Ada Borup/West Hall of Fame Inaugural Class Announced

Ada Borup/West Hall of Fame Inaugural Class Announced

June 15, 2021 News -- KRJB-KRJM-KKCQ Sports News 0

It was announced on the schools Social Media pages Sunday that the Hall of Fame Committee for the Ada Borup/West Hall of Fame released their inaugural class selections. In all, 2 teams and 7 individuals will be inducted this September.

A-B-W Inaugural Hall of Fame Class

The Hall of Fame committee is excited to announce the inaugural class for the Ada-Borup-West Hall of Fame. The class of 2021 includes seven individuals and two teams. The inductees will be honored in a variety of events on Friday, September 24th and the induction ceremony will take place on Saturday, September 25th. A complete list of events will be shared at a later date. The committee is taking nomination forms for the next Hall of Fame class. Nomination forms can be found on the school website at Thank you to the Hall of Fame committee and congratulations to the 2021 Hall of Fame class!

Judy Peterson graduated from Ada High School in 1974. Upon graduation to attend Moorhead State and graduated Cum Laude in 1978 with a BS degree in Education. While attending Moorhead State she was one of few women to play more than one sport. She participated in volleyball, basketball, and softball. In 1978 she was hired by Ada High School to teach Physical Education. Like any small district Judy wore many hats. She taught Special Education and Drivers Training. She also influenced the girls programs having coached every varsity girls sport Ada offered. She was the volleyball coach from 1981-1995, JH volleyball coach in 1998, basketball coach from 1981-1984, track coach from 1982-1990 and also coached the inaugural girls’ softball program in 2001 and served as JH softball coach 2003-2004. Judy led the girls’ volleyball team to their first state appearances in 1994 and 1995. A positive role model and an influential leader Judy was voted Ada-Borup teacher of the year in 1998-1999. She was inducted in to the Dragon Hall of Fame in 2011 as part of the Distinguished 1970s Women Student Athletes also knowns as the “Trailblazers for women’s sports.”

Jim Birkemeyer began his radio broadcasting career in the summer of 1981.  He worked at stations in ND and MN where he signed on and was the Sports Director and Sales Representative.   In the summer of 1987, the radio station in Ada was off the air and up for sale.  Jim jumped at the opportunity to get into radio ownership.  He signed on KRJB Radio the morning of October 1, 1987.  Jim’s focus for radio has always been and still remains the local communities, providing the local news, information, weather, and sports coverage that listeners want to hear.  In the almost 34 years of KRJB being on the air, Jim, or more notably “Birk”, has been an on-air or press booth presence at Ada-Borup and West for too many to count games, tournaments, state tournaments, state FFA & FCCLA, playground fundraisers, Christmas with the Kids, Coaches Corners, Booster Club events, interviews, and many more events.

Darin Everson is the Son of Jim and Bobbie Everson. He grew up in Ada and graduated in 1989. Throughout his high school career he excelled in baseball, basketball, track and football. He was a Mr. Basketball finalist his senior year and earned numerous all-conference awards along with scoring over 1,000 points. On the gridiron he was voted Conference Player of the year, broke many records and played as an 8th grader on the varsity team. Darin was an All Region catcher, pitcher, and shortstop in baseball. In track, he threw shot over 50 ft. After graduation, he went on to play football and baseball at Valley City State. He was an all-conference catcher and started as a freshman on the football field. After completing his freshman year at Valley City he moved to Butte College where he played baseball only. As a junior he moved closer to home and attended Mayville State University and earned NAIA All American honors as catcher for his junior and senior seasons. He was also Conference Player of the Year both years. During his senior season in 1993 and 1994 at Mayville, he decided to play football and was quarterback where he was named All-Conference Honorable mention. He found his passion in baseball and in 1993 signed with independent Frontier league at Ohio Valley Redcoats in rookie professional season following senior year of baseball at Mayville State. He hit over .300 as a catcher/ first baseman. Darin went on to a 7 year career professionally. He signed as Non-drafted free agent with Montreal Expos org, played 94-96,96 – signed independent Northern league in Madison Black Wolf WI, 97 – signed with Pittsburgh pirates org, 97 / 98 – signed back with Madison, 98 – Signed with Boston Red Sox org, 99 – signed with Winnipeg Goldeyes independent Northern League.

