Competitors Hall of Fame: Louis Rotella

Hall of Fame – 1999
Omaha Central

Wrestling for Omaha Central for three years, Louis was a 2x State Champ in 1944 and 1945 and captain of the team. The team was recognized as the Most Outstanding High School Team in the United States under Coach Vern Ekfelt (Charter Hall Member). He was Midwest AAU Champ in ‘45 for high school and college and in the Natlional AAU meet in Dallas he took 3rd as a senior in high school while wrestling against college wrestlers. Louis was offered four year scholarships to Oklahoma A&M ( now Oklahoma State) and to Iowa but was drafted out of high school in June of 1945 to enter World War II. After the war, he kept involved with wrestling by helping the wrestlers at Ryan High School under Coach Ponseigo in ‘65. A good move on Coach Ponseigo’s part because they took State that year for the first and only time. He also helped out at the University of Omaha in ‘73 and continues to donate to that program (UNO) as well as Omaha Skutt. During his busy life he has also been named Outstanding American Italian of the Year (‘73 & ‘86), Honorary President of the Santa Lucia Committee (‘86), recipient of the Citizens Certificate of Merit for the city of LaVista (‘96), Purveyor of the year for the Omaha Restaurant Association, and is currently President of Rotella’s Italian Bakery which is nationally recognized by the Baking and Restaurant Industry. Counting as his biggest thrill the family that “God has blessed” him with in his wife, Helen; his children, Louis Jr. and wife Kathi; Maria and her husband Dean; his four grandsons and two granddaughters and their spouses;he is introduced by his friend, Dhafir Muhammad of Omaha.

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