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2009 Recipients



Justin Conzemius has been a fierce competitor in life, whether in the stadium, the classroom, or the company boardroom. Yet he has always had a unique ability to step back and look at the bigger picture, and tell others what that picture looks like.

The 1991 South High graduate was one of the school's premier athletes, a 3-sport standout who wound up attending the University of Minnesota on a football scholarship. He set several school records in football, including points and touchdowns in a season and career. He led the Bruins to back-to-back undefeated state championship seasons.

"His athletic endeavors caught the eye of many major colleges in the area and he captained a team that may truly have been the best North Dakota high school football team in state history," says Dale Hertel, former South head football coach. "Justin has always been a leader of his peers."

And he excelled off the field. A 3-time academic all-American while playing football for the Gophers, he was a finalist for the Draddy Trophy, the premier scholar-athlete award often referred to as "The Academic Heisman."

Justin received a bachelor's degree in marketing in 1996. He returned to the school later, thanks in part to a postgraduate scholarship, and received a master's degree in 2001. He currently serves as marketing manager of General Mills. He was recently awarded the company's Champion Award, the highest honor in the company that goes to 25 of 30,000 employees each year.

Justin’s hobby is sports media. He has been a radio analyst at KFAN in Minneapolis since 1996 and won a regional Emmy award for his color work on Minnesota's Prep Bowl. His football expertise has earned him a nickname that his hometown supporters find most appropriate. He's the Fargo Flash.



Although Pam Harty Schott's records as a college track athlete have stood the test of time, friends say there is more to her life than numbers.

The 1980 South High graduate was a 3-sport standout for the Bruins. She went on to win all-American honors in 10 track events at Minnesota State University-Moorhead where she was named the school's Outstanding Female Senior Athlete in 1984. She was an academic all-American every season.

"She was inspirational to others and a leader," says Gelaine Orvik, former South coach. "Students admired her dedication and her exemplary discipline."

Pam was a 3-time national champion for MSUM in track. After 25 years, she still holds school records for the 800 and 1,500, both indoors and outdoors, as well as the 2-mile relay. She's a member of the MSUM Hall of Fame and graduated Cum Laude with a degree in accounting.
"She was always prepared and highly motivated to perform up to her lofty goals and was an exceptional role model for her peers," says Randy Smith, Pam's track coach at MSUM. "I found her to be extremely resourceful, responsible, industrious and academically sound."

That philosophy has stayed with Pam in her business and personal life. She has worked as an internal auditor for several large companies. She put her accounting career on hold on two occasions, when her mother was diagnosed as terminally ill and when her husband relocated for his job. She's currently a special education paraprofessional for Fargo Public Schools.

"Pam is devoted to her family, she is a faithful friend to many, she has earned the respect of her peers, she contributes significantly in the school system, and she volunteers for just about everything," says the Rev. Jeff Sandgren, senior pastor at Olivet Lutheran Church.



It is only fitting that Jerry Larson was an inspirational figure in a sport that emphasizes one-on-one competition as he was known for giving individual attention to his students and athletes. Mr. Larson was a teacher and coach for 13 years, the last 11 as head wrestling coach at South. He collected 100 dual meet victories, 17 tournament championships and 5 Eastern Dakota Conference championships. He was a national district coach of the year in 1974 and state coach of the year in 1976.

"Always having a positive outlook on life and steering a young man to have goals and work hard to achieve those goals. That's Jerry's style," says Tim Jones, one of Mr. Larson's former athletes who went on to become a 3-time all-American wrestler at North Dakota State.
He coached 9 individual state wrestling champions during a time when the sport was dominated by western teams.

"I attribute a large portion of my success to Coach Larson as he instilled in all the qualities of hard work, discipline, and integrity," says Mark Reinke, a South High Hall of Fame member and state wrestling champion.

Mr. Larson returned to the family farm in Minnesota in 1978 and has continued to be a leader among his peers. He was elected chairman of the board of Ottertail Ag Enterprises and was named chairman of the Minnesota Corn Research and Promotion Council, a group dedicated to helping fellow farmers.

“Mr. Larson has always been highly regarded and respected, whether as a teacher, coach, or businessman,” says Darwin Schneider, a 1976 state wrestling champion at South. "More importantly, it was Mr. Larson's goal to see to it that each and every one of his students and athletes receive his personal attention and experience in helping them succeed both academically and in life.”"



Dana Mogck may arguably be the most familiar face in the Red River Valley. He has been a source of comfort and credibility for TV viewers for nearly 25 years, starting first as a weekend sports anchor at WDAY-TV and moving on to become the station's news anchor. The 1978 South High graduate has been at the top of the ratings for most of his career.

"When he started, he was a young cub sports reporter working weekends and mopping floors," says Kevin Wallevand, longtime WDAY reporter. "Now he is senior producer."

Long before Dana started reporting on the exploits of others, he made his own news as a high school and college athlete. He was the Most Valuable Player on the 1978 Fargo American Legion Baseball Team, and a 2-year letter winner on the South hockey team.

"The thing I remember most is that he quietly became a team leader," says Dave Roddy, Dana's high school hockey coach. "He was never a loud, demonstrative person, but he led by example. I have no doubt that he had an influence on many of his teammates."

Dana went on to become a 2-time MVP in baseball at Minnesota State University-Moorhead and was invited to tryout camps of at least four major league teams.

Dana joined the WDAY sports department in 1983 and spent 13 years as weekend sports anchor. When local broadcast icon Marv Bossart retired in 1996, the station turned to Dana to fill some big shoes.

"That's how much faith we put in Dana and his abilities," says Al Aamodt, the station's news director. "He has fulfilled that role in spades. Dana has become an excellent news writer, producer, and anchor."

Says Wallevand, "From his baseball days at MSUM to covering major news events for our community, I believe Dana is a great product of Fargo South and this town."