BEMIDJI -- The Bemidji High School Athletics Hall of Fame will induct its newest members on Monday, May 6.
Five former Lumberjacks will be enshrined: Jared Echternach, Bob Fortier, Richard “Dick” Fortier, Shelly (Kringen) Gulbranson and Bill Rabe. All inductees will be in attendance.
Additionally, the BHS male and female athletes of the year will be named, as will the assistant coach of the year.
The ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. in the high school commons, and tickets are on sale at the school’s activities office for $12.
Echternach was a three-sport athlete with nine total letters in football, hockey and track and field. He was named all-conference in hockey his junior and senior years and all-state his senior year. Echternach was named BHS male athlete of the year in 1990. He was a 1992 national champion with the Des Moines Buccaneers of the USHL before playing Division I hockey for Miami University from 1992-96.
Bob Fortier was a 1965 Bemidji High School graduate. He was a two-time all-state selection in football and a Parade High School All-American. In basketball, Fortier was part of three Region 8 championships, and in track, he was a member of three region championships. After a playing career in football at the University of Kansas, he coached at St. Mary’s in Bismarck, N.D., and North Dakota State in Fargo, N.D.
Dick Fortier was also a 1965 BHS grad. He was a four-year starter on the football team, a basketball standout and reached three state meets in track and field. He played collegiate football for Kansas and later began a teaching and coaching career in Tracy, Minn.
Gulbranson graduated from Bemidji High School in 1998. She excelled in gymnastics and diving, and she was a 1994 section champion in the latter. In gymnastics, Gulbranson earned Minnesota USAG State All-Around Champion levels 6-10 and was also a USAG Junior Olympic qualifier. She attended Iowa State University, becoming the 2001 Big 12 Conference vault and all-around champion and a two-time Division I national meet qualifier, among a surplus of other accomplishments.
Rabe was a 1963 BHS graduate. He lettered four times in each basketball and football. Rabe reached two state basketball tournaments, including a second-place finish in 1961, while being selected to the all-conference football team in 1962. He played one year of basketball for Bemidji State College before spending a 33-year career in the fire service.