|Monday, February 26, 2001|
|Craigs Corner 2/26/01 - 3/04/01|
|February 28, 2001|
Keith Swanson will be inducted into the Minnesota Football Coaches "Hall of Fame" on Friday, March 16th in Minneapolis.
The former head football coach and current activities director at West Central Area High School will join 123 other members in the Hall.
Swanson began his ties to West Central Area in 1974 as head coach of the Hoffman Bearcats. He coached the Bearcats to a state championship. In 1979, Hoffman paired with Kensington in football, and over the next 13 years the Patriots won five section titles and another state championship. The West Central Area Knights came into being in 1993 and Swanson directed them to a section runner-up finish that year and a section title in 1994.
Keith is truly a high school football coaching legend. He is also a top notch activities director and is always very helpful to us media folk. Congratulations Keith!
Barnesville wrestling coach Art Meyer has been named the Section 8A "Head Coach of the Year" and his assistant coach, Mark Anderson, has been voted the "Assistant Coach of the Year" in Section 8A. Trojan wrestler Andy Maier receiveed the Marilyn Fox Award which goes to a dedicated wrestler who has been dedicated to his sport and his team, is a positive role model, and is involved in community service. Marilyn was the wife of longtime Pelican Rapids wrestling coach, Dean Fox, who presented Andy with the award.
By the way, with an 18-7 dual record Barnesville set a new school records for most wins in a season.
Former Spartans Tommy Chatman and Matt Davis were both named to the All-MIAC men's basketball squad. The two were teammates this year at Augsburg and of course on the NJCAA National Championship team of 1998.
Sophomore guard Daron Anderson of FFCC was named to the NJCAA All-Region 13 squad. Anderson, from Belle Plaine, led the Spartans with 15 points per game and hit 45.3% of his three-point field goal attempts. He also averaged 4.4 assists and 4 rebounds per game.
The Perham school board is considering re-instating girls gymnastics as a varsity sport next year. The Yellowjackets haven't had a gymnastics program for over 20 years. Perham girls have been able to participate in a co-op program with Frazee for the past several years. The team was eighth at the Section 8A meet in Park Rapids last week. Michele Andreen had the best performance of any Perham student, taking sixth on the balance beam with a scored of 8.725.
February 26, 2001
Two former Fergus Falls High School students took their team to the Minnesota State Girls Hockey Tournament this past weekend. One played for the title and the other played for the consolation championship.
Marci (Ringquist) Bydlon, a 1976 graduate of Fergus Falls High School, started the girls hockey program at Blaine High School eight years ago and is the only head coach they have ever had. Her teams have qualified for three state tournaments, finishing third in 1996 and 1997, and taking the runner-up trophy this year. Blaine lost their only game of the season to Bloomington Jefferson, 2-1 on Saturday in the title game. They finished with a record of 25-1-3. Bydlon will join me on AM 1250 - KBRF Tuesday morning at 7:20 a.m. as a guest on Talkin' Sports.
Jim MacFarlane a 1986 graduate of FFHS, directed the Moorhead girls hockey team to a 28-3 season which included a first round loss to South St. Paul at the state tournament, 4-0. The Spuds came back with two impressive wins though, beating Blake 2-1 in the consolation semifinals and then taking Owatonna 4-1 in the consolation championship game. MacFarlane is in his second year as head coach of the Moorhead girls hockey team. Senior Crystal Sorenson has, according to MacFarlane, "been contacted by just about every division I school in the country", but appears to be settled on St. Cloud State. Junior forward Tanaya Reitz was named to the all tournament team. Reitz scored 50 goals and had 26 assists this season. "She's a great kid and is really enjoyable to coach", said MacFarlane. "When a group of kids come together with real enthusiasm and a willingness to work hard, great things are possible."
