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CraigOlsonSports.com... Your Area Sports Wrap!
Monday, February 25, 2002
Craigs Corner 2/25/02 - 3/3/02
Friday, March 1st, 2002

3-0 Baby!! The Twins have outscored their opponents 25-4 in their first three pre-season games and two of them have been shutouts!! Start printing the World Series tickets!

Yes, I'm kidding!! But it is exciting to see some baseball highlights, even Spring Training highlights, on the sports shows at night. There is a lot of excitement surrounding this Twins team after their amazing run at the Central Division title last season. I really believe that they will beat Cleveland for the title this year. The Twins have excellent starting pitching, as good as anyone in the league, and a solid bullpen. The question is: Can Eddie Guardado be the closer? He certainly can't be any worst than Latroy Hawkins was!! Get ready for an exciting summer Twins fans!!

I'm looking forward to the Twins Home Opener on April 12th against Detroit and to Lakes Radio's first Twins bus trip on May 12th, a Sunday (Mothers Day?), against the New York Yankees. It's the only trip to the Metrodome this year for the Yanks. For more information contact Lakes Radio.

Aaron Olson of the Mankato State Mavericks, played his first two college baseball games of the season in the Metrodome this week. Olson started the first game of the doubleheader in left field and went 3-for-3 with a pair of runs batted in, while occupying the number three slot in the order. In the second game, Aaron was 0-for-3 but hit the ball hard in two of his three at bats. The Mavs started him at third base in that game. Look for Aaron to have a good spring.

Former Otter basketball player, David Newell, helped lead Gustavus-Adolphus to a first round victory in the NCAA Division III basketball tournament on Thursday night. The Gusties defeated Edgewood College of Madison, Wisconsin 74-65. Newell had 12 points, six rebounds, two blocked shots and led the team with 5 assists. He finished the game with a two-handed dunk to seal the victory. Gustavus now plays Buena Vista College in Storm Lake, Iowa on Saturday in the 2nd round of the NCAA tournament. They are now 23-4 this year and their record is 8-1 in their last 9 first round NCAA tournament games.

Tickets for the Otters first game at the state hockey tournament are on sale starting today at the Activities Office at the Fergus Falls High School. Tickets for the Wednesday, March 6th game against either International Falls or Hermantown, will be sold from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Friday. On Monday, March 4th, tickets will be sold from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Ticket prices are twelve dollars for adults and seven dollars for students. Fans can also signup to ride a bus to the game.

Thursday, February 28th, 2002

The MCCC State Mens Basketball Tournament gets underway on Friday at Minneapolis Community College. The Spartans are the fourth seed from the North this year, but don't count them out. Anything can happen and has over the years, at this three-day tournament.

The Spartans have had a season filled with streaks. They went into the Christmas break with a three game winning streak, came out of the break and lost three straight, then went on an eight game winning streak against division opponents, but finished the regular season with five straight losses. Coach Dave Retzlaff is hoping that it's time for another winning streak.

Retz has said for years that the main goal of any team in this league is to qualify for state because "once you are there, anything can happen over those three days", and I believe we have seen everything over the years involving FFCC.

This team has won some huge games in tournament play. They've won state titles at Normandale, Central Lakes, FFCC and Minneapolis Community Colleges. They have won tournaments they were expected to win and tournaments they were not expected to win, or even compete in. They have beaten the Marauders of Minneapolis twice, on their home court, and once at FFCC in season ending tournament games. They have overcome incredible odds, including entering tournament play with an 11-13 record in 1988, falling behind by 23 points early in the championship game to Mesabi, and rallying to win tie that game on a miracle shot and win it in OT. They have also dominated teams in some games, including the 1998 championship win over Minneapolis, on the way to their perfect 29-0 season. That's the exception, though. Chances are the games will be tighter than tight!

There have been many heroes through the years, some unlikely. Retz has also always said that at tourney time "the team that wins it usually has someone step up their play to a level beyond where they have been performing throughout the season". Many times its a freshman player who emerges as a key tournament player. Some of the names from the past that have done that are Jon Van Kempen, Lou Hernandez, Johnny Reese and there have been others.

