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Monday, August 27, 2001
Craigs Corner 8/27/01 - 9/02/01
Saturday, September 1st, 2001
Injuries are a part of sports. It's unfortunate, but it's a fact. That fact was driven home Saturday afternoon when Spartan quarterback Ben Brimhall broke his collarbone during a game against Mesabi Range CC.

Brimhall, the top quarterback in the Minnesota Community College Conference as a freshman a year ago, had thrown six TD passes in his first six quarters and is currently being highly recruited by several four year schools. The injury will take between six and eight weeks to heal. It's possible that Brimhall can become a redshirt player and still have three seasons of college eligibility remaining.

There's no doubt that Ben can be a succesful quarterback at the Division II and I believe, Division I level. He is fortunate that the injury wasn't to his shoulder or knee. A broken collarbone is no fun, but it's also not a career threatening injury for a quarterback.

The Spartans have a huge question mark at the QB spot now. They go from having the most explosive passer in the state to having the most inexperienced group of signal callers. Charles Woida from Eagle Bend appears to be the likely replacement, at least initially. There are two other freshman listed at the position, Aaron Welle from Melrose and Tyreke Booker from Chicago, Illinois.

The 0-2 start by the Spartans has already put a damper on their playoff hopes, but the loss of Brimhall deals them a near fatal blow. They really need to pull together and record a couple of wins in the next two weeks to get things going in a positive direction.

Thursday, August 30th, 2001
Golf is a fun game. Golf is also a frustrating game. Is it enough fun to want to play over 100 holes in a day? Or, is it just too frustrating to imagine that?

I guess the answer to that question might be different before and after the actual challenge is met. Right now, I'm sure Sue Schatz, Jim Fish, Dennis Roers and Brock Swanson are thinking that it's going to be fun to play golf all day on Thursday, September 6th. Schatz, Fish and Roers will each play (at least attempt to play) 108 holes of golf at the Pebble Lake Golf Course and Brock Swanson, the club pro, will attempt to play 200 holes of golf the same day. Why, you ask? Good question ... read on.

It's a fund raiser for the PLGC. Pledges are being solicited by the four golfaholics, with funds to be committed to the course for improvements. There are several projects that the board of directors has deemed important in the near future and this is one way of contributing to some of those projects. If you'd like to make a pledge, talk to one of the four golfers, but don't disturb their sleep ... they will need to be well rested for their "fun" day of golf on September 6th.

Speaking of golf, the manager of the Fergus Falls McDonalds, Lincoln Kalenberg, who manages to spend a little time at Pebble Lake Golf Course in the summer months, notched his 'first' hole-in-one on Wednesday. It actually came at The Preserve near Nisswa, Minnesota. Lincoln aced the Par 3, 165-yard, 13th hole using a 9-iron. He had quite a gallery, too. Play was slow and the group behind his group was waiting on the tee box, so they witnessed the ace, as did the ranger, who was stationed at that hole, and the beverage cart driver, who just happened to be there, too. In sticking with golf tradition, Kalenberg had to dig deep to celebrate his memorable shot! Congratulations!

I love to hear of area folks getting aces, so if you know of one or are playing with someone when it happens, send me an e-mail or give me a call!

Wednesday, August 29th, 2001
Well known former sportscaster, teacher, coach, park and recreation director and school board member, Oats LeGrand celebrates his 85th birthday on Sunday!

If you happen to bump into Oats over the next few days, be sure to wish him a Happy Birthday. It's been a few years now since Oats left the broadcast booth, and less than a year since he left the school board.

One thing Oats has done for years is present teams and coaches with homemade poster-cards wishing them well in an upcoming season or big game. He's quite a handy artist and loves to put these together! I know the coaches and players have always appreciated his thoughtfulness.