The Gustavus Adolphus College men's basketball team was invited to the NCAA Division III tournament for the fifth time in the last six years. Former Fergus Falls Otter David Newell helped Gustavus reach the NCAA tournament in a sixth man role, coming off the bench to average 8.3 points per game, lead the team in shooting percentage with 59%, and finish 2nd on the team in rebounds and blocked shots. His older brother and former Otter, Marc Newell, played for Gustavus in the previous 4 NCAA tournament appearances.
Gustavus finished the regular season with a 21-5 record, in 2nd place in the MIAC. In the recent MIAC playoffs, Gustavus defeated Bethel College, coached by former Otter coach Bob Bjorklund, 63-47. Gustavus lost to St. John's on Saturday in the MIAC playoff championship game 92-80. They will play Nebraska Wesleyan in the first round of the tourney on their home floor, this Thursday night.
|Monday, February 19, 2001|
|Craigs Corner 2/19/01 - 2/25/01|
|February 24, 2001|
Section Individual wrestling tournaments continue today with the Section 8AAA meet at St. Cloud Tech and the Section 7AA meet at Perham.
Bruce Rosendahl from Fergus Falls High School won his first two matches at the Section 8AAA meet yesterday in St. Cloud Tech and will now face Alexandria's Tom Kluver for the title at 140 pounds. Kluver pinned Rosendahl in a late season meeting at a triangular in Wheaton. All 11 Fergus Falls wrestlers are still competing in the wrestlebacks. Mitch Gabrielson went to state a year ago for Fergus Falls and will have to fight his way through the wrestlebacks to make a return trip.
Perham's Dan Flatau lost his semifinal match at 189 in Section 7AA and Ottertail Central had two wrestlers lose in the semi's, Ben Aakre at 152 and Sean Belmont at 171
Lady Spartans coach Ann Williams has been named the MCCC Women's co-coach of the year. She shares the honor with Ridgewater's Carrie Ogdahl. Ogdahl is the daughter of Ridgewater Men's coach Mike Johnson.
No Lady Spartan made the Northern Division 1st team but three were selected to the 2nd team. They are Amy Schoeck, Jessica Draper and Kelly Martin. Alayna Follingstad was an honorable mention selection.
It may seem odd that not one Lady Spartan made the first team, but coach Williams understands why. Her players are so even, it's hard to know who would represent them on the first team. Balance and contributions in many different areas from all eight team members has been the strength of this team. Ann also stated that the six girls who were named to the first team were certainly deserving. Still, I'd take the Lady Spartans against that first team anyday! Draper, Martin and Schoeck were also All State selections.
Sophomore Daron Anderson and freshman Ian McVey were both selected to the Men's All Northern Division team.
February 22, 2001
There is a chance that David Drexler will become the all time leading scorer at West Central Area High School before his senior season comes to an end.
Drexler went over the 1,000 point mark on Tuesday night in Breckenridge. He fittingly hit a 3-point field goal attempt for his first points of the night to reach the milestone. He has made 57 of 120 3's this season, 48%. He's also shooting an incredible 92.4% from the free throw line, connecting on 61 out of 66 attempts.
David is now #2 in career scoring for the Knights and is the career leader in assists and 3-point field goals. He has made 182 three-point baskets in his career. Chad Davison is #1 with 1135 points. With five regular season games and who knows how many playoff games remaining for Drexler, it's conceivable that he could surpass Davison.
As good as David is on the basketball floor, his best sport is football. He was named Heart O' Lakes Conference MVP and led the Knights to the state championship game his junior year. David is planning to attend the U of M-Crookston next year on a football scholarship.
Sophomore post player Jessica Draper of the Lady Spartans has been named the Northern Division Player of the Week in the MCCC. Draper averaged 16.5 points and 10.5 rebounds in wins over Northland and Central Lakes last week. She leads FFCC in rebounding with 8.7 per game and is second in scoring with 13.8 per game. She's one of those players you love if she plays for your team but can't stand if she plays for the opponent! Feisty and always causing problems for the other team. Fun to watch! She and her Lady Spartan teammates are about to embark on what could be a very succesful post season run. They are the top ranked team in the state and the host team for the Region 13B Tournament March 2nd and 3rd. Everything seems to be coming together just right for the Lady Spartans best opportunity at a National Tournament berth in the history of the program. Hopefully we'll see a great crowd out to cheer them on at FFCC next weekend.
