Homecoming 2021 is set for Oct. 1 at the all-new Legends Field in Williston with Bismarck St. Mary’s coming to town to tangle with the Williston Coyotes in gridiron action.

Williston presently stands at 1-1 after opening season play with a win over Belcourt, before falling hard in game action last Friday against state power Bismarck Century.

Thanks to a lot of hard work by former Coyotes and friends of WHS the name Legends Field came to be adjacent to the new Williston High School.

This in turn led to the initial member of the Coyote Legends being tabbed with Harold “H.L.” Pedersen receiving that solo honor in 2019.

Pedersen is long considered the “Father of Wrestling,” in the state of North Dakota.

Now, being coordinated by the Williston Coyote Foundation and Coyote Booster Club, a yearly event is planned in conjunction with Homecoming to honor new inductees.

This includes a banquet that is set for 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 30 at the Old Armory.

Some of the old timers might recall that location as the Teen Canteen.

Tickets for this year’s banquet are available for purchase online on the Williston Coyote Foundation Facebook page.

Should you have any questions, or if you would like the link to purchase tickets directly, you are being asked to send an email to codi.austreim@willistonschools.org.

The banquet, set to honor additional Coyote Legends will be a ticketed event at $35 per ticket and that includes your evening meal.

Legends are being invited to attend the function free, along with a guest.

This year will serve as a doubleheader, thanks to that nasty COVID-19 virus.

While the coronavirus may have put a damper on the Homecoming fun for Coyote fans back in 2020, organizers went ahead and named the Coyote Legends class.

Named to join Pedersen included the late Dean Hermes, along with Ted Hopgood and Garvin Stevens.

These three candidates were named to join in the newly-formed Coyote Legends group.

This information offered on Coyote Legends is based on the many recommendations the Heritage Committee received on their behalf and the outstanding accomplishments individuals achieved both during their time at WHS and beyond.

Due to circumstances beyond control and the fact no formal presentation or celebration was held last year, officials opted to induct the 2020 group along with the Class of 2021 Coyote Legends.


Dean Hermes was raised in Williston and was a 1962 graduate of Williston High School where he was an outstanding student/athlete.

He was coached under the tutelage of such Williston legends as H.L. Pedersen and George Amsden.

Hermes was a state wrestling champion and an All-State football player.

In addition, he was a proud U.S. Army Vietnam veteran.

It was his love of sports brought him to his lifelong passion for teaching and coaching.

During his more than 30 years at WHS, he was the head coach in golf, wrestling and football.

We learned, by watching him over the years, that he prided himself on not only training winning athletes, but teaching them the value of teamwork, responsibility, and pride in their school.

Having worked with him over this period of time we can attest to that.

Hermes was named North Dakota Coach of the Year in wrestling, and football.

He established the North Dakota Wrestling Hall of Fame and was later inducted as a member.

We recall another huge accomplishment back when he and his son Chris became the first father-son state wrestling champions in the state.

That proved to be a great moment.

Ted Hopgood graduated from WHS in 1961.

He lettered in three high school sports including football, basketball and track and played five summers of American Legion Baseball that included an 11-2 pitching record for the 1960 Western Division Champs.

Hopgood listed many memorable Williston teachers and coaches who taught him life skills and many valuable lessons including: Chuck Stone, Miss Moe, Mabel Gilbertson, Ruth Erickson, Lily Wilkinson, Helga Sorenson, Ruth Clark, Chuck Privatsky, Leamon Hanson, Ray Kaiser, Roy Weatherly, Adrian Nelson, Jerry Miller, Pete Reed, Ron Erhardt, Dennis Healy, Leon Olsen, Norm Furuseth, George Amsden, Bob Peterson, and Harold Pedersen.

In addition, dedicated coaches and numerous skilled teammates while playing on Williston teams made for a magical and fulfilling, never to be forgotten experience, according to Hopgood.

In 1965 Hopgood graduated from Texas A&M University and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps.

He served on active duty as an Infantry Officer until retiring in 1996 as a Major General.

A decorated combat veteran, Hopgood saw ground action in Vietnam.

He served in command and staff assignments from platoon level to service with the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Pentagon.

