Six inducted into NLS Hall of Fame

The New London-Spicer Athletic Hall of Fame Banquet is 7 p.m. Thursday at the Little Crow Country Club. The 2018 inductees are Jessica Ackerman, Drew Fernelius, Brad Gronli, Amber Hanson-Barrett, Angela Sampson-Nelson and Brandon Smith. A limited...

The New London-Spicer Athletic Hall of Fame Banquet is 7 p.m. Thursday at the Little Crow Country Club.

The 2018 inductees are Jessica Ackerman, Drew Fernelius, Brad Gronli, Amber Hanson-Barrett, Angela Sampson-Nelson and Brandon Smith.

A limited number of tickets are available. Call NLS Community Education at (320) 354-2252, extension 2710.

The 2018 inductees are:

Jessica Ackerman (1998). Jessica earned 17 letters in cross country, gymnastics, and track and more than likely would have earned 18 had NL-S started gymnastics a year earlier. She participated in five state cross country individual meets, finishing 9th in 1995 and 11th in 1994. She also helped the team to four tournament appearances where the 'Cats finished State Runner-up in 1997 and 6th place in 1995. In gymnastics, Jessica was at the forefront of the new school sport earning four all conference awards. She participated in two state tournaments, placing 7th in the beam, 16th in the bars, and 15th in the all-around in 1998. In track, Jessica competed in seven different events over her six year career. She placed 4th in the state pole vault in 1998, after winning Sub Section titles in all four of her events. She also placed 13th in the 3200m run in the 1996 state meet. Jessica was the West Central Tribune's 1998 Hengstler-Ranweiler Award winner. She went on to compete in cross country at Eckerd College in Florida, earning all-conference honors.


Drew Fernelius (1989). Drew was a 3-sport athlete, earning 11 total letters, and was named the 1989 NL-S Male Athlete. In a six year tennis career, he posted a 134-12 over record (.918 win percentage). He was State Class A Singles Champion in 1989, State Singles Runner-up in 1988, and State Doubles 3rd Place winner with his brother, Jamy, in 1987. He earned All West Central Conference honors five times, while the Wildcats were a perfect 36-0 in conference play during his tenure. Fernelius went on to be an 8 X All MIAC player and a 2 X All American at the University of St Thomas. In addition to tennis, Drew was an All-Conference performer in football and basketball. He had 38 receptions for 665 yards and eight TD as a senior in football, while averaging 13.3 points/game in basketball. The 1988 basketball 'Cats went 17-2 overall and were District 20 Champions and 2 X West Central Conference Champions. Drew is currently the Bethel University Head Tennis Coach for Men and Women and was named Conference Coach of the Year two times.

Brad Gronli (1974). Brad "Froggy" Gronli earned 11 letters in cross country, basketball, and track. In cross country, Brad was a 2 X District 20 Champion and 3 X West Lake Conference Champion, leading the team to three consecutive West Lake Conference titles. He competed in the 1973 Region Cross Country Meet. In basketball, Brad was a three year starter. In 1973-74, Gronli was the team's leading scorer and was named to the WCCO All State Team. Brad excelled in track, winning the State 440 yard run in 1974 with a time of 49.8 - that record still holds today. He also finished 4th in the State in the High Hurdles and ran on the state mile relay team, leading the team to an 8th place finish. At the 1973 state meet, Brad finished 3rd in the 440 yard run and 4th in the mile relay. At one time, Gronli held school records in five events: 440 yard run, 880 yard run, high hurdles, mile relay, and cross country three mile run. Brad went on to Willmar Community College where he was named the 2 X Team MVP in basketball and placed 12th in the decathlon at the National Junior College Meet.

Amber Hanson-Barrett (1997). Amber was the point guard and floor leader on the first NL-S State Championship basketball team in 1997. She participated in four state basketball tournaments, with the team finishing 2nd in 1993, 2nd in 1994, 5th in 1995, and 1st in 1997. She is 2nd all-time in career assists with 523 and made 75 career 3 point shots. The teams overall record during Amber's career was 112-8 for a .933 win percentage. In volleyball, Amber was a five-time letter winner and participated in two state tournaments. She is second all-time in kills with 1,148 and hitting percentage at 89%. She recorded 2,958 attacks in her career - over 500 more attacks than any other player in NL-S history. She was named All Conference and All West Central Area three times each in volleyball and basketball, and played in the 1996 Minnesota All-Star Volleyball game.

Angela Sampson-Nelson (1993). Angela earned 14 letters in tennis, basketball, and softball. She had an overall career record of 133-35 in tennis. Angela was a three-time state place winner in doubles. She placed 4th in 1990 and 2nd in 1991 with Tonia Nelson, and was state runner-up again in 1992 with Trisha Olson. The tennis teams Angela participated on won five West Central Conference titles and had a 97-18 overall record. In basketball, Angela scored 872 career points, and added 304 career assists and 473 rebounds. She was a key member on three straight state runner-up teams - 1991, 1992, 1993. Angela was named All Conference and All West Central Area twice. In softball, Angela was five-year starter and part of the first ever NL-S softball team in 1988. She had career batting stats of: .384 average, 101 runs, 61 RBI, 20 2B, 8 3B, and 5 HR. As a pitcher, Angela posted 35 wins with 363 strikeouts in 368 innings. All told, Angela competed in seven state tournaments and was part of more than 240 varsity team wins at NL-S.

Brandon Smith (2000). Brandon earned varsity letters in football, wrestling, and track. His performance at the 2000 State Track Meet is the "Gold Standard" in the history of NL-S track. Brandon was state champion in the 100M dash, 200M dash, and anchored the state champion 4 X 200M which set a Class A record with a time of 1:30.20. NL-S was the team State Runner-up. As a junior, Brandon place 2nd in the State 100M, 3rd in the State 200M, and, unfortunately, had a false start in the 400M. Brandon currently holds four NL-S track records: 100M - 10.5 (his 10.72 100M time at the 2000 Section meet was a Class A State record), 200M - 21.6, 400M - 49.8, and 4 X 200M Relay - 1:30.20. Brandon went on to compete in track at Harvard University earning two indoor letters and was named All Ivy League as part of the champion 4 X 400 relay team.

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