Old Sno-Bowl Articles - 1967 New Prague Times Sno-Bowl article
Old Sno-Bowl Articles
Old Sno-Bowl Articles - 25th anniversary page 1
Old Sno-Bowl Articles - '66
Old Sno-Bowl Articles - 60's snobowl
Old Sno-Bowl Articles - 70 snobowl pg1
Old Sno-Bowl Articles - 70 snobowl page 2
History of the New Prague Sno-Bowl
The Sno-Bowl began December 26th, 1960 when a group of eight friends decided to play a game of snow football after watching the the Eagles-Packers NFL Championship Game. The first year the game had only eight but the following year the number swelled to around 30. You needed to be an Alumni of New Prague High School to play and the tradition has continued every year since.
The 1960's were a pretty even mach-up between the two teams, however the Ptarmigans had a 5-4 edge over the Polars, it should be noted that there was also a tie. The lowest scoring Sno-Bowl that wasn't a tie happened, 2-0 Polars in '65. Then the most lopsided occurred the following year in 1966, 46-0 Ptarmigans. Dick Jonckowski was awarded two goat awards during the 1960's. The Polars Owner for the entire decade was Al Vanasek, while the Ptarmigans had a change of ownership in '64 from Mick Milinkovich to Rick Vanasek. 1970's
The 1970's were a better decade for the Polars as they were able to win six of the contests, the Ptarmigans won three, a 0-0 tie was recorded in 1971. In 1970 a proposal was made by a group from New Market to have New Prague vs New Market game instead of a Polar vs Ptarmigan game. This idea was voted down and the tradition continued. Bob Vanasek took over as Polar Owner in 1970 for five years before turning it over to Tom Rybak and Mike Solheid in 1975. They would own the Polars for the remainder of the decade. Bill Kartak became owner of the Ptarmigans for two years in 1973. In 1976 Doug Schoenecker and Jim Bachman would take over for the remainder of the 1970's. It should also be noted that the 1973 and 1974 New Prague Trojan Football team won back to back State Championships and many of these players would go on to join the Sno-Bowl. Dave Snyder picked up two MVP Awards ('73 and '77), and Bill and Doug Schoenecker collected three goat awards between them during the decade. 1980's
The 1980's were very evenly matched and included two ties. In 1984, the 25th Anniversary was held at the KC Hall. It should also be noted that the 1985 New Prague Trojan Football team brought the state championship back to New Prague, many of the state champs would compete in the Sno-Bowl. Pete Kartak and Ken Gieger would take over as Polar owners for the first four years of the decade. Todd Scheffler and Craig Bartyzal would finish out the decade for the Polars. Doug Schoenecker would remain as owner of the Ptarmigans but Mike Solheid would join him until '82 when Ron Schoenecker and Tom Vanasek would take over. Kurt Ruehling and Jon Wermerskirchen would purchase the team from Schoenecker and Vanasek to finish out the 1980's. 1990's
The 1990's were not documented as well as the previous decades. Several scores and award winners are missing. What we do know is that the Polars dominated the decade winning seven of the ten games. The Ptarmigan Owners in the second half of the decade were Greg Sticha and Paul Sirek. The Polars were owned by Jake Tietz and Jeff Zweber. The Minneapolis Star Tribune did an article in 1999 about the 40th Anniversary game which brought back many of the great players from yester-year. This article can be found in the memory section of the website.
The new millennium brought many changes but one thing that would remain unchanged would be the New Prague Sno-Bowl and Polar dominance. The Polars would win the first five games of the decade before the Ptarmigans mustered a 12-0 win in 2005. Owners in the first four years for the Polars were Dan Kaderlik and Mike Sticha. The Ptarmigan owners were Kurt Hoffman, Greg Maloney and Dan Studnicka. Attendance at the game was begging to dwindle and there were fears that the Sno-Bowl might be coming to a close, however, new ownership took over in 2004. Pete Sticha, Eric Steinhoff, and Jim Cavanaugh would now lead the Polars while Eric Pikal, Bob Connelly and Andy Tupy were at the helm for the Ptarmigans. Every year, since they took over, attendance has grown. The last four games have been extremely competitive with both teams winning one and two ties. The last game of the decade was as competitive as ever, it would eventually end in a 6-6 tie. A banquet that would feature 4 of the original players, including Dick Jonckowski as MC, took place the the KC Hall in New Prague. A short documentary on Kare 11 news also took place.
Dusty Steinhoff was a major fixture on the Polars winning Rookie, Offensive MVP and Defensive MVP throughout the decade. Chad Skluzacek also won MVP, Offensive MVP, Rookie and Goat during the decade.
The decade that lasted from 2010-2019 saw five ties, 3 Polar wins and 2 Ptarmigan wins. The owners that took over in 2010 were for the Polars Ryan Kubes, Al Weeman and Kevin Pexa. The Ptarmigan owners at the time were Nick Schoenecker, Chad Skluzacek and Steve Kartak. In 2015 the Polars were sold to Russ Kes, Aaron Shekta, Mike Jirik and Jason Haugen. The Ptarmigans were sold to Paul Frykman, Andrew Wolf, Chase Buthe and Jake Schoenecker.
The 51st Sno-bowl was one of the coldest games on record with temperatures around 10 below 0 and over 2 feet of snow on the ground. The game featured several goal line stands by both teams before Polar Quarterback Nolan Pumper would hit Neil Fischer for a 10-yard touchdown pass to win the game 6-0 for the Polars. A few years later Fischer would be named to the Hall of Fame. For over 2 decades he’s had a huge impact on Sno-Bowls being named both an MVP and a Defensive MVP. Nolan Pumper also had a huge impact during the decade playing quarterback for the Polars and being named MVP 3 different times.
During the decade both Chase and Ben Buthe were named Rookie of the Year and later MVP, with Ben Buthe most recently winning it in 2019. Mike Jirik was another dominant player of the era dominating the defensive line for 10 years straight. He has won Rookie of the Year, Defensive MVP and MVP. Nick and Jon Schoenecker also had positive negative impacts on the games by winning Goat Awards but also Jon winning and MVP Award and Nick winning Defensive MVP. Ryan Haugen won an MVP award but also took home two Goat Awards during the era. The sleeper play was used once successfully in 2013 when Chad Skluzacek hit Al McHugh for a long bomb.
The postgame celebration had been held for many years at Simon’s Sportsman’s Bar, however it was sold and became JT’s Hideaway. One year the celebration was held at JT’s and then was moved to Pauly’s Pub which later became Whiskey Business. Recently the JT’s became Czech’ers and the celebration, meal and awards ceremony has been moved back there.
To end the decade, the Polars were sold to Zack Shetka, Ryan Haugen and Zack Dubanoski. The Ptarmigans sold to Ben Buthe, Alex Eide and Tony Beranek.
Countdown to 64th Sno-Bowl (Dec 30, 2023 @ 12:00pm)