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Inductees thankful for time spent at MHS

The seventh class of the Mitchell High School Hall of Fame was inducted Saturday at the County Fair Banquet Hall in Mitchell.

The inductees included Dean Jacobsen (1986), Paul Konrad (1972), Marilyn Wiblemo Berry (1976), the 1990 girls’ cross country team and the 1990 girls’ basketball team.

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Jacobson kicked off the event as the evening’s first speaker. The former Mitchell track, basketball and football star had a difficult time holding in his emotions in front of the packed room.

After a 20-second pause to gather himself, Jacobson said, “This is a lot tougher than you think,” which brought a relieving laugh from the crowd.

Jacobsen was a member of the 1985 boys’ state championship basketball team at Mitchell, as well as the 1984 Eastern South Dakota conference champion football team.

Konrad led the 1971 Kernels football team to a 7-1-1 record and the mythical state title. Konrad went on to play football at Iowa State University and then South Dakota State University, where he rejoined his former high school coach Wayne Henzel.

“It’s an honor to receive this award and it is one that deserves a lot of thanks,” Konrad said.

Konrad spent the better part of the next half hour heaping praise on everyone from his family, to coaches to teammates.

In a truly touching moment, the former fullback individually thanked his entire starting offensive line from 1971. Four members were in attendance and stood up to applause.

Next up was 1976 Mitchell High School graduate Marilyn Wiblemo Berry, who was a fixture for Kernel female athletics in the 1970s.

She starred on the girls’ basketball, gymnastics and track teams. In track, she took home the 1976 ESD titles in the 100-meter and 180-meter hurdle events, while also finishing second in the 100-meter hurdles at the state meet.

She got a laugh when telling a story of how coach Garry Munsen told her in 1975 that her gymnastics team had to practice at 6:30 a.m. because that is where girls’ sports belong.

In 1990, that same coach Munsen led the girls’ basketball team to the state title. That team was also inducted into the hall of fame.

“I will commit suicide before I coach girls’ basketball,” Munsen said as he recollected how he was asked to get involved with the team.

Well he didn’t fulfill his threat, and instead went on to lead the 1990 team to a 22-2 record and a win over Yankton in the state title game.

The 1990 girls’ cross country team was also inducted Saturday.

The team led by coach Mitchell alum Marcy Jones was the first Kernel girls’ team to win a state title.

“I’m honored to have been just a small part of this group of girls,” Jones said. “These girls always had a vision of success.”

The induction marked the first time the ceremony had taken place to coincide with MHS homecoming. The event had previously been a part of the athletics banquet at the end of the school year.