Coon Rapids High School recently inducted its third Hall of Fame class at a ceremony in the school cafeteria.
The first inductee was Katie (Bestul) Lakanen, who was a track and field standout athlete in the hurdles from 1994 through 1996.
"For anyone to have even remembered my name way back then is very humbling," Lakanen said.
Roger Gorham led Coon Rapids High School to three runner-up finishes at the True-Team State Meet and was named the state track and field coach of the year in 1994. Gorham was a teacher and coach for 36 years at Coon Rapids High School. In 2011, Gorham was inducted into the Minnesota Track and Field Hall of Fame and now he enters the Coon Rapids High School Hall of Fame.
"It is a true honor," Gorham said. He coached Katie during her senior year; the year the girls track and field team won the 1996 Class AA State Championship.
“Competition was good. Winning was better. Because I know the only reason I'm here is that I was surrounded by a bunch of people that were really good at what they did,” Gorham said.
The last Hall of Fame inductee for 2021 was Mark Hodsdon, who was captain of the baseball team in 1975 and earned all-conference and all-state honors. He lettered seven times in football, basketball and baseball.
"It's a pleasure and an honor and I'm humbled to be elected to the Hall of Fame,” Hodsdon said. “I'd like to thank my coaches, without my coaches I would not be here tonight."
The Hall of Fame ceremony reunited former football coach Ron Scott with Hodsdon. Scott entered into the Coon Rapids High School Hall of Fame in 2019.
"It's very humbling, and I’m very honored to be selected,” Hodsdon said. “I had some very good times here, some very good teammates."
"Anytime you get recognized by the people you worked with and they think you did a good job, it's the ultimate compliment," Gorham said.
"Sports is really just about lessons learned, right, from success and failure, and Roger did that beautifully,” Lakanen said. “We did things well, we made mistakes, and he always helped us pick ourselves up and get better."
Before the Sept. 24 Cardinals football game against Rogers, the three new Hall of Fame inductees were recognized on the football field in front of fans.
If you would like to nominate someone for the Coon Rapids High School Hall of Fame, click here.