|Sunday, June 23, 2002|
|Craigs Corner 6/24/02 - 6/30/02|
|Wednesday, June 26th|
A familiar face at Pebble Lake Golf Course, registered a hole-in-one on Wednesday, June 19th. Rona Nitz aced the 107-yard fifteenth hole with a nine-iron.
Nitz, who can be seen playing Pebble Lake often during the summer months, was playing with Mary Ann Goese and Judy Klaers.
Standings in the Minnesota Lakes Conference of American Legion Baseball find Parkers Prairie and Barnesville with one loss apiece. Each team has five league victories. Dilworth, Frazee and Pelican Rapids each have two defeats.
Another good pitching performance by Kyle Lohse, who went into the seventh inning of the Twins 6-5 win over the White Sox tonight. Eddie Guardado made it interesting in the ninth, though. He retired the first two hitters on easy pop-ups and then proceeded to walk the bases full and give up a single to Frank Thomas. The Sox held Kenny Lofton at 3rd base and Magglio Ordonez popped up to end the threat. Had Lofton tried to score, he wouldn't have made it as the throw by Jacque Jones would have nailed him at the plate. The win assures the Twins of a series split with the White Sox. They are 7 games up in the AL Central.
Monday, June 24th
The fact that the Minnesota Twins are in first place by five games in the AL Central is amazing when you consider the number of injuries they have had. They start a four-game series against the Chicago White Sox Monday night at the Metrodome.
At the start of the season the Twins starting pitching was going to be the difference. Well, the best laid plans .... injuries set in and now the vaunted starting pitching staff is nowhere to be seen. Joe Mays, the winningest pitcher on the team a year ago, has been on the DL since mid-April and probably won't come back until after the All-Star break, if at all. Brad Radke is on the DL for a second time this season and hasn't started a game in a month where he lasted more than one batter. Now, Eric Milton has an injury, which hopefully is a minor injury to his foot. Is there any such thing as a minor injury anymore? Rick Reed pitched a fine game on Saturday after missing his last start when he cut his hand on his luggage. He seems to be okay.
Kyle Lohse is the ace. Guys like Tony Fiore, Matt Kinney and Johann Santana are filling the other starting spots and are doing remarkably well. Granted, the White Sox and Indians are not great baseball teams, but both have the potential to score runs. The Sox can put a scary lineup on the field, but their pitching is suspect. The Indians lineup isn't nearly has fearful as it once was, but Bartolo Colon and C.C. Sabathia give them a solid one-two pitching punch. Sabathia has been inconsistent, however. Colon is a true ace. I think the Twins matchup favorably with both teams.
They still have 19 games against the White Sox, including the four at home this week, and they will be very crucial to the outcome of the race in the AL Central. Last year the Twins had great success against them. Let's hope it continues in 2002!
|Wednesday, June 19, 2002|
|Craigs Corner 6/17/02 - 6/23/02|
|Friday, June 20th, 2002|
Fergus Falls Otter baseball player Ryan Hendrickson is participating in the Lions All-Star baseball games this weekend in Chaska, and we have updated numbers for Aaron Olson from the Northwoods League.
Hendrickson leaves today for Chaska and will play along with other top seniors from around the state in the annual Lions Club All-Star games. Hopefully, Hendy gets a chance to show his stuff on the mound. The lefty became a dominant starter for the Otters as the season progressed and will most likely continue his winning ways for American Legion Post 30 when he returns from this tournament. We'll let you know how he does.
Aaron Olson is struggling offensively in the early part of the Northwoods League season, along with nearly everyone else! This is the first time the majority of these young college-age players have had to use wood bats and there is definitely a difference at the plate. That and the outstanding level of pitching these guys are facing night-in and night-out. It's a definite step up from the NCC as far as the quality of pitching.
Aaron has hit the only home run in 11 games for the Mankato Moondogs, who are 7-4 on the season. He has 9 hits in 42 at bats for a .214 batting average, just below his team's .226 average. Aaron has one double, has driven in six runs (2nd on the team) and has scored five times. He has played errorless ball at second base. His slugging average is .310 and his on-base percentage is .283. Mankato's team ERA is 3.06. That tells you something about the pitching in this league.
