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Fergus Falls Sports Hall of Fame to Induct 4 New Members July 29

By Tom Hintgen, 07/11/23, 7:15AM CDT


Four new members will be inducted into the Fergus Falls Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday, July 29, beginning at 2:00pm on the south side of the Fergus Falls VFW.  The public is invited to attend.  The addition of the four new members will bring the overall total of the Fergus Falls Sports Hall of Fame to 103.  Inductees are Steve Johnson, Otter and Spartan Athlete and member of FFHS class of 1969; Tom Johnson, archer and member of FFHS class of 1973; Kim Katzenmeyer, Otter and University of Minnesota athlete and member of FFHS class of 1982; and Gary Eide, outstanding high school wrestler and two-way starter in football, a 1961 FFHS graduate.

Gary Eide

  • 1961 graduate of Fergus Falls High School
  • Outstanding high school wrestler, winning several wrestling titles in high school Christmas tournaments held at NDSU, district championships and qualified for state in 1961, a year he went undefeated in dual meets
  • Starter for Otter football teams as guard on offense and linebacker on defense; as a senior was named as a linebacker to the Resort Region Conference all-conference team
  • Was a wrestler in college at Bemidji State University
  • Gary was the first born of four children and was raised on a family farm west of Fergus Falls, the son of Ansgar and Thora Eide. He was born with one arm.
  • Began playing football in ninth grade for coach Oats LeGrand. In high school Eide played football for coach Rocky Elton. Eide could block and tackle with the best of them and wrestling was a natural fit for a strong farm boy. Dick Green was his high school wrestling coach.
  • “I enjoyed blocking as a guard on offense so the backs could gain yards. Tackling the opponents’ running backs on defense was the best,” said Eide.
  • Christian Haugen, a 1959 graduate of Henning High School, was a senior wrestler for the Hornets when Eide wrestled as a sophomore against Henning in lower weight classes than the 165-pound Haugen. “I always remembered Gary Eide as an outstanding wrestler for the Fergus Falls Otters,” said Haugen. “My teammates admired him for what he could accomplish with the use of only one arm.”
  • “From a very young age my mother observed that it didn’t stop me or hold me back in anything,” said Eide, today living in Highland Park, Ill. He was active in 4-H, enjoyed sports and raised hogs as his 4-H project.
  • Eide, after graduating from college, in 1965, enjoyed a 37-year career as a high school math teacher. He coached wrestling and was the math team coach for 15 years.
  • He has been married for 52 years to his wife, Sally. They have two daughters, two sons-in-law and four grandchildren.
  • Eide believes his story will hopefully inspire people not to let others’ judgement or opinions hold them back. He believes everyone should attempt whatever they desire, giving it their best effort to attain success while enjoying what they are doing.

Steve Johnson

  • 1969 graduate, Fergus Falls High School
  • MVP of 1969 Otter baseball team that advanced to state tournament; outstanding pitcher (two no-hitters) and first baseman; coaches were John Hermes and Dean Long
  • Member of M State Spartan baseball team that won the 1971 state junior college baseball championship; coach was Dave Retzlaff; also played for Spartan baseball team in 1970
  • Steve pitched entire junior college state title game in 1971, with Spartans winning 9-1 over Lakewood Junior College (White Bear Lake), he pitched in relief in semi-final game when Spartans defeated Willmar 4-3, teammate Karl Beck went 7 for 9 batting in the junior college four-team state tournament
  • Member of Fergus Falls VFW baseball team coached by Oats LeGrand
  • Was member of Fergus Falls American Legion baseball teams in 1967, 1968 and 1969; was team MVP in 1969; coaches were Charlie Beck and Steve LeGrand
  • Member of Fergus Falls town baseball teams that went to state in 1970, 1971 and 1972; coach was Denny Hanson; 1970 state tourney was held at Municipal Stadium, home of the St. Cloud Rox minor league baseball team
  • Member of softball teams that included 4-H, church league, slow pitch and fast pitch
  • Member of Otter football teams in 1967 and 1968; was tackle and punter for head coach Don Stueve
  • Member of high school bowling team that went to state in 1969; also went to state in singles, placing third
  • Nephew of Fergus Falls Sports Hall of Famer Paul Johnson who was member of 1960 Fergus Falls American Legion baseball state title team coached by Hall of Famer Harley Oyloe
  • Also in Fergus Falls Sports Hall of Fame are his coaches Oats LeGrand, John Hermes, Dave Retzlaff, Don Stueve and Charlie Beck; other Hall of Fame member is his teammate Karl Beck
  • A highlight in 1969 was playing at state with Otter baseball team at Midway Stadium in St. Paul, former home of the St. Paul Saints south of the state fairgrounds

Kim Katzenmeyer

  • 1982 graduate of Fergus Falls High School
    11 varsity letters 
    Volleyball letter winner – 4 years
  • Team Captain - sophomore, junior and senior years
  • Varsity career point leader earning a total of 287 points 
  • Set two new records with 54 kill spikes and 25 blocks
  • Senior year awarded "Outstanding Volleyball Athlete" and "Hardest Worker"

