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North Dakota Wrestling Hall of Fame

The North Dakota wrestling coaches annually nominate and elect deserving representatives into the North Dakota Wrestling Hall of Fame who have demonstrated excellence, passion and commitment toward the sport of wrestling in our state.


Kayle Dangerud, Hettinger & West Fargo

Robert Finneseth, Velva

Kayle Dangerud was a two-time state champion at Hettinger High School for coach Randy Burwick. A six-time state qualifier, Dangerud placed 4th in 1994, 5th in 1995, and won state titles in 1996 and 1997. He was a part of the 1996 state B championship team--the first title in 30 years for Hettinger. Dangerud finished his high school career with a 193-32 record and was awarded the Class B Co-Mr. Wrestler in 1997 and. He went on to wrestle at South Dakota State University, where he was a two-year starter at 157 pounds for the Jackrabbits. Dangerud was the head wrestling coach at West Fargo High School from 2006-2015. In his first season as head coach in 2006, the Packers won their first state individual team championship in school history. In ten years as head coach, West Fargo won 3 state individual team titles and four state dual championships. Additionally, the Packers won 8 East Region championships and produced 45 conference champions. Dangerud was a part of a coaching staff that helped coach 109 state placers, including 25 state champions. He was selected East Region Coach of the Year twice and named Class A Coach of the Year in 2012. Currently, Dangerud owns and operates Everything Amish which sells custom-made Amish furniture. He and his wife Chentel have a daughter, Ella, and a son Jake.

Robert Finneseth was a four-time state qualifier, three time region champion, and three-time state placer winning a state title at 189 for the Velva Aggies. He continued is wrestling career at NDSU becoming a four-time Division II National Tournament Qualifier and three-time All-American for the Bison, including winning a NCC title at 177 in 1996. Robert has stayed involved in the wrestling community for several years and in various positions. He served as a Co-head coach at Bismarck State College for two years and as an assistant coach in both Velva and Minot, North Dakota. Robert helped organize and coach the North Dakota Middle School National dual team. This dual team consisted of outstanding middle school wrestlers from across the state. This team would compete at the AAU National Duals in Indianola, Iowa. Robert will forever be grateful for his North Dakota roots. As he transitioned his family to Minnesota he once again found himself in the local wrestling room. He became involved in the youth and the high school program. Most of his time has been spent as an assistant in Litchfield, but he also worked for three years as Litchfield’s head coach. His time coaching has been both enjoying and gratifying. Working with young people both in the wrestling room and the church youth group has been a rewarding experience that allowed Him to grow as an individual and a father. Robert Finneseth lives with his wife Karyn and four children Alex, Ben, Anna and Brie in Litchfield, MN.

Rod Garland, Oakes

Ben & Robin James, Kenmare

Rod Garland graduated in 1965 from Oakes High School and in 1969 from Valley City State University. Rod began his coaching career in 1981 as an assistant coach to eventual hall of fame coach Garry Opp at Oakes High School. Over the next 34 years Rod was an integral part in developing young wrestlers that amassed an impressive 505 dual wins, 3 Dual State Championship teams, 5 Individual State Championship teams, 13 Regional team Championships, 35 Individual State Champions, and 164 State Place Winners. More important to Rod then any of the awards and accolades were the hundreds of young men that put in endless hours of time and practice to just be part of the team. During his tenure as an assistant coach Rod had the opportunity to work with many great coaches, many of which were volunteers to the OHS wrestling program. Coach Garland was named Class B Junior High Coach of the Year in 2012. During his free time since retiring from coaching, Rod enjoys coming to wrestling practice, attending wrestling duals and tournaments, and traveling with his wife Deb. Rod and Deb have a son Eric and stepsons Jeff, Ryan, and Jon.

Ben James wrestled for Kenmare High School at 98 lbs. during High School and graduated in 1973. He then went on to wrestle for NDSSS Wahpeton. Some years after starting their career in farming, Ben and Robin began to get involved with wrestling once again when their nephews started to wrestle in the Kenmare Grade School program. Ben and Robin became even more involved with wrestling in 1991 when Ben assisted Rich Voegeli to help build the KHS team. The 1992-1993 season Ben co-coached with Mark Mattern and the following season, ‘93-’94 he coached with Arlen Gartner. After turning over coaching duties to JJ Nelson and Nolan Spooner in 1994, Ben continued to assist and volunteer his time by helping the coaches at practice. He worked with wrestlers in the lighter weights, carrying over into the elementary program after the varsity season was finished. He has continued to do this through the years until 2016. Ben and Robin have also been very involved with organizing and helping with the annual Kenmare Invitational Tournament. You could find Ben weighing in the wrestlers and helping with any needs throughout the day to keep the tournament running smoothly and efficiently. Robin helped with the coaches’ meeting, set up brackets and kept the coaches under control!!! She also worked all day at the head table to keep each bout of wrestling going and in order! For you millennials, this was before computers and Trackwrestling. If anyone needed something, you could be sure that Ben and Robin would know where to find it or what to do! For many years and even today you will find Robin by the mats taking pictures of the KHS wrestlers (and many wrestlers they are very fond of from other teams, now including great nephews). She makes sure that the wrestlers have some great memories of their time on the mat by giving them pictures of their season. She also freelances for the Kenmare News by taking pictures and giving them information throughout the season, as well as for the North Dakota State Wrestling Tournament. Over the years Ben and Robin have very seldom missed any wrestling events, as they feel it’s important to support the wrestlers. Ben and Robin attended Kenmare School Board meetings to successfully advocate for the wrestling program when it was in danger of being cut from the athletic program. With all the things they were doing for wrestling they felt it wasn’t enough to keep the program going at KHS, so they were instrumental in forming the wrestling club called the “Mighty Grapplers.” Robin was the treasurer of the club until 2015 and Ben was on the Board from 2006-2016. They spent many hours setting up the By-Laws, policies, guidelines and mission purpose of the club: To promote the sport of wrestling and encourage young wrestlers to improve their skills. They also started fund raising efforts to purchase wrestling singlets for the Little Honker program and to purchase uniforms, fill coolers, fund wrestling camps and other needs for the KHS varsity team. Each year the wrestling club hosts a Little Honker Wrestling Tournament. A lot of work goes into organizing and making the tournament a success. Robin and Ben are a big reason that the tournament ran smoothly. The proceeds go to the wrestling club to continue to support the program. If you ever get a chance to walk into the KHS wrestling room, you will see a wall covered with the names of all KHS State Placers. Countless hours have been spent by Robin and Ben to make sure that each year those names are added to the wall. What a thrill for that wrestler to enter the wrestling room and see their name on the “Wall of Fame!” Many times over the years when asked “Which wrestler is yours?” Ben and Robin say “All of them!”

