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Assumption High School

Assumption High School Newsletter

June 21, 2013 | Volume 1, Issue 2

Dear Assumption Community,

Welcome to the second edition of the Assumption High School e-newsletter. Our first newsletter was well received – thank you for your kind words and feedback.

In this latest newsletter, please enjoy reading about graduation, fine arts, athletics, and alumni updates along with a recap of April Knight. It was great seeing so many of you at this year's event. We thank you for your support of Assumption.

Please continue to send your news, feedback, and ideas. As always, we look forward to and want to hear from you!

One in the Spirit,

Jordan Gizzarelli '99
Director of Alumni Relations

Class of 2013 Graduates

Assumption's class of 2013 took their turn walking across the stage on Sunday, May 19. The 55th graduating class from Assumption consisted of 93 students, including Valedictorians Mary Kate Phillips and Hannah McAfoos.

Prior to the graduation ceremony at Assumption, the graduates participated in the annual Baccalaureate Mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral.

April Knight 2013 Among the Biggest

Record Number of Tickets Sold

April Knight 2013 drew one of the biggest crowds in its 27-year history. "A Knight of Fire & Ice" saw over 500 attendees pack the Assumption gym for AHS's annual gala auction.

A net profit of $132,000 will benefit all areas of AHS, including funding of laptops for freshmen and sophomores.

April Knight Cash Raffle ticket sales were higher than last year ($119,542), while Fund-A-Need kicked off the replacement of auditorium seating with $9,355 donated at the event.

Save-the-Date: April Knight 2014 | April 25, 2014

Fine Arts News

Knights Players Performance Draws Rave Reviews

The Assumption Knight Players performed the Broadway classic Camelot for their Spring Musical, March 14-16. The cast, which included junior Liam Baldwin as King Arthur, sophomore Kate Lemons as Queen Guenevere, and senior Sam Jones as Sir Lancelot, was widely complimented for their outstanding performance, while the crew was lauded for their work on the set and costumes.

Debate Team Earns High Marks at National Tournament

The Assumption Debate Team performed very well at the Novice National Championship Tournament in Iowa City. Of the 44 Public Forum debaters, junior Megan Grabow won the Fourth Best Speaker Award, while sophomore Matt Tjaden finished 7th overall.

The team of sophomores Gillian Straub and Jacob Phillips defeated the top-ranked team from Lake Highland Prep of Florida in the quarterfinals, but ended up losing to Des Moines Roosevelt on a split 2-1 decision in the semifinals.

Musicians Achieve High Ratings

Assumption had several instrumentalists perform at the IHSMA State Solo/Ensemble Festival in March. All of Assumption's instrumental participants received either a Division I (Superior) or Division II (Excellent) rating. Division I performers included sophomore Mary Kate Hines (clarinet), junior Carolina Roa (flute), and freshman Maddy Kroeger (trumpet).

Juniors Alyssa DeLoach and Laura Blaser participated in the Wartburg College Trumpet Festival in March where they had the opportunity to work with the nationally renowned Kentucky Baroque Trumpets (recently featured in the movie Lincoln) – performing with them and even getting to play their authentic Baroque instruments. They performed with a massed trumpet choir on their final concert along with the Kentucky Baroque Trumpets and the Wartburg College Trumpet Choir.

Athletic News

Three Teams Three-Peat!!!

Assumption's athletic programs reached new heights in 2013 as four teams won state titles, including three-peats in girls basketball, wrestling, and girls soccer. The girls track team won the first state track and field title in school history, and Assumption crowned state champions in both singles and doubles at the state tennis meets.

The Assumption girls soccer team was the latest team to three-peat when it defeated Sioux City Heelan 2-0 in the Iowa Class 1A State Championship on June 8 in Des Moines. Under the direction of head coach Rob Eckert, the Lady Knights completed a 19-1 season that included a 51-game winning streak over the past three years.

Junior standout Rose Ripslinger was named the Iowa Gatorade Player of the Year for the third straight year, in addition to being named First Team All State and captain of the All-Tournament Team. Four players – Ripslinger, Danielle Moore, Maddie Irmen and Sydney Lunardi – were named First Team All State, while Ripslinger, Moore, Irmen, and Riley Behan were also named to the All-Tournament Team.

