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Monday, October 27, 2003
Craigs Corner 10/27/03 - 11/02/03
Wednesday, October 29th, 2003
If Hillcrest is going to advance to the State 9-man tournament they are going to have to do it without quarterback Jake Stroud.

Coach Richard Risbrudt talked to Dr. Rod Swenson, neurophsycologist, pH.D. in Fargo, ND about Jake’s test results from his concussion at the Ulen-Hitterdal game. He did NOT pass the test and will be unavailable for Friday's contest.

The Comets will go with Derek Moline, who started the season as the starting quarterback, in place of Stroud. Moline has been playing tight end on offense with Stroud handling the QB duties.
I just hate to see injuries keep kids out of action anytime but especially at playoff time. Everyone just needs to step up and dig a little deeper now and Derek has good experience at the quarterback spot so I'm sure the Comets will rally around him. It just makes it tougher when your team isn't at full strength at this time of the season.

By the way, if you want to ride the Hillcrest fan bus to Grand Forks on Friday for the 12:30 p.m. kickoff against Waubun at the Alerus Center, you can call Hillcrest at 739-1208 to reserve a seat. The cost is $11.50 per person for a seat on the motor coach.

Former Otter Scott Masten has been playing football at Concordia College in Moorhead this fall but his season ended when he broke several bones in his right leg/ankle last Wednesday afternoon during football practice. He went through surgery on Wednesday night to screw a plate onto his tibia (broken in two places), to insert a screw into his broken fibula,to insert a screw through both the tibia and the fibula to hold them together and to relocate his ankle and foot into its proper position. He will be on crutches with no weight bearing on his right leg for about two months. Scott is home right now but wants to return to school as soon as he is able. He is hoping to recover from this and play football next fall. You can jot a note to Scott at [email protected]

By the way, Scott's roommate, another former Otter, Mitch Gabrielson, started wrestling practice Monday at Concordia, a day after their final junior varsity football game!

Former Fergus Falls High School volleyball player Tanya Hensch, now at the North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton, has been selected as a Mon-Dak All Conference volleyball player and was also chosen as a North Dakota selection for the NJCAA All-Region XIII team.

Hensch is a 5'11" middle hitter averaging 3.66 kills per game so far this season. She leads the Wildcats in kills (340), hitting percentage (34.4), kill per game and total blocks (86). Hensch is the only player ranked in the top five in Region XIII in hitting efficiency (3rd), blocks per game (5th) and kills per game (2nd). She is also ranked in the top 30 nationally for each of those categories, 17th in kills per game, 20th in hitting efficiency and 30th in blocks per game.

The Wildcats open Region XIII Tournament play on Friday with a 2:00 p.m. match against Bismarck State and a 6:00 p.m. match against Bethany Lutheran in Mankato. The top two teams from their pool will advance to championship bracket play on Saturday. The winner of the Region XIII Tournament advances to the NJCAA Division II National Tournament in Toledo, Ohio.

Justin Arneson of the Minnesota Twins organization will be autographing his baseball cards on Saturday, November 1st from 1pm to 4pm near Herbergers in the Fergus Falls Westridge Mall. During high school, Justin was a great volunteer for the Special Olympics in Fergus Falls and he would like to thank Fergus Falls and the surrounding area for their encouragement and support by giving back to the community. All proceeds from his autograph signing will go to the Fergus Falls DAPE (Developmental Adapted Physical Education) sport activities for the special needs students of Fergus Falls and surrounding areas. Cards can be purchased at the signing with the Elizabethton Twins cards selling for two dollars, Bowman cards for five dollars and Bowman Chrome cards for seven dollars. Additional donations would be welcomed and appreciated. Everyone is invited! Spread the word. It would be fun to see a large turnout of fans. This is a great cause and Justin is very willing to help out in any way he can!

Monday, October 27th, 2003
Some jottings ... Josh Beckett was superb! The Marlins came out of nowhere and hopefully will stay together. The Yankees will probably see many changes. George will probably open the check book!
More jottings ...The Vikings played with no emotion or intensity on Sunday. They looked like a totally different team than the one that played Denver last week. They also almost won the game. The great teams can do that. Play awful and yet almost win. Does that mean the Vikings are great? By today's standards, they may well be. I don't think they, or any other team in the NFL right now, can be measured up to the greatest teams of all time. No way. There is no dominant NFL team. Pete Rozelle's parity has arrived and settled in. Gone are the powerhouse teams of the past. No more Cowboys, Dolphins, Packers, 49er's dynasties. It just isn't going to happen with all the free agent movement in the NFL. It is very true now ... On any given Sunday, any NFL team can beat any other NFL team. By that standard, the Vikings have a great chance of winning the Super Bowl, as well as KC and any other team that gets hot at the right time. The Giants beat the Vikes. Are they better than Minnesota. No. But they were last Sunday (see above adage ... On any given Sunday, etc.,). I guess that makes for a lot of excitment every week in the NFL. By the way, enter our NFL Prediction contest and you could win cold, hard cash! Click on the logo on the home page of www.craigolsonsports.com

