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Chambers, Edlund, Beaumont, Whelan and Mergens to be inducted into Bemidji High Hall of Fame

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Chambers, Edlund, Beaumont, Whelan and Mergens to be inducted into Bemidji High Hall of Fame
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Five new members will be honored Monday night by induction into Bemidji's High's Athletic Hall of Fame.

It will highlight the 9th annual Hall of Fame banquet at the Bemidji High Commons starting at 6 p.m. A social hour will open at 5:30.


Entering the Hall are athletes, Lance Chambers, Joe Edlund, Greg Beaumont and Bob Whelan and Coach and Athletic Director Jim Mergens.

Their addition will raise the number of members of the Hall to 60 with more than three dozen more deserving candidates still awaiting their turn.

Since 2004 inductions have been limited to five per year.

Other highlights of tomorrow's banquet will be the naming of the Male and Female Athletes of the Year, the awarding of the annual athletic scholarships and the presentation of the Lumberjack Award going to a long-time assistant coach or member of the community who has given long-time support to high school athletics.

Senior letter winners, team captains and Most Valuable Players will be recognized as well.

Lance Chambers

Chambers graduated in 1978 after starring for several years in football, basketball and baseball. He will join his next door neighbor and constant companion John Noga in the Hall, Noga inducted in 2007.

Chambers lettered three years in all three sports.

He played wide receiver, cornerback and punter for the grid team.

He was a sharp shooting wing on the cage squad and the team's top defensive player through most of his career.

During his baseball career, he pitched three no hitters while playing shortstop, ending with a batting average of move than .400. He was an All Conference pick in football twice, basketball once and baseball three times and an all state baseball selection his senior year.

He went on to play football one year and baseball four seasons at BSU and was a member of the BSU baseball team that reached the NAIA World Series in 1979.

He is now a principal at Jordan where the oldest of his three daughters, Brittany, has become one of the state's all-time leading scorers. She will play collegiate ball at Kansas University next year.

Joe Edlund

Edlund graduated in 1985 as another three sports star. He was captain and quarterback of the 1984 team that went 9-2 going undefeated in section play.

He was a three year starter in basketball leading the team to a 20-3 record his senior year and the state tournament. He was an all region pick and Prep Parade All State selection.

On the diamond, he co-captained the team to the 8AA tournament final his senior year.

He was a National Honor Society member and graduated in the top two percent of his class.

He played baseball briefly at BSU before going on to earn a Doctor of Chiropractic degree.

He returned home where he has practiced ever since.

Greg Beaumont

Beaumont graduated in 1969, the final season of legendary Coach Bun Fortier's long career.

He earned Honorable Mention honors his final year in football but was best remembered for his cage career where his senior team reached the state tournament.

He was an AP and WCCO All State pick.

He continued his cage career playing four seasons at BSU. He was an All Conference and All District 13 selection in 1971.

He was the team's MVP his senior year. He had a long successful coaching career at Rocori guiding the girls cage team to 266 wins in 18 seasons, taking the Spartans to the state meet twice and winning five conference crowns. He was a section Coach of the Year five times.

Bob Whelan

Whelan graduated in 1971 as a three sport athlete in football, wrestling and baseball.

He was an all conference football pick his final three years and captained the 1970 team.

He captained his final two wrestling teams. He placed fifth at the 1971 state meet at 175.

He played baseball as a sophomore and junior.

He went on to star in football and wrestling at BSU receiving numerous awards in both sports and highlighted his career by claiming the NAIA national heavyweight title in 1975.

The three-time All American captained the Beaver mat team for two seasons.

He continued his mat career after graduation and was a member of the USA Freestyle/Greco Roman team that went unbeaten on a tour of Japan and later won titles in both divisions at the Korean Olympic Trials.

He was elected to the NAIA wrestling Hall of Fame in1989 and the BSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1996.

He is a Bemidji businessman who coached BHS wrestling in 1980-81 and aided his son Rob in coaching the program the past three years.

Jim Mergens

Mergens, a Cretin High School graduate, was an all conference quarterback his senior year.

He played in the North- South Shrine Game following that season

He was a four year starter both ways at St. Thomas and the Tommies MVP in 1958.He joined the Bemidji school district in 1975 and coached Nordic Skiing, Middle School golf and High School boys golf guiding the Jacks for five years from 1990-04.

Three of his teams captured region titles. and state titles in 1990 and 91, finishing second in1992.

He earned both region and state Coach of the Year awards in1992.

He continued as Athletic Director at BHS from 1994-98 was instrumental in developing the Lumberjack Scramble.

He continued to on to coach the BSU women's golf team from 1998-200,1 winning the conference title in 1999 when he was named NSIC Coach of the Year.

Pioneer staff reports