                After his career playing professional baseball, Darin continued to give back to the game. He Owned and Operated Elite Baseball, Academy and Wisconsin Impact Baseball Organization for 20+ years running camps throughout the country. He coached in Northwoods League in Wausau, WI as hitting coach and Manager four years 2002-2005. Came back from Alaska and won the Northwoods League Championship. In 2003, was a hitting coach in Alaska Baseball Collegiate League. In 2006, he signed with Florida Marlins to be hitting coach In Jupiter, FL. In 07-08 — manager of Jamestown Jammers in New York Penn for Marlins. In 09 — manager of Greensboro Grasshoppers in South Atlantic Lg. In 10-11 — manager of Washington Wild Things in Frontier League. August 2010, named Minnesota American Legion Graduate of the Year. In 13-14 – signed with Colorado Rockies as hitting coach for Double A Texas League -Tulsa Drillers. In 2014 – represented Colorado Rockies as hitting coach in Arizona Fall Prospects League. In 2015 – manager of New Britain Rock Cats for Double A Eastern League for the Rockies. In October 2015, inducted into the Mayville State University Athletic Hall of Fame. In 2016 – manager of Hartford Yard Goats for Eastern League for Rockies. In 2017, he was a hitting coach for Triple A Albuquerque Isotopes in Pacific Coast League for Rockies. Darin currently serves as the Minor League Hitting Coordinator for Colorado Rockies. He is married to Teri Everson, and currently lives in Holmen, WI with their 14 yr old twin girls – Taylor and Taryn, and 18 yr old son, Jared – who has committed to play baseball at the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers.

   Delford “Punk” Johnson, along with his future wife Betty Remark, graduated from AHS in 1943. In high school he participated in football, basketball, tennis, and track, often under the instruction of coach Dan Ruoff. After serving in WWII he returned to Ada and joined his father in business at Ada Feed and Seed. He continued in that career until his retirement in 1985. He and Betty raised three of their own Ada Vikings.

   Punk participated in numerous community organizations. He served on the Ada City Council for 16 years, first as a councilman and then as mayor. He was an avid golfer and volunteered countless hours at the Heart of the Valley Golf Course, including as a volunteer coach for young golfers. Punk and Betty served on the original board of the Ada Scholarship Foundation. They were enthusiastic supporters of school activities and the students involved.  Their financial support, both recognized and anonymous, provided opportunities in the classroom and beyond.  Punk is likely remembered best for the personal connections he made with students. He gave his time generously, his advice with sincerity, and his encouragement with enthusiasm.

   Delford Johnson passed away in 2000 at the age 76. It was fitting that his funeral was held in the Ada-Borup School gymnasium.

                Les Drechsel was known as the coach with the green alpine style has he has worn at every game starting in 1959 at Ada. He says it brought him good luck as his team got off to a great start with a 7-1 record and never looked back. In fact, his teams in Ada finished with 80 wins, 19 losses, and 9 ties. Going unbeaten in 1960, 1961, 1964, and 1965. Les would go on to win or tie for the Pine to Prairie championship 6 times in his 12 years at Ada. He was named Region 8 Coach of the Year for 1967 and 1973. Les graduated from Fergus Falls High School and graduated at Bemidji State Teacher College, where he earned his B.S.  Degree. He coached 2 years at Parkers Prairie High School where he accumulated 8 wins, 3 losses, and 1 tie before moving to Ada. In Ada, he became Athletic Director and also was the head football, track, and assisted in basketball and baseball. In 1971-1992 he took his skills to Crookston Central and posted a 126 wins, 67 losses, and 1 tie record, but his biggest accomplishment was winning the 11-Man State Football Championship in 1980. After a year off from coaching, he became the Red Lake Falls head football coach and held that position for a number of years posting a 45 wins with only 13 losses.  