Shannon Johnson, Napoleon

Scott Knowlen, Bismarck High

The Napoleon High School wrestling staff proudly submits the name of Shannon Johnson for inclusion in the prestigious North Dakota Wrestling Hall of Fame. An all-around athlete at Napoleon High School, Shannon excelled as a football player at running back and linebacker on an Imperial team that was unaffiliated with a conference, and thus was ineligible for post-season competition or honors. He began his wrestling career as a member of Coach John Kambeitz’s Napoleon Wrestling Club where he was a USA Wrestling State Champion in 1983, 1985, and 1986. In his initial varsity season during his eighth grade year in 1985, he qualified for State at 105 but did not place. He did not wrestle varsity during his Freshman year, but during his Sophomore season in 1987, he placed third at State at 132. He earned State Championship honors during both his Junior and Senior years; 1988 at 145 and 1989 at 152. He was a two-time Region Champ and in 1989 was part of Barry McCleary’s first team State Championship as a head coach. Following his high school graduation in 1989, Shannon wrestled for Coach Jeff Schumacher at BSC. He was a two-time All-American there as he placed seventh in the nation in 1990 and fifth in 1991. After working for a time, in the fall of 1994 he enrolled at the University of Mary, where he wrestled for two years as a Marauder for Coach Milo Trusty. He earned All-American honors as a National Runner-up in 1996 at the NAIA Tournament. Following his college experience, Shannon served as a co-coach of the highly successful Bismarck MatPac with Jeff Schumacher from 2004-2008. He began officiating wrestling at the high school and college levels in 1998 and continued until 2008. During those years he officiated several Regional and State tournaments. Both of Shannon’s sons continued his wrestling legacy by becoming outstanding wrestlers as well. Tyler was a four-time WDA champion and a three-time State Champion, as well as a third and fourth placer in his five-year career at Century (eighth grade) and at Bismarck High School. He went on to wrestle at NDSU where he was a three-year starter. In addition, he was an All-State football player and an All-State baseball player. Trevor was four WDA titles and placed fifth and third at State before stringing together three State Championships at Bismarck High School. He continued his wrestling career at the University of Mary and earned All-American honors one time as a Marauder. He also played football and baseball for the Demons. His daughter Toria, a varsity gymnast at Bismarck High School, placed sixth in the vault and fifth in bars at the State Gymnastics Meet in 2009. She is currently a student at NDSU majoring in nursing. Tyler is in his final year as a dental student at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln and will graduate in May. His wife Ciara is doing her residency in Lincoln following medical school. They have a daughter Landry who is six months old. Trevor is an emergency room charge nurse at Sanford Hospital in Bismarck. He is married to Kristy who is studying physical therapy at the University of Mary. Shannon is currently a driver/technical assistant for DMS Health Technologies. He is the son of Bob and Pam Johnson of Bismarck and the grandson of LeRoy and Alice Buck of Streeter. Shannon has four siblings: Ryan (Missy) of Napoleon, Cody (Brian Heines) of Bismarck, Kara (Jorge-fiancé) of Bismarck, and Nathan (Christina) of Bismarck.

Scott Knowlen rewrote the coaching record books during his 26 years as the head coach at Bismarck High School. Bismarck's accomplishments during the Knowlen era are astonishing: Fifteen state tournament championships, 12 state dual championships, a 368-16-2 dual record and 15 undefeated dual seasons. Ten times BHS won the state individual tournament and dual titles in the same season. His Demon teams never finished lower than third at state. As a wrestler in high school, Knowlen was two-time state champion for Bismarck High, going a perfect 67-0 during his varsity career. He went on to be a NJCAA All-American at Bismarck Junior College and then a two-time NCAA All-American at the University of North Dakota. He was also a two-time Academic All-American at UND. While in college, Knowlen won a gold medal at the Junior Pan American Games in Columbia. Knowlen wrestled during Bismarck Highís 175-match dual winning streak that ended in 1989 and coached during their entire 145-match dual string that ended in 2010. The 1992 Bismarck High team was ranked No. 1 in the nation by USA Today. Knowlen coached 79 individual state champions, 24 of whom earned high school All-American status. Seven of his wrestlers were named state senior wrestling athlete of the year and dozens went on to wrestle in college. He was named the National Coach of the Year in 2004 and inducted into the NDHSCA Hall of Fame in 2013. He was the state coach of the year four times and holds all five Class A coaching records:~Most Career Wins, Best Career Won/Loss Record, Most Team Championships, Most Individual Champions and Most Dual Championships. Scott is married to Shelly and together they have four children, Amber, Zac, Kael and Jordan.

Josh Krebs, Minot High

Rod MacDonald, Mayville-Portland

Josh Krebs was a three-time state wrestling champion for Minot High who was named the North Dakota High School athlete of the year in 1996. During his five year varsity career, Krebs amassed a 178-29 career record and left high school with 8 school records and 2 state records. In addition to his three state titles, Krebs was state runner-up as a freshman in 1993 helping his Minot High team win a state team championship. The year prior he finished 5th as an 8th grader. He made the WDA finals five times, winning three titles. Krebs won the Minnesota Christmas tournament twice and finished his high school career on a 90 match unbeaten streak. While in high school, he was twice named honorable mention to the Asics All-America team. Krebs continued his wrestling career at the University of Minnesota where he was a 2-time letter winner. While at Minnesota, Krebs was a member of the 1999 team that won the Big Ten championship and the 2001 team that won both the Big Ten and NCAA championship. Krebs also earned All-American honors from USA Wrestling at the Cadet, FILA Junior and University levels. Josh is married to Kayla and has three children; Atticus, Gwen and Trixi.

