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2017 Hall of Fame Inductees

2017 Inductee Group Photo

Rice Lake Sports Hall of Fame. Seventeenth Induction Banquet at Lehman's Supper club. Inductees from left: Julie 'Lola' Pipenburg, Betty Tasker accepting for her husband Bruce Tasker, Bob Jacobson, and Josh Engel.

Josh Engel

Josh graduated from Rice Lake High School in 2003 as a four-year letter winner for the Warrior hockey team. He scored 79 points in his Warrior career – 27 goals and 52 assists.  In 2003, he was named First Team All State, Big Rivers Conference 1st Team, Big Rivers Co-Player of the Year, All Northwest Wisconsin 1st Team, and Team Wisconsin Selection.  Playing for Team Wisconsin, Josh was named the best defenseman at the Chicago Showcase in 2003. Following high school, Josh was accepted to play at the Junior A level of hockey as a 1st Round Draft Pick of the Green Bay Gamblers in the USHL, the highest level of Junior A hockey in the country.  After a year with the Gamblers in Green Bay, Josh accepted a scholarship to play for the Wisconsin Badgers.  In 2006, he played on the Wisconsin NCAA National Championship team and will be remembered in Badger hockey history as the player who ‘gave his all on the ice and best represents the Badger trademarks of good sportsmanship, integrity and team spirit’.  For those reasons, Josh received the 2008 Jim Santulli 7th Man Award. Following college, he was drafted to play professional hockey by the Toronto Maple Leafs organization, starting with the Gwinnett Gladiators in ECHL during the 2008-09 season.  Josh also played with Providence, Reading, and finally the Toronto Marlies of the AHL; the Triple A level of professional hockey. He was invited to the Maple Leafs training camp and played in many pre-season NHL games, while being assigned to the Marlies.  His pro career included 22 goals and 30 assists.  He is the only professional hockey player in the history of Rice Lake. After ending his pro career, Josh became a hockey coach and instructor at Hartland-Arrowhead High School.  He is currently the head coach of the Rice Lake Warrior hockey program. Josh and is wife Rachel and family currently reside in the Rice Lake area.

Bob (Jake) Jacobson

Bob graduated from Rice Lake High School in 1965 as a three-sport athlete for the Warriors, earning 7 letters.  In baseball he was destined for greatness as a catcher since playing Little League. He threw with an exceptionally strong right arm, hit from the left side of the plate and had a great presence and command of the game. Bob helped lead the Warriors to 3 Ho’N conference championships, 3 sectional finals and Rice Lake’s second berth in the WIAA State Baseball tournament in 1964.  That year the Warriors finished at 12 and 4 which included a 1 to 0 sectional final win over Superior East.  In Bob’s senior year, they were 10 and 2, losing to Superior Central 2 to 1 in the sectional semi-finals, a year in which Bob was the team captain.  From 1962 through 1965 he played American Legion Baseball for Rice Lake Post 87, earning MVP honors in 1965.  In 1966 Bob attended UW-River Falls where he was a three-year letter winner as the starting catcher for the Falcons baseball team.  He graduated in 1969.  Bob then served in the US Army in Germany from 1969 to 1971.  In 1972 Bob began living in Vermilion Alberta Canada where he raised his family and established himself as one of the finest catchers in the Province of Alberta, playing for the Calgary Odeans Senior Baseball Team and annually playing for the Provincial All Star Team from the Province of Alberta in the 40 & 50 years of age and older leagues in the Senior World Series of Baseball finals in Phoenix, AZ.  He retired from playing baseball at the age of 55 in 2003.  He was also instrumental in the promotion and founding of the Little League Baseball Program in Vermilion during the 1980’s.  In football, Bob was a two-year letterman for the Warriors and as a senior for the 1964 season, played on both sides of the line as the team quarterback with a 5-2 + 1 record and was 1st Team All Ho’N Conference cornerback.  In basketball, he also lettered two years as a playmaking guard and captain his senior year for the Warriors who were 10 and 4 in the Ho’N conference two consecutive years, in 1964 and ’65 with a 5 and 1 run in the WIAA Tournament in 1964 for a final 16 and 6 record and 13 and 8 in 1965. Bob owned and managed a Ford dealership in Vermilion for 35 years before retiring in January of 2016.

Julie (Lola) Piepenburg

Julie graduated from RLHS in 1976.  Her four-year athletic career coincided with the U.S. Federal Law known as Title 1X effective June 23, 1972 that leveled the playing field for male and female athletes; essentially opening the door for women’s organized sports. With Rice Lake High School in the beginning years of girls sports, Julie seized the opportunity.  She was a four-year starter in three girls sports. In basketball as a four-year starter for the Warriors she set the school record at the time for points scored in one game at 24 against D.C. Everest in the 1976 sectionals, which was the first year the WIAA held a post season tournament for girls.  Also as a senior in 1976, she was the team MVP averaging 17 points per game, which included a team 10 consecutive wins and a 12 and 4 record all and 7 and 1 in the Ho’N conference. 

In track, Julie helped lead the Warriors to Ho’N Championships in 1975 and 1976 and as a discus thrower and shot putter in 1976 was undefeated in dual competition through the regionals.  She placed 4th in State in the discus with a throw of 124.8, then a school record.  Her shot of 41’ ” is still a school record in the English system. In volleyball she was team captain in 1974 and 75 and MVP in 1975. Julie was one of the pioneers in organized school sports at RLHS and set an example of excellence for all of those girls who played sports after her.  Following high school, Julie graduated from UW-LaCrosse in 1981 with a BA in Phy Ed and Health Education, but not before winning one conference shot-put title at 42’ 9 ”.  She played slowpitch for many years in Rice Lake and Rochester, MN and ran marathons and long distance walks for charity.  Currently, Julie is a surgical nurse in Willmar, MN and she and her husband are involved in conservation, hunting and fishing where they reside in Brooten, MN.

Bruce Tasker

Bruce fished the Chippewa Flowage for 70 years, beginning in 1931 with his father.  He began his career as a guide on those same famous waters in 1946 out of Herman’s Landing, and continued showing anglers the muskies, walleyes and panfish of the “Big Chip” as their primary guide through 1993.   He wasn’t just a guide, he was the personification of the very word.

Bruce was born in Minneapolis and graduated from Elmwood high school in Wisconsin in 1936.  He served in the Navy from 1940 to 1946  as a Chief Yeoman on the ship, the Alcor. After the war, he received  his B.A. from UW-Eau Claire in 1949 and his M.A. from UW-Superior in 1959.  Prior to coming to Rice Lake he was a teacher at Gilman and Northwestern-Maple high schools.  From 1957 to 1980 Bruce was a guidance counselor at Rice Lake High School and that career served as a perfect complement to guiding fisherman all summer long and during weekends in the fall.  He also designed and distributed the “Bon-Net”, a very popular musky lure in the 50’s and 60’s. Bruce became a legendary guide and was recognized as such by his induction into the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in April of 2002. Bruce and his wife Betty had six children.  In January of 2003 he passed away at the age of 84.