Oats is one reason I even got interested in radio sports broadcasting. He is my uncle (by marriage, his wife, Eunice, is my dad's sister), and I remember as a youngster seeing Oats call basketball games from midcourt! Watching the game from the best seat in the house and relaying information about what was happening to those fans who couldn't be in attendance! Sounded like a pretty good job to me, especially when I found out that not only didn't he have to pay to get in, but they paid him to do it!! Hard to beat that deal, right?

Those who heard his unique style and soothing(?) voice over the years, know that there will never be another Oats LeGrand! He is one of a kind, and a legend in these parts! So much so that Sports Illustrated Magazine named him the Rural Sportscaster of American back in the mid-80's. He loves kids, and he always loved giving them publicity!

Happy 85th Oats!

Monday, August 27th, 2001
When I put this website up on August 31st, 1999, I had this hope of adding several others to what would be a network of local sports sites around the state, the midwest and eventually the USA. Well, there's one more on line as of today!

Thanks to the cooperation and expertise of Darren Rogness, founder of MidwestSportsNetwork.com and StateTourney.com, our network of sites is starting to grow. Last year at this time, Kyle Gylsen of Wadena put SportsCow.com on line. Now, Todd Bergeth of Willmar is on line with BergyBall.com. Kyle and Todd, like me, are radio sports broadcasters in their communities. They also share a passion for covering local high school and collegiate athletes. Their areas will be better served because of what is available on the net from them about their community's schools.

Please take a minute to visit their sites, bookmark them, and check in occasionally throughout the next several months as the high school and community college sports scene heats up. Teams in my coverage area will be facing some of the teams in their coverage area and you can check them out in advance by visiting the two sites listed above. It will make for you being a more informed fan!

Posted By Craig Olson
Monday, August 20, 2001
Craigs Corner 8/20/01 - 8/26/01
Wednesday, August 22nd, 2001
With the fall sports season underway, www.craigolsonsports.com has begun our season previews, and we hope you'll check them out.

As we receive information from area coaches we will be writing previews of each team for each school in our coverage area. Check the headlines daily on the home page to catch them all.

It should be a very enjoyable Fall season. One of the more interesting conference races should be the Little 8 Conference volleyball race. Defending champion, Ashby, will have plenty of competiton from Battle Lake, Underwood, Hillcrest Lutheran Academy and Brandon-Evansville. As Ashby coach Brenda Johnson put it in her pre-season comments, "it will be a real dog fight."

Perham cross country runners Jake Januszewski and Gabriele Anderson, will try to equal, or improve on, their third place finishes in state competition a year ago. Both teams qualified for the State Class A Cross Country meet and coaches Deanna Kovash and Brad Hickerson have solid teams returning. Steve Maresh at Pelican Rapids also has some excellent talent coming back, including state competitor Moises Urbano.

Fergus Falls soccer provided a lot of excitement last season and should do so again this year. Most of the starters are back for the girls and although the boys lost several key players, many of whom are playing collegiately, the numbers are strong and the team will be very good.

Football finds Fergus Falls in a new conference, the Central Lakes, with several old rivals back on the schedule. After opening at Bemidji, the Otters will host Moorhead. What a way to start the season! A couple of great openers are on tap next week. On Thursday, Underwood christens their new field with an afternoon contest against Hillcrest and on Friday, Pelican Rapids and West Central Area will clash. Ashby takes the field with a new head coach, Roger Jansen, who has a baptism by fire as his team hosts the Verndale Pirates on Friday night. With construction on the new Battle Lake Athletic Complex being completed this fall, all of the Otter Tail Central home games, including the Thursday opener with Brandon-Evansville, will be played in Henning. OTC is coming off a state runner-up season in Class 2A. Agassiz Valley introduces a new head coach, Stacy Marz, who replaces Al Krueger. The Thunder will open their season at home Friday against D-G-F.

FFCC has 67 players out for football, the most in a long time, and several from the immediate area. It will be an exciting season for Lloyd Danzeisen's squad. They open up on Friday at UMD in the MCCC Showcase, against Itasca Community College.

