Three notable and successful high school basketball coaches and a referee and a sports writer approaching nearly four decades of service to the sport will be inducted into the South Dakota Basketball Coaches Association’s Hall of Shrine at state high school basketball tournaments this week.
The honorees — coaches Roger Schaffer of Sioux Falls, Bill Marquardt of Salem and Lynn Frederick of Brookings, referee Lee Johnson of Wessington Springs and Watertown Public Opinion sports editor Roger Merriam — will be honored at halftime of the first semifinal games on Friday during state tournaments at Sioux Falls (Class AA boys-girls) and Aberdeen (Class B boys).
Schaffer, Marquardt and Frederick will be honored at Sioux Falls and Johnson and Merriam at Aberdeen.
Here are the biographies of the inductees:
Roger Schaffer was a three-sport participant and a 1961 graduate of Ramona High School. With the encouragement of coach Dwane Clodfelter, he enrolled at at the University of South Dakota and was a four-year member of the Coyote basketball teams.
After serving one year as a graduate assistant at USD, he began a career in education — serving in roles as a coach, athletic director and principal.
The one constant for Schaffer was the 33 years he served as a basketball coach at Elk Point (13), Yankton (6) and Marshall, Minn. (14). His basketball teams achieved a record of 450 wins and 299 losses.
During his 37 years as a head boys and girls basketball coach in South Dakota, Marquardt’s teams compiled a 535-279 record and qualified for seven state tournaments.
As a head boys basketball coach for 33 years, Marquardt’s teams from Bridgewater, Hanson and McCook Central-Montrose played in five state tournaments, including a state A championship (Hanson, 1986) and a state B runner-up finish (Hanson, 1989). Hanson won 46 consecutive games during the 1986 and 1987 seasons. His career record as a boys coach was 464-256.
After retiring from teaching at McCook Central, he became a girls basketball coach for the first time in 2014, at Mt. Vernon-Plankinton. In four years at MVP, his teams went 71-23, placing fifth (2014) and third (2015) in the state A tournament.
Marquardt taught Middle School social studies, language arts and physical education in South Dakota for 36 years. He was also a head football coach for nine years, compiling a 60-21 career record and leading Bridgewater to the 1981 state Class 9A championship. He also was a head track coach for 20 years, leading Bridgewater’s boys to a fifth-place finish in 1980 and Colman-Egan’s girls to a runner-up finish in 2006.
A graduate of Salem High School, Northern State University and South Dakota State University, Bill and his wife Laura live in Salem. They have a son Chris, a daughter Dana (and her husband Chad Bigge) and a grandson, Brooks.
Lynn A. Frederick
“The Hall of Shrine recognition allows me to publically thank the school districts of Lyman, Agar, and Brookings for giving me the opportunity to teach and coach in their respective communities. It has been a pleasure to serve and work with so many great people.
My sincere gratitude goes to all my players and their parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors that have shared the process and experiences with me in my journey. You all have made a huge difference in my life.
My greatest appreciation goes to my family: without their love, support and understanding my career would not have been possible.”
Lynn graduated from Stanley County High School in 1973 and Dakota Wesleyan University in 1977.
This tournament marks the 37th South Dakota state high school basketball tournament that Lee Johnson has officiated. He has worked 24 boys’ and 13 girls’ tournaments, officiating the state championship game in 12 of them (eight boys and four girls).
Johnson is currently working high school basketball and football games. In the past 36 years of officiating, he has also worked many college basketball and football contests.
Johnson got his start officiating basketball during the 1981-82 school year. Fellow Hall of Shrine inductee Tom Long gave him his introduction. They were refereeing partners for 18 years, officiating approximately 1,500 games together. This added up to thousands of miles in the same car, with just as many stories and memories. Tom also started Lee in football by working his first game with Tom’s crew at Dakota Wesleyan University. Lee is grateful for all the opportunities Tom opened up for him.
Johnson has had the opportunity to work with many great officials from across the state during this time and has made lifelong friends. Many thanks to them as they all played a part and have a share in this honor.
He also thanks his wife Jackie and their family — daughter Lacey (son-in-law Bobby, grandchildren Lainey and Bray), daughter Laura (son-in-law Jamie, grandchildren Eli and Cora) and son Andy (daughter-in-law Shelby and grandson Jett). It would not have been possible without their support all these years.
A 1981 Huron High School graduate, Merriam attended Huron College for two years before transferring to Sioux Falls College where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in media communications in December of 1984. He worked for the Huron Daily Plainsman while in college and is now in his 34th year as a sports writer for the Watertown Public Opinion, serving as the newspaper’s sports editor since 1999.
He has covered a wide variety of high school, youth and adult sports in northeastern South Dakota and west central Minnesota, including countless high school boys and girls basketball games.
Merriam was named the South Dakota High School Coaches Association’s Sportswriter of the Year in 2000 and the National Sports Media Association’s South Dakota Sportswriter of the Year in 2007 and 2012.
In addition, he received the SDHSCA Executive Director’s Award in 2011, Friend of Soccer Award from the South Dakota State Soccer Association in 2011 and the Friend of Football Award from the South Dakota Football Coaches Association and the Watoma Relays Outstanding Service Award in 2014.
Roger and his wife Kris have two daughters — Brittany (and her husband Justin Schwieger) of Willmar, Minn., and Quinn, a junior at Watertown High School.