His duty included command of three separate rifle companies in Vietnam and deployment to Somalia in 1993 were particularly noteworthy events.

Additional assignments included Battalion and Marine Expeditionary Unit commands, Deputy Director for Operations in the Pentagon’s National Military Command Center, Assistant Division Commander for the First Marine Division, Director of Operations for the U. S. Pacific Command in Honolulu, and President of the Marine Corps University in Quantico, Virginia.

Upon retirement from the Marine Corps, Hopgood served as Commandant of the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M University from 1996-2002.

Hopgood and his wife Carolyn have been married since 1967 and live in College Station, Texas.

They have two daughters, Jennifer (UC Berkeley 1990 and University of Houston Law Center 2011), and Katherine (Texas A&M 1994 and MBA 1995) married to Barry Teague (Texas A&M 1992 and MBA 1995).

Garvin Stevens was a member of the 1952 Coyote football state champion team and a high school All-American.

In 1953, he graduated from Williston High School and went on to become a Co-Captain of the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux football team.

Following his service in the U.S. Army and completion of an advanced degree from the University of North Dakota, he and his family moved back to Williston.

Here he became the long-standing Dean and then President of Williston State College.

During his time at WSC, he was instrumental in expanding programs such as nursing, diesel technology, and Physical Therapy Assistant, while at the same time improving the infrastructure of the campus to ensure future growth.

He spent time lobbying the North Dakota Legislature to fund the Workforce Training Center which allowed local businesses the opportunity to train their employees.

Upon his retirement from WSC, he moved across the street to the Williston State College foundation to work with community members and alumni to fund scholarships, faculty development, and facility improvements.

One such Capital Campaign resulted in a grant from The Thomas and Francis Leach Foundation and enabled WSC to build the Health and Wellness Center, better known as “The Well.”

Stevens is retired and living in Grand Forks.


The Heritage Committee is pleased to announce the coaches, teams and individual athletes that will join Class of 2020 Coyote Legends.

This year six Coyote Legends that will be honored, bringing the total to 10 since the beginning.

This year includes one coach, two teams, and three individual athletes.

Tom Christen head wrestling coach, the 1975 girls basketball state championship team, the 1952 football state championship team, Shelly Hughes Feeney (girls basketball player), Dr. James (Jimmy) Webb (football player), and Dave Stewart (wrestler) make up the field.

Tom Christen was at the helm of the Coyote wrestling team for 22 years, from 1975, when he was just 24 years old, to 1997.

He guided 15 individual state champions and 85 state place winners.

Along the way he coached the Coyotes to 177 dual victories, and seven top five finishes.

We recall his 1985 team that was the WDA and state champions, while being named the North Dakota Sportswriters and Sportscasters Male High School Team of the Year.

Ah yes, that evening brings back a lot of fond memories for Coyote matmen.

Christen was named the 1983 North Dakota Class A Wrestling Coach of the Year and the West Region Coach of the Year in 1991 and 1997.

Coach Christen reportedly left a lasting mark on countless student athletes during his tenure.

He was even described by one of his former athletes as a “master motivator” and a respected and successful coach and educator.

1975 girls’ basketball team won the first-ever girls basketball state championship for WHS.

With a record of 19-1, they topped off their season with a 47-35 win over the Jamestown Blue Jays to secure the crown.

For their efforts Coyote players Lori Anseth, Kristi Carriere, and Shelly Hughes were named to the North Dakota Sports Review All-Tournament Team.

The 1975 cagers were coached by Pat Hatlestad with team members including Kristi Carriere, Julie Bisbee, Shelly Hughes Marietta Falcon, Lori Anseth, Lori Sandaker, Claudia Hickman, Linda Alfson, Dawn Burk, Laura Javorsky, Dorothy Moline, and Alecia Fee.

It was their hard work and dedication that set the tone for a run of three straight state titles.

1952 Coyote football team was named Co-State Champions with Fargo Shanley, while Coach H.L. Pedersen, the very first Coyote Legend, earned Coach of the Year honors.

This state title was particularly impressive, as the team registered an undefeated conference season just three years after a winless season.

