When the Archbold High School varsity boys basketball team put on the uniforms of the Ridgeville Falcons, Saturday, Feb. 2, a connection that reaches back more than 100 years was made.
The Ridgeville School District, which started in 1841, was consolidated in 1969. Some Ridgeville students were transferred to Archbold.
Archbold schools honored the history of Ridgeville High School by dressing the junior varsity and varsity teams and cheerleaders as Falcons for Ridgeville Falcons Night.
Two members of the current team, AJ Mahnke and Andrew Hogrefe, are second cousins.
Class of 1906
Nancy Hogrefe, Ridgeville Corners, Andrew’s grandmother, provided information that stretches back to the boys’ great-great-grandmother, Clara (Schroeder) Hoffman.
Clara was a member of the first RHS graduating class of 1906. Until he was 13 years old, Andrew and his family lived in Clara’s house.
Andrew and AJ’s greatgrandparents, George Hoffman and Mathilda (Cordes) Hoffman, played basketball for RHS when the Falcons played in Giffey Hall. George graduated from RHS in 1935; Mathilda was a member of the Class of 1938.
AJ’s grandfather, Larry Mahnke, also played basket- ball as a Falcon. His wife, Pat (Hoffman) was a cheerleader. They graduated in 1962.
AJ’s father, Rob, graduated from Napoleon High School in 1985. He coached boys basketball at Tinora High School, taking a team to the state finals in 2009.
Today, Rob teaches math to eighth graders at Archbold Middle School.
Nancy Hogrefe and Pat Mahnke are sisters.
Nancy’s son, Tom, went to kindergarten at Ridgeville, and graduated from Archbold in 1985.
Her son, Tim, Andrew’s father, attended seventh and eighth grades when they were located in the Ridgeville school building.
Tim was a member of the 1988 AHS state champion football team. He graduated from AHS in 1989.
It is generally agreed, that few men are made better by affluence or exaltation.– Samuel Johnson