After discussions with the Reitz Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee and analyzing the vote of the Reitz Nation, three legendary Panther figures have been inducted into the Reitz Football Hall of Fame Class of 2014.
Edward Wessel, Sr., Bob Nelson and David Townsend, Jr. received more votes than anyone else in their era (50+ years ago, 24-49 years ago and 10-24 years ago, respectively).
50+ years ago
Edward M. Wessel, Sr. was an all-state tackle in 1947 at Reitz. He went on to be a four-year football starter at Evansville College and was named to the All-Ohio Valley Conference team in 1951.
After playing, he went on to coach at Oblong, Ill., then was an assistant at Bosse (1953-56) and North (1957-74) before accepting the head coaching position for the Huskies (1976-80).
He is a member of the Coaching Legends of Southern Indiana, a past president of both the Evansville Downtown Quarterback Club and Evansville Coaches Association. He is a member of the North High School Hall of Fame, Indiana Football Hall of Fame and now the Reitz Football Hall of Fame.
24-49 years ago
Bob Nelson was the all-state quarterback who led the Panthers to the 1971 state championship, earning himself a scholarship at Indiana University.
10-24 years ago
David Townsend Jr. was an all-state linebacker and defensive captain for the Panthers in 1992, the first Reitz team to advance to semi-state. He led the team in tackles in 1991 & 1992 and was the first linebacker to return an interception for a touchdown since Don Hansen in 1961.
FYI – Full profiles for the Class of 2014 will be added to the Hall of Fame page in the coming days. Thanks to the selection committee members (Mike Whicker, Larry Ellington and Jon Carl) for their input, and special thanks to everyone in the Reitz Nation who voted and made their voice heard.