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Tuesday, November 19, 2002
Craigs Corner 11/18/02 - 11/24/02
Tuesday, November 19th, 2002
Zach Walters, formerly of Fergus Falls, is now boxing professionally out of Horton's Gym of Duluth. Walters is 4-0 as a pro, with his most recent victory coming in Iceland.

An excited Walters spoke with me by telephone earlier today and said it was quite an experience boxing in front of a crowd that hasn't been able to view a boxing match since 1952. Walters said boxing was illegal in Iceland for the past fifty years and the fans are hungry for bouts. There were six boxers from Duluth who participated in the competition against boxers from three different Icelandic gyms. THe Duluth boxers won three bouts and lost three bouts.

Walters recorded a fourth round RSC in his match against a boxer who weight 105 kilo's to his 77 kilo's. I need some help with converting those kilo's to pounds. Anyway, Zach's opponent was much bigger than he is! Walters did get a standing eight count against his opponent during the course of the match. He will fight again this weekend in Kansas City.

NDSU junior middle hitter Jenny Gronner from Underwood, has been selected to the All-North Central Conference team. Gronner has had another outstanding career for the Lady Bison, who are now entering into the North Central Regional Tournament this weekend as the fifth-seeded team. Their opening round opponent will be fourth-seeded Minnesota State, Mankato. The Lady Bison are 21-11 and Minnesota State, Mankato has a record of 23 wins and 6 losses. UND is also in the tournament, seeded sixth with a record of 24-20.

It turns out that Saturday's game against Minneapolis was the final game for sophomore Carrie Wilkinson, who has become academically ineligible for the Lady Spartans basketball team.

Sally Week, the freshman from Brandon-Evansville who had an outstanding fall on the volleyball team at FFCC, decided to play basktball after all. She played about six minutes on Tuesday night against Ridgewater, scoring five points. Coach Ann Williams has asked Sally to make the switch to the post, along with fellow freshman Steph Brummond from Morris Area. I think both players will adjust well to that position and their athletic skills will give them an advantage inside against most of their opponents in the MCCC. This will be a fun team to watch as the season progresses. Sophomore wing MerriAnne Werder also changed her mind and decided to play this season. MerriAnne told me her dad convinced her to play!!
Posted By Craig Olson
Monday, November 11, 2002
Craigs Corner 11/11/02 - 11/17/02
Monday, November 11th, 2002
Karoline Brause had a memorable night at the Senior Soccer Classic last Wednesday night. She was one of two players from her team selected to receive an All-Star Award following the game.

Opposing coaches selected the two players from each team and selected a game MVP, so Brause was one of only five players of the 28 on the rosters, honored after the game.

"The skill level of the players was just spectacular," said Fergus Falls coach Eric Van Sickle. "Karoline had a couple of very nice offensive plays, one that almost resulted in an assist. It was a beautiful through pass that caught the flying forward perfectly in stride. She also came close to scoring one due to her being in the right place at the right time and crashing the goal for rebounds. She also had some very impressive defensive stands, one that caught the eye of people in the stands was an end-to-end run that resulted in her breaking up a scoring drive."

Congratulations Karoline! What a great honor to be a part of a game featuring the top seniors in the state of Minnesota. Brause traded her soccer shoes in for tennis shoes today as the Otter girls basketball team opened practice.

Dic Pickett, a big supporter of our area youth and a huge soccer fan, attended the Concordia-St. John's MIAC match on Saturday. Dic was among the fans watching as former Otter Drew Spidahl finished, "in his quiet and graceful style", a solid four year career for the Johnnies.

Matt Haws, Fergus Falls all-time leading scorer, is starting at left back and scored his first college goal with 27.3 seconds left in overtime to lift St. John's to a 2-1 win.

2000 graduate Nate Townsend is working his way back into soccer shape and developing on defense for Concordia.

The Annual Membership Meeting of the Pebble Lake Golf Club will be held at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday night at the Otter Tail Power Community Rooms.

In addition to girls basketball, boys hockey, gymnastics and Nordic skiing started their seasons after school Monday.
Posted By Craig Olson
Monday, November 4, 2002
Craigs Corner 11/04/02 - 11/10/02
Wednesday, November 6th, 2002
Spartan Mens Basketball Coach Dave Retzlaff has four players from Fergus Falls on his roster this season, three from Hillcrest Lutheran Academy and one from Fergus Falls High School.

I asked coach Retzlaff how many Hillcrest players he has had on his team through the years and he could only come up with three, Scott Colbeck, Mark Tungseth and Eric Carl. Now, he has three in one season. Nick Hansen, Luke Hansen and Donavon Rogness are all on the roster. Nick is a 6'3" post player, Luke is a 6'0" guard and Donavon is a 6'1" guard.

Nick appears ready to step in and contribute right away, while Luke is recovering from shoulder surgery and Donnie is back on the court after a year away from competing.

The fourth Fergus Falls player is former Otter point guard Matt Johnson. Johnson has played well in the early weeks of practice for Coach Retzlaff and will definitely be in the mix at the guard spot, which is a deep position for the Spartans. In addition to the three players we have already mentioned, Matt Hoie and Aaron Austin are listed as guards. Hoie was a standout player for Bagley High School and Austin transferred to FFCC from Northern Colorado. Austin is from Hallock and played for Kittson Central High School. He has verbally committed to UND for his junior year. Another guard, Kade Coles, is out with an injury until after the first of the year.