I am waiting for you fans out there to supply me with some articles, opinions, e-mails, anything on any sports subject that I can share with readers in Fan Feedback, a new feature we are launching on the site. Come on, I know you have opinions. This is your chance. Just make sure that when you submit your piece to me at [email protected] that you sign it and include your return e-mail.

Jenny Gronner-Roisum recorded her 1,000th career kill at NDSU over the weekend!! What a tremendous career. Way to go Jenny. I can't believe she's in her senior year. Seems just like last spring I was interviewing her at the state track and field meet. What an extraordinary athlete. She has worked hard to stay at the top of her game and she deserves every accolade that comes her way. All-American material for sure.

Former West Central Area running back Jake Sternhagen had a good day for the Dragons of Minnesota State, Moorhead on Saturday. Jake ran for 127 yards and scored a pair of TD's.

Bethel stayed unbeaten with a 41-14 thrashing of Carleton. Kirby Carr was in on five tackles and scored a two point conversion, while John Kilde hauled in five passes for 74 yards.

The Pheasant Conference is tough! There could be three of their teams in the State 9-man quarterfinals next week. There will be one for sure. Ashby made that certain when they bumped off number five ranked Lakeview in the Section 3 semifinals. Roger Jansen's team has been great. They are 6-4 and have played some great defense. The defense forced five turnovers, 3 of them interceptions by senior Chris Ohren. Their offense has consistently come up with big plays. They have worked hard and believe in what they are doing. Roger and Steve LeDuc have really done a tremendous job with these kids over the last three seasons. They have a tall order ahead on Thursday at the FargoDome against a Wheaton team that has a powerful, quick running attack. Tony Thiel's team has really put together a nice season. Both of these teams have excelled and either of them will represent the Pheasant Conference well in the state playoffs. Defending champion Verndale should beat Isle in the Section 4 finals at the FargoDome and Hillcrest has an excellent shot at bumping off Waubun in Section 6. Here is the schedule of Section title games this Thursday and Friday.

Thursday at the FargoDome: Verndale plays Isle in Section 4 of 9-man at 3:00 p.m., Wheaton and Ashby clash at 5:30 p.m. in Section 3 of 9-man and Sauk Rapids-Rice will face Sartell-St. Stephen at 8:00 p.m. for the Section 8AAAA title.

Friday at the FargoDome: Ottertail Central plays Benson in Section 6AA. Don Seipkes team is unbeaten on the season.

Friday at the Alerus Center: Hillcrest vs Waubun in Section 6 of 9-man at 12:30 p.m.
Posted By Craig Olson
Monday, October 20, 2003
Craigs Corner 10/20/03 - 10/26/03
Friday, October 24th, 2003
WOW! Area athletes are having a tremendous week. Several are competing in state events in their particular sports this week and more are qualifying for state competition that will be held next week.

Fergus Falls boys soccer coach Scott Bjerke had the Otters in their second state tournament appearance (1999) last night in Richfield. The Otters ran into a high scoring, well rounded team from Rochester Mayo, who scored three times in the first half on the way to a 4-1 win. Bjerke commented on the radio pregame show on Groovy 1020 that this team was probably his most balanced squad at Fergus Falls. They really played well together on the way to a 14-5-2 final record and had some tremendous senior leadership. You see several multi-sport athletes on this team and a bunch of guys who just love to compete no matter what the sport! Great job Otters! With an impressive group of underclassmen coming back to the varsity and joining the varsity from the junior varsity, and the strength of the Middle School boys soccer teams (only 1 loss in 10 games this fall), the state of soccer in Fergus Falls is quite good, thank you.

Today (Friday), Kim Lindblom steps onto the tennis court at the Northwest Athletic Club in Bloomington in her first ever state tournament singles appearance. Kim has had an awesome career. You probably have heard the numbers before, but here they are again. Six years playing varsity (started in 7th grade), five years as the Otters number one singles player, over 100 career victories and countless hours of practice time since she was first exposed to the game as a three year old. The hard work has paid off. Kim and the strong senior girls on the Otter tennis team came within an eye lash of winning the Section 8AA team title. They dethroned four time defending North Sub-section champion Bemidji, and set the benchmark for future Fergus Falls girls tennis teams with a record of 20-4. Talk about a great season! Congratulations to coach Derek Abrahams and his squad.

