Willmar Cardinal Pride Hall of Fame
Class of 2023 includes seven individuals and an entire team.
The team is the
1987 baseball squad
that won an improbable state title after finishing the regular season last in the Central Lakes Conference.
Individuals headed to the hall in annual ceremonies include community member Dave Dorsey, former assistant boys basketball coach Dewey Bock and athletes Wade Adamson Sr., Corrine Anderson, Danny Commerford, Scott Hagemeyer and Jim Peterson.
The group will be honored at halftime of Friday's homecoming football game at Hodapp Field when Willmar takes on second-ranked Becker. Kick off is 7 p.m.
That includes a day of activities that includes an open mic with Willmar Radio sports director Todd Bergeth at 10 a.m. Friday that will be broadcast at 1340 AM or 96.3 FM. A live stream of the broadcast also is available at willmarradio.com/kwlm.
From 2-5 p.m. Friday, there is a hall of fame induction ceremony at the Willmar Education and Acts Center Auditorium at 611 Fifth Street SW in Willmar.
At 5:30 p.m. Friday, there is a pre-game social event at the Cardinal Pride tent at Hodapp Field.
Here's a closer look at this year's inductees:
Adamson is a 1975 graduate who was a member of the 1973-74 boys basketball team that played in the state tournament. He also was a member of the '74 bsaeball team that participated in the state championship game, losing to Owatonna 6-5.
Adamson played in the first high school baseball all-star game in 1975. He was selected in the fourth round of the 1978 Major League Baseball draft with the 94th pick overall by the Minnesota Twins.
Adamson said that the births of his three children are among his highlights. He has been the head coach of the Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg baseball team the past two seasons.
She won the West Central Tribune's Hengstler-Ranweiler Award as the area's outstanding three-sport athlete in 1985.
Anderson was a member of the 1984 girls basketball team that played in the state tournament.
During her high school career, she was selected to seven All-Central Lakes Conference teams. She was a first-team Tribune All-Area Volleyball Team twice and made the All-Area softball team her senior year.
Her senior year, she was captain of the volleyball, girls basketball and softball teams.
Bock was Willmar's assistant boys basketball coach from 1973-99, making him an important part of 10 conference championship and five state tournament teams.
The retired educator was the Minnesota State High School Coaches Association Assistant Basketball Coach of the Year in 1991.
His coaching career began in 1963 and ended with his retirement in 1999.
The 1971 graduate was key member of some outstanding football teams in his four years. In 1970, Commerford rushed for 225 yards on eight carries in a game against Montevideo. He also stood out in the homecoming game against Benson, which Commerford referred to as "Our Super Bowl."
Commerford was all-state, all-area and all-conference in football his senior year in which he was a captain. He earned two letters in football and two in baseball.
He was an National Junior College Athletic Association All-American for what is now called Ridgewater College in Willmar, leading the nation in tackles as a linebacker. He went to be a two-time All-Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference linebacker at Macalester College.
Dorsey was the host to Coaches Corner, a weekly KWLM radio sports show, for more than 20 years, interviewing area coaches and athletes.
He also called radio play-by-play for Ridgewater and Willmar High School basketball and football from the 1960s through the 1980s. A highlight was calling the basketball games of his sons Mike (Class of '85) at Pat (Class of '88).
Dorsey officiated high school football, basketball and volleyball. He also judged speech and one-act play competitions for the Minnesota State High School League at the district and state level.
Hagemeyer, a 2003 graduate, is one of the top swimmers in school history. He was a six-time letter-winner and team captain his senior, being named the Cardinal pride Athlete of the Week 10 times.
He was a two-time state Class AA champion, winning the 50- and 100-yard freestyles. Those were the first gold medals earned in swimming by a Willmar athlete. He also was the first two earn two gold medals and the third to finish his career with multiple gold medals.
Hagemeyer was a member of the 2003 Class AA all-state team and held five Willmar school record while breaking 14 local pool records.
At Gustavus Adolphus College, Hagemeyer was a 13-time All-American and nine-time NCAA Division III All-American honorable-mention. In 2004, he had the second fastest 50 freestyle time in the nation in Division III and the fifth fastest 100 freestyle time.
He was inducted into the Gustavus Adolphis Athletic Hall of Fame in 2022.
The 1971 graduate was named to the WCCO All-State Team as a defensive lineman his junior year and selected to the St. Paul Dispatch All-State team as a senior, averaging 9.8 yards per carry as a running back.
Peterson's teams never lost throughout his high school career. He was selected all-conference twice in football, earning all-area honors, and made the all-conference team twice in wrestling and three times in baseball.
In his senior year of baseball, Peterson led the West Central Conference in hitting and pitching.
Peterson was a football coach for 25 years, including nine at Ridgewater College and 16 years at Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg.
The Cardinals lost their first six games of the season, wrapping up the regular season with a 7-9 record and earning the sixth seed in their sub-region.
Willmar went on to win the sub-region and region championships in Mankato, beating Prior Lake in the semifinals and Mankato West in the final.
At the state tournament, they beat Hopkins 5-4 in the championship game played at the Metrodome in Minneapolis, rallying for five runs in the seventh inning. It was called the Friday Night Miracle in Willmar.
"We were the epitome of a team," said pitcher Tim Brunner to the West Central Tribune in 2020 and is already a member of the Cardinal Pride Hall of Fame. "Everyone contributed. We don't accomplish what we did without every one of us."