Back Row: Kevin Carlin and Scott Sunblad
Standing: David Wilde, Shawn Webber, N. Ylitalo, Kevin Roberts, Shane Weber, D. Lundeen
Seated: Char Reinke, Kevin Borg, Melinda Yerka
Front Row: Karl Hillstrom, Jamie Jorgenson, and Adam Kleiwer
The first Cross Country (CC) program at D-C started during the fall of 1972, the same year that the Dassel and Cokato High Schools consolidated. The first CC program consisted of male athletes that were looking to stay in shape for their other sports. It is not known the exact reason as to why the CC program ended in 1976; one possibility is that there was not enough participation in the sport.
Cokato High School’s first girls gymnastic team. Photograph from the 1971 Cokato High School Yearbook.
During the 1970-1971 school year, the year before Title IX was passed, the Cokato High School incorporated girls varsity gymnastics and golf as its first school sanctioned sports for girls since it dropped basketball in 1931. Cokato’s first girls gymnastics team was comprised of fifteen students from seventh through tenth grade. They were Paula Benson, Kelly Kivi, Mary Bernhart, Kathy Hentges, Marianne Pokornowski, Teri Kivi, Bonnie Gillman, Mary Jilek, Rori Ortquist, Julie Kallstrom, Julie Oelrich, Loretta Nikkola, Diane Monson, Viki Peterson, and Regina Ziegler.
On July 12, 1971, Forrest (Butch) Amundsen, representing the Cokato Jaycees, approached the City of Cokato about the need for a youth hockey program. In addition, Amundsen proposed plans for enlarging the skating rink and building hockey boards. In December of 1971, the newly enlarged rink and growing community support allowed the Cokato Hockey Association to establish a Squirts (under 10 years) and Bantams program (age 12-14). Eventually, Peewees, Mites, Midgets, and Juveniles teams were added as well. Although these teams were primarily comprised of boys, a couple of girls briefly entered the ranks in the early 1980s—Sara Keskey and Sonja Lund. Unfortunately, a girls’ team would not form until approximately a decade later.