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Five new DSU Athletic Hall of Fame members inducted Saturday
June 6, 2011
Dakota State University Athletic Department inducted five new members to the Hall of Fame class last Saturday, June 4 at the Dakota Prairie Playhouse. They are Bob Casagrande, Terry Kasperbauer, Kent Kersten, Marie Sample and Rob Van Laecken.
The Hall of Fame event began with a social at 5:30 p.m. followed by a banquet meal at 6:15 p.m. The program began at 7 p.m.
Casagrande was introduced by former DSU physical plant director Ed Tyc. He was an integral part of the 1971 Boothill Bowl team that finished the season with an overall record of 9-2. In Casagrande's four-year career at Dakota State, the Trojans were 25-14. He earned South Dakota-Iowa Intercollegiate (SDIC) All-Conference honor three times. He was named to All-NAIA Dist. 12 in his junior and senior seasons. Casagrande was voted as the team's most valuable player in his senior season and was one of the team captains.
DSU's Hall of Famer Jeff Rodman introduced Kasperbauer. In his four-year career (1973-76) as the Trojans' starting quarterback, Kasperbauer complied a 26-12 record and led the Trojans to three SDIC conference titles. He amassed 4,044 yards on 262-for-502 passing. He threw 49 touchdown passes. Kasperbauer has held several football school records for most touchdowns in a game and a season, both in 1976. He also holds a school record (tie) for the longest touchdown pass of 92 yards in 1976 versus Huron University.
Gene Esser introduced Kersten for his accomplishments in wrestling. Kersten wrestled at then-Dakota State College under former head coach Dr. Neal Hattlestad. This past spring, he retired from teaching, but will enter his 30th year as Logan-Magnolia's head wrestling coach this coming winter. As a head coach at Logan-Magnolia, Kersten has achieved a 491-87-4 dual mark. He also coached 129 state qualifiers, 57 state place-finishers and four state champions. Kersten was the 2009 Iowa Class 1A Coach of the Year. He was inducted into the Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2007.
David Sample was the introducer for his wife Marie into the DSU Athletic Hall of Fame. Marie had an outstanding cross country and track career at DSU under head coach Buzz Stevenson. She produced numerous indoor track and outdoor track records. Marie was a four-time SDIC All-Conference track performer (1995-98) and conference's most valuable player in her junior and senior years. During her track years, Marie helped the Trojans to SDIC Outdoor Track title for three straight years (1995-97) and indoor track in 1997. She was an NAIA's national qualifier in cross country in her four-year career. Marie was named to NAIA All-American three times (1996-98).
Van Laecken's son Erik introduced his dad to the Hall of Fame class. With the 2011 season looming, he was only three wins away from breaking the legendary late Fred Tibbetts (former DSU alum) for the most wins (551) in South Dakota high school girls' basketball history with his current 549-198 record. At Parkston, Van Laecken has also been its athletic director since 1985. He coached his Lady Trojans to 23 district titles and taken them to the state tournament nine times, finishing third in 1989. In addition to being named DSU's Alumni Coach of the Year in 1982, he has been honored numerous times, both on state and national levels.
The Class of 2011 inductees joins 65 other DSU Athletic Hall of Fame members and six teams to the list.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director