Justin Arneson leaves for Fort Myers later today and will start working out Saturday morning with the Twins Gulf Coast Rookie League team. He will be playing center field and will have plenty of opportunities to showcase his talents as they begin a heavy schedule of games on Monday. We'll keep you posted on Arne's progress. I taped an interview with Arne on Thursday that you will be able to see on Peg Access Channel 8 at 8:00 p.m. Wednesday, June 26th. Check your listing for the additional Sports Wrap times next week.
Wednesday, June 19th, 2002
Taking a page from the Minnesota Twins book, the NHL's Minnesota Wild will be making a Road Tour of 23 cities in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota from June 25th through the 28th. The team will swing through Fergus Falls on the afternoon of the 28th.
This is the third consecutive year the team has made the trek, but the first time they've included Fergus Falls on the list of cities.
Minnesota Wild representatives will be in Fergus Falls at the Fairgrounds Ice Arena on Friday, June 28th from 3 to 5 p.m. Wild President Tim Leiweke, television broadcaster Mike Goldberg and player Willie Mitchell all are scheduled to make the stop.
The event is open to the public and will include a variety of games and prize-winning opportunities for youth hockey players. Admission to the event is free, but hot dogs, pop and chips will be available for two dollars per person with all proceeds going to benefit youth hockey.
Members of the Wild Tour will also address the crowd and will donate items, including an autographed hockey stick, to be used as a fund raising opportunity for the Fergus Falls Youth Hockey Association.
Several former Fergus Falls High School players will be in attendance also.
Wells Fargo, Charter Communications and Lakes Radio are all working with the Fergus Falls Youth Hockey Association to promote the event. For more information you can contact Rick Drevlow at (218)736-4128.
Mark June 28th down on your calendar and pass the word along to people you know who have an interest in hockey.
|Monday, June 10, 2002|
|Craigs Corner 6/10/02 - 6/16/02|
|Saturday, June 15th, 2002|
The Fergus Falls baseball team won once in their three games at the state 3A baseball tournament, but there's a lot more to participating at the highest level in your high school sport, than winning.
The whole tournament experience is something you wish every high school student-athlete could experience. These kids from Fergus Falls High School and Pelican Rapids High School will never forget the past three days.
For all the grief the Minnesota State High School League takes, I must admit that they do run some very good state tournaments. This was my first opportunity to cover an area team in a state baseball tournament setting and I thoroughly enjoyed it (hope you like the pictures!). I love watching baseball and broadcasting baseball, although it's a challenge to broadcast baseball alone. I've done it a gazillion times but still prefer to work with a broadcast partner. It's so much better for the listeners too. I'm just glad the sponsors 'stepped up to the plate' to allow the radio coverage to take place! THANK THEM!!
Back to the MSHSL. They host a tournament banquet, which players, coaches, parents and fans can attend. I didn't make it to this one, but have attended the football, basketball and volleyball banquets in the past. The League does a great job hosting the teams. It's fun to see the teams all dressed up and eager to participate.
The venues were great. I love Dick Siebert Field. Through the years I've had the opportunity to watch several Gopher games there and I just enjoy the setting. This was my first time covering an event at Midway Stadium and it is an exceptional facility. What a thrill for the kids to be able to play on these fields!
The media stewards provided by the league were very helpful and it was fun visiting with Dick Johnkowski, a long time sports broadcaster in the Shakopee/Chaska area, and the P.A. man for the Gophers. He's a very nice guy and extremely funny. Some of you might be familiar with him as an emcee. I know he has worked several events in the area including some of the Ducks Unlimited banquets. In fact, he made special mention of how much he enjoyed working the Fergus Falls DU Banquet a couple of year ago at Wall Lake and is hoping he's invited back! He emceed the Minnesota State Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame Induction ceremony last November, which included coach Gary Schuler. Johnkowski's a man who really loves seeing kids compete and he's seen a lot of sports activities in his day.
