Lee Vogt was not expecting to join his brother, Ken Vogt, in the Sauk Centre Public Schools Athletics Hall of Fame. His only involvement with SCPS sports as a student was when he wrestled in his senior year. However, after graduation and a brief Navy career, Lee volunteered with wrestling and the football chain gang for many years, and his dedication to both of those growing sports secured his nomination for the athletics hall of fame Class of 2021.

“I’m just surprised,” Lee said. “It’s a big honor, and I get choked up on it a little bit.”

Lee grew up in a farming family in the St. James area. When his father bought a farm in the Sauk Centre area, Lee ended up in Sauk Centre High School for his senior year, graduating in 1962. The school’s wrestling program was only a couple of years old at the time, and Lee had experience with wrestling through his education in St. James, so he was able to do a little coaching on the side.

After graduation, Lee helped on the family farm for a little while before joining the Navy for four years. When he returned to Sauk Centre in the late 1960s, he volunteered with the wrestling program and did scorekeeping and bookkeeping for them. A few years later, and he started running the football chain gang, keeping track of the teams’ progress throughout the games.

“It happened one night that they needed help, and so I got into that,” Lee said.

Lee volunteered with wrestling for about 25 years and was on the football chain gang for 30 years.

“They didn’t have many games here then,” Lee said. “They were lucky if they had three games a year here, and wrestling was about the same way. They didn’t have 30 matches then; you were lucky if you had five matches all year. That’s the way it was. It didn’t catch on until later.”

In Lee’s day, the wrestling program did not have equipment as refined as it has today.

“We didn’t have these fancy mats like they do now,” Lee said. “We had mats we rolled out, and then we put a plastic tarp over it that said ‘Sauk Centre’ in the middle. It was pretty crude in the earlier years.”

Lee also helped SCPS when they switched football fields. There was not artificial turf yet, so they had to cut sod and move the goalposts into a new location. Lee was a lineman with Sauk Centre Public Utilities at the time, so he was able to help with some of the wiring.

Lee still volunteers with SCPS as a bus driver. After retiring from public utilities work, the school’s busing supervisor approached him about driving buses.

“I said, ‘Yeah, I’ll drive for a year or two,’” Lee said. “Well, it’s been 18 years.”

It was a big surprise for Lee when Scott Bergman, SCPS athletics director, came to tell him he would be part of the athletics hall of fame Class of 2021 through a nomination from Mike Quistorff. Lee is honored to join his brother as part of SCPS’s sports history, but there is still one thing that worries him.

“Scott said, ‘You have to write a little speech,’” Lee said. “I’m not good at speeches.”