Where's our famous athlete??

Published on 2.22.2011 in , ,

The Marysville Advocate, my hometown newspaper, posted an article originally posted in the Washington County News, about the Meyer siblings...five sisters and one brother that basically ended up birthing the entire non-Catholic Hanover/Bremen area.

The Advocate article talked about how four pro athletes have actually come from three of these sisters.  I don't know how random this is, but I found it quite interesting...
Click on the word link to go to the Advocate article or click after the break to see the full article.  

Now that you've read all about the history, here's why I find it so interesting.

Since I'm from that area, and not Catholic, I'm from one of the sisters.  And well, our sister didn't have one of the four athletes.

So, where's our athlete??  Or is he/she still coming?

Alright Engineering Man, let's start grooming Mini #1 and Mini #2.

Maybe they'll be our retirement...

Four pro athletes trace lineage to Meyer sisters

By Dan Thalmann, Washington County News
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 9:07 AM CST
A search through an extended family tree can often bring up exciting discoveries, good or bad — an ancestor who came over on the Mayflower, a great-great-grandfather who rode with Jesse James, a cousin who was a U.S. senator. This sort of discovery is part of what makes genealogical research such a popular hobby.

A family tree that originates in the Hanover-Bremen area, the Johann and Katharine Meyer family, is filled with common Washington County names like Meyer, Tegtmeier, Scheele and Schotte and has the distinction of having multiple professional athletes among its branches. Four, to be exact.

Current and former professional basketball players Nicole Ohlde and Kendra Wecker are cousins in the Meyer family tree, as are Major League Baseball pitcher Brian Duensing and National Football League tackle Jason Fox.

None of the cousins is near each other on the family tree. Four generations separate most of them, but the roots for all can be found in an old limestone house in the Horseshoe Creek area of northeast Washington County, just west of Trinity Lutheran Church.

Johann and Katharine Mueller Meyer were married on Dec. 1, 1867 in Cook County, Ill., and moved to Washington County after 10 years in Chicago.

Johann built the family’s limestone house himself while they lived in his brother’s granary. The house still stands at what is now the Don Tegtmeier farm, located about three-fourths of a mile west of Trinity Lutheran Church.

The house is now covered in vines and probably unsafe to enter, but the setting of a pioneer farm can still be visualized. There would have been a lot of life on the farm back in those days.

Johann and Katharine had seven children: one son who died as a toddler and then six daughters, Elise (Scheele), Adolphina (Klipp), Hulda (Schotte), twins Mary (Licht) and Katharine (Tegtmeier) and Wilhelmine Harries. From those daughters came 40 grandchildren, four of whom died.

Three of the six daughters provide the connection to the professional athletes.

Hulda Schotte is the great-great-grandmother of Brian Duensing and Jason Fox. Mary Licht is the great-great-grandmother of Kendra Wecker. Katharine Tegtmeier is the great-grandmother of Nicole Ohlde.

Ohlde and Wecker are familiar names in this area because of their prominence on the Kansas State University women’s basketball team.

Ohlde sets records at K-State, gets WNBA championship ring

Ohlde, 28, is the daughter of Stan and Marlene Meyer Ohlde, Clay Center. She spent the first year of her life in Linn before the family moved to Clay Center. She graduated from Clay Center High School and as a forward-center, measuring in at 6 feet five inches, she headed to K-State where she was a first-team All-American in 2003 and 2004 and graduated from K-State as the all-time leader in points, rebounds and blocks.

She was drafted sixth overall in the 2004 WNBA draft by the Minnesota Lynx. She played there until 2008 and then headed to the Phoenix Mercury in 2009 and 2010 where she was part of a WNBA championship.

It is currently the off-season for the WNBA.

She was traded to the Tulsa Shock and is playing overseas in the Venice area of Italy.

Kendra Wecker drafted fourth overall, but suffers injury early in career

Wecker, 28, is the daughter of Randy and Pam Wehling Wecker, Marysville. Kendra is a 2001 graduate of Marysville High School and part of the undefeated state championship team that year.

She went on to K-State as a 5-11 forward and was named the Big 12 Player of the Year her senior year.

She was drafted fourth overall in the WNBA by the San Antonio Silver Stars in the 2005 draft, but tore her ACL in the first game of her rookie year.

She signed with the Washington Mystics in 2008 and later retired from professional basketball.

Wecker, Norman, Okla., works for Athletes in Rhythm in Edmond, Okla. Athletes in Rhythm is a business to help develop basketball players.

Brian Duensing working his way up Twins’ starting rotation

Duensing, 27, is the son of Kent and Sherry Duensing, Omaha.

He was born in Marysville and graduated from Millard South High School in Omaha and then the University of Nebraska, where he played baseball. He is a 5-11, 195-pound left-handed pitcher.

Duensing was drafted in the third round in 2005 by the Minnesota Twins. He worked his way through the minor leagues and was a member of the 2008 Olympic bronze medal team.

Duensing got his major league pitching debut on April 10, 2009, and pitched three innings in a team win.

His first start was a no decision on July 29, 2009. His first win was in an Aug. 22, 2009, game against the Kansas City Royals.

He joined the Twins’ starting rotation on July 21, 2010.

Jason Fox makes impact his rookie year in NFL

Jason Fox, 22, is the newest pro athlete in the family. Fox is the son of Mike and Luann Schaefer Fox, Crowley, Texas.

He graduated from North Crowley High School in Fort Worth and was recruited to play football for the Miami Hurricanes.

As a 6-7, 303-pound tackle, Fox was drafted in the fourth round, 128th overall, of the 2010 NFL draft by the Detroit Lions. This just-completed season was his rookie year, and though the Lions have been struggling in recent years, Fox played in the last four games of the regular season for the Lions, all of which were wins.

The post-draft report on Fox read: Fox brings intelligence and versatility to the offensive line. Enjoyed a successful career at Miami starting in 47 games for the Hurricanes, ranking third in their history among offensive linemen behind the 48 registered by Mike Sullivan (1987-90) and Richard Mercier (1995-96, 98-99).

Who’s next?

Is there another pro athlete in making in the Meyer family tree? Only time will tell. Several descendents had outstanding high school sports careers and several also played sports in college, but it takes a special individual to make it all the way to the pro ranks.

With plenty of familiar local names like Holle, Pralle, Bott and Steinfort among many others found in the growing Meyer family tree book, there is plenty of opportunity for a pro athlete to come from the local area.

So if genetics are part of the equation, then anyone fortunate enough to be a descendent of one of the six Meyer sisters from the Horseshoe Creek area might have that special gift to head to the top tier of sports.

My boys don't share, but if you want to...

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