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Monday, June 25, 2001
Craigs Corner 6/25/01 - 7/01/01
Saturday, June 30th, 2001
Part of the Countryside League All-Star Game night was the homerun hitting contest which was won by Greg Thorstad of the Henning Giants.

Each of the eight league teams had one representative in the contest and each player had ten swings. Thorstad hit three homeruns to edge out Aaron Olson of the Fergus Falls Hurricanes and Jason Brueske of Deer Creek who each had two homers.

Brian Heston of Frazee, Jeff Zitzow of Vergas and Jerrod Heacox of Pelican Rapids each had one.

The North beat the South 16-4, outhitting them 18-5. Justin Arneson of the 'Canes hit a pair of homers and knocked in five runs. Two more Fergus Falls players went deep, Clayton Horgen, a two-run shot in the 8th and Olson with a two-run dinger in the first. Darren Opsahl of Pelican Rapids was the winning pitcher.

Thursday, June 28th, 2001
The area's best amateur baseball players will participate in the Countryside League All-Star game on Friday night at Al Krueger Field in Perham.

The evening begins with the homerun hitting contest at 7:00 p.m. and the game starts at 8:00 p.m. Four players from each team in the league have been selected to play in the contest.

I don't have the full roster for the North and South teams, but here are some of the all-stars. The Fergus Falls Hurricanes will be represented by Justin Arneson, Aaron Olson, Clayton Horgen and Kellen Shebeck. The members of the Pelican Rapids Lakers to be chosen include Jerrod Heacox, Darren Opsahl, Darren Goltz and Tim Nelson. All-stars from the Vergas Loons are Jake Stoll, Ethan Soland, A.J. Bunkowske and Jeff Zitzow. Frazee has Brian Heston, Jim Nelson, Joe Erb and Tom Wacker on the squad. Henning players chosen are Eric Olson, Marshall Koep, Greg Thorstad and Jon Severson. Players from Perham, Dent and Deer Creek will also be involved.
Tuesday, June 26th, 2001
Troy Wasiloski of the Fergus Falls Otter and American Legion Post 30 baseball teams, was one of the top players in the recently completed 27th Annual Lions All-Star Baseball Classic.

Wasiloski, playing third base, went 6-for-8 at the plate in three games for the North All-Stars. Troy had three singles, a pair of doubles and a solo homerun. The North lost all three of their games in the round-robin competition but Wasiloski stood out with his performance.

Two former Otter soccer players, Matt Haws and Nik Pickett, took part in the Maroon and Gold Senior Classic on Sunday at Macalester College. The Maroon team which they played on won the game 5-2 with Haws scoring their second goal of the contest, nineteen minutes into the game to make it 2-0 at that point. The Gold rallied to forge a 2-2 halftime tie but the Maroon All-Stars scored three consecutive goals in the second half for the win. Pickett played the last thirty minutes in goal, making seven stops. He did not allow a goal. Haws was named one of the three team MVP's.
Monday, June 25th, 2001
Lady Spartans Coach Ann Williams and her assistant Brenda Johnson will be taking a team of six area girls to Hawaii as a part of the World Class Sports All-Star Basketball Tournament.

The team will leave on Tuesday morning and will be gone for eight days, playing four tournament games during that time. Girls on the teams can't be 19 years of age when the tournament starts to be eligible to be on the roster.

Shanna Hensch, who played high school basketball for Mike McCarney in Battle Lake, participated in this tournament with a North Dakota team last year.

Members of the team that will be coached by Williams and Johnson are Spartan recruit Robbi Schreiner, a point guard from Ulen-Hitterdal, Pelican Rapids High School players Brandi Lass and Lindsay Lass, Cassie Benson of Ashby, Kaci Miller from Osakis and Brianne Gottenborg of Hawley.

We are hoping to have some e-mail accounts of the tournament and trip highlights from the two Lass girls and Benson, as well as some comments from Coach Williams. Any information we received from the trip will be relayed in a Craig's Corner update.

Amy Schoeck and Kelly Martin of the Divison III National Championship Lady Spartans basketball team will be teammates at Valley City State University this coming school year. Martin had decided to continue her playing career earlier this spring but Schoeck just decided to join her this past week. Former Glyndon-Felton standout Jill Devries is the coach at Valley City.

