Donna (Venverthloh) Goerlich

Donna GoerlichInducted 2006.  Three-Sport Standout in Late 70’s & Early 80’s.  Class of 1981.

Donna (Venvertloh) Goerlich, one of the many outstanding female athletes who were part of QND’s dominance during the late 1970s and early 1980s, will be remembered for her determination and never-give-up attitude.

Goerlich received two varsity letters as a reserve on the 1977 and 1978 volleyball teams that finished second and first in the state. She was a starter for three years on the basketball team. She was the team’s most valuable defensive player after her junior season. As a senior, she was the co-captain and point guard for the team that finished 28-4 and placed second in the state. She averaged 10 points but was known more for her defense and playmaking. During the state tournament run, Goerlich was ill most of the time, and after the team’s semifinal victory over Rushville, she was taken by ambulance to the hospital — only to return to play in the title game hours later.

She was a four-year starter on the softball team, playing shortstop for three years and third base as a senior. She was named most valuable as a junior, then was co-captain of the 1981 team that went 29-0 and won the state championship. Goerlich also played in six consecutive national ASA tournaments — four with the Quincy Jets and one each after she was drafted by teams from Rock Island and Peoria, an honor reserved for only two girls in Illinois.

Goerlich and her husband, Joe, are the parents of 8-year-old twins, Emily and Andrew. She works for the Quincy Public Schools as a part-time Reading Recovery teacher.

“I accept this induction with gratitude and humility. I am thankful to my parents, Gene and Margie Venvertloh, for being my No. 1 fans and teaching me to persevere and believe in myself. I am thankful to my coaches at QND — Bill Starkey and Ivan Brown — as well as Harry Phillips of the Quincy Jets. From Mr. Starkey, I learned to picture myself being successful. Mr. Brown taught me to never try to make up for one mistake by making another one. And from Harry, I learned to keep my chin up, no matter what. Finally, thanks to my teammates for all the memories and friendships, and for teaching me that relationships are what count most in life.”

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