Peter Veldman 1933-2020

Hall of Famer Pete Veldman passed away on January 14th. He was 86 years old.

A native of Hollandale, Minn., Veldman was a 1951 state champion for Albert Lea. He went on to wrestle for the Minnesota Gophers in college placing third and fourth at the Big 10 Championships and was a member of The Gophers’ l957 and l959 Big 10 Championship teams.

Veldman contributed greatly to the sport of wrestling in Minnesota as a wrestler, coach, athletic director, official, scholarship coordinator, and as part of the MSHSL management team at the State Tournament.

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Edwin John Ferkingstad 1932-2020

Hall of Fame Coach Ed Ferkingstad passed away on January 4th. He was 87 years old. Ferkingstad started the wrestling program in Caledonia in 1963. In 1970 his team won a state title under the one-class system. Ferkingstad was inducted into the Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association Dave Bartelma Wrestling Hall of Fame (2009), the Mayo Civic Minnesota Region 1 Wrestling Alumni Hall of Fame, and Caledonia Wrestling Hall of Fame.

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2020 MCC Region I Hall of Fame Banquet to take place on March 7th

The Mayo Civic Center Region I Wrestling Hall of Fame Committee has selected nine new members for induction on Saturday, March 7, 2019.

The Clash Committee will also be honoring the Southeast Minnesota graduating seniors, teams, and coaches. The banquet will be held at Charlie’s Eatery, 1654 US 52 N, Rochester, Minn.

Social Hour is at 5:00 PM, Dinner at 5:30 PM, with the program to follow. For details contact Rick Ties rickties@gmail.com or 507-358-7075 (Cell). The cost of the tickets will be $30.00 per adult.

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Brian Bakke is the National Medal of Courage Award Recipient

By Jeff Bro Olsen

Let’s cut to the chase. Brian Bakke, a gifted athlete, got a raw deal in life being born with cystic fibrosis, an inherited life-threatening disorder that damages the lungs and digestive system.

But don’t tell that to Brian or his father, Jeff, the retired East Grand Forks High School head wrestling coach. They know that life throws spitballs and knockdowns. You just get right back up.

Jeff Bakke, a smaller version of Arnold Schwarzenegger and a former infantry officer in Vietnam, didn’t coddle his son. No sir!

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Kevin Simonson 1958-2019

2019 Section 2AA Assistant Coach of the Year

Kevin Sherman Simonson, 61 of Glencoe, MN died at GlenFields Living With Care on November 10, 2019, after a 28 month battle with a cancerous brain tumor. Kevin was born to Beverly (Gieser) and Sherman Simonson at Rapid City, SD on August 2, 1958, and baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church at Rapid City on August 23rd. He was confirmed at Evanger Lutheran Church on May 6, 1973.

Kevin graduated from Hayfield High School in 1976, and graduated from the University of Minnesota, Crookston in 1979. He worked as a sports reporter for the Hayfield Herald, and was a reporter for The Guillotine (a wrestling magazine). Kevin and Linda owned and published The Hancock Record at Hancock, MN.

Since 1987, Kevin managed Hardees and Burger King restaurants in Minnesota and South Dakota. He was named “Manager of the Year” for them several times.

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