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History

On September 24, 1966, the very first Potato Bowl football game was played at Memorial Stadium and was billed as a battle between two of the largest potato growing regions in the United States (Idaho and the Red River Valley).  The idea of creating a week of festivities to celebrate potatoes and football was the brainchild of UND Athletic Director Len Marti, Head Football Coach Marv “Whitey” Helling, Assistant Football Coach Jerry Olson and Sports Information Director Lee Bohnet. In that first game in 1966, the Fighting Sioux thumped Idaho State 41-0.  UND is 41-13 in its first 54 Potato Bowl games.

 
 

Potato Bowl USA 2021 Ambassadors


Linnea Grotte is a 2020 graduate of Thompson (ND) High School and is currently starting her sophomore year at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks .  At UND, Linnea is studying plant and food science with a career goal of becoming a plant breeder.  

At Thompson High School, Linnea was an honor student and graduated with a 3.9 GPA.  She participated in the FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America), FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America), the National Honor Society, SADD (Students Against Destructive Behavior), chess club, athletics, band, choir, FHA, theatre groups,  student council and Girls State.

 

Linnea has done  volunteer work for these organizations: The Northland Rescue Mission, Altru Hospital, Valley Memorial Homes, the Grand Fork Backpack Program and the CVIC.

 

Linnea is the daughter of Kelly and Joni Grotte from Thompson, ND. 

Elias Markesun is a 2021 graduate of Park River (ND) High Scholl where he was an honor student with at 3.95 GPA.  Elias plans to attend NDSU this fall to pursue a major in Ag Economics. He would like to return to the Park River community after graduation.

In high school Elias was on the A Honor Roll all four years, a member of the National Honor society and President of the FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) his senior year. He also participated in golf, football, hockey, band and choir.

Volunteer work included planting trees in the community, teaching young hockey players and tutoring for the National Honor Society.  Other volunteer work included grooming the Park River cross country ski trail, working at the Park River hockey arena and the Park River baseball complex, charity fund raising and serving meals at his church.

Elias is the son of Jon and Shannon Markusen of Park River, ND.

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Potato Bowl USA 2021 Grand Marshal

TBA

 
 

Potato Bowl USA Committee Members

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  • Todd Phelps, Chairman – Valley Potato Grower Magazine - Golf Tournament

  • Ted Kreis , Treasurer - NPPGA - Advertising And Communications

  • Diane Peycke, Secretary – NPPGA

  • Scott Lund – Simplot French Fry Feed

  • Christian Batalden – Simplot

  • Lucas Bergeson – Simplot

  • Ryan Scott – KEM Shrine Potato Bowl Parade

  • Erin Morris – Choice Health & Fitness - “Get Wet And Run Wild”

  • Lauren Huff – Thomsen Homes Kid's Zone

  • Jessica Thomsen – Thomsen Homes Kid's Zone

  • Jeff Westrem – All Hugo’s Sponsored Events

  • Jeff Lazur, Associate Potato Growers - NPPGA Baked Potato Feed

  • Bob Prodzinski – KEM Shrine Potato Bowl Parade

  • Julie Rygg – Greater Grand Fork CVB

  • Kyle Doperalski – UND Athletics 

  • Nicole Brush - UND

  • Derrick Endres- UND

  • Mike Mathison – iHeart Media Advertising Rep & Hugo’s PLINKO Contest

  • Misty Paul – Advertising Rep Leighton Broadcasting

  • Sasha Leibold - Advertising Rep Leighton Broadcasting

  • Jim Bollman Jr. – Advertising Rep WDAY-WDAZ

  • Tyler Manske –  Advertising Rep Grand Forks Herald