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Hillcrest Academy
Hall of Fame

Hillcrest's Hall of Fame banquet is Thursday, May 24 at 5:30pm
Cost is $35 per person or $250 per table (seats 8)
Register Below


 Coach Risbrudt’s dedication, drive toward excellence, and godly wisdom combined to earn a 2001 state championship in football for Hillcrest.

Coach Risbrudt’s dedication, drive toward excellence, and godly wisdom combined to earn a 2001 state championship in football for Hillcrest.

Richard risbrudt | State champion ‘01

Known for modeling Christ in all he did, Coach Risbrudt is credited with building the Hillcrest Athletic Department to be successful and sustainable. Under his leadership, athletes at Hillcrest flourished as growing young adults, excelled in their sports, and learned to honor God in all they did. Coaches were encouraged to mentor and spiritually care for their players, as well as to teach their sport in both traditional and innovative ways. A legacy of reliance on God, worship of the One who has gifted each athlete and coach, and a greater understanding of what athletics is really about, are all values that Coach Risbrudt left behind for future Comet generations. We thank God for Coach Risbrudt's dedication to Hillcrest athletics, his enduring drive toward excellence, and the godly wisdom he shared day in and day out. As the head football coach, Richard led his 2001 team to the Minnesota state championship, the only team in Hillcrest history to do so.


 Hanne is the lone Hillcrest athlete to earn an individual state title. She won the 100 meter breast stroke and earned 25 of her teams 133 total points in the state meet.

Hanne is the lone Hillcrest athlete to earn an individual state title. She won the 100 meter breast stroke and earned 25 of her teams 133 total points in the state meet.

Hanne Dale | State champion swimmer ‘98

To date, Hanne is the lone individual Hillcrest/ Danielsen athlete to ever earn a state title in any sport.  She captured the 100 meter breaststroke championship with a time of 1:05:36. Competing as part of a cooperative swim team along with Fergus Falls High, she excelled under the legendary coach, Tom Uvaas. During the 1998 state meet, Hanne helped the Otters to a 5th place overall state ranking. She compiled 25 individual points and 133 total team points while participating in two team relays and 2 individual events. Her determination to be the best along with her daily devotion to her craft set a wonderful model for younger Hillcrest female athletes to follow.


 Nick came to Hillcrest as a sophomore and helped Hillcrest advance to the state tournament in football. A knee injury limited him his junior year, but he earned All-State honors his senior year.

Nick came to Hillcrest as a sophomore and helped Hillcrest advance to the state tournament in football. A knee injury limited him his junior year, but he earned All-State honors his senior year.

NIck mundis | All State Football ‘84

When Nick came to Hillcrest as a sophomore, he immediately turned heads with his eye-popping shooting and jumping ability.  A football knee injury his junior year limited his explosiveness somewhat after that, but he was as tough an athlete as Hillcrest has ever seen.  He was such an important teammate that not having Nick available for the football playoffs may have cost the Comets a state title in the first-ever Prep Bowl in 1982.  At running back, linebacker, and defensive back, he was a blur on offense as he ran away from tacklers, or on defense as he pursued the ball relentlessly. Nick was awarded All-State honors at linebacker in his senior season.


 Jeff terroried quarterbacks on the gridiron, grabbed rebounds on the hardwood, and blasted baseballs out of the park, earning honors as one of Hillcrest’s most dominant three sport athletes.

Jeff terroried quarterbacks on the gridiron, grabbed rebounds on the hardwood, and blasted baseballs out of the park, earning honors as one of Hillcrest’s most dominant three sport athletes.

Jeff Martinson | All State Football ‘78

Few athletes in Hillcrest’s history have been as dominant in three sports as Jeff.   Whether it was terrorizing quarterbacks on the gridiron, grabbing rebounds on the hardwood, or blasting baseballs out of the park, Jeff made a lasting impression on just about everyone who watched him. God designed Jeff in such a way that he was able to “rule the roost” during his Hillcrest days. Because God endowed him with his enormous strength, Jeff was quick to credit the Lord for the athletic ability and success that he enjoyed.  He earned All-State honors for football in 1978.


 Pernie Walla was a basketball entertainer in the old Hillcrest gym. One of his greatest accomplishments on the hardwood was scoring 40 points in a single game without a three-point line.

Pernie Walla was a basketball entertainer in the old Hillcrest gym. One of his greatest accomplishments on the hardwood was scoring 40 points in a single game without a three-point line.

Pernie Walla | first to score 40 pts in a game ‘63

For those who had the privilege of watching Pernie play in the old Hillcrest gymnasium, a great gift was given. Every time he stepped on the court, he tried to perfect his craft of basketball while giving everyone a show to remember. Some have even compared Pernie to the great Boston Celtic, Bob Cousy. They played with similar style and tenacity, showing a great handle on the ball and great on-court leadership.  Perhaps Pernie’s greatest individual accomplishment was scoring 40 points in a single game during the 1963 season. To date, Pernie is one of only 5 Comet players to score 40 or more points in a single game.


 The 1974 boys basketball players, led by head coach Bill Colbeck, won a national championship in the National Christian High School invitational tournament. The Comets surprised teams with a win over defending champion Heritage Christian of Indianapolis, the score being 58-50 in the title game. The team finished with a final record of 17-2.

The 1974 boys basketball players, led by head coach Bill Colbeck, won a national championship in the National Christian High School invitational tournament. The Comets surprised teams with a win over defending champion Heritage Christian of Indianapolis, the score being 58-50 in the title game. The team finished with a final record of 17-2.

1974 basketball | National Champions

The 1974 boys basketball players, led by head coach Bill Colbeck, accomplished something that no other Hillcrest team has ever done:  win a national championship. Competing in the National Christian High School invitational tournament, the Comets prevailed over defending champion Heritage Christian of Indianapolis 58-50 in the title game.  A determined and unselfish team effort enabled them to be successful in winning three games on successive days on the campus of John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. Al Nilsen, the Comets' leading scorer, and Dan Haakenson, their leading rebounder and shot-blocker, were named to the All-Tournament team.  Upon the team's return to Fergus Falls, a caravan of cars met the bus outside of town and led everyone to a celebration held at the Hillcrest gymnasium. The team finished with a final record of 17-2.


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