For more than a half-century, Anoka lettermen annually gather to reminisce and replay war stories on the field, the court, the track and the ice. Friendships are created, bonds are strengthened and Tornado ties are drawn tighter each time.
May 17 marks the 56th year the Anoka Alumni Lettermen’s Club, aka the A Club, has gathered at Green Haven Golf Club.
This year – thanks to a connection with Anoka letterman Jim Lundeen – St. Paul Saints minor league baseball team president Mike Veeck steps up to the plate as the featured speaker for the event.
Following Veeck’s presentation, Anoka Lettermen will award $5,000 scholarships to three Anoka High School seniors.
To qualify for a scholarship, student-athletes must be an Anoka High School letter winner, have a 3.0 GPA or higher (3.25 or higher weighted GPA), be involved in the community and have need.
For the first time ever, a female student-athlete will be awarded one of the scholarships.
“She is the first girl to win one of our scholarships,” said Carl Youngquist, Anoka alumni letterman and organizer of the May 17 event. “We’ve wanted to recognize a female student-athlete for quite some time, just waiting for someone to step up and now we’ve got her.”
A panel of A Clubbers chose Emily Johnson – a four-year girls varsity hockey player, two-year girls varsity soccer player and captain of both sports – as recipient of an Anoka Lettermen’s Club scholarship.
Other winners of scholarships this year are Dietrich James “D.J.” Nigh and Michael Talbot.
Nigh ranks No. 2 in his class with a 4.06 weighted GPA, has lettered in lacrosse and football and plans to study pre-med.
During his high school career, Talbot has won 11 letters in soccer, hockey and golf and was named captain of each of those teams.
Another special recognition during the 2016 Anoka Lettermen event goes to “Super Fan” Jeff Nelson who was chosen as honorary A Club member this year.
“We don’t choose one every year – maybe 14, 15 over the last 56 years,” Youngquist said. “The honorary A Club member goes to someone who has made a contribution not only to athletics but to Anoka High School as a whole. Jeff Nelson lives and dies Anoka athletics. He never lettered at Anoka … but to this day, he never misses an Anoka athletic event. We wanted to recognize him for that,” Youngquist said of Nelson, a member of the Anoka High School class of 1976.
To learn more about the Anoka Alumni Lettermen’s Club, visit www.anokalettermensclub.com.