Rod MacDonald graduated from Crookston Catholic High School in 1962. He then furthered his education at Mayville State College, where he graduated from in 1966 with a degree in Education. While at Mayville State, Rod played football for the Comets. He was an outstanding football player and was recognized for this as a member of the 1965 Mayville State College Hall of Fame football team. He was also inducted into the Mayville State Coaches Hall of Fame in October of 2014. Mr. MacDonald started his coaching career at New England St. Mary’s High School. He was there from 1966-1969 and coached both football and track. He then moved on to Mayville High School, and he remained there through two school consolidations of Mayville-Portland, and then Mayville-Portland Clifford-Galesburg, ending his career in 2009. It was here where he began his incredible coaching career as a wrestling coach. He was head wrestling coach from 1969-1978 and from 1988-1993, and this is quite interesting as Rod was a self-taught wrestling coach as he came from a hockey background. He studied the sport with great enthusiasm and developed an outstanding program based on fundamentals and tremendous conditioning. His passion for wrestling was evident to his wrestlers, and he worked hard to get his athletes, not only in excellent shape, but to understand how to improve with each opponent they faced. He coached 36 state place winners, 14 state finalists, and 6 state champions. Coach MacDonald had regional team championships from 1970-1978, with 6 of those teams winning Red River Valley Conference Championships. During the 1972-1973 Regional Tournament, he coached 11 of his 12 wrestlers to the championship finals. At the state tournaments, he had teams that finished 3rd in 1973, 2nd in 1974, and 5th in 1978, behind legendary teams and coaches Frank Fish of Watford City and Bucky Anderson of Napoleon. Coach MacDonald poured his heart and soul into wrestling and his wrestlers, and many of those wrestlers today continue to share in that passion by coaching or sharing the sport with their own children. This is a sport that they learned from a man who never wrestled competitively himself. His energy and enthusiasm poured over into each of his athletes. Rod MacDonald also coached football and golf. He was the assistant football coach at Mayville High School and Mayville-Portland High School from 1970-1978 and those teams were state runners-up in 1972, state champions in 1973, runners-up in 1976 and state champions in 1977. He was the head football coach from 1979-1996 with over 100 career wins and were state champions in 1984 and state runners-up in 1989 and 1990. He was named the ND Class B Football Coach of the Year in 1984 and 1989. Throughout his coaching career, he was supported by his late wife Beda and his three children Matt, Mark and Tania. Today Coach MacDonald spends half his year in Minnesota fishing, golfing and visiting friends. He takes frequent trips to the Minneapolis area to spend time with his daughter Tania and her husband Jason, his son Mark and his wife Katie and four grandsons Luke, Lincoln, Carson, Henry. His fifth grandchild is on the way. The other half of his year is spent in Arizona where his enjoys the warm weather, plenty of golf and spending time with his friends and son Matt and Ashsuire Forest.

Mark McLean, Hillsboro

Chuck Michaelson, Williston

Mark McLean was a late-comer to the sport of wrestling, joining the Hillsboro Burros team as a freshman. His junior high basketball coach suggested the natural heavyweight would be more successful on the mat than on the court. Mark took to the sport quickly, qualifying for the state tournament as a sophomore, junior and senior. He gained a reputation as a pinner, setting two school records with an 11-second pin and later a 7-second pin. He became an undefeated heavyweight champion his senior year (1982), winning all 21 matches by pin. He saved his longest match of the year for his last match, scoring a pin in 5:07 to win the state title. He was the first state champion for the Burros. Mark was recruited to wrestle for Mayville State College by Coach Al Holmes. The connection was a natural one since Mark had practiced with MSC wrestlers as a senior in high school, since his Burro team offered no other heavyweights to challenge him. In his four-year career at Mayville, Mark tallied a record of 95 wins (75 pins) and 27 losses. He qualified for four and participated in three NAIA national tournaments. He was team captain his junior and senior seasons and was named MVP his senior year. He was named all-conference as a senior. He set five records for the Comets – most team points in one season (126), most falls in one season (27), most falls in a career (75), most team points in a career (354) and quickest pin (11 seconds). Mark spent his 5th year at Mayville State as a student assistant coach. He was named to the Mayville State University Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008. After earning his elementary education degree, he taught in Hazen, N.D. for six years. He also coached wrestling, football and track. In 1993, he moved back to his hometown of Hillsboro to continue his teaching and coaching career. He became an assistant coach to Ron Gadberry for the high school squad and led the elementary school program, the Lil’ Burros. He was named assistant wrestling coach of the year in 2002 by the North Dakota High School Coaches Association. He later became head wrestling coach and eventually co-head coach with Eric Ptacek. During his tenure, the program produced nine individual state champions. His biggest thrill as a wrestling coach came when he had the privilege of coaching his sons Jake and Alex from grade school through high school. After 25 years of coaching, Mark retired for health reasons. He continues to teach 4th grade at Hillsboro Elementary, currently his 30th year in the classroom.

Chuck Michaelson went from a very successful high school and college wrestling career to one of the top high school coaches in North Dakota. After starting his coaching career at Minot Ryan, Michaelson eventually led the Williston High School program for 15 seasons. During his time leading the Coyotes, Michaelson’s teams placed in the top 4 in state six times, highlighted by a 1999 State team championship. Michaelson also coached three West Region title teams and was named the state Coach of the Year twice. He coached 85 individual state place winners including 7 state champions. Michaelson was a two-time NAIA college All-American at Dickinson State University which included a National Runner-up finish in 1990. During his time at DSU, the Blue Hawks won four consecutive conference champions. In high school, Michaelson was a part of three consecutive state championship teams at Velva led by Hall of Fame coaches Mike Norland and Cy Kittleson. Michaelson capped off by his senior year with an individual state title in 1986. Chuck is married to Dana and has three children, Luke, Brie and Paul.

