1998 Hall of Fame Inductees
Roy Bostock '58
When high school sophomore Roy Bostock moved to Edina with his family in February of 1956, he felt right at home. It didn't take Roy long to make friends, nor did it take him long to become an All-State baseball and football player for the Edina-Morningside Hornets. As football quarterback, Roy led the Hornets to their first state title in 1957. His team secured the title with a thrilling win over Robbinsdale that was witnessed by more than 10,000 fans. Roy's stellar play in the high school ranks helped him earn an athletic scholarship at Duke University. He lettered in football and baseball for the Blue Devils, graduating Phi Beta Kappa in the spring of 1962. In recognition of his all-around excellence, he won the Robert E. Lee Award as the school's outstanding senior. He went on to earn a master's degree in business at Harvard University. After marrying his high school girlfriend, Merilee Huser, Bostock had a family of three children and made great strides in his business career. He is now CEO of The MacManus Group, one of the world's 10 largest advertising and marketing services companies. Roy, who lives in Rye, New York, is active in community and educational affairs. He is on the board of directors of New York's United Way and also serves on Duke University's board of trustees.
Gary Reierson '63
Gary Reierson, one of Edina-Morningside High's greatest athletes, shares these words to live by -- "Don't let yesterday use up too much of today." During his high school career, Gary was always turning the page to a new day, and a new season. He led the Hornets in football, basketball and baseball, achieving his greatest success in football. In his senior year, the fall of 1962, his running and hard hitting on defense helped the Hornets share the Lake Conference title with Mound. In the spring of his senior year, he had a cast on his arm during baseball season, but even that didn't stop Gary from competing. "Coach Duane Baglien let me bat one-handed in the final game of the season," he recalled. The University of Minnesota liked Gary's desire and his potential in both football and baseball, so he was offered an athletic scholarship. He made All-Big Ten Conference teams in both sports and was one of the Gophers' best athletes in the '60s. Gary is presently self-employed in the fitness industry. He and his wife, Gorganna, live in Mendota Heights and have a son, Brad, who was a three-sport athlete himself. Gary's playing days ended several years ago, but he remains quite active with a variety of hobbies, including travel, golf, hiking and reading fiction.
Connie Edwards '65
When Connie Edwards was playing sports in the mid-1960s at Edina-Morningside High, her outlet for participation was the Girls Athletic Association (GAA). Ten years later, girls who followed her through the school system had a full-blown varsity sports program. The advantage Connie had over those girls was that GAA allowed girls to play more than three sports during the course of a school year. Connie took advantage of the opportunity to diversify. She competed in archery, badminton, basketball, bowling and volleyball. When she wasn't playing a sport, she was often playing with the concert band as a percussionist or rolling through 91 words a minute in a typing test. Love for athletics led Connie to a career choice at the University of Northern Colorado. She decided she wanted to devote her life to teaching physical education. Connie became a teacher in her home town and now works with 400 students a year as a physical education specialist at Countryside Elementary School. Teaching in Edina is life's greatest thrill for Connie, whose hobbies include latch-hook rug making, juggling and computers. In addition to teaching, Connie devoted 12 years to supervising the safety patrol at her school. She has always been willing to pitch in and take on extra duties - for the good of the school - and her students".
Bill Nyrop '70
Bill Nyrop was one of the greatest hockey players in Edina High history. His resume at Edina was most impressive. Bill quarterbacked an undefeated Hornet football team and led the hockey team to its first state title. His storybook career continued at the University of Notre Dame, where he was an All-Conference defenseman. Pro hockey called and Bill answered the call. He earned three Stanley Cups with the Montreal Canadians and also earned a berth in the NHL All-Star game. Just as Bill seemed to be reaching the height of his NHL career, he announced his retirement at the age of 25. Although he returned later to play with the Minnesota North Stars, Bill wanted to achieve success outside of hockey. The Edina grad earned a law degree, coached a minor-league pro hockey team, then began raising a family in the state of Washington. Tragically, his achievements were cut short by cancer. He died Dec. 31,1995, leaving behind a wife and two daughters and many friends. "Here was a guy in the middle of life, the picture of health, then he was gone," said former Edina High hockey coach Willard Ikola. "Bill was a peach of a kid -- one of the best I ever coached."
