South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame to induct three former area standouts
Arlo Mogck, Bob Pidde and Dennis Womeldorf among new class of inductees
Three former area high school basketball standouts will be inducted into the South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame as members of a 13-person class Saturday in Sioux Falls.
Each member of the trio represents a different decade, but all three made an impact on the region lasting well beyond their high school years.
Arlo Mogck, Parkston 1955
During the 1954 season, Mogck led the Trojans to a runner-up finish at the Class A state tournament despite Parkston’s small size compared to its Class A contemporaries.
Mogck finished his high school career with 1,259 points before going on to play collegiately for what was then known as Southern State College in Springfield, where he was named to the All-South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference team in each of his four seasons.
After his playing days were through, Mogck coached high school basketball for eight seasons, first in Harrisburg before moving on to nearby Canton.
In 1967, Mogck took over as the coach at Worthington State Junior College, now known as Minnesota West Community and Technical College, in Worthington, Minnesota. It was the beginning of a successful 16-year stint at the school that included three consecutive state junior college championships from 1970-72.
Mogck was previously inducted into the SDIC, Southern State College and Minnesota Halls of Fame.
Bob Pidde, Freeman 1975
Pidde’s averages of 17 points and 16 rebounds per game led the way as Freeman finished the 1975 season with a 27-0 record. To cap the achievement, Pidde scored 23 points in the Class B title game as Freeman knocked off Dell Rapids St. Mary, also unbeaten prior to the championship matchup, 61-55.
Following his high school success, Pidde attended South Dakota State University where he played both basketball and baseball.
Pidde will also be inducted into the South Dakota Amatuer Baseball Hall of Fame in November.
Dennis Womeldorf, Wessington Springs 1966
While it was Womeldorf’s defense that earned him the nickname ‘The Worm’ in college, he didn’t struggle to put points on the board either.
“I liked all sports, but I basically lived for basketball,” Womeldorf said. “I did a lot of shooting in the backyard and the schoolyards. It was just something I enjoyed immensely. I just loved the game.”
At Wessington Springs, Womeldorf scored 1,521 career points and led his team to the top ranking in its class during the 1966 season.
Womeldorf wasn’t done playing and didn’t go far away to continue his career. He attended South Dakota State University, where he was a three-year starter at guard.
In his final season in Brookings, Womeldorf scored 19.1 points per game. Coupled with his defensive acumen, Womeldorf won North Central Conference Most Valuable Player honors and led the Jackrabbits to a 22-4 record and a third NCC title in as many years as a starter. He ended his college career with 1,006 points.
“There were always happy times playing basketball in South Dakota when I was in high school and then to stay in state and end my career in South Dakota, it just makes me feel good,” Womeldorf said. “The comradeship you have with other players from the state, it was always a special feeling.”
After a career spent playing alongside other talented individuals across the state, Womeldorf is grateful to join several familiar names and faces with his new “hall of fame” status.
“I played with or against a number of those people [in the Hall of Fame], and I know how good they really are,” Womeldorf said. “So it’s a great honor to now be included in the Hall of Fame.”
Joining Mogck, Pidde and Womeldorf in this year's class are: Janel Birrenkott (Lemmon 1982), Jerry Even (Dell Rapids St. Mary 1964), Jayne (Even) Gust (Sioux Falls O’Gorman 1996), Austin Hansen (Brandon Valley 1998), Joe Krabbenhoft (Sioux Falls Roosevelt 2005), Sarah Mannes Homstad (Yankton 1988), Sam Perrin (Huron 1927), Dave Thomas (Onida 1969), Loren Thornton (Harrisburg 1936) and Stanton Uhlir (Kadoka 1951).
Sioux Falls Washington’s 1980 girls team, which went 23-0 and won a Class A state title under the late Joe Lockwood, will also be recognized as a Team of Excellence.