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NCTC Hall of Fame Adds Members

Article from Thief River Falls Times Mike Lundgren

Three individuals and a team were named to the Northland Community and Technical College Athletic Hall of Fame during Saturday ceremonies in the Gunderson Commons on the Thief River Falls NCTC campus.

Tom Kays, Kim Jenkins and Josh Stromlund, along with the 1998 Northland softball team, were the newest inductees to the list of honorees that now numbers 44 individuals and three teams since the Hall of Fame was established in 2004.

Kays is a Thief River Falls native, Lincoln High School graduate and currently senior partner of Kays, Benton, Safranski & Co. LLP of Thief River Falls. He graduated from Northland in 1974 and received a degree in accounting from the University of North Dakota. He was co-captain of Northland’s Northern Division champion basketball team in 1973-74 and played doubles in the first Minnesota College Conference state tennis tournament. An active member in community activities, including the Northland Foundation, Kays was presented with the school’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1990.

Jenkins is a 1998 Warren High School graduate who earned all-division, all-state and all-region honors in basketball and all-division recognition in volleyball while at Northland. As a sophomore, she led all Region 13 scorers by averaging 21.6 points per game. In addition to her athletic accomplishs, Jenkins received Minnesota Community College academic honors and went on to earn degrees in fish and wildlife management and biology from the University of Minnesota.

A Roseau native, Stromlund was an all-state and all-region baseball player at Northland, helping the team reach the state tournament in both 1993 and 1994. His father Darrell and three brothers also attended and participated in athletics at Northland. He transfered to the University of Minnesota-Crookston, where he continued his baseball career and earned his degree in environmental and natural resources management, then remained in baseball at the amateur level.

The 1998 softball squad was the first women’s team at the school to win a state tournament title. They went 25-13 that year and finished as the Region 13 runner-up. Catcher Devin Grugal, shortstop Paula Hovda, pitcher Angie Vagle and second baseman Jackie Magner were named to the MCCC all-tournament team. Other team members were Rayna Benson, Carrie Cameron, Cami Sorenson, Marissa Mullan, Carisa Meyer, Terra Lorenson, Erica Owen, Sara Falk and Nicole Burns. Rick Nikunen was the head coach and Kathy Huschle was the assistant coach.

The banquet also celebrated the 40th anniversary of Title IX – a federal law passed by Congress and signed by
President Richard Nixon on July 1, 1972 that opened the doors for women’s athletic and academic programs across the country. Twenty-one players, coaches and officials representing each decade since the 1970’s were on hand to help observe the occasion in a special ceremony orchestrated by Deb Jacobson, the long-time Northland coach and athletic administrator who helped introduce the women’s sports programs at the school.

NCTC Athletic Hall of Fame (Past Members)

2004 - Millie Reierson, Swede Lund, Mike Lundgren, Al Adams, Pat Klemisch, Nick Neibauer, Chet Engelman, Ken Wiebolt, Lowell T. Swenson.

2005/06 - Tony Burke, David Dickey, Scott Bergland, Georgine Troska, Paula (Hovde) Seifried, John Michael Anderson.

2007 - Bob Lundbohm, Alex Easton, Matt Fontes, Don Jorstad, Mitch Bernstein, Janelle (Lorsung) Lundin, Jody (Pahlen) Duden.

2008 - Tim Engelstad, Deb Jacobson, Pete Sullivan, Van Swanson, Tim Olson.

2009 - Kent Hason, Brian Lambert, Jim Strandemo, Rick Nelson, Dennis Bendickson.

2010 - Eugene Klinke, Bill Whitney, Misten Hoie, Matt Myers, Dave Morinville, 1977-78 women’s basketball team.

2011 - John Clark, Rhonda (Rothschadl) Lofberg, Rick Reierson, Shaun Campbell, 1974-75 men’s basketball team.