Some tournament notes:
Mike Gaustad suffered an eye injury in the fifth inning of the Otters final game when he fouled a ball that struck him near his right eye. Word from MSHSL officials, who received medical information from trainers on the scene, is that Gaustad opened a cut above the eye and below the eye, each of which required ten stitches. No further information is available right now, but I'll update you when I have more. We certainly wish Mike well. It was a freak occurrence. In talking with several Fergus Falls parents and fans after the game, none had ever seen anything like it. The ball apparently came directly off the bat and into Mike's face. From my vantage point I thought it hit the ground off the bat and bounced up into his face. Mike crumpled to the ground immediately and Coach Phil Link and two medical trainers tended to him very quickly. An MSHSL official working the game, drove Mike and his mother to Regents Hospital in St. Paul and Mike's dad followed.
Fergus Falls Area umpire Darwin Bachmann worked games at the state tournament. He worked the plate at the Roseville Area-Park Center game Thursday at Siebert Field and the bases in the Otters game against Roseville Area on Friday at Midway Stadium. Darwin works a ton of games during the spring and summer. He and his fellow umpires were calling a wide strike zone throughout the tournament. It seemed like all three home plate umpires who worked the Otters games, gave the pitchers a wide strike zone with pitches that appeared to be off the outside conrner consistently being called strikes.
Kirby Carr was called for intentionally turning into a pitch in the seventh inning of the final game and was not awarded first base. That is strictly a judgment call by the umpire, but I really didn't think it was intentional. I'll have to ask Kirby about it.
Senior Landon Link had a solid tournament. Lanny had two of the Otters three hits against Roseville Area, a first-inning single and a last inning double. He ripped the double down the line and into the corner. That hit provided some exciting and anxious moments as it allowed the Otters to bring Matt Price and Carr to the plate representing the tying runs in the 7th. Lefthanded reliever Craig Rosenthal fanned them both to secure the win.
Roseville Area coach Kent Paulson was coaching in his first state tournament in his 18 years as head coach of the Raiders. When you play in the same section as Cretin-Derham Hall, it's hard to get out of it. Paulson was also coaching in his final game as he has announced his retirement.
Roseville Area played their Section 3AAA tournament games at Midway Stadium, so had a comfort level heading into the game.
The Otters scored two runs on suicide squeeze bunts during the tournament! Gotta Love it!
Spartan coach Kent Bothwell was scouting some kids and just enjoying the games. He joined me for a couple of innings on the radio and is still basking in FFCC's State Title! Can you blame him?!?!?
I had a good interview with Carl Prischmann, who was a member of the Otters first state tournament team, in 1961. Carl was the center fielder for the team coached by the legendary John Hermes. The summer before that high school state tournament appearance, many of the same players were on the Fergus Falls American Legion team that won the 1960 state tournament.
There was some great drama in a couple of the games. The first game at Siebert Field had an unbelievable ending! Park Center led North St. Paul 3-1 with two outs and the bases empty in the top of the 7th inning. One more out and they advance to the championship semifinals. After a hit batter and a walk, senior Jordan Roehring smoked a three-run homer to give North St. Paul their first lead of the game. They finished with a 4-3 victory. Like Yogi said, "It isn't over, until it's over," and this column is over!
Wednesday, June 12th, 2002
The State High School Baseball Tournament's get underway at ten o'clock Thursday morning in St. Cloud, Minneapolis and St. Paul. Two area teams, Fergus Falls and Pelican Rapids are among the teams participating.
For the Fergus Falls Otters it's their third overall appearance in a state high school baseball tournametn and their first since 1969. At that state tournament, the Otters lost two straight games and were eliminated. Minneapolis Washburn went on to win the title, beating Albert Lea 5-1.
In their first appearance, 1961, they tied for third place when their game with Springfield was rained out. North St. Paul won the title that year, beating Minneapolis Washburn 2-0. The Otters won their first game lost their second game that year and have a 1-3 all-time state tournament record.
