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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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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Roy A. Minter (1936-2019)

Hall of Fame Coach Roy A. Minter died Sunday, September 1st at Carris Health Rice Hospital in Willmar. He was 83 years old.

Minter was a state champion wrestler for Owatonna High School in 1954. He went on to wrestle at Mankato State where he was a three-time NCAA Division I All-American. Minter coached wrestling at Worthington High School and Willmar Community College, retiring in 1992. He was inducted into the Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association Dave Bartelma Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1979 and was a Charter Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Minnesota Chapter, inducted in 2003.

Mass of Christian Burial will be at 9:30 am, Thursday, September 5th at Church of St. Mary in Willmar. Visitation will be from 5-7:00 pm, Wednesday at the church and continue one hour prior to his service. Burial will be in the church cemetery.

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Augsburg wrestling legend Donny Wichmann ’89 passes away

MINNEAPOLIS — Donny Wichmann, a 1989 alumnus of Augsburg University and a legend in men’s wrestling, both as a competitor and as a longtime assistant coach for the Auggies, died on Tuesday, July 16, 2019 after a battle with brain cancer. He was 53 years old.

A three-time Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference champion, a national tournament All-American and a longtime assistant coach who was a part of 10 NCAA Division III national championship teams with the Auggies, Wichmann was recognized for his excellence by being inducted into the Augsburg Athletic Hall of Fame in 2010, and by the recent announcement of his induction into the 2019 class of the National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III Hall of Fame. He will be inducted posthumously during a ceremony on Aug. 3 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

A memorial service and celebration of Wichmann’s life will be held on Saturday, Aug. 17 at Si Melby Hall on the Augsburg campus. More details on the service will be released later.

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