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Joel Krekelberg to receive two honors at Sept. 25 Minnesota West football game

Minnesota West Community & Technical College will present Joel Krekelberg with two special honors later this month.

Krekelberg will recognized for receiving a lifetime “Service Award” from Region XIII of the NJCAA and for being inducted into the 2020-2021 MCAC Hall of Fame as a Contributor. He will be presented with these honors at halftime of the Bluejay football game on Saturday, Sept. 25 against Rochester. The game is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m.

“Krek is that person who, for 36 years, is everything that both women and men in the National Junior College Athletic Association, Region XIII, Minnesota College Athletic Conference, Minnesota West Community and Technical College, and Bluejay athletics wants representing them when teaching and caring for its athletes and coaches," Minnesota West Men's Athletic Director Bob Purcell said in a Monday press release. "He is selfless in giving his time and experience in performing his duties as an athletic trainer for our community.”

Krekelberg has been an NATA Certified Athletic Trainer since 1976 to present and licensed by the Minnesota Medical Board of Practice in Athletic Training since its inception in 1993. Krekelberg worked as an athletic trainer over the years at the NJCAA Wrestling National Tournament, and in 1983 was head athletic trainer for the NJCAA Wrestling National Tournament. He worked two summers with the New Orleans Saints and for the NFL Houston Oilers from 1978-1985, and was in two AFC Championship games.

Krekelberg was presented the Joe T. Dugger Award in 2017 and the National Football Honors Foundation – Fred Zamberletti Award in 2018 for his work as an athletic trainer. Currently assigned through Sanford Health, he has been the lead athletic trainer from 1985 until present at Minnesota West.

He has taught Prevention and Care of Athletic Injuries for over more than two decades at Minnesota West. For 21 years, Krekelberg was the lead trainer for the BLUEJAY/Worthington Wrestling Open fundraiser. He started an athletic trainer outreach program in the early 1990s in southwest Minnesota in which he worked with eight local schools in triage, treating and referring athletes where needed. Most of those schools now have athletic trainers of their own.

In 2010, Krekelberg developed concussion protocols for both Minnesota West and Worthington High School. He has provided his services for all Region XIII and MCAC regular and postseason events hosted at Minnesota West for the past 36 years.

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