                Other accolades include: Minnesota Football Association President in 1970-1971. Inducted into the Bemidji State Hall of Fame in 1979, Fergus Falls Hall of Fame in 1990, Minnesota State High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2006, and the Crookston High School Hall of Fame in 2006. Some years later while attending a Track Meet at Crookston, Coach Drechsel was operating the starting gun (Field Marshall). He walked over to Delmar Benesh and talked about the good old days in Ada, and the last thing he said to Delmar was “I will always consider Ada my hometown.”  

Mr. Dan Ruoff- was a University of Minnesota graduate. He started teaching two years at Sebeka High School, and moved to Ada where he taught Biology, Physical Education, Social Studies, General Science/Business, Health, Geography, and Drivers Training for the next 39 years. From 1944 to 1946 he became the principal. In 1961 he became Ada’s full-time Counselor and held the assistant principal title from 1961-1977. With his many talents, he coached all the sports in Ada including: Football, Basketball, Track, Tennis, Golf, and Baseball. In 1954 he organized the annual Ada Jamboree, he was a charter member of Jaycees and was in the group that planned and got the baseball field, tennis courts, and skating rink built. As a member of the Lions Club he looked in the construction of the outdoor swimming pool. Mr. Ruoff started the summer rec program in 1942 and directed it for 32 years. He managed the swimming pool for 16 years, and helped with the planning of the Ada’s golf course.

Sherman Moe graduated from Ada High School in 1955. He was a multisport athlete while playing at Ada. His outstanding play in basketball earned him a scholarship at Idaho State University. After a short stay he returned to Minnesota and had a stellar basketball career at Moorhead State. While there he was also the low hurdles track champion. He also competed in the Minnesota State Teen Road-E-O Championships and went to nationals in Washington D.C. where he was able to meet and talk with President Eisenhower. In 1994 he was inducted into the Moorhead State Hall of Fame.

After graduating he moved to Duluth with his young family and was a teacher and assistant basketball coach at Duluth Central. While there he was part of 4 state tournament teams in 1961, 1967, 1968, and 1969 including the undefeated championship team of 1961. He coached at Central from 1959 to 1970. From 1970 to 1993 he taught and coached at Duluth East. At Duluth East he was also part of 4 state tournament teams. He was also the head coach in 1986 & 1987. His 1987 team took 3rd place that year. In 2004, “Sherm” was awarded “Minnesota Favorite Teacher” award by Governor Mark Dayton and listed in the U.S. Senate Congressional Report. Sherm was inducted into the Duluth East Hall of Fame in 2014. Through all these years and successes, he has always represented his home town, Ada, well!


“A Run to Remember”

Head Coach David Smart

Assistant coach Nikki Gullingsrud

Record 31-1 (18-0 PTP Conference)

Team Members (starters in bold)

Nicole Smart

Laura Kolness

Katy Ness

Vicki Ellefson

Sarah Wagner

Brittany Burke

Kristen Austinson

Alicia Dahlsad

Haley Lindell

Chantelle Kappes

Kayla Purrington

Jodi Baker

Katie Kolness

The 2008 team was the first team in Ada, Borup, or Ada-Borup history to win a state title in any sport. They went 18-0 in the PTP Conference averaging over 75 points per game. Nicole Smart led the PTP in scoring, 2 point and 3 point shooting percentage. Sarah Wagner led the PTP in assists. They placed all five starters on the All Conference Team and Nicole Smart was named Most Valuable Player of the Conference.

For the season, the Cougars had four girls average double figures Nicole Smart (20.9), Laura Kolness (12.5), Katy Ness (10.8) and Vicki Ellefson (10.0) as well as four girls shooting better than 50% from the field. This team could get out and run and put up a lot of points but still played defense like their lives depended on it!  They were a very impressive and unselfish team that loved playing together, having fun but totally embraced defense as their ticket to success!

