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Tribune Hall of Fame finalists named

Two first-time nominees are among the 10 finalists for the West Central Tribune Sports Hall of Fame. Former Tribune sports editor/coach/official Henry "Lefty" Ranweiler and longtime Clara City, Midwest Minnesota and Willmar girls basketball coach...

Two first-time nominees are among the 10 finalists for the West Central Tribune Sports Hall of Fame.

Former Tribune sports editor/coach/official Henry "Lefty" Ranweiler and longtime Clara City, Midwest Minnesota and Willmar girls basketball coach Brad Atchison are on the ballot for the first time since the inception of the Hall of Fame in 1999.

The other eight finalists have all appeared on the ballot in previous years. A voter from each of the 21 school districts, plus five Tribune employees are currently filling out their ballots. The winner(s) will be announced in Tuesday's paper.

As well as being the Tribune sports editor for many years, Ranweiler played minor league baseball in the Cleveland Indians' organization and was also the Willmar Community College (now Ridgewater College) baseball coach. He also was a baseball umpire and a football and basketball referee.

Atchison guided the Midwest Minnesota girls basketball team to a state title in 1986 and the Willmar girls to a state runner-up finish in 2004. He was inducted into the State Girls Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2002 and currently has over 500 wins.

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The other eight finalists are: Rod Black, a former coach and athletic director at Danube; Jerry Dahl, a 1966 Benson graduate and standout collegiate footballplayer who was drafted by the San Diego Chargers; Jeff Gallagher, also a Benson graduate who coached high school wrestling and baseball, as well as American Legion baseball at Montevideo and had over 500 victories in each one; Traci Grussing, a former Central Minnesota Christian volleyball coach who guided the Bluejays to three state titles; Jon Lilleberg, a 1980 Atwater graduate who was an All-State football player who went on to play four seasons as an offensive lineman with the Minnesota Gophers; Rick Meyer, a 1988 Granite Falls graduate who was a standout running back on two state championship teams; Becky Moen, a 1999 Morris Area graduate who won the Tribune's Hengstler-Ranweiler Award and went on to set several records on the University of North Dakota baskeball team; and Norman Sixta, a 1954 Willmar graduate, who was an All-State football player and a three-year starter as a two-way tackle for the Gophers.

Anyone involved in sports is eligible to be nominated. Athletes must have been out of high school at least five years to be eligible.

The Tribune chooses the 10 finalists for voting. Each voter chooses five of the nominees and ranks them in order with voting points on a 10-7-5-3-1 basis. Finalists must receive 75 percent of the total votes to be inducted.

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