RTHS inducts Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2023

Rochelle Township High School honored the Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2023 before Friday evening's varsity football game against the Johnsburg Skyhawks. Michelle Dobbs, Matt Rosenwinkel, Grant Prusator, Deanne Kester Mittlesteadt, Deb Austin Schabacker and Dawn Schabacker Shaz were each presented with awards and recognized during Friday's ceremony. (Photo by Russell Hodges)

Six honorees recognized Friday evening

ROCHELLE — Rochelle Township High School honored the Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2023 before Friday evening's varsity football game against the Johnsburg Skyhawks. Michelle Dobbs, Matt Rosenwinkel, Grant Prusator, Deanne Kester Mittlesteadt, Deb Austin Schabacker and Dawn Schabacker Shaz were each presented with awards and recognized during Friday's ceremony.

Michelle Dobbs

Michelle Dobbs, a 2013 graduate of RTHS, is the daughter of former RTHS coaches John and Kay Dobbs. During her tenure at RTHS, Michelle was a versatile athlete, competing in Cross Country, Basketball, and Track and Field, earning 11 varsity letters in her four years.

On the track, Michelle left a mark in the record books by setting nine school records, spanning across a range of events from the 800m to the 3200m, both indoors and outdoors. Her talent and dedication earned her three IHSA All-State accolades. In her senior year, Michelle won the state championship title in the 800m, setting a new state record with a time of 2:10.78.

On the basketball court, Michelle was a two-time NIB-12 East player of the year and two-time special mention IBCA all-state. She is scattered throughout the record board in the Lady Hubs basketball program, including top 10 in scoring, rebounding and steals.

Michelle’s excellence extended beyond athletics. She graduated her class as valedictorian, a National Merit Scholar, and she earned a spot on the IHSA All-State Academic team. After graduating from RTHS, Michelle embarked on her collegiate journey at the University of Chicago.

In college, Michelle set seven school records in track and field and was an eight-time All-American. Her dedication culminated in winning the indoor 800m title in 2015. Michelle revisited her love for basketball during her senior year at UChicago and played for the Maroons in the NCAA tournament.

Michelle and her fiance Nick now live in Denver, Colorado where she spends her time riding and racing bikes and working as a software engineer.

Matt Rosenwinkel

Matt Rosenwinkel, a 2013 graduate of RTHS, is the son of Mark and Gayle Rosenwinkel. Matt was a 4-year Varsity letter winner in the men’s Basketball program from 2010-2013 and a 2-year Varsity letter winner in men’s soccer. 

While at Rochelle, Matt was part of the 2012 Men’s soccer regional championship and 2011-12 men’s basketball conference championship. In basketball, Matt was a 2-time first-team all-conference player, a 2013 season News Gazette honorable mention all-state, an AP honorable mention all-state and an IBCA special mention all-state player. 

His career stats place him:

  • 5th in points scored with 1359 points
  • 2nd in 3-pointers made with 232
  • 2nd in free throw percentage of 82.3%
  • 5th in 3-point percentage

His single season stats include:

  • 1st in season field goal percentage at 87%
  • 1st in free throw percentage
  • 3rd in 3-pointers made with 86
  • 5th in most points scored in a game at 42

After his time at Rochelle, Matt was a four year member of the Northern Kentucky University Men’s basketball team. Highlighting his college career, Matt was a team captain for the 2016-17 season where the Norse won the Horizon League Tournament and made the University’s first ever appearance in the Division 1 NCAA Tournament. 

After graduating with an MBA from Xavier University, Matt joined Macys, working in their data & analytics department and currently resides in Rochelle. He has been a member of the Rochelle Men’s basketball coaching staff since 2022, winning its first regional championship since 2009.

Matt would like to congratulate the other inductees tonight and thank his family, friends, teammates and coaches for all their support and motivation in making this possible. 

Deanne Kester Mittlesteadt

Deanne Kester Mittlesteadt, a 1987 graduate of RTHS, is the daughter of Truman and Diane Kester. She received six Varsity letters during high school, four  in Track and two in Cheerleading. 

Deanne was the Sectional Champion and qualified for the Illinois State track meet her Junior year. Her 37 feet 1 inch shot put toss at the State Track Meet set the RTHS record which she still holds today. During her Senior year, Deanne returned to the Illinois State Track meet, qualifying in discus.

She also still holds the RTHS discus record with a throw of 119 feet 10 inches and achieved the Girls Track High Point Award for earning the most points for the 1987 season. She was a cheerleader for both football and basketball all four years. She was on the Varsity squad her Junior and Senior years and was Captain her Senior year. 