Some tremendous tournament play has been seen from players like Kevin Boe, Paul Grove, Tony Davis, Chris Castner, Ryan Retzlaff, Aaron Grove, Jim Schliemann, Jason Retzlaff and many more.

This year, the Spartans are a definite underdog. They are not playing the type of ball they usually do at playoff time. They have struggled to find that "leader" on the court, something all championship teams need to have. However, they have shown time after time, that they can play with the best teams in this league. They have beaten Minneapolis on their home floor this season, suffered two excruiating losses to Vermilion, the top team from the North, and split with Mesabi. Central Lakes is another story. The Raiders have the Spartans number right now, but, in a third game? Don't count out FFCC. It's the stuff tournament history is made of!!!

The first game for FFCC is at 7:00 p.m. against Jay Pivec's Marauders. They is great respect between the two coaches for each others programs. This will be a classic first round contest. The first game of the tourney pits Vermilion against Rainy River at noon on Friday. The Voyageurs are coached by former Spartan Tim Grove. It's great to see Tim get his team to this tournament! A tough first round assignment, though. Mesabi will face Rochester at 2:00 p.m. and Anoka-Ramsey gets to tangle with Central Lakes at 5:00 p.m.

My picks: Minneapolis and Vermilion are certainly the teams to beat, but Central Lakes may be playing the best ball of anyone in the tournament right now. You can't rule out Mesabi and my sentimental favorite and the underdog of the tourney is of course, FFCC. Work your magic Retz.

Coach Pivec and the Minneapolis crew run a great tournament! I hope many fans can find their way down to Minneapolis Community College this Friday through Sunday to watch what is one of the best sports events in the state!

Wednesday, February 27th, 2002

Freshman defenseman Alyssa Johnson of the Otter girls hockey team has been named to the All conference squad in the Greater Minnesota Conference.

Three other members of Wayne Horgen's Otters were honorable mention selections. Junior Sarah Tuel is joined by seniors Leah Graff and Kelly Hopponen.

Three Spartans have been named to the Northern All-Division Mens Basketball team. They are sophomore posts Ian McVey and Justin Retzlaff, along with freshman point guard Sidney Bonner. Bonner is one of just two freshman on the fifteen player squad.

The YMCA Spring Fling is rapidly approaching. The event will be held on March 9th at the Elks Special Event Center. The evening begins with a social hour from six to seven p.m. followed by a pork tenderloin buffet at seven o'clock. Several live auction items and raffle items will be available and if you can't attend, you can still purchase tickets. All proceeds will fund YMCA scholarships, which provide memberships and programs to individuals and families unable to afford them. Contact the YMCA for more information.

Monday, February 25th, 2002

2001 Fergus Falls High School graduate Rolf Eisinger has qualified for a Junior Olympic cross country ski event which will be held in McCall, Idaho, beginning Saturday, March 2nd.

Rolf will be on a team that is based out of the Rockey Mountain area. The only way to become a member of the team is to earn points throughout the season at a variety of different races. Rolf missed many of the races as he was back in Fergus Falls for part of the month of January when most of the events were held. They normally are held in February but were moved up because of the Olympic Games. However, Rolf qualified by placing second in a sprint race which included several Division I skiers. "I didn't think I had much of a chance," said Eisinger. "Having learned to sprint in Minnesota, I was able to perform well and I'm on my way for a once in a lifetime opportunity."

Hopefully we'll be able to get results on how Rolf does in this event and get that information passed on to you. The event concludes on the tenth of March.

