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home : news : news May 22, 2015

9/16/2013 4:18:00 PM
Four inducted to Hall of Fame

By David Richards

The fifth class of the Byron High School Athletic Hall of Fame will be inducted Saturday, Oct. 5.

They include: a coach, a booster, a track star and a sure-handed receiver.

Dan Alsbury, Jane Coe, Steve Farrell and Neil "Wes" Woessner will be honored at a banquet Oct. 5 at Byron High School.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m., with dinner at 6 p.m. Cost is $20.

The 1978-79 boys basketball team will be honored as well, and that team, along with the inductees, will also be recognized at half time of the Homecoming football game Oct. 4 when Byron hosts Lake City.

"I think it's a great class," said Byron head football coach John Austinson, who started the Hall of Fame and is the chair of the committee who votes on nominees each year.

Austinson doesn't vote and added the nominees are submitted by mostly the public, but also by the committee as well.

Once a nominee has been submitted, he or she stays nominated in one of three categories, an athlete, a coach or athletic director, and a booster.

"It doesn't have to always be one from each category," Austinson said.

"Some years, we may have three athletes and one coach."

Austinson added that the committee also strives to have a balance of both male and female athletes.

Dan Alsbury

Dan Alsbury grew up in Mason City, Iowa. He was a three-sport athlete at Mason City High School, lettering in football, wrestling and baseball.

He graduated in 1967 and attended Mankato State University where he met and married his wife, Liz, a Mankato State cheerleader. Alsbury graduated in 1971 and began his teaching and coaching career in Storm Lake, Iowa. While in Storm Lake, Alsbury taught mathematics and coached football, wrestling and track for four years.

The last two years he was the head varsity wrestling coach.

Their son Nate was born in 1973.

Alsbury and family moved to Byron in the fall of 1975 when Dan was hired to be the high school counselor. He also coached football, wrestling and track. The family grew with the birth of their daughter, Anne, in 1976.

Alsbury was the head football coach from 1987-1991. The 1989 football team was undefeated in regular season play and was the Hiawatha Valley conference champion.

The 1990 team was Section 1 champion, beating Luverne in the state quarterfinals before losing to BOLD in the state semifinals game at the Metrodome. For the feat, Alsbury received the Rochester Post-Bulletin "Coach of the Year" award in 1989 and was named Section 1 "Coach of the Year" after the 1990 season. He received the 1999 Butch Nash Award by the Minnesota State High School Coaches Association. Alsbury finished his coaching career as varsity assistant line and special teams coach at BHS until retiring in 2006.

Now Alsbury enjoys watching his four granddaughters as they participate in a variety of activities. His son Nate and wife Deanne have two daughters, Rachel and Kailey and live in Prairie Farm, Wis. His daughter, Anne and husband Jake, have two daughters, Lily and Cora and live in Cannon Falls.

Jane Coe

"After being born and raised on a farm outside of Mantorville and graduating a KoMet, I never thought I would be a "Byron Bear" but when we moved back to the area we chose Byron as our home," Coe said. "All seven of the Coe kids are Byron grads so I have now been a "Bear " longer than I was a KoMet."

When her kids were in Elementary and Middle School, Coe spent her time volunteering in the classroom, on field trips and with the PTO. When the oldest started high school, she became involved with what was then separate Booster Clubs for each sport. When the Booster Club as it is known now was formed, Coe became the boys soccer delegate and later served as the girls track delegate. She took over the concession stand in 2002 and served as president for the last five years.

Steve Farrell

Farrell graduated in 1986 and was a captain in football, basketball and track. He lettered 11 times while at Byron. When he graduated he held the school records in the 100, 200 and 400 meter dashes. He still holds the school record in the 400 meters to this day. He was All-Conference in track for 4 years and All -State and Honorable Mention All-American in 1986. In his senior year at the State Track Meet he placed 3rd in the 100 meters and Won the 200 and 400. He also led the Byron team to its first ever State Championship in any sport. When he graduated he went on to run track at Winona State University where he was voted captain for 3 years, MVP for 2 years and all conference for 3 years. He qualified to run at the indoor and outdoor nationals as well. When he graduated from WSU he held the 600 meter indoor school record. Steve now lives in Pine Island with his wife Caroline they have 3 children Brittany, Jordyn and Ben and as of this summer they have added a son-in-law, Adam, who married Brittany. He has worked as a Financial Advisor with Waddell & Reed in Rochester for the last 21 years and he enjoys all sports and spending time with his family and friends.

Neil "Wes" Woessner

Woessner completed his entire K-12 education in the Byron School District, graduating in 1991. In junior high school, in addition to playing a number of sports, he participated in band and choir. In high school, he was a three-sport athlete, participating in football, basketball and baseball. On the football team, Woessner used his quickness and athleticism to excel as a receiver, punt and kick returner and defensive back. His senior season included a number of highlights, including scoring game winning touchdowns against Lourdes and Luverne. His touchdown against Luverne clinched a trip to the Metrodome and the state semifinals to face eventual champion BOLD. While Byron did not win State, the 1990 football team is still the only team in Byron history to qualify to play at the Metrodome. By seasons end, Woessner held a number of receiving records, including most career receptions (63), most touchdowns in a game (4), most touchdowns in a season (11) and most touchdowns in a career (17).

During basketball season, Woessner was a point guard. A defensive and three-point specialist, he loved nothing more than running sideline to sideline hounding opposing players. As a sophomore, he played in an AAU tournament and took part in the Star of the North games, placing fourth. He attended a Clem Haskins basketball camp where he earned MVP honors. He served as Tri-captain for his senior year at BHS. After his senior year, Woessner was named "Defensive player of the year" after leading the team with 45 steals.

Baseball season found Neil in center field. He had the great experience of competing at the state tournament as a sophomore with the 1989 team. He was awarded All-Conference in baseball his junior year.

Woessner was a letter winner in all three sports in both his junior and senior years.

After graduating in 1991, Woessner continued his education at Winona State University where he earned a Bachelors degree in education. He completed his Masters of Education and was employed as a teacher and coach in Rochester Public Schools.

Woessner coached girls softball at Mayo High School, as well as girls basketball and JV football at Century High School. He was passionate about teaching his students and players the many lessons he learned from his playing days including school pride, teamwork and the joy of working toward a common goal with your friends.

Woessner was fortunate to have had many wonderful experiences playing and coaching athletics, including competing for his school alongside his friends, many of who he remained in close contact with well after graduation. Moreover, Woessner took a great deal of pride in being a Byron Bear!

Woessner was killed in a single-vehicle accident in 2003.

Claremont Service

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