Their opponent in the opening round at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday is Northfield. The Raiders are seeking their first title in their third appearance. Their last appearance was in 1975. They are 25-3 coming into the tournament and are the Section 1AAA champs. The Otters bring a 20-6 record into tournament play. Troy Deden is Northfield's leading hitter, with a .655 batting average, 35 hits, 28 runs scored and 20 runs batted in. Josh Tomio is hitting .595 with 34 hits and 22 runs batted in. Kory Foss and Brett Berry are offensive threats and top pitchers for Northfield. Foss is hitting .591 and went 9-0 on the mound, striking out 74 batters and has an ERA around 1.00. Berry's batting average is .578 and he was 7-2 on the mound with a 1.40 earned run average.
The Otters one-two pitching punch of lefty Ryan Hendrickson and righthander Tyler Gagner has been very effective this season. Hendrickson is 6-1 with 60 strikeouts and Gagner is 6-2 with 46 strikeouts. Both pitchers have ERA's around 1.00. Shortstop and leadoff hitter Mike Gaustad has led the way at the plate, hitting .550 with 42 hits and 25 RBI. Kirby Carr added 26 hits and his hitting .345. The Otters defense has been superb throughout the season, with a minimal amount of errors. The first game will be played at Dick Siebert Field on the campus of the University of Minnesota. If the Otters win, they will play at Midway Stadium in St. Paul at 5:30. A loss would have them at Siebert Field in the consolation semifinals at 5:30 Thursday afternoon. All Otter games in the state tournament will be broadcast live on Oldies 1020, KJJK AM, with a 12:05 pregame show prior to the game with Northfield.
For the 11-8 Pelican Rapids Vikings, their first appearance at the state tournament comes in just their third year of high school baseball. The Vikings were under .500 going into Section tournament play, but won four straight games to take the crown. Lefthanded pitcher Jason Fuller and righthander Cole Anderson are both 3-2 on the season. Fuller has a 1.89 ERA and 25 strikeouts, while Anderson's ERA is 3.92.
Fuller hit .397 and leads the team with 23 runs batted in. Erik Rollie carries a .357 batting average into the tournament with 14 runs batted in on 20 hits. The top batter for the Vikings is leadoff hitter Luke Rengstorf, with a .424 batting average and a team-high 28 hits.
Their opponent in the opening round at 12:30 p.m. Thursday at Dick Putz Field in St. Cloud, is the Section 7AA champion Hermantown Hawks. The Hawks are 21-7 entering state tournament play. They placed fourth in last year's Class AA tournament and marking their sixth overall appearance. They have never won a championship. Jon Sullivan is the top hitter for the Hawks. His batting average is .493. He has 33 hits and 4 home runs on the season. Brandon Swertz and Darrin Carlson added 28 hits apiece for the Hawks. Swertz is hitting .368 and Carlson .364. Mike Anderson, who carries a .360 batting average is also one of the team's top pitchers. He is 6-1 with a 3.03 ERA and 37 strikouts. Nate Taran is also 6-1 with a 1.59 ERA and 41 strikeouts. Taran will be playing baseball at the University of Minnesota-Duluth next season. Center fielder B.J. Radovich will be playing hockey for Michigan Tech next year. The Hawks have eight seniors who are all multi-sport athletes.
All Pelican Rapids games in the State Class A High School Baseball Tournament will be broadcast live on KJ Country, 96.5 FM.
Monday, June 10th, 2002
Fergus Falls all-time scorer in boys hockey, Ryan Miller, will attend the Topeka ScareCrows 2002 Main Camp, June 13th through the 16th at the Spooner Ice Arena in Spooner, Wisconsin. Miller was drafted by Topeka in the USHL draft last month.
|Tuesday, June 4, 2002|
|Craigs Corner 06/03/02 - 06/09/02|
|Thursday, June 6th, 2002|
Former Fergus Falls boxer Zach Walters will be making his professional boxing debut on Friday night at Wade Stadium in Duluth.
Zach, who fought for Fergus Falls Boxing Club coach Chuck Elliott, will face Dave Gardner of Milwaukee, Wisconsin in a Light Heavyweight bout at 178 pounds.
Walters fought in the National Silver Gloves Tournament and won four state championships in Golden Gloves competition. He also won three Region 4 championships, an Upper Midwest championship and three USA regional championships. Walters also fought in two USA National events. His amateur boxing record was 56 wins and 13 losses. Anyone who might like to drive to Duluth for the bouts on Friday night can get tickets at Walters Photography in Fergus Falls.
