Trip down Memory Lane: Second annual event honors Hall of Famers

March 2009 Posted in Other

By Dixon Bledsoe

Henk Schenk was a Silverton wrestler. Larry Bielenberg, Jack Berger and John Waldrup, too. Judy Lovre is a noted volleyball coach. They’re local kids who made good. Good enough to be called national champions, Olympic team members and Oregon sports legends.

What do these stars have in common, besides making Silverton proud? They will be inducted into the Silverton Sports Hall of Fame at the second annual Sports Gala at The Oregon Garden Pavilion March 13.
Scott Gragg and Kirsten Barnes, Silverton’s head football and volleyball coaches, say the theme this year is focused on the Hall of Fame award winners.

“This is all about the people and teams making Silverton great,” Gragg said.

“We know the economy is tight right now, but this is a great chance to honor these incredible athletes, coaches, and teams and help out with the silent auction,” Barnes added. “The need is more pressing now.”

Last year’s event attended by 320 sports fans raised $25,000 in one night by offering a buffet dinner, a highly successful silent auction and an oral auction.

This year’s gala, with proceeds going to improve the high school’s weight room, athletic facilities, murals and trophy case, will begin at 5:30 p.m. for the VIP reception. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and dinner will be served at 7 p.m.

There is no oral auction this year, but the silent auction will again feature items such as team baskets and vacation packages.

Tickets are $50 each and interested parties must make reservations by March 6. Seating will be limited. Tickets can be reserved by calling 503-873-6331. They may also be purchased at the Silverton High School Athletics office, 802 Schlador St. Information is also available at

The honorees include Schenk, a dual Olympian in the 1968 and 1972 Olympic Games. He was an Oregon high school state champion in 1963 and went on to win a bronze medal in the 1969 World Championships in Argentina.

Bielenberg was a 1973 Oregon high school state champion, a two-time Pac 8 champion, a four-time NCAA All-American and 1975 National champion.

He was first alternate for the 1976 Olympics but missed out on the 1980 Olympics because of the political boycott, despite being favored internationally at the time.

1971 Silverton graduate Judy Lovre won four state championships coaching volleyball at Corvallis High and was the NAIA Collegiate Coach of the Year in 1988 for Western Oregon University. Not bad for a young woman whose only opportunity to play high school sports was through track and field because that was the only sport offered to Silverton female athletes in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Lovre played basketball for four years at Oregon State and won 16 conference and district titles as a coach for Western Oregon University, playing for the NAIA title three times and finishing with a 489-212 record.

The 1972 Silverton high school wrestling team was respected but not favored coming into the Oregon 4A (today’s 6A) state tournament, but hoisted up the State Team Championship Trophy in Corvallis with a strong finish.

John Waldrupe went from runner-up in district competition to state champion, joining teammate Ed Faulkner. The Silverton team had the two state individual champions, a second place winner in Ron Nelson, a third place winner in Larry Bielenberg and strong finishes by Jim Currie (4th), Doug Tishmack (6th), and Brad Harvey (6th) to gain enough points and win the title.

Jack Berger was an accomplished wrestler and a legendary wrestling coach. He put Silverton on the wrestling map. The late coach was a Pac-8 (now the Pac-10) Champ at 167 pounds for Oregon State University in 1962, but went on to teach and coach at Silverton High from 1963 to 1992.

He was chosen as the 1972 OSAA Wrestling Coach of the Year, coached Silverton to eight district titles and the 1972 State Championship.

Berger was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame for the Lifetime Service to Wrestling Award

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