Rail riding billboards

Decals on two Minnesota Northern Railroad locomotives draw attention to high school girls hockey, particularly Prowler girls hockey. On this side, the decal depicts a generic girl wearing a Prowler girls hockey jersey assigned to Lincoln High School senior Grace Bergland. Three other decals feature jerseys assigned to the other three seniors on the team.

by April Scheinoha

    Motorists traveling in northwest Minnesota may see a rolling billboard drawing attention to high school girls hockey. It’s courtesy of a Lincoln High School alumnus who is a fan of Prowler girls hockey.
    Frank Nesbit, an owner of Minnesota Northern Railroad, doesn’t think Prowler girls hockey gets the attention it deserves. Combine that opinion with a bare spot on locomotives owned by the railroad, and Prowler girls hockey decals are now on the sides of locomotives transporting grain between St. Hilaire and Roseau.
    The vinyl decals measure 36 inches high by 24 inches wide. Each decal features a generic girl wearing a Prowler girls hockey jersey with a number that coincides with one of the four seniors on the hockey team. One locomotive features seniors Tessa Jorde (7) and Erin Retka (11). The other locomotive features Jaimee Nelson (16) and Grace Bergland (9).
    Adding the decals seemed to be a natural fit for Nesbit. The 1958 LHS graduate knows some of the families affiliated with Prowler girls hockey. Nesbit, whose business is based in Bethel, watches hockey in this area about three times a month. Nesbit owns Independent Locomotive Service, a parent company of Minnesota Northern, and ILS Welding & Repair. ILS has a shop in Holt, and ILS Welding & Repair is located in rural Thief River Falls.
    Nesbit’s actions haven’t gone unnoticed by the girls and their families. He has learned photos of the decals are making the rounds on Facebook, something with which he isn’t too familiar.
    Jorde’s mom, Sandy, also  called The Times to draw attention to the man who has helped draw attention to girls hockey. She was touched by his gesture.
    Retka and her parents said, “It is very cool, and we thank everyone who made this happen. What a way to promote TRF Prowler girls hockey.”