Well, this is a synopsis of what is happening this fall. Remember to check the site daily for previews of the various sports teams from our area schools!

Monday, August 20th, 2001
The Otter boys soccer team participated in a jamboree over the weekend in Blaine, winning three and tying one in their pool play.

Coach Scott Bjerke's squad defeated Minneapolis Cooper 2-1, beat Meadow Creek Christian School 1-0, tied with Simley 0-0 and shutout Park Center 3-0. The season will open on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. when the Otters host Elk River at the Middle School Field.

Former Underwood standout Jenny Gronner has made a full recovery from her knee injury and is excited to resume her college volleyball career at NDSU. Her coach is also excited. "Jenny has worked every day in getting the knee back," commented Zaundra Bina. "Jenny has a real strong ability to play all the way around. She has a great competitive attitude on the floor. We look for her to challenge for a regular role immediately as a sophomore."

After a productive first year in the Bison system, Jenny suffered a knee injury during the last week of 2000 spring practice that kept her out for the entire 2000 season. She is a 1999 Underwood High School graduate. She is majoring in history with a minor is sociology/anthropology.

It's time to register for Fall Co-Ed Softball Leagues in Fergus Falls. Co-Ed softball is played Wednesday nights starting August 29th. Register your team at the Fergus Falls Park and Recreation office before Wednesday, August 22nd. For more information or to register call 739-3205.
Posted By Craig Olson
Monday, August 13, 2001
Craigs Corner 08/13/01 - 08/19/01
Thursday, August 16th, 2001
There will be some new faces on the Ashby football sidelines this fall, and in the Administrative Offices.

Athletic Director, Terry Karger, and long time coach and physical education/health instructor, Terry Miller, both resigned this summer. Karger to take the principal's job at Frazee-Vergas, and Miller to move into a teaching and coaching position at Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City.

A 23-year coaching veteran, Roger Jansen, will replace Miller on the field and Karger in the office. In addition to being head football coach and Athletic Director, he will be the principal for grades 7 through 12. Jansen was the head girls basketball coach at Dassel-Cokato High School for 16 years and an assistant coach in football for 23 years. This will be Jansen's
first administrative position. He did his undergraduate work at Gustavus-Adolphus and earned his Masters at St. Cloud State University.

"Roger is a great addition to our staff," stated Ashby Superintendent, Bernie Novak. "I think he'll do what needs to be done for the students in our school. He is very student oriented and goal oriented."

Assistant coach Steve LeDuc comes to Ashby from St. Thomas Academy where he was an assistant football and basketball coach, and head baseball coach. LeDuc was a 1983 St. Paul Hill Murray graduate and a 1986 graduate of Boston College, where he was a teammate of NFL quarterback, Doug Flutie. LeDuc also spent two years playing football in the Canadian Football League with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers as a linebacker and fullback. He will replace Miller as physical education/health instructor, and will also be an assistant coach in girls basketball and possibly baseball.

"The kids have been wonderful to work with," said LeDuc. "I love the small town setting and the down to earth attitudes of the kids."

LeDuc was an accountant for a legal firm in the Twin Cities area while doing his coaching stints at St. Thomas Academy, but decided to get his teaching degree from River Falls, Wisconsin, and pursue teaching and coaching on a full time basis.

"I just wasn't getting enough time with the kids, and that's what I wanted to do," added LeDuc.

Ashby has 35 players out for football and will open their season with a home game against Verndale on August 31st. They will participate in the Hillcrest Scrimmage on August 25th and will host a 'Meet the Arrows' night at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 23rd.

Tuesday, August 14th, 2001
Recent Fergus Falls High School graduate, Dustin Harris, came back strong in the consolation bracket of the Pine-to-Palm golf tournament, losing to Brandon Askew of Fargo and UNLV, in the consolation semifinals on Sunday morning.

