Kenyon-Wanamingo Hall of Fame Inductees Share Memories
state The Roast Pork dinner catered by Area 57 Cafe was delicious before the induction ceremony in the Auditorium.
Seven individuals and three teams received the honor of being members of the Class of 2019. Randy Hockinson, KWHS Activities Director and member of the Hall of Fame Committee began the program by noting it would not happen without some monetary donations. He also encouraged those in attendance to nominate people and teams they feel should be in the Hall of Fame.
Mark and Gary Strandemo then talked about their Father, the late Ray Strandemo who was inducted. They shared memories of Ray teaching them some fundamentals of sports. Ray played football, basketball and baseball at Kenyon High School. The 1942 basketball team finished 25-2, losing in the Region finals to Austin. Ray was named to the Region All-Tournament Team.
After high school he played football at St. Olaf and was a starting running back as a freshman. After the passing of his dad, he left school to help run the family farm south of Kenyon. Ray was the youngest of six children with two older brothers. Ray continued his athletic pursuits by playing baseball for the Faribault Lakers of the Southern Minny League. He was a power hitting second baseman.
Ray also won numerous horseshoe championships. Both sons remembered his love of being caretaker for Picha Field and recording Kenyon games on KDHL and making copies for members of the team. Ray passed away in 2004 at the age of 81.
The Strandemos made special note of their mother's 94th birthday coming up this week. Sid Strandemo was the voice of the Kenyon News for a number of years on KDHL and attended the Dinner and Ray's induction piece.
The widow of Roger Hostager, Marcy Hostager said her husband would be honored to be a member of the Class of 2019. Roger was a 1952 graduate of Wanamingo High School and Co-Captain of the 1952 basketball team that had a 26-2 record. The Bulldogs won their first H-V-L title and went on to win the District Championship before succumbing to Austin 59-55 in the Region final.
In the semifinals of the Region Roger scored a Region 1 scoring record 44 points in a 61-45 win over Mabel. The team was inducted into the 2016 Class of the K-W Hall of Fame. Roger also lettered in basketball at St. Olaf College and upon graduation in 1956 served two years in the U.S. Army.
Kevin Anderson nominated the late Lawrence Picha for induction for his many years of dedication to Kenyon High School athletics. Picha was a Industrial Arts teacher, coach and athletic director.
A member of the 1912 Kenyon High School graduating class. Picha returned to Kenyon in 1922 and retired in 1965. He passed away two months later.
In 1970 the Kenyon community decided to name the football field in his honor. The K-W Middle School/High School was built on the site of the former Picha Field.
His football coaching record was 90-45-6. The 1927-28 football team was undefeated and did not allow a single score in their 5 games against Rochester, Faribault, Owatonna, Red Wing and Northfield.
His teams won 180 basketball games.
Danny Quam graduated from Kenyon High School in 1969 and Concordia College in 1973. His presenter Chuck Aase said Quam possessed the rare combination of speed, power and strength at the running back position. He was the first Kenyon running back to rush for over a thousand yards.
Quam was honored to be a member of the Hall of Fame but said when accepting the plaque all the people he played with and his coaches over the years should also have their names on it.
Jeff Schoenfelder was a 1998 graduate of Kenyon-Wanamingo High School and played basketball and baseball at high levels. He still holds a number of pitching records and was a member of the 1998 State Tournament basketball team that placed 4th and was an eylash away from a higher finish. Jeff was selected to the All-Tournament Team.
After high school Schoenfelder continued to pitch for the Dundas Dukes and won back to back state titles with the team in 1998 and 1999. During his 8 year career with Dundas he recorded a no-hitter that I had the pleasure of calling on KDHL Radio.
Schoenfelder also thanked Coaches Randy Hockinson and Jerry Wieme for helping him in high school and other coaches at younger levels of the programs.
Randy Hockinson was his baseball coach and told the story of a game against Rochester Lourdes at Mayo Field Schoenfelder's senior season. Jeff hit a mammoth home run over the scoreboard in the middle innings but it did not count because in his excitement he did not touch first base.
Hockinson said Jeff was upset when he got back to the dugout, but he picked up his glove and said, "I have to go out and pitch." Jeff shut down the Eagles and K-W did win the game. Hockinson added it was a life lesson in taking responsibility for something and not letting it define you.
Kyle Wallaker graduated from Wanamingo High School in 1986 and is the second leading scoring in basketball history at the school with 1,088 points. Wallaker went on to play at the University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse but contracted an illness and fractured his leg ending his athletic career.
After working in corrections for many years he and wife Kelly moved to rural Goodhue to start a hobby farm with their two children currently ages 17 and 11.
Wallaker told a number of humorous stories during his acceptance speech and joined his fellow inductees in saying the friendships gained were what he remembered most.
Teams honored were the 1950 Kenyon Vikings football team which finished their season 8-0. They beat Farmington 25-12, Lake City 13-6, Cannon Falls 28-21. The Cannon Falls game was homecoming and the largest crowd ever to witness a game at Memorial Field. The Vikings were ranked 5th in the state at the end of the season according to the Minneapolis Star and Tribune.
The 1973-74 Wanamingo Bulldog Girls Basketball Team were pioneers in the modern-day sports after girls athletics were approved by the Minnesota State High School League. The team was 6-2 and won the Wasioja Conference title. Games were generally not close. They defeated West Concord 61-12, Dover-Eyota 45-18, Byron 67-12, Dodge Center 40-28, Pine Island 45-31, Goodhue 52-6. The only regular season loss was 43-42 to Hayfield. They fell to Rochester Lourdes 47-24 in the playoffs.
The 2007-2008 Kenyon-Wanamingo Wrestling Team was also honored. The first team to make it to the big dance. Five teams have gone in the years since.
The team was 11-0 in the Hiawatha Valley League. They placed 5th at state. There was no seeding then and they drew the top team in the state right out of the gate. Five members of the team also participated in the individual portion of the tournament with 3 placing.
Mitchel Lexvold 103 pounds (5th), Chad Lexvold 112 pounds (4th), Nathan Lexvold 135 (State Champion). The team record was 27-3.