Members of the team included Dave Tri, Ed Hughes, Maurice Mahanna, Lloyd McKenzie, Covet Long, Forrest Abelmann, Gene Stockman, Slim Williams, Bruce Haroldson, Jimmy Webb, Larry Trieder, Bill Munger, Duane Anderson, Dave Korwin, Vernon Bloom, Willis Rossland, Vince Price, Floyd Stewart, John Johnson, Garvin Stevens, Grant Lewis, Donald Bean, Dwayne Head, Tom Stannard, Jerry Miller, Edward Horob, Arnold Anderson, Merle Savage, Gary Folvin, Warren Nelson, Sanford Forseth, Gary Martin, Larry Nelson, Martin Zaqurski, Vernon Owan, Darrell Kinstler and Dave Winden.

The Coyotes led all North Dakota teams in post-season awards.

The WHS 1952 football team placed seven players on the Associated Press All-Conference Team.

Guard Garvin Stevens, a 2020 Coyote Legend, was named to the first team, and tackle Tom Stannard, guard Dave Korwin, quarterback Dave Tri, halfback Jim Webb, and fullback Jerry Miller were named to the second team.

Running back Duane Anderson was named honorable mention.

Stevens was then named as Lineman of the Year and Coach Pedersen was named Coach of the Year.

In addition, Stevens was chosen by his Williston team as being the team MVP.

Shelly Hughes Feeney was a member of the 1975, 1976, and 1977 state championship teams for the WHS girls’ basketball squad.

She was a repeat first-team All-State selection in 1976 and 1977, and she was on the All-Tournament team all three years the Coyote cagers won the state crown.

Feeney was also a two-time state champion in track and field, running a leg for the 880 relay and the mile relay teams that won the 1978 state championships.

Dr. James Webb, known by his teammates as Jimmy, was an integral member of the 1952 state Co-Champion football team, helping ensure the team’s success.

It was after graduation, when he went on to play college football at the University of North Dakota, including playing on the 1958 conference championship team and serving as team captain for the 1960 Fighting Sioux team.

Being an all-around athlete, Webb also earned the right to play on the UND baseball team during his college career.

Dave Stewart had an impressive run of four straight state championships in wrestling.

In 1958 he won the title at 98 pounds to get his career off the ground.

In 1959 as a sophomore he placed first at 105 pounds.

It was in his junior year, Stewart jumped up to 112, securing the championship, and in 1961, he wrestled at 119 to complete his run of four straight state individual wrestling championships.

Stewart finished his Coyote wrestling career with a remarkable record of 100 wins, against only two losses, and one draw.

That all happened before heading off to wrestle at Minot State Teachers College, where he had similar successes, including being a three-time college conference champion.


The Heritage Committee making the selections is made up of representatives from the Coyote Booster Club, the Williston Coyote Foundation, and WHS administration, as well as community members at large.

The goal of the committee is to recognize the Coyote Legends, whether teams, coaches, or individuals, who have had a lasting impact on the school and community.

At this time, the committee is focusing on nominations received for the worthy candidates from farther back in history, but they will accept all nominations and will reevaluate them each year for those who may not have been chosen in the year they were nominated.

Should you like to nominate a Coyote Legend, you can do so by going to the Williston Coyote Foundation website: www.willistoncoyotefoundation.com and selecting the Coyote Legends tab.

You are asked to please consider submitting a nomination for a Coyote team, coach, or athlete who should be considered as Coyote Legends.


Incoming Coyote Legends will be featured on a float in the WHS Homecoming parade on Oct. 1.

Plans also call for an assembly to have the Legends speak to the current athletes on that Friday. This function will be followed by a luncheon at the school.

We also understand the new Coyote Legends will also be introduced prior to the Coyote football game against Bismarck St. Mary’s as a part of Homecoming 2021.

Hey folks, from what we can tell this is shaping up to be a great weekend for Legends.

We send out a Scope Salute to the incoming Coyote Legends and say thanks for the memories.

At the same time we send out a big Thank You to Coyote Foundation director Codi Austreim.

Thomas A. Kvamme is a former resident and long time sports editor and columnist for the Herald. He can be reached at scopend@yahoo.com.

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