On the 9th of February, an Alpine racing team from Andes Tower Hills participated in the NASTAR Regional Championship at Buck Hill. Ten local racers qualifed for the National NASTAR Championships to be held March 29th through the 31st in Park City, Utah. Kacey Buettner of Fergus Falls was among the qualifiers. Kacey skis in the 13-14 year old female division. Here are the rest of the area qualifiers:
(Male 7-8)-Alexander Brink (Dumont), A.J. Jaeger (Alexandria)
(Male 9-10)-Jon Brink (Dumont)
(Male 11-12)-Matt Porwoll (Farwell)
(Male 13-14)-Joe Porwoll (Farwell)
(Male 15-16)-Steve Porwoll (Farwell)
(Male 35-39)-Aaron Jaeger (Alexandria)
(Female 11-12)-Christina Brink (Dumont)
(Female 17-19)-Laura Cihlar (Glenwood)
Posted By Craig Olson
Tuesday, February 19, 2002
Craigs Corner 2/18/02 - 2/24/02
Thursday, February 21st, 2002
The Otter girls basketball team deserves to be ranked in the top ten in Class 3A ... and now they are. In the latest AP rankings, Fergus Falls is in tenth place.

The Otters have had a very impressive season. Dave Rund's girls are 16-5, having won eleven straight games heading into Friday night's regular season finale. Included in their victories are two wins over Moorhead, two wins over Bemidji and one win over Alexandria. A victory on Friday over the Cardinals would make it a clean sweep of Alex too. Those three teams have dominated their games against Fergus Falls ever since the inception of high school girls basketball. Coach Rund has told assistant coaches, media and players over his three years here that the Otter girls basketball program won't arrive until we can start competing with and beating those aforementioned teams. I'm here to tell you ... they have arrived.

There are some excellent girls basketball teams in the coverage area of www.craigolsonsports.com. Look at Mike McCarney's Battle Lake Battlers. They won their first ever Little 8 Conference title on Thursday night, picking up their 20th win against 2 defeats. Battle Lake is the top seeded team in the North have of Section 5A and they are currently ranked number nine in the state in Class A, just behind the Hawley Nuggets.

How about the West Central Area Knights? Harold Nelson's girls have earned the Heart O' Lakes Conference crown with an impressive 14-1 record (15-1 if they can beat Barnesville on Friday), and are ranked 7th in the state in 2A, and have received the number two seed in the South half of Section 8AA. They are 18-3 overall. Some of their HOL opponents are also having outstanding seasons. D-G-F (12-3), Hawley (11-4) and Breckenridge (10-5) have been extremely competitive in conference play. Although Pelican Rapids has fallen on some tough times, losing five of their last six games, the Vikings are also capable of being a section champion.

I think we are in for a great playoff season in a number of our winter sports and the girls basketball playoffs could present us with a lot of successes and surprises from our area teams.

Tuesday, February 19th, 2002
More milestones in this memorable winter sports season! Every year there are records set and milestones reached, but this has been a year that has seen more than usual!

Ryan Miller ranks among the best hockey players to lace 'em up for the Otter boys hockey team. Miller passed another Otter hockey great, Blaine Rude, to establish himself as the all-time scoring leader in the Otter boys hockey program. On Tuesday night, Miller scored two goals, giving him a career-record 80, and added two assists, giving him 86, pushing his career point total to 166, two more than Rude's 164. Rude has held the record since he graduated in 1986. Miller may surpass his assist record of 96 before the season ends. Ryan could play as many as five more games in his Otter career.

The question people are asking is this: How high can Ryan Miller go? Juniors for certain ... Division I? ... I would say without a doubt ... NHL? ... Don't put it past him! I think it takes three important ingredients to make a push to be at the top level in your sport. They are, not necessarily in order of importance, a passion for playing the game, a desire to be the best you can be, and a work ethic that won't quit. From what I've seen, and I'm not as close to the hockey program as I once was, Ryan has all of these qualities. Rude, had all of the physical skills necessary to play the game at a high level. He was, after all, given a full ride scholarship at the University of Minnesota by coach Doug Woog. However, Blaine lost his desire to play hockey competitively and had other priorities he wanted to focus on. To compete at the level we're talking about, hockey and becoming better at it every day, has to be your top priority, and probably your second and third priorities. Go for it, Ryan!

