The Brandon-Evansville Chargers will celebrate their inaugural class into their athletic Hall of Fame on Oct. 8-9 during homecoming week after the schools announced the honorees for this first class across multiple categories recently.
The inaugural male athlete inducted into the B-E Hall of Fame is Nate Meissner, while Debbie (Slack) Otto is the female athlete to receive the honor.
“Nate Meissner was a great athlete when he was here,” B-E activities director Trent Hintermeister said. “He’s the all-time leading scorer in boys basketball history. He was probably a better baseball player than basketball, which is crazy. Not that collegiate and post-high school is what this is all about, but the fact that Nate went on and played some semi-professional baseball after he played college baseball too was impressive.
“You could say the same about Debbie Slack. She was a big part of that 1999 state championship team. She was an all-state volleyball player, all-state softball player.”
The 1999 girls basketball team that Slack helped lead is the lone team state champion for the Chargers and also the team selected for the Hall of Fame this year.
The head coach of that group, Dick Simpson, was an obvious choice as the inaugural coach to be inducted into B-E’s athletic Hall of Fame. Simpson’s 605 career wins are still 10th all-time amongst girls basketball coaches in Minnesota State High School League history.
“You don’t come across a high school head basketball coach who wins more than 600 games in their career very often,” Hintermeister said. “I think Dick Simpson was blatantly obvious (as a Hall of Fame choice). He’s not just the best coach to come through Brandon-Evansville, but he’s one of the best coaches who has ever coached girls basketball in the state of Minnesota.”
The Chargers’ athletic Hall of Fame will also honor a community member who has supported Brandon-Evansville athletics. Dean and Ruth Plaster are the inaugural honorees for that category.
"Dean and Ruth have been lifelong Charger fans who supported the teams not only in the stands, but also in the community," Hintermeister said. "When Dean was younger he would help umpire and referee softball, baseball, and basketball games. They currently live right next to our softball complex and are always paying close attention to Charger sports. They are Chargers through and through."
The Hall of Fame inductees will be honored with a 6 p.m. plaque hanging in the Brandon building on Oct. 8 and then at halftime of the homecoming football game against Rothsay that same night.
There will be a 10 a.m. plaque hanging ceremony at the Evansville building on Saturday, Oct. 9, and then a ceremony open to the public that Saturday night starting with a social hour at 5:30 at the Brandon City Hall. Dinner will be served at 6:30 and the Hall of Fame induction program will take place at 7:30.
Cost is $20 per ticket for the meal and admission to the ceremony (200 tickets available). They can be purchased at the Brandon and Evansville school offices, and at all Chargers’ home sporting events.