Athletic Hall of Fame – 2009 Inductees
Scroll to see all biographies from this induction class.
Coach / Inducted in 2009
Roger Hanson was a very successful coach and teacher at Marion.
Roger began his coaching career at Marion High School in 1966 as an assistant for the football and wrestling programs. In 1968, he began coaching track and field as an assistant for Jerry Skilling until 1982 when he became the head track and field coach. From 1972-1986 he was the head boys’ cross country coach. Three of those years he coached both boys and girls in cross country.
Roger coached the Marion cross country team to four WaMaC Conference championships. His mile team placed first in the conference on two occasions. He guided the cross country team to three third-place state team finishes and one second-place team finish. Roger also guided the boys’ track and field team to a WaMaC championship in 1985. During his tenure, the track team beat 78% of their opponents and the cross-country team won 72% of the time.
Roger was active in, and sponsored, many other activities while at Marion. Roger retired as the principal at West Delaware High School in 2002. In 2002, he was selected as the Class 3A Iowa Administrator of the Year by the Iowa Cheerleading Coaches Association.
Community Member / Inducted in 2009
Phil Lala has contributed a tremendous amount of time and effort supporting the athletic programs at Marion High School.
Phil coached baseball for Marion youth teams for 15 years. He has been a board member and president of the Marion Indians’ Youth Baseball program. He also served many years as a board member of the US Specialty Sports Association youth baseball league.
Phil has been involved in organizing and working youth baseball and basketball tournaments for many years. He has done an outstanding job of keeping the Marion High School baseball field looking top-notch by donating countless hours as head of the grounds crew. Phil has also served as the public address announcer since 2000 for the varsity boys’ basketball and baseball games.
Community Member / MHS Class of 1977 / Inducted in 2009
Greg Van Gorp has been a strong supporter and contributor to Marion High School in many different ways.
Greg has been the director of numerous youth basketball tournaments that were sponsored by the athletic booster club or high school teams. He served as a youth coach for the Marion boys’ basketball program. He continues to help the basketball programs by keeping the scorebook and clock at numerous games.
Greg has been a strong contributor to the Marion baseball program. He has served as treasurer and secretary for Marion Indians Youth Baseball. He also was a youth coach in that program. Greg donates a great amount of time to the baseball facility by serving as a key contributor on the grounds crew for high school baseball.
In addition to his time spent serving the baseball and basketball programs, Greg has served Marion athletics in various other ways. He currently volunteers on the chain crew for freshmen and sophomore football games. He is also an active member of the Marion Athletic Booster Club. Greg was a 1977 graduate of Marion High School where he lettered in football, basketball, and track.
Athlete / MHS Class of 1981 / Inducted in 2009
Tom Benkusky participated in golf, football, and basketball while at Marion High School.
Tom received four varsity letters in golf at Marion. He placed second in the 1978 and 1979 WaMaC Conference golf tournaments. In 1979 and 1981 he was a member of teams that won WaMaC titles.
In football, Tom was a member and a team captain of the 1980 Class 3A state championship team. He was named first team All-Metro and first team All-WaMaC at linebacker. He was also selected as second-team All-State for Class 3A by the Des Moines Register and the IDPA.
Tom received three letters and was a team captain while playing basketball at Marion, and was a member of the teams that won the conference title in 1981 and district title in 1979.
After high school, Tom went to Kirkwood Community College where he played golf and received a degree in communication electronics.
Athlete / MHS Class of 1998 / Inducted in 2009
Alex Dvorsky participated in football, track, baseball, and basketball while at Marion High School.
In baseball, Alex was a five-time letter winner and named All-Metro and All-Conference for four seasons. He holds numerous offensive records in baseball at Marion High School. He was a multiple first team All-State pick, including being selected as the captain of the Class 3A Elite Team All-State.
Alex also had great success in track and football. In track, he earned All-Metro and All-Conference honors. He lettered three years and was a state qualifier in the 100-meter dash. A football quarterback, he was a two-time All-District and All-Metro selection. He lettered three years and participated in the Shrine Bowl after his senior season. He is among Marion’s all-time passing leaders with 165 completions for 2,146 yards.
After high school, Alex was first drafted in 1998 by the Houston Astros. He played baseball collegiately at the University of Iowa and Northern Iowa University. He was named to the Louisville Slugger Freshmen All-American Team and was a Missouri Valley Second Team All-Conference selection. After college, Alex was re-drafted by the Anaheim Angels. Professionally, he was named to the Pioneer League All-Star Team and Topps Baseball All-Star Team. He played for the Cedar Rapids Kernels where he was awarded the Fans Choice Award.
Alex earned his college degree from the University of Iowa.
Athlete / MHS Class of 1985 / Inducted in 2009
Doug Jackson participated in baseball, football, and basketball while at Marion High School.
Doug was a four-year starter in baseball. He was named first team All-Conference his junior and senior years and First Team All-District his senior year. He was named to the 1985 Iowa All-Star baseball team and was a fifth team All-State Selection that year.
In football, Doug was a first team All-Conference and first team All-Metro selection as a kicker while also serving as the team’s quarterback. He was also an honorable mention All-State selection. Additionally, Doug participated in basketball in high school where he earned honorable mention All-Conference honors and was a two-time letter winner.
After high school, Doug played football at the University of Northern Iowa. He was a two-way starter for the Panthers as a kicker and punter. He was selected first team All-Gateway Conference and was named to the 1988 I-AA All-American Team. He graduated from UNI as a business major.
Athlete / MHS Class of 1995 / Inducted in 2009
Nate Werneburg participated in football, track, and wrestling at Marion High School.
Nate was a three year letter winner in football. He was named first team All-District and first team All-Metro at defensive tackle his junior and senior seasons. As a senior he was named first team All-State and as a junior was second team All-State. He was a starter on the 1992 state semi-final football team and participated in the Shrine Bowl after his senior year.
Nate finished his wrestling career as a four-year varsity letter winner. He qualified for the state tournament his sophomore, junior, and senior years, finishing second his senior year and fourth his junior year. He finished his career with 116 wins and 54 career falls.
After high school, Nate attended the University of Northern Iowa where he played football for two years and earned a degree in biotechnology. He works at the Mayo Clinic as a Research Technologist.
Athlete / MHS Class of 1986 / Inducted in 2009
Dawn McGarrahan Wiebe participated in volleyball and track and field at Marion High School.
In track, Dawn won several meet, conference, district, and state titles. She holds all-time top ten Marion girls track performances in seven different individual or relay events, including school records in the shuttle hurdle relay and 100-meter hurdles. She was a member of the 1983 state championship shuttle hurdle relay team.
Dawn participated in volleyball for four years at Marion High School. She was a team captain in 1985. She also participated in basketball for one season.
Dawn went on to run track and field for the University of Iowa. As a collegiate athlete, she was awarded the Bronze Hawk Award for excellence in athletics and academics. She went on to coach track at both the junior high and high school levels in Palatine, IL. Dawn started her own free-lance writing/design business called Lane 5 Communications, and is Vice President of Editorial and Creative for Windy City Publishers.