Former Otter and Spartan Laurie Rueckert is the new head girls basketball coach in Wheaton. Rueckert will be a fourth grade classroom teacher. She has spent the last five years in Richland, North Dakota coaching basketball and volleyball, along with her elementary school teaching.
Posted By Craig Olson
Monday, June 18, 2001
Craigs Corner 6/18/01 - 6/24/01
Thursday, June 21st, 2001
Aaron Sletten of Underwood has set the new course record at Bal-Moral Golf Course near Battle Lake. His round of 64 included 3 eagles and 3 birdies.

Sletten shot a 33 on the front nine and a 31 on the back nine. Par on the course is 72 and Sletten's previous best round on the course was a "69 or 70". Aaron just completed his collegiate golfing career by helping Cameron University of Lawton, Oklahoma to a 9th place finish in the NCAA Division II National Championships.

Lakes Radio is planning a Twins bus trip on Sunday, July 22nd. The game against the Seattle Mariners begins at 1:05 p.m. The comfortable motor coach from Ottertail Coaches will load at 7:45 a.m. and leave at 8:00 a.m. from the Lakes Radio studios at 728 Western Avenue North. The cost of the trip is $29.00 per person with a total of 45 tickets available. For more information or to sign up stop by the Lakes Radio studios.

Tuesday, June 19th, 2001
Fergus Falls boys soccer coach Scott Bjerke and two of his players, Nik Pickett and Matt Haws will be a part of the Senior Classic soccer game this weekend in the Twin Cities.

Bjerke will be an assistant coach for the Maroon team, helping out Osseo head coach Jeff Siegel. Pickett, a senior goalkeeper, and Haws, the all-time scoring leader on the Otters were nominated by their coach, along with defenseman Jon Matteson and Andy Mathison.

The game will be played at Macalaster Stadium on Sunday, June 10th at 5:00 p.m.

Losing four straight games and still in first place by 1/2 game? Who would have thunk it?!?!? The Twins were helped out by the Pittsburgh Pirates who swept three games from the Indians over the weekend.

The win on Tuesday at Cleveland (10-9 in 12 innings) showed that the Twins can come from behind and survive a poor showing by their bullpen. Bob Wells came up big with three solid innings out of the pen. It's good to see Corey Koskie getting some clutch hits (4-for-6, 2 RBI) and AJ Pierzynski is on a roll, too (3-for-6, HR, 3 RBI). He's had some big games for the Twins and has his average close to .290.

Two more games against the Indians, including Joe Mays versus Chuck Finley on Wednesday night.

Monday, June 18th, 2001
Amateur baseball leagues are in full swing and one of the Countryside League teams will be having a special ceremony recognizing members of their 1980 and 1981 State Tournament teams.

The team is the Dent Ramblers and the ceremony will take place at Jake Wolford Field in Dent on July 3rd at 7:00 p.m. Baseball fans from all around the region are invited to come and enjoy the festivities as these ballplayers from 20 years ago walk out on the field one more time.

Immediately following the ceremony, the 2001 edition of the Ramblers will host the Frazee Flames in a Countryside League matchup. In case of inclement weather the ceremony will be held at the Senior Citizens Center at 7:00 p.m.

On July 4th, all Dent Rambler baseball players and fans, past and present, are welcome to gather at the residence of Marv Hexum at 1:00 p.m. to relive old memories and have a good time. A potluck dinner will be held at 5:00 p.m. Marv and Ann Hexum can be reached at (218)758-2561. If anyone has any questions you can contact Dennis Soderstrom at (218)346-4380.

Could you believe the ending of the U.S. Open Golf Tournament? It was shocking to see Retief Goosen and Stewart Cink miss so many short putts on the 18th hole. If Cink makes that short bogey putt, he's in the playoff today. If Goosen makes his short par putt, he wins the tournament. Mark Brooks had his locker cleaned out and his bags packed when the unlikely events of the 18th hole put him in an 18-hole playoff today with Goosen. I like Brooks' chances today after Goosen choked away the championship yesterday. Tiger sure struggled, didn't he? He missed many putts that were automatic in last year's Open at Pebble Beach, and he was really struggling with his shotmaking all four days.

