|Monday, November 24, 2003|
|Craigs Corner 11/24/03 - 11/30/03|
|Thursday, November 27th, 2003|
Otter basketball fans can preview the Fergus Falls girls varsity team on Saturday at the Otter jamboree which begins at 2:30 p.m. at the Fergus Falls High School gymnasium.
The Otters lost ten seniors to graduation and return only Amy Sletten who saw extensuve varsity playing time, however, they showed promise with a 36 point performance in their half of basketball Tuesday against D-G-F at the Pelican Rapids jamboree. Fergus Falls should have a number of players on the floor who are capable of scoring with some inside/outside balance.
The eight teams participating on Saturday will begin the day with half-court scrimmages at 9:30 a.m. and go to full-court scrimmages at 10:00 a.m., followed by the jamboree schedule:
2:30 p.m., Minnewaska 'B' vs Fergus Falls 'B'
3:15 p.m., Dassel-Cokato vs Montevideo
4:00 p.m., Minnewaska Area vs Underwood
4:45 p.m., Pelican Rapids vs Moorhead
5:30 p.m., Breckenridge vs Fergus Falls
Monday, November 24th, 2003
I stand corrected! There will be no Little 8 basketball jamborees this year. The coaches voted them off the schedule at the end of last season, so disregard my reference to them in an earlier column. They were still listed on a couple of the printed schedules, making for the error.
I, for one, certainly wish they were still playing them. I thought it was great to gather all of the conference teams together for a basketball appetizer for the fans! The jamborees rotated from school-to-school every year giving local fans an opportunity to see all of the conference schools in one night and preparing them for an exciting season of Little 8 basketball. Maybe the coaches will re-visit the issue this year and perhaps they'll be back next year. If enough fans ask their AD's and coaches why the jamborees weren't held this year, they'll think seriously about getting them back on the schedule.
The Pelican Rapids girls basketball team will be hosting their jamboree on Tuesday night. The Vikings 'B' team will start the action at 6:00 p.m. against the D-G-F 'B' squad. At 6:45 p.m., the D-G-F varsity will battle Fergus Falls. The 7:30 matchup has Lake Park-Audubon facing Moorhead and at 8:00 p.m. Pelican Rapids will go up against West Central Area. Each jamboree matchup will be two quarters of basketball. Vikings coach Doug Bruggeman tells us that 'Minnesota Basketball Preview' will be on hand, selling this year's girls' and boys' preview of basketball in Minnesota. I haven't seen these publications and don't know much about them, but they will be available for purchase on Tuesday night at the PRHS gym.
By the way, Coach Bruggeman said he is already getting inquiries about the Shada Shootout! The popular 3-on-3 tournament will be held June 18, 19 and 20, marking the 11th year it has been hosted in Pelican Rapids. Elementary boys' and girls' divisions will be played on Friday, June 18 while the boys' and girls divisions from junior high to college men will be held on Saturday, June 19 and Sunday, June 20. Last year a record 180 teams played in the Shada
and over 750 players participated. Shada is one of the largest and longest running tournaments in Minnesota and is the Pelican Rapids girls' basketball fund raiser. In 2004 the dates correspond with the Friendship Festival in Pelican Rapids. After the first of the year you can get registration information on the Shada on the world wide web. I don't know the website address at this time, but when we know it, we'll pass it on to you.
|Monday, November 17, 2003|
|Craigs Corner 11/17/03 - 11/23/03|
|Sunday, November 23rd, 2003|
Monday night the Fergus Falls Hockey Association will hold their annual Meet the Otters night at the Fairgrounds Ice Arena. All FFHA youth hockey players are invited to attend.
Hot dogs, chips and pop will be served between 5:00 and 5:30 p.m. with high school players available to sign autographs. The boys and girls high school teams and all of the youth teams will be introduced on the ice between 5:30 and 6:00 p.m. A group picture will be taken at six o'clock and the Fergus Falls Otter boys hockey team will scrimmage betwee 6:15 and 7:00 p.m.