Joining Nick Hansen as post players for this year's Spartan team are 6'6" Ryan Gullingsrud from Norman County East High School in Twin Valley, 6'5" Archie Weatherspoon IV from St. Paul Park and 6'5" Zach Isberner from St. Cloud.

Sophomore captains Josh Grove and Adam Sullivan are two of the wings on the roster and are joined by freshman Chad Anderson from Minnewaska Area High School in Glenwood.

The regular season begins on November 16th when FFCC hosts Minneapolis Community College. The women play at 2:00 p.m. and the men at 4:00 p.m.

Lady Spartans coach Ann Williams must be frustrated. She has had four players quit since practice started, leaving her with nine on the roster. Katie Hall from Fergus Falls High School, Sally Week of Brandon-Evansville, Sharon Schmidt of Hillcrest Lutheran Academy and returning player MerriAnne Werder, have all decided to discontinue playing college basketball. MerriAnne was a steady player last year in her first year of college ball and the three freshman certainly could have been impact players individually and as a group in the MCCC. I was really looking forward to seeing all of them perform in this league, where I believe they could have been all-division and possibly all-state players. There's no question that this is a big adjustment from high school, but I hope these girls gave it enough time to make the right decision. I feel bad for Ann, who recruited them and was counting on them to be contributors on this year's team. Playing a sport, participating in choir, orchestra, drama, any extracurricular activity at the college level takes a huge commitment. Apparently it was a commitment these girls felt they could not make. It certainly hurts the depth of the team, but I know that the players who remain on the roster will put a competitive team on the floor this winter. We'll have more on the Lady Spartans when we receive their final roster.

I have also learned that former Otter Jess Holicky has decided to take a medical redshirt at UND-Lake Region. Jess has had knee troubles for the past few years and is taking a break from the wear and tear of the game.

Monday, November 4th, 2002
Karoline Brause is gearing up to play in the Senior Soccer Classic on Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. in the Metrodome. Brause practiced with her team last Sunday in preparation for the game which will feature two teams filled with players from the all-state soccer team.

Players are from both Class A and Class AA. They are divided so representatives from both classes are on both teams. Following the girls game, the Boys Senior Classic will be held at eight o'clock.

Due to the Roseau football team making the state playoffs in Class 3A, the Roseau girls hockey game at Fergus Falls, scheduled for Friday, will instead be played on Thursday at six o'clock at the Fairgrounds Ice Arena in Fergus Falls. It's the season opener for both teams.

The Perham boys cross country team was ranked in the top ten all season long and they lived up to that ranking with a fourth place finish at the Class A meet at Northfield. Perham junior Gabriele Anderson took 8th in the individual Class A girls cross country race.

How bad is a defense that gives up five touchdowns in one game to a team that had scored only six offensive touchdowns in seven games? That's what the Vikings did on Sunday when Tampa Bay scored five TD's on Brad Johnson passes. The Vikes have a long way to go to become a competitive football team.
Posted By Craig Olson
Friday, November 1, 2002
Craigs Corner 10/28/02 - 11/3/02
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 31st, 2002
Fergus Falls senior Karoline Brause will have an opportunity to play with some of the top girls soccer players from Minnesota next week. Brause has been chosen to play in the Senior Classic.

I don't have a lot of details at this time, other than the game will be played on Wednesday, November 6th. I'm assuming it will be at the Metrodome, but when I get a firm location and starting time, I'll relay it to you in this space.

Brause was the leading goal scorer in Class A girls soccer, netting 20 goals this season. She was also selected to the All-Tournament team by media representatives and coaches at the just completed Class A State Tournament. The team is sponsored by US Bank. The honor recognizes student-athletes who demonstrate exceptional sportsmanship, team commitment, athletic ability and leadership during tournament play. Congratulations Ole!

The pre-season parent/athlete meeting for Fergus Falls gymnastics is scheduled for Thursday, November 7th at 6:30 p.m. in the Fergus Falls Senior High choir room, room 238M. All athletes in grades 7-12 who are interested in competing in gymnastics should attend.

The Otter gymnasts have a new coach. She is Sarah Brockberg. A press release with information about the new coach should be forthcoming and we'll share it with you when it does.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 30th, 2002
One of the great programs for kids in our area throughout the years is the Spartan Basketball Buddy program. This year, the program enters its fifteenth year at FFCC.

The program is open to kids from kindergarten through sixth grade and features sessions with Spartan Men and Women basketball players, in uniform, demonstrating and teaching basketball fundamentals. It's a great opportunity for the players to interact with the kids one-on-one. In fact, some of the current Spartan players were among some of the first kids who participated in the clinic.

This year, sessions are scheduled to be held on Saturday, November 9th, Tuesday, November 12th and Thursday, November 14th. There will be two sessions, at 9:30 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. on the 9th and at 6:15 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. on the 12th and 14th.

The cost is thirteen dollars and includes a Buddy t-shirt, a newly designed siz 5 Baden basketball and free admission to all Spartan home games just by wearing your Buddy t-shirt to the game. A drawing will be held each session to be a Spartan "Game Buddy". Winners will be in the locker room with the Spartans before the game, run on the court with the Spartans and be introduced during the spotlight introductions prior to the game.

The buddies will also perform their fundamentals routine during halftime of the Lady Spartans game with Ridgewater on Tuesday, November 19th. For more information or to sign up for the Spartan Basketball Buddy Clinic, contact Dave Retzlaff at 739-7538 or Ann Williams at 739-7540.
Posted By Craig Olson
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