Great Jackrabbits that Nick saw in the front row

Nick Hartley

Nick Hartley

Many of the coaches at SDSU talk about family and being a strong family unit. After being around SDSU athletics for almost 17 years, I have seen many great family members wear the yellow and the blue. Family members have an impact on other members as well as the community around them. The following is a list of the top 10 past members of the Jackrabbit family that have donned the yellow and blue.

10. Noel Bouche

Quit in the peak of his career after his junior year for personal reasons. In three years he amassed 3,947 yards passing offense. Now he is an accomplished lawyer in the Cincinnati area.

9. Austin Hansen

Hansen played in 119 games, all of them starts, finished with 1,815 points scored, had 218 career steals, 270 assists. Hansen also performed well off the court earning Academic All-NCC honors three times and academic all-region honors twice.

Perhaps one of the most coveted South Dakota high school recruits to come to SDSU in a long time.

8. Shauna Sturm

The Springfield, Minn.native led the Jackrabbit volleyball team to a runner-up finish in 2001 and was named 2001 AVCA Division II Player of the Year. She won many accolades in 2001 after an impressive year.

7. Shannon Schlagel

For a career that featured 1,887 points, 1,011 rebounds, numerous awards as a player and one big national championship, Shannon showed that a small town girl from Raymond, S.D. could be a big name player as a Jackrabbit.

6. Kevin Morsching

This name shouldn’t have had to be on the list, but God saw fit to call Kevin home early. Kevin’s big impact was the mood he brought to the team and those around him. A talented man who made everyone around him smile.

5. Becca Manshiem

The Brookings native set six Jackrabbit track and field records, numerous individual cross country meet championships all while going to school to be a nurse. Also involved with SAAC, Mortar Board Honor Society, Phi Kappa Phi and tutoring, Becca worked hard to make the SDSU community a better place.

4. Josh Ranek

The little ball of hate had an impressive career as a Jackrabbit. He had runs that made one go “How the heck did he fit through that hole?” After a career with 69 touchdowns and 6,794-yards rushing, Ranek had a shot at the NFL and currently plays in the Canadian Football League

3. Brian Norberg

Norberg was a “team first” type of guy. Dished out a school record 605 assists, but was so deadly with the three that he came on big when needed. Off the court he was constantly giving back to the community. The teams the current boy’s basketball coach at Watertown played for went 92-22 and played in regional championships three out of the four years in his career.

2. Megan Vogel

Fittingly, another athlete that wore the number 32 makes the list. A four-year starter and leader of the Jackrabbit women’s basketball team, she was a leader on and off the court. The second leading scorer in SDSU history came up big on both sides of the ball and still has a shot at the WNBA this summer.

And the number one Jackrabbit of the past 17 years is: drum roll please.

1. Chad Lamer

He won three national titles as a wrestler at state in the 190-pound weight class. His season records were 25-11 as a freshman, 33-7 as a sophomore, 34-4 as a junior and 40-2 as a senior. His career record was 132-24 with 63 pins. Nowadays he is back in Brookings, giving back to those in pain as a chiropractor and helping with the wrestling team.

This was a tough list to make as there have been numerous Jackrabbits that had impressive careers here in the last 17 years. Fortunately I have been able to see many of them in action.