West Central Area girls tennis players Kristel Anderson, Kasey Maier and Megan Shuck are all competing at the Class A individual tournament today and tomorrow at the Nicollet Tennis Center in Minneapolis. Anderson is competing in singles and has qualified for the first time in her high school career. Shuck and Maier are doubles partners. Shuck is in her second state tournament and Maier is making her third straight state tournament appearance. Coach Sue Maier's teams of the past couple of years have established some very impressive records, including section runner-up in team competition the last two seasons and Sub-section champions in each of the last two years. Their 22-3 season record in 2003 is the best in the history of the program.

Cross Country teams from Perham and Fergus Falls will compete in their respective state meets on November 1st in Northfield. The Perham boys and girls teams, who have both been ranked among the top teams in the state in Class A this season, took second place at the Section 6A team competition in Glenwood on Thursday. Both teams were second to highly ranked Staples-Motley teams. Outstanding runner Gabriele Anderson of the Perham girls placed second in the individual race, while Perham boys runner Todd Schmidt was fourth individually. Coach Jeff Morris, in his second year guiding the Yellowjackets, was selected as Section 6A Boys Coach of the Year. He has done a truly amazing job with his team.
The Fergus Falls girls will be competing in the AA state tournament on November 1st after taking second place to Brainerd in the Section 8AA meet in Little Falls on Thursday. Two seventh-graders, Callie Shea and Ramsey Vogt moved into the varsity lineup in their final regular season meet and contributed to an Otter win at Bemidji and to their second place finish at the Section meet Thursday. Vogt placed 17th and Shea 21st, the third and fourth best times turned in by the Otter varsity runners. Emily Winans ran another strong race, finishing sixth and qualifying for the state individual race as one of the top ten finishers. Anna VanWechel had the second best time for the Otters, taking 15th place in the race and Anna Rengel rounded out the varsity scoring with a 24th place finish. Terry Harrington and Niki Welde do such a great job with the cross country and track programs and the kids love to run for them! Way to go Otters! A heartbreaker for Joe Dinsmore as he finished twelfth in the boys varsity race, just missing out on a state meet spot. Harrington said that Joe ran the "race of his life."

Pelican Rapids has three runners advancing to state including the individual boys champion, Zach Bruns, who won the Section 6A title with a time of 16:35, eleven seconds ahead of the rest of the field. Two girls, Kristin Westby and Stephanie Sorenson qualified by placing in the top ten individually. Westby was 9th (15:42) and Sorenson 10th (15:43). Coach G.J. Schmid can be proud of what his runners accomplished.

I'm looking for Perham and Underwood to really challenge for state tournament berths in volleyball over the next ten days and for the Otter girls swimming team to have several individuals in the hunt for state tournament qualifying spots as well.

As far as football goes, who knows? Ottertail Central and West Central Area may be headed for a showdown in 6AA. That would be a great game! I would love to see it happen. Don Seipkes and Mike Frisch both have excellent coaching staffs and each team seems to get the most out of their players every season. If they meet it would be in the Fargodome for the section title! Hope to see it!
Hillcrest is playing in a new section to them, Section 6 of 9-man, and I have to think they have a decent chance. We'll find out just how strong the section is on Saturday when the Comets go to Ulen to face the top-seeded Spartans of Ulen-Hitterdal.
Will it be Hancock, Wheaton, Lakeview or Ashby in Section 3 of 9-man? That semifinal between Hancock and Wheaton should be interesting. The strong running attack of the Warriors against the creative, productive passing attack of the Owls. What a great matchup. Also, don't count the fifth-seeded Arrows out of it against number one Lakeview. Roger Jansen's team has been steadily improving throughout the season and they are playing some great football right now! This is a very competitive section.
Perham has a tough game in Crookston Saturday in Section 8AAA, but Howie Kangas and his excellent coaching staff will have the Yellowjackets primed and ready to go. East Grand Forks should handle Roseau in the other semifinal, but this section is still up for grabs. It will continue to be an interesting post season.
You have to think Detroit Lakes, as the top seeded in 8AAAA, remains the favorite there, but they will have a couple of stiff tests. First they must beat a Sauk Rapids team who presents several offensive threats and then must beat either a Sartell team who beat them earlier in the season or a Rocori team that has been very impressive throughout the year. Flint Motschenbacher's team isn't going to waltz into the state tournament, but I'm not betting against the Lakers!