After losing to Kirk Eilertson of Detroit Lakes on Thursday, Harris entered consolation play on Friday morning. In Friday's match he downed David Brown of Plymouth, 2 and 1. Harris trailed by 2 holes after nine, but fought back to win hole ten with a birdie and evened the match by winning the 11th hole. Harris won holes 16 and 17 to take the match.

Saturday morning Harris advanced with a 5 and 4 win over Mike Stirling of Fargo. Dustin took a two hole lead after five holes, took a four hole lead after eleven and closed the match out on #14.

On Saturday afternoon he won 3 of the first 6 holes against Mike Seelye of DL and went 4 up after 9 holes. Winning hole #11 with a birdie put Harris 5 up with 7 holes to go but Seelye did not give up. He won two of the next three holes to cut Harris' lead to 3 holes. Harris managed to regroup and wone hole #15 to win the match 4 and 3, advancing to the semifinals of the consolation bracket on Sunday morning.

Harris shot a two over par, 38 on the first nine holes, only to see Askew shoot a 3 under par, 33 and take a 3 hole lead. Askew birdied two of the first three holes on the back nine to take a 5 hole lead and closed out the match with a 5 and 4 win.

This was Dustin's first appearance in the prestigious Pine-to-Palm golf tournament. Although disappointed with the loss, Harris was pleased to have advanced to play on Sunday. Over 210 players participated in the championship flight, with just 8 playing on Sunday.

Harris has plans to attend the Professional Golfers Career College and International Golf Academy in Temecula, California. This is a college designed to meet the worldwide need for golf professionals trained both in the sport and in its business management. This unique college combines a sophisticated business curriculum with practical, polished golf skills. It consists of a 17 month program with graduates earning a Specialized Associate Degree in Professional Golf Management. Students attend classes from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon and are then required to either play golf at one of ten courses, take a lesson, or hit on the range in the afternoon.

Nice job Dustin, and good luck as you pursue a career in golf.

Monday, August 13th, 2001
Former Fergus Falls Hurricane, Ryan Olson, is quite proud of younger brother, Aaron, the MVP of the Region 16C Amateur Baseball Tournament, but is disappointed that he won't be joining his brother at the State Amateur Baseball Tournament which begins on Friday.

Ryan, who played some great baseball for the Otters in high school, Valley City State University in college and the 'Canes in amateur ball up to this year, saw his current team, the Moorhead Brewers, lose in the Region 12C playoffs over the weekend. The Brewers lost an 8-4 decision to Roseau on Saturday, which prevented them from advancing. Former Spartan pitcher, Jack Chapin started the game and according to Ryan, "threw well, but had a few walks that hurt him in the long run." The Brewers trailed 7-3 after seven innings, loaded the bases in the 8th, but failed to score. Ryan and a former VCSU Viking teammate, Chris Clemenson, each had 3 hits in the game.

The Brewers won the West Central League playoff championship, in their first year of competition in the league. "Look for us to be a power house next year," said Olson. "We are already starting to do some recruiting."

On the 'Canes winning the Region 16C title, Ryan said, "They've got a good nucleus of players on that team. I have no regrets of leaving the team, but I wish I was still playing at least another week! There is nothing like a Minnesota Amateur baseball state tournament. Aaron has had a great season and I'm very proud of him."

Another former Otter player, Joe Stachowski, informs us that the Fergus Brick and Supply softball team has qualifed for the state tournament. They finished 7th in the District Tournament in Moorhead this past weekend, playing six games. After losing the first game 10-9 in the double elimination event, the team wound up winning their next three games, all by less than five runs. All four of those games were played on Saturday. Sunday morning, the Fergus Brick and Supply team lost by three runs to the Buzzards, an Elbow Lake team, which has made a national tournament appearance in the past. Even though they lost, they still had to play a 7th place game to determine the final statebound team out of the 23-team tournament field. After trailing by 8 runs in the top of the first, the Fergus Falls guys came back to win 23-11. They will play on Saturday in Moorhead and will face Moorhead's number one qualifying team in the state tournament this coming weekend.

