It is a big week in Pelican Rapids, as memories will be both revived and rekindled–and created during Homecoming 2019.
Pelican school alumni will be returning for the first-ever Hall of Fame banquet Oct. 5. In addition, several retired school staff will also be honored at the event: The late band director Jack Couture; former superintendent Keith Klein; teacher John Nordstrom; and math teacher Jerry Polley.
Read about the first class of inductees in a special edition, inside this Pelican Rapids Press.
It was fascinating to pull material together here at the Press office, looking all the way back to Press editions from the 1950s. We ended up with more than we could fit in our section. So, some of it ended up “on the cutting room floor,” as they say in the movie business.
Following are a few Hall of Fame items and anecdotes.
Schultz credited single mother
New Pelican Rapids Hall of Famer, the late Bob Schultz, and his three siblings grew up with a single mother. Bob and his brother Ken both played for the U of M Gophers.
At a Pelican Rapids banquet honoring the Schultz brothers, in 1958, a newspaper account states that “there were plenty of praises for the honored brothers. But the most heart warming honor was that of Ken Schultz to his mother when he gave his choked-up talk after receiving his watch.” The Pelican Commercial Club, and Dr. Henry Korda, presented both brothers with a wrist watch. The Schultz brothers were arguably the most accomplished athletes to have ever graduated from Pelican Rapids High School at the time.
“Bob also paid tribute to his mother who has raised and supported the boys and their two sisters alone since they came to Pelican Rapids from St. Thomas, N.D., when Bob was a freshman,” stated the newspaper account.
Schultz also went to state track meet in broad jump
In a Pelican Rapids Press account, at the time of the 1954 graduation, Schultz was listed as Salutatorian.
“Schultz has spend several busy years also having received letters in football, basketball, baseball and track the last three years. He was co-captain of the football team and basketball team this year, made all conference in football and all district in basketball.
Last year he advanced to the state track meet with his broad jumping. He has been a member of the Lettermen’s Club, the Viking “Round-Up” staff, president of the Student Council, band member, and on the annual staff.
Schultz-Boe were 1950s scoring combo
In a Press account from a football game against Wheaton in the 1950s, Schultz ran the full length of the field for a touchdown, but was called back because of a clipping penalty. With Schultz out of breath from his 100 yeard dash, teammate Jack Boe then quickly carried the ball 91 yards for a touchdown.
Later that season, the Schultz-Boe combination was equally potent against Frazee.
A 42-yard gain on a pass from Boe to Langseth put the ball on the one yard line where Schultz carried over. And—Schultz also kicked the extra point. Llater, Schultz connected on a pass to Boe for 23 yards and another TD.
In the third quarter Schultz carried through center for a 58 yard jaunt to pay dirt and a short time later Boe carried it 68 yards for the fourth TD, reported the Press.
“Broken records” at Pelican school
Hall of Famers Ki Gohdes and the late Al Siegle worked closely in the Pelican school phy ed department.
Vandals had broken into the gymnastics room at the Pelican school some 30 years ago. They smashed all the vinyl records that were used for music to accompany gymnastics routines.
Devastated by the total loss and overwhelmed with the thought of replacing all the records, Gohdes visited Athletic Director Siegle. She was in tears. Siegle was well known for his uncanny ability to calm and resolve issues with his pleasant demeanor.
After letting her cry on his shoulder a bit, Siegle said, “Ki, as a track coach you should know this: Records are made to be broken.”
She laughed at this comment and then Siegle assured her that they would figure something out to replace the records.
Siegle on football, and Concordia
A couple notes from the time of Al Siegle’s funeral in 2015:
Pelican graduate and player on Al’s 1960s football teams, Rev. Tim Johnson officiated at the funeral service. At graduation time, Tim approached Al with an apology:
“Coach Siegle, now that I’m graduating, I want to apologize for being such a lousy football player,” said Tim.
Al responded: “That’s OK Tim…You really weren’t that bad.”
A Concordia College-Moorhead graduate, Siegle earned several alumni honors from his old school. “You can go to any college you want,” Al told his kids, “as long as it is Concordia.”