Eight inducted into Slicer Football Hall of Fame

Eight former Slicers were inducted into the LaPorte Slicer Football Hall of Fame on Saturday night, May 2, 2009, at the Silver Palace. Pictured are (front row): Peter Petros (accepting for Andy Petros), Wade Warner, Braiden Arnett (accepting for Ryan Arnett), Bob Severs. Back row: Philip Christner, Mark Schellinger, Jack Arnett (accepting for Ryan Arnett), Steven DeBruyn, Luke Warner.

Eight former Slicers were inducted into the LaPorte Slicer Football Hall of Fame on Saturday night, May 2, 2009, at the Silver Palace. Pictured are (front row): Peter Petros (accepting for Andy Petros), Wade Warner, Braiden Arnett (accepting for Ryan Arnett), Bob Severs. Back row: Philip Christner, Mark Schellinger, Jack Arnett (accepting for Ryan Arnett), Steven DeBruyn, Luke Warner.

   The LaPorte Slicer Football Association inducted eight former Slicers into its Hall of Fame at a banquet Saturday night, May 2, 2009, at Silver Palace. Chip Jones, radio voice of the Slicers, was master of ceremonies.

   Here are the introduction biographies of each former Slicer given at the banquet:


   Following the 1951 Slicer vs. South Bend Riley game, the Herald-Argus’s Joe Eyler told the following story : “Lambert Lamberson, the Slicer senior offensive guard and linebacker, was apparently knocked out in the fourth quarter of Saturday night’s bruising contest at South Bend. While Coach John Janzaruk came running with the smelling salts, Junior Andy Petros, who makes up the other half of the Slicer Greek embassy at the linebacking position, walked over to the prostrate Lamberson and said, “Get up, Greek! You don’t expect me to finish this alone do you?”

   That 1951 team was one of the hardest-hitting Slicer teams ever. Following that 1951 game vs. South Bend Riley, The South Bend Tribune’s Bob Towner called the game a “titanic death struggle.”

   For two years, Andy was the linebacker on those rugged 1951 and 1952 Slicer squads. He also was the Slicer fullback. As a senior, Andy rushed 29 times, gained 114 yards, and averaged 3.9 yards. He scored 3 TD’s and 1 P.A.T. Yet, those statistics don’t tell the story of Andy Petros. Both 1951 head coach John Janzaruk and 1952 head coach Earl Dolaway used Andy as the blocking fullback. Andy rammed his way into the hole, clearing the way for halfback Bucky Haag. The proof of Andy’s offensive worth is the yardage the fleet-footed Haag gained in 1952: 800 yards in 101 attempts, a 7.9 average. Bucky scored 17 TD’s for 102 points.

   Recently in a telephone interview, Bucky praised Andy Petros. “He was tougher than a nut!” Bucky also noted that teams did not throw the ball often and were lucky to rush for 100 yards in a game. 800 yards was a true accomplishment, and one that could not have been accomplished without that Greek charging into the hole. Bucky pointed out that Andy’s true strength was at the linebacker position. Bucky said, “Andy was vicious. He had a true nose for the ball. He was a soft-spoken warrior. He could hit!”

   Unfortunately, teams did not keep stats on defensive efforts. We have no idea of the number of tackles Andy made, but comments about Andy’s play tell us he was a valuable player. Jack Bunce has for years told us that Andy was a hard-nosed player, one who was as tough as any Slicer – ever.

   Bucky Haag also related that Andy was smart, both in the classroom and on the football field. Andy always had a great relationship with his coaches. Bucky said, “Andy was the kind of player that had to be told only once. And whatever the coaches asked, Andy did it.”

   Bucky remembers Andy’s sophomore game vs. Mishawaka, a state ranked team that had everybody back from a successful previous year. Andy intercepted a pass and went all the way for a touchdown. LaPorte pounded on the Cavemen, 49-0.

   A two-year football letterman, Andy was named to the South Bend Tribune’s honorable mention squad as a senior. He also lettered two years in basketball and four years in baseball. Andy Petros was an athlete.

   Andy headed to Arkansas State on a football scholarship and played for the Indians from 1953 to 1954. In 1953 Arkansas State tied East Texas State, 7-7, in the Tangerine Bowl.

   Andy volunteered for the draft and was a veteran of the U.S. Army in Korea. He then returned to Indiana, where he graduated from Acme School Tool and Die in 1959. Andy was the previous owner of the Town & Country Publishing Company and was managing editor for the County Platt Company, Athentic Inc.

