Back in their day


from 1981 yearbook

Mr. Ruffing in action as a student athlete back in the day.

Elder has always taken great pride in athletics. Playing a sport at Elder is a real commitment, but it challenges you for the better.

As you know, many of our faculty went to Elder and participated in a sport. The quote “Elder was built by those before you” still rings true.

I got a chance to reminisce with some of the faculty about their playing days here at Elder.
I started with none other than the very intimidating Mr. Ruffing, class of 81. We all know him for wrestling but did you know that Mr. Ruffing played football freshman year as a fullback and defensive back?

Mr. Ruffing says one of his biggest regrets is quitting football. Although he started freshman football, Ruffing really shined in wrestling. Some of his achievements include two time GCL sectional champ as well as a six place finish in state senior year. He was also senior captain and a recipient of the Mr. Zip award here at Elder.

“My greatest accomplishment was having a date after every match.”

I asked Ruffing about the things he gained from his athletic experience at Elder. “The biggest are the relationships I gained,” said Ruffing.

Along with making many friends he also bonded with varsity wrestling coach Dave Dabbelt. He learned about having commitment. He gained discipline by going to daily practice and maintaining his weight. It’s safe to say wrestling was a positive experience for Mr. Ruffing.

My greatest accomplishment was having a date after every match.

— Mr. Ruffing

The next lucky man fortunate enough to get an interview with me was Mr. Schroer, class of ’94. He played cornerback on the football team but more significantly was a member of the ’93 state champion basketball team as a junior.

“I was basically the 12th man” is a humble way of him saying he made the team better every day in practice. He got the respect he deserved senior year when he was voted co-captain. He says he gained many positives from his sports experience here.

One point he emphasizes is that you “learn how to give yourself up for the good of the team.” He was also taught discipline by learning to juggle having a job, social life, his faith, and academics. It’s safe to say that Mr. Schroer left his mark on Elder basketball and it sounds like the sport left it’s impressions on him.
The final man I spoke with was Mr. Currin, class of 04. Mr. Currin was a starting DB on both state championship football teams. He was also a GCL placing wrestler freshman and sophomore year. Sadly his track career did quite turn out the way he wanted so he quit after the freshman season.

Some of his football accomplishments include four time GCL champions, 2nd team GCL senior year, and honorable mention All-City senior year. When asked about what he gained from Elder football Mr. Currin’s main points were handwork and responsibility.

“It taught me how to work well with others.” The final takeaway from his sports career is that most of his close friends now are from that football team.
All three teachers stated that playing a sport here made taught them lifelong lessons and gave them lifelong friends. You can’t say that about every activity here at Elder. Sports just take a level of dedication and will that most other activities don’t have.

These teachers built the foundation for the way our sports are being played now and we should all thank them for that. You could maybe even ask for an autograph or two.