Southwest athletics has a long and storied history made up of outstanding individual performances and great teams. The glue that held a number of these athletic efforts together over the years was a string of memorable families. Count the Rotsch family as one of them with all five children Jim '61, Rick '65, Jeff '68, Deb '74, and Sue '76 helping lead Southwest to victories.
Together the family won over 25 letters while at Southwest earning numerous All Conference awards plus All State honors in hockey for Rick and Jeff. Jim and Jeff earned their letters in football and hockey, while Rick set the bar high earning ten letters in cross country, hockey, track, and golf. Deb and Sue were exceptional gymnasts, but with no high school gymnastics program, they had to demonstrate their multiple back flipping abilities as three year cheerleaders, both captaining the squads their Senior year.
Southwest sports leadership sought out the family as the Rotsch's were captains across five different sports. Rick helped lead the harriers to three cross country championships, while Jeff and Rick both captained their respective hockey teams to City Championships and State tournament berths. Deb and Sue were leading the varsity cheerleaders for the state cross county and state hockey championship teams during their respective years at the school. In addition, Sue was on the SW girls badminton team as they won the City Championship in 1976.
Following high school, Jim and Rick both played hockey for St. Cloud and lead their team to the National Senior Men's Championship in 1967. Rick captained a Duffs hockey team to the 1968 National Junior Championship. Jeff played hockey for the University of Wisconsin and captained the team his senior year. He participated in three Frozen Fours winning the 1973 NCAA Championship. Jeff was both the University of Wisconsin and Southwest's second ever College All American hockey player. Plus, Jeff was the first UW and first Southwest High School player to be drafted by the NHL. He went on to play with three US National teams captaining two of them. He is a member of the UW Hall of Fame for hockey.
All five children in the family said they wouldn't have accomplished nearly as much without the incredible support of their parents, Bud and Harriet Rotsch. Bud Rotsch passed away last month knowing his family was being Inducted tonight.