2023 MCC Region I Hall of Fame Banquet to take place on March 11th

The Mayo Civic Center Region I Wrestling Hall of Fame Committee has selected eight new members for induction on Saturday, March 11, 2023.

The banquet will be held at Charlie’s Eatery, 1654 US 52 N, Rochester, Minn.

The banquet social hour starts at 4:00 pm, and dinner at 5:00 pm. Seniors recognition and Hall of Fame induction to follow. The cost of the tickets will be $35.

Order Tickets: http://checkout.square.site/buy/VEUU2BVOAVEKPEOSZJYXYSNK

2023 Hall of Fame Honorees:

Ben Barton, Wabasha-Kellogg – Athlete
Ben had 3rd and 4th place finishes in his junior and senior years, and 145 varsity career wins. Ben was a 2-time captain, a Christmas Tournament champion, and represented Team USA in trip abroad. Ben coached at Osseo High School for five years, four as head coach. Ben was Section Coach of the Year and a Section Coaches Rep. Ben shined in college as he qualified for three NCAA Division 1 wrestling tournaments and was a 4-year starter and letter winner for UNI. Ben earned a top 10 finish in the 1998 DI National Tournament (he lost the match to make All-American). He was a 2-time captain of the UNI wrestling team, ranked in the Top 20 of DI in the country. Ben was a prestigious Midlands place winner with 85 career college wins. He has been a long-time principal and superintendent involved in many meetings and discussions advocating MN wrestling. He was the Superintendent at Caledonia Area Schools and is currently the superintendent at Princeton, MN.

Joe Hoialmen, Winona – Athlete/Coach
Joey was a high school state champion for Winona High with a 102-17 record for Coach Bill Schmidt. Joe was a 3-time NCAA III All-American and an NCAA III National Champion in 1993 and had 5th and 3rd place finishes. He coached at Augsburg College for six years and was part of multiple NCAA championship teams. Joey was a 2-time Section 1AA and 1AAA Assistant Coach of the Year. He coached at Apple Valley for many years and coached numerous state champions and place winners, as well as team state champs eight years in a row! Joey is the current head coach at Winona High, where he was a three-time state place winner from 1987-1989 (5th-3rd, and state champ in 1989). This will be Joe’s 4th Hall of Fame induction, along with Augsburg, NCAA III, and Winona High School Athletic HOF!

Joe Bunne, GMLOK – Athlete
A two-time state high school champ (2004 and 2005) at 160 pounds, was 82-3 his last two seasons, and four-time state entrant for the Bulldogs; total record 137-25. He attended Wartburg College for a year in 2005-2006 when the Knights won the NCAA III Championship. Joe then turned to farming for six years until RCTC Coach Randy Rager convinced Joe to wrestle for the Yellowjackets at age 26. The GMLOK standout wrestler recorded five straight falls in the wrestlebacks to finish in 4th place at 197 pounds in the NJCAA National Tournament.

Trent Hatlevig, Caledonia Area – Athlete
Trent was a three-time state finalist, winning titles in 1997 and 1998 at 130 pounds. He was runner-up in 1999 after battling in a close match to future Iowa Hawkeye Ty Eustice of Blue Earth Area. Trent’s prep career record was 150-22. Trent was recruited by J Robinson and proudly wrestled for the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers for five years. He was a member of all three national champion teams, as an athlete in 2001 and 2002 and as a coach in 2007. He enlisted in the United States Navy after the 2007 season where he has served his country for the past 16 years. He plans to retire from the Navy in four years and is currently deployed. Trent is raising his three-year-old son in a wrestling household. Trent and Kate have him training daily, doing an obstacle course in their backyard. Trent has a nephew graduating from Marine Corps Boot Camp on the day of his induction, but he will either video teleconference or put together a video. Thanks for serving, Trent, and we look forward to your speech.

Dustin Speltz, Lewiston-Altura – Athlete
Dustin is the all-time winningest wrestler at Lewiston-Altura High School with an impressive 169-29 Record. He was a six-time Section 1A place winner at weights 103, 125, 130, 135, and 140. He was also a four-time Section 1A champion. Dustin won the 2000 state high school championship with a 3rd place finish in 2001, and a 5th place finish in 1999 for the Cardinals. Dustin was a takedown machine, still holding the season school record of 319 takedowns in 2001. He attended the National Wrestling Coaches Tournament in 2001 with a 5-2 Record. He was a one-time All-American Honorable Mention in the 2001 USA Wrestling Magazine. He was recruited and wrestled at St. Cloud State. He is currently residing in Arizona.