Nathan Thompson, the young man from Fergus Falls who competed in the Elks sponsored State Hoop Shoot last Saturday, finished second in the 10-11 year old category. Thompson made 18 of 25 free throws while the winner hit 19 of 25. Nathan is the son of Dorinne and Gary Thompson of Fergus Falls.
February 21, 2001
Spartan football coach Lloyd Danzeisen has decided to stay put. Danzeisen has turned down a teaching and coaching offer at Rochester Community and Technical College and will remain at FFCC.
Lloyd told me that after weighing all the options he decided it would be best for him to stay in Fergus Falls where he can continue to coach two sports. He said he derives the most enjoyment from working in a team setting with his student athletes and looks forward to the upcoming Ladies softball season and preparing for the football season next fall.
Danzeisen was one of the three finalists for the position at Rochester which was a 3/4 teaching, 1/4 coaching postition. The Rochester football program is always a frontrunner for a National Junior College championship. They won the title this year with a perfect record.
Fergus Falls boxer Andy Kolle won two fights at the USA Boxing Regional Tournament in Norfolk, Nebraska over the weekend and will now participate at the USA Boxing National Event in Colorado Springs, Colorado March 12th through the 17th. Kolle, fighting at 156 pounds, stopped Allen Riley from Iowa with a third round RSC on Friday in the semifinals and then decisioned Anndalen Sloan from Wisconsin in the finals. Kolle won the Best Prospect Trophy at the Tournament.
Former Fergus Falls boxer, Zachary Walters, now a student at UMD in Duluth, also advanced to the National Event with two wins at 178 pounds.
I like what the Twins are doing. Signing Brad Radke, Eric Milton and Christian Guzman to four year deals was a great move by Terry Ryan. It shows that there is a commitment to get this organization competitive again. Matt Lawton signed a one year deal and Latroy Hawkins a two year contract. Mark Redmon would love to sign a four year deal but the Twins may be cautious with him because of his lack of big league experience. Maybe after another good season they'll take a look at locking him up for three or four years, but you can't really make a financial decision like that based on one year of major league pitching. All position players are due to report to camp this weekend to join the pitchers and catchers! April 3rd is opening day!
|Wednesday, February 14, 2001|
|Craigs Corner 2/12/01 - 2/18/01|
Saturday, February 17, 2001
Rolf Eisinger finished 29th in the Nordic Pursuit Event at the State Nordic Ski Meet at Giants Ridge near Biwabik on Friday. Rolf was 16th in the Freestyle Race and 52nd in the Classic Race.
Eisinger, a senior at Fergus Falls High School was competing in his second straight state meet.
The Otter boys basketball team will definitely miss guard Josh Cossette, who is out with a broken hand. The injury occurred in the Otters win over Staples-Motley a week ago. It's possible Cossette could be back in time for the playoffs. He'll see a doctor on the 26th of this month to check on the healing process.
Travis Marohl is back in the Fergus Falls lineup after missing the last couple of weeks with back spasms. He had a nice return to the lineup in Moorhead, connecting on four three's.
West Central Area senior guard David Drexler scored 30 points in the Knights 65-64 win over Hillcrest on Friday night. That performance leaves Drexler just three points away from 1000 points in his career.
Battle Lake senior John Mess reached the 1000 career point mark against Underwood on Friday night.
The Moorhead girls hockey team has advanced to state with a 3-0 win over Warroad on Friday night. The Spuds are coached by FFHS graduate Jim MacFarlane.
Thursday, February 15, 2001
Longtime FFCC football coach Lloyd Danzeisen is one of two finalists for the position of head football coach and faculty teacher in the health/physical education department at Rochester Community and Technical College.