The Minneapolis Men's basketball team opened their Community College season with an 89-76 loss to NDSCS in Wahpeton on Saturday. Jay Pivec's team is ranked second in the nation in NJCAA Division III Men's college basketball and number one in the Pre-season Region 13 poll. Having moved to the South Division of the MCCC this year, the Spartans will be battling the Marauders for the automatic tournament berth that accompanies a South Divison championship.
Northland pre-season All-American Mike Howard wasn't with the Pioneers on Saturday for their game against the Spartans due to personal reasons. Howard averaged 23 points and 5 rebounds per game his freshman season.
Friday, November 21st, 2003
Hope you'll join a lot of other Otter fans at the Fergus Falls Senior High School gymnasium today at three o'clock. That's when fans will have the opportunity to celebrate a tremendous fall athletic season by recognizing Stacy Busack and the Otter swimmers, and the FFHS boys soccer team on their state appearances!
It's been a great fall at Fergus Falls High School and Busack has accomplished more on a state level than any previous member of the Otter swimming program, girls or boys. Her two state titles (50 free, 100 free) were completed in state record time and she was also a member of two relay teams at the state meet, the 5th place 200 medley relay and the 10th place 400 freestyle relay. The 200 medley relay set a new school record time in the state finals. This has been a record setting team and everyone dropped their times from Friday's qualifying day to Saturday's finals. Joanna Keller achieved All-State status by placing in the top eight in both the 200 freestyle and the 500 freestyle.
The Otter boys soccer team won the Section 8AA title, took the Section Academic championship for the fourth straight year and boasted the Assistant Coach of the Year in the section, Ben Jurgens. Plus, Jack Underwood was named to the All-State Tournament team. A great year for Scott Bjerke's guys! Like I said, it's been a great fall and today is a day to celebrate it so lets see a big turnout for that pep fest at three o'clock this afternoon at the high school gym.
Wayne Horgen's Otter girls hockey team will host the top-ranked team in Class 2A tonight at 7:30 at the Fairgrounds Ice Arena in Fergus Falls. South St. Paul comes to town with a 59 game winning streak. The Otters received votes in the Class A poll, but didn't crack the top 10. They have already played the number 4 ranked team in Class 2A and have the top-ranked team in Class A, Warroad, in their conference, the Greater Minnesota Conference. Another conference team, Bemidji, has received votes in the 2A poll.
Former Otter soccer player Matt Haws, now at St. John's University in Collegeville, has received Honorable Mention recognition for the 2003 MIAC Men's Soccer season. Haws, the all time leading scorer in Otter boys soccer, played primarily on the defensive end of the field this year for the Johnnies. Way to go Matt!
Hillcrest fans are reminded of a welcome home celebration that is planned for Saturday at 6:00 p.m. at Hillcrest Lutheran Academy. The Comets will play for the 9-Man football championship at 8:00 a.m. Saturday. A caravan of fans will meet the team bus at 5:30 p.m. at Big Chief Cafe and will escort the bus to the school for the six o'clock program. All Comet backers are urged to attend!
Wednesday, November 19th, 2003
A crew from the Otter Tail Officials Association will work the Class 2A football championship game on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at the Metrodome.
Karl Beck with work his fourth Prep Bowl, John Klinnert and Mark Graff their third, Tim Rogelstad his second and Derrick Nelson his first.
It's a great honor for these guys to work on the final day of the high school football season. Throughout the year coaches rank crews by voting on the internet following their games. Tournament experience and recommendations from coaches, high school league officials and other officials are all considered in making decisions on which crews will work the Prep Bowl.
The Minnesota Community College Conference is home to seven pre-season basketball All-Americans. Mike Howard of Northland averaged 23 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 assists per game last year. 7-foot transer student Mike Kinsella of Minneapolis, who spent last year at Division I Rice University is also a first team pre-season All-American selection. Rainy River guard Mario Vargas, who scored 24 points, dished out six assists and came up with five steals per game his freshman season for the Voyageurs is a 2nd team selection.