Joel Thoreson, St. Charles – Athlete
Joel was a Class A state champion at 152 Pounds in 1989 at St. Charles High School. He also finished as a Region 1 champ that season, defeating Adam Johnson from Houston in the finals. Joe was a state qualifier his junior year and Region 1 runner-up losing to Jake O’Reilly from Goodhue in the finals. Joel also played football for St. Charles. He was twice named MVP and a member of the Three Rivers All-Conference Team. After high school, Joel continued his wrestling career at Mankato State University, where he was a two-time NCAA II All-American at 158 pounds. In 1994, his senior year at Mankato, Joel was part of the team that finished 2nd in the Division II national tournament. That 1994 team was recently inducted into the Mankato Athletics Hall of Fame.

Bill Kinney, Austin – Coach/Contributor
Bill coached the Austin Packers to 176 career wins from 1994-2013. Bill was a Big 9 Conference Wrestling Coach of the Year. Bill coached 51 Individual state qualifiers, 23 state place winners, 9 state finalists, and three state champions. Five of his wrestlers were high school All-Americans, and 6 of his wrestlers went on to become All-Americans at the collegiate Level! Bill will join his fellow wrestler Brad Fisher in the MCC Region I Hall of Fame. Bill’s major contribution was being the Co-Head Coach with Mike Buringa and Roger Knutson of the NHSCA Minnesota Team that won the National High School Wrestling Championship in 1999!

Bill Schmidt, Winona – Coach/Contributor
Bill will enter the Hall of Fame with one of his most accomplished athletes in the likes of current Winhawk Coach Joe Hoialmen. Bill was a three-time All-American at Augsburg and a state champion (1 Class) at Renville High School. He also earned MWCA State Coach of the Year Honors. Bill produced 24 state qualifiers, 12 state place finishers, and an individual state champion. Bill also served as MWCA Executive Director and assistant for 17 Years. Bill provides the placemats for this banquet. In 2019 Bill and his wife Jill received the Ashley for the Arts Humanitarian Award for their volunteer work with the youth in the Winona community. Bill is a member of the MWCA, NWHOF, Augsburg, Winona Wrestling, and Winona Athletic Halls of Fame.

Mark Voyce, Hayfield – Coach
Mark was a long-time assistant coach to HOF Coach David Erickson, replacing David as head coach when he retired. Mark had an outstanding 186-94 coaching record. Mark’s teams were in the state finals three times, finishing twice as runner-up in two different classes (2-class and 3-class system). In 1996, his team won the Class A state team championship. Mark had 52 individuals qualify for state tournament, 31 individual state placers, and 11 state champions. Mark also officiated and was inducted into the MWCA Dave Bartelma Hall of Fame in 2017.

Cindy Nelson, Mantorville – Meritorious Service
Cindy has given back to the sport of wrestling for 34 years in all areas as a volunteer. Cindy has volunteered for 19 events at all levels. Cindy has served on the Clash Board Committee For several years and is Chair of the All Scholar Tournament at the Clash. Cindy has been a volunteer at the state tournament for years. She served as the Girls Dual Clash Tournament Director this Year. Cindy has been selected to be inducted into the 2023 NWHOF-MN Chapter Hall of Fame for Lifetime Service.

Jerry Bloom, Grand Meadow – Official
Jerry was an outstanding official for 21 years, working at all levels during those 21 years. Jerry was an individual Section 1A heavyweight champion in 1984! MCC Region I officiating legend; the late HOF DeWaine Silker got Jerry started in refereeing in 1988. Rick Rud took Jerry to many meets so he could work the JV matches. Jerry also owed many thanks to Houston Athletic Director Arley Ihrke, who gave him his first varsity dual meet to officiate, and many more. Jerry has officiated in Section I tournaments, 5 Clash tournaments, and 5 state wrestling tournaments. Jerry officiated from 1995 to 2006.

-Spencer Yohe