Gretchen Larson '79
Had there been a Miss Softball of Minnesota Award in 1979, Edina-East High School's Gretchen Larson surely would have won it. Gretchen led east to a second-place finish at the state tournament with her brilliant hitting and pitching. It was the highest state softball finish ever by a Hornet team. As one of the Hornets' most versatile and gifted athletes, Gretchen earned a total of 11 varsity letters - four in swimming and basketball and three in softball. Gretchen made many friends through sports at East High and later at the University of Minnesota. "My closest friends are those I played with and against," she said. At the University of Minnesota, Gretchen duplicated the success she had in the high school ranks. But not immediately. After batting .223 in her first year with the Gophers, she surprised everyone by hitting a robust .385 in her second year. That jump in batting average coincided with a jump in confidence, and Gretchen left the University as a two-time All-American. Her success continued after college, as she played on two national-champion women's softball teams. She achieved one of her biggest thrills when she played on the U.S. Olympic exhibition team at the Los Angeles Games in 1984. Gretchen is also a success professionally as Operation Manager of Minnesota Rubber's Minneapolis plant.
Robert Wassenaar '83
Pressure situations appealed to all-around athlete Robert Wassenaar, Edina's premier athlete of the 1980s. Who can forget his 45-foot shot at the buzzer that beat Jefferson in the Region 6AA basketball finals in 1983? And who can forget his pitching performance when the Edina American Legion baseball team beat Boyertown, Pa. in the World Series finals that same year? Robert was a leader on the field and off. He was a straight-A student and an active member of the Fellowship of Christian athletes at Edina High. He earned one letter in football and three each in baseball and basketball. Among his awards were All-Lake honors in baseball and basketball and an All-State award in baseball. After high school, he accepted a baseball scholarship at Stanford University and helped the team win the College World Series. Success at Stanford led to an opportunity to play professional baseball. Robert played seven years in the Minors, reaching the AAA level before retiring from the game. Robert now lives in Eden Prairie with his wife, Cathy, and two sons, Joshua and Andrew. He is combining his faith in Christ and his love for sports as athletic director at Grace Church in Edina.
Art Downey, Coach
Art Downey's hiring as Edina-Morningside High's boys swimming coach coincided with the debut of the new pool at South View Junior High in 1956. Forty-two years later, the pool is still there, and so is Art. He'll begin his 43rd season as Hornet swimming coach this winter. In 42 seasons, Art has coached six state championship teams. Top-10 state finishes are practically an annual event for the veteran coach, who retired from teaching several years ago. Art has coached thousands of boys over the years. Asked if he ever had a favorite team, he replied, "It's always the one I'm coaching this year." Known as a master strategist and capable teacher, Art knows how to "taper" his swimmers for the state meet. He also knows that there are times when the swimmers need a break from the rigors of training. When that happens, he throws a ball into the water and allows the boys to play a spirited game of water polo. Art is a member of the State Coaches' Hall of Fame and has won numerous awards for his coaching prowess. He joins the Edina High Athletic Hall of Fame as only the second coach ever inducted. The first was former Hornet hockey coach Willard Ikola at last October's ceremonies.
Rollie Ring, Administrator
Rollie Ring, who came to Edina as a teacher and coach in the fall of 1950, has witnessed more Edina High athletic contests than any person alive. "I've been a Hornet fan for 48 years," said Ring, who served as a principal in the Edina Schools from 1952 until his retirement in 1984. Rollie grew up in South Minneapolis and attended South High School, leading the Tigers to the city championship in football. As a bonus, the team traveled to Lincoln, Nebraska and defeated the Nebraska champs in one of the first high school Bowl Games. At the University of Minnesota, Rollie's football career continued. He was a member of national championship teams in 1940 and 1941. The '41 team included Bruce Smith, the school's first and only Heisman Trophy winner, and was considered the greatest Gopher team of all time. From his first days in Edina, Rollie has compiled records of Edina High sports. He can tell you how many state championships were won in each sport and he can also tell you who the key players were on each team. In addition he was involved in hiring many of our coaches, both past and present. When Rollie attends a game, he is greeted by fellow fans young and old. His dedication, support and love of Edina sports helped him earn a place in the Edina High Athletic Hall of Fame.