A couple of former Fergus Falls hockey players, Kevin Ackley and Josh Anderson are currently toiling for Division I St. Lawrence with Ackley receiving some rave reviews from scouts for his goaltending. Ackley has played 15 games, compiling a 4-10 record, but his stats are much more impressive than the record would indicate. Ackley's goals against average is 3.01 and his save percentage is .914. Both are very good numbers. St. Lawrence is really struggling to score goals, which leads to the poor win-loss mark. Anderson, has scored 2 goals and added 2 assists in 27 games.

Karla Solum of Barnesville's girls basketball team, scored her 1,000th career point on Tuesday night against Perham. She has been one of the leaders for the Lady Trojans this season and is consistently in double-figure scoring for them. Barnesville is playing some very good basketball, having won six of their last eight, and will no doubt give some teams problems in the playoffs.
Posted By Craig Olson
Monday, February 11, 2002
Craigs Corner 2/11/02 - 2/17/02
Saturday, February 16th, 2002
What a sports weekend! Big win for Coach Schuler's Otter boys basketball team and a special ceremony prior to the game honoring the Coach on his 500th win. Plus, Jess does it!

Gary Schuler humbly accepted more honors surrounding his 500th career coaching victory as there was a special ceremony prior to the game with Alexandria on Saturday night. Schuler's team then went out and overcame an 11-point fourth quarter deficit to win in OT. Nate Klein was unbelievable! He hit four treys, 3 free throws (after being fouled while attempting a three-pointer) and a 2-point field goal in the fourth quarter, scoring 17 of his 29 points in about a four minute span. Great win over a very good basketball team. This year's section tournament will be amazing.

The Otter girls basketball team came up with an interesting gift for Coach Schuler. A framed in glass display, consisting of, I'm guessing at the number, 500 pennies. The pennies spell out Congratulations Coach Schuler, 500 Wins.

Speaking of the Otter girls ... ten straight wins, a season series sweep of Bemidji, a guaranteed top seed in Section 8-3A, and Jess Holicky sets the all-time scoring mark in Otter girls basketball. Coach Rund asked her at practice how she wanted to celebrate the record breaking point when it happened and she said "with a win". The Otters got it. The shot that set the record was a three-pointer in the second quarter to put Fergus Falls ahead by a point. Holicky and Katie Hall were both in double figures for the tenth straight game. Isn't that interesting?

The Spartan basketball teams played their final home games on Saturday and lost a pair of heartbreakers. Check out the stories on the losses to Central Lakes by clicking on the headlines on the homepage. Tough for the sophomores to lose their final games on their home floor. The tears came immediately after the game for Naomi Moerke, who will miss playing this game, and the fans will miss seeing her compete. What a tremendous leader, a warrior on the basketball court. You can't get her to come out of the game. She wants to be there every minute. She just loves to play the game, and she just flat our knows how to play it! She developed into a great leader for this young team this season and of course experienced the achievement of being a part of the NJCAA Division III National Championship Team last season. You did great Naomi!
Ian McVey, Justin Retzlaff and Justin Arneson played their final games on their homecourt, too. All three were in double digits with Arne scoring 28 points. What a deflating feeling watching that midcourt shot at the buzzer beat them ... especially after overcoming a 17 point deficit to take the lead.

Battle Lake 8th grader, Wynn Roberts, placed 62nd out of 104 skiers in the State 5km Freestyle race Friday at Giants Ridge near Biwabik. He had a time of 13:56 which was 1:51 behind the winner Garrott Kuzzy from Hopkins. Great job Wynn!

Friday, February 15th, 2002
Former Underwood High School student-athlete Lindsey Johnsen, a 1996 graduate, is currently coaching volleyball for the May-Port-CG Patriots in North Dakota. Her team has qualified for the state tournament.

The Class B North Dakota State Volleyball Tournment is going on this weekend in Fargo and the Patriots bring a record of 41 wins, 1 loss and 1 tie into the tourney. That's an incredible record! They defeated Hettinger in five games last night and will play in the semifinals today. Lindsey is assisted by her sister, Breck Johnsen and by Heidi Brunko, a fromer Bertha-Hewitt standout. Breck and Heidi are also former volleyball teammates at FFCC.

