Sunday, September 22, 2019

Blossom graduate makes family proud with athletic achievements

What do Blossoms and Rockets have in common?

Dennis Trom, a 1976 graduate of Blooming Prairie High School, carved out quite an outstanding high school athletic career as a Blossom.

Now, he has built an enviable record as head girls basketball coach and head girls softball coach for the Randolph Rockets of Randolph, Minn. Randolph is located in southern Dakota County.

A Trom-coached girls softball team recently completed its season by placing third in Class 4A  of the state tournament. It was the second year in a row that the Rockets made it to the state in softball.

Even though many years has separated Trom, 61, from his high school sports days, he will not forget that being a Blooming Prairie Blossom has made him proud. "That's where I got my interest in sports and learned everything I could about playing football, basketball and baseball," Trom remarked.

Two of Trom's biggest fans are his twin sisters Dorothy and Doreen who both live in Blooming Prairie and continue to be Blossom supporters. Of course, they are now Rocket boosters when they are not playing Blooming Prairie. Dennis also has two brothers, Doug, North Carolina and Dean, Eden Prairie.

Let's look at some of Dennis Trom's sports involvement in Blooming Prairie and in Randolph. The history was collected by sisters Dorothy and Doreen.

Trom graduated from Blooming Prairie in 1976. While at BP, he starred as a quarterback in football with school records for most yardage thrown. He was a point guard in basketball and a pitcher in baseball. He lettered three years in football, two years in basketball and five years in baseball.

He earned All-Gopher Conference in all three sports. He was all state his senior year of football. The Blossoms football team was ranked No. 1 in Class A and went to state, playing in the semifinals in 1974-75. He played in the high school all-star football game (Shrine Bowl) in 1976.

Trom started volunteer coaching through the many years his three children were active in sports. Sons Nick and Riley competed in baseball and football, respectively. Daughter Haley played basketball for Randolph.

Trom began as a volunteer coach in 2002. He worked with the elementary boys and girls programs and then coached with the junior high girls basketball programs. A few years later, he became the junior varsity girls basketball coach, along with being an assistant football coach and a volunteer varsity girls softball coach.

His coaching career pivoted to the girls varsity basketball program in 2013 and to the girls varsity softball team in 2014.

His overall record in coaching girls basketball at Randolph is 105-54 and his record as girls softball coach is 90-24.

Named Section 1A Coach of the Year in 2014-17 in girls basketball, Trom also set his sights on girls softball where he was named Coach of the Year in 2018.

Section softball championships under Trom's coaching were won in 2015-19. His team won 1A Subsection softball championship in 2016 and a Section 4A softball championship in 2018 and 19.

The Randolph Rockets girls softball team went to state for the first time in the school's history in 2018 and finished third. In 2019, the Rockets again made it to state and earned the #2 seed. Again, the Rockets finished third.

Randolph high school coaches have been named to section Coach of the Year the last five years with Trom winning four of the five distinctions. He was named girls basketball section 1A Coach of the Year in 2015 and 2018 and also garnered Section 4A Softball Coach of the Year honors  in 2018 and 19. His softball teams have won five conference championships.

Trom says his Blooming Prairie coaches have been responsible for his dedication to sports and for developing a love for coaching kids.

Some of Trom's BP coaches included: H. Peterson, Scott Nelson, Jerry Kokoschke, Bill Fritze, Ken Behnken, Dean Meshke and, Gerry Peterson.

Some of Trom's most memorable coaching experiences have been coaching his own kids in their early sports involvement. He remembers coaching his daughter Haley  in fifth and sixth grade. "We were not very good," Trom recalls. "We lost one game, 44-0, and had only three shots at the basket," he said.

Trom took over the girls basketball program after his daughter had graduated. In his second year of coaching girls basketball, his team finished 22-5 with the most teams a Randolph girls basketball team had recorded.

Have student athletes changed over the years since Trom participated? Trom answers with a definite "yes" and said one word can describe the difference and that  is athletes are now "stronger."

Trom is a firm believer in weight training and says his team members go to the weight room at least three times a week. "Today's athletes, boys and girls, are bigger, stronger, faster and really go after it," remarked Trom.

Looking toward future goals, Trom said he hopes the teams "can get a little better every year."

Trom says the girls he has coached "put everything into their efforts" on the court and on the field. "They get pretty good at improving their skills," he said. "Hopefully, we can take our accomplishments to the next level," Trom said.

Randolph is a small farming community of just over 500 people and is a "tight-knit" community similar to Blooming Prairie, population of just over 2,000, Trom commented.

The Randolph community has been "great" in supporting its high school sports teams, says Trom. "We often see a sea of orange shirts at our sporting events," he says.

Trom and his wife Michelle live in New Trier, a small rural town about seven miles from Randolph. Trom next January will mark 34 years as a postal employee. He works at the Eagan Post Office.

 

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Steele County Times & DCI

Steele County Times
507-583-4431
411 E. Main St.
P.O. Box 247
Blooming Prairie, MN 55917

Dodge County Independent
507-634-7503
121 West Main St.
Kasson, MN 55944

Dodge County Printing
507-634-2661
121 West Main St.
Kasson, MN 55944

 

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