The St. Croix Valley Athletic Hall of Fame will welcome six new members and pay tribute to several state championship teams during its annual banquet on Wednesday, Sept. 26 at The Grand Ballroom in Stillwater.
This year’s inductees include Walter Kress, Jill (Junker) Stimson, Don Campbell, Glenn Harris, Kevin Klancher and Tanya Schuh Modelli, along with the state champion 1975 Stillwater football team and 10 of Stillwater’s state champion synchronized swim teams (1978-85, 1988 and 1991). Two of the school’s more recent state championship teams will also be honored, including the 2011 boys’ cross country team and the 2012 softball team.
Stillwater experienced marginal success in football prior to winning the first of its four state championships in 1975 when the Ponies capped a 12-0 season with a 20-17 victory over Richfield in what was the fifth season under legendary coach George Thole. The groundbreaking season began a run that saw the Ponies post a 50-4 record over five seasons from 1975-79 while becoming the most dominant large-school football program in the state.
Kress is a 1964 Stillwater graduate who starred in football and track for the Ponies before embarking on a hall of fame career at Macalester College, where he lettered in football and track all four years.
Stimson was a six-time letterwinner for the Ponies in track and gymnastics during a period when opportunities for girls in sports were limited. Competing as Jill Junker as a prep, she set the state record while winning a state championship in the 60-yard hurdles in 1975.
A baseball and football standout for the Ponies, Harris was all-conference in both sports before taking his talents to the Air Force Academy. He captained Stillwater’s only state championship baseball team as a senior in 1991 and received all-state honors after belting a staggering 16 home runs during his prep career.
Schuh Modelli was a state champion in the butterfly who once held Stillwater school records in the 200 freestyle, 200 individual medley and 100 butterfly — in addition to assisting with school records in the 200 medley relay and 400 freestyle relay. She was also a multiple-time All-American for some strong teams at the University of Minnesota.
Klancher was a six-time letterwinner at Stillwater in football, basketball and baseball, earning all-conference honors in all three. He went on to start for three years in football at the University of North Dakota as part of teams that went 24-7.
An accomplished baseball player at the University of Montana Western before joining the Kansas City Royals organization, Campbell has been an influential contributor to the Stillwater-area baseball scene the past few decades. He coached the Ponies starting in 1980 and led them to the program’s only state championship in his final game at the helm in 1991. Campbell, a 1983 inductee into Montana Western’s Athletic Hall of Fame, was named conference Coach of the Year six times.
This marks the 12th banquet for the St. Croix Valley Athletic Hall of Fame, which is sponsored by the St. Croix Valley Athletic Association.
The event is slated to begin with a social hour at 6 p.m., followed by the dinner and program. Tickets are $30 apiece or $240 for a table of eight. Reservations — the deadline is Sept. 19 — for the banquet can be made via email at [email protected] and checks payable to S.C.V.A.A can also be sent to: Hall of Fame Committee, PO Box 44, Stillwater, MN 55082.