Chris Zink, Carrington

Chris Zink was born and raised in Carrington, ND, to parents Peter and Bonita Zink. Chris graduated in 1994 with a high school career record of 138-18-1, which, at the time, was the Carrington High School record for career wins. He was a five-time regional champion and went on to place four times at the state tournament --- two-time state champion, runner-up, and 5th place finisher. He was also a member of three state championship teams (1991, 1992, 1994). He was twice named team captain and was a Mr. Wrestler finalist his senior year. Chris started his college wrestling career at the United States Military Academy at West Point followed by a stop at the University of North Dakota. He finished his career with North Dakota State University where he earned All American honors, placing 7th in 1999. He placed twice at the North Central Conference tournament (3rd and 4th) as well as being named a three-time NCAA Academic All-American during college. After his competitive career ended, Chris worked as a junior high and high school wrestling coach. He currently works with the Magic youth wrestling club where he gets to watch firsthand as his sons, Carter and Landon, develop their own love of wrestling. Chris, his wife Jamie, Carter, and Landon, currently reside in West Fargo.

1977 Mandan "Braves"

A team of destiny finally took down the dynasty. Forty years ago, the 1977 Mandan Braves emerged from the shadow of rival Bismarck High to take home the team championship. The 1977 Mandan Braves won the North Dakota Class “A” State Wrestling Championship scoring a state record 196 points. The 196 points were 80 more points than runner-up Bismarck. The Braves were represented in 11 of 12 weight classes during that State Tournament. All 11 representatives placed in the tournament and nine Mandan wrestlers were in the State Finals. Four of those nine wrestlers won individual State Championships. Mandan scored 175 points on the first day of the tournament alone as the Braves lost only two total matches on the first day of the tournament. The 175 points on the first day alone broke the previous State Tournament record of 146 set by the 1975 Bismarck Demons. The 196 points at the State Tournament were scored during an era of high school wrestling when there was only 12 weight classes. The State Tournament wrestled a 16-person bracket with byes. The record was set and stood for all the remaining years where only 12 weight classes were available. The scoring record was broken when more weight classes were added and when byes were eliminated from the State Tournament. Individual state champions for the 1977 Mandan team were Rick Hohbein, Jerry Sandoval, Phil Syvrud, and Dan Morrow. Also making the state finals were Dave Heberholz, Brent Beechie, Tim Kruckenberg, Dan Bohe, and Roger Royse. Other placers included Dean Goebel and Bryan Birkholz. The heavyweight on the team, who didn’t qualify because he was in a loaded region weight class, was Darhl Keigley. The 1977 Mandan junior varsity team had an undefeated season, and numerous members went on to become state placers and champions themselves. The coach of the 1977 Braves was Hall of Famer Dave Mellen and assistant coaches were Steve Charlebois and Louis Bosch.




Harold L. Peterson

Father of North Dakota Wrestling, began in Williston

Dean Bachmeier

First NAIA Champion from North Dakota, wrestled for Dickinson State.

Dave Stewart

First 4-time North Dakota State Champion, wrestled for Willison.

Bill Demaray

First NCAA Division II Champion from North Dakota.

Adrian Nelson

Williston Sportswriter who reported the 1st two State Tourneys from Williston.

Vern Gale

First North Dakota College Wrestling Coach, started at Valley City State.

John Pederson

Sportswriter from Bismarck who actively promoted wrestling in its early and formative years.

Jerry Halmrast

North Dakota's first National Wrestling Coach of the Year, a leader in North Dakota wrestling for many years from Bismarck.

Lee Petersen

NCAA Division II Champion from NDSU & Bismarck.

Gary Hoffman

NJCAA 2-time National Chamption from BJC and Ashley.

Ed Maisey

4-time WAC Champion for BYU, NCAA Division I All-American, State Champion from Williston.

Phil Reimnitz

NCAA Division II Champion from NDSU & Bismarck.

Tom Lowe

NCAA Division II placewinner for NDSU, 3-time State Champion from Minot.

Roger Kellar

First North Dakota NJCAA Champion, wrestled for BJC and St. Mary's

Tony Huck

2-time NAIA Champion for Valley City State College from New Salem.

Al Larson

Carrington coach started foreign exchange programs in North Dakota.

Don Lemnus

Valley City State College coach for 22 years, produced 44 Conference Champions and 13 All-Americans

Rodney Anderson

2-time State Champion and longtime promoter of North Dakota wrestling from Lisbon.

Malcolm McLeod

4-time NCAA Division III All-American and 1-time NAIA All-American from West Fargo

Mark Reimnitz

NCAA Division II Champion for NDSU from Bismarck.

Bill Barney

Longtime Fargo wrestling coach and co-originator of North Dakota Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Dean Hermes

Williston coach and co-originator of North Dakota Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Dave Haas

NCAA Division II placewinner from Valley City.

Kurt Lesser

NAIA Champion for Dickinson State College from Minot.

Paul Syvrud

3-time NAIA Champion for Jamestown College from Mandan.

Lon Brew

3-time All-American for NDSU from Bismarck High.

Andy DeCoteau

4-time NDCAC Conference Champion for Mayville State from Belcourt.

Gary Dietz

Bismarck Junior College All-American from Bismarck High.

John Christen

NCC Champion, NCAA Division II placewinner, Academic All-American for UND from Minot Ryan.

Kent Ness

2-time State Champion for Devils Lake, NDCAC Champion for BSC, NCC Champion for NDSU.

Mike Norland

Coach of 6 State Championship teams from Velva.

Mark Carter

2-time State Champion for Mayville-Portland, 2-time NAIA All-American, At Bismarck High, his 1991 team ranked #2 in USA & 1992 team ranked #1 in USA.