   He always stayed active in athletics, playing softball, industrial-league basketball and golf.

   In July 2005, Andy married Judy (Christian) Carlson. Andy had one son, Thomas Andrew Petros; four stepsons, Pat Klein, Terry Klein, James Klein, and Scott Carlson; three stepdaughters, Debbie Klein, Kim Bell, and Jennifer Adrian. Andy also had three grandchildren. Sisters Aspasia and Helen and brothers Michael, Peter, and George created a lively Greek household.

   Andrew James Petros passed away on October 26, 2008.

   Tonight it is with great pride that the Slicer Football Association honors Andrew J. Petros into the Slicer Football Hall of Fame. Congratulations to the Petros family.

   Accepting the award is Andrew’s wife, Judy, and his brother Peter Petros.


   Take a look at the LaPorte Slicer football records: fewest yards rushing in a game: -14, Kankakee Valley (1999); -7, Hobart (1999); -2 Michigan City (2003). Fewest yards rushing in a season: 523 in 1999. Fewest total yards in a season: 1361 (1999).

   Take a look at the Slicers’ 1993 victory over No. 1 state-ranked Hobart: Hobart entered the game averaging 250 yards rushing per game. The Slicer defense strangled the Brickies to a mere 36 yards rushing.

   The 17 years after Coach Stan Klimczak’s retirement, Slicer football was 57-111. After the Bear defense was installed in 1993, from that date to 2006, the Slicers improved to a 78-68 record.

   The defensive coordinator during these Slicer years was Bob Severs.

   Bob attended South Bend Riley, where he lettered in baseball two years and in football three years. Following his senior campaign, Bob was named the Wildcats’ Most Valuable Lineman. Bob then attended Ball State, where he played freshman baseball. During his sophomore, junior and senior years, Bob coached football at Muncie North.

   Bob’s football roots have always been in LaPorte. Grandfather Walt Severs was custodian of Kiwanis Field in the 1960s. Father Tom Severs was an outstanding offensive lineman for the Orange and Black. Back in his real hometown, Bob first coached at Kesling Middle School.

   “When I first received the honor of being named the head football coach at LPHS, I knew we needed Bob Severs to be our defensive co-coordinator. Football was a passion for him. And he loved Slicer football,” said Slicer Head Coach Bob Schellinger.

   The Bear defense intimidated Slicer opponents. Defensive backfield coach Jim Menne said, “A necessity of a successful coach is preparation. (Coach Severs’) plan was to have the players know the upcoming play before the ball was snapped.” Such preparation began as the defensive staff of Severs, Menne and Keith Hite met with Mike Slovick, a disciple of Buddy Ryan, the creator of the Bear defense. The Slicer staff tweaked the Bear, moving a linebacker off the line of scrimmage and moving the strong safety up to the line of scrimmage. The Slicer Bear defense was created.

   Over the years, Severs worked with coaches Menne, Hite, Frank Severa, Jhan Stafford, Bill Wilmsen, Chris Manering, Adam Hannon, and Rob Schellinger. Severs said, “I will always cherish those hours, breaking down film, preparing for opponents, and most importantly, getting our kids to understand and know what the bad guys were gonna do before they did!” As Coach Severs liked to say, LaPorte would “murderize” those opponents. Some may say LaPorte had no business creating havoc with Duneland offenses, which were bigger, faster, and more talented. Coach Menne said, “What the Slicer defenders lacked in size, they made up for in effort and in being prepared – all attributed to Coach Severs.”

   Bob was a motivator. His weekly scouting reports featured artistic covers with hero comic-book characters showing how the Slicers would demonize the opposition that week. For his artistic depictions, Bob was nicknamed Mr. Artsy-Fartsy.

   Bob has retired from Slicer football and is now the head coach of the Slicer softball team, who were part of the Final Four in last year’s state tournament. The Lady Slicers are in the midst of a great season. Those who know Coach Severs aren’t surprised. His passion and his preparation are helping the Slicer ladies win.

   Having gained his bachelor’s from Ball State and his master’s from Indiana University, Bob is a LaPorte High School teacher, where he teaches with the same passion he brings to the playing field.

