Volume 123, Number 3
Esmond native moves up to Division II
The University of Wisconsin (UW) at Eau Claire announced January 27 that head football coach Todd Hoffner is leaving to accept a position at the University of South Dakota (USD) in Vermillion, an NCAA Division II program.
According to an article by Eric Page in the January 28 issue of the Leader-Telegram in Eau Claire, Hoffner said that after six consecutive winning seasons, it was time for him to move on. "This is a golden opportunity," he said. "It’s an opportunity for me to coach at a higher level. It’s also an opportunity for me to broaden my horizons a little bit."
Hoffner, 39, is a 1984 graduate of Esmond High School and is the son of Leo and Arlene Hoffner of Esmond. He is also a graduate of Valley City State University.
Along with his coaching duties, Hoffner will serve as a liaison to the athletic director, coordinating department fund-raising events.
USD officials refused to reveal Hoffner’s new salary, but Hoffner described it as a "substantial" pay raise.
Hoffner’s 2005 salary at UW was $53,867, the lowest among Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference coaches.
"It was a step up financially. Compensation-wise, it was a satisfying decision," Hoffner told the Leader-Telegram. "Eau Claire put up a very good fight and did all they could to keep me here. I’m very happy with their efforts, but it is a point in my career where I need to move on a move up, and hopefully this will open up some doors for me down the line as a coach."
Hoffner compiled a 42-28 record in seven seasons at Eau Claire, including a 6-4 mark in 2005. He led the Blugolds to a share of the WIAC championship in 2001 and finished second four times. His 27-15 conference record the past six seasons is the best in the league.
Before arriving in Eau Claire in 1999, Hoffner was an assistant at UW-Stevens Point from 1991 through 1998 and a graduate assistant at UND for two seasons while earning his master’s degree. He coached one season of high school football at North Central High School at Rogers, ND in 1988.
During Hoffner’s tenure, the Blugolds program underwent several facelifts, most notably the resurfacing of Carson Park before the
2004 season. A new football office, a video editing system, locker room renovations and a football endowment also are marked by his fingerprints, the Leader-Telegram reported.
"We’ve done a lot of things in terms of leaving a legacy," Hoffner said. "We’ve made a lot of headway as a program the past seven years, and we have a lot to be proud of."
Ironically Hoffner will be working under USD head football coach Ed Meierkort who coached UW-Stout and went head-to-head with Hoffner’s team at Eau Claire. Meierkort chalked up a 4-1 record against Hoffner. "But when you get in this position, you want to hire somebody who’s competed at a very high level, and somebody who’s been successful. And Todd Hoffner certainly brings a lot to the table,"
Meierkort told the Leader-Telegram.
Esmond native Todd Hoffner is shown coaching on the football field at Eau Claire, Wisc. He is moving to Vermillion, SD to coach college football there. Photo by Steve Kinderman of the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram.
The 2005 North Central Soil Conservation District Achievement Award winner Ron Erickson of Esmond (center) is shown receiving an aerial photo of his farm at the ND Association of Soil Conservation Districts’ annual meeting in Bismarck November 6-8. Pictured with Erickson are North Central Soil Conservation District board members, left to right, Ardon Herman of Brinsmade, Linda Drake of Sheyenne and John Rasmussen and Rolf Berg, both of Maddock.
Curtis Yri, center, commander of the Gunnerud-Dietrich American Legion Post 86 of Minnewaukan, presented 60-year continuous membership certificates in the American Legion to two members of the post. On the left is David "Gravy" McPhail of Devils Lake and on the right is Garvin Plummer of Minnewaukan, who is presently residing at the Heartland Care Center in Devils Lake.
Leeds students busy
Elementary students at Leeds enjoyed a sleigh ride on a recent frosty afternoon. Tony and Carol Thompson’s Belgian horses, named Laverne and Shirley, spent an afternoon giving the rides.
Leeds Elementary School students recently participated in a national disaster relief effort entitled "Kids to the Rescue" which was created to help the youngest victims of the 2005 hurricane disasters whose lives are still far from normal. Many students still do not have schools to go to or homes to live in so this was a chance to send some love south for Valentine’s Day. Students, left to right, are Grace Nybo, Aidan Ritterman, Joshua Blegen, Devin Schwanke and Arnikka Thompson.
The Leeds Elementary School announces those who will participate in the Benson County Spelling Bee in Minnewaukan on February 25. They are, left to right, front row, Shelby Jorgenson and Taryn Bjerke.
Back row: Thomas Urness, McKenzee Silliman, Kayla Matlock and Kendra Leibfried.
Others from Leeds who will participate in the spelling bee are, left to right, front row, Spencer Follman, Julissa McGarvey and Josh Bowman. Back row: Kalvin Slaubaugh, Taylor Bisbee and Mathias Follman.
Leeds principal receives honor
Leeds Elementary Principal Carol Braaten received the Golden Apple Award at the midwinter conference of the ND Association of Elementary School Principals (NDAESP) in Mandan recently. The Golden Apple Award is the second highest award given by the NDAESP. The Golden Apple Award was created to honor individuals who served the association and the profession through involvement in (or service to) the association and colleagues in education.
The Four Winds-Warwick Lady Indians were able to wrap up the District
7 championship on their home court. Left to right, back row, are Spring Meade, Jachelle Burdick, Elita Yankton, Marlee Finley, Sara Dubois, Christina Gourd and Wanda Stensland. Front row: Ashley Thunderhawk, Kristy White, Noelle Gourd and Miranda Belgarde.
The runners-up, the Maddock Bobcats are pictured. Left to right, back row, are Alisha Knutson, Kaidi Kenner, assistant coach JoLynn Jacobson, coach Randy Simon, Jillian Maddock, Stephanie Rieger and statistician Renae Slater. Front row: Kimberly Randle, Michelle Olson, Heidi Simon, Shana Tollerud, Kassandra Griffin, Jalissa Hovland, Jessie Schwanke and Courtney Foss.
The Minnewaukan-Leeds Lions were able to leave the district tournament with third place. Team members are, left to right, back row, Katrece Thompson, Gina Ritterman, Denage Braaten, Jordan Callahan, Hope Keller, Alyssa Erickson and coach Travis Risovi. Front
row: Bobbi Grann, Dawn Teigen, Tiffany Broden, Brandi Weed and Katie Clifton.
Team takes fourth
The Maddock junior high girls basketball team placed fourth in the New Rockford tournament January 28, 30 and February 4. Left to right, back row, are coach Kim Backstrom, Ashley Foss, Kaia Pranke, Kayla Lauinger, Rachel Olson and Ashley Weigler. Front row: Sharisa Yri, Mackenzie Bullinger, Erin Leier, Jana Rice, Nikita Wright and Erin Yri.
Valentine’s Day royalty chosen by drawing names at the Maddock Memorial Home are Stella Benson and Orville Stadum. Royalty and residents enjoyed a dinner of shrimp, twice baked potatoes and green bean casserole with cheesecake for dessert. A valentine party followed.
Lalum receives longevity award
Kathy Lalum of Minnewaukan, elementary principal at the Cando School, was given the Quarter Century Award at the midwinter conference of the ND Association of Elementary School Principals (NDAESP) at Mandan recently. This award is given to recognize 25 years of cumulative service to and membership in the NDAESP.
Oberon students who went bowling February 17 as a reward for perfect attendance for the last six-week period are pictured. Left to right, back row, are Cyril Shaw, Darion Thomas, Alfred Littlewind, Cody Greywater, Chelsea Hook and Sarah Hook. Front row: Darica Deckert, Cheyenne Whitetail, Bailey Thumb and Emily Thumb.