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Minter to enter 15th Hall of Fame

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Minter to enter 15th Hall of Fame
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

Roy Minter goes into yet another hall of fame (this is his 15th HOF) on Monday at Rochester when the legendary Ridgewater College coach enters the Mayo Civic Center Region I Wrestling Alumni Hall of Fame Banquet. Every senior wrestler in the section is invited to attend each year.


This time Minter's being recognized for his career as an athlete. In 1954, at Williams Arena, he was the individual state champion at 167 pounds for Owatonna, which also won the team title based on individual results.

"That (individual title) was his dream," said his wife of 53 years Mary Jo, then an Owatonna junior. "When the match was over he looked up at me and waved."

Minter went on to wrestle for Mankato State where he was an NCAA national runner-up.

Minter went on to coach at Worthington before coming to Willmar and the new college in 1968. Today, he gets a thrill out of seeing his former Warriors succeeding in society.

One of those is Dean Jennissen, who played three sports here from 1985-87.

"I'll never forget wresting for Roy, said Jennissen, part of a well-known Staples wrestling clan. "He's one of my great influences. He's forgotten more about wrestling than I'll ever know."

Jennissen coached and taught at Osakis and then Dassel-Cokato, where he had some huge years, for 10 years and was a middle-school principal at Annandale for six years. He's now in his second year as high school principal back at Dassel-Cokato.

He's a volunteer coach and helps with the Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Assn. His brothers, Neil and Jesse, are coaches at Cambridge-Isanti, which is at state for the ninth time since Neil arrived.

Headed south

Five pitchers are listed on the Ridgewater College Lady Warriors' roster for its spring training trip to Cocoa Beach, Fla., Thursday through Tuesday. They'll play six games.

Sophomore Heather Thoma shared the pitching chores last year with Cali Rittenour, who left after her freshman year and is now playing for Minnesota Southwest State. Freshmen with the potential to pitch are Jodi Merritt, Canby; Kristin Kahle, Winsted; Patina Queenan, Kerkhoven; and Molly Anderson, Granite Falls. Todd Thorstad's Lady Warriors are rated No. 3 in the NJCAA DIII preseason poll.

New Warriors' baseball coach Joel Barta takes 20 players to Arizona on Saturday for the RussMatt Greater Phoenix Invitational. Ten complexes will be in used by up to 75 college teams, including training sites once used by the Brewers and Angels. Barta will look to parade five starting pitchers and five relievers to the mound over nine games.

Playoff rewrite

The Ridgewater Lady Warriors didn't get to play in the MCAC state tournament at Willmar, despite winning a playoff game for fourth-place in the South. Instead, the weaker Northern Division got to send five teams.

The south teams -- Rochester, Riverland and Anoka-Ramsey -- ended up taking the top three trophies while going 5-0 against teams from the North.

The imbalance occurred due to outdated MCAC bylaws that were supposed to be revised but no one got around to it -- until this weekend but too late for the Lady Warriors.

"We rewrote the whole handbook and hopefully this will never happen again," commented Lady Warriors' coach Carrie Ogdahl in an email.

She said her colleagues in the coaching ranks felt the decision to send the North's fifth-place team instead of the South's fourth was a poor decision and a dilemma that should have been avoided.

NJCAA wrestlers

Eight Warrior wrestlers combined to win eight matches on the first day of NJCAA tournament; none got to the second day.

"I think they realized that is possible to be an All-American, but that the road is not easy," said head coach Tom Beyer. "One of my concerns going (in) was that many of the (qualifiers) had national wrestling experience at the high school level. Most of our athletes have little or none. It made them realize there is another level."

The good news is that next season, Beyer could return seven national qualifiers.

Only Trent Molacek is a sophomore. The Willmar athlete had two outstanding years at the college, in football as well as wrestling.

Swimmers to state

Senior Steve Kluver swam a personal-best 22.40 at sections and will head to the state meet No. 5 in the 50 free. Tim Walker of Dassel-Cokato/Litchfield is first with a 21.51.

Kluver is in the top eight in the backstroke. The Cardinals are on the bubble in all three relays and will probably have to drop time in each to make the championship heat and all-state honors on Saturday.

On the fly

Recent academic honors for Willmar teams: Nordic skiing boys and girls received Gold Award for Section 2 ... boys swimming and Diving team Section 3A Academic champions.

Hockey player Chelsey Wierschem has been selected to play in the 10th annual Minnesota High Senior Classic at the Schwan's Super Rink in Blaine this weekend. Sponsored by the Minnesota Girls Hockey Coaches Association, the event has eight all-star teams based on sections.

My apologies to the Bredberg family, especially Jay: In a recent write-up, and several other times writing in haste, I have mistakenly inserted his father Jeff onto the Cardinal hockey line-up.

Jay Bredberg is one of nine seniors who played their final game on Saturday. The others are Brian Klein, Trent Fader, Rory Schneider, Matt Odom, Zach Chester, John Nelson Landon Baker and Jake Sobieck.

Local Nordic skiers Phil Hoffer and Jack Woodhall competed in the 90k (60 mile) Vasaloppet in Mora, Sweden, on Sunday. According to Frosty Peterson of the Nordic Ski Club, Hoffer finished in around eight hours and Woodhall in about 11.

Former Cardinal Bonnie Henrickson's had her Kansas basketball team on a roll going into Baylor last night. The Jayhawks were 5-9 in the Big 12 and 16-11 and riding a three-game winning streak. They beat then No. 21 Iowa State, then Oklahoma State in Stillwater to end a 12-game losing streak in Big 12.road games followed by a 70-47 win over Nebraska at Lawrence on Saturday.