VALLEY CITY – Valley City State University inducted five individuals and six teams into the Viking Athletics Hall of Fame on Friday, Sept. 27, at the Valley City Eagles Club.
Dave Olson, Mark Nordeen (posthumous induction), Mike Jewett, Donna (Bader) Young and Amy (Ottinger) Kitching were all inducted into the Viking Hall of Fame as individual athletes. Six teams were also inducted, including the 1971-72 and 1972-73 women’s basketball teams, the 1974-75 and 1975-76 men’s basketball teams, and the 1980-81 and 1981-82 gymnastics teams.
Mike Jewett – 1982-86 – Men’s Basketball – Valley City, N.D.
Jewett was a three-time All-Conference selection for the Valley City State men’s basketball team in the mid-1980s. Jewett averaged double figure points each of his four seasons and is currently ranked 14th all-time at VCSU with 1,206 career points and seventh all-time with 687 career rebounds. Jewett helped the 1983-84 team to the NDCAC Championship while being named 1st Team All-Conference, All-District 12 and Team MVP. He was also named All-Conference in 1984-85 and 1985-86.
Dave Olson – 1974-77 – Football – Valley City, N.D.
Valley City native Dave Olson was a force on VCSU’s offensive line as he helped the Vikings win back-to-back conference championships in 1976 and 1977. Olson was named Honorable Mention All-Conference during his junior season in 1976, helping the Vikings go 6-0 in conference play and advance to the four-team NAIA Playoffs for the first time in program history. As a senior in 1977, Olson and the Vikings went 9-0 overall and 6-0 in conference play. He was named All-Conference, All-District and Honorable Mention All-American. The 1977 team averaged 312 rushing yards per game and 5.6 yards per carry behind Olson and the offensive line.
Mark Nordeen – 1971-75 – Football/Baseball – Braham, Minn.
A native of Braham, Minn., Mark Nordeen was a two-sport standout at Valley City State, earning All-Conference as a football quarterback and baseball pitcher. As the Vikings’ starting quarterback, Nordeen was named All-Conference in 1972, 1973 and 1974. During his sophomore season in 1972, Nordeen was also named All-District 12 as he helped the Vikings to a NDCAC Championship. On the baseball diamond, Nordeen played three seasons and was named All-Conference as a sophomore in 1973. During the 1974 baseball season, Nordeen posted a 3.09 ERA in 43 innings pitched. Following his collegiate career, Nordeen was invited to several NFL training camps and had a tryout with the New York Giants.
Donna (Bader) Young – 1979-83 – Gymnastics – Emerado, N.D.
Donna Bader won two individual state championships and competed at the NAIA National Meet three times during her gymnastics career at Valley City State. Bader helped the Vikings to sixth-place team finishes at nationals in 1981 and 1982 – the first two times the program had qualified for nationals – and then qualified to compete in the NAIA individual all-around during her senior season in 1983. Bader’s best individual national finish came in 1982 when she placed 10th in balance beam. As a senior in 1983, Bader won state titles in both the balance beam and uneven bars. She was named Team Most Valuable in both 1982 and 1983.
Amy (Ottinger) Kitching – 1979-83 – Gymnastics – Jamestown, N.D.
Amy Ottinger won an individual state championship and qualified for the NAIA National Meet three times as a Valley City State gymnast. Ottinger is the only gymnast in school history to twice make the national finals. She helped the VCSU team to sixth-place finishes at nationals in 1981 and 1982, and then qualified to compete in the NAIA individual all-around during her senior season in 1983. Her best national finish came in 1982 when she made the finals and placed eighth in vault. She also qualified for the finals of floor routine in 1981, placing 13th in the nation. Ottinger won a state championship in floor exercise as a senior in 1983.
Photo: Mike Jewett, Donna (Bader) Young, Dave Olson, Amy (Ottinger) Kitching, Kathy & Jeremy Nordeen (wife & son of Mark Nordeen)
Gymnastics: 1980-81 and 1981-82
The 1980-81 and 1981-82 Valley City State gymnastics teams were the first national qualifying teams in program history and both placed sixth at the NAIA National Meet under the direction of head coach Terry (Anderson) Corwin.
The 1980-81 team won five different meets during the season, including the NDSU Invitational against four other schools. Valley City State placed second at the NDAIAW Championships and qualified for nationals. The team placed sixth at nationals and both Geneal Reed and Amy Ottinger qualified for the floor routine finals, placing 12th and 13th respectively. Ann Rehak was named Team Most Valuable.
The 1981-82 team won four meets during the season and had a season-high score of 119.45 to place second at the North Dakota State Championships. The team placed sixth at nationals and three members qualified for event finals at nationals. Laurice Royer placed fourth in vault at nationals; Amy Ottinger was eighth in vault; and Donna Bader placed 10th in balance beam. Donna Bader was named Team Most Valuable.
(1982 Gymnastics Team)
Women’s Basketball: 1971-72 and 1972-73
The 1971-72 and 1972-73 women’s basketball teams – coached by Marie Dunlap – helped pioneer the success of women’s intercollegiate athletics at Valley City State as they won back-to-back state championships and advanced to the Region VI Tournament in Missouri both seasons.
The 1971-72 team was 6-1 during the regular season, suffering its only loss to North Dakota State. Valley City State avenged that loss with a 50-25 win over NDSU at the State Tournament, and then defeated Mayville State 42-39 in the state title game. The team advanced to the Region VI Tournament in Springfield, Mo., where they faced much larger schools, losing games to Midland College (Neb.), Kansas State and Wayne State. Valley City State finished with an 8-4 record. Ann Grooters led the V-Queens that season by averaging 23.4 points per game.
The 1972-73 women’s basketball team won state and conference championships before advancing to the Region VI Tournament for the second straight season. Valley City State defeated Minot State to win the State Tournament, and then beat UND, Minnesota-Morris and Moorhead State to win the Minn-Kota Conference Tournament. It was Valley City’s first year as a member of the Minn-Kota Conference. The team finished with an 8-6 overall record. Ann Grooters led the V-Queens in scoring at 19.8 points per game.
(1973 Women’s Basketball Team)
Men’s Basketball: 1974-75 and 1975-76
The 1974-75 and 1975-76 men’s basketball teams won back-to-back conference championships under head coach Gerry Kringlie, dominating play in the NDCAC with a 19-5 conference record over the two-year stretch.
The 1974-75 team started the season slow in non-conference play, but stormed through the NDCAC with a 10-2 conference record – including two wins over rival Jamestown College. The Vikings ended their season with a 13-11 record after losing to Northern State in the NAIA District 12 Playoffs. Doyle Plecity and Tim Jacobson were named All-Conference, and Plecity was also named All-District 12. Valley City State senior Rich Rogers was named the NDCAC Most Valuable Senior.
The 1975-76 team picked up where they left off the year before, rolling to a 19-6 overall record and a 9-3 mark in the NDCAC. The Vikings were NDCAC Co-Champions with Jamestown College, but defeated the Jimmies 76-74 in a playoff game to advance to the NAIA District 12 Tournament. The Vikings defeated Mary College in the first round at District 12 before losing in the title game against Eastern Montana. Doyle Plecity was named All-Conference and All-District, and Tim Jacobson and Jay Buhr were both named All-Conference.
(1975 Men’s Basketball Team)
(photos courtesy of the VCSU Athletics Department)