Old stories and memories were resurrected from Windsor hallways and athletic fields as four new members of the Windsor High School Athletic Hall of Fame were inducted at Pelican Lakes Country Club in Windsor on Wednesday night.
Former Wizard standouts Paula Hergert and Rich Gilsdorf, along with retired coach/teacher Gary Harsin and Legacy Award inductee Carolyn Figal, were inducted into the 2014 class, the Hall of Fame’s third overall class, which is selected by the Hall of Fame committee in conjunction with the Windsor High School Booster Club and Athletic Department.
» Harsin served as a longtime track and cross country coach at Windsor High School and began the cross country program in 1965. He coached the Wizards to the 1977 Welco League championship. He also was a seventh-grade social studies teacher and counselor in the school district for 27 years. He currently lives in Loveland.
» Paula Hergert, a 1979 graduate, was an all-state and All-Welco star in basketball, swimming and track, who once held the school scoring record in a single game with 32 points. The homecoming queen her senior year, Hergert was also a member of the state championship 440 relay team and was a member of the Class AA 400 relay state champions for the swim team. She was also a star basketball player at Bethany (Kansas) College and a 2000 Bethany College Hall of Fame inductee. She currently lives in Colorado Springs.
» Rich Gilsdorf, the first two-time Class AA state wrestling champion in 1973-74, went undefeated his senior year (26-0) and finished his career with a 69-4 record. He was also a three-time letter winner in football and two-time letter winner in track. Gilsdorf graduated from Windsor in 1974 and is currently living in Fort Collins.
» “Legacy Award” Carolyn Figal served the community as a teacher and school booster for nearly 50 years, and continues to volunteer in Windsor. She is the wife of the late Reg Figal, a 2012 Hall of Fame inductee who was the former principal at Windsor High School and who has the high school gymnasium named after him.
Former Windsor athletes Nate Kvamme, who went on to star as a linebacker at Colorado State, and Erich Ehrlich were emcees for the sold-out event that included a video presentation and a speech from each inductee.
Harsin recalled that when he arrived in Windsor in 1964, there were 45 to 50 students in the graduating class and 1,500 residents in town.
“My time in Windsor was an outstanding experience because of principals, athletic directors, fellow coaches and classroom teachers,” said Harsin, who singled out the late 2012 Hall of Famer H.J, Dudley as his mentor. “I’m kind of in awe of all this.”
Harsin dedicated the night to his daughter, a 1986 Windsor grad who passed away from brain cancer this past year.
Kvamme, who had Figal when he was a student in kindergarten, pointed out that she “truly exemplifies what Windsor is all about. We all have a Mrs. Figal story, and she certainly exemplifies the Legacy Award.”
Figal thanked the Hall of Fame committee for selecting her to the 2014 class.
“I have too many stories,” said Figal, who moved to Windsor with Reg in 1966 and taught until 1991. “It was always so much fun going to all the high school games.”
Hergert, who thanked those ahead of her for instituting Title IX that put girls’ sports on the map in 1972, said she was humbled by the Hall of Fame award.
“None of my accomplishments were done on my own,” said Hergert, who lettered four years in basketball, three years in swimming and three years in track. “I have two wonderful parents that allowed me (to play sports). As I was growing up all I wanted to do was play sports and they never discouraged me, though they did make me go to 4-H and cook and sew every Wednesday.”
Gilsdorf said being inducted into the Hall of Fame was “like winning a state championship all over again.”
“I had never imagined being honored (for this),” Gilsdorf said.
Gilsdorf, who said his coach always told him he had excellent balance on the mat, added that wrestling got him out of chores like milking the cows by hand.
“I was just having fun,” Gilsdorf said of the sport.