Twins lose three straight to the Cubs and don't lose any ground in the standings because Cleveland unbelievably dropped all three games of their weekend series with the Pittsburgh Pirates, who entered the weekend with the worst record in the National League. The Twins still hold a 1/2 game lead over the Indians heading into their three game series at Jacobs Field starting on Tuesday night when Eric Milton takes the mound.
Posted By Craig Olson
Tuesday, June 12, 2001
Craigs Corner 6/11/01 - 6/17/01
Tuesday, June 12th, 2001
I feel out of touch with the sporting world, except for the just completed state track meet and the beginning of the junior golf season!

I've said it before in the column, and on the radio, and I'm going to say it again ... I really enjoy covering the state track and field meet. It's exciting to see high school kids compete at a facility like the National Sports Center in Blaine and excell at the level they do. There were several meet and all-time records set over the weekend, primarily in AA events. The weather was perfect for the meet!

Although we didn't have the usual number of area athletes involved this year, we did have a champion from our region. Senior Rachel Longfors of Pelican Rapids won the discus. It was one of her goals to establish a new Class 'A' state record in that event, but her throw of 148'7" was short of the 154'0" record. She had gone 162'0" in the Section meet, but couldn't get it done on Friday. Rachel will be a member of the University of Florida track and field team next year.

My son, Ben, just completed his sophomore year of high school at FFHS and was a member of the golf team. He has played summer junior tournaments for the past four years and is in his second summer on the Players' Tour. He and 59 other boys 13-18 years of age, will play a six-event tour over the next seven weeks with individual tournament champions being crowned and a cumulative points standing for all six events. The top performers will compete with golfers from three other tours in the state in a tournament of champions in August. There are also 20 girls on each tour.

There are some tremendous junior golfers out there, and the courses they get to experience are outstanding. In fact, later this summer Ben's tour plays at Hazeltine, site of next year's PGA Championship and host of previous U.S. Open Tournaments. On Monday, his group played at the Tom Lehman designed Troy Burne Golf Course in Hudson, Wisconsin. What a beautiful course! Ben's 80 tied him for 15th place in a tough field. Mike Cavanagh from Perham is also involved on the tour. Mike shot an 82 Monday but qualified Tuesday at NorthForks at Ramsey, for the Junior Tour Match Play Tournament to be held at the Legacy in Brainerd in July. He shot a two-over 74 on Tuesday and was one of 12 golfers to advance. Ben shot an 80 again and didn't make the qualifying field. Other upcoming matches will be held at Perham Lakeside Country Club, Moorhead Country Club, Greystone (another Lehman designed course) in Sauk Centre and the Edina Country Club. The number of junior golfers out there is amazing! The Minnesota Junior PGA says over 1300 kids will play golf in the junior events or Players' Tour this summer.

There is a tremendous opportunity out there for girls who want to golf. Although each leg of the Junior Tour has spots for 20 girls, there are rarely that many signed up. In fact, at Troy Burne on Monday only ten girls competed. The popularity of girls junior golf is beginning to take off and colleges have scholarship dollars available to fill spots on their teams. It's a great time to be a female athlete, especially in sports like golf and hockey which are coming into their own at the collegiate level. If you have a youngster interested in getting started in golf, talk to Brock Swanson at the Pebble Lake Golf Club.
Posted By Craig Olson
Monday, June 4, 2001
Craigs Corner 6/04/01 - 6/10/01
Thursday, June 7th, 2001
One of the finest spectacles of high school athletic competition begins on Friday at the National Sports Center in Blaine as the State Track and Field Meet gets underway.

One of the top stories to watch from our area is the attempt by sophomore Jenny Reff of Fergus Falls High School to succesfully defend her 800 meter run championship. Two other Otters, Josh Cossette and Luke Draxten are also in the state meet. Draxten will compete as one of five high jumpers from Section 8AA to qualify and Cossette will run the 800.

Rachel Longfors will be attempting to win the discus, where she has excelled all season, and will also give it a "shot" in the shot put. The Pelican Rapids senior has an excellent chance at winning the discus.

Perham's Gabriel Anderson, just a freshman, is competing in two races, the 800 and 1600. She should have a good chance to medal in both. Her senior teammate, Paula Stromme, will join her in the 1600 meter run field and junior Mike Neels, the only Yellowjacket boys athlete to qualify, competes in the triple jump.