Ashby all-around athlete Cassie Benson may be done for the season after suffering an ACL injury on Tuesday night in Underwood. Benson, a volleyball, basketball and track athlete was hurt in the Arrows Little 8 Conference basketball game with the Rockets. The injury occurred in almost the same spot where Underwood's outstanding sophomore Liz Glesne went down on January 18th against Hillcrest. Glesne is going to have surgery this next week and is hoping to be ready for volleyball next fall. Benson's injury, although the severity of it is uncertain at this time, could keep her from competing in track and field this spring. Cassie participated in the state track and field meet last year as a long jumper.

Thursday, February 14th, 2002
The Fergus Falls girls basketball team is in line for a number one seed in Section 8AAA for the first time in many years.

The Otters are currently atop the section based on the power point standings. Points are awarded in the following fashion: one point for a win over a Class A team, two points for a win over a Class 2A opponent, three points for a win over a Class 3A team and four points for a victory over a Class 4A opponent. A loss results in a zero. The total points accumulated divided by the total number of games played gives you a co-efficient which is used to determine the standings.

The Otters have 36 points in 18 games heading into Thursday night for a co-efficient of 2.000. Second place goes to Sartell with a 1.789 and ROCORI is third with 1.632. Alexandria is ranked fourth with a 1.333 rating, Little Falls is fifth with 1.300 and Thief River Falls is sixth with a total of 1.263. Detroit Lakes (1.000) and Sauk Rapids (0.944) round out the standings.

The Otters are riding an eight game winning streak with four games remaining in the regular season.

Fergus Falls Superintendent of schools Mark Bezek has been serving as a volunteer assitant with the high school boys hockey team. At the Section 4A seeding meeting on Wednesday night, Bezek was voted the Section Assistant Coach of the Year! Congratulations, Mark! Bezek has been coaching hockey for many years and has been a welcome addition to Brad Bergstrom's staff.

Former Fergus Falls high jumper Andy Nelson, now a
sophomore at NDSCS in Wahpeton, is coming back strong after his knee injury last season. Nelson competed in the Concordia Invite earlier this week and cleared the bar at 6' 1/2", finishing 9th out of 15 jumpers. It looks like Andy's headed for a full recovery and it's great to see him performing so well!

Wednesday, February 13th, 2002
NDSCS will be in town to play the Spartan basketball teams tonight. These are non-division games, but always are well attended and exciting. This year may be one of the toughest for FFCC, though.

The Wildcat Men are currently 26-1 with a scoring average of 104.9. They are allowing only 73 points per game. They are a very athletic, talented bunch of athletes. After tonight's game, there is only one more home date for FFCC and that's Saturday when they play host to Central Lakes Community College.

Underwood 9th grader, Ashley Samuelson, has been named the Player of the Week for Little 8 Conference girls basketball. Samuelson has been averaging double-doubles in nearly every game and is a complete ballplayer. She can shoot it, pass it, defend, rebound, handle it, penetrate, you name it! Here's what she did last week in three games: 62 points, 39 rebounds, 15 assists, 15 steals. WOW!

The conference coaches didn't nominate any male candidates. That's frustrating. Jack Appel of Brandon-Evansville tries to keep this award alive, but there have been three weeks where no boys players have been nominated. That's sad. Come on Little 8 coaches!!

Monday, February 11th, 2002

Aaron Olson will be playing a lot of baseball this season. Not only has he started college practice at Mankato State, but Monday he signed a contract to play for the Mankato Moondogs in the Northwoods League.

The League is a wood bat league with several top college prospects in the nation competing on the different teams. Teams play 67 games in 69 days, starting June 7th.

"This was a very difficult decision to make because of what I have in Fergus Falls," said Olson. "We have a great team in the Hurricanes and I am truly going to miss coaching the VFW defending champions. That is really hard for me because I put a lot into that and feel bad that I am going to miss a summer of it. I just think the opportunity to play in this league is something I can't pass up."

