There he was, front and center in the photograph, holding the championship trophy. My Dad, David D. Hanneman and his 8th grade Mauston teammates had just won the 12-team basketball tournament held at Wonewoc in the spring of 1947. It was no small feat, considering the competition from Camp Douglas, Cazenovia, Elroy, Kendall, Lavalle, Necedah, New Lisbon, Ontario, Reedsburg, Union Center and Wonewoc.
The championship team photo includes, rear, left to right: Coach Bob Erickson, Bill Cowan, Morris Murray, Bernard Pelton, Gaylord Nichols, Tom Rowe and Coach Doug McKenzie. Front row, left to right includes: Harold Webster, Bob Firlus, David Hanneman, Bob Beck, Bob Randall and Whitey Post. Although the photo does not show jersey numbers, Dave wore No. 1 that day.
Occasionally prints of this photo will appear on eBay, erroneously listing the team as from Wonewoc. That is understandable given how the photo was hand labeled, but to be clear, the winners were from Mauston.
The 1947 football campaign was destined to be one for the ages at Mauston High School. The photo gallery below could be from that championship season, based on the youthful appearance of my Dad, David D. Hanneman (1933-2007). Dad was a starter for the Mauston Bluegold, even in his freshman year.
Dad played guard and tackle throughout his high school football career. But as is the case on small-town football teams, boys play both offense and defense. Many of the players would switch positions, depending on the opponent and game conditions.
Mauston ran up a 7-1 record in the 1947 football campaign, gaining them a share of the West Central Conference championship crown. Mauston was 3-1 in conference play. Midway through the season, Mauston ranked as one of the state’s highest-scoring teams. Here’s the 1947 season recap:
Sept. 12 Mauston 12, Reesdburg 0
Sept. 19 Mauston 25, Middleton 6
Sept. 26, Mauston 20, New Lisbon 12
Oct. 3, Mauston 13, Tomah 0
Oct. 10, Mauston 45, Westby 6
Oct. 17 Sparta 14, Mauston 7
Oct. 24 Mauston 37, New Lisbon 0
Nov. 1 Mauston 13, Viroqua 0
Bob “Jigger” Jagoe, who played quarterback for Mauston starting in the 1948 season, recalls how Dave’s mother, Ruby V. Hanneman, was zealous in her cheering.
You could hear her in the stands, shouting. She was so proud. Of course we used to kind of make a mockery of it, because she was so adamant, letting everybody know who her son was out there who made the tackle. They announced, ‘Tackle made by Dave Hanneman’ and she said, ‘That’s my Davey!’
In the 1950s, home football games were played at Veterans Memorial Park on the south end of Mauston. This locale looks much closer to downtown, so I’m betting these 1940s games were played in Riverside Park along the Lemonweir River. In several of the photos you can see the distant spire of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church.
— This post has been updated with quotes and other information.