A Raider tradition
Call it a complete sweep for the Lunde family. The Lunde ladies of Lake Park-Audubon have more in common than genetics, name and where they all attended school. The four -- sisters Crystal, Carmen and Casey, along with their mother Coral -- have ...
Call it a complete sweep for the Lunde family.
The Lunde ladies of Lake Park-Audubon have more in common than genetics, name and where they all attended school.
The four -- sisters Crystal, Carmen and Casey, along with their mother Coral -- have all earned the Bud Lloyd Outstanding Female Athlete Award, which is given annually to the top male and female Lake Park-Audubon athlete in memory of the late Bud Lloyd, who graduated from Lake Park in 1949 and passed away in 1974 at the age of 43.
Coral was the award's first-ever recipient in 1976, while Crystal earned it in 2000, Carmen in 2004 and recently, Casey won it for this past year's athletic accomplishments.
The 2007 Bud Lloyd Award for the top LP-A male athlete went to senior Skyler Odegaard, who posted 100 career varsity win in wrestling this past season.
Raider sports in Lunde family blood
Ever since Coral -- Beske being her maiden name -- was an outstanding Lake Park girls' basketball and track athlete, LP-A Raider sports has been as common in the Lunde family as a sit-down family supper.
Coral has been involved as a coach at LP-A or Lake Park since 1980, and she has brought her entire family along for the ride.
Coral's husband, and the Lunde sisters' father -- Gerald -- has been a bus driver for the Lunde-led teams for many years. So LP-A sports have been a family-affair from the get-go.
"I think we are the closest-knit family because all three (of the kids) would be on the bus to games, along with Gerald driving," Coral said. "The girls would be at all the practices. We've been together for 26 years."
And they've all prospered as Raiders.
Coral was a 1976 graduate of Lake Park, and just fell short of scoring 1,000 career points in basketball with a little over 930 -- and that was playing just a 12-game schedule, with no three-point shot.
She also was a state track athlete in high school, then took her basketball talents to Concordia College for four years.
As a Cobber, Coral was named All-American in basketball and was inducted into the Concordia Hall of Fame in 1994, becoming just the third woman in the school's history at that time to do so.
After college, Coral was offered an opportunity to play professional basketball, with offers from Dallas and New Jersey.
"But back in those days, you would make more teaching than playing professional basketball," Coral said.
She moved on to coach the Concordia junior varsity basketball team, before taking a job back at home in Lake Park. Coral has been a coach at one time or another for Raider basketball, track and volleyball --having held the latter position since 1991.
She was a three-sport head coach for 10 years as well.
The Lundes' Raider journey was just beginning, as daughters Crystal, Carmen and Casey followed the same path, through the same halls Coral walked as a high school student.
"It's nice to keep it in the family," Casey said of her two elder sisters and herself playing for the same school as their mother.
All three sisters were involved in three sports during their time at LP-A. Carmen and Casey each played volleyball with Coral as head coach, as well as basketball and track. Crystal ran cross country, played basketball and was in track.
Carmen was a 2004 HOL All-Conference volleyball player, and was named to the Fargo Forum All-Area team.
"None of them really stood out, but they were all players you wanted on the floor," Coral said. "They all had a good court sense, and they put the team in front of their own goals.
"They all were trustworthy players, disciplined and had good organizational skills."
Each Lunde girl had their own style on the basketball court, as well, with Crystal being a pure shooter and Carmen displaying a more aggressive style.
Casey was a leader for the Raider basketball team this past year, leading the squad in assists and being the quarterback at point guard.
The three gained respect from the LP-A coaches, who vote on the Bud Lloyd Award, with their talents and unselfish play not going unnoticed.
"One thing I didn't have to do was teach the game to them, because they were around it all the time," Coral said. "And they all are very competitive and did all the quiet stuff on the court."
There also was another unfortunate factor all four Lundes had in common --injuries at inopportune times.
It started with Coral, who would have surpassed the 1,000-point mark if not for an ankle injury in her senior year. She did, though, notch over 1,000 points in college.
Crystal had a wrist injury cutting her senior season short, while Carmen had an injury which cut short her sophomore season.
The latest bit of misfortune came in the form of a knee injury, which ended Casey's basketball season towards the end of the regular season schedule. "That was a hard way to end my career," Casey added.
But Coral said it was their style of play which contributed to the Lunde injuries.
"If you play hard all the time, injuries happen," Coral said. "They were taught to go out and play aggressively and go out and play hard."
Another attribute Coral passed to her daughters was how to be humble. The three younger Lundes would hear just tidbits of Coral's past athletic accomplishments, very rarely coming from Coral herself.
"They all knew I played sports, and they knew mom was pretty good," Coral said. "But they also know it's nice to be humble, as well."
"I knew she was pretty good in sports, but she doesn't talk about it much," Casey added.
And two of Coral's daughters, Carmen and Casey are following another of her paths, this one toward a career.
Coral, a health and physical education teacher at LP-A, will have company in her field, as Carmen is going to Bemidji State University to study in becoming a health/phy-ed major.
Casey will also be attending Bemidji State in the fall to pursue her elementary teaching degree, as well as her coaching degree.
Crystal works in Fargo in human services, and is waiting for her husband, Jeff, to return from his tour of duty in Iraq.
With the "empty-nest syndrome" about to hit Coral and Gerald, there will be another empty feeling, as well, when Casey graduates this spring.
For the first time in a long time, there will not be a Lunde donning a Raider uniform next year.
"Everything will feel so different next year," Coral said. "I really don't know what to expect. There will definitely have to be some adjustments made."
But Coral couldn't ask for better memories than she has had with her three daughters --as a complete Lloyd Award sweep was made by the athletic Raider family.