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GHS Hall of Fame: Kurt Wehrmeister Is the 'Voice of the Vikings'

Part 4 of 4: Kurt Wehrmeister has done the PA announcing and often sung the National Anthem for Geneva football and basketball games since he was in high school—announcing more than 500 games in all—plus conference and county track meets and the IHSA Clas

Kurt Wehrmeister, class of 1975, had a Geneva High athletic career consisting of exactly two junior-varsity baseball games with six plate appearances during his senior spring. But by that point he had already begun a career in public-address announcing for the Vikings, which, after coming back from college, he would sustain without a break for more than three decades and at which he continues on a part-time basis today—more than 37 years later.

His first work behind the microphone was during the fall of his senior year in 1974, for Tuesday-night jayvee football games in the tiny pressbox at old Burgess Field south of the present high school building.

That November, Activities Director Chic Williams trusted him enough to introduce just the varsity basketball starting lineups, before turning the mike back over to Williams for the remainder of the game. But in January 1975, Williams let Wehrmeister work his first entire basketball game—a packed house and a loss to Batavia in what’s now known as Mack Olson Gym—and for the rest of the season, as well.

After graduating in the top 10 percent of the class of 1975, Wehrmeister spent the next four falls and winters at the University of Illinois, earning a bachelor’s in journalism in spring 1979 before returning to Geneva and an editorial post at The Geneva Republican, where he would edit the sports section for six years.

Athletic Director Bob Schick asked him to resume handling basketball PA duties that 1979-80 season, then new Athletic Director Jerry Auchstetter arranged for him to take on varsity football duties as well the following fall of 1980. For the next 30 years, he handled both, missing fewer than a dozen contests—working an estimated 500 football and basketball games, plus several conference and county track meets as well.

For 13 Junes beginning in 1993, Wehrmeister also shared PA duties with Mayor Kevin Burns, as Geneva High hosted the annual IHSA Class AA State Baseball Tournament at Elfstrom Stadium. Since 1991, his fulltime employment has been as Director of Communications & Public Affairs for Moose International Inc.

Two other inductees, Big Ten soccer star and running back and track athlete , .

The 12th annual induction ceremonies for the Vikings’ Athletic Hall of Fame is scheduled for halftime of the Geneva-vs.-St. Charles East varsity
basketball game. The game starts at 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, in the school’s main contest gymnasium.

 

  • Editor's note: This article is courtesy of the Geneva Athletic Hall of Fame. Geneva Patch Editor Rick Nagel is a member of the Hall of Fame Committee.

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