The World Series. What a post season. Both league championship series were tremendous. Both went the distance and the ALCS went overtime! Now, the Marlins have the Yankees on the brink of elimination. No one, I mean no one, was giving the Marlins much of a chance, especially me! Once they dropped game three I thought it was over and the Yankees would close it out without having to go back to Yankee Stadium. Boy was I wrong. Now, the Yanks have to hope for a seventh game to have a shot at winning it all. Look for a Yankee victory in game six and then a great game seven on Sunday. I'm still picking the Yankees but go Marlins!

Monday, October 20th, 2003
Playoffs, playoffs and more playoffs. This is an extremely busy week and I'll be broadcasting playoff games in three different sports this week! It's an exciting time in high school sports.

Of course, the high school football playoffs begin on Tuesday. Here's a look at when the local teams play, who they play and where they play. Seeding position is in parentheses.

In 9-man, Hillcrest Lutheran Academy (3) is now in Section 6. They will host Norman County East (6) at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday. In Section 3, Ashby (5) will play at Lincoln HI/Lake Benton at 7:00 p.m., Hancock (3) will host Chokio-Alberta/Herman-Norcross (6), Wheaton (2) is home to Brandon-Evansville (7) and C-G-B (8) goes to Lakeview. In Section 4, Underwood (6) is at Bertha-Hewitt (3) for a 7:00 p.m. contest and defending state champion Verndale (1) hosts a one o'clock game against Eagle Valley (8).

In Class A, Section 6 opening round games include New York Mills (3) at home to Nevis (6), Parkers Prairie (2) hosting Cass Lake-Bena (7), Browerville (1) at home to Pillager (8) and Menahga (4) hosting Sebeka (5). In Section 8, Agassiz Valley (4) will play Fosston (5) in Barnesville and Mahnomen (1) has a home game against Warren-Alvarado-Oslo.

In Class AA, Section 6 opening round games feature Ottertail Central (1) at home against Ortonville (8) at 6:00 p.m. in Battle Lake, West Central Area (6) on the road against Lac qui Parle Valley (3) in Madison, and Breckenridge (7) traveling to play Benson (2). In 8AA, Hawley (3) is home to Frazee (6) and D-G-F (5) is at Bagley (4).

Class AAA games find Pelican Rapids (8) at East Grand Forks (1) and Perham (2) home to Pequot Lakes (7) in Section 8. In Section 3, Minnewaska Area (4) hosting Fairmont (5) and Pipestone (3) at home to Morris Area (6).

In Class AAAA, Fergus Falls (5) is at Sauk Rapids-Rice (4), Detroit Lakes (1) entertains Little Falls (8), Rocori (2) is at home to Alexandria (7) and Sartell (3) plays at home against Thief River Falls (6) in Section 8.

Winners of the Tuesday games will move on to play on Saturday. You can track all the playoff games at www.statetourney.com, which can be reached by clicking on the link at the top of pages on www.craigolsonsports.com

On Thursday, the Fergus Falls boys soccer team will square off against Section 1AA champion, Rochester Mayo, in the Class AA state quarterfinals at Richfield. Game time is 7:30 p.m. Mayo won a 2-1 shootout against Owatonna to claim their sectiont title. The Otters won Section 8AA with a 3-2 victory over St. Cloud Tech. The Boys Soccer Booster Club will be sponsoring a coach bus to the first round game. The cost of the bus will be $16.00 per seat. This does not include the game ticket. Game tickets will be available at the site for seven dollars for adults and five dollars for students. Sign up for the community coach spectator bus will start today in the main office at Fergus Falls Senior High School and will continue until Wednesday, October 22nd at 3:30 p.m. The bus will load at 2:45 p.m. and leave at 3:00 p.m. from in front of the senior high gymnasium doors and will return home immediately following the game. Approximate return time is 12:30 a.m. Friday. If you have any questions please call Julie at the Activities Office at 998-0544, extension 2619.

The Section volleyball playoffs begin on Friday. Underwood gained the top seed in the south half of Section 5A and will play the winner of the Ashby versus Swanville game on Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Bertha-Hewitt High School. Ashby and Swanville play a qualifying game on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. in Ashby. Henning will play the 8:00 p.m. game on Friday in Bertha against Browerville. Battle Lake plays at 6:30 p.m. that night in Parkers Prairie against Upsala, while Brandon-Evansville plays Eagle Valley at 8:00 p.m.

In the north half of Section 6A, Barnesville, the number four seed, will face fifth seeded Norman County West at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Hawley. In the south half, Rothsay will play C-T-F at 7:00 p.m. Thursday in Rothsay with the winner advancing to face top-seeded Wheaton on Friday in Morris. K-M-S will battle Hancock in the 7:30 game at Morris. Number six Hillcrest will go up against third seeded Chokio-Alberta at 7:30 Friday in Wheaton, following the C-G-B versus Herman-Norcross match.

