Denfeld News

2009 News

Jan. 1
Steve Vekich (class of 1947) recalls playing football 60 years ago for Duluth Junior College in "The Little Rose Bowl."

Jan. 14
Denfeld senior hockey goalie Matt Messina showed his mettle against Duluth East, stopping 41 of 43 shots on goal.

Jan. 19
Retired Denfeld social studies teacher Marv Heikkinen is part of a group of Duluthians traveling to Iraq in May to promote world citizenship.

Jan. 22
Katherine Hooey (class of 1960) lived modestly, but through shrewd investments she amassed a sizable estate, which she left to two animal shelters and the Lake Superior Zoo.

Jan. 28
Construction to expand Denfeld High School could begin a year ahead of schedule.

Jan. 28
Denfeld senior Laura Bellamy made 33 saves as the Duluth Northern Stars defeated the Proctor-Hermantown-Marshall Mirage in girls hockey.

Jan. 30
Chris Stafne (class of 2008) is playing in the United States Hockey League for the Fargo Force.

Feb. 8
Brian Levy (class of 1998) will be leading off the Duluth team in the Duluth-Superior All-Stars bowling series at Landmark Lanes. His father will lead off for Superior.

Feb. 12
Denfeld senior Laura Bellamy is among five finalists for the Let’s Play Hockey newspaper “Senior Goalie of the Year’’ award.

Feb. 13
Denfeld senior Laura Bellamy made 13 saves as the Duluth Northern Stars topped St. Francis-North Branch in a Section 7AA high school girls hockey first-round game.

Feb. 14
Ben Jukich (class of 2001) will get a shot at playing baseball in the big leagues when camp opens this weekend in Sarasota, Fla.

Feb. 20
Denfeld sophomore Aaron Stinson ranks second among Northeastern Minnesota divers with 346.2 points for 11 dives.

March 1
Denfeld senior Laura Bellamy was named Let’s Play Hockey Senior Goalie of the Year at the Ms. Hockey Awards Banquet in St. Paul.

March 4
Student representatives from Denfeld, East and Central met to lock up the Duluth School District’s first citywide time capsule.

March 6
Ben Jukich (class of 2001) picked up a victory with the Cincinnati Reds in a spring training game against the New York Yankees.

March 11
Marguerite Gilmore (class of 1924) left a $3.2 million endowment to the Tweed Museum of Art.

March 17
Duluth high school students who live west of Sixth Avenue East will go to Denfeld according to a new boundary line set by the school board.

March 20
Denfeld has hired three new spring coaches: Pat Bergquist, Eve Stein and Chad Derosier.

March 29
Denfeld senior Laura Bellamy is a 4.0 student and the 2009 Duluth News Tribune girls hockey player of the year.

April 8
T.J. Rendulich (class of 1997) was one of the fighter pilots who attempted to intercept a stolen plane, thwarting a possible suicide attempt.

April 12
Hunter Hall of Famer Mickey McClelland, the first recipient of the Walt Hunting Award, died on Easter Sunday.

April 15
Denfeld senior Laura Bellamy is starting her sixth season as a pitcher for Denfeld's fastpitch softball team.

April 19
Jeremy Polson (class of 1996) dominated the 20th annual Fitger’s 5K, winning by 28 seconds.

April 24
Denfeld junior Billy Phousongphouang will compete in the Minnesota high school state track and field meet in June.

May 8
As Denfeld's Centennial celebration nears, Joe Vukelich tells the story of Walt Hunting, one of the greatest coaches in America.

May 13
Denfeld sophomore Paige Stratioti cruised to Lake Superior Conference track and field titles in the 200- and 400-meter runs and ran the leadoff leg on the winning 400-meter relay.

May 16
Lew Latto (class of 1958) is returning to WDSM radio. He has been on air longer than any other talk radio host in the Duluth market.

May 21
Denfeld seniors Laura Bellamy and Steph Krause were named to the All-Lake Superior Conference softball team.

May 22
Former Denfeld student Mike Chase has amassed an impressive collection of phonograph records highlighting rock 'n' roll of the Upper Midwest.

May 23
Denfeld senior Laura Bellamy was the lone Northland player selected to participate in the 21st annual Minnesota High School All-Star Softball Series.

May 24
Denfeld went 2-1 at the Section 7AAA Elite 8 Double Elimination tourney in St. Francis, Minn., and is in the hunt for a section title.

May 25
Denfeld senior Evan Blazevic has won an appointment to the Air Force Academy near Colorado Springs, Colo. His family has served more than 150 years in the outfit.

May 26
Levi Madison (class of 1999) died when his car collided head-on with another vehicle on U.S. Highway 14, east of Eyota, Minn.

May 26
The opinion of the Duluth News Tribune's editorial board is that Denfeld High School should retain its name, and the new eastern high school should be named Ordean.

May 29
Retired Denfeld social studies teacher Marv Heikkinen has returned from a trip to Iraq to promote world citizenship.

May 31
Responses to a Duluth News Tribune editorial suggesting Denfeld High School should retain its name showed strong support.

May 31
Jimmy Bellamy (class of 1999) eulogizes his friend and former classmate, Levi Madison.

May 31
Denfeld sophomore Paige Stratioti finished second in the 200- and 400- meter races in the Section 7AA high school track meet.

June 2
Craig Smith (class of 1976) is entering his seventh season as general manager of the Duluth Huskies.

June 3
Denfeld freshman Nathan Greene is in fair condition after falling from a ledge at Casket Quarry in West Duluth.

June 4
Jim Heffernan (class of 1957) gave the commencement speech to Denfeld's 100th graduating class.

