2023 Inductees For Saint Mary’s Athletics Hall Of Fame Announced

Storm Lake St. Mary’s High School is proud to announce the 2023 Athletic Hall of Fame inductees on Friday, January 13th. The induction ceremony will take place between the varsity girls’ and varsity boys’ Homecoming games vs. East Sac County.

St. Mary’s Athletic Hall of Fame was established to select and honor its teams, players, coaches, administrators, and community members at any level who, by their demonstrated excellence on or off the field, have contributed to the growth or success of the athletic program at St. Mary’s.

St. ary’s is proud to recognize this year’s inductees: Dan Johnston, class of ’71, Beth Loats, class of ’84, and the 2007 Girls Basketball Team.

Dan Johnston – Class of 1971

Dan was one of St. Mary’s most elite basketball players in the school’s history. For nearly 43 years, he was the #2 career scorer with 1,252 career points and currently is #5 on the all-time scoring list. Remarkably, many of his points came from long-range jumpers before the 3-point line existed, so he clearly would have scored many more points had he played in a later era. Johnston scored 30+ points in 8 games over his career, which is third most in school history behind only fellow Hall of Famers Jim Mech and Ben McCollum.

Dan was also a 3-year letter winner in baseball and was the team’s second-leading hitter his junior year with a .314 average. During his senior year, he was also the school’s top golfer. Dan went on to play basketball as a promising first-year student at Briar Cliff College before being drafted into the United States Army.

Dan currently resides in Marble Falls, Texas.

Beth Loats – Class of 1984

Beth was a four-sport athlete at St. Mary’s High School, where she collected several Varsity letters in basketball, track, softball, and volleyball. Not only did Beth play four sports, but she excelled in all of them. As a freshman, she helped guide her sprint medley relay team to a state track championship in 1981.

As a sophomore Beth began to excel in softball, earning 1st Team All-Conference, 1st Team All-Northwest Iowa in 1A, 3rd Team All-State in 1A, and Special Mention All-Class All-State. By junior year, Loats was a standout in volleyball, basketball, track, and softball. That year she was 1st Team All-Conference and Honorable Mention All-State in volleyball. She averaged 16.5 points per game in basketball to garner Special Mention All-Conference and All-CYO Tournament Team honors. In softball Beth hit .446 as a junior, once again earning 1st Team All-Conference, 1st Team All-Northwest Iowa, 3rd Team All-State, and Special Mention All-Class All-State.

In her Senior year, Beth made the 1st team All-Quad County Conference team and All-State Special Mention in Volleyball and 2nd team All-Quad County Conference and 2nd team All-Area in Basketball after averaging 22.3 points per game. In softball that year, Loats hit .432 with 42 RBIs and 10 home runs to earn 1st team All-Quad County Conference, 1st team All-Area, 1st team All-Northwest Iowa, 2nd team Class 1A All-State, and 3rd team All-Class All-State.

After high school, Beth attended Briar Cliff College, where she played volleyball for two years and started as their softball catcher. She received 1st team All-Conference and 1st team NAIA All-District honors in softball her junior year after batting .342.

Beth currently lives in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

St. Mary’s Girls Basketball Team – 2007

The 2006-2007 girls’ basketball team was one of the most successful girls’ basketball teams in school history. Surprisingly, the team started the season 1-3 before going on their historic run. They eventually won 15 games in a row and 19 of their last 21 to compile a final record of 20-5, which at the time was a school record for most wins in a season that stood until last year. The team climbed into the Class 1A state rankings at #13 that year as well.

Stifling defense was a trademark of the squad as they held opponents to an average of only 40.2 points per game. In 11 of their 25 games, they held opponents to less than 40 points and held 5 opponents to 30 points or less. Opposing teams only shot 34% from the field overall and a paltry 25.3% from 3-point range.

This group is still the only St. Mary’s girls’ basketball team to be crowned conference champions as they won the Northwest Conference with a 12-2 record. Earlier in the season, the team won their third straight CYO Tournament Championship by defeating LeMars Gehlen. In the postseason the success continued as the team defeated Laurens-Marathon, Newell-Fonda, and Rockwell City-Lytton to become District Champions. The team finished their amazing run in the Regional Semifinals with a 6-point loss to the eventual state champion Graettinger-Terril.

Team members include Abby (Richardson) Jacobsen, Janie (Imming) Cornelius, Jessica (Lussman) Bettin, Emily Lenhart, Rebecca (Lenhart) Martin, Rylee (Paterson) May, Molly (Larsen) Hippen, Robyn Bredvick, Jennifer Dimig, Jenny (Welch) Darnell, and Katie Wilson.