Their playoff run started with a victory in Ada over NCE 85-38. Games two and three were played at Concordia College where the Cougars pounced on New York Mills 83-49 and then in the subsection championship frustrated a good Lake Park-Audubon with a smothering defense in a 59-35 win. The section championship was not without its drama as Nicole Smart came down with the flu and seemed destined to be out for the game. As luck would have it, she was able to play and showed up to the game before the team bus got there (the team bus took a wrong turn and went through Forada on the way to Morris-good omen) Lots of questions were on the minds of the Hancock players and fans but the only one that was answered was will she play. Jim Birkemeyer fueled the fire by making up a story about Nicole being on a college visit earlier in the day. The game provided its own drama as the two teams exchanged leads throughout the game. A-B held a five point lead at halftime and managed to hold off any rally attempt by Hancock to secure a hard fought highly emotional 60-50 victory! Four girls scored in double figures led by Laura Kolness with 19 points.

A large contingent of fans made their way to Williams Arena for game one of the state tournament. Fan support was a huge plus for the team as the communities of Ada and Borup emptied out to support the girls in Minneapolis. Wrenshall brought a tough team to the state and had plans to upset the number one ranked Cougars but the girls had other plans as they went on a 9-0 to close out the first half then started the second half on a 11-1 run to build a 17 point lead. Wrenshall would never get closer than 14 points after that.

The semi final game was against Southwest S.T.A.R. Concepts of Okebena. This turned out to be a strong defensive effort by both teams as Ada-Borup was held to a season low 44 points. But they turned the screws to Southwest S.T.A.R and held them to a season low 35. Ada-Borup held a 15-11 halftime lead then came out strong in the second half and went on a 15-6 run to put the game away. S.T.A.R. never got closer than seven points the rest of the way. Ada-Borup had only seven turnovers in the game and played stifling defense to get to their first ever state title game.

The championship game put Ada-Borup up against the 30-2 Barnum Bombers. This would prove to be another suffocating defensive effort by the Cougars. Barnum had not scored fewer than 53 points in a game all season but Ada-Borup held them to 40 in a convincing 51-40 victory. Nicole Smart led the Cougars in the game with 19 points. Defense was the name of the game at state for Ada-Borup as they gave up a total of just forty field goals in three games while forcing a whopping 68 turnovers! Nicole Smart, Laura Kolness and Katy Ness were all named to the All Tournament Team.

Nicole Smart was named to the 2008 All State Team. Sarah Wagner, Alicia Dahlsad, and Kristen Austinson were named Academic All State and the 2008 Ada-Borup Cougar Team also won the Class A Academic Championship with a team GPA of 3.803!

1962 Ada Vikings Boys Basketball Team

Head Coach: Bill Brady

Assistant Coach: Wallace Pearson

Captain: Dean Bowyer

Regular Season Record: 10-7; Tourney Record 8-3

Team Members: *Bold Denotes Starter*


*Dean Bowyer                                                                                                 

*Don Bowyer

*Herb Hasz

*Ed Skalsky

*Dave Gerjets

*Bob Drevlow

Perry Menge

Bob Grivno

Byron Benesh

Greg Parson

Louie Kappes

The 1962 Ada Vikings Boys Basketball team finished the regular season with a 10-7 reord. They avenged a their regular season lose to the Hendrum Huskies by defeating a pesky Husky team in The District 30 Championship by a score of 58-53. In the Region 8 Tournament Ada Vikings defeated the Warren Ponies in the first round 57-41. Herb Hasz was led the way with 24 points against the Ponies.  After losing to the Bemidji Lumberjacks 55-81 in the regular season, Ada upset the lumberjacks 52-51 for the title! Dean Bowyer knocked in 22 points on 10-12 free throw shooting.

At the state tournament Ada would end of playing a highly touted Danube team led by Bob Bruggers. In front of 19,000 fans, Ada would lose 63-65 but Herb Hasz would outduel great player in Bob Bruggers. Herb Hasz scored 31 points. The Bowyer twins Dean and Don teamed up with Hasz to defeat a highly favored Crosby-Ironton team 59-58. Don Bowyer won the game on a free throw with 1 second left on the clock. In the 5th place game, the tired Vikings squad would lose to Cloquet 49-79.

Herb Hasz was named to the All-State Basketball Team and became the first District 30 player named All State since Jim Askleson of Halstad in 1952. The community was so proud of the Vikings that over 500 fans greeted and celebrated their 6th place finish at state.