A couple of years ago, Calamus-Wheatland Activities Director Michael Bruns attended a Central DeWitt High School football game and became inspired. 

It just so happened to be the school’s homecoming football game, and past players, coaches, students and staff packed the stands.

Many of them were there to be honored at Central DeWitt’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony, and Bruns was intrigued.

“I thought it was a really cool idea,” he related. “I thought it was neat getting all of those players, coaches and staff members back to DeWitt to recognize their greatness.”

The idea of doing the same for Calamus-Wheatland graduates, staff and other indiviuals associated with the school — past and present — was one Bruns immediately decided to pursue.

It was then-Central DeWitt Activities Director Kurt Kreiter who provided Bruns with information to get the Hall of Fame project underway.

“I used bits and pieces from other schools as well,” Bruns said.

The COVID-19 pandemic put a wrinkle on Bruns’ plans, but now he has established a selection committee and in the winter of 2022 — pending no other unforeseen interruptions — the inaugural class of nominees officially will be inducted into Calamus-Wheatland’s Hall of Fame.

Bruns said the hall of fame was established to “create a lasting tribute to those who have brought honor to themselves, their school and our communities.”

As for the purpose it serves, he noted, that is three-fold: to honor those Warriors who have accomplished extraordinary feats in extra-curricular activities; to honor those who have made great contributions to Calamus-Wheatland High School activities over a period of many years; and to honor those Calamus-Wheatland High School graduates who have distinguished themselves in life after high school.

The selection committee currently is comprised of Lonnie Luepker, Calamus-Wheatland superintendent as a non-voting member; Calamus-Wheatland High School Principal Sue O’Donnell; Calamus-Wheatland School Board member Tyler Davisson; Calamus-Wheatland High School staff members Glenn Drowns and Dawn Gannon; The Observer’s sports editor Ross Eberhart; Calamus-Wheatland Athletic Booster Club members Amy Boeckmann and Terri Wiese; Calamus-Wheatland Education Foundation member Sharyl Banowetz; and two, at-large community members, Leo Dieckmann, of Calamus, and Scott Mente, of Wheatland.

In the future, the committee also will include two past Hall of Fame inductees.

Committee members have met once, and Bruns said the deadline for nominations will be Aug. 1.

The categories of membership include: “Friends of Calamus-Wheatland High School,” “Coaches/Sponsors,” “Teams/Groups,” “Individuals” and “Distinguished graduates.”

Bruns said he is thankful to the school board and Luepker for all their support.

“There’s been a lot of excitement,” Bruns related. “Once we have the first official class, I think that excitement will just grow. Not only will we pull in people who have been (in the Calamus-Wheatland School District) for a while, but this will give high schools students something to work toward.”

Luepker said he is excited to see the Calamus-Wheatland Hall of Fame come to fruition, and is impressed with Bruns’ determination to make it happen.

“Michael has put a lot of thought, effort and hard work into this project,” Luepker related. “It will be a great addition to our district and communities, and I appreciate all of his efforts. We are looking forward to inducting the inaugural class.”   

For anyone who has questions or would like to nominate someone for the Calamus-Wheatland Hall of Fame, contact Bruns by calling (563) 613-1212, or via email at michaelbruns@cal-wheat.net.