Basketball letter winner  - 3 years

  • Most improved player 1979-80
  • Captain 1981-82
  • All conference - 1982
  • Leading scorer averaging 13.4 points per game  

Track letter winner - 3 years

  • Holds the record for the discus – 126 feet, 10 inches 
  • Qualified for State Track Meet 1982

Baseball letter winner - 1 year

  • First girl in Fergus Falls High School sports history to participate in a boys sport

Powderpuff football - three years

  • Powderpuff champs, senior year

Kim’s high school coaches were Carolyn Schmidt (volleyball), Dennis Hanson (basketball), Glen Anderson and Terry Harrington (track) and Duane Balken (baseball)

Champion Citizen awarded by the Chamber of Commerce, 1982

National Honor Society - 1982

Univ. of Minnesota Gopher Softball Scholarship

  • Tried out and won a 4-year scholarship to the U-M for fast pitch softball
  • 4-year letter winner, primarily as catcher and occasionally played right field
  • Captain senior year 
  • First women’s team at the U of M to win a Big Ten championship
  • That season the Gophers tied for the Big Ten Championship with Indiana 
  • Completed her BA in 4 years

Played semi-pro softball in New Zealand for a year after college

Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do

Kim, today, is a Director of Professional Services at Salesforce and enjoys golf and biking 

Tom Johnson

  • Tom graduated from Fergus Falls High School in 1973, then graduated from Bemidji State University. Tom retired from his career at Otter Tail Power Company in 2017. 
  • Tom won his first state archery championship in 1987; since then he has won more than 60 state championships. 
  • He has won 15 national archery championships in both recurve and compound shooting styles. 
  • He currently holds 6 national records and over 40 state records. 
  • In 2022, after winning the Voyager Cup, Tom received the Male Recurve Shooter of the Year Award. 
  • Tom is sponsored and supported by CD Archery, Victory Archery, Hoyt Archery and Prairie Archery. 
  • Tom’s earlier memories of archery go back to the early 1960s when he, his brother and cousins got their first bows and arrows. In the late 60s Tom joined the local Buckskin Bowmen Archery Club where he was mentored by fellow archers Dick Anderson, Jim Wentler, Jon Frees and Mike Larson, to name a few. 
  • In 2021, Jeff Struck, Dave Sanderson, Jr. and Tom worked with the Fergus Falls Park Department and established an outdoor archery range at DeLagoon Park, which is open to the public and free of charge. 
  • Also in 2021, Jeff, Dave and Tom worked with the Fergus Falls School District and started the National Archery in the School Program (NASP).  

Following is a list of previous inductees along with the induction class of 2023.

1986 charter members: Duane Baglien, Charles Beck, Winfred Brockmeyer, Bill Colbeck, Fran Conito, Everett Faunce, Norm Galloway, Jack Halland, John Hermes, Hub Hovland, Jeff Jacobson, Barry Johnson, Clarence Lee, Oats LeGrand, Mel Olson, Harley Oyloe, Curt Reinan, Dave Retzlaff, Roger Sinner, Jerry Skogmo, Don Stueve, Jack Townley, Chuck Weiss, Wes Windmiller

1987: Karl Beck, Gene Donley, Rocky Elton, Carrie Hefte, Jim Henkes, Russ Johnson, Gloria Mielke, Noel Olson, George Sawyer, Muggs Townsend, Kate Weiby, Dick Werner

1990: Paul Bjorklund, Roland Bromberg, Les Drechsel, Paul Gust, Jr., Jim Morstad, Inga Nelson, Harry Olson, Carolyn Schmidt

1993: Roger Dell, Roland Harlow, Milt Papke, Earl Perkins

1998: Buzz Elliott, Craig Olson, Ann Williams

2001: Tim Cashman, Bill Foss, Mark Foss, Dave Lindig, Tom Uvaas

2004: Joe Edlund, Terry Harrington, Paige Johnson, Richard Risbrudt

2012: Mike Hilley, Len Kretchman, Jon Pontius, Carleen Rose Holm

2013: Greg Buckmeier, Michelle Danielson-Berger, Eric Ecker, Joe Gervais, John DeWitt, Sonny Mjelde, LeRoy Quernemoen

2017: Stacy Busack, Kevin Pearson, Jason Retzlaff, Steve Thorsen, Katie Weiss Hanneman

2018: Bob Bjorklund, Matt Brimhall, Kim Hanson Mansell, Ken Kothe, David Noyes, Blaine Rude, Kris Werner

2019: Justin Arneson, Scott Colbeck, Cindy Harthun Waasdorp, Linda Knutson Brophy, Jon Kretchman, Eric Loeffler

2020: Cathy Cranston, Larry Eisinger, Gordy Kvern, Mark Toso

 2021: Tom Glorvigen, Matt Mortsad

2022: Hannah Draxten Clark, Mike Hurley, Paul Johnson and Tom Yuzer

2023: Steve Johnson, Tom Johnson and Kim Katzenmeyer