Selections Made For Montana High School Association Hall Of Fame
The Montana High School Association has announced its 15th list of inductees to the MHSA/Wendy’s Athletes’ Hall of Fame. The Montana High School Association Athletes’ Hall of Fame is sponsored by Wendy’s.
The class of 2022 has five inductees including: Spencer Frederick, Christy Otte, Fred Paoli, Mat Seidensticker and Gary Wagner.
The MHSA Athletes’ Hall of Fame consists of two nomination categories: “Modern Era” and “Legacy.” The Legacy category is for nominees who have graduated at least fifty years prior to the induction year. All of this year’s inductees are from the Modern Era category, except Fred Paoli who is this year’s Legacy inductee.
Scobey High School (1997): A multi-sport standout at Scobey High School, Spencer Frederick led both his basketball and football teams to state championships. He was named MVP of the Class C State Basketball tournament in 1996 when the Spartans hoisted the championship trophy. The infamous snowstorm of 1997 derailed the Spartans’ bid for an undefeated season and back-toback state championships. The Spartans instead had to settle for the consolation trophy. Frederick led his team in scoring and rebounding both years. He was an All-State selection in ‘96 and ‘97 and was named to the 1997 Montana- Wyoming All Star team. In 1996, he was also awarded MVP of the American Legion baseball tournament as a star player for the Scobey Blues. Three games into his freshman football season, Frederick broke his arm and didn’t play again until his senior season. He excelled as a linebacker and tight end for the 1996 State Champion Scobey Spartans. He was an All-State selection for both offense and defense. He was recruited to play football for the University of Montana Grizzlies. After a slow start to his collegiate career, Frederick found success by way of hard work and perseverance, which led to him being named 2nd team All-Big Sky Conference as a Junior and 1st team All-Big Sky Conference as a Senior. He played in two National Championship games with the Grizzlies, winning the title with his team his Senior year. Spencer was voted Team Captain for the 2001 National Championship game and was also voted the team’s Most Inspirational Player. He was signed as an undrafted free agent by the New Orleans Saints in 2002 and played until a second ACL injury ended his football career. He resides in Billings with his wife and three children and is VP branch manager of Stockman Bank Downtown.
Billings Central High School (1995): As a freshman at Billings Central Catholic High School, Otte struggled to keep up at the first summer basketball conditioning workouts, but she went on to be voted Most Improved in basketball that fall. At the 1991 state track meet, she placed in the top four in the 100m, 200m and 400m. Otte’s secondary sport was volleyball, contributing to the Rams varsity squad for three seasons. During her senior year as a middle hitter, she led the team in kills, blocks, and hitting percentage. People would often say she could “jump out of the gym!” She also excelled in the classroom, and was salutatorian of her graduating class. In state championship track meets, Otte won eight individual titles and anchored five winning relays. During her junior and senior years, of 62 final individual races, she placed first in 60, coming in second in the other two. She was equally proud to anchor 34 of 39 relay races to victory. She led the Rams to team state championship titles in 1993 and 1994. Otte went on to run for the Montana State Bobcats, winning 10 individual Big Sky Conference titles in Indoor and Outdoor Track. She earned her way to four NCAA Division I championship meets. In 1998, she placed eighth in the 400m at the NCAA Division I Indoor Championships, earning her All-American and Academic All-American status. Otte and her husband, Dave, live in Helena, and enjoy running, biking and skiing together.
CMR High School (1972): Paoli was a standout football player and wrestler at CMR in the early 1970s. He was all state on both defense and offense in both 1970 and 1971. He was named most valuable defensive player in the state in 1971. In wrestling, Paoli took second at 185 pounds in 1971, and won the heavy weight state championship in 1972. In that final heavyweight match, Paoli wrestled an undefeated wrestler from Kalispell who outweighed him by 50 pounds. Paoli beat him 3-2. Despite all these accomplishments, Paoli was not offered a scholarship to play football in college. It was thought that Paoli was too small to play major college football. He walked on at Colorado State University, his dad’s alma mater, and had a full-ride scholarship within two weeks. He was captain of the team his senior year and was named 1st team All Western Athletic Conference at nose guard. He also made the academic All Western Athletic Conference Team, and was named 3rd team All American as well. He went on to law school which luckily had a rugby team he immediately joined. He fell in love with the game, and by 1982 he made the United State Rugby team. He played for the US Rugby team from 1982-91, including two World Cup appearances in 1987 and 1991. Fred married Anita Mondragun in 1976. Their home is Livingston. He is a retired trial lawyer. They have a winter home in Patagonia, Ariz.
Shelby High School (1995): Seidensticker participated in basketball and track all four years of high school. He attended Kremlin-Gildford (now North Star) his freshman and sophomore years before finishing high school at Shelby. Seidensticker earned Class B all-state basketball honors his junior and senior years (1994 & 1995). He was selected to the Great Falls Tribune’s All-State boys’ basketball team, the Montana-Wyoming All-Star game, and was a McDonald’s All-American nominee his senior year. Seidensticker averaged over 23 points per game, logging more than 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds during his prep basketball career, and his 64 consecutive free throws made over 18 games in 1995 is an MHSA record. In 2016, MTN Sports included him in their #MTTop50 prep boys’ basketball players. Seidensticker excelled in multiple track events, including hurdles, jumps, and relays. He was a member of back-to-back Class B track-and-field state championship teams at Shelby (1994 & 1995), winning individual championships in the 110 m high hurdles and high jump while scoring 38.5 points at the state meet in 1995. After high school, Seidensticker received a scholarship to continue playing basketball at the University of Montana in Missoula. He was a steady contributor in 109 games as a Grizzly, including a 1997 NCAA Tournament appearance. Seidensticker was twice named the team’s Outstanding Defensive Player, sharing the award in 1998 (J.R. Camel) and the sole recipient in 1999. He shared the Most Inspirational Player award in 1999 (Mike Warhank). Seidensticker resides in Lolo with his partner, Peggy Persico, and his son, Chip.
Havre High School (2005): Wagner was a winner. As a starting quarterback, he was 22-2 at Havre High and 27-1 at Carroll College, for a mark of 49-3. At Havre High, Wagner was all-conference and all-state in football both his junior and senior years, and named to the Great Falls Tribune Super State team. He was selected to the East-West Shrine game and the Mon-Dak All-Star game, where he was named the offensive MVP. Wagner is in the MHSA record book for points scored, passing yards, completion percentage and TD passes. He was a shooting guard for Havre and the team’s defensive MVP in 2005. Wagner was part of 4 straight divisional and state tennis championships from 2002-2005 and is one of the most decorated high school tennis players in the state of Montana. With doubles partner, Marc Mariani, the duo took second place their sophomore year and were undefeated state champs both their junior and senior years. At Carroll College, Wagner was a three-year starter, but suffered a season ending injury in 2008. He led the Saints to a semi-final season in 2009 (13-1) and an undefeated (14-0) national championship season in 2010. He was named the offensive MVP of the national title game and co-offensive player of the year in the Frontier Conference. He was also a finalist for the 2010 NAIA player of the year. Wagner left the NAIA as one of the most efficient passers to play the game. He resides in Helena with his wife, Morgan, and daughter, Harper.
The physical location for the MHSA Athletes’ Hall of Fame sponsored by Wendy’s is at the Fortin Center on the campus of Rocky Mountain College in Billings. A plaque commemorating each inductee is on display on the second level in the gymnasium.
For more information regarding the MHSA Hall of Fame, contact Kip Ryan, assistant director, at the MHSA office.