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2001 Hall of Fame Inductees
2001 Inductees

Seated, from left, are Peggy Nehring (accepting for her father Blackie O'Brien), Dick Kaner, Marian Foged (accepting for her father Ole Olsen), Bob Tone and Jack Thomas. Standing from left are Will Ferris, Bob Sandberg, Todd Geisness, Pete Hugdahl, Gordy Lund (accepting for his father Pug Lund) and Wayne Desrude (accepting for his grandfather Clayton Perry).

Eleven sports figures entered the new Rice Lake Sports Hall of Fame at the first induction banquet on Sunday night at Lehman's Supper Club. Seven of the charter members were present to accept their hall of fame plaques, while three sports legends-Francis "Pug" Lund, Harold "Ole" Olsen and Clayton Perry- were inducted posthumously. John "Blackie" O'Brien was unable to attend.

Todd Geisness:  Todd graduated as Valedictorian from RLHS in 1982 and as a three-sport letter winner in hockey, football and baseball. He led the Warriors to a 20 and 2 record in 1979-80 and their only appearance in the State Hockey Tournament, finishing runner-up to Madison Memorial. During his high school career, Todd scored a total of 215 points, consisting of 111 goals and 104 assists; a record that still stands today. He was named First Team All State, All Northwest and All Conference. At Eau Claire, Todd led the Bluegolds to the 1984 N.A.I.A. National Hockey Championship as a sophomore. He was a N.A.I.A. All American in 1984, all N.A.I.A. District 14 in 1984 and All WSUC in 1983 and 1984. As a junior and senior he skated for the Wisconsin Badgers, receiving the All Hustle award as a senior, scoring 9 goals and 6 assists. In football, Todd played halfback for the Warriors, gaining over 1000 yards as a junior and 837 yards in his senior year. He was named First Team All Northwest in 1981. In baseball, Geisness pitched the Warriors to a 2 to 1 win over Eau Claire Memorial to earn a trip to the State Tournament in 1982.

William Ferris:  Will Ferris holds the all-time record at Rice Lake High School for football wins as his teams compiled an 84 and 20 record in his 10 seasons at Rice Lake. His teams won 7 Heart O’ The North conference champions, four of them in succession from 1979 to 1982, one State Championship in 1979 and two state runner-up teams in 1980 and 1982. He graduated from Carthage College where he lettered four years in football. Ferris spent two years as an assistant at South Beloit and five years as head coach at Stillman Valley, Illinois where his teams won three championships. In 1986, Ferris left Rice Lake to coach Hayward, where he won the Division III State Championship in 1987 with a 12 and 1 record.

Pete Hugdahl:  Pete is the only prep player from Rice Lake to be selected to the Wisconsin All-State Basketball First Team by the Associated Press, the United Press International and coaches polls. Those awards came in 1961 as Pete, a 6’ 1” guard, led the Rice Lake Warriors to a number 4 ranking in Wisconsin and a school record 24 game winning streak before being defeated by the Milwaukee Lincoln Comets 77 to 75 for the 1961 Wisconsin State High School Basketball Championship in Madison. Pete was also an excellent shortstop in baseball (4 year letterman) leading the Warriors to the school’s first trip to the State Tournaments in the spring of 1961. In May of 1961, Pete accepted an appointment to the U.S. Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs. While at the academy he was a two-year starter for the basketball team. Following a career in the Air Force, working with the United States Air Force Intelligence Agency, achieving the rank of Colonel, Pete is retired and working in the security field as a second career and living in San Antonio, Texas.

Dick Kaner:  Nominated as “A Friend of Sports”, Dick retired on December 28, 2000 from radio station WJMC after 43 years of broadcasting; Kaner spent much of his career covering area sports. He only missed one or two broadcasts of basketball games in 43 years. He was the “Voice of the Rice Lake Warriors” as he gave the play by play of over 1000 Warrior basketball games since the early 60’s. In addition, he did the play-by-play of over 250 football games. It is estimated that Dick has done over 1500 games in his career. During his final broadcast of a Warrior basketball game in February 2000, he received recognition for his sports contributions at halftime from the Warrior Booster Club.

Francis "Pug" Lund:  Pug Lund graduated from Rice Lake High School in 1931 where he starred in football, basketball and track. Number 22 went on to become number 45 at the University of Minnesota and became know as “Pug” by his teammates. Lund was named an All-American in both his junior and senior years. He was captain and the teams MVP of the undefeated 1934 National Champions. Lund starred in the East-West Shine game on January 1, 1935. He was named to the Helms Football Foundation Hall of Fame at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey. In 1991 be became a charter member of the University of Minnesota’s Sports Hall of Fame and was also inducted into the Minneapolis Star Tribune Sports Hall of Fame that year. On October 19, 1979, the Rice Lake High School athletic field was officially dedicated in his honor, Francis “Pug” Lund Field. He died in 1994 at age 81.

