Eight new members were inducted into the Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association (MWCA) Dave Bartelma Hall of Fame on Saturday, May 4th, 2019 in Benson, Minn.
The new inductees honored were Marty Aho, Chad Erikson, Brad Gibson, Maury Meyer, Doug Paulson, Dennis Schermerhorn, Bill Schmidt, and Wes Tessman.
Over 250 people, including over 25 past Hall of Fame inductees, were in attendance.
MWCA Coach of the Year honorees were Class A – Jake Lorentz of LPGE/Browerville, Class AA – Robb Moser of Perham, and Class AAA – Joe Kunshier of Forest Lake.
The MWCA selected Jake Lorentz as State Head Coach of the Year. Selected as State Assistant Coach of the Year was Lavern ‘Tuffy’ Hoard of Grand Rapids. Lorentz and Hoard, along with MWCA Mr. Minnesota Wrestler selection Greg Kerkvleit of Simley represent Minnesota as The National Wrestling Coaches Association’s State (NWCA) award winners, which qualifies them for further NWCA honors at the Regional and National levels.
The MWCA presented State Champion and State Runners-up awards based on the unofficial individual state tournament scoring to Class A – 1st Kenyon-Wanamingo, 2nd Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa; Class AA – 1st Simley, 2nd Kasson-Mantorville; Class AAA – 1st Shakopee, 2nd Apple Valley. Check out 2019 individual-based State team scores here: Class A | Class AA | Class AAA.
Coaches recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award for coaching longevity were Bill Frame of Pine Island, Don Mcphail of Pine Island, Larry Berg of Pine Island, Mike Boran of Brainerd, Jim Nunn of Eden Prairie, and Randy Baker of Jackson County Central
Photos by Jeff Beshey
2019 Bartelma Minnesota Wrestling Hall of Fame Inductees:
Bill Schmidt, Contributor
Bill, son of Frederick and Alice, grew up on a farm by Renville, MN and had 4 siblings; Susan, Rick, Ellen and Cathy while attending Renville High School (1968 -1972). His father passed away when Bill was in 8th grade of cancer. Bill, while helping on the farm, played football where he was a captain and MVP his senior year. He was Homecoming king that year as well. He played baseball and started 3 year on varsity. Bill was a 6-year starter in wrestling where he was 5th in state as a junior, State Champion at 145lbs. (1 class system) as a senior and the first 212 Conference State Champ. Bill went on to college and wrestled at Augsburg, where he was a 3-time MIAC Conference Champ as well as a NAIA National All- American at 150 lbs. (4th, 5th, and 2nd). Bill did not wrestle his senior year due to a neck injury while wrestling in Japan and Korea. His teammates at Augsburg still voted him MVP and Captain his Senior year. Bill spent 2 years at Mosinee, Wisconsin coaching wrestling and teaching Math. In 1978 he got the head wrestling/Math position in Winona, MN and is presently still living there. While in Winona, Bill coached a variety of sports including wrestling, cross country,
baseball and girls softball. The wrestling position was his passion producing 24 state qualifies, 12 place winners, 1 state champ and many wrestlers that went on to become head/assistant/youth coaches which is his biggest joy. Bill was voted Minnesota Wrestling Coach of the Year (1989). Bill served as Assistant Director of the MWCA under Hall of Famer Roger Gorham (9 yrs) then on to Executive Director of the MWCA (8 yrs) and is still Chair of the Mr. Minnesota Wrestler/ Head Coach/Assistant Coach of the Year Committees. Bill writes the biographies and they then get submitted to the National Wrestling Committee for higher consideration. He assists Steve Ricard with the Bartelma Hall of Fame event. Bill and his wife Jill have run the Winona High football chains for 37 years along with their son Sam and occasionally daughter Sundra. They also have run the football chains for Winona State University (33 years).
Bill and Jill have 2 children, Sundra (Patrick) Menton and a son, Sam (Jessica). They also have 4 grandchildren, Avri, August, Sophie and Graham. Bill is a member of the Winona Wrestling Hall of Fame and the Augsburg Wrestling Hall of Fame. He and his wife Jill were honored with the Ashley of the Arts Humanitarian Award (2018) for the many hours of volunteering for the youth in Winona.
Wes Tessman, Coach
Wes attended Grand Rapids High School, graduating in 1974. He wrestled for Hall of Fame coach Skip Nalan. Wes attended Itasca Community College, wrestling for coach Dave Hrouda, and earned an AA degree in 1976. Wes then attended Bemidji State University, where he wrestled for Hall of Fame coach Chet Anderson, getting his B.S. in Social Studies Education in 1979. He achieved his Master’s Degree from Southwest State University in 2001. He taught and coached at Amboy-Good Thunder from 1979-1981. He then taught and coached in Graceville, for Graceville-Clinton-Beardsley from 1981-1984. He later taught and coached at Minnewaska Area Schools (Glenwood, Starbuck, and Villard communities) in 1989 and coached there until 2014. His career record is 279-239-1. His teams captured 9 consecutive West Central Conference team titles and 4 second-place finishes. He coached over 70 state entrants with 35 state place winners, including 4 state champions. His teams were known for being physical, well-conditioned, tough on their feet, and very good pinners. Wes did so much more for kids than just coach them. He and his staff took some very rough and tumble kids who didn’t have much and made not only great wrestlers out of them but great people. His team was one of the toughest around in the mid-90s thru the mid-2000s. Wes was very quiet in his coaching demeanor. He wasn’t loud or disrespectful toward officials. His wrestlers shook hands with the opposing coach, win or lose, and when they addressed him it was always “Mr. Tessman”. He was dedicated to his job as a teacher and coach, and he worked hard to do what was right for kids and for our great sport. His philosophy was “team first, individuals second”. Wes often took kids down to watch the state tournament on his dime. Wes commanded a lot of respect just simply for how he acted toward officials, Athletic Directors, wrestlers, and fellow coaches. He wasn’t afraid to ask tough questions at seeding meetings and at coaches meetings. One of Wes’ favorite sayings was “you can do 100 things right, but you will always be remembered for the one bad decision. Always strive to do the right thing”. Wes taught so much more than wrestling skills. He retired from teaching in 2016. Wes is married to Toni, and together they have three kids, Amy, Kelly, and Wes Jr. (deceased).
Marty Aho, Contributor
Marty attended Frazee/Vergas High School, graduating from there in 1973. He was a three-sport athlete and a captain in each (football, wrestling, and track). Marty wrestled for Hall of Fame coach Les Kertscher, and was a 1973 District Champion and became a state entrant by virtue of his runner-up finish at the 1973 Region 6 tournament in a one-class system. Marty has been a mainstay in the program since 1975, working with 8 different head coaches. He has helped the Hornets amass an incredible record of 741-199. The Hornets have won 22 section team titles, 27 Heart of Lakes Conference titles, 3 state titles, 99 state place winners, and 22 state champions. According to Head Coach Clay Nagel, “Marty and Dennis put in endless hours with the program at Frazee, working with the elementary, middle school, spring wrestling (Freestyle and Greco-Roman), and high school. Marty (and Dennis) took over the head job twice over the years. This is a lot to ask of them because they both have fulltime jobs.
They did a fantastic job of carrying on the team success.” Today Marty still lives and works in Frazee. His wife’s name is Diane, and they have three children: Matt, Mackenzie, and Adam. They have nine grandchildren.
Chad Erikson, Athlete
Chad attended Apple Valley High School, graduating in 1997. Chad was a five- time state place winner. He placed fourth as an eighth grader at 106 lbs., then won four consecutive state titles. (106 lbs. as a freshman, 119 lbs. as a sophomore, 130 lbs. as a junior and senior) His high school record was 195-15. Chad attended the University of Minnesota, where he was a 2-time Div. 1 All- American. His college record was 105-37. He was also a member of the National Champions Minnesota Gophers on two different years. (2001-2002) Chad was well-known and respected in the wrestling world for his intensity and his work ethic. He continues to give back to the sport he loves thru the MN Elite program based in Apple Valley.
Brad Gibson, Athlete
Brad “Gibby” Gibson attended Chokio-Alberta High School, graduating from there in 1989. Brad was a four-time letter winner and was a three-time state place winner. He was a two-time state Champion, winning state titles at 185 lbs. his sophomore and junior year. Brad only weighed 167 lbs. as a sophomore! This speaks volumes as to just how tough he was. He was the state runner-up at 189 his senior year. Brad attended the University of Minnesota during J Robinson’s first year of coaching. Brad compiled a 78-43 record. He is a two- time NCAA Div. 1 All-American, placing 6th at 177 lbs. in 1993, and 3rd at 177 lbs. in 1994. Current Gopher Head Coach Brandon Eggum said, “Gibby showed us all what being hard-nosed meant. He was not a technical wrestler, he beat you with grit, stamina and pure toughness. To learn from him you just had to go to battle.” Former Gopher National Champ and Assistant Coach Marty Morgan said, “Gibby had an outstanding work ethic and was a great team player. After spending 20+ years inside of the Gopher program, Gibby ranks as one of the toughest wrestlers we ever had during that era, just bone tough, grab him once and see if you can see what I am referring to.” Brad was the last collegiate wrestler to beat 2-time National Champ Les Gutches from Oregon. Brad was a big 10 champ in 1994. Brad graduated in 1994 with a degree in Art. Brad coached for a year at the University of Minnesota while training for the U.S. National team, but a knee injury ended his wrestling aspirations. Brad continued to be active in wrestling, coaching at Morris Area High School from 1999-2002. He then became a mainstay in the Morris youth program while volunteering as an assistant in the high school program. Brad’s wife is Amee, and they have 7 children: Nate, Zach, Piper, Olivia, Aidan, Ethan, and Graysen.