Agassiz Valley will have two pole vaulters, Karla Solum and Kelly Anderson, two juniors. Senior Sheena Berg is making a return trip to state in the 300 meter hurdles. Matt Sogn will be participating in the shot put.

A couple of other area competitors heading to the meet include Jerry Aakre of Ottertail Central who is making a return trip in the triple jump and a first time trip in the long jump, and junior Cassie Benson, making her first trip as a long jumper.

This is a great event and I always look forward to covering it for AM 1250 KBRF and the Lakes 99.5, KPRW in Perham. You can hear hourly updates beginning friday afternoon around one or two o'clock.

The Brandon-Evansville Chargers will play their first round game in the Girls Class A State Softball Tournament at one p.m. Friday at Caswell Field in Mankato. Their opponent will be Silver Bay. The Chargers second round game will be played at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 9th. The second round game is a change from the original schedule due to Brandon's graduation at 8:00 p.m. on Friday. Finals and consolation will be at 12:00 noon Saturday.

Elk River, the Section 8AA team tennis champion, finished fourth at the State Class AA meet, losing the third place match 6-1 to Edina.



Wednesday, June 6th, 2001
The St. John's University 'Otters'? It seems like an appropriate nickname change since four former Fergus Falls High School soccer players will be playing for the Division III college program this fall.

Goalkeeper Nik Pickett became the fourth former Otter and third senior off this year's team to commit to St. John's a short time ago. Earlier decisions were made by Matt Haws and Jon Matteson. Andrew Spidahl, another former Otter is already at St. John's.

In addition to Pickett's goalkeeping skills, the Johnnies get a solid defensive player in Matteson and a player with a nose for the net in Haws, the all-time leading scorer for the Otters. Also Haws' uncle, Pat Haws is the head coach at St. John's.

These guys know success. In their varsity careers the Otters were 71-8-4 with three appearances in the section finals and a state tournament appearance their junior season.

The Minnesota Twins are holding one of their 27 Youth Clinics this Friday in Perham at Al Krueger Field, beginning at 3:00 p.m. If there's rain they'll move it indoors to the Perham Area Community Center. The three-hour clinics are free, require now registration, and are open to boys and girls ages 6 to 16. Twins baseball instructors will teach hitting, fielding and pitching at each session.

The clinics were established in 1961 by longtime Twins scout Angelo Guiliani. Guiliani, by the way, threw out the first pitch at the Twins doubleheader on the 26th of May, their turn back the clock game. I just found a pin from 1967 that every clinic participant received from the coaches, including Guiliani. I received it at a Twins clinic as a 12-year-old little leaguer. It's a great opportunity for kids to learn the skills of the game. More than 800,000 boys and girls have participated in the clinics since their inception.

Monday, June 4th, 2001
Fergus Falls Community College basketball player Shawn Sorenson received a life saving kidney transplant on May 17th and is recovering nicely. Now, friends and fans have a chance to help.

Shawn's older brother Matt Sorenson was the donor. Matt was a student at FFCC before transferring to St. Cloud State University.

To assist with the enormous financial costs of the surgeries and follow-up medication that Shawn must take to prevent rejection, there will be a benefit for Shawn and Matt on Saturday, June 9th at Shooters in Appleton, Minnesota. As a part of the benefit a three-on-three basketball tournament will be held beginning at 12:00 noon. The divisions are as follows:
Girls Grade 3-6, 7-9, 10-12
Boys Grade 3-4, 5-6, 7-8, 9-10, 11-12
Open Divisions:
Women age 18-up
Men age 18-up

All divisions have a $25.00 per team entry fee with the proceeds going to the benefit. Contact Ritchie Voorhees at 320-289-1300 to enter. Pre-registration is requested by Friday June 8th.

There will also be a hot dog lunch for a nominal fee and there is also a free will offering BBQ beef supper. Matching funds from AAL Branches and Lutheran Brotherhood have been requested.

Show your support for the Sorenson family and help Shawn on his way to a speedy and full recovery by attending or sending a donation. Send donations to:

Shawn Sorenson Benefit
Prairie State Bank
250 North Miles Street
Appleton, MN 56208


Checks should be made out to Shawn Sorenson Benefit.
Posted By Craig Olson
Lake Region Healthcare
Cline Jensen P.A.
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