The ladies who are receiving pre-season All-American recognition are first teamers Tiara Medlock (22ppg, 5.6rpg) of Minneapolis and Anne Siverling (12ppg, 9rpg) of Anoka-Ramsey, and second teamers Vikki Freiermuth (10ppg, 4rpg, 6apg, 5spg) of Itasca and Alicia Halvorson (9ppg, 3rpg, 5apg, 4spg) of Northland.
The Minneapolis Marauders are ranked number one in the Region 13 poll and the MSCTC Spartans are ranked number two. Rochester is third, Vermilion fourth and Mesabi Range fifth. Minneapolis is also ranked second in the nation behind Suffolk County of Selden, New York and MSCTC is ranked 9th in the country in NJCAA Division III Men's basketball poll. Rochester and Vermilion also received votes in the poll.
The Spartan basketball season begins on Saturday with a double header against Northland starting with the women's game at 2:00 p.m.
Monday, November 17th, 2003
If you haven't been jumping around the site and catching up on what happened over the weekend in area sports, you need to do that. It was a tremendous weekend for our area athletes and teams!
Busack earns All-American status by winning 2 events at state
Busack sets 2 new Class A state records
Keller receives All-State recognition in 2 events at state meet
Otters set school record in 400 freestyle relay
Fergus Falls swimmers place 8th out of 47 teams in Class A state meet
Comets comeback from 16-0 halftime deficit to beat Spring Grove 19-16
Stroud leads comeback after injury to Moline
Hillcrest to play for 9-Man football title Saturday at the Metrodome
Lady Spartans take 2nd in NJCAA Divison III National Volleyball Tournament
Schmidt, Week & Baumgartner named to All-Tournament team
Glesne named Little 8 Volleyball MVP
Ross earns Little 8 Coach of the Year
Scheid & Rylander among 9-Man Academic All-State Players
Underwood & Rengel Share Otter boys soccer MVP honors
Stenerson selected as recipient of Damien Jacklitch Memorial Award
Otter boys soccer team wins 4th straight Section 8AA Academic title
Check out all the info behind these stories on www.craigolsonsports.com
While you're at it, send us some feedback on any of these topics, on the Gophers, Vikings, Twins, T'Wolves, Wild, any sports item that you have an opinion on. We'll feature your comments in the newest area of the website, Fan Feedback. E-mail us at [email protected]
Join us on Tuesday morning at ten o'clock for a special welcome home and recognition program for the Lady Spartans volleyball team at the Fireplace Lounge at Minnesota State Community & Technical College. The public is invited to attend and it would be great to see a huge turnout to honor this team. They were the first team in the history of Spartan volleyball to qualify for a national tournament appearance and they finished second to the top-ranked Cedar Valley Lady Suns of Lancaster, Texas. Hope to see you there.
The Hillcrest Comets play Stephen-Argyle in the Prep Bowl on Saturday morning at 8:00 o'clock. A fan bus will leave Hillcrest at 3:00 a.m. Saturday. The cost for a seat on the school bus is five dollars per person. Tickets, which may be purchased upon arrival at the Metrodome, are seven dollars for students and twelve dollars for adults. Sign up before 10:00 a.m. on Thursday by calling Sharlene Schmidt at 739-1208. If you are driving down and are looking for a hotel room, Hillcrest is reserving several for their fans. Call the same number to get on the list. GO COMETS!!!!!
|Monday, November 10, 2003|
|Craigs Corner 11/10/03 - 11/16/03|
|Wednesday, November 12th, 2003|
Former Otter Tyler Gagner has been sidelined with a knee injury. The NDSU freshman had surgery to repair a torn ACL after suffering the injury last week. Gagner is playing baseball at NDSU.
The injury will keep him out of action for the entire school year but he may be able to be back on the field by late May or early June. Since Gagner is a freshman, he will be red shirted by the Bison this year, leaving him with four years of remaining eligibility and a injury red shirt option still available. Gagner and another former Otter, Mike Gaustad, now playing baseball at Bethel College, both have a year of American Legion Baseball eligibility left.
