Aguiar, Lawrence, Saeger, Aitken will join Bemidji Hall of Fame
BEMIDJI – The annual Bemidji High School Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be Monday, May 6 at the school commons and four former Lumberjacks will officially be added to the Hall of Fame.
The four men are Dennis Aguiar, Jim Lawrence, Bob Saeger and Rob Aitken.
The public is welcome and tickets, which cost $11, are available at the BHS activities office through May 4.
Aguiar was a three-sport athlete at BHS who went on to have a record-setting career at Gustavus.
As a Lumberjack Aguiar was an all-conference halfback in 1962 and was named to the Star and Tribune All-State team as a safety. In track Auiar was the 400 meter champion in Region 8 in 1963 and 1964. He also set a school record of 50.8 seconds that stood for 45 years.
At Gustavus, Aguiar lettered in football and track all four years. He also had a team-high 21 career interceptions.
In 1966 Aguiar was named to the MIAC All-Conference football team and in 1964 he set the school record in the 800, winning the MIAC title with a time of 1:55.06.
He also was a member of Gustavus’ mile relay team which set a school and conference record.
After graduating from Gustavus in 1967 Aguiar attended officer candidate school and served with distinction as a first lieutenant.
Lawrence was a BHS standout in football, basketball and baseball. In 1952 he was the starting right end for the state championship football team.
During the 1952-53 season Lawrence was a member of the BHS basketball team that captured the Region 8 title and finished third at the state tournament. He also was named to the All-Tournament team at the state competition.
After graduation Lawrence attended Bemidji State where he was a four-year letterman in football and basketball (serving as captain and earning all-conference honors in both) and a three-year letterwinner in baseball.
Following his collegiate career Lawrence was the head basketball and baseball coach, and assistant football coach at Red Lake High School from 1961-64. He then moved to Deer River and was the head football, basketball and baseball coach for four years.
Lawrence will join a Hall of Fame fraternity that already includes his brothers Bill and Dick.
Saeger graduated in 1965, earned 13 letters and was ranked in the top 3 percent of his class academically.
A three-time football and basketball letterman Saeger was the quarterback and safety of football teams that won 27 straight games from 1962 to 1964. He also was a guard on the basketball team and helped the Jacks advance to the state tournament, finishing fifth in 1964 and third in 1965.
In baseball the pitcher and outfielder won five letters and played on two state tournament teams. He also won two golf letters.
Saeger attended Gustavus and played three sports.
Saeger became a dentist and was recognized for his dental treatment of the American POWs after their release from Vietnam prisons.
Known as one of the most highly competitive athletes of his time, Aitken excelled in three sports at BHS during the late 1980s.
He was a four-year letterwinner in football, a member of the Region 8-2A baseball champions in 1986 and 1987 and a two-year letterman in hockey. The 1986 baseball team finished second in the state and the 1986 hockey team advanced to the state tournament.
Aitken also was a two-time Minnesota Indian Male Student-Athlete of the Year, the Bemidji Pioneer Male Athlete of the Year in 1987 and the Horace May Award winner for the baseball team.