June 6
Denfeld senior Laura Bellamy is one of 25 high school athletes to earn the Scholar Athlete Milk Mustache Athlete of the Year Award.

June 7
Throughout the past eight decades, Denfeld's Maroon and Gold Day has reached across the generations virtually unchanged.

June 29
Denfeld seniors Hanna Durfee and Brian Johnson took third place in the National Forensic League’s 2009 Speech Tournament.

July 5
Denfeld alums Don Bodin, Bob (Evan) Nyhus and Russ Strom are still fondly remembered as the "Wheeler Whiz Kids."

July 12
Crafting a float for this year’s Spirit Valley Days parade has been a four-month-long national project for the Denfeld Class of 1960.

July 14
Curtis Cooney (class of 2005) was shot and killed outside a Duluth duplex, an innocent victim of a dispute over a dog.

July 16
World-renowned floral designer Robert Isabell died in his New York City home of a heart attack.

July 18
Albert George Morrison suffered two brutal beatings in his life. The first left him with brain damage, the second took his life.

July 18
Jeremy Polson (class of 1996) won the Park Point Five-Miler for the fifth time.

July 22
Mike Simonson (class of 1975) will be there when astronaut Jeffrey Williams blasts off in a Russian Soyuz rocket from Kazakhstan.

July 24
Work has begun on tearing down Denfeld's brick smokestack to prepare the building for expansion under the long-range facilities plan.

July 25
David Raimo (class of 2003) landed a part in a stage production of Guys and Dolls at Hollywood Bowl.

July 27
New inductees to the Hunter Hall of Fame include a Hollywood actress, five millionaires, a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor and teachers.

July 31
Denfeld's centennial festivities pay tribute to more than a century of quality education in Duluth.

August 2
Denfeld students, alumni, friends and family will celebrate the remarkable people who make up the Denfeld Hall of Fame.

August 2
Denfeld is under construction from the outside. On the inside, its alumni are busy building even stronger traditions.

August 8
Paul Lundgren (class of 1991) recently tracked down a 1935 Wheaties box featuring Denfeld football standout Frank “Butch” Larson (class of 1930).

August 8
Jeremy Polson (class of 1996) ran a 4:17 mile and says at age 31 he’s still improving as a runner.

August 9
Denfeld's Hunter Hall of Fame induction ceremony gave several generations a glimpse at its historic past.

August 20
Jennifer Madill and Dustin Hagen (class of 1995) are celebrating a decade in business by transforming their Madill Dance Center into a hub for the performing arts.

September 2
Denfeld senior Luke Jazdzewski returns from a season of medical nightmares to help lead the Hunter football team.

September 4
Denfeld senior halfbacks Luke Jazdzewski and Brendan Lawler led the Hunters to an 18-14 season-opening victory over Hermantown.

September 12
Ben Jukich (class of 2001) finished the Class AAA baseball season with a 9-6 record and a 4.1 ERA.

September 18
Al Amatuzio (class of 1942) is one of four men inducted into the Superior Business Hall of Fame.

September 20
Janet Petersen, a teacher at Denfeld from 1958 to 1976, celebrated her 95th birthday with a big party at the Pike Lake Auto Club golf course.

September 26
C. J. Ham rushed for two touchdowns and returned an interception 60 yards for another touchdown as Denfeld defeated Grand Rapids 35-21.

September 28
Former Denfeld principal Dr. Wayne Samskar (class of 1945) died in Appleton, Wis. at age 81.

October 1
Leonard Carlson (class of 1989) wrestles professionally under the name Lenny Lane, and operates a wrestling party business in Golden Valley, Minn.

October 22
Denfeld defeated Duluth Central 20-6 in what was likely the final meeting of the two schools on the football field.

October 24
Bryan Wick (class of 2005) is a 6-foot-4, 275-pound nose guard for Bemidji State.

October 27
Denfeld junior Mitch Svihel will start his third game as Denfeld's quarterback as the Hunters enter the Section 7AAAA playoffs.

October 28
C.J. Ham rushed for 99 yards on 14 carries and scored three touchdowns to lead Denfeld past Hibbing in a Section 7AAAA quarterfinal game.

November 1
Running back C.J. Ham and Denfeld’s stout defense put the Hunters into the Section 7AAAA high school football final.

November 5
Paul Peterson (class of 1997) works for Northeast Regional Corrections Center and is the third generation of his family to work as a corrections officer.

November 7
Denfeld lost to Bemidji 40-14 in the Section 7AAAA championship game at Public Schools Stadium.

November 12
Denfeld may be temporarily closed in the 2010-2011 school year while renovations are completed and an addition is built.

November 20
Matt Potter (class of 1999) and his father Tom Potter (class of 1971) are reopening the old 4th Street Market in Duluth's Central Hillside.

November 24
Matthew Walczynski (class of 1995) has died after a bout with H1N1 flu.

December 10
Ben Jukich (class of 2001) hopes to compete for a spot in the St. Louis Cardinals' starting pitching rotation.

December 16
Denfeld will be closed in the 2010-11 school year while work continues on the Duluth School District's the long-range facilities plan.

December 21
Denfeld athletes have new training facilities. Athletic Republic opened on Nov. 25 in the remodeled Clyde Iron Works complex in Duluth’s West End.

December 31
Jake Johnson (class of 2008) has accepted a scholarship and will play hockey for the Northern Michigan Wildcats in 2010-11.

December 31
The Kiwanis Heritage Holiday Classic hockey tournament doubled in size this year with four Class AA teams and four Class A schools competing.

In Loving Memory
A list of Denfeld alums who died in 2009.