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Nicole Polka Bitter, Eric Brunner and the late coach Dean Russell, stalwarts of Greendale High School athletics, are now part of its Hall of Fame.

All three were inducted into the hall on Feb. 3 before the Greendale boys basketball team's game against Brown Deer. They make up the second class of members of the hall, which opened in February of 2016.

Polka Bitter and Brunner were present at the ceremony, while Russell was represented by his son, Rich.

Brunner, a 2007 graduate, was honored for his work as an offensive and defensive lineman for the Greendale football team in the mid-2000s.

Brunner, a four-year starter for the Panthers, earned first-team all-state honors in 2005 and 2006, both on the offensive and defensive lines. He also was named the Associated Press Wisconsin Player of the Year and the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association Defensive Player of the Year, both in 2006.

He was first-team All-American by MaxPreps on the offensive line as well.

Brunner went on to play at Illinois State University and made the All-Missouri Valley Conference first team in 2010 and 2011 as well as All-Academic first team in those years.

Polka Bitter, a member of the Class of 1991, excelled in basketball and tennis.

In basketball, she was first-team all-conference, the CNI Newspapers All-Suburban Player of the Year and a Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel All-Area Player in both 1990 and 1991.

She also made honorable-mention all-state in 1990 and honorable-mention All-American in 1991.

In tennis, she was a four-time conference champion at first doubles.

Polka Bitter was given a full athletic scholarship to Eastern Illinois for basketball. She made the All-Mid Continent Conference second team in 1995 and still holds school records in 3-point field goal percentage, free throw percentage, steals and assists for a career.

Russell led the Greendale boys swimming team to the WIAA state team championship in 1970 and took the girls squad to conference titles in 1973-77 and 1988-89. He also guided the girls to conference relays crowns in 1988 and 1989.

He was named to the Wisconsin Swim Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1997.

Nominations for the Class of 2018 will be accepted beginning this summer. For more information, contact the athletics office at (414) 423-0590.

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