Junior Stacy Busack has the fastest seed time in both the 50 freestyle and the 100 freestyle at the Class A State Swim meet. Busack won section titles in both events while setting new school records in both events on Saturday in Morris. Coach Tom Uvaas says Busack has a legitimate shot at winning either or both events at the U of M Aquatic Center this weekend. Good Luck Stacy!
Perham diver Betsy Mann, also an outstanding gymnast, will compete at the Class A State meet this weekend after qualifying as one of the top four divers at the Section meet last weekend. Mann also competed in the state gymnastics meet last winter, qualifying as a section champion in four of the five events.
Tuesday, November 11th, 2003
Coach Derek Abrahams will turn in his resignation as head girls tennis coach at Fergus Falls on Wednesday. Abrahams, who was married last summer and is pursuing a Masters Degree in Administration, said that personal and professional commitments led to his decision.
Derek will continue as varsity assistant in girls basketball and will coach the Otter boys tennis team once again in the spring. His career record in eight years as girls coach is 76-82.
Derek has been a three-sport coach since he came on the teaching/coaching scene in Fergus Falls and many senior high students have benefited from his expertise through the years both in the classroom and on the courts or in the gym. He's one of those guys with a lot of energy and someone who truly loves what he does! I know I have appreciated his consistency in reporting information to us on his teams, and how he was always available for an interview. If it had to do with promoting the kids or the program, Derek was always willing to do whatever he could. He made my job of covering Otter tennis very easy! Thanks Derek!! He's also a huge baseball (and Twins) fan, so I really love this guy!
Hillcrest Lutheran Academy plays Spring Grove in the state 9-Man semifinals at the Metrodome at 8:00 a.m. on Friday.
Fans can sign up for a seat on the student fan bus for five dollars. The school bus will depart at 3:00 a.m. Friday.
You can call 739-1208 to sign up for a seat on the bus. The deadline is Wednesday at 3:00 p.m.
The Lady Spartans (22-13)have their times and opponents now for pool play at the NJCAA Division III National Tournament in Rochester on Friday. Minnesota State Community and Technical College is seeded fourth in the tournament.
Their first pool play match takes place at 11:00 a.m. against Mohawk Valley, New York (33-5), the number five seed. They will play Columbus, Ohio (14-23), the number eight seed at 2:00 p.m. and will close out pool play at 6:30 p.m. against top-seeded Cedar Valley, Texas (22-11).
DuPage of Illinois (24-13), seeded second, Central Lakes (25-8), seeded third, Fashion Institute (21-1), seeded sixth and Lehigh Carbon (29-4), seeded 7th, are the teams in the other pool.
After Friday's round-robin pool play, the top two teams in each pool will move on to the championship semifinals at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday.
Here are the results from the MCCC Football Playoff games played on Saturday, November 8th. Mesabi Range beat Minnesota West 61-7
and Rochester defeated Hibbing 21-19. That sets up a Mesabi Range versus Rochester championship game on Saturday, November 15th at 1:00 p.m. at Selke Field, St. Cloud State University.
Monday, November 10th, 2003
The Lady Spartans received the number four seed in the NJCAA Division III National Women's Volleyball Tournament and now know who they will play in pool play on Friday in Rochester, Minnesota.
The other three teams in the their pool are top-seeded Cedar Valley, Texas, number five Mohawk College of New York and number eight Columbus College of Columbus, Ohio. Cedar Valley has been the number one ranked team in the nation all season.
MSCTC will play three game matches against each of the three teams in their pool on Friday night, with the two teams compiling the best records within their pool moving on to the championship round on Saturday. The semifinals will be played at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday with the third place match set for 1:30 p.m. and the championship match at 4:00 p.m.
This is the first time in the history of the Lady Spartans volleyball program that a team has qualified for the National Tournament. The Lady Spartans have been ranked as high as second in the country this year.
Underwood had two girls named to the All State Tournament team over the weekend. Senior outside hitter Liz Glesne and junior middle hitter Ashley Samuelson earned the honors. Both girls had excellent tournament's and outstanding seasons with over 300 kills and 200 digs apiece. Underwood placed fourth in the state. Both girls will also be members of the Underwood girls basketball team this winter.
