Upsala enshrines inaugural athletics Hall of Fame class

Four distinguished Upsala alumni were welcomed as the first inductees into the Upsala Hall of Fame in a ceremony held between girls and boys varsity basketball games, Feb. 16.

Nominated by members of the community, candidates needed to be graduates of Upsala High School, be positive role models for future generations and have been out of school for a minimum of 10 years.

The four inductees included Stanley Nordin, David Homen, Ralph Soltis and Paula Lange.

Nordin, class of 1937,  competed in football, basketball and track. He was an exceptional basketball player and a leader on an undefeated basketball team that lost to Alexandria in the section finals, just one game short of going to the state tournament.

After graduation, Nordin attended the University of Minnesota on an athletic scholarship where he played basketball for one season before transferring to St. Cloud State University (SCSU). With the Huskies, he competed in basketball, football, track and swimming and was inducted into the SCSU Hall of Fame in 1989.

Holmen, class of 1954, played basketball, football and baseball, earning all-conference honors in basketball all three years and in football as a senior.

His play as an outstanding end on both offense and defense was recognized his senior year when he earned all-state honorable mention honors for football. Alternating between forward and center in basketball, Homen became Upsala’s first 1000-point scorer.

Soltis, class of 1962, excelled in football, basketball and track. As a senior, he earned all-conference honors in all three sports.

After high school, he attended the University of North Dakota (UND), where he played football as a center on offense and a linebacker on defense. As a senior captain at UND, he was named all-conference for his play at center.

Lange, class of 1980, was a dominant four-sport athlete, competing in volleyball, basketball, track and baseball and earning all-conference honors in all four during her senior year.

In her illustrious basketball career, Lange recorded an elite double-double, amassing over 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in helping Upsala to four conference championships.

After high school, Lange attended Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, where she played fastpitch softball and basketball. She made the NAIA all-tournament softball team in 1982 and was nominated for all-American honors in 1983.