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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TakeDown Cancer Enters Year Seven

It’s time again to think about hosting a TakeDown Cancer event at one of your home meets, tournaments, or youth events.

TakeDown Cancer raises money for the Randy Shaver Cancer Research and Community Fund where over 91% of all money goes directly to research doctors and other cancer-related projects. TakeDown Cancer is an all-volunteer group with no paid salaries. Together we have raised almost $250,000.

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Fr. Otto Weber ’57 to be Honored by NWCA’s Minnesota Chapter Nov. 24

By Frank Rajkowski, SJU Writer/Video Producer

COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. – When Maury Meyer heard the National Wrestling Coaches Association’s Minnesota Chapter was honoring the late Fr. Otto Weber ’57 with its Lifetime Achievement Award, the longtime coach and administrator at nearby Albany High School could not have been more pleased.

The award will be presented to the former coach and employee at both Saint John’s Prep and Saint John’s University in a ceremony to be held on Nov. 24 in the Great Hall.

The event runs from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. The program itself is scheduled to begin at 2. The event is free, but donations are being accepted. Checks can be made payable to NWHOF-MN Chapter.

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The National Wrestling Hall of Fame to Induct 9 new members at the Minnesota Chapter Banquet on April 25th

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame Minnesota Chapter is proud to announce the induction of Bud Heidgerken as their Outstanding American from Minnesota. Brian Bakke will receive the State Medal of Courage Award from Minnesota. Honorees for the Lifetime Service Award are Tom Beyer, Mary Davis, Larry Goodnature, Mark Jensen, Don Kuusinen, Bill Schmidt, and the late Father Otto Weber.

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