Harvala, Deitchler to join Hall of Fame
Joe Harvala and Jason Deitchler will be inducted into the Park Rapids Athletic Hall of Fame during this year's All Sports Banquet on May 26 at the Area High School gym.
Harvala, a 1967 Park Rapids graduate, was a three-year letterwinner and Mid-State Conference performer in football, basketball and baseball for the Panthers. Harvala went on to earn all-conference honors in baseball at Moorhead State.
Deitchler, a 1988 graduate of Park Rapids, was a two-year letterwinner in football and three-year letterwinner in wrestling, qualifying for two state wrestling tournaments and winning the state heavyweight title in 1988. Deitchler went on to wrestle at Mayville State, earning NAIA All-American honors twice.
Harvala and Deitchler will become the 10th and 11th inductees into the Hall of Fame. They will join Amber (Bohman) Olson, Mark Costello, Darril Larison, Tammy (McGrane) Fox, Jane Besler, Andy McCarty, Beth (Morris) Hirt, Dick Carpenter and Gene Nei.
Harvala was a superb three-sport athlete at Park Rapids.
In football, Harvala was a three-year letterwinner and starter as a junior and senior. Harvala earned all-conference honors in 1967.
In basketball, Harvala was a three-year letterwinner and two-year starter as a junior and senior and was an all-conference selection as a senior.
Harvala excelled in baseball, starting on the varsity for five seasons. Harvala earned three letters (letters weren't given to eighth graders and freshmen) and was an all-conference player as a senior.
After graduating from Park Rapids, Harvala played baseball at Moorhead State in 1969 and from 1973-74. Harvala was named to the Northern Intercollegiate Conference team in 1973 and 1974.
Harvala also played amateur baseball for Wolf Lake, Hubbard, Park Rapids and Hamel and played baseball for the U.S. Army and the Men's Senior Baseball League in Seattle from 1989-2001. Harvala retired from amateur baseball at the age of 52.
Deitchler made Park Rapids history by winning the state Class A heavyweight title as a senior.
Deitchler, who also qualified for the state tournament as a junior, capped off a 29-3 senior season by upsetting Clara City's Mike Rhode in the heavyweight title match in 1988 to become only the second wrestler from Park Rapids to win a state title.
Deitchler was the Region 8A runner-up as a junior and the Region 8A champion as a senior. Deitchler ended his career with a 55-23 overall record.
Deitchler also played football for the Panthers and was a two-year letterwinner as a junior and senior.
After graduating from Park Rapids, Deitchler attended Mayville State and qualified for four NAIA National Championships, earning All-American honors by placing fourth in 1991 and fifth in 1992 at heavyweight.