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Stoebner among area's wrestling hall of fame honorees

Former Bon Homme wrestling head coach Mark Stoebner holds up his hall of fame plague he received at the state high school wrestling tournament on Saturday in Sioux Falls. (Photo courtesy South Dakota Public Broadcasting)

SIOUX FALLS — With a lifetime involved in wrestling, Mark Stoebner was a natural fit for the South Dakota Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

But the longtime Bon Homme coach said it's still a great honor for him.

"There's great people that have gone in before me and it's an honor to be considered with those guys," Stoebner said. "When I found out in the summer, I was shocked."

Stoebner was a state champion wrestler for the Cavaliers in 1985 and won 69 straight matches in a two-year span from 1985 to 1986. He later coached Bon Homme wrestling for 19 years, winning state championships in 1995 and 2002 as a team, with a dual record of 179-49. He was a five-time Region 3B coach of the year and was South Dakota's wrestling coach of the year in 2002 and 2015. Since retiring as a coach, he's been involved as an official, and worked this year's state tournament in Sioux Falls.

"It's been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. It got instilled into me," Stoebner said of wrestling in his life. "Throughout the years, I've been involved in wrestling one way or the other. I really enjoy it."

In addition to Stoebner, a number of area wrestling figures were also honored.

Herb Harris, the former Parkston head wrestling coach, was inducted to the hall of fame. Harris, an Indiana native, coached Scotland from 1987-90 and organized a co-op between Scotland and Menno. He started coaching in Parkston at the youth level in 1991 and coached for six years as the Trojans' head coach. In that time, Parkston won a dual state title, two team state championships, two state runner-up titles and was South Dakota Coach of the Year in 2007.

Scott Pulse, of Kimball, was a four-time state placewinner, winning state championships in 1990 and 1991.

Other honorees with area connections include Nick Joslyn, of Canton, who previously coached wrestling at Wagner and Winner, and Gary Kroupenske, of Parker, who previously coached at Montrose.

Andal honored for coaching service

McCook Central/Montrose wrestling coach Scott Andal was among the honorees for 25 years of coaching from the South Dakota Wrestling Coaches Association at the state wrestling tournament.

Andal, a 1991 Dakota State graduate, first started coaching while student teaching at Tri-Valley. He took his first coaching and teaching job in 1992 at McCook Central and has coached all but one year since then — missing the 2004-05 season for active military duty. He's coached wrestling at all levels, and his MCM high school teams have won more than 200 duals and three conference tournament titles. In his career, he's coached more than 55 state placewinners and his team has placed three times, including eighth this season.