National Wrestling Hall of Fame, Minnesota Chapter Honors Nine at Honors Banquet

On Sunday, September 13th the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, Minnesota Chapter held their 18th Annual Honors Banquet. The celebration was held at the Holiday Inn Conference Center in Austin, Minn. Attendance was considerably less than normal because of the current pandemic.

2020 honorees Bud Heidgerken, Tom Beyer, Mary Davis, Mark Jensen, and Don Kuusinen were present and participated in the inductions. Also honored from the 2020 Class were the late Father Otto Weber, Brian Bakke, Larry Goodnature, and Bill Schmidt. Bakke was honored and inducted at a prior event. There was a social held for Father Weber at a prior event as well. Goodnature and Schmidt have opted to be part of the 2021 induction acceptance speeches.

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NWHOF-MN Chapter Banquet to take place this weekend

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame Minnesota Chapter Banquet will take place on Sunday, September 13. The event will be held at the Austin Holiday Inn Conference Center in Austin, Minn. Attendance is expected to be considerably less than normal. Social distancing guidelines will apply.

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NWHOF-MN Chapter Banquet on track for September 13

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame Minnesota Chapter Banquet originally set for April 25, 2020, is on track to take place on Sunday, September 13, 2020. The event will be held at the Austin Holiday Inn Conference Center in Austin, Minn. Attendance is expected to be considerably less than normal. Social distancing guidelines will apply.

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St. Cloud State mourns the passing of Coach Steve Grimit

St. Cloud State University mourns the loss of Coach Steve Grimit (1962-2020), who passed away on Wednesday, July 22.

“On behalf of St. Cloud State University and Huskies Athletics, we offer our sincere condolences to the Grimit family.,” St. Cloud State Director of Athletic Heather Weems said. “Steve’s personality on the field was bigger than life and he made a significant impact on hundreds of student-athletes. He loved coaching and helping young men develop as people and players. He will be remembered by many for his passion and big voice on the sidelines.”

Grimit served as the Huskies’ defensive line football coach for 27 years and was also SCSU’s head wrestling coach for 12 seasons. He coached numerous All-Conference and All-America players, helped the SCSU football win two conference championships, earn four NCAA playoff bids and positively impact the lives of SCSU student-athletes during his tenure with the Huskies.

“I have lost a great friend and am having a difficult time thinking about what things will be like for me and all those who came in contact with Steve,” said Scott Underwood, who worked at SCSU with Grimit since 2001 and went on to serve as the Huskies’ head football coach from 2008 to 2019.

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Contact sports face special challenges to restart in the COVID-19 era

The nature of some sports dictates that hard contact isn’t going to ease up, so it will be up to COVID-19 testers to be gatekeepers of sorts. And that might not be enough to keep seasons viable.

Football players ram into each other to begin a play and usually end it with a collision that brings a ball carrier to the ground.

Hockey players pin each other against the boards with body checks and use any physical means necessary to separate an opponent from the puck.

Wrestlers square off inches apart, then almost immediately grab arms, bump heads and exert themselves in face-to-face contact, often breathing the same air for six minutes or more.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, public health officials have stressed social distancing to combat the deadly virus, which is largely spread through infected droplets from coughing, sneezing and talking. But for contact sports, social distancing isn’t a workable option. Continue reading at startribune.com

Ponce Trained – In Wrestling and In Life

Before high school, Orlando Ponce wasn’t going down the best path. When introduced to wrestling, his path started going in a positive direction. After high school, when he thought wrestling was out of his life, Ponce began to go down some troubling roads again. Wrestling would get re-introduced into his life, and he has never looked back.

“My high school coach and the people who influenced me through wrestling,” Ponce said, “if not for them, I would be in a much different situation.”

Now, Ponce has devoted his life to influencing kids through his faith and through wrestling.

Ponce didn’t grow up in a wrestling hotbed.

“I was born in Nicaragua and was raised in South Florida. It was not a big wrestling community. I got a later start in wrestling. My brother started wrestling but dropped out of high school. He encouraged one of my other brothers to wrestle. This brother was a state champion and went on to wrestle for Lock Haven in Pennsylvania. I was a ninth-grader when he was a senior. My brother encouraged me to wrestle.”

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Legendary Coach And Vietnam Vet Stands Tall

By Jeff Bro Olsen

Jerry “JC” Cleveland, who volunteered for the draft to honor a hometown Staples pal who was killed in Vietnam and later fought there himself as an infantryman and earned a Purple Heart, has done his share of fighting outside of at least one Bemidji establishment.

Additionally, he served as the dean of students at Cass Lake High School, where his car was stolen by two students who put some sizable dents in it before abandoning it.

Near daybreak, the two lads ran as fast as they could to surrender to the nearest cop once they spotted Mr. Cleveland approaching them after they came out of a swamp.

At 70, he has a great laugh, even better stories, and takes everything in stride.

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