New Irondale HOF inductees to be honored

As part of the homecoming festivities at Irondale High School this week is the football game on Friday night. The Knights host Robbinsdale Armstrong in a game scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. but there is an extra reason to be at Wendt Stadium a bit early this week.

The 2016 Irondale Hall of Fame inductees will be introduced in a pregame ceremony starting at 6:40 p.m. This year’s three inductees are all from the same graduating class and all played a Division I college sport after their time at Irondale.

Going into the Irondale Hall of Fame this year are 2010 graduates Tim Colwell, Jimmy Gjere and Gina McDonald.

 

Tim Colwell

Colwell’s main sport at Irondale was baseball and it has continued to be a big part of his life. As a Knight, Colwell earned all-state honors as a senior by hitting .544 with two home runs, 32 runs batted and 25 stolen bases. He was a two-time all-conference and all-section selection.

Colwell also played football and basketball at Irondale and was named all-conference in both sports as a senior.

After high school, Colwell attended North Dakota State University, where he was a four-time letterwinner in baseball. When his four years were up, he held the following NDSU career records: triples, hits, stolen bases, stolen-base attempts, at-bats, runs scored and games played.

Colwell’s list of playing honors in just as long. As a senior, he was named Summit League Player of the Year to earn his third first-team all-conference honor. He also landed a spot on the NCAA Corvallis Regional All-Tournament team. 

Colwell started his junior season as a preseason third-team All-America selction. As a sophomore, he became NDSU baseball’s first all-region selection since the Bison athletic programs moved up to the Division I level.

Academically, Colwell was named to the Summer League Winter/Spring All-Academic Team as a Distinguished Scholar and to the Summer League Commissioner’s List of Academic Excellence four times each. He was a three-time academic All-America selection and was the Academic All-America Athlete of the Year for Division I baseball.

Since graduating from North Dakota State, Colwell has played three seasons of independent minor league baseball with the Sioux City Explorers of the American Association. He batted .307 in 2014 and .301 this past summer in 98 games.

 

Jimmy Gjere

Gjere was most known for his football prowess at Irondale and he parlayed that talent into a scholarship at the University of Minnesota. As an offensive lineman, Gjere spent parts of three seasons on the Golden Gophers roster.

As a true freshman, Gjere did not play and was redshirted. In 2011, he started five games at right tackle before missing the rest of the season because of injury. Gjere played in games at Southern Cal and Michigan and home games against New Mexico State, Miami (Ohio) and North Dakota State in 2011.

Gjere went into fall camp in 2012 as an expected starter on the offensive line but retired from football because of concussion-like symptoms.

At Irondale, Gjere earned a slew of playing honors, including an all-state selection as a senior and a second-team all-state nod as a junior. He was a two-time all-conference honoree, a two-time all-metro selection and was twice named conference offensive lineman of the year.

In addition to football, Gjere played hockey and baseball at Irondale.

 

Gina McDonald

McDonald was a three-sport athlete at Irondale and continued in one of those sports, hockey, collegiately at Harvard. 

As a member of the Crimson women’s hockey team, McDonald appeared in 132 games in four seasons and finished with 45 points on 20 goals and 25 assists.

McDonald’s sophomore season was her best in terms of points as she scored 12 goals and dished out nine assists for 21 points. She also recorded her only collegiate hat trick and game-winning goal that season.

The hat trick and game-winner came in the same game. Harvard, facing RPI on Jan. 14, 2012, fell behind 3-0 before roaring back for a 5-3 victory. McDonald scored the Crimson’s second goal on a power play, bagged the game-winning goal for her second score of the contest and added an empty-net insurance goal with just more than a minute left in the game.

At Irondale, McDonald helped lead the Knights’ girls hockey team to two state tournaments. She was named all-state and was awarded Irondale’s Athena Award as a senior.

McDonald also lettered in soccer and lacrosse at Irondale. She was a lacrosse captain as a senior and earned two all-conference lacrosse awards.

 

Brian Meyers can be reached at bmeyers@lillienews.com or 651-748-7819. Follow him on Twitter @BMeyersNews.

 

 

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