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

1960's

        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.

                                                                                 2000's

          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 owner ship 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.

                                                                                2010's

           Starting in 2010, the Ptarmigan Owners were Chad Skluzacek, Steve Kartak, and Nick Schoenecker.  The Polars were led by Al Weeman, Kevin Pexa, and Ryan Kubes.
  The 51st Sno-Bowl was a fierce battle that featured multiple goal line stands.  The game was played in frigid conditions with wind chills near 10 below.  Two feet of snow made for another low scoring game in which the Polars would win by a score of 6-0.  The only score featured a pass from Nolan Pumper to Neil Fischer.  The 52nd Sno-Bowl would be a Polars 12-6 Victory led by Ryan Punchacar.  Both the 53rd and 54th games would end in ties of 0-0 and 6-6. 

            In 2013 a sleeper play thrown to a wily veteran ,Al McHugh, would give the Ptarmigans an early lead. However, a short time later Chad Skluzacek would fumble as he was sacked by Mike Jirik.  The fumble would be scooped up by Aaron Shetka, and he would rumble 5 yards into the endzone to tie it up.  The game would end that way. In 2013 Jeff Zweber was added to the Hall of Fame.  The 2014 game was a high scoring affair with Nolan Pumper throwing 3 touchdowns to Neil Fisher, Tony Kubes and Aaron Kes to help the Polars win 22-12.  The 55th game also featured the first ever onside kick which was successfully recovered by rookie Dylan Eaton. Also in 2014 Pete Kartak, Bobby Kriha, Eric Steinhoff and Ron Schoenecker were added to the Hall of Fame.  At the conclusion of the 55th Sno-Bowl the Polars were sold to Jason Haugen, Russ Kes, Aaron Shetka, and Mike Jirik, while the Ptarmigans were sold to Chase Buthe, Jake Schoenecker, Andrew Wolf and Paul Frykman.

                       The 2015 Snobowl was full of excitement, although it would eventually end in a 12-12 tie. The game featured many "Trojan Greats" from yester year.  Nolan Pumper commanded the Polars like a field general on the first two drives.  On the first drive he took off on a long run and followed it up by hitting Connor O'Brien in the back of the end zone to give the Polars a 6-0 lead.  On the next possession he hit Tony Kubes for a quick touchdown.  Kubes was well covered but made a leap above three Ptarmigans and pulled the ball down one handed for a touchdown.  After that it would be all Ptarmigans, led by Mitch Lunder at QB.  Ptarmigans ran a "Wild Cat Offense" with Lunder slashing though the Polar Defense including adding a rushing TD to cut the score in half just before the break.  In the 2nd half it looked like Polars might drive the last nail in the coffin when they were inside the 5 yard line.  The Ptarmigans refused to quit and after a valiant goaline stand the Polars fumbled and the Ptarmigans took over at mid field.  With under 1 minute to goal Lunder threw a ball up for grabs into the endzone, it was batted around but finally nestled into Adam Mitchel's hands to tie the score 12-12, which is how the 56th Snobowl ended.

           The Ptarmigans were able to defeat the Polars by a score of 14 to 6 in the 57th Sno-Bowl that included over 50 participants this year.  The Ptarmigans scored first when Austin Bachman rolled to his left and heaved a long pass to the back of the end zone that required Adam Mitchell to make a spectacular circus catch.  The Ptarmigans converted on the two point conversion with Bachman hitting Paul Frykman on a slant.    Both defenses remained strong throughout the game with the Polar defensive line of Jay Reinke, Zack Dubanoski, Jason Haugen and Kevin Pexa keeping the game close by applying pressure on Bachman.
                Al Weeman had a big interception late in the first half that would allow the Polars to drive down the field and add their own score when Ryan Haugen hit Austin Weinandt over the middle.   The Ptarmigan defensive held their own as Michael Eide intercepted Haugen twice and Danny Beckius picked him off once. In the second half the Ptarmigans drove down field with some powerful runs from Andy Zweber, Kevin Korbel and Connolly Turek and finished it off with a touchdown run from Bachman.   
                Awards were handed out after the game with Darrell Christenson winning Lineman of the year, Michael Eide named Defensive MVP, Adam Mitchell was the Offensive MVP, Rookie was Hunter Kinkade, Goat was Austin Bachman and the MVP was Chase Buthe.  