John "Blackie" O'Brien:  Blackie graduated from RLHS in 1935 as a three-sport star in football, basketball and track. O’Brien’s lifetime career in education and sports was launched at UW-Madison where he graduated in 1939. He is one of only 2 athletes from Rice Lake to have been a 3-year major letter winner in football for the Badgers. He played both ways and was called the “Watch Charm Guard of the Big Ten”. In addition to playing football for the Badgers, Blackie was also on the university boxing team. After his college career, he taught and was line coach at Chippewa Falls. In 1948 he returned to Wisconsin to teach and coach at Ladysmith for 13 years. In 1961 he went to the Barron County Teachers College in Rice Lake and then on to Stout State University in Rice Lake. While at the campus, he coached basketball for 8 years in addition to coaching baseball and golf. He served the campus as Athletic Director from 1961 to 1980 when he retired as a professor.

Harold "Ole" Olsen:  The Rice Lake High School gymnasium was dedicated in his honor on December 11, 1992. He was one of 15 charter members in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1959, being inducted posthumously, 6 years after his death. He was voted All Big Ten twice as a player and earned the Collegiate Coach of the Year honor in 1945. Olsen was a basketball and football standout at RLHS before attending college at UW-Madison. His coaching career began at Ripon College where his teams won 3 consecutive titles between 1919-21. He coached at Ohio State, winning 5 Big Ten titles. His teams went to the Final Four NCAA Tournament in both 1944 and 1946. In 1946, Olsen coached the professional basketball “Chicago Stags” for 3 years. He then returned to the Big Ten in 1949 rebuilding Northwestern University until his death in 1953.

Clayton Perry:  Clayton Perry is the only Rice Lake-born player to ever appear in a major league baseball game. Perry played in five games late in the 1908 season for the Detroit Tigers American League Champions that season and shared the dugout with the legendary Ty Cobb. Perry remained with the Tigers through the 1908 World Series. He was a star baseball player for Rice Lake, graduating in 1898. He then went on to play baseball and football at UW-Madison and is the first person from Rice Lake to earn an athletic “letter” in both sports there. He was a central figure in Rice Lake amateur baseball for 30 years. Besides promoting baseball, he served as a scout for several big league teams. Perry died on January 13, 1954.

Bob Sandberg:  Bob starred as a quarterback, halfback and defensive back for RLHS on the Conference Champ teams of 1938 and 1939. After graduation in 1940 he went to the University of Minnesota where he played under legendary Coach Bernie Bierman. Rice Lake’s “Pug” Lund scored the first Gopher touchdown of the Bierman era in 1932 and Bob Sandberg scored the last in his senior year as captain in 1946. Sandberg was recognized by the Big 10 Conference for academic and athletic excellence. His senior year he played in the East-West Shrine game. Drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers and Chicago Rockets, he opted instead to play Canadian pro-ball for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers for several seasons. He is a member of the Blue Bombers Hall of Fame and the winner of the Jeff Nicklin trophy as the MVP of the Canadian Football League in 1947. Bob is a semi-retired architect, residing in Mountain Iron, MN.

Jack Thomas:  Jack graduated from RLHS in 1939. He was assistant baseball coach, worked track meets and was the P.A. announcer at football and basketball games for over 20 years. He was the head boy’s golf coach from 1956 to 1986. His teams won 196 dual matches against 64 losses. Jack coached the Warriors to 6 Conference Championships and 11 State Tournament appearances. On June 1, 1990, Jack was one of the first 8 coaches in Wisconsin to be inducted into the Wisconsin Boys High School Golf Coaches Hall of Fame.

Bob Tone:  Inducted into the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame on September 16, 2000, Bob distinguished himself as a successful head basketball coach at RLHS for 12 years, from 1957 to 1969. His overall record was 187 wins and 77 losses. His teams conquered 7 regional and 2 sectional tournaments. They were conference champs five times and qualified for state twice, finishing with 4th place in 1960 and 2nd place in 1961, placing second to the Milwaukee Lincoln Comets (77-75 OT), a game referred to recently in the Milwaukee Journal as “perhaps the greatest state championship game”. Bob Tone taught drivers education for 32 years, retiring in 1989. He was the first athletic director at RLHS and he started the Warriorettes in 1963. He was a basketball official for 8 years, volleyball for 14 years, softball for 12 years and baseball for 4 years.