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New Richmond Athletic Hall of Fame will add six inductees on Saturday

Seven new members will be inducted into the New Richmond High School Hall of Fame this weekend.

The induction banquet will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday in the New Richmond High School commons. The induction ceremony is open to the public. The program starts at 12:15 p.m. and is free to the public.

The enshrinees will also be recognized during the Tigers’ Homecoming football game at the New Richmond Middle School football field. The inductees will be introduced to the crowd at the end of the first quarter.

A Hall of Fame Social will be held following Friday’s football game. The social will be held on the patio deck at Champs Sports Bar in downtown New Richmond.

Former Tiger athletes who are being inducted into the Hall of Fame include Sue Brennan, Scott Cole, Keith Gehring, Travis Gibson and Dwayne Harer. Former NRHS coaches being inducted are Bob Olson and Al Waschke.

The inductees

The seven inductees raise the total number of former Tiger athletes and coaches in the Hall of Fame to 30. Here are brief profiles on each of the new inductees.

Sue Brennan

Brennan was a three-sport standout for the Tigers, excelling in volleyball, basketball and track. The 1987 graduate earned 11 letters and was captain and team MVP in all three sports. Brennan led the New Richmond volleyball team to its first appearance in the WIAA state championships in 1986. She competed in two WIAA state track meets and was part of a New Richmond 1,600 meter relay team that earned second place.

Brennan was also an outstanding student, earning the right to be valedictorian for her graduating class.

Brennan continued her volleyball career at Winona State University, where she was a four-year starter and was all-conference three times, all-district twice and was an honorable mention All-American.

Scott Cole

Cole ranks among the most successful golfers in Wisconsin high school history.

Cole won two WIAA state individual boys golf championships, in 1993 and 1995. He took second place in 1994 and was fourth at state as a freshman in 1992.

With Cole leading the way, the Tigers became one of the state golf powers in the 1990s. In his four years on the varsity team, the Tigers won conference and sectional titles each year. The Tigers won WIAA state team titles in 1992 and 1993, took second place in 1994 and fourth place in 1995. In 1995, Cole shot rounds of 68 and 72, setting the all-time WIAA state tournament scoring record.

Cole played collegiate golf at Southern Mississippi University and Marquette University. From 2002 through 2014, he worked at the New Richmond Golf Club, where he was instrumental in building the Junior Golf Program into one of the largest in the state.

Keith Gehring

Gehring was a multi-sport athlete at NRHS, but his greatest accomplishments came as part of the Tiger track team. He led the Tigers to a state runner-up finish at the 1981 state track meet. In 1982, Gehring was the leader as the Tigers won the state track championship, the first team state championship in school history.

Gehring earned four state track championship medals. He was the state champion in the 200 meter dash in 1981 and 1982. He was also part of Tiger teams that won the 800 and 1600 meter relay in the 1982 state championships.

During the 1981 and 1982 seasons, Gehring led the Tigers to Middle Border Conference, regional and sectional titles. He won 10 different events in conference meets. He finished his high school career with school records in the 200 dash, 400 relay, 800 relay, 1,600 relay (also a state record) and the long jump. His 200 meter dash record still stands as the fastest time in Tiger history.

Travis Gibson

Gibson is the only New Richmond High School athlete to ever play in the high school football Shrine Bowl and the WBCA All Star Game in baseball. That distinction shows his impact in those two sports.

Gibson led the Tiger football team to its state runner-up finish in 1992 and to undefeated conference championships in 1993 and 1994. Gibson holds the Tiger team record for rushing yards in a season (1,734) and in a career (3,620). He averaged over nine yards per carry in his career.

Gibson was a three-year starter in baseball. The 1995 graduate had a career .410 batting average, including batting .467 as a senior. He led the Tigers to the state semifinals in his senior season.

Gibson then attended Augustana College, where he was a four-year starter and a captain his senior year.

Gibson returned to New Richmond where he has coached football, basketball, baseball, track and golf.

Dwayne Harer

Harer was New Richmond’s first multi-time state champion. He won state championships in wrestling in 1974 and 1975, when there was only one division in the sport. Harer finished his career with an 84-24-2 record. He won 52 straight matches at the end of his career, including his two state championship bouts.

The 1975 graduate was a three-time New Richmond Invitational champion, a two-time Middle Border Conference champion, a three-time sectional champion and a three-time state participant. After his senior year, Harer was named to the Scholastic Wrestling News High School All-American Team.

Harer wrestled collegiately at Winona State University. He returned to New Richmond, establishing the community’s youth wrestling program. He has remained active in the sport as a high school and college official.

Bob Olson

Olson’s lifelong service to wrestling included 20 years as the New Richmond High School varsity wrestling coach. His Tiger teams amassed a 160-110-3 record, producing 36 conference champions, 23 state qualifiers, three state champions and two state runners-up. He was inducted into the Wisconsin State Wrestling Association Hall of Fame in 2003 and in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2008. Olson and former Osceola wrestling coach Don Hartman hosted the “Mat Talk” wrestling radio show for 26 years. Olson has served for many years at the state level in Wisconsin.

Al Waschke

Waschke came to New Richmond in 1982 after compiling a 131-42 record as the Prairie Farm boys basketball coach. Waschke coached the Tiger girls for one year before taking over as the Tiger boys basketball coach. He led the boys to a 257-118 record in his 19 years at the helm. His Tiger teams won six conference titles, six regional titles and they advanced to the WIAA state championships in 1997.

After leaving New Richmond, Waschke coached in Columbia Heights, Minn., for four years. His career basketball coaching record stands at 443-217.

Dave Newman

Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.

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