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1997 Wrestling Team


Mike Danielson

Mike Danielson was a three sport athlete at River Falls High School before graduating in 1965. He enjoyed all three -- basketball, track and football -- and was captain on all three teams his senior year.

Danielson played varsity basketball all four years and was the team's leading rebounder his sophomore, junior and senior seasons. He was also named All-Middle Border Conference as both a junior and senior.

Danielson's featured event in track and field was the shot put, and he set the conference record in the shot put as a sophomore and continued to break his own record repeatedly until leaving with the record of 54-feet, 4-inches as a senior. He finished second just once during his career at the conference level in the shot put.

Danielson was the leading point-maker on the track and field team his junior and senior seasons and qualified for the WIAA State Championships his sophomore through senior years where he earned a fourth place medal.

Football proved to be Danielson's standout sport. He played high school varsity for three years and was the leading tackler as a junior and senior while playing both offense and defense. He earned All-Conference honors his junior and senior seasons and was named to the All-Northwest Team as a senior.

Many colleges were interested in Danielson. He received full scholarship offers from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Wyoming and North Dakota. Danielson chose Minnesota, becoming the first high school senior in the Middle Border Conference to receive a full ride athletic scholarship, and was the starting fullback for the Gophers in the first game he was eligible his sophomore season.

A neck and nerve injury caused him to leave Minnesota, and after enrolling at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, he returned to the football field and attempted a comeback. He played five games for the Falcons but the same injury ultimately forced his retirement from the game. He had, however, played enough games to receive All-Conference honors that year.

Insurance has been Danielson's career for 42 years. In 1981 he opened County Line Agency and continues there to this day at 107 S. Main Street in River Falls.

If asked, Danielson would say that he is most proud of his family, starting with his wife Suzie (Matzek) of 44 years. They have three terrific children. Nicole is an environmental engineer and works for the Minnesota Department of Transportation. She is married to Mitch Bartelt, who is also an engineer with the Minnesota DOT. They have a two year-old son, Clay, who is the only grandchild so far.

Son Matt graduated from medical school last year and is a working resident in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at UW-Madison. Their other son Alec works for Barr Engineering in Edina, Minn. He is a civil engineer with a geological emphasis and next week will marry Jenny Skoglund, a teacher in the Roseville School District.

Taken together, they are the true trophies of his life