Deanne was also a member of the Rochelle Hub Marching Band Flag & Rifle team her Freshman year. That year, the RTHS marching band performed the pregame and halftime show at Soldier Field for the Chicago Bears vs Atlanta Falcons game.

After high school, Deanne received her Associates Degree from Kishwaukee College and worked in accounting. She was active in Rochelle area Volleyball leagues until 1997. She married Douglas Mittlesteadt in 1998 and relocated to Ann Arbor, Michigan where she later was a stay at home mom for their two children.

They relocated to Texas in 2013 where Deanne now plays tennis in four North Houston area competitive leagues. She also enjoys playing pickleball and golf with Doug and seeing her children excel in their college studies.

Grant Prusator

Grant Prusator, a 2013 graduate of RTHS, is the son of Todd and Janice Prusator. He was a four-year Varsity letter winner in the Boys Basketball program from 2010-2013 under Head Coaches Russ Zick and Tim Thompson.

Grant had great success for the Hubs as a team member and an individual on the hardwood. Coach Tim Thompson would say that, “Grant's work ethic was second to none, and I am blessed I was able to Coach him for four years.

While playing for the Hubs, Grant was part of the Conference championship team in 2011-12. Grant was a two-time first team all-conference player and two-time IBCA honorable mention all-state. He is scattered throughout the record board in the Hubs Boys Basketball program. 

His career stats place him as

3rd in career points with 1543 points

1st in career 3 point field goals with 282

3rd in career assists with 317

3rd in career steals with 138

His single season records include

1st and 3rd in 3 pt Field goals with 96 and 85

1st at RTHS 16th in the IHSA with 16 consecutive Free Throws made

1st with 9 3 point field goals made in one game

After his high school career, Grant had a successful career playing at Highland Community College, Indiana State, and at Arkansas Tech where they played in the National tournament. Grant and his wife Kelly currently reside in Phoenix, Arizona where Grant is coaching at Boulder Creek HS and running PruHoops Elite Basketball Skills Training.

Grant would like to thank his HS teammates and coaches for providing him with a positive basketball experience and memories and friendships that will last a lifetime. 

Deb Austin Schabacker

Deb Austin Schabacker, attended Rochelle Township High School 1973 through 1976. She is the daughter of Luther and Norma Austin. 

During her time at Rochelle Deb was very involved with athletics and activities. She played Basketball, Volleyball, Softball, Tennis and she ran Track. Along with participating in those sports she also participated in the Concert Band, Varsity Band, Marching Band, Girls Athletic Association, and Rifle Corps. She earned 10 varsity letters while at RTHS. 

While playing tennis for RTHS her doubles team qualified three years in a row for the State Tennis meet. Deb was also selected as Captain of the tennis team. Along with her accomplishments in athletics she was also recognized by her peers as the Most Athletic for her class.  

In 1977 she married Terry Schabacker, and they had two boys, Brad and Matt Schabacker, who also both attended RTHS. Deb currently still resides in Chana with her husband Terry where they continue to farm.

Dawn Schabacker Shaz

Dawn Schabacker Shaz, attended Rochelle Township High School 1975 through 1979. During her time at Rochelle she attained 13 Varsity letters: Two in tennis, three in Basketball, four in volleyball, and four in Softball. 

While playing basketball, Dawn was selected captain and earned first team all-conference accolades in her Senior year. She was also the high point scorer and free throw trophy winner that year. Dawn was also selected as captain for the softball team and then went on to be recognized as first team all-conference in softball. 

When Dawn wasn’t playing a sport, she found time to participate in the Concert Band, Varsity Band and Marching Band. In 1979 Dawn was recognized as the RTHS female athlete of the year, the first female to be so awarded at Rochelle Township High School. 

Dawn graduated and went on to play sports at North Central College where she was later inducted into the North Central athletic hall of fame. While at North Central she was a three-sport athlete where she excelled in volleyball, basketball, and softball. She was a pitcher on the NCC team that finished fourth in the nation and she was also a member of the 1983 NCAA Division III Women’s basketball championship team. 

After graduating from the College with degrees in health and physical education, Schabacker took her first job at Lyons Township High School in LaGrange, where she still teaches and coaches. In 1999 she was selected as Coach of the Year by the Illinois Basketball Association and she coached the ladies’ softball team to third and fourth place finishes in the state tournament. 

She received her master's degree in public health from Benedictine University in 1993 and a second master's degree in curriculum and development from National-Louis University in 2003.