Two new classes were inducted into the Western Dubuque High School Athletic Hall of Fame Oct. 2, during a ceremony at Thunder Hills Country Club. The 2020 induction class included — the late Steve Engelken, Sarah (Hoffmann) Hirsch, Niki (Maahs) Perrenoud), Molly (Link) Dupont and Peter Rauen.
The 2021 class included — Amber (Pitz) Gravel, Jimmy Gotto and Nate Ramler.
Engelken was a two-time state qualifier in wrestling. He captured two conference titles on the wrestling mat. As a senior, he served as co-captain and was recognized as the team’s most valuable wrestler. He held the school record for career reversals. After high school, Engelken served in the United States Army from 1983-91. He served overseas during Operation Desert Storm.
Sarah (Hoffmann) Hirsch
Hirsch was a four-sport athlete who captured a state title in the discus. She was all-conference on the softball diamond and was twice recognized as second-team all-conference as a member of the basketball team.
Hirsch was a four-time state qualifier in the shot put where she collected two fourth-place finishes and a second-place finish. In the discus, Hirsch was a three-time qualifier with a second-team finish and a state title. She went on to throw for Wartburg College, where she was part of four national championship teams and five-time all-American. Hirsch graduated from medical school at Des Moines University and is now an OB/GYN doctor in Dubuque.
Molly (Link) Dupont
Dupont collected 13 varsity letters during her time as a Bobcat in golf, basketball and softball. On the basketball court, she was named first-team all-conference as a junior and as a senior. She set school records for career points, career assists and career three-pointers.
On the softball diamond, she was named first-team all-conference four times and was named all-district three times. She was named second-team all-state twice and was named first-team all-state as a senior. She was named the 3A offensive player of the year. Dupont was named the TH player of the year in both softball and basketball.
When she graduated, she held 22 school records. Dupont attended Kirkwood and Winona State where she played softball. She was named an all-American three times during her collegiate career. She is now a police officer in Dyersville.
Rauen excelled in track and field, baseball and football during his time as a Bobcat earning eight varsity letters. In track, Rauen was part of the 1,600-meter relay team that qualified for the state meet and Drake Relays.
On the baseball diamond during his senior season, he earned first-team all-conference as well as first-team for the TH all-area team and was recognized as honorable mention all-state.
As a running back on the football team, he ran for over 1,100 yards in both his junior and senior seasons. He was named first-team all-district in both his junior and senior seasons and he still holds the school record for career rushing yards.
Rauen attended North Iowa Area Community College where he lettered a member of the baseball team before finishing his degree in transportation and logistics from Iowa State University. He works as a sales and logistics manager at Simon’s Trucking and lives in Owatonna, Minn., with his wife, Becky, and their two children Aiden and Bennett.
Niki (Maahs) Perrenoud
Perrenoud was a two-year starter for the Bobcats in both basketball and volleyball. As a basketball player, she was the second-leading scorer of the 1990 basketball conference championship team. She earned second-team all-conference her junior year and first-team all-conference her senior year. Perrenoud was also second-team TH all-area, honorable mention all-state and was selected to the Iowa all-star team representing the East Team.
On the volleyball court, Perrenoud was named all-conference in her junior and senior seasons. She helped lead the way to two volleyball conference titles. She is currently a project manager at Change Health in Dubuque. She and her husband, Steve, live in Farley. They have two sons, Cole and Casey.
Ramler was a three-sport athlete who still holds numerous baseball records. He was a three-time state qualifier in the shot put and discus, highlighted by runner-up finishes in both at the 2008 State Meet. In football, Ramler was an all-state defensive end as a senior. On the baseball diamond, he was a two-time first-team all-state selection. In his sophomore year, Ramler was a starter for the State running team. Ramler his 20 home runs and had 73 RBI’s as a junior (which are still school records to date.) His senior season consisted of 17 home runs, and he was selected to the IHSBCA All-Star Game. In college, Ramler was an all-region player at Maplewoods Community College, and an all-conference selection at Missouri Western State University. Ramler currently works for Ramler Construction.
Amber (Pitz) Gravel
Gravel collected 13 varsity letters during her time as a Bobcat in volleyball, basketball and track. On the basketball court, Gravel was named first-team all-conference as a senior, and second-team as a junior. In track, she was a four-year state qualifier. Gravel placed sixth in the ‘800’ as a freshman and seventh as a junior. Her senior year, she led the 4x800 relay to an eighth-place finish. On the volleyball court, Gravel was a member of the 2006 state tournament team and was named first-team all-conference and second-team all-district as a senior. Gravel went to Kirkwood Community College, where she played volleyball both years. She was named an all-conference and an all-region player while helping her Kirkwood team to an eighth-place national finish. She is now a second-grade teacher at Cascade Elementary and Coach at Cascade High School.
Gotto was a standout wrestler and cross-country runner during his time at Western Dubuque. He was a three-year cross-country letter winner, highlighted by qualifying for the State Meet in 2008, helping his team finish fifth. In wrestling, Gotto was a three-time state qualifier, placing third in 2010 and seventh in 2008. He finished his high school career with a 165-21 record including 87 pins. Gotto went on to Coe College where he was a four-year letter winner and two-time All-American. This also included a runner-up finish in 2013. Gotto is currently in his sixth year as an Assistant Wrestling Coach at Coe College.