   Bob and his wife, Pam (Bob will remind you she is from Penn High School), have a Slicer crew of four: Brady, a Slicer junior; Brittany, a Slicer sophomore; Bronson, an eighth grader; and Bailey, a fifth grader. Joining this Severs team are Bob’s mother, Sandy, and brother, Tom.

   “Our defense had no business beating people like that,” said Coach Severs. Sorry, Bob, but you’re wrong. The Slicers’ Bear defense, both the staff and those undersized, stingy, dominant players, made it their business to beat opponents. They earned those victories!

   Defensive coordinator Bob Severs was the architect of that dominating Slicers’ defense.

   It is with great pride that the Slicer Football Association welcomes Bob Severs into the Slicer Football Hall of Fame. Congratulations Bob.


   Twenty-one families have sent at least two players into the Slicer Football Hall of Fame. Tonight the Warner family adds its name to this distinguished list.

   Some play for the fun of the game; Luke Warner played with a passion few have matched. Defensive coordinator Bob Severs said, “Luke was one of the most passionate, coachable players I can remember. What we were doing meant everything to him. Wins, losses and schemes are mistaken as to what makes coaching memorable, but it is players like Luke Warner that are etched forever in the minds of his coaches. Luke is one player that I hated to see go.”

   From 1993 to 1995, Slicer opponents hated to see Luke come across the line. Under the current system established in 1982, Luke is No. 9 in the Slicer record book for defensive points in a career with 362 points.

   A three-year starter and three-time letterman, Luke played on Slicer squads that beat Hobart twice. For too long Hobart had pounded on the Slicers. Then in 1993, the Slicers beat Hobart for the first time since 1945. Two years later, the Slicer defense held the Brickie Wall to only 92 yards rushing and 8 first downs. Luke Warner had 3 tackles and 5 assists in that battle. As a result, LaPorte stunned Hobart, 21-20. Luke had helped crumble the Brickie Wall’s dominance over the Slicers.

   In his sophomore season, Luke earned 91 defensive points. During his junior year (1994), Luke recorded 2 sacks and tallied 138 defensive points. As a senior in 1995, Luke earned 133 defensive points. One of Luke’s fondest memories in that season was when he intercepted a pass versus Crown Point and almost took it in for a TD. In the Valparaiso game that senior year, Luke went wild as he had 9 solo tackles and 10 assists. Luke also helped the special-teams units by being on the punt return, the kick return and the kick-off teams.

   In 1994 and 1995, Luke was named to the All-Duneland squad. Following his senior campaign, Luke was named All-Area Gary Post-Tribune, All-Area Michigan City Dispatch, All-Area Herald-Argus, All-Area South Bend Tribune, Academic All-State, and AP Honorable Mention All-State. The Slicers named Luke the Most Valuable Linebacker both his junior and his senior year. The 1995 team captain was chosen the Slicers’ defensive MVP and the recipient of the Real Slicer Award.

   Coach Severs remembers going out to the defensive huddle during a timeout: “I told Luke very seriously to answer the phone. He first looked stunned, then laughed, and I will always remember that. It broke the tension in a heated moment that led to a big defensive stop.”

   Luke also has memories of Slicer football: “I loved Coach Fruth’s intensity. Coach Severs was always approachable. And I respected Coach Menne’s knowledge of the game.” Like so many others inducted into the Hall of Fame, Luke remembers the “friends, on and off the field.” He loved what he called the “great chemistry on defense.”

   Tonight we have heard many statistics, proof of accomplishments on the gridiron. Yet those statistics only tell us so much. High school football is a game of grit, determination and will. Look into a player’s eyes, into his soul, and there you will find the true measure of a player. When you looked into Luke Warner’s eyes on a Friday night, you saw that determination, that desire, that passion to be a Slicer defender.

   It is with great pride that the Slicer Football Association welcomes Luke F. Warner into the Slicer Football Hall of Fame. Congratulations, Luke.


   Before any accolades are made, before any statistics are given, before any memorable experiences are related, former Slicer offensive line coach Greg Fruth wants everyone to know Mark Schellinger’s most outstanding accomplishment for Slicer football is his 100% blocking percentage vs. Mishawaka. As a tight end on one play, Mark threw a successful block. The O-line Hogs say, “Congratulations and good job, Mark!”

   Kiwanis Field has always had coaches’ kids running around the stadium. Mark was one of those youngsters. When his father came to LP from South Central, so came Mark. At first the move was not an easy one for Mark, but soon Slicer fever hit him. “I had a special relationship with the coaches since I had known them since I was in 4th grade and spent many hours around the stadium growing up.”