Wrestling and Girls Basketball Teams Three-Peat at State

Assumption's wrestling and girls basketball teams completed their respective quests for a third consecutive state title back in mid-February.

Head Coach Pete Bush '79 and the wrestling team started things off with an exhilarating 30-29 come-from-behind win over top-rated West Delaware to claim their third straight Class 2A state team dual title. For Assumption, the win is the seventh dual title in school history, setting a new State of Iowa record.

The wrestling team attended the Wednesday, March 27, Davenport City Council meeting and received proclamations and recognition from Mayor Bill Gluba ‘60 for winning the state title.

The girls basketball team followed wrestling's lead by winning their third straight Class 3A state title with a convincing 62-40 victory over Estherville-Lincoln Central in the state championship game. The Lady Knights breezed through the State Tournament with an average margin of victory of 35 points.

Seniors Danielle Moore and Hailey Schneden were named 1st Team All-State Class 3A by the Iowa Girls' Coaches Association, while senior Kate Fennelly was named a 3rd Team All-State player. Head Coach Mallory Youngblut '06 was named the IGCA 2013 3A Coach of the Year.

Girls Track and Field Captures State Title

Assumption's girls track and field team accomplished a goal they have been chasing for the past three years - the program's first state title.

After finishing second in the past two state meets, Head Coach Tim O'Neill's (1996 AHS graduate) Lady Knights won Assumption's first track and field state title in convincing fashion as they outscored runner-up Solon by 20 points.

Rose Ripslinger won the 100 meter dash and Assumption had winning relay teams in the 4 x 100 and 4 x 200. The Lady Knights also had place-winners in the 100, 200, and 400 meter races, along with the 4 x 400 and 4 x 800 relays. Barring any unforeseen departures, the entire roster will return next season to chase a second consecutive state title.

Tennis Crowns Champs, Boys Basketball Fourth at State

The Assumption girls tennis team advanced all the way to the semifinals of the state tournament for the first time in school history, before falling to eventual state champion Waterloo Columbus. However, the Lady Knights rebounded for a 5-3 win over Dubuque Wahlert in the Consolation Finals to earn a third place finish at the 1A State Tournament.

Along the way, junior Haley Resnick became Assumption's first singles champion in school history when she defeated Carolyn Ahlers of LeMars 1-6, 6-3, 6-2.

On the boys' side, Assumption's Stephen Nicknish and Jimmy Huiskamp captured the state 1A doubles title and became the first pair of Assumption players to win a state doubles title since Bill Bush '82 and Mark Julien '82 did so back in 1980.

The boys basketball team earned a fourth place finish at the 2013 Iowa Class 3A State Tournament. Head Coach Joe Barrer '99 and the Knights fell in the semifinals by a score of 36-32 to the eventual state champion Waverly-Shell Rock.

Senior Billy Daniel was voted to the All-Tournament Team for his efforts, and was named 1st Team All State by the Des Moines Register and the Iowa Newspaper Association. Daniel was also voted the MAC Player of the Year for the second consecutive season, while senior Matt Vonderhaar was named 3rd Team All State by the Des Moines Register.

Girls Soccer 51-game Winning Streak Among All-Time Best

The Lady Knights soccer team compiled a 51-game winning streak over the past three years – a mark that ranks as the 8th-longest winning streak in U.S. high school girls soccer history. Below is a look at the 10 longest winning streaks:

119 St. Thomas Aquinas FL 1994-98
86 Hudsonville Unity Christian MI 2005-08
83 Franklin TN 1982-87
64 Northfield VT 1996-99
62 Manchester West NH 1989-93
61 Omaha Duchesne Academy AK 1991-94
55 St. Charles East IL 2000-01
51 Assumption IA 2010-13
47 Greer Riverside SC 1991-93
46 Severna Park MD 1988-91
46 Agoura CA 1987-90

Alumni Notes


• John Curta ‘88 achieved his 300th career victory as varsity boys basketball coach at Medina Valley High School, located just outside San Antonio, TX.