A reminder for all youth basketball players in the Fergus Falls area. The Otter boys and girls basketball camps begin on Monday. Kids entering third through tenth grades are welcome to participate. More information can be obtained from Otter boys basketball coach Gary Schuler at 739-0967 or Dave Rund at 998-7863.
Wednesday, June 5th, 2002
Mike Peterson is preparing his Perham state track participants this week, but when wearing his other hat, as a sportscaster for Lakes Radio's KPRW FM in Perham, Mike has some news about former high school athletes from our area, who are now excelling collegiately.
Mike will be coaching two double winners at sections, Mike Neels in the triple jump and the long jump, and Jake Januszewski in the 1600 and the 3200. He also has Gabriele Anderson, a champion in the 1600 meter run and runner-up in the 800, and the Yellowjackets 4 x 100 meter relay team competing at state. In his over 20 years of coaching track at Perham High School, Peterson has had some outstanding teams and individuals. This year is another great example of the strong track and field athletes his program consistently produces.
Mike also keeps close tabs on what's going on with area athletes as he is a sportscaster at KPRW FM in Perham. He informs us that former Perham standout, Mike Turgeon, now competing for the University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse, recently became the Division III National Champion in the discus, with a throw of 183-feet-5-inches. Turgeon's throw set a stadium record at Macalester College.
Another former high school track star from our area, Rachel Longfors from Pelican Rapids, placed 7th in the discus at the Division I National Championship Meet. Rachel is competing for the University of Florida.
Tuesday, June 4th, 2002
This is the week all spring athletes point towards when their season begins and as it progresses. It's state tournament week, and several of our area athletes are involved in their respective sport's state event.
Hillcrest's Lance Walvatne is among the area boys participating in the State Class A Golf Tournament at Izatys Golf Courses in Onamia, June 5th and 6th. Lance was Section 6A runner-up to Taylor Cavanagh of Perham, who is competing in the event with the Yellowjackets team. Justin Speer of Battle Lake is also in the field. Lance and Taylor have both been impressive over the last few events they have played and are primed to challenge for a medal at state. Speer also has the potential to challenge but has been a bit more inconsistent during the season than the other two boys.
West Central Area golfer Erica Holsen makes a return trip to state and is joined by her senior classmate Ashley Wilson on the girls side. Freshman Lindsey Nettestad is also involved. Section 6A Girls Medalist, Jackie Heslop may be poised to make a run at the state individual title.
In tennis, the Fergus Falls doubles team of Matt Johnson and Josh Mohagen will play on June 6th and 7th at the Northwest Athletic Club on 98th Street in Bloomington. Johnson and Mohagen will square off against the Section 7A champs at 10:00 a.m. Thursday.
The State Track and Field meet at the National Sports Center in Blaine on Friday and Saturday, features many individuals competing. No Pelican Rapids Vikings will be there for the first time since 1990 and only one Fergus Falls High School student-athlete has qualified, Emily Winans, a freshman who established a new school record in the mile run and took second in the section.
Perham is well represented with double winners Mike Neels and Jake Januszewski, Gabriele Anderson, who was first in the 1600 and 2nd in the 800, and the girls 4 x 100 meter relay was first. Ali Dewar, Maggy Hayden, Nicole Maasjo and Kelcie Priebe are members of that team.
Otter Tail Central qualified Nick Ellenson as the 400 meter dash champ, Amber Peasley was second in the 200 and Amber was joined by Jen Glesne, Brittany Lindberg and Katie Ellenson in the 4 x 200 meter relay.
For Agassiz Valley, Catherine Moe, Karla Solum and James Carr will be competing, and West Central Area is represented in both the shot put and the discus by Carrie Koplin.
We wish them all well as they participate in a truly great spectacle of athletic competition.
Fergus Falls boys track and field assistant Greg "Fuzz" Noren has been named the Section 8AA assistant coach of the year. Noren has been assisting Terry Harrington for over 20 years and is primarily involved with the jumpers. Noren has also been a state meet official for the past several years, along with Harrington. CONGRATULATIONS FUZZ!!