Welcome to the Hall of Fame: Park to usher in eighth class SaturdayPark High School will usher in its eighth class of athletic Hall of Fame inductees at 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, at River Oaks Golf Course in Cottage Grove.
By: Patrick Johnson, sports editor, South Washington County Bulletin
Park High School will usher in its eighth class of athletic Hall of Fame inductees at 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, at River Oaks Golf Course in Cottage Grove.
Steve DuVal, Donna Goenne, Mike Lence, Duane Sorenson and Al Wilkie will be the eighth group of former athletes, coaches and/or community members to be honored for their contributions to Park athletics.
Nominees needed to garner at least seven of the nine possible votes to be inducted. In order to earn the honor, alumni had to show athletic excellence while representing Park High School. Or, for coaches and community members, inductees had to show above and beyond commitment to community youth and their dedication and support of Park athletics.
The creation of the Hall of Fame, which is located outside the gym at Park, was an idea that circulated for several years before the help of sponsorships and several booster clubs allowed its inception in 2005.
Since then, there have been seven classes. This year’s inductees will join current Park Hall of Fame members including: Donny Gramenz, Jeff Nelson, Darcie (Dietz) Young, Perry Fink, John Mausolf, Trisha (Tinucci) Rinzel, Monica Koyama, Kerry Ligtenberg, Jim Riesselman, Jennifer Bauer, Larry Costigan, Bill Kroschel, Granville “Granny” Smith, Shannon Scibilia Skally, George Chavez, Roger Pribnow, Laura Peters, Dean Houdek, Sam Jacobson and Janine Nelson.
For ticket information or other details, contact Park High School Activities Director Phil Kuemmel at (651) 768-3758.
Class of 1986
Steve Duval participated as an individual in the state wrestling tournament three times, and was a state champion in 1986 (weight class 155). He received All-State and All-American honors and finished high school with a 4.0 GPA. He went on to wrestle at the University of Minnesota and continues to give back to his sport today as a volunteer coach.
Duval was a high school coach for New Ulm Public High School where he coached several state entrants and spent three years as a volunteer coach for a non-profit club wrestling team called Dynamic at North Carolina State University Campus.
Donna Goenne is owner of Ed’s Trophies, Inc., in St. Paul Park. She has provided financial support and outstanding service to Park athletics for over 37 years. After the death of her husband, Ed, Goenne continued to provide for her children and serve the community as an employer and school volunteer.
She received the Cottage Grove Chamber of Commerce’s President’s Award in 1993 and Small Business of the Year in 2002. Goenne started a Booster Club for Park cheerleaders and served as an officer for this group for four years. Over the years, Goenne has employed many Park athletes and accommodated their schedules so that they could continue to participate in sports while working. She will often “upgrade” awards for teams at Park for no additional charge, many times providing awards in a very short timeframe.
Class of 1970
Mike Lence was a 10-time letter winner at Park High School, participating in football, hockey and baseball. He won numerous individual awards in all three sports and his teams won conference championships in both hockey and baseball. Lence was named to the All-Metro hockey team by the Gopher Blue Line Club, was Park-Newport Lions selection as Most Valuable Hockey Player during his senior season, was a three-time recipient of WCCO-TV’s Athlete of the Week and was selected Park’s Athlete of the Year in 1970. Lence went on to play hockey at the University of Minnesota–Duluth. After high school and college, he was fortunate to play Senior A hockey for nine years on a team that won five state championships and two national titles, while also representing the United States in an International Tournament in Japan.
Class of 1973 / Coach
Duane Sorenson was a state meet participant in swimming twice and went on to earn All-American honors at Bemidji State University. He came back to the district to coach the combined Park/Woodbury swim teams where he worked with numerous state champions. From 1986 to 1991 he was head coach for the Woodbury High School girls swim team where he had one state team championship, one state team runner-up, four sectional championships, and four conference championships. Sorenson currently is the head swim coach at Iowa State University.
Class of 1959 / Community Member
Al Wilkie was a baseball and basketball standout at Park and went on to play baseball at Hamline University where he played every inning of every game for four years. His Hamline team won the MIAC Championship in 1962. Wilkie was an original member of the Park Hall of Fame Committee and was instrumental in establishing the “Citizens for Lights” committee, which raised money for lights at the Oltman field and is still giving away scholarship money to District 833 students.
In 1966, Wilkie started in the insurance business as an agent/owner. He merged with his father’s agency in 1970 and continued Wilkie Agency to present day. Over the years he has served on boards of directors for many organizations including Ronald MacDonald House, St. Paul Jaycees, Girl Scout Council, Cottage Grove Chamber of Commerce and South Washington County Education Foundation.