In the south half of 8AA, West Central Area will face Parkers Prairie at 6:00 p.m. Thursday in Parkers Prairie, followed by Pelican Rapids and Breckenridge at 8:00 p.m.

Section 8AAA girls volleyball seedings will be announced on Monday.

The State girls tennis tournament will be held on Friday and Saturday with Class A being contested at the Nicollet Tennis Club and Class AA being held at the Northwest Athletic Club on 98th Street in Bloomington.

Fergus Falls singles player Kim Lindblom will face Buffalo eighth-grader Dana VanBruggen at 8:00 a.m. Friday at the Northwest Athletic Club.

West Central Area singles player Kristel Anderson goes up against ninth-grader Ahsley Eckstrom of St. James at 8:00 a.m. Friday. The Lady Knights junior doubles team of Kasey Maier and Megan Shuck will face sophomores Jenna Olson and Megan Carlson of Pine City at 10:00 a.m Friday. Both West Central Area matches will be at the Nicollet Tennis Club.
Posted By Craig Olson
Monday, October 13, 2003
Craigs Corner 10/13/03 - 10/19/03
Friday, October 17th, 2003
There's a new feature we've added to www.craigolsonsports.com
It's called Fan Feedback and it's meant for just that! Feedback from you, the fans!

This is the fifth year we've been in operation and I have had many great e-mails through the years from viewers expressing opinions, complimenting us on different things we do, even criticizing us sometimes! Well, here's your chance to do an article, commentary or just jot a few comments for publication in the Fan Feedback portion of www.craigolsonsports.com

I have talked to a few people who will be providing semi-regular items for the feature. I do reserve all rights to make the decision on which submitted pieces eventually do make it to the web. After all, it is my site and I am in control of it! All you have to do is write your piece and e-mail it to me at [email protected]
It's that easy. I'll be waiting and so will our loyal visitors!

The NJCAA Division II Volleyball Player of the Week award for last week went to Tanya Hensch, Middle Hitter at North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton. The former Fergus Falls standout athlete led NDSCS to a 3-1 record last week. She totaled 20 kiils, nine blocks, three digs and three service aces in a victory over Lake Region State College. She averaged 2.8 kills and 1.5 blocks and a .324 attack percentage on the week.

Two other former Otters are members of the Lady Wildcats. Outside Hitter Carrie Stockinger and Middle Hitter Amanda Schoening. Neither player is seeing a lot of varsity playing time in their freshman seasons.

Well, for the 39th time the Yankees are in the World Series. Their 6-5 win over the Red Sox last night puts them up against the Florida Marlins in the Fall Classic. Boston manager Grady Little is being second guessed today by fans everywhere. Why didn't he take Pedro Martinez out of the game with two runners on base, one out and lefthander Hideki Matsui coming to bat? He gave Pedro the option of staying in and he took it. The rest, as they say, is history! The Yankees are amazing. Can you imagine the feeling that Aaron Boone must have had when he launced his eleventh inning game winning homer? Love them or hate them, you certainly have to respect them.

The Marlins have that feel of a team of destiny. To come from a 3-1 deficit in games and beat Mark Prior and Kerry Wood back-to-back is an incredible feat for the Fish. They may be this years version of the Anaheim Angels. Ivan Rodriguez is proving that, when healthy, he is among the greatest catchers (offensively and defensively) in the history of the game. It's not the matchup most people were hoping for, but enjoy it anyway. The World Series only comes around once a year and in most seasons it is very competitive, unlike the Super Bowl! It will be hard for the Fall Classic to matchup to the excitement provided in the ALCS and NLCS, but I'm sure there are stories waiting to be written in the next week.
Tuesday, October 14th, 2003
The Hillcrest football game against Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley will be run as a scrimmage on Wednesday. The Comets were advised of a potential problem with their schedule by the Minnesota State High School League and will have to change the status of their game with the Woverines to that of a scrimmage.

The Hillcrest football team has nine games on their regular season schedule, which, according to the Official Handbook of the MSHSL, is the maximum number of games that a team may play during the regular seasonl. Following that rule, the Comets made their schedule for the 2003 season, a season which saw them re-assigned by the league to a different section, Section 6-Nine Man. In another publication put out by the league, the Policies Manual, it is stated that a team can play a maximum of nine games, provided that their section is qualifying only four teams for the playoffs. If eight teams are qualifying, the maximum number of regular season games allowed is eight. That's where the Comets ran into problems. Since their section is qualifying eight teams for the playoffs, they are only allowed eight regular season games. The Pheasant Conference has nine teams, making for an eight game conference schedule, but Hillcrest, wanting to play rather than have a bye week, added Medford to their schedule earlier this season. C-G-B has played only seven games and the game with the Comets would have been their eighth.