Randy Burwick

2-time State Champion for Dickinson, 4-time NDCAC Champion and 1985 National Champion for DSU.

Keith Burwick

2-time State Champion for Dickinson, 3-time NDCAC Champion, 1977 North Dakota Athlete of the Year.

Hank Pankratz

3-time State Champion for Dickinson, 2-time NDCAC Champion for DSU.

Mike Schaff

2-time NJCAA All-American. Ten State Championships at Bismarck High.

Jeff Schumacher

4-time All-American NJCAA and NCAA Division II. National NJCAA Coach of the Year at BSC.

Bert Gums

Coached at Garrison and coached 4 State Championship teams at Napoleon.

Troy Humphrey

State Champion from Carrington. Nationsal NAIA Champion at Western Montana in 1988.

George Bowman

2-time State Champion from Grand Forks Red River, NCAA Division I national qualifier for University of Minnesota.

Stan Halling

Longtime coach at Hughes Junior High in Bismarck. Coached many Century & Bismarck High State Champions.

Dave Mellen

All-American at Dickinson State College. Coached 21 years at Mandan High School

Charlie Wagner

State Heavyweight Champion for Bismarck High, 3-time NDCAC Champion, 2-time college All-American.

Terry Steiner

2-time State Champion for Bismarck Century. All-American and National Champ at Iowa.

Troy Steiner

3-time State Champion for Bismarck Century. All-American and National Champ at Iowa.

James Buchli

State Champion for Fargo Central, USA Astronaut.

Lance Koenig

3-time State Champion for Carrington and All-American at NDSU.

Brett Maughan

4-time State Champion for Fargo North, formerly held State record for consecutive individual victories (126).

Mike Armstrong

1970 Captain at Bismarck High, 2-time Rotary Champion, Founder of Dickinson Wrestling Club.

Nick Storhaug

State Class B 2nd Best Career Won/Lost Record (217-27) at Lisbon.

Duane Hennessy

Longtime Grand Forks Central Coach and Wrestling promoter for North Dakota.

Dan Unruh

Coach and veteran State Wrestling Official from Wahpeton.

Joel Vettel

NCAA National Placewinner from NDSU and High School State Champion for Hillsboro.

John Richter

1983 State Champion for Bismarck St. Mary's, 2-time All-American for Bismarck State College

Tom Christen

Williston High School Coach for 22 years, Overall record of 253-158-1, Longtime promoter of wrestling.

Mike Seeger

5-time Placwinner (1992 Champion), 2-time National Champion, University of Mary Outstanding Wrestler, NAIA and 1996 ND College Athlete of the Year.

Howard "Bucky" Anderson

One of two coaches to receive COTY Honors in both Class A and Class B, Coached several individual Champions at Napoleon and Bismarck Century.

Linda Anderson

Organized first Northern Plains Regional for Kids and Cadets, Served 25 years as Secretary to USA Wrestling of ND.

Clay Nagel

2-time North Dakota State Champion, Coaching record 304-83-5.

Scott Braun

2-time State Champion at Bismarck Century and 3-time Division II National Runner-up.

LeRoy Boesflug

State Runner-Up, Coach and Official.

Chad Renner

3-time undefeated State Champion at Bismarck, USAW Jr. Nat'l Freestyle Champ & Runner-up, NCAA Division I All-American at Oregon State.

Kasey Gilliss

3-time State Champion for Bismarck Century, 1995 Mr. Wrestler of North Dakota, High school record of 143-3; NCAA Division I All-American at University of Iowa

Garry Opp

8-time Region COTY, State COTY, 49 consecutive dual victories, 9 consecutive tourney victories, 1993 State Champions, 7 individual champions.

Ken Gabriel

3-time Rotary Champion & 1973 State Champion, Coached 5 State Champion teams and 41 individual Champions as assistant/head coach, and 4 Mr. Wrestlers.

Leroy McCormick

1981 State Champion at Bismarck, 1984 NDCAC Champion & 1985 NAIA All-American at DSC, 3 Mr. Wrestlers and 13 individual champions as HC at Century.

Brian Biel

3-time State Champion at Beulah, NAIA Runner-up 2000 and Champion 2001 for University of Mary

Dale Beckman

Coaching record 362-191-8, 27 Individual State Champions, 115 State placers during 32 years as head coach at New Salem, coached 3 National Champions.

Clint Lien

Larimore head wrestling coach for 31 years with 228 Dual and Triangular wins, 20 years elementary wrestling coach, 13 years wrestling official, 40 years Athletic Director and promoter of wrestling.

Ron Zehren

Four-year letterman at NDSU. Coached 28 years at Jamestown High School, 22 years as head coach with a record of 214-69-5.

Milo Trusty

Mandan High School's first State Champion, 110-11 career record at VCSU, pioneered 3 successful ND wrestling programs: Century HS, U of Mary and Matpac WC, 4 time National NAIA Coach of the Year at U of Mary.

Dave Hilliard

First 5-Time Lakota State Champion in North Dakota, career record 162-9, 87 pins, lives in Center now.

Kris Nelson

Two-time high school State Champion, three-time collegiate All-American, National Champ and MVP of the 2000 NCAA Division Tournament from NDSU.

Jeff Enzminger

High School Record 171-21, College Record 101-24, two-time State Champion, four-time Regional Champion and 1994 Outstanding Graduating Senior, two-time All-American in college.

Vince Ames

3-time UND letter winner at University of North Dakota. 23 years as head coach with a record of 292 -171-4. Over 40 years of involvement with wrestling. Inducted into the GFC Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2003.

Duane Barnhardt

2 time state wrestling champion for Century High School. Career high school record of 108 wins and 15 losses. All -American at Bismarck State College. 2 time All-American at University of North Dakota.