Maury Meyer, Coach
Maury attended St. Cloud Cathedral High School, graduating in 1969. He was a member and captain of the Parochial Athletic Association 1969 Championship team, and he placed third in the state tournament. He was a 4- year letter winner and two-time Conference Champ. Maury attended St. John’s University, graduating in 1973 with a degree in Social Studies Education. He was crowned a National Catholic Champion at 150 lbs. in 1971, defeating defending champ Bob Sabig from Notre Dame 5-4. Maury coached for one year coaching at St. John’s University. He then taught and coached wrestling at St. John’s Prep in 1974-75. Maury then took a teaching and assistant coaching job at Aberdeen Roncalli in South Dakota. In 1976 Maury and his wife Linda moved back to Central Minnesota and began his teaching and coaching career in Albany High School. His total record is 218- 199-5. His teams made the section finals twice, losing to Foley both years (1992 and 1993) He was named Section 7A Coach of the Year in 1992 and Section 5AA Coach of the Year in 1996. Maury also served as Athletic Director from 2003 to 2013 In 2007 and again in 2013 he was selected as 5A Athletic Director of the Year. Hall of Fame Coach Randy Zimmer of Milaca said, “Maury’s teams were very successful, but his off mat leadership to wrestlers and to area coaches was most impressive.” Maury served as Camp Director of the St. John’s Wrestling Camp and served as Camp Counselor for over 20 years from the late 1970s to the early 1990s. He has been active in the MWCA, serving as the MWCA Scholarship Chair. Hall of Fame Coach Lyle Freudenberg of Foley said, “As a wrestling coach Maury loved to win, but more importantly his goal was always to develop great people. In the years that I watched him coach, I feel he really did that. His wrestlers were always respectful of Coach Meyer and their opponents. Win or lose they showed great sportsmanship both on and off the mat. This does not happen by accident, but happens when their leader shows the proper behavior. “ Maury and his wife Linda have two children; Leah and Matt; and they have five grandchildren.
Doug Paulson, Contributor
Doug transitioned to Coon Rapids High School from a small Christian school in Minneapolis, where his sport was basketball. He figured out quickly that he wasn’t big enough to play ball in a large public school. So, in 9th grade, he decided to try wrestling. Doug developed his love for wrestling through his coach, Bob Board, and the high school program. He graduated from Coon Rapids High School in 1970. He passed his love of wrestling to his son, Brandon. They became involved in the Herakles wrestling program. When the Herakles head coach passed away unexpectedly, Doug took over the position. He was the head coach of Herakles from 1982 to 1993, drawing in over 120 wrestlers a year. He also coached at Hamline University from 1984 to 1988. During that period of time, he also became active on the MN USA Wrestling Board of Directors. Doug served as Kids Director, Cadet Director, Espoir Director, and Head Official.
When Brandon reached the high school level, Doug became a volunteer assistant under Anoka head coach Ron Malcom. Brandon continued moving up in various levels in high school, freestyle, and Greco. Doug had the thrill of coaching 32 national individual champions in Cadets, Juniors, Espoir, and Seniors from 1988 to 2004. Brandon went on to win 3 state titles in high school, a Division 1 All American at the U of M, 2 World Silver medals, and a Silver Medal in the 1996 Olympics.
In 2005, Doug’s grandson, Calvin, started wrestling and Doug was back working with youth again. He is presently a volunteer assistant coach at Anoka High School under Todd Springer and Lucas Murray. The past 3 years he was honored to coach in the Junior National Dual Meet Championships, where his teams won in Greco-Roman 3 years ago and Freestyle 2 years ago.
Doug stated, “Not every wrestler emerges from a great wrestling program as a state champion or super star. I believe that if a wrestler is willing to put in the time, hard work, is dedicated, has integrity, is humble, and has a strong work ethic, they are prepared to live a Championship life.”
Doug and Sherry have been married for 49 years. They are blessed with 3 children and 10 grandchildren.
Dennis Schermerhorn, Contributor
Dennis attended Frazee/Vergas High School, graduating in 1973. Dennis was a two-time Heart of Lakes Conference Champ. His high school record was 45 -15. He wrestled for Hall of Fame coach Les Kertscher. Dennis has been a mainstay in the program since 1985, working with several different head coaches in the time. He has helped the Hornets amass an incredible record of 741-199. The Hornets have won 22 section team titles, 27 Heart of Lakes Conference titles, 3 state titles, 99 state place winners, and 22 state champions. According to Head Coach Clay Nagel, “Marty and Dennis put in endless hours with the program at Frazee, working with the elementary, middle school, spring wrestling (Freestyle and Greco-Roman), and high school. Dennis (and Marty) took over the head job twice over the years. This is a lot to ask of them because they both have fulltime jobs. They did a fantastic job of carrying on the team success. Today Dennis still lives and works in Frazee. His wife’s name is Lorri, and they four children. They have a daughter named Lee, and have three sons: Scott (deceased), Jim, and John.