Hall of Fame Inductees
Noelle (Hall) Bergan graduated from NSU in 2008 with a bachelor of science degree in finance. She was a member of the Wolves women’s basketball team from 2004 to 2008. Bergan is third all-time on the career scoring list with 1,691 total points, and fourth in career rebounds with 937. She sits top-10 all-time in single season points scored, field goals made, field goals attempted, rebounds, rebounds per game, and blocked shots. In addition, she sits top-5 on the career lists for scoring average, rebounding average, field goals made, field goal percentage, and blocked shots average. Bergan was a four-time NSIC All-Conference center for the Wolves. She resides in Westport with her husband, Eric, and their three children: Rinlee, Emmett and Maddux.
Baron Blanchard graduated from NSU with a bachelor of science degree in elementary education in 2004. He was a member of the Wolves wrestling team, competing at 285 pounds. Blanchard finished his career as a two-time NCAA All-American and four-time national qualifier. He was an NWCA Scholar Athlete as well as a four-time NSIC Conference Champion and four-time NSIC All-Conference first team selection. Blanchard was named the NSU team MVP in both 2003 and 2004, where he finished third at the national tournament in his final season. Northern won the NSIC Conference Championship in his sophomore campaign, their first in over 15 years. Blanchard was awarded the NSU Clark Swisher Award and NSIC Britton Scholar Athlete Award in 2004. He is a member of the Wolves wrestling 30-win season and 100-win career clubs. Off the mat, Blanchard was an NSU student-athlete mentor (2000-04), new student orientation leader (2002-05), NSU Student Association President (2002-03), and a charter member of the “Baseline Bandits.” He resides in Bismarck, N.D., with his wife, Kylie, and their children: Bayne, Bria and Brek.
Melissa (Gamble) Haggins graduated from NSU with a bachelor of science degree in physical education in 2007. She was a member of the Wolves soccer team from 2003 to 2006, leading the team in multiple categories each season. Haggins was a four-time NSIC All-Conference first team selection, the 2003 NSIC Newcomer of the Year and a 2004 NSIC All-Tournament team performer. She holds the single season school record for shots on goal, and career records for points, goals and shots on goal. In addition, Haggins sits top-10 in assists, goals per game and shots attempted. In regards to the NSIC record books, she is second all-time in goals per game and third all-time in scoring. She resides in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, with her husband, Ward, and their son, Nixon.
Eric Longhenry graduated from NSU in 2003 with a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice and sociology. He was a member of the track and field and football teams at Northern. Longhenry is arguably the most notable multi-event athlete in track and field history, as the record holder in the indoor pentathlon (3,819), indoor heptathlon (5,141) and outdoor decathlon (6,880). He was a 14-time NSIC All-Conference performer and two-time NSIC MVP. He was also a 12-time NSIC conference champion in the indoor high jump (2000, 2001), pentathlon (2000, 2001) and 55m hurdles (2002); and the outdoor decathlon (2000, 2002, 2003), 110m hurdles (2002), 400m hurdles (2002, 2003), and the 4x400m relay (2003). Longhenry earned All-American status in the decathlon at the 2003 NCAA Division II National Outdoor Championships finishing 8th, after placing tenth at the USATF National Indoor Championships earlier that year. He was named the South Dakota Sportswriters Men's Collegiate Athlete of the Year in 2003. He resides in Castle Rock, Colo., with his wife, Stephania, and their two children.
The 1969 Football Team won Northern’s 24th conference championship in the sport, going 9-0 in their first season under the direction of Jim Kretchman. The Wolves finished the season ranked No. 12 in the NAIA national poll, while Kretchman earned District 12 Coach of the Year honors. The team is just one of four in Northern State history to go undefeated. Northern tallied wins over Valley City State, Eastern Montana, Black Hills State, Dakota State, Southern State, South Dakota Tech, Dakota Wesleyan, Huron College and Kearney State. The 64-19 victory over Black Hills State held the single game school record for points scored for 43 years. Rick Schliebe set the single game school record that season for the longest punt return of 85 yards in the Wolves 51-7 victory over Valley City State. Gordon Groos earned All-American honors that season as a defensive tackle, defensive end and tight end. Members of the 1969 team included: Rich Andrzejewski, Jerome Appl, Benjamin Bachman*, Mike Breidenbach, Gregory Brewer, Richard Carlson, Joseph Carolan, William Soucette, Gordon Fliehe, Marlin Forman, Michael Frey, Gregory Gabler, Mark Gauer, Gordon Goodrich*, Gordon Groos, Randy Hermansen, Monte Hillestad, John Hoover, Barry Huitema*, Carlton Hupke, John Hurley, James Jensen, Chester Jones, R. Kerry Johnston*, Ron Kaaz, Dennis Kalisek*, William Kiewiet, Joe Kramer, Richard Larson, Roger Larson, Earl Lindell, Jerry Lohrenz*, Robert Luce, Richard Maynes, Patrick Murphy, Randy Nelson, Dan Ott, James Parker, Dave Pastian, Michael Pritchard, Wayne Schlekeway, Timothy Schliebe, Gary Schumacher, David Schwab, Larry Sutton, Steven Swartos, Donn Voorhees, Robert Warwick, Mike Wengler, Henry Wiedrich, Edward Wilkinson, Lee Wilson, Michael Wilson, and Greg Youngman. Coaches of the 1969 team included: Jim Kretchman, Carl Iverson, Robert Wachs*, Clark Swisher*, Bart Berndt, and Albert Sahli*.
(* denotes in memoriam)
Kretchman Coaching Award
Dale McElhany graduated from NSC with a Bachelor of Science in education in 1962. He was a football and wrestling student-athlete for the Wolves from 1959 to 1962. McElhany taught high school math and coached football, wrestling, and track and field in South Dakota and Wyoming over the course of his career. He is the president of the Watertown Education Association and was inducted into the S.D. Hickory Stick organization as an outstanding educator. McElhany is a member of the S.D. Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame, winning the state championship in 1968. He founded and directed SDAAU wrestling from 1968 to 1972, nurturing the program to over 7,200 participants. As the head football coach at Watertown, McElhany won five ESD championships and was twice named the South Dakota football coach of the year and South Dakota sportswriters coach of the year. He also added three conference championships and one state championship as an assistant coach in both wrestling and football. He resides in Watertown with his wife, Donna, who is a 1960 graduate of NSC, and has three children and nine grandchildren.