HARTINGTON – Cedar Catholic High School in Hartington holds a special place in Bob and JoAnn Wiebelhaus’ hearts.
The Fordyce couple’s dedication to the school has been honored with the 2022 Outstanding Service Award from the Nebraska State Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association.
Bob and JoAnn will be recognized along with other NSIAAA award recipients during the organization’s spring banquet on Sunday, March 6, at the Wilderness Ridge Country Club in Lincoln.
Cedar Catholic athletic director Chad Cattau nominated the couple for the award.
“It’s an unexpected honor,” Bob, 53, said during a recent interview in Hartington.
JoAnn, 52, expressed pride in the fact that she and Bob have received the award.
“It’s nice to be recognized for something that we’ve been doing for a while,” she said.
The couple have been honored for volunteering their time and taking on various responsibilities for several years to help out Cedar Catholic athletics.
Bob, a 1986 graduate of the school, has handled driving Cedar Catholic students to athletic events and other activities in a school bus for the past 15 years.
He also started keeping the basketball scorebooks for the school’s road games in 2007.
JoAnn began helping out Bob in 2010 with keeping the basketball scorebooks for Cedar Catholic home games.
Since 2013, JoAnn usually has handled the basketball scorebook for the girls’ contests while Bob has kept track of the game clock and then they switch duties for the boys’ contests.
“He does a better book and I do a better clock,” JoAnn said, laughing. “That’s true.”
When it comes to keeping scorebooks for basketball games, the couple mainly have to keep track of the point totals, timeouts and fouls.
In addition to that information, Bob records extra statistics for Cedar Catholic coaches.
“I keep track of the turnovers and free throws and give them a halftime report so they can kind of see how it’s going,” he said.
By keeping scorebooks and running the game clock for Cedar Catholic basketball, the couple have a good view of the action on the court.
“It is the best seats in the house because you’re almost involved in the game,” Bob said. “It’s fun.”
JoAnn also has been keeping the volleyball scorebook for Cedar Catholic home games for the past three years.
In addition, Bob has been running the game clock for the Trojans’ home football contests since 2020.
“Every school can’t survive without volunteers, especially parochial schools,” Bob said. “It’s our way to help out and it also keeps us in touch with the kids – whose kids are whose and who’s playing.”
All five of Bob and JoAnn’s children have attended Cedar Catholic. Their youngest, 17-yearold Jenna, will graduate in May of this year.
The couple’s other four kids are 31-year-old Jaclyn, 28-yearold Joslyn, 26-year-old Jared and 23-year-old Brandy.
JoAnn recalled the joy she and Bob experienced during the years when Cedar Catholic qualified for the state tournament in boys or girls basketball and one of their children was on the team at the time.
“It’s just fun to be involved,” she said. “We watched all five of our kids go through sports and it’s just fun to be a part of that atmosphere.”
JoAnn said she feels like she is a part of the team when she helps keep book for Cedar Catholic basketball and volleyball games.
“The reason I was also drafted to do it is so I wouldn’t yell at my children while they were playing in sports and to keep my mouth closed,” she said.
With Bob and JoAnn k e e p i n g scorebooks for Cedar Catholic basketball – and JoAnn for volleyball – they help take pressure off the school’s c o a c h e s and faculty members.
“They know that Bob and JoAnn are there,” JoAnn said. “We’ve been called the ‘A Team.’
For about the past four years, the couple have had to wear black-and-white striped referee shirts when they are keeping scorebooks for Cedar Catholic home games because that designates them as the official scorekeepers for those contests.
“You have to wear that shirt, so they know who they’re talking to when they report a foul,” Bob said of the officials. “There’s a little pressure involved to be accurate.”
Speaking of officials, Bob and JoAnn have a good rapport with many of the referees who handle the officiating of Cedar Catholic games.
“They know who we are,” JoAnn said. “We know them really well, too. That’s what’s kind of fun about it, too – we know a lot of the refs. And we know them by their first name – some of them.”
Outside of volunteering their time to help out Cedar Catholic, Bob works for the Nebraska Department of Transportation as a District 3 project manager while JoAnn is an advertising sales representative for the Cedar County News.
Working and helping out Cedar Catholic keeps them busy, and they plan to continue volunteering their time for the school even after their youngest child graduates this year.
The couple have two nephews – Breiton Whitmire and Sam Wiebelhaus – who will be freshmen at Cedar Catholic starting this fall.
“We definitely want to follow them,” JoAnn said. “We’ll hang out there and get to watch them play.”
As for the 2022 Outstanding Service Award from the NSIAAA, she reiterated she and Bob appreciate being recognized for their dedication to helping out Cedar Catholic.
“It’s just kind of fun also to work with Bob because we’ve been doing this for a long time,” JoAnn said. “We talk to each other, and we communicate very well. People know that when they see us that it’s going to be a good-run game.”
Bob and JoAnn are planning to attend the Nebraska State Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association’s spring banquet on Sunday.
The couple, will be joined by their daughter Brandy, for the awards ceremony. “It’s kind of exciting,” JoAnn said. “I’m looking forward to it. It’ll be fun.”
The awards presentation will begin at noon during the luncheon, which is open to the public. Tickets to the event cost $25 per person.
For people who are interested in attending, they need to contact Marc Mroczek, the athletic director at Gothenburg High School, at 308-537-3651 or marc.mroczek@ goswedes.org to purchase tickets.