Teams in the league include the Alexandria Beetles, Brainerd Mighty Gulls, St. Cloud River Bats, Rochester Honkers, Madison Mallards, Wisconsin Woodchucks and the Waterloo Bucks.

Mankato opens the season at Alexandria on June 7th and 8th, and at St. Cloud on June 9th. Stay tuned for information concerning a potential Fergus Falls day at one of those two games.

Aaron has tremendous bat speed and it will be interesting to see how he reacts to using a wood bat for an extended period of time. Players who move into the pros say that's the toughest adjustment they have to make, going from aluminum to wood bats.

For now, he will be concentrating on playing at Mankato State University. Their first game is February 26th in the Metrodome against Parkside, Wisconsin. The Mavericks are ranked fifteenth in the nation and will get the opportunity to play 2nd ranked St. Mary's in Texas and fifth ranked Central Missouri on March 2nd.

Good Luck Aaron! We'll keep you posted on his progress.
Posted By Craig Olson
Monday, February 4, 2002
Craigs Corner 2/04/02 - 2/10/02
Saturday, February 9th, 2002
Underwood senior Ben Aakre has been selected as the Region 6A representative for the State Triple-A award, recognizing students for involvement and achievement in Athletics, Academics and the Arts.

Ben was the quarterback on Underwood's football team which qualified for the state playoffs and is currently 31-2 on the wrestling mat for the Rockets at 160 pounds. Last year, his older brother Jeremiah Aakre was chosen as the Region 6 AAA representative and went on to win the state award. Jerry is now at the University of Minnesota-Duluth where he in consistently placing in the top 3 in both the long jump and triple jump as a freshman. Mom and Dad and the whole Underwood School District, not to mention Region 6A, can be very proud of what the Aakre's have accomplished.

Today in Pelican Rapids, there is an elementary wrestling tournament taking place. Around 400 Kindergarten through sixth grade students are expected to participate in the annual youth wrestling event at the Pelican Rapids High School. Admission is two dollars for adults and one dollar for students.

The Fergus Falls backcourt club is hosting a huge girls basketball tournament today. Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth grade teams are in town and will be playing tournament games at FFHS, the Middle School and the YMCA. Each age group has six teams competing in two separate three-team brackets.

Thursday, February 7th, 2002
Ryan Miller surpassed Josh Anderson to become the career goal-scoring leader for Fergus Falls boys hockey. Miller's hat trick on Tuesday left him with 75 career goals, one more than Anderson's total.

Miller is also second on the all-time total points list, behind 1986 graduate Blaine Rude. Rude had 164 points and Miller has 155 with the potential to play up to nine more games.

David Newell scored the winning basket on Wednesday night with 6 seconds left as Gustavus-Adolphus beat Macalaster 64-62. Newell had 15 points and 5 rebounds for the game, including an alley-oop dunk to bring the Gustavus fans to their feet. David, the former Otter, was coming off a double-double last Saturday against Concordia College where he scored 14 points and had 10 rebounds in a 90-54 Gusties victory. Gustavus is now 19-3 and ranked 9th in the nation in Division III. They play Bob Bjorklund's Bethel Royals this coming Monday at Gustavus.

Hillcrest senior post player Nick Hansen may get his 1,000th career point tonight in Rothsay. Nick is 16 points shy of the milestone. He will become the fourth Hillcrest boys basketball player to reach 1,000 points.

Wednesday, February 6th, 2002
Pete Campion, former Fergus Falls football and wrestling star, and more recently with the NDSU football team, is currently pursuing a possible NFL career.

Campion is currently training in New Orleans for the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. That will be a huge test for the 300 pound offensive lineman. The combine is set for late March-early April. It's a great opportunity for him and we wish him well. We'll try to follow-up on his experience at the NFL Combine in a future column.

This week's Little 8 Conference girls basketball Player of the Week award goes to Hillcrest player Emmy Stoltenow, who has been consistently scoring double figures and nearly coming up with double digit rebound numbers game in and game out. There were no nominations for the boys award. Last week, Lauren Bah of Brandon-Evansville and Arick Follingstad of Rothsay received the awards.

