On Sept. 13, North Branch Area High School inducted three new members into its Viking Hall of Fame. All three members are North Branch Area High School graduates and are some of the most decorated athletes in school history. The inductees are Benita Crow, Ray Brooker, and Everett Pearson. Members from North Branch Area Public Schools, inductees and representatives of the inductees took part in the induction ceremony at halftime of the football game.
Benita Crow: A 1990 graduate of North Branch Area High School, Crow is one of the great Viking athletes of all time. A rare four-sport athlete, Crow excelled in everything she did, earning 10 All-Conference awards throughout her career in track, volleyball, softball and basketball. She was five-time Team MVP and a four-time captain. Benita’s accomplishments in the classroom are impressive as well. She finished second in her class with 3.98 grade point average.
Ray Brooker: A 1943 graduate of North Branch Area High School, Brooker’s name has deep roots in North Branch. Ray lettered all four years of high school in football, basketball and track. He earned the Athletic Award, given to standout athletes, during his senior year, and served as the vice-president for the Class of 1943. Following his time at North Branch Area High School, Brooker served in the United States Navy and Merchant Marines for seven year before returning home and serving as the Commander of the VFW for 25 years. Beginning in 1995 and until his retirement, Ray volunteered his time in the athletic department at Mounds View High School. Ray loved his Mustangs and working to give young people a great experience in athletics.
Everett Pearson: A 1942 graduate of North Branch Area High School, Pearson excelled in football, basketball and track and field. In football he lettered three years and played both end and back. On the basketball court he lead his team to the District 25 championship game where they would lose to the eventual state champions from Buhl. An important member of his football and basketball teams, it was on the track where Pearson excelled. His pole vault height of 11’ 6” stood as the North Branch record for over 20 years. His best vault came in the state meet at the University of Minnesota, where he vaulted 11’ 9.75”. Everett is a true Viking and outstanding member of our community.