Pacelli’s Athletic Hall of Fame grew by six over the weekend with the induction of three athletes and three special contributors. This year’s athletic inductees were Stephanie Fischer ’04, Dave Kurzynski ’88, and Elizabeth “Beth” (Boden) Nemec ’04, joined by special contributors George Check ’65 and Dennis and Patricia Elsenrath.
Despite the extreme heat, Kurzynski, Check, and the Elsenraths participated in the Pacelli homecoming parade on Friday followed by a tailgate party held in their honor in the Pacelli parking lot. Later that evening, all six inductees attended the homecoming football game where they were recognized and introduced to the crowd and presented with a piece of Pacelli spirit wear and a lifetime all-sports pass.
The formal induction banquet took place on Saturday, September 23 at the new Must at Sentry where our inductees were presented with a plaque. A duplicate plaque will join those already displayed in the lobby of the Student Activities Center at Pacelli High School, where it will be permanently displayed along with those of our past Hall of Fame inductees.
Notable accomplishments of each inductee appear below.
Stephanie Fischer graduated from Pacelli High School in 2004. For her work on the basketball court, she received the honors of Honorable Mention All-Conference in 2002, 2nd Team All-Conference in 2003, and 1st Team All-Conference in 2004. Stephanie was a member of 2 Regional Champion Teams both in 2003 and 2004. But where she really shined was on the softball field. In her 4 years, Stephanie and team were 3-Time Conference Champs, 3-Time Regional Champs, 2-Time Sectional Champs, and the 2003 State Champs. Individually, Stephanie received Honorable Mention All-State in 2002, 1st Team All-State in 2003, and both 1st Team All-Conference and Conference Player of the Year in 2004.
She went on to play NCAA Division 1 softball at Tennessee Technological University (TTU) with Pacelli teammate Elizabeth (Boden) Nemec from 2005 to 2008. Stephanie led all NCAA Division I softball in two statistical categories in 2008, home runs (27) and slugging percentage (1.019). Stephanie also set the TTU record for batting average, hitting .457 in 2008. Stephanie received the Second Team All American honor from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association in 2008. Stephanie graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting in 2008 and played for the Rockford Thunder, a National Pro Fastpitch team, for one summer before moving to Milwaukee to attend Marquette University.
Dave graduated as the Class Valedictorian from Pacelli High School in 1988. That year he also received the Scholar/Athlete Award and the John Jelich Memorial Award, and was quite the student athlete throughout his Pacelli Career. He was a 3-year letter winner in football, earning Honorable Mention All-Conference – Linebacker in 1987 and was a member of the 1986 State Championship team. Dave was also a 4-year letter winner in wrestling. He was a 1987 WISAA State Champion, 1988 WISAA State Runner-Up, 1986 WISAA State 3rd Place Finisher, and, with a senior record of 30-4-1, was named the 1988 Team MVP. Dave was a 2-time Regional Champion and was named 2-times to the 1st Team Academic All-State in both ’87 and ’88.
Elizabeth (Boden) Nemec graduated from Pacelli High School in 2004. Beth was a multi-sport athlete, earning 4 letters in cross country, 2 in basketball, and 4 in softball. She was also a member of 2 Regional Champion Teams both in 2003 and 2004, along with teammate and fellow Hall of Fame inductee Stephanie Fischer. And much like Stephanie, the softball field is where she made her mark. Beth and team were 3-Time Conference Champs, 3-Time Regional Champs, 2-Time Sectional Champs, and the 2003 State Champs. Individually, Beth received Honorable Mention All-State in 2002, 2nd
Team All-State in ’03, and was team caption in ’04. Beth was also named 3-times to both the 1st Team All-Conference and 1st Team All-District in ’02, ’03, and ’04.
She played NCAA Division 1 softball at Tennessee Technological University (TTU) with Pacelli teammate Stephanie Fischer from 2005 to 2008. Beth’s accomplishments and awards while at TTU on the softball field and off are numerous:
- Freshman of the Year
- 4-Time Athletic Directors Honor Role—’05, ‘06, ‘07, ‘08
- 4-Time Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) Commissioners Honor Role—’05, ‘06, ‘07, ‘08
- 1st Team All-Conference—’06, ‘07, ‘08
- Coaches Award ‘06
- TTU President’s Award—’06, ‘07
- CoSIDA Academic All-District—’06, ‘07, ‘08
- CoSIDA Academic All-American—’07, ‘08
- OVC Player of the Year ‘07
- NFCA All-Region ‘07
- Best Offensive Player ‘07
- Most Improved Player ‘07
Beth also set records for at bats (834), runs scored (191), total bases (481), and home runs (51) along with many other impressive stats. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering and a Masters in Civil Engineering.
Beth was drafted and played 1 year with the Rockford Thunder in the National Pro Fastpitch League. Beth coached Pacelli girls basketball during the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 seasons, as well as softball from 2011-2015 including numerous conference, regional, and sectional championships, and 2 state championship teams in both 2012 and 2015.
George graduated from Pacelli High School in 1965. He played basketball for 2 years and competed in track and field for 3 years, where he set the high jump record his senior year by beating the previous record by 2 inches.
George went on to attend the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP) where he was a 4-year letter winner in track and field where he held the triple jump record all 4 years. In his senior year, George was team captain, MVP, and participated in the national track and field meet.
A photographer by hobby and passion, it was during the 1996-1997 school year that George began taking pictures at various Pacelli sporting events. In 2001, he received the Athletic Director’s Award for providing pictures for the bulletin board. To this day, he continues his passion for capturing Pacelli’s athletic events on camera. Since 2008, he has accumulated over 163 CDs with a total of nearly 23,000 photos in which he prints, provides a disc to the PCS office, posts pictures to the bulletin board, and even provides pictures to some of the athletes’ parents. Of his work, George says, “this ‘hobby’ has allowed me to meet many wonderful parents, athletes, and coaches of PCS.” You can see a couple of his recent snapshots in your program.
George has also volunteered as a track and field coach for 5 years at St. Peter Middle School, now Pacelli Catholic Middle School, and donated the former Pacelli track and field record board. He has been a member of the Big Red Club since its inception, which generates funds to help fulfill athletic needs.
Over the past several years, Dennis & Patricia’s involvement with the Big Red Club kept them active in working up plans for a new fitness center at Pacelli High School. They were instrumental in the planning, soliciting of funds/grants, and the execution of bringing the former weight room to the beautiful new fitness center that it is today. The center, now known as the Berard-Klasinski Clinic Fitness Center was dedicated in memory of Coach Bob Raczek, and is a big component of physical education and athletics at Pacelli. The Big Red Club, of which Dennis currently serves as vice president, raised enough funds to support a fitness center coordinator responsible for developing programming for students and staff, and plans are underway to open the fitness center to all Pacelli Catholic Schools family members to further promote a culture of health and wellness.
“Dennis and I always sought involvement in athletic associations at all levels because we value highly what team membership teaches young adults,” said Patricia.