Dennis Friestad

Head Wrestling Coach at Valley City High School for 39 years. 2 time state wrestling champion for Napoleon High School. 4 time NDCAC wrestling champion for Valley City State University. NAIA All-American placing third at 157 lbs in 1965. NDCAC Outstanding Wrestler Award in 1965

Mark Pazdernik

High school record 197- 4 time high school state champion from New Salem. 1998 National Champ in NCAA Div II 3 time All-American from NDSU.

Frank Fish Coached 29 individual state champions and 3 state championship teams at Watford City.
Roger Loerch

Broadcasted 20 state wrestling tournaments and is “The Voice” of wrestling in Harvey.

Mike Peterson

Three time state champion, high school All-American from Carrington. Three-year letterman at the United States Military Academy (USMA), West Point

Dave Reimnitz

State champion at Bismarck High, Junior College Hall of Fame Member & National Champ (BSC),  NAIA All-American (Eastern Washington), Junior Pan Am Champion.

Ryan Wolters State Champion; Second Place-Folkstyle Senior Nationals; Second Place-USA Wrestling Greco Nationals; Three time All-American at NDSU including 1995 National Champion
Theo Shalesky

Long-time Hettinger assistant high school coach and head coach of Hettinger Kids Wrestling Club

Brandon Lemer

Two-time state champion from Harvey; three-time All-American at Jamestown College

Lee Nagel Long-time head coach in Wahpeton
James Kisgen Two-time state champion from Devils Lake; two-time NJCAA All-American at BSC; two-time NCAA D2 All-American at UND; Head coach of McKendree University since starting the program
Norman Kleppe

Head coach in Lakota where he coached David Hilliard; long-time assistant coach in Napoleon; part of the staff that coached Napoleon to six consecutive state dual & individual championships

Jack Maughan

Two-time state champion at Fargo North; two-time All-American at NDSU under father Bucky Maughan; head coach for 22 seasons at University of Northern Colorado

Dave Michaelson

Long-time assistant and head coach at Dickinison High; produced 15 individual state champions & 76 state placewinners; WDA coach of the year 4 times; state coach of the year in 2003.

Scott Owens Two-time state champion from Devils Lake; state Triple Crown winner; two-time Cadet National champion, three time Junior National champion. NAIA national runner up twice at U-Mary
Adrian Simmons

Two-time state champion from Grand Forks Central; coached Grand Forks Freestyle Club out of high school; four year wrestler at UND; three-time D2 national qualifier

Mark Slater

Three-time state champion from Minot Bishop Ryan; played football at the University of Minnesota and in the NFL for six years with San Diego and Philadelphia

Jason Wagner Two-time state champion from Carrington; US Army National champion; wrestled at the University of Minnesota and UND
Rhett Hilzendeger

Bismarck High state champion in 1972, All-American at Bismarck Junior College, conference champion at D-1 Arizona, All-American at Moorhead State

Bill Kelly

Started wrestling programs in Wyndmere and Enderlin; head coach at Central Cass from 1968-1976; middle school wrestling coach at Jamestown from 1976-2001

Rick Mellmer Coach for the Dickinson Wrestling Club for 25 years coaching 18 high school state champions and 10 triple crown (state freestyle, state Greco-Roman, & state high school title) champions
Chuck Seamands

128-25-1 career record at Hettinger High School including 65-0-1 record during his junior and senior years and state titles at 105 and 112 pounds

Dusty Swanson

Three-time state champion from Fargo South compiling a 128-28 reocrd and earning Mr. Wrestler in 1998; qualified for World Team Trials in 2005; wrestled at NDSU from 1998-2003

