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NLS chartered HOF in ’12

Tribune photo The New London-Spicer Athletics Hall of Fame display is hung just outside the senior high gymnasium and near the main office. Rambow, Inc. did the photo artwork/laser engraving and then cooperated with West Central Trophies to provide plaques/metal plates. Curtis Hanson Custom Cabinets made the display board.

NEW LONDON — The charter class of the New London-Spicer Athletic Hall of Fame was inducted in September. Eight charter members were selected. Subsequent inductions, which will be every other year, will select between four and six new inductees

Athletic director John Vraa said nominations for the next class will be accepted starting March, 2014. Those nominated but not selected will remain on the ballot for up to four subsequent selections.

The Charter Class

Ron Dobbs – Athletic director 22 years when 44 Wildcat teams reached State; executive secretary of West Central Conference for 16 years. Starting in 1979 helped add four sports to extracurricular offerings.

Cindy Haugejorde (1976) – A pioneering Title IV athlete earning 12 letters in golf, basketball, track and volleyball starting in the early ’70s. Holds scoring and rebounding records at University of Iowa. Played professionally for San Francisco Pioneers and two years in Italy.

Jon Lundberg (1978) – State wrestling champ in 1978 with career record of 115-29/69 pins. Earned 16 letters in four sports. All-conference running back who yet holds school’s 300-hurdles record. Winner prestigious Mt. Olivet Lutheran Athlete of the Year. National champion wrestler at Augustana, Junior World Greco-Roman and Pan-Am Games champion. Narrowly missed berth on two Olympic teams.

Tonia Nelson (1993) – Won 13 letters in tennis, basketball and softball. Three-time state tennis entrant with 132-27 record and second-place in doubles. Wildcats’ girls basketball all-time leader steals and assists on teams that went 102-10 with three state runner-up finishes. A three-time all-conference shortstop/pitcher. Played collegiate sports at U of M and St. Thomas.

Dave Peterman – Started boys and girls tennis leading to 26 conference championships and eight state tournament appearances with three top-four finishes. Overall, these teams were 784-298. Thirty-nine year coaching career also included 12 years as cross-country coach and boys basketball coach with five conference championships and 140-60 career mark.

Susan Semmler (1994) – All-state volleyball, basketball and track with 13 letters. A 4-time All-Area volleyball pick. Played on basketball teams that went 111-9 reaching state championship four straight years. 2-time state shotput champ with school record (43-4). Played volleyball at Augustana.

Brady Toops (2000) – Nine-time letterwinner. All-Area football, three-time All-Area baseball. Batted .461 with 25 doubles and 75 RBI. Threw out 37 of 41 trying to steal. The ex-Cats’ catcher started three years at University of Arkansas. His dramatic ninth inning grand slam against Wichita State in a 2004 NCAA Regional game propelled the Razorbacks to an eventual College World Series berth. Played three seasons in the minors in the St. Louis Cardinals system.

Sid Vraa – Wildcats’ football coach from 1963-74 won five West Lake Conference titles with four unbeaten league campaigns. Career record of 87-29-3 included three years at Browns Valley. Wildcats’ first wrestling coach went 19-15 in three seasons.

Rand Middleton
Tribune photographer/videographer. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime news/sports beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children. 
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