co-Female Athletes of the Year; Nicki Ellingson (left) and Aly Folz (right)
co-Female Athletes of the Year; Nicki Ellingson (left) and Aly Folz (right)

For the first time in school history, two boys and two girls have been named Spring Grove co-Athletes of the Year. Seniors Nicki Ellingson and Aly Folz shared the award for the ladies while senior Caleb Happel and junior Dustin Vickerman were co-honorees for the boys.

Folz completed her high school career with 10 varsity letters - four for volleyball, three in basketball, and three in track. She placed fifth in shot put at the 2014 state track meet - the first Spring Grove girl to win a medal at state in 34 years. It was the third time Folz qualified for the state meet in shot put, an event in which she holds the school record. She also won the sub-section and section meets in 2014.

Ellingson played two sports in 2013-2014 and served as team captain in both. She earned eight varsity letters - four in basketball and four in volleyball.

Ellingson earned Academic All-State honors this year (only seniors are eligible). She made the All-Southeast Conference Team three times in volleyball and twice in basketball.

In team voting, Ellingson was twice honored as volleyball Impact Player of the Year and twice named basketball Most Valuable Player. As a sophomore, Ellingson started on the 2012 Spring Grove state tournament basketball team.

Her 2014 basketball stats include 217 rebounds (the eighth-best on record). In addition, Ellingson ranks second best in career rebounds (696), 10th in career scoring (864 points) and 10th in field goal accuracy (49.5%). She was 14th in blocked shots (28) and 16th in steals (160).

Happel focused on football and powerlifting during his high school career. He played linebacker and running back in the former, earning four varsity letters. In 2014, Happel led the Lions in both scoring and rushing yards, rambling for over 200 yards twice last fall. On defense, he led the team in both tackles and sacks.

Happel appeared on the All-Conference Team for a second time, and was voted MVP by teammates. He also received the Outstanding Leader Award.

Happel's career stats include second place in sacks (13.5), fifth in scoring (268 points), sixth in rushing (2,512 yards) and ninth in tackles.

Happel's other sport took him to the national championships of the USA Powerlifting Association three times. On two of those occasions, he placed among the top six in the nation in his weight class and won a national championship in 2012.

Vickerman is the only junior class member on this year's slate. He also played two sports, football and basketball, and made the SEC All-Conference Team in the former, while earning Honorable Mention in the latter. Vickerman played wide receiver, safety, and kicker on the gridiron and guard on the hardwood.

In the 2013 football season, he led the Lions in pass receiving yards (658), which was the second-best single season on the books. Vickerman also led the Lions in pass receiving touchdowns, total receptions, fumble recoveries, punt returns, and tied for first in interceptions. He was second in kickoff return yardage, third in scoring, and fourth in tackles.

In basketball, Vickerman served as a team captain in 2014. He won the Lion Award for leadership and heart.

Leading the team in free throws earned, he was second in FT made, recording 94 (the seventh-best single season on record.)

Vickerman shared the lead in assists at 3.8 per game while totaling 109 (also a seventh-best single season). He was the second-leading rebounder in 2014, the fourth-highest scorer, and fourth in steals. He also recorded the boys' first "triple double" in 14 years - scoring 13 points, grabbing 12 rebounds, and passing for 12 assists versus Lyle/Pacelli.

Another senior Lion who was recently honored for earning six varsity letters is Tara Solberg. She totaled four letters for gymnastics and two for volleyball and also served as co-captain in the latter sport.

The outstanding athlete award was first split between boys and girls in 1974. Beginning in 1993, the award was limited to seniors. Since 2003, underclassmen have also been eligible.


'13-'14 Caleb Happel, Dustin Vickerman & Aly Folz, Nicki Ellingson

'12-'13 Blaine Storlie & Randi Mehus

'11-'12 Aric Elton & Richell Mehus, Taylor Elton

'10-'11 Aric Elton & Jordan Olerud, Katelyn Bjerke

'09-'10 Dakotah Rostad & Jacey Anderson

'08-'09 Garrett Cross & Jacey Anderson

'07-'08 Kevin Lochner & Karla Wiste

'06-'07 Andy Folz & Karla Tweeten

'05-'06 Chase Stoltz & Kaysie Otterness

'04-'05 Sam Morken & Danielle Dehning

'03-'04 Tim Morken & Danielle Dehning

'02-'03 Sam Morken & Kelsey Anderson


'01-'02 Nathan Sherburne & Laura Storlie

'00-'01 Mike Rud & Angie Arrington

`99-`00 Jason Busta & Gina Morken

`98-`99 Ryan Kumpf & Elissa Rud

`97-`98 Mark Johnsrud & Kirsten Solie

`96-`97 Jeremy Gleason & Cassie Glasrud

`95-`96 Chris Strinmoen & Liz Durham

`94-`95 Chad Busta

`93-`94 Jake Durham & Shana Brevig

`92-`93 Patrick Eiken & Amy Johnson


`91-`92 Wayne Patterson & Keely Glasrud

`90-`91 Matt Klug & Lia Omoth

`89-`90 Derek Myhre & Tracy Otterness

`88-`89 Aaron Solum Kerry Sanness

`87-`88 Steve Storlie, Dan Vesterse & Darla Skadsem

`86-`87 Todd Myhre & Tammy Ike

`85-`86 Shawn Wennes & Amy Rademacher

`84-`85 Kevin Fruechte & Kim Sanness

`83-`84 Reid Stone & Angie Ike

`82-`83 Collin Bender & Karin Hegge

`81-`82 Dave Hagen & Stacy Eiler

`80-`81 Ken Sawle & Lisa Myhre

`79-`80 Tom Bjerke & Kathy Bunge

`78-`79 Todd Oakes & Kathy Bunge, Jane Myrah

`77-`78 Bob Askelson, Todd Oakes & Diane Otter

`76-`77 Bob Askelson, Todd Oakes & Rose Laine

`75-`76 Dave Bjerke, Curt Schroeder & Lola Rostad

`74-`75 Kim Sherburne & Karen Rosendahl

`73-`74 Russell Morken & Karen Rosendahl

ATHLETE of the YEAR (prior to girls varsity sports)

`72-`73 Paul Frydenlund

`71-`72 Mike Sherburne

`70-`71 Greg Wirth

`69-`70 Kurt Onstad

`68-`69 John Scheevel

`67-`68 Bob Hillman

`66-`67 Larry Overhaug

`65-`66 Don Solberg