• Jennifer Curta ’93 Leptien received her Doctorate Degree in Human Development and Family Studies in June 2012 from Iowa State University.

• Ragan Duax ’11 of Grand View University won the 2013 Midwest Collegiate Conference Indoor Track title in the 400 meter dash and was also part of the winning 1,600 relay, second in the 200 and fifth in the 55.

• Landon Williams ’10, wrestling for Wartburg College, finished fourth at 165 lbs. at the 2013 NCAA Division III Wrestling National Championships.

• Abbey Strajack ’11, a sophomore second baseman at Central College, was named the Iowa Conference’s softball position player of the week for the week ending Sunday, March 17, 2013.

• Matt Fitzpatrick ’99 was named assistant women’s basketball coach at the University of Alabama-Birmingham.

• Mallory Youngblut '06 was named assistant women’s basketball coach at the University of North Dakota.

• John Campagna '99 was promoted to the rank of Major in the United States Army and will lead a clinic for adolescent medicine at Fort Bragg in North Carolina.

Marriages & Engagements

• Casey White ’08 is engaged to Matt Kane ’08. The couple is planning to be married in September at Saint Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in Davenport.

• Amanda Skahill ’05 is engaged to Greg Ploeger. The couple will be married in June at Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church in Davenport.

• Angie Ruiz ‘06 and Trace Ball were married June 20 at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Bettendorf.

• Christine Wallace ’06 is engaged to Michael Dittmer. The couple will be married in July at Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church in Davenport.

• Bill Schwind ’97 is engaged to Erin McCloskey.

• Mallory Youngblut '06 is engaged to Nick Bernhard '03.

• Ashley Klaas ’07 is engaged to Paul Myers. The couple is planning a June wedding at Tanglewood Hills Chapel in Bettendorf.

• Meghan Connors ’07 is engaged to Kyle Helm. The couple will be married in August at Christ the King Chapel at St. Ambrose University.

• Emily Carlin ’05 and Alex Hahn were married May 25, 2013, at St. Paul the Apostle Church in Davenport.

In Memory

• Mike Hansen '63 passed away October 12, 2011.

• Patricia Ann Fennelly '59 passed away on December 20, 2012.

• Rita Braden '60 Logas passed away on January 25, 2013.

• Michael Murphy '68 passed away on February 15, 2013

• David J. Hall '80 passed away on February 26, 2013

• Barbara Wardlow '67 Bendle passed away on March 1, 2013

• Sharon Kurtenbach '61 Wagner passed away on March 10, 2013

• Charlotte Pohlman '38 Thompson passed away on March 23, 2013.

• Rosemary Rita Dolan '44 Crook passed away on April 23, 2013

If there is news that you would like to see appear in the next newsletter, please email us at:

Upcoming 2013 Reunions

Class of 1968: Oct. 11 at The Hotel Blackhawk
Contact: Katie Blunk Tritt (

Class of 1973: Sept. 12-14
Contact: Jim Martens (
                 Phone: 970-586-5383
1973 Facebook page:

Class of 1978: July 27 at Jersey Grille
Contact: Jim Martens (
                 Phone: 563-726-7028

Class of 1983: June 28-29
Contact: Mike O'Donnell (

Class of 1988: July 5-6
Contact: Dennis Sekharan (
                 Phone: 563-343-8787
Contact: Steve Schneider
                 Phone: 563-320-9678
1988 Facebook page:

Class of 1993: Dates TBA
Contact: Planner(s) Needed

Class of 1998: Dates TBA
Contact: Planner(s) Needed

Class of 2003: Oct. 19
Contact: Nick Haut (

Class of 2008: July 27 at Jersey Grille
Contact: Kathleen Loftus (
Contact: Adam Arnett (

If you are interested in planning for your class reunion, or know of someone else who might be, please contact Jordan Gizzarelli at 563-326-5313 x 242 for more information.

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Assumption High School · 1020 W Central Park Ave · Davenport, IA 52804 · USA