The 16th Annual Spartan Basketball Buddies program begins on Saturday at Minnesota State Community and Technical College, Fergus Falls campus. There will be three sessions for boys and girls from kindergarten through sixth grade. The sessions will be Saturday, Tuesday and Thursday, November 15th, 18th and 20th at MSCTC. Two sessions will held each day with Saturday's sessions running at 9:30 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. and the other night's sessions at 6:30 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. The cost for participation is fourteen dollars per child. A Buddy Basketball and a Buddy t-shirt are included in the cost. When a Buddy t-shirt is worn to any Spartan home game during the season, the child will be admitted free. For more information or to sign up, call coach Dave Retzlaff at 739-7538. Pepsi-Cola, the Westridge Mall and Floor to Ceiling Store are sponsoring the Spartan Buddy program this year.
Speaking of the Spartans, Dusty Radke has been advised to not play basketball this winter. Radke, who has been rehabbing from numerous knee and foot injuries for the past year-and-a-half was hoping to contribute to the Spartans this season. The 6'5" wing from West Central Area had surgery last spring and looked very good but his knee has been painful the last 3 weeks. "We had been excited about Dustys size and athleticism at the "3" spot, but we will now have to downsize to about 5'10"," commented head coach Dave Retzlaff.
|Monday, November 3, 2003|
|Craigs Corner 11/03/03 - 11/09/03|
|Wednesday, November 5th, 2003|
Rolf Eisinger has swapped his cross country skis for a mountain bike this year. Eisinger competed for the Colorado University road team last spring and is competing for the mountain biking team this winter.
"I looked at mountain biking as a great way to cross train for the road season," said Eisinger. "I also like to compete and mountain biking has given me that opportunity."
Eisinger says there are many "types of genres of cycling" involved in mountain biking. "Within mountain biking there are two main branches, one is cross country, which has both short track and cross country, and the other is down hill, which is composed of duel slalom and down hill," added Eisinger.
Short track is usually 20-40 minutes long and consists of a loop that the cyclist goes around several times and if the rider is lapped he has to drop out of the race.
Cross Country is usually two or three laps with each lap being about 7 to 15 miles and takes 35 to 50 minutes per lap.
Duel slalom is when you ride a small section of the mountain with another person next to you competing to get to the finish line first.
Down hill is a straight shot down a mountain. The trail goes through trees and over rock. It also has drops which can be any height but probably about four or five feet would be the great height in these races.
"Mountain biking can be very dangerous, especially the down hill racing, because one crash could end your season or your life," said Eisinger. "The training never stops. During the season I am riding as much as I can either on the mountain bike or the road bike. When the season ends, I will start to lift, run and Nordic ski. I am planning on doing the winter triathlon season which consists of running, mountan biking on hard packed ski trails and Nordic skiing. This is a great way to cross train. Studies show how great Nordic skiing is for cycling and vice-versa. During all of this I am playing intramural sports, either soccer, broom ball, a lot of hockey and other sports my friends sign a team up for."
Eisinger also said that although a nice bike will help a lot, racing is still about skill and comfort on the bike. Rolf also says that a helmet is priceless. Things to look for in a bike are weight, components and either front or rear suspension.
Rolf has done really well in his first season of mountain bike racing and is hoping to ride for the Colorado University team next fall and during the non-collegiate season he would like to ride semi-pro and try to get some sponsors.
We'll keep you posted on his progress! Never a dull moment when Rolf is involved!
Tuesday, November 4th, 2003
With all the post season action going on over the past few weeks involving area teams, I haven't had time to pass along updates on other sports events featuring area teams or athletes. Time to catch up on a couple of them.
They called it "The Rumble at the Romano", Friday night, October 17th, and from all reports it was a huge success. The facilities director estimated between 850-900 people attended to watch several fights including one featuring Zach (Jungle Boy) Walters, formerly of the Fergus Falls Boxing Club, now boxing professionaly and doing quite well, thank you.
