Arly Nagle shares memories of his brother at Galen Nagle tournament
Shortly before noon Friday Arly Nagle stood at the putting green at the Bemidji Town & Country Club and scanned the action.
Under the tent volunteers were registering golfers for the 13th annual tournament named after his brother, Galen.
Near the clubhouse hockey alumni were slapping each other on the back and swapping stories of on-ice triumphs.
Behind the first tee local media representatives were snapping shots of a scholarship donation ceremony preserving the memory and legacy of George Pelawa.
A group of 20-somethings was gazing at the prize table which featured BSU shirts and an assortment of other donated items.
Everywhere Arly looked, something was happening.
"It's always amazing how much bigger and better this event gets each year," Arly said. "This is an awesome tribute and it's a real honor for the Nagle name to be remembered each year with an event like this."
More than 150 Bemidji State hockey alumni and friends of the program and the tournament's namesake gathered at the BTCC Friday for 18 holes of scramble golf. The assembled represented Beaver hockey, past and present, and it was obvious that everyone was happy to be there.
"Galen was just one of the guys," said Robin Anderson, a former teammate of Galen's who graduated in 1983 and was an assistant coach on the unbeaten, untied 1983-84 team.
"If you needed anything Galen was there to help. I'll always remember coming home from road trips at 3 a.m. and not having our cars start. Before you knew it Galen and his dad were there and they jumped all of our cars.
"Galen was a special person," Anderson added.
Galen was the winning goalie in the final game of the 1983-84 national championship campaign. Behind his goaltending the Beavers blitzed Merrimack 8-1 and put the exclamation point on the 31-0-0 season.
"That team was a family and Galen exemplified everything a teammate is supposed to be," said Joel Otto who was a center on that memorable squad.
"Galen, Monsy (Scott Monsrud), Luther (Drey Bradley), Davey (Dave Jerome) and I came together in 1980 and survived all the way to 1983-84. That was a special group and you don't find many guys like Galen. Because of him, I wouldn't miss this tournament."
Arly, who played Beaver hockey in 1981-82 and 1982-83, came from Tempe, Ariz. to play in Friday's event. While a Beaver he never received the notoriety of his brother but he is equally proud of wearing the uniform.
"I was on the B-team most of the time and then I had some injuries," Arly said. "I never reached Galen's status but I am proud to be part of the extended BSU hockey family. It was a privilege to play for the Beavers and be part of the program's tradition."
Galen also was proud to wear the BSU sweater and Arly is sure that Galen was smiling on Friday.
"Galen is pretty darn happy today," Arly said. "He definitely would want to be here to meet everybody. Generation after generation is represented today and that shows how strong the family ties are.
"When you put on the green and white it is a proud moment," Arly continued. "I know it was for me and I know it was for Galen."
"We would go to war for Galen and he would go to war for us," Anderson said. "At the beginning he couldn't stop a beach ball but through hard work he turned into the starting goaltender on an unbeaten championship team.
"Galen just wanted to be one of the guys and he turned into someone we couldn't keep out of the lineup. Galen was special and that's why we come back each year."