V.N.E.A. Hall of Fame Members

V.N.E.A Hall of Fame Members

Class of 1997
Ralph Allen

In 1997, at the time of Ralph's nomination into the Hall of Fame, this article was written in Tip Talk.
Special Honor

Ralph Allen has been nominated for induction into the Valley National 8-Ball Hall of Fame. Induction ceremonies will take place on Monday, May 26th in Las Vegas at the V.N.E.A. 17th Annual International Championships.

Ralph has been playing pool for over 60 years. His wife Rose and four children, Dave, Paula, Linda & Tim have been active in Valley Leagues for many years. In fact, his family has prepared the meal for the Sioux Falls year-end banquet many times. He has been a V.N.E.A. member since it began. He also has been a league president for nine years and team captain for 14 years. Ralph has placed & won many local tournaments throughout the years. Three tournament moments, however, stand out. Ralph was a member of the team that captured the V.N.E.A. National Championship in Reno in 1982. Other members of the team included Ken Barnhart, Dave Allen, Rich Reuwsaat and Mike Dreyer. The following year his team placed third in Milwaukee at the national championships. The other moment was winning the 1996 S.D. State team championship with teammates Rich Ochs, Bob Monlux, Dave Hemmah & Dan Hein. He has played in the V.N.E.A. international championships 14 times, placing several other times than the ones mentioned. Music Service would like to congratulate Ralph on this very prestigious honor and thank him for all of his efforts in promoting Music Service leagues throughout the years.


Class of 2002
Ken Barnhart

You might say it was quite a pool season for Ken Barnhart. "Barn" or "Barnie", as he is referred to by virtually everyone that knows him, enjoyed a year in which he was inducted into two different Halls of Fame, tied for the Sioux Falls men's A-1 league lead in points and finally was a member of the winning squad in the Great Plains team 8-ball tournament. Not bad for a 60 year old fella who thought his best years of pool were already behind him.

It has been a long journey for him to reach this point. Pool has been an integral part of Barn's life as he has been playing the game for 48 years. He has served as league president and captain of his teams, many of which won league titles. In addition, he was very instrumental in getting leagues started in this area over 20 years ago. That work and dedication led to the awards he received recently.

Barn was the only member inducted into the South Dakota Pool Hall of Fame this year. He was honored during a break in the action at the S.D. state 8-ball tournament played at Sioux Falls in March 2002. Barnie was caught off guard as he didn't know he was going to be the inductee. It turned out to be a very nice surprise when they called out his name.

He was also one of five people that were put into the Valley National Eight ball Association Hall of Fame. The ceremony took place on Memorial Day during the 22nd annual VNEA International Championships at Las Vegas. Criteria to get into the VNEA Hall of Fame was based on sportsmanship, participation and promotion of pool along with various accomplishments in local, state, regional and international competitions.

During the time between the two Hall of Fame ceremonies, the regular league season was wrapping up and he was in the running for high points in the S.F. men's A-1 league. It came down to the very last night, but the ole-timer could only get enough balls to end up in a three-way tie with Dan Hein and Dave Jennings, a pair of guys that Barn refers to as "young hot-dogs".

He was also fortunate to be part of the winning team in the men's division of the 23rd annual Great Plains team pool tournament. Earning one of those coveted championship jackets is a goal for all pool players around here and he was thrilled to finally get one. It was the first time he had won this event after finishing in the runner-up spot five times.

Tournament competition has been a huge part of Barnie's pool career. He has won numerous local championships and captured the S.D. state open A team title in 1999. He has followed that up with a pair of third place finishes in 2000 and 2001 and ended up fourth place this year. In 1982, at the 2nd annual VNEA Championships in Reno, Nevada Barnhart's team finished atop the leader board marking his most memorable moment. His team then came in a respectable third place the following year in Milwaukee, Wis.

Music Service appreciates all that Barn has done to help pool prosper in this area. The growth of the leagues and tournaments is a direct result of the time and effort that Barn and a few others put forth to set the foundation in the early years. Barnie is well known in the area and throughout the state and will continue to be a friend of pool as each league season comes and goes.


Class of 2004
Don Tanner

Don has been an active member of the V.N.E.A. since it was formed in 1980, and has participated in all but the first V.N.E.A. tournament. That's 23 consecutive tournaments he hasn't missed, no matter where the tournament was held. He has participated in every South Dakota State 8-ball tournament since 1977 and has been a state champion in both singles and team events many times, most recently being part of the team that won the S.D. State 8-ball A-division title in 2003. At that same tournament he was inducted into the South Dakota 8-ball Hall of Fame. In addition, his teams have fared well in leagues along with local and regional tournament events on a consistent basis. His love for the game of pool is very obvious based on all of these accomplishments.

Don, or "Tanner" as he is known in the pool circles, is very well known and respected among all players in South Dakota. His promotion of, and dedication to this game stands out along with his skill and camaraderie among his peers. Although very competitive, Don has always been gracious in victory and the first to congratulate you when you have been fortunate to beat him. All in all, Don is a very well rounded person who is easy to be around and enjoys people in general. Congratulations, "Tanner", for being inducted into the V.N.E.A. Hall of Fame.



Class of 2006

Lena Weisbeck & Rodney Weisbeck

Rod and Lena Weisbeck were honored for their contributions to pool and their loyalty to the VNEA by being presented with their Hall of Fame credentials during a ceremony between the singles and tem events at the VNEA International tournament in Las Vegas.  The Weisbecks are the first husband-wife team to be included in this elite group.  Rod & Lena Weisbeck have been playing pool for over 35 years and between them have been very successful on the tournament circuit which includes local, state and national events.  The Weisbecks are also members of the South Dakota Pool Hall of Fame.  Congratulations to both of the Weisbecks for their award and thanks to both for their support and promotion of pool over the years.