11/20/2012 3:30:00 PM Sports Hall of Fame to induct three more
Three new members join the Rice Lake Sports Hall of Fame when the organization holds its annual induction banquet Sunday, Dec. 2. Rice Lake High School graduates Gordon Grilley, Virgil Amundson and Scott Harms will be inducted, bringing membership to 53 since the local Hall of Fame began in 2001. Grilley will be inducted posthumously. Amundson, who lives near Sarona, and Harms, who lives in North Branch, Minn., will attend. Events at Lehman's Supper Club begin with social hour at 5 p.m., followed by dinner at 6 p.m. and the 12th annual induction program at 7 p.m. Banquet tickets are available for $25 by calling Hall of Fame secretary Sue Drew at 715-234-7599. Reservations must be made by Thursday, Nov. 29. The event also includes recognition of the Rice Lake High School boys' basketball team which went 23-2, and Rice Lake Warriors career scoring leaders Wally Ellenson in basketball and Cody Novinska in hockey. Scholarships of $750 each will be awarded to former Rice Lake High School athletes Novinska, Reid Giddings, Malachi Romportl and Megan Willger, all of whom are now attending college. New Hall of Fame members Grilley, Amundson and Harms excelled for the Warriors in several sports.
A track standout Grilley graduated from Rice Lake High School in 1943 after earning 10 sports letters, including lettering all 4 years in track. Grilley won every race he ran in track except one. In 1942 at the state track meet-the only one held during World War II-Grilley finished second in the mile run. He also held the RLHS mile record at 4 minutes and 44 seconds for nearly 25 years. Grilley was a 3-year starter in both football and basketball. His performance at running back helped the Warriors to an undefeated Heart o' North season in 1942. After graduation, Grilley joined the Navy and took part in three major landings in the Pacific during World War II. He attended UW-River Falls after the war and lettered three times as a running back/defensive back, earning all-Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference honors in 1947. The 1950 graduate of UW-River Falls then taught at Clear Lake High School, where he coached football, basketball and track for 4 years. He moved on to Milltown High School, which would later consolidate with Balsam Lake High School to form Unity High School. At Milltown, Grilley was an assistant football coach and started the school's track program. At Unity High School, Grilley was a guidance counselor for 22 years. Grilley moved back to his native Rice Lake in retirement. He died in Rice Lake in 1997.
State champions' catalyst Amundson graduated from Rice Lake High School in 1961 after a sports career that included his starting guard role for the 1961 Warriors who finished runner-up in the state basketball tournament. For the 24-1 Warriors that season, Amundson scored 6.5 points per game. But his biggest strength at point guard was piling up assists as he fed the Warriors' big front line. His best scoring game of the season came in the state tournament when he totaled 12 points in Rice Lake's semifinal win over Waukesha. Amundson, who also played third base on the 1961 Warriors baseball team, would later return to Heart o' North sports as a basketball official. He also officiated games in the Big Rivers and Lakeland conferences. Amundson has been pastor at the Full Gospel Church in Shell Lake since 1969. He was instrumental in 1972 in organizing the Washburn County Church Softball League, which is still active. He was presented the City of Shell Lake's City of the Year Award in 1995. Amundson and his wife, Linda, live on Lake Ripley near Sarona.
State discus repeater Harms, who graduated from RLHS in 1976, qualified for state three times in the discus and also was a 1,000-yard runner in football. In his junior season, Harms posted a second place in discus at the state track and field meet. He returned to state in both discus and shot put in his senior year and placed second in shot put. Harms still holds two RLHS records at 57 feet and 3 inches in the shot put and 169 feet and 3 inches in the discus. As a senior on the 1975 Warriors football team, Harms rushed for 1,012 yards and earned all-conference and All-Northwest honors. Harms accepted a full football scholarship to the University of Minnesota in 1976. In his sophomore season of 1977, Harms, who was playing nose guard for the Gophers, suffered a season-ending knee injury. Harms later began an acting career in California, appearing in movies and television soap operas. He then returned to Minnesota and now works for the City of St. Paul forestry department. Harms and his wife, Sheri, live in North Branch, Minn.