Thole: Twin sisters from Stillwater ring in the ‘cheer’

Former Stillwater Chevals Amanda (Kostalik) and Alissa (Staloch) Chial are cheerleaders for the Minnesota Vikings.

Twin sisters Alissa (Chial) Staloch and Amanda (Chial) Kostalik from the SAHS Class of 2004 are cheerleaders for the Minnesota Vikings. Both performed as captains for the Chevals and are believed to be the first set of identical twins to perform for the Vikings cheerleading squad.

Alissa is in her third year on the squad and traveled to Kuwait with an all-star NFL cheerleading team last year called the Pro Tour. The captain resides in Minneapolis with her husband Joe ’02.

Amanda is in her first season with the Vikings and also resides in Minneapolis with her husband Henry. She is an architect and a graduate of the U of M. Alissa is on the tech staff at Insight Global in Golden Valley after earning a degree from UW-Stout and an MBA from Capella University.

Like a pro football team, making the cheerleading squad is a difficult endeavor to say the least — as between 250-280 candidates try out for the 35-women roster. Most are former high school and college danceline types.

There isn’t a cap on the number of years a person can perform, but the average is a 3-4 year span. The job of the six captains is to help the young ladies on the cheer team and make sure that everyone is “ready on game day!”

I have to believe that hard work and dedication are the key words here.


Baseball duo enters SCVAA HOF together

Former Ponies baseball coach Don Campbell recently stated: “Glenn Harris has proven himself to be a person of integrity, outstanding character and unquestionable leadership. I have never coached a finer person.”


Don Campbell, who coached the Ponies to a state baseball championship in 1991, is a member of this year’s induction class for the St. Croix Valley Athletic Hall of Fame.

Both the coach and his top player will enter the St. Croix Valley Athletic Association Hall of Fame at The Grand Ballroom in Stillwater on Sept. 26. Other individuals to be inducted include Tanya (Schuh) Modelli ’93, Jill (Junker) Stimson ’75, Kevin Klancher ’97 and Walter Kress ’64.

Campbell has been active in high school and youth baseball for several years and compiled a 155-79-2 record in his 11-year tour as Ponies head baseball coach. During that span, the Big Red won six conference and two section titles and culminated it with a state baseball title in 1991.

The man from Montana was a star athlete at Western Montana College and fashioned a 23-0 pitching record his senior year. This led to a pro contract with the Kansas City Royals organization.

Campbell was Coach of the Year in baseball in 1991 and Assistant Basketball Coach of the Year in 1996. He was an assistant coach for 20 years under coach Duane Mutschler.

Lt. Col. Glenn Harris is a former Ponies standout in football and baseball who enjoyed a stellar career at the Air Force Academy. Harris will join this year’s class of inductees into the St. Croix Valley Athletic Hall of Fame.

Campbell’s top protégée during his baseball years was Harris, who was an all-conference d-back on two of our conference and section championship football teams. He was recruited to the Air Force Academy for football, but took to baseball like a duck to water.

Before leaving the Big Red, Harris piled up a scrapbook full of school records, including batting average (.400), home runs (16), hits (76), etc., etc., etc. The list is never ending.

At the Air Force Academy, Harris was a two-time all-conference selection, MVP and team captain, the same MO he had at SAHS.

Lt. Col. Harris and his family are currently stationed at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana. Harris is the fourth graduate of the AFA to be inducted into the SCVAA HOF. The others are Mike Quinlan ’56, Daren Danielson ’89 and Andy Berg ’99.

The 12th annual hall of fame banquet set for Sept. 26 is sponsored by the St. Croix Valley Athletic Association and begins 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 — can be made via email at and checks payable to S.C.V.A.A can also be sent to: Hall of Fame Committee, PO Box 44, Stillwater, MN 55082.


Stillwater gridders continue to roll

For the second time in as many weeks, our beloved Big Red Ponies came from behind to beat a worthy opponent. This time it was 28-19 over rival White Bear Lake on home turf.

After a scoreless first quarter, Nate Ricci hit Joey Quinn with a 15-yard TD and the Bears responded for a 7-all so-so first half. Trailing 13-7 after three quarters, Ricci and Nick Anderson took over with the latter scoring from 50 yards out and the former doing the same on a 53-yard jaunt. Ricci racked up 206 yards total offense and Anderson rushed for 161 yards and two TDs.

The locals went on and showed who was boss in an interesting contest. Look for the good guys to prevail over Cretin tomorrow night 24-21 at UST.

The prep football Thole Poll: 1. Eden Prairie; 2. Wayzata; 3. Lakeville North; 4. Mounds View; 5. Cretin; 6. Totino-Grace; 7. Stillwater; 8. Blaine; 9. Osseo; 10. Eastview.


In the huddle

It was a good grid week for me as the Ponies, Gophers, Vikings and Bison all won! Speaking of Bison, after Colorado State beat rival Colorado last week, the Fort Collins media predicted a CSU blowout. They didn’t respect the fact that NDSU in recent years has defeated the Gophers (twice), Central Michigan (twice), Kansas and Ball State, not to mention the national FCS title with a 14-1 record last fall. NDSU crushed CSU 22-7…. Brian Arnfelt, captain of the Big Ten’s Northwestern Wildcats, isn’t the only former Ponies gridder cavorting in collegiate football this fall. Former Ponies all-state linebacker Andrew Rose is in his second season as a starter at St. John’s. Sophomore d-back Jake Lammi, freshman d-lineman Sam Brynestad and tight end Joe Stanton also hold spots on the Johnnies roster. Jake Schmiesing is a senior wideout at St. Olaf. Charlie Register is a freshman d-back at UW-River Falls and sophomores Seth Tompkins, an offensive lineman, and Brad Voeller, a d-lineman, play for UW-Stout. Tony Nettleton is a sophomore tight end for Bethel. Evan Ostrom is a freshman linebacker at Northwestern of Roseville, where older brother Garrett Ostrom is a junior wide receiver. That’s all for now, but I bet there is more out there…. Don’t tread on senior citizens…. finis


Today’s rumination #583

The greatest remedy for anger is delay.

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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: