Kramer--Dirkx--Wordekemper To Be Inducted Into SLSM Athletic Hall Of Fame
January 13, 2022 7:09am
Storm Lake St. Mary’s High School will be inducting three new members into the Athletic Hall of Fame at the 2022 Homecoming Games vs. Manson Northwest Webster High School on Friday, January 21. The induction ceremony will be between the varsity girls’ and boys’ games.
The athletes to be honored at the ceremony include Larry Kramer, SMHS Class of ‘81, David Dirkx, SMHS Class of ’93, and Doug Wordekemper, SMHS Class of ’95. The public is welcome to attend the games and ceremony.
Larry Kramer ‘81
Larry Kramer was a three-year starter in both basketball and baseball from 1979 to 1981. Basketball was the sport where he earned the majority of his accolades. Kramer currently is 11th in school history with 1000 career points. As a senior, he led the 1980-81 Panther basketball team to a 19-5 record and one win away from the state tournament, losing to eventual state champion Paullina in the sub-state title game. He averaged 18.8 points per game as a senior for a total of 450 points on the season. As a result, he earned 1st Team All-Quad County Conference, 3rd Team All-Northwest Iowa, and Honorable Mention All-Class, All-State recognition, and 1st Team All-Area selected by the Storm Lake Pilot-Tribune.
Kramer scored 283 points as a junior, good for 20th most all-time by a junior, and earning 1st Team All-Area recognition again by the Pilot Tribune and 2nd Team All-Quad County Conference honors. He scored 260 points his 10th grade year, good for 10th most by a sophomore and earning him 2nd Team All-Quad County Conference recognition.
As a second baseman in baseball, Larry was one of the team's top hitters and helped the Panthers to excellent seasons as a junior and senior, winning sectional titles both years, as well as a district title and sub-state appearance in 1981, falling one win away from a state tournament appearance.
Larry and his wife Wendy live in Grinnell, IA. They have 3 adult children and 7 grandchildren. After working in the Information Technology field for more than 35 years, Larry retired in 2020. The couple now enjoys traveling as much as possible, golfing, and attending sporting events, especially those involving their grandchildren.
David Dirkx ‘93
Dave Dirkx participated in basketball, track, and baseball during his high school career, which lasted from 1990 through 1993. The baseball field was where Dirkx stood out. He was a 3-year starter, first earning Honorable Mention All-Big West Conference honors as a sophomore. In his junior year, Dirkx posted a .435 batting average while playing pitcher and third base defensively. He helped lead the team to a sub-state appearance and earned the following accolades: 1st Team All-Big West Conference, 2nd Team All-Northwest District for Class 1A/2A, 1st Team All-Area by the Pilot Tribune, and Honorable Mention All-State by the Iowa Newspaper Association (INA).
In his senior year, Dirkx helped lead the Panthers to a State Baseball Championship in Class 1A with a 31-4 record. He compiled a .454 batting average, with 41 RBIs, and 2 homeruns. He finished his career going 4 for 4 in the State Championship game. Dirkx was also 7-0 on the mound with a 2.32 ERA during that championship season. Individual honors for Dirkx his senior year included 1st Team All-Coon River Valley Conference, 1st Team All-Northwest District, 1st Team All-State by the Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association (IHSBCA), 2nd Team All State by the INA, Storm Lake Times All-Area Team and Player of the Year, and Pilot Tribune Elite Team. Dirkx was also selected to play in the IHSBCA Senior All-Star Series.
Baseball continued to be a major part of Dirkx’s life following graduation from the University of Northern Iowa as he began a career as a math teacher and baseball coach. During his 10 years as baseball coach at Carlisle High School, Dirkx led his team to 4 state tournament appearances, winning a state championship in 2003 with a 32-5 record. Dirkx then moved on to Waukee High School where he has racked up another 7 state tournament appearances, 9 seasons of 20+ wins, and 4 seasons of 30+ wins. He has a career coaching record of 557-239 for a .700 win percentage. Remarkably, Dirkx has participated in the state baseball tournament in all 4 classes – in 1A as a player, in 2A and 3A while coaching at Carlisle, and in 4A while coaching at Waukee.
Dave currently lives in Norwalk, IA. His daughters, Natalie and Morgan, are both students at Iowa State University. Dave teaches and coaches at Waukee High School. He has been teaching for 24 years and coaching for 26 years.
Doug Wordekemper ‘95
Doug Wordekemper was a standout basketball player during his years as a Panther from 1992 through 1995. His shooting prowess helped Wordekemper compile many impressive statistics. He currently ranks 8th in school history with 1052 career points. His 24.6 points per game scoring average his senior year is 5th highest in school history, as is his 125 career 3-pointers made. Wordekemper averaged 18.4 points per game during his junior season.
Wordekemper steadily improved each year of his high school career. He scored 174 points during his sophomore campaign, which was 23rd most by a sophomore in school history. During his next season, he poured in 386 points, good for the 8th most in school history by a junior. Finally, in his last season, Wordekemper amassed 492 points, which stands as the 11th most in a single season in school history. In addition to the scoring totals, Wordekemper pulled down 352 career rebounds.
In both his junior and senior seasons, Wordekemper earned 1st Team All-Coon River Valley Conference honors. As a senior he was named 1st Team Class 1A All-State by the Des Moines Register and the Iowa Newspaper Assocation. Wordekemper was also 2nd Team All-Northwest Iowa his senior year. Lastly, he was selected to participate in the Iowa All-Star Classic at UNI.
While basketball was his dominant sport, Wordekemper was also a key contributor on the 1993 State Baseball Championship Team as a sophomore.
Following high school, Wordekemper played one season of basketball at Buena Vista University before transferring to the University of Iowa where he graduated in 2000. Doug and his wife Jill live in Glen Ellyn, IL. They have 4 children - Bennett (17), Carson (15), Addy (13), and Tinsu (9). Doug currently works for Axis Capital Holdings and has worked there for 19 years in Chicago. Doug has enjoyed coaching baseball and basketball for all his kids. The family likes to travel and is looking forward to doing more in the near future.
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