Rich Voegeli Three-time state place winner at Ellendale High School; All-American wrestler at Northern State in Aberdeen; wrestling official and wrestling broadcaster for Oakes
Jason Anderson Three-time state champion from Carrington High School; national high school honorable mention wrestler by ASICS; NCAA Division II All-American at University of North Dakota where he placed 6th; volunteer wrestling coach for Carrington and Jamestown wrestling programs
Delaney Berger Two-time undefeated state champion for Mandan High School; wrestled at the University of Minnesota; was a Freestyle Espoir National Runner up, Greco Roman All-American and University National freestyle All-American.
Ron Gadberry Long-time wrestling coach for Moorhead High School and Hillsboro High School; leading voice for the state dual tournament championships; North Dakota record was 241-89 with 28 tournament championships.
Cy Kittleson Assistant wrestling coach at Velva for 31 years; A two-time state place winner at Velva and went on to wrestle for NDSSS where he was a national qualifier
Kris Lengenfelder Undefeated state champion and runner up from Bismarck High; two-time NJCAA National Tournament runner up; two-time Division II third-place finisher at UND
Mike McCormick Two-time state champion and one-time runner up from Bismarck Century; Division II All-American at NDSU; placed third in Espoir Nationals in freestyle, second in the Junior Olympics in Freestyle and Greco, and third in the Junior Olympics in Sambo
Troy Sabot Four-time state champion from Bismarck Century; won the 1995 prestigious Ohio Ironman championship; All-American at North Idaho College
Lynn Forde Wrestling coach for 37 yrs; 304 career dual meet victories; ND Class 'A' State Championship 1997; Coached 23 individual state champions;4 NDHSCA Coach of the Year Awards
Ryan Kringlie Two-time state champion for Bismarck High; 122-22-1 career record; USA Wrestling
Cadet All-American in Greco; Junior All-American in Greco; 1991 Junior National Champion in Greco; wrestled at Oregon State University
Ben Berogan Two-time state champion for Bismarck High; 134-14-1 career record; NCAA
Division II All-American with UND; Academic All-American and graduated UND Cum Laude
James Belohlavek Dickinson State University wrestler; Mandan Brave volunteer coach for 30 years; helped guide 21 wrestlers to state championships; 1994 NDEA Outstanding Youth Service Award
Kirk Zink 89-7 career record with the Carrington Cardinals; part of 2 state championship teams; three-time regional champ; state champion 1992; 102-11 college career record with VCSU; three-time NDCAC Conference champ, two-time regional champ, three-time All-American; VCSU Athletic Hall of Fame 2012
Darin Giese Three-time state champion for Bismarck High School in the early 1990s; amassed a 106-12 career record; a member of the 1992 BHS team that was named ranked #1 in the nation by USA Today; four time letterwinner for the Nebraska Cornhuskers
Barry McCleary Head coach at Napoleon for 26 years; his teams won the state individual 9 times & state dual tournaments 6 times; team was named the ND High School Male Team of the year in 2005 & 2007; team won the Bismarck Rotary in 2007; coached 37 individual state champions and had a coaching record is 459-94-1 including 63 straight dual wins.
Eric Sabot Two-time state champion for Bismarck Century; member of 2001 state championship team; 2002 Mr. Wrestler Award winner; holds several Century season and career records and finished with a career record of 193-15 including 88 straight wins over his final two seasons
Jeramie Welder Two-time state champion for Bismarck High, state champ in 1991 and 1993; Mr. Wrestler award in 1993; compiled a 134-12 high school career record including 79 pins; member of the 1992 team that was ranked #1 in the nation by USA Today.
1988 Bis. Century "Patriots" First team to be inducted into the North Dakota High School Wrestling Hall of Fame; in 13 weight classes, the Patriots sent nine wrestlers to the finals and crowned five state champions; 12 of the 13 Century state qualifiers placed in the top 6 at state; team scored 299 points at state; team won the prestigious Minnesota Christmas tourney by over 100 points; the largest margin of victory ever at that tournament.
James Anderson Velva graduate with six years of top five state placings from 1976-81; state champion at 138 as a junior and senior; 5 time regional champion; high school career record of 129-28-4; volunteer coach at Velva
Mandy Antony Instrumental in "computerizing" wrestling around North Dakota and the US; works with the NWCA, NDHSAA and Track Wrestling to develop a comprehensive weight management program and statistical reporting for North Dakota
Jamie Garvey State champion from Fargo North and four-time All-American at Augstana (SD) College; Two-time national juniors placewinner; on three Team ND squads that placed in the top eight in national duals
Kelly Hagel Carrington wrestler from 1971-1974, undeated state Class A state champ at 126; wrestled at NDSSS and Valley City State; coached a total of 15 years in Carrington winning four state titles (1991, 1992, 1994, 1995) with a dual record was 67-12.
Tom Krom, Jr. Graduated from Enderlin HS in 1974 and wrestled for NDSU 1974-78; coached at Mt Pleasant HS (Rolla) 1979-82 and 1986-88; a 99-16 high school career record and a 50-1 over his junior and senior years; state champion in 1973 & 74; a Scholastic Wrestling News All American in 1974.
Bucky Maughan Head wrestling coach at NDSU for 47 seasons; instrumental in bringing the USA Wrestling Cadet and Junior National Tournament to Fargo; National Wrestling Hall of Fame inductee
Pete Murtaugh Head wrestling coach in Rugby from 1973-1990 while Rugby competed in the Class A ranks in wrestling; coached 22 state place winners and in 1975 the Panthers finished 4th as a team in the State Tournament
Wayne Scherr Graduated from Napoleon High in 1977 with a career record of 128-14-2; was a four-time state place winner including state title in 1977; wrestled at Jamestown College; longtime head coach at Wagner (SD) High School leading team to two state championships
1975 Bismarck High "Demons" 11 of 12 team members placed in 1975 state tournament, 8 were state finalists, and 7 were state individual champions; were undefeated in duals and set the team scoring record in 7 of the 8 tournaments they entered
Kayle Dangerud A six-time state qualifier and a two-time state champion at Hettinger High School and a member of the 1996 state B championship team; two-year starter at South Dakota State; Head coach at West Fargo High for 10 years winning 3 state individual team titles and 4 state dual championships
Robert Finneseth State champion from Velva; four-time NCAA Division II national qualifier; integral in starting the North Dakota Middle School National Dual team; coached at Bismarck State, Velva, Minot, & Litchfield (MN)
Rod Garland Longtime junior high and high school wrestling coach at Oakes for 34 years
Ben & Robin James Ben served as a coach on the Kenmare High School team; both Ben & Robin were long-time contributors to the Kenmare wrestling progam
Shannon Johnson Two-time state champion from Napoleon; two-time All-American at BSC, and national runner-up at U-Mary; assistant coach for MatPac Wrestling Club and longtime wrestling official
Scott Knowlen 26 years as the head coach at Bismarck High School. Bismarck's accomplishments during the Knowlen era: Fifteen state tournament championships, 12 state dual championships, a 368-16-2 dual record and 15 undefeated dual seasons.
Josh Krebs A three-time state wrestling champion for Minot High; North Dakota High School athlete of the year in 1996. During his five year varsity career, Krebs amassed a 178-29 career record and left high school with 8 school records and 2 state records.
Rod MacDonald Head coach wrestling at New England St. Mary's and Mayville-Portland-Cifford-Galesburg; also served as head football coach
Mark McLean First state champion from Hillsboro; four-year letterwinner for Mayville State College; coached high school wrestling at Hazen and Hillsboro; lead youth wrestling program in Hillsboro
Chuck Michaelson Led the Williston High School program for 15 seasons; his teams placed in the top 4 in state six times, highlighted by a 1999 State team championship; a two-time NAIA college All-American at Dickinson State University which included a National Runner-up finish in 1990
Chris Zink Five-time regional champ, four-time state placer, and two-time state champion from Carrington & member of three state championship teams; Wrestled collegiately at US Military Academy, UND, and NDSU earning All-American honors with the Bison
1977 Mandan "Braves" Won the Class “A” State Wrestling Championship scoring a state record 196 points, 80 more points than runner-up Bismarck. The Braves were represented in 11 of 12 weight classes with all 11 placing and nine in the State Finals. Four of those nine wrestlers won individual State Championships.

