State Championship Trophy, Missing for 40 Years, Suddenly Re-Appears


Elizabeth Bolin, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

A new (or perhaps we should say old) accolade has appeared in Notre Dame’s trophy case this month.

The 1978 Premontre Football State Trophy mysteriously went missing sometime in the merging of the three predecessor schools, and everyone had lost hope of ever seeing it again.

Legend says the trophy was brought from the last football game played versus Fondulac Springs at Minahan Stadium in De Pere and was lost track of after that. However, last month, our very own Mr. Ken Flaten rediscovered this trophy packed inside a box that was left on his driveway.

“No one really is sure what day it went missing, only that it was in the early 90s,” said Flaten, “but a member of the team told me he was given a trophy and passed it along to me.”

Coach Dick Hietpas, the head coach in 1978 has his own theories about the location of the trophy all these years.

“I have my theory. I think it was mysteriously taken by the former principal because we didn’t get along too well,” said Coach Hietpas.

Another trophy, the 1969 State Track Trophy went missing around the same time.

“Those were the only two state championships that I was the head coach of,” he added.

The 1978 Premontre Football Team has also been involved with fundraising for the school and is  responsible for the new touch screen seen in the commons.

“The team has scattered everywhere, some in Cali, some in South Carolina, some in Minnesota, although quite a few still in Wisconsin,” shared Hietpas. “They decided they wanted to do something for their school so they raised money for the touchscreen and scholarships.  Thirty thousand dollars has been raised so far.”

This September at a 40-year reunion of the team was the first time Hietpas has laid eyes on the trophy since it went missing.

“I’m just happy it’s returned although I will always wonder where it has been all of these years,” he said.