As a scrimmage, the teams cannot keep score, they cannot charge admission, they cannot run the scrimmage like an official game. In fact, officials are not supposed to be used, but the MSHSL does have an exception where they can waive that portion of the rule, for safety matters. Hillcrest head coach and athletic director Richard Risbrudt says that Hillcrest will pay for the officials and will also provide C-G-B the gate receipts from their game at Medford to make up for the loss of revenue incurred by the loss of a game on the schedule. Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley can press the issue and force the Comets to forfeit the game, but that scenario is unlikely as it wouldn't have an impact on the seeding for the Woverines who are 0-7 this season. As a result of the ruling that the event needs to be played as a scrimmage, Lakes Radio will not be providing coverage of their scheduled game.

The Minessota Blizzard junior hockey team won their home opener on Sunday at the Runestone Arena in Alexandria, beating the Bismarck Bobcats 5-2. The win puts the Blizzard at 2-2 on the year. They have games this Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Blaine in one of two showcase events on their schedule this season. They will play Texarkana, Springfield, Toledo and Fairbanks.

Monday, October 13th, 2003
What is going on with the fourth quarter comebacks? The Gophers choked away a 28-7 lead against Michigan, giving up 31 fourth quarter points in a loss they may not recover from.

Also, the Green Bay Packers blew a 31-14 fourth quarter lead against the Kansas City Chiefs and lost in overtime 40-34 on Sunday. That after Indianapolis came from four touchdowns behind to beat Tampa Bay last Monday night.

I have a theory and I know it is one shared by many. The only thing a Prevent defense does is prevent the team that is ahead at the time from winning the game!! Time after time you see teams rally from big deficits against the Prevent. I will never understand why teams lay back and give the offense some of the underneath pass routes when they have a big lead. Stay aggressive and play the way you have played all game. That's what got you to the point where you have that huge lead!!

The Spartans played in horrible weather conditions on Saturday in Byron against Rochester. The rain was a constant downpour from about fifteen minutes before kickoff through the first half. It continued to rain throughout the second half but at least it wasn't a driving rain like the first two quarters. The wind, however, was blowing forcefully throughout all four quarters, causing lots of problems for both teams. The Spartans completed only 4 of 26 passes on the day and had a season low 146 yards in offense. This from a team that is the Southern Division leader in offense with an average of 438 yards per game. Thirteen turnovers and another 7 or 8 fumbles that were recovered by the fumbling team. It was nasty! Thankfully, the early forecast for Saturday looks great when the Spartans host Central Lakes Community College at Minnesota State Community and Technical College, Fergus Falls campus. The game begins at 1:30. It would be great to see a huge crowd on what should be a tremendous fall afternoon for football!

Jenny (Gronner) Roisum, the former standout athlete at Underwood High School, now in her senior year at NDSU, is among the leaders in the NCC in Kills, Blocks and Hitting Percentage. Roisum leads the conference with 129 total blocks (20 solo, 109 assisted), is sixth in kills with 303, and is fifth in kill percentage at .323. Kill percentage is like a batting average in baseball. When you are at .300 or above, you are an all-star. Gronner has 303 kills in 679 attempts, with 84 errors. To get the kill percentage, you take the kills, subtract the errors and divide the number (219) by the total attempts (679) to get the average (.323). Jenny smacked a match-high 17 kills and hit .432 to lead ninth-ranked North Dakota State University to a 3-1 (29-31, 30-20, 30-22, 30-21) win over St. Cloud State University in a North Central Conference women's volleyball match played Saturday at Halenbeck Hall. NDSU is 16-6 overall and 6-1 in the NCC. They play at Minnesota State Moorhead on Thursday night and then will host UND at 7:00 p.m. Saturday.

Posted By Craig Olson
Tuesday, October 7, 2003
Craigs Corner 10/06/03 - 10/12/03
Friday, October 10th, 2003
Boys and girls in grades 3 through 8 in the Fergus Falls school district are reminded of Backcourt Basketball registration this Saturday from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Fergus Falls Senior High School gymnasium. The Hillcrest Saturday basketball registration date is also tomorrow.

The program runs every Saturday morning from October 25th through January 31st with basketball courts at the high school, middle school, McKinley elementary school and the YMCA being used for practice sessions. All are great facilities for the kids to learn the game of basketball.

The cost is $35.00 per child with a maximum of $70.00 for any one family. Kids get reversible jerseys when they register, plus all third graders will get a pair of shorts.

Over $500.00 worth of prizes and merchandise will be awarded on Saturday, October 11th from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. during registration. Drawings will be held every 15 to 20 minutes and you must be present to win. There will be shooting contests, games and lots more. Varsity players will be there and kids will be able to use the new automatic shooting machine.