The 58th Sno-Bowl

              The Polars gained a hard fought 6-0 victory over the Ptarmigans in the 58th Annual Sno-Bowl.  Temperatures at game time were around 10 below, both teams played extremely well showing little effect from the cold.  On a day that looked like it would be difficult to throw the ball the Polars opened with a 30 yard pass when Ryan Haugen connected with Austin Weinandt.  It looked like the Polars would score early but pressure was applied when Haugen was sacked on back to back plays by Nick Schoenecker and Nate Jones. After an incomplete pass the Polars were forced to punt.  The Ptarmigans took over and on their first offensive play the ball was fumbled by Connolly Turek.  The fumble set up a 10 yard touchdown run from Haugen. 
                The rest of the game was mostly a defensive battle with a few successful offensive plays mixed in.  For the Polars Zack Dubanoski and Zack Shetka carried the ball throughout the game but were unable to score.  Defensively the Ptarmigans were anchored by Zack Sirek, Chase Buthe, and Michael Coldagelli at linebacker. The Ptarmigans moved the ball sparingly with Kevin Korbel carrying the ball and catching a 20 yard screen pass from Alex Eide.   However, the Polar defense was just as stout with Jay Reinke, Kevin Pexa and Mike Jirik applying pressure all game.
                After the game awards were handed out during the meal at Whiskey Business, Jay Reinke earned the game’s MVP for dominating on Defense and on Offense.  Ryan Haugen was the Offensive MVP with the game’s only touchdown.  Nick Schoenecker was the Defensive MVP making 2 sacks and multiple tackles.  Chad Lukkes was the lineman of the year and Mark Lukkes was the Rookie of the Year.   Connolly Turek was the Goat with his fumble that set up a touchdown.   The Polar Owners are Aaron Shetka, Russ Kes, Jason Haugen and Mike Jirik.  The Ptarmigan Owners are Chase Buthe, Jake Schoenecker, Paul Frykman and Andrew Wolf.  The history of the game, photos and more can be found at http://ballcharts.com/snobowl.

The 59th Sno-Bowl

In the 59th Sno-Bowl, with temperatures hovering around 10 degrees, the Ptarmigans edged the Polars 8-0.  Both teams were able to move the ball but were plagued by turnovers.  The Polars used a powerful run attack led by Zack Dubanoski and Zack Shetka at halfback but every time they moved into Ptarmigan territory an interception or fumble ended their hopes of scoring.  Polar quarterback Ryan Haugen was able to complete several passes throughout the game but would earn the Goat Award after being intercepted five times.

The difference in the game proved to be Chad Skluzacek coming out of Sno-Bowl retirement to lead the Ptarmigans at quarterback.  He completed a deep pass to Neil Fischer who was marked down at the 1 yard line.  Two plays later Jon Schoenecker scored on an outside sweep play.   The two point conversion was good when Ptarmigans faked the sweep play and Schoenecker threw a pass to Adam Mitchell in the back of the end zone.  The Ptarmigan defense held solid for the remainder of the game to secure their victory.

Awards were presented at the postgame ceremony held at Czecher’s Sports Bar.  Overall MVP was awarded to Paul Frykman for his ability to play center, Offensive MVP and Rookie of the Year went to Ben Buthe who carried the ball for the Ptarmigans, Defensive MVP went to Chad Lukkes who had 2 fumble recoveries, Lineman of the Year went to Brady Loose and Ryan Haugen was named the Goat of the Year.  Owners for the Ptarmigans are Paul Frykman, Jake Schoenecker, Andrew Wolf and Chase Buthe.  Owners of the Polars are Jason Haugen, Russ Kes, Mike Jirik and Aaron Shetka.  More information on the Sno Bowl can be found at ballcharts.com/snobowl.

 



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