Julie (Lola) Piepenburg
Julie graduated from RLHS in 1976. Her four-year athletic career coincided with the U.S. Federal Law known as Title 1X effective June 23, 1972 that leveled the playing field for male and female athletes; essentially opening the door for women’s organized sports. With Rice Lake High School in the beginning years of girls sports, Julie seized the opportunity. She was a four-year starter in three girls sports. In basketball as a four-year starter for the Warriors she set the school record at the time for points scored in one game at 24 against D.C. Everest in the 1976 sectionals, which was the first year the WIAA held a post season tournament for girls. Also as a senior in 1976, she was the team MVP averaging 17 points per game, which included a team 10 consecutive wins and a 12 and 4 record all and 7 and 1 in the Ho’N conference. In track, Julie helped lead the Warriors to Ho’N Championships in 1975 and 1976 and as a discus thrower and shot putter in 1976 was undefeated in dual competition through the regionals. She placed 4th in State in the discus with a throw of 124.8, then a school record. Her shot of 41’ ½” is still a school record in the English system. In volleyball she was team captain in 1974 and 75 and MVP in 1975. Julie was one of the pioneers in organized school sports at RLHS and set an example of excellence for all of those girls who played sports after her. Following high school, Julie graduated from UW-LaCrosse in 1981 with a BA in Phy Ed and Health Education, but not before winning one conference shot-put title at 42’ 9 ¾”. She played slowpitch for many years in Rice Lake and Rochester, MN and ran marathons and long distance walks for charity. Currently, Julie is a surgical nurse in Willmar, MN and she and her husband are involved in conservation, hunting and fishing where they reside in Brooten, MN.