The backcourt club has been around for thirty years and they have adult coaches with years of experience working with kids. Don't forget, kids grades 3 through 8 from the Fergus Fall school district are all welcome to register for Backcourt Basketball on Saturday.

Hillcrest is in their second year of their Saturday program. Registration will take place from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. at the Hillcrest gymnasium. The cost is $30.00 per student and each participant will receive a reversible jersey. The Hillcrest program is designed for boys and girls in grades one through six. Sessions will begin on October 25th and will go through January 31st. For more information call the Hillcrest Athletic Office at 739-1208 or register this Saturday morning from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. at Hillcrest Lutheran Academy gymnasium

The benefit meatball supper for Casey Kowalski is coming up Monday night at Fergus Falls VFW Post 612. Casey was injured in the football game with Bemidji on September 12th and has undergone several surgeries. This fundraiser is being sponsored by the Fergus Falls Quarterback Club. There will be matching funds by THrivent Finanacial for Lutherans up to $2,000.00. An account in Casey's name has also been set up at Security State Bank in Fergus Falls. For more information contact Barb Miller at 739-2193 or Darla Jacobson at 736-2896.

Breckenridge Cowboys defensive lineman Mike Nelson is continuing his recovery from a severe neck injury. Nelson was injured in the September 26th game against West Central Area in Barrett. Nelson underwent surgery with a broken vertebra in his neck being replaced with a piece of his hip bone. Nelson has had some movement of his toes on his right foot. Mike is at MeritCare in Fargo.

Watching the Monday night football game the other night they showed a list of most productive quarterback/receiver combinations in NFL history. One of those combo's, Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison was on the field that night, so the stat fit with their coverage nicely. The usual suspects, Steve Young/Jerry Rice, Joe Montana/Jerry Rice, Johnny Unitas/Raymond Berry. Well, it's not the NFL, but how about Minnesota high school football. I don't know if they keep any stats like that, but if they do, Wes Stettner and Jon Burns from Hancock have to be high on that list. Burns just went over 2,000 yards rushing for his career in his last game and Stettner moved into third place with 82 TD passes and 101 all purpose TD's in the state. That is quite a duo and they have led the Owls to a great 5-2 start.

Heart O' Lakes Conference leaders after six weeks of play include leading rusher Joe Knutson of Roseau with 700 yards and 10 TD's on 98 carries, averaging 7.1 yards per carry. Pete Guck of Perham is second with 73-544-6 and a 7.5 average. Phil Beaumia of West Central Area is third (101-516-5, 5.1). As far as a leading receiver, WCA has the top two, led by Tyler Bennett< with 18 catches, 283 yards and 3 scores, along with a 15.7 average yards per catch. His teammate Blake Olson has hauled ini 17 passes for 197 yards, 3 TD's and an 11.6 yards per catch average. Josh Anderson of Agassiz Valley has 17 receptions for 344 yards and three touchdowns. Anderson is averaging 20.2 yards per reception. Travis Lage of Pelican Rapids has the highest yards per catch average, 25.5. The leading quarterback in the league is Adam Johnson of West Central Area with 717 yards. Johnson and Tyler Scott of Pelican Rapids share the HOL lead with six touchdown passes each and Brady Winter of Perham has the top completion percentage of 63.6%, completing 21 of 33 passes.

Defensively, Elliot Richards of West Central Area is the leading tackler with 51 points, two ahead of Mike Cox of Agassiz Valley. Perham's Kyle Gustafson had five interceptions and Dustin Timmersman of Roseau leads the conference with six sacks.

Perham has allowed fewer points than any other team in the conference, 58 and scored the most, 182. The Jackets also lead with 2,006 yards of offense, 1,677 on the ground. West Central Area has passed for more yards, 752, than any other team. The Knights have allowed the least yards of any team defensively, giving up only 1,136.

Perham has a 5-1 HOL conference record and leads Roseau and West Central Area by a game apiece. Those two teams are 4-2.


Tuesday, October 7th, 2003
I have neglected my column once again and I apologize. I just finished one of the more tiring weekends of my life and am still trying to catch up!!!