Tuesday, February 5th, 2002
West Central Area's girls basketball team won an impressive conference game from Pelican Rapids last night. It's the first of many great games on the schedule this week around our area.

Harold Nelson's Lady Knights blanked Pelican in the first quarter and held them to 15% shooting in the opening half. It marked the second time in the last five days the Vikings have been shutout in the first quarter. The Hawley Nuggets did it late last week. The Vikings were able to come back in that one and made it a one point game, but they couldn't manage any type of a comeback against Ronhovde and the Knights, who have established themselves as the HOL team to beat right now.

On Tuesday, the HOL boys take center stage with the leaders from Barnesville playing at Hawley and the two second place teams battling each other as Pelican Rapids hosts Kraig Hunter's West Central Area Knights. Both teams have been playing good basketball and have had outstanding seasons. Also on Tuesday, the team that most people think has the best chance to beat Hillcrest in the Little 8 Conference, Brandon-Evansville, plays the Comets at FFCC.

FFCC has three big home dates this week with Itasca on Wednesday, Mesabi Range on Friday night and Vermilion on Saturday afternoon. The Spartan men are now 6-2 and on top of the Northern Division standings. If you have a chance, get out to the college this weekend for some entertaining basketball. Both teams coming in on the weekend have beaten the Spartans on their home courts and just a half game behind the leader.

Today (Tuesday) is the final day to register for the U-10 through U-19 traveling youth soccer teams. Registration will be held at the Fergus Falls Middle School Cafeteria starting at 7:00 p.m.

Monday, February 4th, 2002

A virus has invaded my computer files and is causing some problems for me this weekend. Thankfully my Integrity Computer Systems laptop notebook is allowing me to continue to do some updating, but I am unable at this time to access the SUPER BOWL WEEK Prediction Contest!!! Please be patient with me as I try to get this taken care of and hopefully I can get to those results by Monday night.

These people who create computer viruses are sick. I hope they are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law if they are caught. If it's kids, then take their computer away from them and deny them access to computers at school and everywhere else for awhile. It's ridiculous for people to have to struggle with their systems because of a few demented individuals. Okay, that's my editorial comment for today.

Back to the NFL Contest. I'm anxious to see who won the contest this week. I know in watching the picks come in throughout the week, only about ten percent of the entries took the Pats. That should make it very interesting!

My inability to access this week's records will also put off for a day (hopefully no more), our drawing to determine the winners of our three cash prizes! We'll be drawing on Tuesday morning at 7:20 a.m. during Talkin' Sports on AM 1250, KBRF. If you've entered at any point during the season you will have an opportunity to win the bucks! Every week you entered you receive an entry into the drawing.

Now, how about that game!! What an entertaining Super Bowl. There haven't been many to match it throughout the years. In fact, I thought we were going to have our first overtime in Super Bowl history. I disagreed with John Madden's comments about taking it to overtime. If you're playing the Rams and you have the ball with some time left in the game, you better try to do what the Pats did and get into position to win it while you can. There's just no guarantee that you'll even have a chance if you go to OT. So, I think Belichick did the right thing. Tom Brady was certainly impressive as was the Patriots defense. They sure took the wide receivers out of the game! Adam Vinatieri is living a dream!! Think of the pressure situations in sports and then think of the guys who have done similar things to what Vinatieri did on Sunday. Jim O'Brien of the Colts in 1971 against Dallas comes to my mind right away, along with Michael Jordan with the buzzer beater against the Jazz to win the title for the Bulls, and Joe Carter's walk-off World Series winning homerun against Philadelphia in 1993. Great moments in sports!!

As far as the commercials go, about the only one I thought was great was the Barry Bonds-Hank Aaron one. Was that for Charles Schwab? I don't even remember, so I guess it wasn't a real effective commercial for the client but it was entertaining. Good idea!

This is a big week in local sports and in tomorrow's column we'll preview it a bit. Thanks for your patience with this virus thing!!
Posted By Craig Olson
Lake Region Healthcare
Cline Jensen P.A.
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