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Trojans' throwing trio had shining track season in 1983
March 29, 2011
What a spring it was for a trio of Dakota State College throwers in 1983 in track and field shot-putting competition.
Craig Sufficool, Tim Ramey and Kim Hakeman made the most of Coach Al Weisbecker's training. They earned what has proved to be the second-, third- and fourth-place positions in the events' school record books with respective 51 feet and 2.25 inches, 50 feet and eight inches and 49 feet and 11.5 inches throwing the 16-pound lead ball during that spring.
The trio came to Dakota State after respective top-flight high school careers at Crofton (Neb.), Brookings and Madison.
They all threw the 12-pound regulation ball in the 50-plus feet range place or near the top in the conference, regional and state-meet events in high school.
Sufficool, Ramey and Hakeman dominated the South Dakota-Iowa Conference (SDIC) not only in 1983, but also the year before and the one after before graduating from then Dakota State College.
"For those three years (1982-84), the three of us went 1-2-3 in both the shot put and discus in most meets," smiled Sufficool, who came to DSC after serving in the U.S. Navy for four years. "This was because we had an excellent throwing coach in Al Weisbecker. Never having a true throwing coach in high school, I learned so much from a man who knew throwing. Coach Al knew what we needed to be good, and he knew it was up to us to apply his knowledge."
According to Hakeman, Weisbecker strive big time to give the throwers everything they needed to compete. "There was a time that he brought back to us a number of pointers from a seminar in Lincoln, Nebraska," cited Hakeman. "He helped us adapt them to our own throwing styles. All of this helped us improve our speed, making everything blow better."
"From Coach Al, I learned how to use my legs and hips more from the drills he had us doing and throwing into the net in the Fieldhouse," added Sufficool. "I remember the chew dribbling out of the corners of his mouth, the glasses on his nose and his pants hanging down. But the things I remember the most are the words of wisdom and encouragement from his mouth. He was a man that have full of knowledge. He was a willing mentor to three young men. For that, I say 'thanks' Coach!"
Unlike Sufficool, Hakeman had a throwers' technician in Delane Poppe at Madison High School.
"I was a stickler in fundamentals," admitted Poppe. "Kim was very coachable and he stayed around after practices to make sure he got things right. I think he really enjoyed throwing and that's why he worked so hard at it."
"I was blessed by having a lot of good throwers at Madison," added Poppe, who went from coaching and teaching into the U.S. Postal Service in 1983.
"I really enjoyed being around Coach Al and head coach Dave Gottsleben," stated Ramey. "They encouraged us and believed in us. Also being around Craig and Kim made me a better person, pumped me up and a better competitor."
Gottsleben went to the University of South Dakota after coaching at Dakota State. He has headed USD's track-and-field program in Vermillion for 27-plus seasons.
He still remembers his time at Dakota State.
"It was a great time at Dakota State," said Gottsleben. "These three young men made it very special. All three pushed each other, which is the situation you wanted. They all taught me some valuable lessons in throwing technique, as well as in life. I respected them and they respected me back."
"It was a great time competing with and against those other two 'clowns'," added Hakeman. "We had a lot of fun, including interrupting home meet one time. Coach Bob Bozied stopped the event briefly and told all three of us to cut it out."
Sufficool, Ramey and Hakeman also played football for Bozied, who was a former Crofton coach. Bozied brought Sufficool to Dakota State.
"The experience I had with these outstanding teammates and the knowledge gained from excellent coaches like Weisbecker and Gottsleben made me a stronger person and a very successful coach at Casselton and Fargo (N.D.)," said Sufficool. "I owe my success in track and life to these fine men -- and God!"
He and his wife Kim (Gall) operate an Amyway franchise in Fargo, N.D. Sufficool is also a substitute teacher in the Fargo school district. He taught and coached in Fargo for 12 years prior to his retirement in 2000. After serving 23 years in the U.S. Navy and Naval Reserve, he retired in 1999.
He has coached either football or baseball over the years.
The Sufficools' 19-year-old son Chad is a missionary living in Los Angeles. In April, he will be leaving for India to work with orphan children. Their twin 16-year-old sons Adam and David are active in football, soccer, basketball and baseball.
Ramey has lived in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area for many years and has been a licensed realtor and independent contractor during that time.
"Selling real estate is a passion of mine," admitted Ramey. "I do what I love and love what I do!"
Ramey is divorced. He has a 27-year-old son named T.J.
Following graduation from Dakota State, Hakeman, who is single, moved to Lemmon where he became the school's activities director and its head football coach. A few years later, he returned to Madison.
For the next 13 years, Hakeman was employed by Arctic Cat, becoming a member of the company's supervisors' team before the company downsized and moved out of Madison.
Hakeman is currently seeking further employment after working for Madison's United Building Center (now Pro Builders) for two years.
Dan Holsworth, Dakota State University Athletics Assistant
Edited by Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director