The St. Ansgar Booster Club 21st Annual Athletic Banquet was held on Saturday, April 28 in the Grafton Community Center. Around 150 attended the banquet and enjoyed a nice evening, highlighted with two new inductions into the school’s Hall of Fame.
The night was kicked off with a delicious meal that was served by Signatures from Northwood. After dinner was over, St. Ansgar’s Athletic Director Scott Cakerice got things going by reviewing last year’s athletics and their accomplishments that included the spring boys track team winning the conference and district titles, Cole Willert as a state champion in the 400M hurdles, and the football team winning it’s 4th straight District Championship and reaching the state playoffs for 12 straight years.
Cakerice then went over a tribute to past teams. Teams that were recognized included the 1987/88 volleyball team that participated in the state tournament, making it to the semifinals and the girls’ track team that finished 2nd in the state meet and the softball team that participated in the state tournament. The 1997/98 girls’ basketball team that participated in the state tournament was also one of the teams that received a tribute.
Once the tribute to past team’s was complete, it was time to move on to the new inductions into the Hall of Fame. First up was Marin Thorson, introduced by Kayla Hemann.
“Marin had a very successful career in St. Ansgar,” said Hemann. “To this day, Marin shares her athletic talent with many.”
Highlights from Thorson’s career include being a three-time state champion in the discus, holding the state meet record in the discus with 151’3” for 7 years. She presently ranks 14th on Iowa’s All-Time list in all classes for the discus. Thorson still holds school records in the discus. She was a four-time conference discus champion and was the National discus champion for NIACC track. She holds the discus record at NIACC with a throw of 157’4”.
“This is an unbelievable honor to be up here today,” said Thorson. “I’d like to thank all the family and friends that supported me over the years. I owe a lot to all of you.”
Thorson looked back during her speech and talked about some of her favorite memories and coaches during her time in St. Ansgar.
“I want to give a special shout-out to Phil Baldus and Drew Clevenger for everything they did for me,” said Thorson. “I saved coach Sherman for last for a reason. I’m forever grateful for his role in my athletic career.”
Thorson was emotional during her speech, and rightfully so. It’s a huge accomplishment to be inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame, and Thorson deserves her spot.
“This is a day that I will remember forever and is a perfect ending to my high school career,” said Thorson.
After Thorson was inducted, it was on to Trevor Kittleson. In his high school career, Kittleson was very successful. He was a Class 1A State Champion in the 145 lb weight class his senior season, finishing 44-0 on the year. He also had a 3rd place finish at state his junior season (140 lbs) and a 6th place finish his sophomore year (135 lbs). He still holds school records in career wins (155), season winning pct (100%), career winning pct (89%, 155-19).
After graduating from St. Ansgar, Trevor went on wrestle for UNI where he qualified for the NCAA Tournament in his sophomore season (149 lbs). He received an All-American status and finished his senior year with the top GPA for any wrestlers. He then went on to coach Perry High School wrestling for 5 years and is now currently working as the Head Assistant Wrestling Coach at Loras College in Dubuque.
Drew Clevenger came on stage to talk about Trevor and what he remembers most from Kittleson’s days in the red and white.
“His leadership is among the best I’ve ever worked with,” said Clevenger. He was great at pulling people up and working with them to improve. He was a very tough kid. The word that sums up Trevor the most to me is toughness.”
Once Clevenger wrapped up his introduction of Kittelson, Trevor’s father Barry came on stage to talk a little about his son and all he has accomplished.
“I’m real proud of Trevor and all he’s done,” said Barry.
One part of Barry’s speech that stuck out was when he talked about Trevor winning his state championship his senior season.
“He was the top ranked kid that season which can put a lot of pressure on you but he handled that really well,” said Kittleson. “After he won it went by kind of fast. I just kind of wanted to stay there in that moment and let it all sink in.”
Once Barry was done with his introduction, Trevor came to the stage after a quick hug with his father, and jokingly said,” my speech won’t be as long as his.”
“God blessed me by being around a lot of great people,” said Kittleson during his speech. “All those people around me really influenced me into who I am today. My parents were amazing role models for me and still are. I really just want to thank all of you for this honor.”
After Kittleson’s speech, Scott Cakerice announced the Bill and Dorothy Hegland Memorial Scholarship winners Elizabeth Jenkins and Dayton Smith. Then the night wrapped up with Theo Baldus and his senior response thanking the parents, teachers and coaches for all they do.
The St. Ansgar Booster Club 21st Annual Athletic Banquet was a special night, especially for the two new Hall of Fame inductees Marin Thorson and Trevor Kittleson. It will be a night that they will remember for quite some time.