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Monday, June 1, 2009

Ray Schmitz (Inducted 2008)

Ray Schmitz biography from Hall of Fame Induction 2008.
 
Ray Schmitz (Class of 1951) was an outstanding 3-sport athlete (football, basketball, track) when it was rare to be a 3-sport athlete.  Ray excelled in all three and was the cornerstone for Perham's success in all three sports.  In Football he was a 3-year letter winner and an All-Conference player, finishing his career with an 18 game winning streak that ran through his junior and senior years with the team being unscored upon his senior season.  In football, Ray was a fullback that had the rare ability to be as good a blocker as he was a runner and drove defenses crazy with his relentless style of play.  On defense he had the size and speed to play both cornerback and linebacker depending on what the situation called for and was also the team's punter.
 
In Basketball, Schmitz helped lead a team that missed the Regions by one point in a one class Minnesota system.  Ray took his aggressiveness from the football field and transferred it to the basketball court in the winter.  Perham was always a team to be reckoned with as they usually held the size advantage and played an extremely aggressive style using their size to full advantage.  They were the Friday night entertainment and rarely disappointed their home town crowd.  Ray and his teammates were a team you didn't want to play in Perham as they held a strong following among the local faithful.
 
In Track, Ray ran the 100 yard dash, the 200 yard dash, competed in the long jump and was a key leg on the outstanding relay team that won the District 23 Championship in 1951.  Ray proved his versatility in covering four events with equal success in track. 
 
After high school, Ray took his football talent to St. John's where he was a 3-year letterman and played for NFL and Green Bay Packer legend Johnny "Blood" McNally and collegiate coaching legend John Gagliardi.  After college, Ray became the co-owner of Schmitz Ford, Inc., and the Ford and New Holland Farm Machinery dealership in Perham from 1955 to 2005.  Ray lives in Perham with his wife of 54 years, Jean.  Ray is a charter member of the Perham Rotary Club, a member of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association, a member of the Quality Deer Management Association and the Knights of Columbus.  Ray and Jean have seven children, Ginny, Greg, Mike, Tom, Joe, Dan, and Peggy.  Ray and Jean have been outstanding contributors and supporters of Perham sports of all kinds.  You can usually see them at football, basketball, wrestling, gymnastics, track, softball and baseball games following one or more of their grandchildren along with everyone else's children.  Ray could always be counted on to help and support Perham Schools and athletics.  He has always been a great supporter of the Perham School system.  Ray is engaging and always willing to talk Perham sports.
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