Induction for the David Bartelma Wrestling Hall of Fame was held on Wednesday, October 30,1998 at the Tequilberry’s Restaurant, 133 NW Coon Rapids Blvd., Coon Rapids, MN.
GERRY BAKKE – COACH
Gerry began his wrestling career wrestling for Paul Ehrhard in Albert Lea. While in high school Gerry won three district titles and placed sixth in the 1968 State Individual Championships.
Upon graduation from high school, Gerry went to Bethany Lutheran College where he placed first in the 1970 State Junior College Championships and third in the 1971 Championships.
Gerry then continued his wrestling career at Gustavus Adoplhus College where he earned Runner Up honors in the MIAC Championships in 1972 and was the 1973 GAC Most Valuable Wrestler. Gerry compiled a career college record of 69-20-3.
Upon graduation from Gustavus Adolphus, Gerry accepted his first teaching and coaching position at Washua High School in Iowa. At Nashua, Gerry’s teams established a record of 36-17-2. Gerry also was honored in 1978 as Iowa State Wrestling Coach of the Year. From Nashua, he moved to Vinton, Iowa for one season where his team had a 7-5-0 record. In 1980 Gerry accepted his present position at Buffalo High School. Gerry’s teams at Buffalo has a record of 213-118-2. They have advanced to the State Team Championships seven times (1990 – 3rd place and 1991 – 4th place finishes). He has had a number of state place winners and five individual state champions. In 1991, Gerry was selected as the Class AA Minnesota State Coach of the Year. Gerry is among a very small group of coaches throughout the nation that has earned State Coach of the Year honors from two different states. Virg Vagle of Paynesville said this about Gerry, “He is like ‘Colombo’ – giving the appearance he is not really on top of things, but he really has things wired”.
Gerry has also been active outside of wrestling and the classroom. He and his family have given of their time and talents at the Buffalo Group Home for mentally handicapped adults. He speaks to organizations about SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
Gerry, and his wife, Linda reside in Buffalo. They are the parents of six children: Eric, Heather, Shawn, Heidi, Alyssa, and Kyle.
RICHARD ERICKSRUD – COACH
Richard hails from Lakota, North Dakota. At Lakota High School Richard wrestled four years compiling a record of 60-8-0. Along the way he won three Conference Championships, two Regional Titles, and was twice a State Tournament qualifier.
Following graduation from high school, Rich went on to Mayville State University in Mayville, North Dakota. While wrestling for Mayville State Rich established a career mark of 72-24-0.
He was North Dakota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Runner Up and served as Team Captain. Richard graduated from Mayville State with a degree in Business Education and Physical Education.
Upon graduation from college Rich accepted his first teaching and coaching position at NewYork Mills High School. In his 18 seasons at New York Mills his teams built a record of 163-60-5. His wrestlers have earned 48 Individual PRC Champions, 23 Individual DistrictChampions, 9 Individual Regional Champions, 10 Minnesota Individual State Tournament place winners, and two of his wrestlers have won Individual State titles. Rich has been honored by his fellow coaches as District and Regional Coach of the Year.
Honored by his fellow coaches as both District and Regional Coach of the Year. In 1993, he was honored as Minnesota Secondary Counselor of the Year.
Richard and his wife, Sharon have two sons, Todd and Tim. The Ericksrud family lives in New York Mills.
MIKE LANGLAIS – ATHLETE
Mike began his outstanding career wrestling for Bill Demaray, at Apple Valley High School. Mike helped to establish Apple Valley as one of Minnesota’s outstanding wrestling programs. He earned Runner Up honors in the 1979 Minnesota State Individual Championships and was the 1980 Minnesota State Individual Champion. Besides the other honors, Mike was a State qualifier as a ninth grader and placed 4th in the 1978 State Individual Tournament. His high school career record was 124-8-1. Mike has won a total of 11 national age group titles:six National Freestyle and five National Greco.
Upon graduation from Apple Valley, Mike headed to North Dakota State University to wrestle for the legendary Bucky Maughan. At NDSU Mike’s career continued to grow. He earned five NCAA All American honors (4 – Division II and 1 – Division I). He was a two time NCAA Champion and a National Runner Up. He was three times selected as the Most Outstanding Wrestler in the Conference. In 1982, he was voted the Most Outstanding Wrestler in the NCAA Division II Championships. His overall career college record is 152-22-0. He was inducted into the Apple Valley Hall of Fame for his outstanding accomplishments both in high school and college.
Mike earned his bachelors degree from NDSU in 1984. He presently owns a landscaping company and serves as the assistant wrestling coach at Lakeville High School.
Mike has two children, Ryan and Ashley. The Langlais’ reside in Lakeville.
MIKE MCARTHUR – ATHLETE
Mike began is high school career at Osseo High School. At Osseo, Mike compiled a record of 88-8-1. Mike is considered by many as one of the greatest lightweight wrestlers in Minnesota High School Wrestling. Mike was a two time Minnesota Individual State Champion. He also won numerous state Freestyle and Greco State Championships and was a two time Junior National Freestyle and Greco Champion.
Upon graduation from high school, Mike ventured to the University of Minnesota to wrestle for the legendary Wally Johnson. Mike had an outstanding career at Minnesota. He was a two time Big 10 Champion, won the Midlands three times, and was twice selected to the EastWest All Star team. Mike was second in the 1978 NCAA Championships. He was also an alternate on the 1976 Olympic Freestyle team and a member of the 1979 World Cup team.
Mike certainly has given back to the sport of wrestling following graduation from Minnesota.
He served as coach at Mounds View High School and assisted at the University of Minnesota, Oklahoma State University, and head coach for Athletes In Action (1986 – 1990).
He has assisted at the U.S. Air Force Academy (1992-1996), on the 1995 World Championship team, and the 1996 Olympic Freestyle team. Mike was the coach for the 1998 World Cup team.
Mike is now an ordained minister and is the National Director for Fellowship of Christian Cowboys. Mike has three children, Jeremiah, Kalee Jo, and Jonathan. He resides in Payton, Colorado.
JIM SLIFKA – COACH
Jim comes from Cresco, Iowa. Cresco has produced many great wrestlers and has produced a number of Minnesota Hall of Famers. Jim wrestled for Cresco and before he received a career ending injury in football, established a record of 20-9-0. Jim went onto Iowa State University following graduation from high school. He completed his degree from Winona State University in 1961 with a bachelors in education.
Jim accepted his first position as a teacher and coach at Medford High School in Medford, Minnesota. Jim served as the head coach from 1961 to 1989. During that time his teams established a record of 224-140-2. His wrestlers earned many honors. He had 14 State Individual Tournament qualifiers, five State Tournament Place winners, and one Individual State Champion. He was honored by his fellow coaches as District Coach of the Year. Upon leaving the head coach position he returned to wrestling in 1992 until 1997 as assistant coach. In 1997 he was honored as Section 2 A Assistant Coach of the Year.
Jim is an extremely active person in his community ranging from the fire department, the Knights of Columbus, 4-H, Steele County Fair Board to the church council. In his spare time Jim has ran the Grandma’s Marathon for the past four years. Former wrestler, Kevin Steinbauer makes this statement about Jim, “Mr. Slifka has no enemies.”
Jim and his wife, Char reside in Medford. They are the parents of three sons, Todd, David, Kelly and a daughter, Jennifer.