. All four of these stand-out student-athletes were also involved in a wide variety of activities in high school, including other sports, student council, leading roles in the plays and National Honor Society.
CHS Hall of Fame Class 2018:
Robert Spencer (Boys Track & Field Head Coach 1958-65), Bill Betterton (1992), Brian Keeney (1986)
Robert Spencer served as boys’ track and field coach at Carlisle High School for eight seasons, from 1958-1965. During that time, the boys program experienced unprecedented success, including back-to-back third-place team finishes at the state meet in 1961 and 1962. After finishing eighth at the state indoor meet in 1961, Spencer led the school to its first ever district championship and had 13 boys qualify for the state outdoor meet in Ames. The Wildcats would go on to finish third in a field of 95 schools competing in the outdoor state meet that spring. In addition to numerous individual place-winners, Coach Spencer led the distance medley relay team of Les Lane, Lynn Owens, Jack Cooper and Tom Hardin to the school’s first-ever relay team state title.
The Wildcats would follow the most successful season in school history with an equally impressive season in 1962. The Mile Medley relay team of Jack Cooper, Bucky Arnold, Ken Laverty and Tom Hardin would be crowned state indoor champions and the Wildcats would finish fourth as a team in the state indoor meet. The boys proceeded to qualify 10 events for the state outdoor meet and finish third as a team with a state champion individual long jump performance by fellow CHS Hall of Famer Jack Cooper.
Spencer, who also taught and coached basketball, football, softball and started cross country at Carlisle, was responsible for starting the Wildcat Relays, where over 600 athletes from 35 different schools competed. The Relays are still going strong today and is one of the longest continually run home meets in the state. Mr. Spencer also literally built Carlisle’s first track with the help of the physical education students.
Following his time at Carlisle, Spencer went on to coach women’s basketball, track and cross country at the collegiate level, starting three different women’s programs at those schools. He won a national championship with the women’s basketball team at William Penn in 1981 before going on to coach at Fresno State. Spencer and his wife, Pat, recently moved back to the Carlisle area where his career began 55 years ago.
Bill Betterton was a three-time state champion during his short time at CHS. An ankle injury his senior year most certainly kept him from adding to that amazing total. Moving to Carlisle his junior year after winning a state 110-meter high hurdle title for Pleasantville, Betterton made an immediate impact on the track & field program. He was a four-time conference champion in 1991 and qualified for the Drake Relays in two events, winning the 110-meter high hurdles and placing second in the high jump. The multi-talented performer qualified for state in four events that year and emerged as state champion in three of them: the high jump, 110-meter high hurdles and the 400-meter dash. He also placed third in the 200 meters to cap an amazing performance at the state meet. The Wildcats finished fifth as a team that spring.
Betterton headed into his senior season with high expectations to repeat in all events. He captured three conference titles and qualified for the Drake Relays in three events, repeating as champion in the 110-meter high hurdles in a Relays-record 14.14 that held up for 17 years. That mark earned him an invitation to compete in the Keebler International Prep Track Meet in Illinois where the top eight qualifiers in the world squared off. Betterton finished fourth wearing the red and gold. His senior campaign ended in disappointing fashion when a severe ankle injury prevented him from competing at the state meet after qualifying in four events. Betterton set an unheard of seven school records while in high school, three of which still stand: the high jump at 6-foot 7.5 inches, the 400 meters in 49.36 seconds and the 110-meter hurdles in a blistering 13.74 seconds.
Betterton went on to run at Baylor following graduation and currently lives in Pleasantville and works for Vermeer. He has three children: Lincoln, Skylynn and Billy.
Brian Keeney- After qualifying for the state track and field championships his sophomore year in the 110-meter high hurdles, Brian Keeney returned the next year to capture the state title in his specialty race. He followed that performance with a state runner-up finish his senior year. The standout hurdler earned three conference championships in high school, two in the 110-meter high hurdles and one in the toughest race in prep track and field, the 400-meter hurdles. He added a conference runner-up title in the shot as a senior. Keeney, a four-year letter winner in track and field for the Wildcats, qualified for the Drake Relays his junior and senior years, finishing fourth in the 110-meter high hurdles his senior campaign. He helped lead the Wildcats to three straight Heart of Iowa Conference titles (1984, 85, 86).
Kenney was a multi-sport standout athlete at Carlisle, also earning first-team all-state football honors as a running back. He earned 14 letters during his high school career, playing football, baseball, basketball, wrestling and starring in track & field. He also earned all-conference honors in baseball and football and was a top-five rusher in all classes his senior football season. Following his prep career, Brian ran and played football at Morningside and Simpson. He has coached at Carlisle for over 20 years, serving as hurdle mentor for both boys and girls track programs. Recently, two of his shuttle-hurdle relay teams claimed state titles and he also coached 2017 graduate Dallas Wright to a 400-meter hurdle state title. He was named state of Iowa Assistant Coach of the Year for his efforts.
Brian lives in Hartford with his wife Vickie. They have a son Austin and two daughters, Payton and Katelyn.