Stanley Nordin - David Holmgren - Ralph Soltis - Paula Lange
Stanley Nordin graduated from Upsala High School in 1937 competing in three sports: football, basketball and track. Stan was an exceptional basketball player and was a leader on an undefeated basketball team that lost to Alexandria in the section finals, just one game short of going to the State Tournament. After graduation, Stan attended the University of Minnesota on an athletic scholarship where he played basketball for one season before transferring to St. Cloud State University. At St. Cloud State, Stan competed in basketball, football, track and swimming and was inducted into St. Cloud State’s Hall of Fame in 1989. After college, Stan joined the Marine Corps and was a fighter pilot in WWII. Stan taught for two years in Hawaii, moved to Long Prairie where he taught and coached basketball and football before moving to Slayton where he owned and operated a grocery store. Stan Nordin passed away June 26, 2012.
David Holmen graduated from Upsala High School in 1954. Playing basketball, football, and baseball from 1951-1954, Dave earned all conference honors in basketball all three years and in football as a senior. Dave’s play as an outstanding end on both offense and
defense was recognized his senior year when he earned All State Honorable Mention honors for football in 1954. Alternating between forward and center in basketball, Dave became Upsala’s first 1000-point scorer. The significance of this achievement is magnified by the fact in 1954 teams played only 18 games per season, the game were four minutes shorter that today, and the three-point score was not yet in play. Dave and his wife, Shirley, live three miles west of Upsala on their well-known Cedar-Pine Strawberry Farm. Dave is an outstanding supporter of Upsala High School athletics and can often be seen at many of our contests, especially basketball.
Ralph Soltis graduated from Upsala High School in 1962 and excelled in three sports: football, basketball, and track. As a senior, Ralph earned All Conference honors in all three. After high school Ralph attended the University of North Dakota, where he played football as a center on offense and a linebacker on defense. As a senior captain at UND, Ralph was named All Conference for his play at center during the 1966 season. Ralph came home to the Upsala community after college where he taught science for many years in Upsala and other school districts. Currently, Ralph resides about 50 miles south of Duluth and has a cabin on Pine Lake near Upsala.
Paula Lange graduated from Upsala in 1980. She was a four-sport athlete, competing in volleyball, basketball, track, and boys baseball and earning All Conference in all four during her senior year. In baseball, Paula was the only all Conference baseball player so honored from Upsala. In her illustrious basketball career, Paula recorded an elite double-double, amassing over 1000 points and 1000 rebounds in helping her teammates to a high level of success. And this was in the day when without three pointers and a boys sized basketball was used.
After high school, Paula continued her playing career at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, Minnesota where she played intercollegiate fast-pitch softball and basketball. As a softball player, Paula made the NAIA All Tournament team in 1982 and was nominated for All American honors at third base in 1983. Paula later came back to Upsala and coached the girl’s basketball team for a couple of seasons. Today Paula lives in St. Cloud and works at St. Bens.