Winona State University coach Tom Hosier is the other remaining finalist. A third finalist, Duey Naatz, University of Wisconsin-Stout assistant coach, has reportedly received an offer from Rochester, but did not accept it. RCTC president Don Supalla said that if the top candidate rejected the offer, the position would then be offered to one of the other two.
The ten-person search committee included Chuck Siefert, who resigned as interim head coach in January after the Yellowjackets completed an unbeaten season resulting in a junior college national championship. Siefert became interim head coach last season after the sudden death of former Rochester head coach Joel Swisher.
Danziesen has been in Fergus Falls for eighteen years and his teams have had ten winning seasons, eight division championships, and four state runner-up trophies.
There's no question that Rochester has the premier junior college football program in the state of Minnesota and is one of the top programs in the nation year after year. Lloyd told me that he got into the running for the head coaching position really late in the game. Selecting him as one of three finalists shows me that they have a lot of respect for what he has accomplished here at FFCC. An announcement should be forthcoming, perhaps this week, from Rochester.
Wednesday, February 14, 2001
Senior Sean Belmont of the Ottertail Central Bulldogs earned his 100th career wrestling victory last night. It was his 28th win of the season against only two losses.
Belmont, wrestling at 171 pounds, pinned his opponent in just fifty-eight seconds in the Bulldogs team loss to Staples-Motley in the Section 7AA team tournament.
Sean should get a number two or three seed in the Section individual tournament at his weight, with the top two finishers moving on to state. The Section 7AA individual tournament will be held on February 23rd and 24th in Perham.
The other Bulldogs with the best chances at receiving top four seeds in their weight classes are senior Phil Risbrudt at heavyweight, junior Ben Aakre at 152, junior Lucas Sem at 160 and sophomore Kyle Anderson at 140.
|Monday, February 5, 2001|
|Craigs Corner 02/05/01 - 02/11/01|
|Sunday, February 11th, 2001|
Region 13 Playoff action in Fergus Falls? It has become a real possibility after the way things went this weekend in the MCCC.
To host the Community College Region 13 basketball tournaments, the Lady Spartans and the Spartan men need to win their regular season Northern Division Championships. Under a rotation system, it is the North's turn to host the tournament, which has undergone some revisions in the past few years.
Four teams qualify for the Region Tourney. They are the North and South Division Champs for the regular season, the highest finishing team at the Minnesota State Tournament other than the regular season division champs, and the Wisconsin champion.
Both Spartan teams are sitting on top of their division standings with only two games to play, both at home, both this week. Wins over Northland on Monday and Central Lakes on Thursday will bring about the home tournament action March 2nd, 3rd and 4th at FFCC. Let's hope for the best! It would be great to see a huge turnout of Spartan fans at the last two regular season games.
Nathan Thompson, competing in the 10 and 11 year old age division of the Elks Hoop Shoot Competition, has qualified for the State Hoop Shoot Competition in Hutchinson on February 17th. He moves on after hitting 16 of 25 free throws and then winning a three player tiebreaker format by making five of five free throws in an overtime session, winning the Central District Contest in Wadena. Nathan is the son of Dorinne and Gary Thompson of Fergus Falls.
Eli Ugstad lost a decision to Cody McManigle of Wadena on Saturday in a Boxing Card at the Wadena Armory. It was the first loss for Eli to McManigle in five career bouts. Eli fights at 112 pounds in the 13 year old division.
Another one of Chuck Elliott's boxers, Andy Kolle, is training for the USA Boxing Regionals this coming weekend in Norfolk, Nebraska. It's Andy's third trip in a row to this event, which he won last year. Andy took runnerup two yars ago in this tourney.
When is the last time Staples-Motley lost back-to-back games at home?
Has Staples-Motley ever been held to just 36 points in a game?
