The 2008 Fergus Falls High School Senior Recognition and Hall of Fame Ceremony was held on Monday night at the Bigwood Event Center. Many scholarships were handed out and five individuals were inducted into the District 544 Hall of Fame.
Athletic Awards presented include the Outstanding Female Athlete to Hannah Draxten and the Outstanding Male Athlete to Cody Peck. Draxten and Will Johnson were also recognized as MSHSL Triple 'A' Award winners for excellence in the Arts, Athletics and Academics. The Otter Coaches Association handed out four $250.00 scholarships. To be eligible for these scholarships, students must have lettered in two or more sports during their senior year, have a grade point average of 3.5 or higher and cannot have any MSHSL violations. Recipients were Brittany Gagner, Amanda Lewis, Joshua Hofmann and Seth Johnson.
Those seniors lettering in three sports included Draxten, Sarah Erickson, Gagner, Kelly Kitzman, Amanda Lewis, Becca Rengel, Megan Suek, Susan Wellendorf, Hofmann, Johnson, Aaron Link, Peck, Brian Rodning, Drew Ross and Derek Smith.
Jim Henkes, a 1950 graduate of FFHS, was inducted into the District 544 Athletic Hall of Fame. Henkes began his varsity football career as a ninth-grader, playing quarterback, running back and punter for the Otters. He played college football at Bemidji State University, leading the Beavers to the conference championship as a freshman. In 1954 he was offered a contract with the St. Louis Cardinals, but his football career was ended by a head injury during the first week of training camp. Henkes taught and coached in North Dakota and Battle Lake before becoming football coach at Wheaton. In 1964 Wheaton won the conference championship and Henkes was named Minnesota Football Coach of the Year. During his career, he was named Minnesota Athletic Director of the Year and was inducted into the BSU Athletic and Minnesota Coaches Association Halls of Fame. Henkes retired from coaching in 1974 and as Wheaton's athletic director in 1979. Henkes was unable to attend the ceremony due to health reasons, but his daughter Nancy accepted the honor in his behalf.
Being inducted into the District 544 Hall of Fame as Distinguished Alumni were David and Tudy Nycklemoe, and Jeff Johnson. Keith Schmidt went into the District 544 Arts Hall of Fame, and Frances Haller was inducted into the Hall of Fame for Distinguished Service to the district.
Senior Chris Stier signed a letter of intent to attend the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota at a ceremony in the Activities Office at FFHS on Tuesday morning. Mary is a member of the NSIC, the largest Division II Conference in the country.
"I'm fortunate to have the ability to play soccer and have numerous colleges express interest in me, but without my coaches, teammates, and parents support it would not have been possible," said Stier. "The University of Mary has a great Doctrine P/T program and being in a large D-2 conference was nice as well."
Stier, an extremely talented soccer player, received a full scholarship. He ended his high school career tied for seventh in career scoring with Knute Walde and Matt Klein with 36 points on 23 goals and 13 assists. His senior year he had 12 goals and 3 assists for 15 total points.
Baseball fans of all ages are invited to An Evening at the Ballpark on Thursday in Battle Lake. This community celebration and dedication event has been taking shape for the past two years as people from the communities of Battle Lake, Underwood, Henning, Ottertail and Urbank have rallied together on several projects to enhance Ottertail Central baseball. Individuals, families, and businesses have contributed money, products, and services to add new dugouts, seating, and a scoreboard (dedicated to the late Dick Buntje) to the baseball complex.
"On Thursday night we will be celebrating community spirit as we dedicate the new amenities to the baseball program and express gratitude to the many people that contributed to the effort," said Dan Malmstrom, one of the organizers of the event.
During the game between OTC and Bertha-Hewitt, which begins at 4:30 p.m., a variety of ballpark food will be available from Gene Kelm, a former ballplayer in Battle Lake and a member of the Shriners. After the game, kids and families are welcome to stick around for some pick-up ball games on the local fields. Some Bulldog players may even be convinced to join in the fun.
Tryouts for the Fergus Falls American Legion Post 30 baseball team will be held on Sunday, May 18 at 4:00 p.m. at American Legion Field at DeLagoon Park. Anyone born between January 1, 1989 and December 31, 1994 is eligible to play. For more information or if you are unable to make it to the tryout contact Coach Chris Winter at 320-815-1688.
Former Otter golfer Chelsey Ouren placed 32nd at the NCAA Divison II Women's North Central Region Championship. Ouren finished 42-over par for the three rounds as she shot 84-87-87 (258) on the Par 72 King's Walk Course in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Ouren is a member of the Minnesota State University-Moorhead women's golf team.