FDLTCC adds players, chooses team name
After a nearly two-month search, Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College has finally settled on a name for their new athletic teams. When the football team hits the grid iron for the first time this fall it will be known as "Thunder," as will al...
After a nearly two-month search, Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College has finally settled on a name for their new athletic teams. When the football team hits the grid iron for the first time this fall it will be known as "Thunder," as will all of the school's teams in the future.
This winter, the school announced they would be adding intercollegiate athletics beginning in the fall with football. Come springtime the school will add a second sport, fastpitch softball, and then more teams will follow in the coming years.
The name Thunder won over two other finalists, Force and Fire, which were among 115 entries received by the college, which yielded 96 different mascot names to consider.
Tom Drift, a student at FDLTCC from Nett Lake, submitted the winning name. Drift will receive items featuring the new name and logo, as well as become a part of history at the school.
After the 115 names were submitted, a campus committee identified the three finalist names and then a college-wide vote was held in March to determine a winner.
The announcement of the new name came during a press conference in the commons of the school on Monday afternoon. Tony DeLeon, the school's first football coach, was the featured speaker and helped to unveil the name along with Drift. Also on hand were the football team's first recruits, who signed letters of intent, as well as the first recruit for the softball team - Jen Anderson of AlBrook.
"I am excited about the chance to play in college and so close to home," said Anderson. "I wouldn't go to another school to play, so it is great we finally get the chance here at Fond du Lac."
Among the many football players on hand were many from Cloquet, Carlton, Esko and AlBrook.
"I played at Mesabi and then took a year off from playing," said former Esko standout Joe Plinski. "Tony (DeLeon) helped me in high school and he is a good friend, so this is pretty exciting for me."
Joining Plinski will be a former split end from Cloquet, Nate Sanchez, who also happens to be Plinski's cousin.
"This is just great," Sanchez remarked. "I had some small Division III schools talk with me when I came out of high school a year ago, but I took a year off to gain some weight and now I think I'm more than ready to do this."
AlBrook senior John Tondryk, one of the area's top players this season in high school, has also committed and was part of the signing ceremonies on Monday afternoon.
"This is just so close to home it is great," mentioned Tondryk. "I am very excited about playing here and for Tony."
Among the local players who signed letters of intent to play next season are Nate Sanchez and Charlie Martin of Cloquet, Joe Lorenzi and Dominick Schmitz of Esko, Brandon Burt, Torey Haluptzok and Nick Hedlund of Carlton, John Tondryk of AlBrook and Mike Sell of Wrenshall. Two more players signed up late Monday. They are John Villa of Cloquet and Aaron Villebrun of Wrenshall.