Did Jeff Brever only score 6 points against the Otters on Saturday night or was Josh Cossette's defensive play just an illusion? ANSWER: NO ILLUSION! What a big win for Gary Schuler's team! After losses at Detroit Lakes and Wahpeton this week in two ugly games, the Otters put the clamps on the Cardinals, big time. Staples-Motley, after a 16 point first quarter, scored 7 in the second, 7 in the third and 6 in the fourth. It wasn't only Cossette that stood out on defense, it's a total team concept and effort. Things don't get any easier for FFHS with road games at Moorhead on Friday night and at Alexandria on Saturday.
Wednesday, February 7th, 2001
Way to go Rolf! Senior Rolf Eisinger of the Fergus Falls Nordic Ski Team has won the Section individual championship!
The Section meet was held at Camp Ripley near Little Falls on Wednesday. Rolf will now compete at Giants Ridge near Biwabik in the state meet next Friday. We'll have a story with more details for you later.
A very special night indeed at FFCC on Tuesday as the members of the 1998 NJCAA Division III National Championship team received championship rings.
All of the team members were on hand for the special ceremony and the Spartan ballgames against NDSCS.
"We had a packed house and the crowd really got into the ceremony," said coach Dave Retzlaff. "We had such a great time seeing all the guys and visiting with them. Many of the instructors at the college and several fans had the opportunity to renew acquaintances, too. It was quite a night."
The Spartan men also thrilled the crowd with 55% shooting and outstanding defensive play as they beat NDSCS for the second time this season in convincing fashion, 101-75. They are now 20-3 and have won 10 in a row.
Daron Anderson has been named this week's MCCC Northern Division player of the week. In the Spartans two wins on the range over the weekend, Anderson scored 29 points in each game. He also hit 15 of 17 free throws over the two days. The sophomore guard is from Belle Plaine, Minnesota.
Doug Bruggeman's Pelican Rapids girls basketball team did something no other team has been able to do this year. They beat the Breckenridge Cowgirls on Tuesday night in Pelican Rapids and they did it impressively. The Vikings hit over 50% of their shots and won the game 65-48. The Cowgirls have been ranked number one in Class 2A girls basketball for most of the year.
The loss to Detroit Lakes on Tuesday night by the Otter boys basketball team was the first since the 1987-1988 season when the Lakers beat the Otters 60-53. The winning streak since that game was at 31 straight before the 64-50 loss this week.
Monday, February 5th, 2001
The record of 129 consecutive match victories in Minnesota High School Wrestling fell over the weekend. Steve Carr, who wrestled for Battle Lake and Moorhead High School's held the record for over two decades.
Carr's record was removed by Bloomington Kennedy's Marcus LeVesseur, who won his 130th straight match on Saturday afternoon. LeVesseur has not lost since January of 1998 and is 35-0 this year.
Former Perham High School wrestler Justin Staebler is 15-9 for the Wisconsin Badgers and is ranked 17th in the Nation in the heavyweight division. Staebler lost two overtime matches over the weekend, 3-1 to Purdue's heavyweight and 2-1 to Matt Brenk of Michigan, the number 3 heavyweight in the nation. Wisconsis is ranked #23 in the country and is 9-7-1 overall and 1-3 in the tough Big Ten.
Fergus Falls boxer Adam Devorak was the runner-up at 139 pounds in the 12 and 13 year old age division at the National Silver Gloves Tournament in Lenexa, Kansas. Devorak lost a decision to Vincent Arrioyo of Amherst, New York. He is the 7th Fergus Falls boxer in the last 11 years to claim a national runner-up spot in this event. Adam's teammate, Eli Ugstad was third at 112 pounds in the 14 and 15 year old divison. Ugstad lost a decision to Miguel Gonzalez of Cleveland, Ohio in the semifinals. Gonzalez was the eventual champion.
Another Fergus Falsl boxer, Andy Kolle will fight in the USA Boxing Regional Championships on February 16th and 17th in Norfolk, Nebraska.