   Growing up around the game, watching older brother, Rob, play Slicer football, and listening to father, Coach Bob Schellinger, gave Mark experience and an insight to the game. A three-year letterman, Mark Schellinger became a coach on the field. Mark knew the game. He knew the strategy of the game. He knew what to do, when to do it.

   And do it he did. As a junior defensive back, Mark made his mark on defense: 3 interceptions; 2 fumble recoveries for TDs; 1 sack; 157 defensive points, including 81 tackles. As a senior in 2001, Mark snagged another 3 interceptions, grabbed another sack, and recorded 115 defensive points.

   In the opening game vs. New Prairie, Mark scored on a spectacular fumble recovery. The Herald-Argus described the play: “Schellinger picked up the loose ball coughed up by New Prairie running back Bret Martin and outraced the Cougar defense down the sideline to shut down a New Prairie drive.” Within a minute, Mark intercepted a Cougar pass. QB Dan Rardin soon followed with a TD toss to Brad McNew.

   In 2001, Mark also showed his stuff on the offensive side of the ball. 7 receptions for 81 yards, 2 TDs, and an 11.6 average.

   Mark’s favorite memory was vs. Merrillville during that senior year. Mark described this night best: “They were undefeated and we were 4-1. They were supposed to take care of us easily at their place, and early it looked like they might. They scored on their first 2 possessions and were up 13-7. Then the fun started. Phil (Christner) caught a 97-yard TD – a record at that time. (Brad) McNew had a huge catch where the safety grabbed his nuts (yes, Mark, you can say that) when he was tackled. We were up 14-13 in the 3rd quarter, when we ran the Slicer Special. We ran it perfectly and I caught a touchdown from Kevin Brandy in the corner of the end zone.”

The Slicer Special was a fake field goal, with the holder, Christner, handing the ball off to Brandy, who rolled to his left and threw the strike. Two bits of irony about this play: one, in school that day Mark had visualized using that play to win in overtime. Coach Bob Schellinger said, “We tell the kids to dream of being successful, but we never tell them to do it in school. But if Mark visualized that in school today, God bless him. I hope he gets an A in that class.” The other irony is that as a Slicer, Mark helped cook the Merrillville Pirates’ parrot – and cooked it well done!

   Today, Mark is a social studies teacher, the freshman baseball coach, and the varsity defensive backs coach for the Pirates.

   Mark also remembers his Slicer teammates. Players rotated from house to house for meals and for the fun of being together. Mark said, “We were truly a brotherhood.”

   Following his senior year, Mark repeated as the Slicers’ Most Valuable Defensive Back, was named the Slicers’ Most Valuable Defensive Player, earned the Slicer Award, was named to the Herald-Argus’ first defensive all-area squad, and was All-Duneland Conference. His final tribute came when Mark was named to the North’s squad for the annual Indiana North-South football game, joining his father, who had earlier coached the Northern team. Mark made LaPorte football proud, representing the Orange and Black in this classic game.

   Besides playing football, Mark lettered 3 years for the Slicer baseball team.

   Following these exploits for the Slicers, Mark headed south to Franklin College, where he played baseball for 2 years and football for 4 years.

   As a player, Mark was the coach on the field for the Slicers. Following Mark’s senior season, his father wrote to Mark, “I know you will be successful in life, and if coaching is where that life leads you, you’ll be a damn good one.” Today Mark Schellinger is the coach on the sidelines.

   It is with great pride that the Slicer Football Association welcomes Mark Schellinger into the Slicer Football Hall of Fame. Congratulations, Mark.


   Head coach Bob Schellinger remembers Phil’s senior game in 2001 vs. Valparaiso: “One of Phil’s claims to fames was he was always up against Jeff Samardzija from Valparaiso, who went on to Notre Dame and Chicago Cubs fame. Their senior year, Phil had to cover Samardzija, and likewise Samardzija covered Phil. At game’s end the scorecard read, Christner 14 catches for 164 yards and 1 TD; Samardzija 1 catch for 50 yards.”

   As a junior, Phil made the LaPorte Herald-Argus first team and was honorable mention on the Michigan City News-Dispatch team. That season, Phil hauled in 12 receptions for a 14.3 average, had 10 punt returns for 13.3 average, 7 kick-off returns for a 19.3 average, intercepted 2 passes, and had 83 defensive points. An outstanding year, but Phil was just warming up for his senior campaign.