The sports broadcasting business has been one that has been challenging through the years for various reasons. It has been very satisfying and exciting, too, but weekends like the one I just finished make you wonder why you do it. I always tell people that you'd be crazy to work the hours I do if you were doing something you didn't absolutely love to do! I won't dwell on this, but here is what I did over the weekend. Friday, I covered the Otter football game in Duluth, leaving at about 10:30 a.m. for the 5:15 kick-off. From there, I went to Minneapolis, spent a short night and headed for Worthington on Saturday morning. The Spartans had a 2:30 game at Worthington. Rather than drive the 4 plus hours from Worthington after the game I elected to stay overnight and get some sleep. After driving back Sunday and watching the Twins get eliminated by the Yankees, I began the task of catching up on the website stuff that had been accumulating over the busy weekend. I am still trying to get caught up, hence the lateness of this piece. Thankfully, my wife went with me and did about two thirds of the driving. It was good to spend a little time with her and we managed to squeeze in a 10:30 p.m. supper at Chi-Chi's in Brooklyn Park with our son, Dan. That was good. I won't go into the technical problems we ran into in Worthington. Anyway, there you have the reasons for my tardiness with the column. Now, on to the information at hand.

Congratulations to Ben Jurgens. Ben has been named the Section 8AA Boys Soccer Assistant Coach of the Year! Ben is in his fourth year as Scott Bjerke's assistant. "Ben has filled in for me on a number of occasions this year as I try to attend grad class on Monday nights. Not only has he filled in as head coach a couple of times (2-0), more importantly, he has provided positive motivation and direction for the team," said coach Bjerke. "I feel very fortunate that Ben is my number one assistant." Craig Swanberg of St. Cloud Tech was named the Section 8AA Head Coach of the Year, an award Bjerke has won in the past. Jurgens is one of the coaches who has coached three sports for several years, serving as an assistant in hockey and as head Boys Golf coach for the past four years. Thanks for your hard work and dedication to the student athletes, Ben.

Speaking of soccer ... WOW!! What a week this is for our four local teams. The playoffs begin on Thursday when the Hillcrest girls play at Sauk Rapids-Rice. The Lady Comets were seeded 11th out of 12 teams in Section 8A. If they win on Thursday night, they will face Fergus Falls on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at the Middle School Field. The Otters were seeded third in 8A, behind Sartell and St. John's Prep.

The Fergus Falls boys were seeded number one in 8AA. That means they will host a playoff game at eleven o'clock Saturday morning against Bemidji. That game will also be played at the Middle School field.

The Hillcrest boys, seeded fourth in 8A, will have a home game Saturday afternoon at 4:00 p.m. at HLA. Their first round opponent is fifth-seeded Detroit Lakes. It is possible, with a Hillcrest girls win on Thursday, that all four of our local high school soccer teams will be involved in playoff games in Fergus Falls on Saturday. The way the schedule falls, soccer fans could take in all three games!!

Former Underwood standout Kyle Anderson is playing football at Ridgewater Community College in Willmar. Kyle is playing outside linebacker for the Warriors, who are 4-2 on the season and third in the MCCC Southern Division standings behind Rochester and Minnesota West. In Saturday's 29-13 loss to Rochester, Kyle had a 37-yard interception return for a touchdown and he also recovered a fumble. Anderson was an All-State player in 9-Man football.

When I was in Duluth on Friday covering the Otters, Trent Scheidecker, a 2002 graduate, who is a redshirt freshman at UMD stopped by the booth and spent a quarter on the broadcast with me. Trent is a defensive back for the Bulldogs and is seeing a lot of playing time on the special teams. He was an outstanding running back for the Otters in high school and has made the adjustment to the college game quite well. He has the speed, strength and strong work ethic to be a successful player for them. UMD is joining the NCC next year after spending several years in the NSIC.

Kirby Carr suffered a shoulder injury in Bethel's thrilling 45-42 win over Eau Claire on Saturday. Carr hurt himself making a hit on a kick return play. He left the game as a precautionary measure and expects to be back in the lineup on Saturday when Bethel
plays at St. Olaf. The Royals are off to a 5-0 start. John Kilde continues his excellent play, coming up with seven catches for 105 yards last week. It was one of the few weeks that John didn't get into the end zone!

Former West Central Area athletes continue to do well collegiately. David Drexler, who is the quarterback for UM-Crookston, was 6-of-11 for 74 yards passing in their 49-14 win over Southwest State University last Saturday. Drexler, a redshirt sophomore, also carried the ball 3 times for 12 yards and scored a rushing touchdown. Dallas Koplin, a senior who is playing right guard and Adam Koplin, a junior defensive end, are also two former Knights who are playing for the Trojans. Chad Davison caught six passes for 62 yards for Minnesota State, Moorhead. Chad has had an excellent career for the Dragons.

Okay, I like the Cubs in six games and the Yankees in five over the Red Sox. I'll give Pedro game three, but other than that the Yanks should dominate Boston as they did during the regular season. I am hoping, like a lot of baseball fans, for a Cubs versus Red Sox Fall Classic. That would be fun to see.
Posted By Craig Olson
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