Zach's opponent was Frank Newton (32-2). He'd lost to Zach in August and wanted a rematch. He'd trained hard and a great rematch was anticipated. Zach was prepared also and two minutes, 15 seconds into the first round, it was all over after three 8 Counts. After three standing 8's, the referee stopped the contest and Zach was awarded the TKO. Following the match, Newton said "Jungle Boy retired me." Zach is now 9-0 in his professional career and another match will be scheduled in the not too distant future. Stay tuned!
The next step for Zach is to obtain corporate sponsorship. He has obtained the services of a professional to help in this. A CD has been developed with highlights of Zach's career thus far along with bio and stats.
A by-product of this is a 'music video'. Highlights have been put to his ring music, "Welcome to the Jungle". It is an incredible display of Zach's abilities as well as a testimony of his faith. If anyone is interested in purchasing the music video, the cost is $15.00 including shipping/handling. Send your request to Walters Photography along with a check or money order. They also accept Visa, MasterCard and Discover. Be sure to include your complete mailing address.
Rolf Eisinger, who competed in Cross Country Skiing last winter at Colorado University, is now involved in Mountain Biking. I e-mailed Rolf a bunch of questions recently and he was kind enough to respond. I am in the process of editing through that e-mail and will continue with more on Rolf's adventures tomorrow!!
Thanks to Bob Bjorklund and Adam Erickson for their participation in Fan Feedback, a new feature of www.craigolsonsports.com
It's a spot where you, the fan, can be heard! If you have a comment on any sports related subject or would like to submit an article, please e-mail me at [email protected] .
This will be a great addition to the site, but it's up to you guys and gals to keep the information coming. I do, of course, reserve the right to refuse or edit any piece that is submitted.
Monday, November 3rd, 2003
WOW!! What a night of volleyball!! The Underwood Rockets survived a five game thriller in the Section 5A championship match against Bertha-Hewitt and will now play Cook in the first round of the state Class A volleyball tournament Thursday at 1:00 p.m. in St. Paul.
This is the third straight year that the Rockets have qualified for the state tournament. Last year, Bertha-Hewitt beat them in the Class A quarterfinals. This year, Underwood was moved into the same section as the Bears. Bertha-Hewitt lost twice in 32 matches, once in a regular season match in September at Underwood and once in the Section finals to the Rockets. Both matches went the full five games. The Rockets were down 2-0 and facing elimination but they never quit. Their senior leadership really showed!! It was a great comeback and a tremendous win!! There will be a pep fest and send off for the team on Wednesday at 10:15 a.m. at the Underwood High School.
The Underwood High School is planning a spectator bus for all students and adults on Thursday, November 6th. The bus will depart from the Underwood school at 8:00 a.m. The cost for the bus is five dollars. Tickets to the game are to be purchased at the Xcel Energy Center and will cost seven dollars for students and ten dollars for adults. Please call the school at 826-6101 to sign up. The dealine is at noon on Wednesday.
Hillcrest Lutheran Academy is making its 9th appearance in the 9-man state tournament. Their first time was in 1976 when they finished as the 9-man runner-up. They did the same in 1977, making to the title game but taking second place. They also qualified in 1978 and 1981. In 1982, the first year of the Prep Bowl at the Metrodome, the Comets were runners-up to Westbrook. The didn't return to state again until 1998 when they lost in the finals to the team they play Friday, Cromwell, 40-22. The qualified in 1999, losing to Nicollet in the quarterfinals at Hillcrest and then of course, won it all in 2001. The loss to Cromwell in the '98 title game marks the only time the two teams have played each other in the history of the schools. John Kilde, Jr. was a junior on that football team. Kilde is now a standout receiver for the unbeaten Bethel Royals in the MIAC.
The Comets hope to learn the status of quarterback Jake Stroud Tuesday. Stroud sat out the Section title game recovering from a concussion suffered against Ulen-Hitterdal the previous week. Hillcrest got more bad news on Monday as fullback/middle linebacker Matt Borowski was diagnosed with mono and will miss Friday's game.