   During that senior campaign, the 6-foot, 180-pounder, according to the Herald-Argus, “filled five positions for the Slicers”: wide receiver, cornerback, punt returner, kick-off returner, and holder for the extra points and field goals. Said Phil, “It was a great opportunity to help my team out as much as I can. I enjoyed all of them, but the one I enjoyed most was probably receiver. I also liked playing cornerback a lot.”

   Against Valparaiso, Phil’s 14 passes for 164 yards established school records. Phil finished the season with 45 catches (No. 4 in the Slicer record book) for 625 yards (also No. 4 in the Slicer record book). His 67 receptions in his career tie him at No. 3 with Hall of Famer Terry Frank. Quarterback Dan Rardin hit Phil for a 96-yard TD against Merrillville for the third longest TD pass in Slicer history. Phil led the Slicers in punt-return average with a 16.4 average and kick-return average with 26.2 yards. He gained 1,284 all-purpose yards and scored 7 touchdowns. He tallied 82 defensive points, intercepted 2 passes, deflected 6 passes, and had 1 tackle for a loss. Phil did more than fill those 5 positions for the Slicers. He ruled those positions.

   The honors rolled in. Phil was named Most Valuable Receiver and Most Valuable Offensive Player for the Slicers. He was selected to the Herald-Argus’ offensive and defensive teams and was named the Herald-Argus’s Player of the Year. The Michigan City News-Dispatch named him first team all-area. He was All-Duneland Conference, first team. The Gary Post Tribune added Phil to its second team all-area squad. The Bloomington Herald-Telephone placed Phil on its honorable mention all-state team. The Indiana Football Coaches Association named him first team, all-state receiver. He made the Region One all-star team and was academic all-state. LaPorte, northwest Indiana, and the state recognized Phil’s accomplishments.

   Phil’s most memorable experience was the 2001 game vs. Merrillville: “We won, and it was the first game after 9/11; both teams were leading the league, I had a 96-yard TD catch, and Mark Schellinger threw a TD to Kevin Brandy on the Slicer Special play.”

   From Kiwanis Field, Phil moved to Butler University, where he lettered for 3 years, was the 2005 team captain, the 2005 and 2006 Butler Team Mental Attitude Award winner, 2004 All-Pioneer Football League, and 2005 All-Academic Pioneer Football League.

   Today Phil lives in Fishers, Indiana. He is a financial advisor for Ameriprise Financial.

   Phil made many outstanding catches for the Slicers and for the Bulldogs, but in June he makes his greatest catch when he marries Becca Spurgeon. The Slicer family congratulates Phil and Becca.

  It is with great pride that the Slicer Football Association welcomes Philip Christner into the Slicer Football Hall of Fame. Congratulations, Philip.


   Ryan Arnett, an offensive center, was a three-year letterman for the Slicers, from 1987-1989.

   For two years, Ryan ruled the middle of the offensive line for the Orange and Black.

   Ryan came from a football family. Father Jack has been involved with the local Pop Warner program for decades and was the Slicer freshman football head coach. Mother Linda has always been a staunch Slicer supporter. Brother Derrick was a Slicer footballer. As a youngster, Ryan played on 4 undefeated Pop Warner teams, 1 regional championship team, and 1 national championship team. Heading into high school, there was never any doubt that Ryan would play for the Orange and Black.

   His junior year in the second round of the sectional, the Slicers played one of their finest games ever, beating the state No. 11 Portage Indians, 20-13. Herald-Argus writer Dave Krider called this win one of head coach Bob Strieter’s best. That year had started with an inexperienced line, including Ryan. With hard work, this unit continued to improve. After knocking off the 8-1 Indians, offensive coordinator Pat O’Neil stated, “Our offensive line had to overachieve tonight to win.” He reeled off the names Dan Reed, Rob McFadden, A.C. Pressler, Brett Davis, Mark Ruth, and Ryan Arnett.

   Following that junior season, Ryan was named to all-state teams.