The Class 'D' Men's State Tournament will be played at Delagoon Park in Fergus Falls this weekend, with six Fergus Falls teams competing.
Posted By Craig Olson
Monday, August 6, 2001
Craigs Corner 08/06/01 - 08/12/01
Saturday, August 11th, 2001
FFCC football coaches are expecting between sixty-five and seventy players this weekend as they begin preparations for the upcoming season.

The weekend serves as an orientation to Spartan football with coaches holding several meetings, chalk talks, informational sessions and practices. Players from several different high schools around the state take this opportunity to get acquainted with their new teammates and become familiar with their new surroundings.

Ben Brimhall and Justin Arneson who led the state in passing and receiving, respectively, as freshman a year ago, are back with the team for another exciting season. We'll be featuring a preview of the Spartans and many other fall sports teams throughout the next few weeks.

The season starts for FFCC on Friday, August 24th at UMD. They will play an 8:00 p.m. game against Itasca as part of the MCCC College Football Showcase.
Tuesday, August 7th, 2001
Twenty-five golfers shot under-par on the first day of championship qualifying at the Pine to Palm. Among them, Dustin Harris of Fergus Falls and Bob Cavanagh of Perham.

Harris shot a 2-under round of 69, while Cavanagh came in with a 1-under par, 70. Kyle Mack and Tim Skarperud of Grand Forks shared the first day lead with scored of 5-under, 66. Moorhead's Paul Shogren was alone at 4-under, 67.

Golfers in at 68 included Ryan Paulson and Jason Rudquist of Minneapolis, Jason Schmidt of Bismarck, N.D., Tim Rubis of Fargo, Steve Gillam of Englewood, Colorado and Chris Braaten of Detroit Lakes.

Harris is in a group at 69 which includes former champs Andy Doeden and Russ Newman of Fargo. Cavanagh is one of nine golfers at 70.

Fourteen golfers, including Jay Cavanagh of Perham, shot even-par, 71.

Alexandria's Brett Swedberg is among 8 golfers to shoot one-over 72's.

Other Fergus Falls golfers also advanced to day two of qualifying. Ben Olson shot a 2-over par 73 and John Ouren came in with a 75. John Hagge, runner-up in the Pebble Lake Golf Course stroke play tournament two weekends ago, shot a 74. Pat Tuel shot a 76 and Matt Spies a 77, both advancing to Wednesday's qualifying round. Pelican Rapids golfer Dan Elton fired a 76 and Perham's Mike Cavanagh had a 77. 78 was the first-day cut.

A total of 149 golfers moved into day two, with the top 63 scores through the two days of qualifying moving on to match play with defending champions Chad Skarperud of Detroit Lakes. The tournament continues through Sunday.

Monday, August 6th, 2001
The 69th Pine to Palm Golf Tournament tees off at the Detroit Country Club today. Three days of qualifying rounds will be followed by exciting match play competition.

A Detroit Lakes player, Chad Skarperud won the event last year and will be back to try to defend his title. Over 500 golfers are signed up to play the prestigious tournament with nearly 200 in the championship flight.

There are golfers from 28 states, plus Canada, entered in the tournament.

I know of four Fergus Falls golfers who will be attempting to qualify on Tuesday and Wednesday, hoping to advance to the match play rounds of the championship flight. Matt Spies, who graduated from FFHS in 2000, 2001 grads John Ouren and Dustin Harris, and junior-to-be Ben Olson are all entered.

Detroit Lakes golfers, Chris Braaten, Matt Gorden, Kirk Eilertson and Mike Berg are also in the field.

I haven't seen a complete list of entrants but I know several other golfers, including the Cavanagh boys from Perham and some of the top Fargo golfers also compete on a regular basis.

This is a great tournament and it continues through Sunday. We'll try to keep you posted on the progress of area golfers daily.
Posted By Craig Olson
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