Thole: Keeping ‘Strong’ ties to the Vikings

Angie (Will) Strong ’89, a former captain of the Chevals and Ponies’ synchronized swim team, is a professional dog trainer who resides in St. Paul with her husband Tim and daughter Kyra.


Contributed photo
Former Stillwater Chevals captain Angie (Will) Strong, shown with her husband Tim and daughter Kyra, remains involved with the Minnesota Vikings as a member of the team’s cheerleading alumni, a group that performs on game day at the plaza.

The former Minnesota Vikings cheerleader trains dogs of every type, including the aggressive ones — with the development of therapy dogs as her specialty.

Despite her busy schedule, Angie is a member of the Minnesota Vikings Cheerleading Alumni. The alums are a group that performs at the plaza on Vikings’ game day.

These veterans are used to hard work on Sundays after having been regular Vikings cheerleaders in their early days. They are still a game day plus for fans of the Purple.

I should mention that Angie is a product of our Fairmeadows neighborhood.


Today’s Sports

Trivia Question

Name the former Stillwater boys’ cross country coach who took over the reins from Jim Podratz in 1977 and held the position for four seasons?


Mail Call


Martha and I really laughed at your story about Eric’s pine box derby exploits because our son Chance had a very similar experience. In fact, he was so dejected (mad!) that he abruptly quite the Cub Scouts.


Nile Kriesel


GT: Several other readers agree with our viewpoints, but not everyone. The winners of the pine box races or performed well with their state-of-the-art cars thought I overreacted. They took the fifth when asked if they actually built their own cars.


Hey coach:

Hope all is well… another Weimann coming up through the ranks now. Joey’s kid is a freshman at Hill-Murray and is tall and put together. I think they have him at TE right now but he could get a lot bigger. It was either Hill or North St. Paul and they decided on Hill, they live about a half-mile from the school.

Also… just saw the Pony football website, what a treasure that is. I know it is a work in progress and you are heavily involved, I am sure.

I saw the Mr. Football award says it was established in 2004 or something like that. That is incorrect. I won it in 1984. I have the plaque hanging on my wall downstairs. I look at it every night:)…. I think I vaguely recall you saying you established it that year.


Dennis Weimann ’85

Lakeland News Director


GT: Glad you like the website, but I’m barely involved because my technological skills died with Thomas Edison. You are right on — I started the Mr. Football and Mr. Weightroom awards during our 1984 state championship season and continued them through 1999. I have them filed in several boxes and I’ll get them up to date. Be patient.

Weimann was an all-conference lineman for us who is now a TV celeb in Bemidji.

He should tell his brother Joe, also an all-conference Ponies lineman, to open enroll his son at dear old SAHS. Both Weimanns starred at Bemidji State.


In the huddle

Former Ponies all-state quarterback Chad Rogness of the 1993 team (10-2, conference and section champs), who saw their season end in a 31-20 loss to state champion Apple Valley during a monsoon, has a new website dedicated to sports fans. The site is a true place where true fans can voice their

Chad Rogness and James DeLeon practice in Dublin, Ireland with the Minnesota All-Stars in 1994.

opinions and get responses from other fans alike. Fans can write articles, record podcasts and soon upload videos and pictures. Get this, they have even implemented a point system to entice people to compete with other fans. Former Ponies involved in the site include Marko Johnston, Nate Hiles, Josh Fritsche, Mike Paulson and John Oostendorp. Check it out…. The answer to Today’s Sports Trivia Question: Bill Smith was cross country coach prior to 1981 and the Scott Christensen regime…. Colton Anderson, a junior, has been selected MVP of the 7-10 Ponies boys’ tennis team. Anderson and Sam Stiff were all-conference selections and Anderson will tri-captain next spring’s outfit with Stone Xiong and Brady Tynen…. Former Ponies and Gophers ace Paige Bromen recently logged a 154 strokes in 36 holes to win the Northland Women’s Invitational at Duluth’s Northland Country Club…. Chris Cummings ’93, who captained the Ponies cross country team, is a Director at Target. Cummings was an all-conference distance runner and competed in Nordic skiing. He is married to the lovely Tarah Elkins, who was captain of the 1995 U of M women’s tennis team. The couple has three children: Alexa, 6, Charlie, 4, and Sydney, 4…. Former Ponies and Minnesota State-Moorhead all-conference running back Tim McGlynn ’93 and his lovely wife Carrie (Longnecker) ’94 live in Lake Elmo and have three children, including: Jax, 8, Anne, 6, and Teague. McGlynn starred for the Ponies (11-2) on their drive to conference and section grid titles in 1992. He later led MSU in rushing and scoring…. Former soccer standout Brent Batchelder of the 1994 Ponies (17-4 TCSC East champs) is employed at Deluxe Check. He and his lovely wife Jessie (Ellwein), a standout softball player for the 1984 Ponies (18-6) and an actuary for Traveler’s Insurance, reside in West Lakeland with children Charlotte, 8, Blaine, 6, and Connor, 6…. Former Ponies football and basketball starter Mike Smith ’82 is a school teacher and coach in Baldwin-Woodville (Wis.) and is currently working on a master’s degree at Concordia-St. Paul…. Don’t tread on me, because I’m an old veteran…. finis


Today’s rumination #579

Conviction is worthless unless it is converted into conduct.

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George Thole retired as head football coach at Stillwater after the 1999 season. He ranks among Minnesota’s top coaches in history with a 285-69-2 record (.805 winning percentage), including four state titles and two state runner-up finishes among 22 championship seasons. He co-authored (with Jerry Foley) “Coaching the Veer Offense,” second edition. His column appears Thursdays in the Gazette. To contact the hall of fame coach e-mail: [email protected]