   Heading into the 1989 season, team captain Ryan had grown from 244 pounds to 258 pounds. More teams were shifting from a five-man front to a four-man front, creating more pressure for the offensive center to attack the middle linebacker. Offensive line coach Greg Fruth became concerned that Ryan, nicknamed Moose, was too big and had lost quickness to cut off that middle linebacker. The team considered moving Ryan to strong-side tackle. Ryan wanted nothing to do with this switch. During two-a-days, Ryan convinced the coaching staff that he was the Slicers’ center. His blocking performances during the season added proof that he, indeed, was the starting center: 84% vs. New Prairie, 82% vs. Portage, 88% vs. Chesterton, 83% vs. Valparaiso, 82% vs. Michigan City Rogers, and 80% vs. Portage in the sectional. The 1989 offensive line had opened holes for all-state Duane Dowell to rush for 1,224 yards, including 296 yards vs. Chesterton. Halfback Joe DeJaegher added 471 rushing yards, and quarterback Ed Dubbs another 239 yards.

   An offensive lineman is a member of a unit. The unit works together to achieve team goals. As the starting center, Ryan had helped the Orange and Black become a potent rushing offensive unit.

   For his efforts, Ryan was named the Best Offensive Lineman, Michigan City News-Dispatch first team, and All-Duneland Conference.

   Ryan always had the utmost respect for coaches Greg Fruth, Pat O’Neil and Jack Bunce. Ryan also had fond memories of his fellow gridders. The core of that team had played together since second grade.

   Following his graduation from LaPorte High, Ryan kept active by playing both slow- and fast-pitch softball, even playing in a national softball world series in Florida.

   Sons Blake Ryan (13) and Braiden Jeffery (9) are here tonight to help us honor their father.

   Tonight Ryan joins his brother, Derrick Arnett, in the Slicer Football Association’s Hall of Fame.

   Tragically, Ryan was killed in a car accident. Part of his headstone reads, “Ryan may be gone but never to be forgotten and will be in our hearts forever.” The Slicer family does remember Ryan Arnett, and tonight it is with great pride that the Slicer Football Association welcomes Ryan Arnett into the Slicer Football Hall of Fame.

   Congratulations to the Arnett family. Here to accept Ryan’s award are Ryan’s father, Jack, and Ryan’s two sons, Blake and Braiden.


   No. 30, senior Stephen deBruyn was 5’10” and listed at 156 pounds. The Slicer football publicist lied; Steve was closer to 146 pounds – a speedy, shifty, tenacious 146 pounds. A two-year starter from 1998 to 1999, Steve had enjoyed an outstanding junior season: 3 interceptions with a 23.0 yard average return, 4 touchdowns, 22 pass receptions for 418 yards and a 19.0 yard average, 11 rushing attempts for 74 yards and 5.0 average, 10 punt returns for 160 yards and a 16.0 yard average, 13 kickoff returns for 334 yards and a 25.7 yard average, and 112 defensive points.

   His senior year, Steve was to never come off the field. Steve was a two-way starter-cornerback on defense and flanker and slotback on offense, and Mr. Everywhere on special teams. After the 38-0 initial game victory over Hammond Clark, Coach Bob Schellinger said, “Steve’s a big play person. We said at the beginning of the year that we wanted to get the ball in Steve’s hands a little bit more.” In that game, Steve had 4 catches for 125 yards and 2 touchdowns. He returned a kickoff for another TD.

   Get it in his hands they did! Quarterback Zack Sliwa repeatedly fired to Steve: 39 receptions for 677 yards; 4 touchdowns, the longest an 87 yarder; a 17.4 yard average for receptions. Zach connected to Steve for a 97-yard TD vs. Portage, still the second longest pass for a Slicer TD. Steve also had 47 rushing attempts for 286 yards and a 5.6 average; 24 kickoff returns for 745 yards, including an 87-yard TD gallop, and a 31.0 yard average; and 19 punt returns for 207 yards and a 10.9 average. Add that up! 1,915 total yards.

   But that was only half the story. Steve was still on the field, playing cornerback. 7 interceptions with a 5.4 yard return average, 37 solo tackles, 22 assists, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, and 139 defensive points.

   Surely, Slicer football has never gotten as much out of 146 pounds as what Steve delivered.

   Slicer fans certainly remember the 1999 victory vs. Hobart. Nick Dames’ rushing touchdown and 43-yard fumble return for a TD sparked the Slicer offense. Steve added to the Slicer night with a fake point-after attempt. The Herald-Argus’ Dan Knott wrote, “Steve DeBruyn grabbed the ball from behind the holder’s back and took in around the left end for the two points.”

