By Tim “Shoe” Sullivan
If you’ve been paying attention at home, you know we recently did four columns on the slew of nicknames in Stevens Point. We mentioned over 300 of them. Lloyd “Bugsy” Gross. Rick “Bullhead” Koehler. Pat “Bird Dog” Mallek. Ron “Minnow” Shimek.
You get the drift.
But there’s a whole category we missed: Nick. We didn’t have any Nicks. Or, if you want to get technical, “Nick” names. A feature on nicknames should have Nick names. You know. Nick. It rhymes with Dick, Mick, Rick, Flick, and Zick. Today we will look at the Nicks, past and present, of Stevens Point. And the derivatives of Nick like Nicholas, Nicole, Nikki, and Nic.
Hang on, cuz there’s quite a few of them.
I guess we can start with my late neighbor from across the street. Nick Meronek. Nick was an absolutely super guy. It seemed like every day Nick was doing something to make things fun for all the neighborhood kids. He helped them build a beautiful softball field in his huge backyard. He took them fishing. Nick’s wife Vickie made them cupcakes. You couldn’t beat Nick Meronek.
There were several Nicks in Stevens Point sports. Nick Bandow was a terrific basketball player who once played with us in the Rec leagues. Nick Bennett was a star on the UWSP Pointer national champion basketball team. He was with Jason Kalsow and Jon Krull, and all those guys under Coach Jack Bennett. Nick Bennett could really shoot the “3” and I believe he once made 15 three-pointers in a Rec League game.
Then you had Nick Schultz. She was a fine reporter for the SPJ. And we can’t forget Nick Check who was the Portage County sheriff (1965-78). If you want more sports, Nick Molski was a super hockey player. Some Nicks from the past were Nick Jelich and Nick Ryan. Mr. Jelich passed many years ago. Nick Ryan ran Trivia at UWSP in the early days and I believe went on to become a weatherman on Channel 9.
Nick “Sween” Wyhuske was a great guy big in sports and fun-loving who passed way too young. Nic Dulmes plays for Kim’s Barrel Inn in Co-Ed softball at Doug’s Sports Pub. Then we come to the guy just down the road. Nic Lundgren. Nic is a guy who likes to have fun. His favorite golfer was Jack Nicklaus and he’s a fan of Alabama football under Nick Saban. Nic also enjoys listening to Stevie Nicks and watching Jack Nicholson movies. He’s too young to have voted for Nixon.
Moving over to the local women, Nicole Batzel played on our Barrel Inn hoops team for several years.
She teaches at SPASH. Nicole Spees plays second base for the Sloppy Swats at Doug’s. Nikki (Mason) Sobczak is on her own softball card. Alice Nichols was a terrific singer. Her “Amazing Grace” is awesome. Wait a minute. That’s Nuchols, not Nichols.
I looked in the phone book to try to find some Nicks. Last names of Nicks. (No way I’m gonna look for first names of Nick!). But no luck. The phone book went straight from Nicholson to Nickel. By the way, Nic Lundgren also enjoys watching Nickelodeon.
Some people just have a knack for finding things, and a buddy told me to get on the computer and type in “Nick/Stevens Point”. I didn’t nix the idea. Knack for finding Nicks. Nick knack. Found a few Nicks by doing so. Oh, there was D. Nicholas Carroll the attorney. Seems like a lot of Nicks are pretty smart guys.
Then Stevens Point attorney Nicholas Abts. UWSP Professor Nick Sweeney in Fine Arts. Nick Tillman of the UWSP College Support Team. Nick Somers, owner of Plover River Farms and Past President National Potato Council, and Nicholas Schneider of Counseling.
The Internet also turned up Nick Weisberg of Torun Road, Nick Zuelke of the Stevens Point Ultimate Frisbee Association, Pointer quarterback Nick Schroeder (who probably has a few nicks here and there), Nick Berens of Conifer Drive in Point, Dr. Nicholas Wyskoarko of Point, Nicholas Price (SPASH Class of ‘89), Nick Wrzinski (SPASH Class of ‘97), Nick Pilsner who played hoops for SPASH, Nicholas Pintar who died at 91 in 2013, and Nick Wiza who passed in 2015.
Oh, and we almost missed UWSP pitcher Nick Prebelski.
During the search, it also turns out that we have not one but two Nicks streets in town. Or something like streets — Nicks Drive and Nicks Lane. For some strange reason, the site I checked out only had one name with the last name of Nick. My buddy Bill Nuck was on there, but only one Nick.
David Nick. I’m befuddled as to who exactly David Nick is. And it’s like Mike Koback says: “It’s better to be befuddled than just fuddled.”
And now we must leave you. Just in the nick of time.