Chuck Fritscher Retires As Dieterich Scorekeeper


Published on April 23 2024 1:42 pm
Last Updated on April 24 2024 6:07 am
Written by Millie Lange

Forty years ago, Chuck Fritscher said yes . . . to being the scorekeeper for Dieterich High School basketball.

"It was 1984 and Mike McCollum was the coach," said Fritscher. "I was one of those front row, crazy fanatics and I think he wanted me off the front row!

"I was 24 years old and he asked me if I'd do it. I saw them through a lot of coaches and timers. I just thought it was time to hang it up."

"Chuck has been the best part of Dieterich sports for a long time," said Bud Ervin. "He knows what's going on with all the sports. He was wonderful to sit next to and talk sports with."

"I have known Chuck since the first day I started at Dieterich which was in 1995," said Dieterich Athletic Director Donetta Ohnesorge. "He was never shy and always had time to stop and talk throughout the day, usually about sports. He liked the Cubs so I knew he was a nice guy and we would get along."

"I ran the clock and everything else but mainly I was the scorekeeper," said Fritscher. "If the timer wasn't there I would run the clock. I had the best seat in the gym and I heard a lot of things. I had fun with all the officials and made so many friends. I saw some great, awesome games."

Fritscher was named to the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2016.

"That was very much appreciated," said Fritscher. "I was honored to be among the area scorekeepers with St. Anthony's Bill Farrey and Neoga's Mary Sur. I'm also in the Coaches Association Hall of Fame for umpiring."

"Throughout the years I have known Chuck in more roles than just an employee at Dieterich," said Ohnesorge. "I coached both of his daughters in softball and basketball. He was alway a parent who would work with his kids to make them better. Chuck also took care of the softball and baseball fields so as a coach and later an athletic director, I appreciated his help in getting the diamonds ready to play."

"Chuck is a family man and he loves his grandkids," said Ervin. "I went to school with Chuck and he was on the baseball team with us. Also basketball. He played all the sports and he was very knowledgeable on all the sports.

"What a great guy. I consider him a dear friend and wish him well in the future. He's tried to recruit me to be his softball partner. I haven't retired from working yet but I just might work with him. He's a fun guy."

"The loudest game I was keeping score at was when Dieterich played St. Anthony," said Fritscher. "It was so loud I couldn't hear Bill Farrey sitting next to me.

"I saw some great buzzer beaters and heartbreakers. It was just fun and kept me young.

"There was a lady that took my place. I quit going on the road and when I stopped going on road trips she did that. I just did the home games. There was no reason why I gave it up. It was just time."

Fritscher has been the maintenance man for 32 years at Dieterich school.

"Steve Dasenbrock told me not to wait too long to retire," said Fritscher. "I went and visited him before he died and then I decided it was time."

Chuck is married to Lisa and they have two daughters, Valerie and Vanessa. He has two grandchildren, Lincoln and Ada Jaide.

"I started this before I was married and had kids and I just kept going," said  Fritscher. "It was just something to do and I kept the score for my girls' games.

"There were some wonderful coaches I worked with. Mike McCollum, Jamie VanScyoc, Gary Shirley and Kenny Crawford. I just remember those guys and you'll never forget them. Doug Mammoser had to be the funniest one. He had me rolling."

Fritscher remembered some of the games and players he saw and admired.

"Dieterich played in the Capital Classic one year. We played Robinson with the Meyers Leonard kid. A good player. I remember the Cliff Westendorf years and it was fun to watch him play.

"It's just all been fun. We had some very good years. It's like the Cubs, we had good years and bad years. You still cheer for them and your heart goes out to them."

Fritscher was honored at Dieterich High School with a plaque and thanked for his years of service.

"At basketball games he kept the books and would peridodically do the clock if we ever got in a pinch which was very nice," said Ohnesorge. "After his daughters graduated, he got his softball umpire license and has since been umpiring many games at the junior high, high school and college level.

"I think a memory that I will take with me about Chuck is his passion for Dieterich High School. His emotions on his last days of school before retiring says what this school meant to him."

"I'm a big, old teddy bear and I cry real easy," said Fritscher. "I cried when they honored me at Dieterich and I didn't know they were going to do it."

Fritscher is still umpiring softball.

"I did about 120 games last year," said Fritscher. "They talked me into signing up for junior colleges. I umpire high school, junior college, travel ball and junior high.

"I love being out on the field. I love watching kids get better from junior high and high school and see them playing at college. It's fun to watch."

Fritscher has worked two state softball championship games and 11 junior high championships.

"The kids have always been respectful," said Fritscher. "How many young people I've met through those 40 years. I didn't know getting old was going to happen so quick. You just need to enjoy each game and enjoy the ride. It's over before you know it."