   Steve vividly remembers the Slicer win over South Bend Riley in the 1999 sectionals. A cold, rainy night, the Slicers were down 20-0 at halftime. Steve said, “All the seniors got together at the half and brought the team together. We won the game, 21-20.”

Such a season brings accolades. Steve was selected to the Herald-Argus All-Area first team for both offense and defense, the South Bend Tribune All-Area, All Duneland Conference, and All State. Steve joined teammate Brandon Kukla and Coach Schellinger to represent the North in the annual North-South Indiana All-Star Game.

   Steve also lettered two years in track.

   Following a season at Wabash College, Steve returned to LaPorte, where the following year he coached Pop Warner football. In 2003 Steve enlisted in the Marine Corps. Today Steve is a sergeant in the Corps. In a few weeks, Steve will be transferred to Japan, where he will serve his country for three years. He and his wife, Norma, have two children, Dylan (4) and Dalton (2).

   It is with great pride that the Slicer Football Association inducts Stephen F. DeBruyn II into the Slicer Hall of Fame.

   Congratulations, Stephen.


   On September 17, 1945, the Slicers pounded the Hobart Brickies, 33-7. Then followed 17 consecutive losses, 7 shutouts, heartache after heartache. New Slicer head coach Bob Schellinger stressed that the Hobart game was just another game. In the past, having put too much emphasis on this one game was damaging. He was right. The Slicers were putting too much pressure on winning this one game. But still, the Slicers couldn’t totally forget the humiliation of the poundings.

   Our next inductee was a key player in that 1993 destruction of the Brickie Wall. With the score tied 7-7 in the second half, the Slicers executed one beautiful drive, one that took 11 plays, gained 64 yards, and scored the game-winning touchdown. QB Wade Warner on a third down hit Bret Harenza for a 14-yard completion. Two plays later, Warner twisted his way 17 yards to the Hobart 15-yard line. Three plays later, third and nine, No. 12 Warner threw to Matt Graham, who caught the ball and raced into the end zone. The next day, the LaPorte Herald-Argus headline read, “Slicers shatter Brickie Wall, 14-7.”

   Coach Schellinger was right that one game does not make a season, but that victory over Hobart ushered in a new way of thinking, a confidence that turned Slicer football in a positive direction. Kiwanis Field Stadium has echoes. This Slicer win over Hobart in 1993 is a classic!

   In that victory over Hobart, Wade Warner’s arm delivered the ball to Matt Graham, but throughout that game and the entire season, Wade’s leadership delivered success for the Slicers. With Wade on the field, the Slicers knew who the general was. They felt the calmness, the confidence that each Friday night was going to be a Slicer victory.

   As a junior, Wade completed 24 of 50 passes for 297 in a back-up role. His hard work to be the Slicer leader paid off his senior season. He tossed a 76-yard TD to Matt Graham vs. Mishawaka, the Slicers’ seventh longest pass for a TD. He rushed for 50 times for 70 yards. He connected on 49 of 102 passing attempts for 637 yards, including 5 TDs. He scored 3 TDs.

   A three-time football letterman, Wade was also one of the team captains his senior year. The Slicers awarded him the Real Slicer Award at the team banquet. Wade was named to the Duneland All-Conference team, and many All-Area teams.

   After his days with the Slicers, Wade went to Purdue, where he played for the Boilermakers from 1996 to 1997. Wade earned his Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health from Purdue in 1999. He also gained an Associate of Science in Organizational Leadership from Purdue.

   Wade remembers “all the hard work and preparation time” of the coaches. Wade said, “As I look back, I feel very lucky to have played under people who loved football and being a Slicer as much as I did.” Wade remembers his teammates – “the smiles and the laughs when we had success and the tears when we failed.” Wade remembers “playing catch with Danny Strieter until the sun went down, being able to practice and play on Friday nights with my brother, Luke, and running out of the tunnel on Friday nights.”

   Wade and his wife, Jody (Marsh), have two children: Mallory (7) and Vann (2).

   Wade lives in LaPorte, where he is a member of St. John’s Church, a member of Parbusters, and a Pop Warner coach. A true Slicer, Wade enjoys Friday night Slicer football games with his friends and his family.

   Wade adds one more memory: “looking into the eyes of my teammates in the huddle and all of us knowing they could not stop us.” That 1993 night vs. Hobart, no one could stop the Slicers.

   It is with great pride that the Slicer Football Association welcomes Wade Warner into the Slicer Football Hall of Fame. Congratulations, Wade.

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