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Coaches Wrestlers Contributors
Harold L. Peterson, Williston
Vern Gale, Valley City State U.
Jerry Halmrast, Bismarck
Al Larson, Carrington
Don Lemnus, Valley City State U.
Bill Barney, Fargo
Dean Hermes, Williston
Mike Norland, Velva
Mike Schaff, Bismarck
William McCollum, Century
Bert Gums, Garrison & Napoleon
Stan Halling, Bismarck
Dave Mellen, Mandan
Nick Storhaug, Lisbon
Duane Hennessy, Grand Forks
Tom Christen, Williston
Howard "Bucky" Anderson, Napoleon & Century
Garry Opp, Oakes
Ken Gabriel, Century
Dale Beckman, New Salem
Clint Lien, Larimore
Ron Zehren, Jamestown
Milo Trusty, Mandan
Dennis Friestad, Valley City HS
Vince Ames, Grand Forks
Frank Fish, Watford City
Lee Nagel, Wahpeton
Theo Schaleski, Hettinger
James Kisgen, Devils Lake
Norm Kleppe, Napoleon
Dave Michaelson, Dickinson
Bill Kelly, Wynd,, LaMoure, Cent Cass & Jmtn.
Ron Gadberry, Moorhead HS, Hillsboro
Cy Kittelson, Velva
Lynn Forde, Fargo
James Belohlavek, Mandan
Barry McCleary, Napoleon
Bucky Maughan, NDSU
Pete Murtaugh, Rugby
Kayle Dangerud, Hettinger, SDSU, West Fargo
Robert Finneseth, Velva, NDSU, Minot, Litchfield
Rod Garland, Oakes
Scott Knowlen, Bismarck High
Rod MacDonald, Mayville-Portland
Mark McLean, Hillsboro
Chuck Michaelson, Williston, Velva, & DSU
Dean Bachmeier, Dickinson State U
Dave Stewart, Williston HS
Bill Demaray, NDSU
Lee Petersen, Bismarck HS & NDSU
Gary Hoffman, Ashley & BJC
Ed Maisey, Williston HS & BYU
Phil Reimnitz, Bismarck HS & NDSU
Tom Lowe, Minot & NDSU
Roger Kellar, St. Mary's & BJC
Tony Huck, New Salem & VCSU
Malcolm McLeod, West Fargo
Mark Reimnitz, Bismarck HS & NDSU
Dave Haas, Valley City
Kurt Lesser, Minot HS & Dickinson State
Paul Syvrud, Mandan HS & Jamestown Col
Lon Brew, Bismarck HS & NDSU
Andy DeCoteau, Belcourt & Mayville State
Gary Dietz, Bismarck HS & Dickinson State
John Christen, Ryan HS & UND
Kent Ness, Devils Lake & Bismarck State
Mark Carter, Mayville HS
Randy Burwick, Dickinson HS & State U
Keith Burwick, Dickinson HS & State U
Hank Pankratz, Dickinson HS & State U
Jeff Schumacher, Bismarck State
Troy Humphreys, Carrington & West. Montana
George Bowman, GF Red River & U of Minn.
Charlie Wagner, Bismarck HS
Terry Steiner, Century & Iowa
Troy Steiner, Century & Iowa
Lance Koenig, Carrington & NDSU
Bret Maughan, North HS
Joel Vettel, Hillsboro & NDSU
John Richter, St. Mary's & BJC
Mike Seeger, U. of Mary
Clay Nagel, New Salem and Dickinson State
Scott Braun, Century
Chad Renner, Bismarck & Oregon State
Kasey Gilliss, Bismarck Century
Brian Biel, Beulah & U of Mary
Leroy McCormick, Bismarck & Dickinson State
Dave Hilliard, Lakota
Kris Nelson, Lisbon & NDSU
Jeff Enzminger, Beach & U of Mary
Duane Barnhardt, Century & UND
Mark Pazdernik, New Salem & NDSU
Mike Peterson, Carrington & US Military Acad.
Dave Reimnitz, Bismarck & Concordia, St Paul
Ryan Wolters, South HS & NDSU
Brandon Lemer, Harvey & Jamestown College
Scott Owens, Devils Lake
Adrian Simmons, Grand Forks Central
Mark Slater, Minot Ryan
Jason Wagner, Carrington
Rhett Hilzendeger, Bismarck, BJC, U of Arizona, MSU
Chuck Seamands, Hettinger & Dickinson State
Dusty Swanson, Fargo South & NDSU
Jason Anderson, Carr. Youth Wr, Carrington & UND
Delany Berger, Mandan & University of Minnesota
Kris Lengenfelder, Bismarck, Bismarck SC & UND
Mike McCormick, Bismarck Century & NDSU
Troy Sabot, Bismarck Century & North Idaho College
Ryan Kringlie, Bismarck & Oregon State University
Ben Berogan, Bismarck & UND
Kirk Zink, Carrington & VCSU
Jeramie Welder, Bismarck High & University of Neb.
Darin Giese, Bismarck High & University of Nebraska
1988 Bismarck Century Patriots
Eric Sabot, Bismarck Century & NW College of Wy
James Anderson, Velva
Jamie Garvey, Fargo North & Augustana (SD)
Kelly Hagel, Carrington
Tom Krom, Jr., Enderlin & NDSU
Wayne Scherr, Napoleon & Jamestown College
1975 Bismarck High Demons
Shannon Johnson, Napoleon
Josh Krebs, Minot High
Chris Zink,Carrington
1977 Mandan Braves
Adrian Nelson, Williston
John Peterson, Bismarck
Rodney Anderson, Lisbon
James Buchli, Fargo and Astronaut
Mike Armstrong, Dickinson Wrestling Club
Dan Unruh, Official
Linda Anderson, USA of ND
LeRoy Boesflug, Official
Rocky Schell, Official
Frank Anderson, Bismarck Official
Roger Loerch, Harvey Radio Announcer
Jack Maughan, Fargo
Rick Mellmer, Dickinson Wr Club, New England WC
Rich Voegeli, 1220 KDDR Oakes Broadcaster
Mandy Antony, Fargo-NWCA, NDHSAA & Track Wr.
Ben & Robin James, Kenmare


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