|Monday, June 23, 2003|
|Craigs Corner 6/23/03 - 6/29/03|
|Friday, June 27th, 2003|
The Fergus Falls 7 on 7 football team won their second title of the summer when they went 5-0 at the NDSU Tournament on Thursday in Fargo.
Fergus Fallls beat Minnewaska Area, Moorhead and Racine, Wisconsin in their pool, moving into the semifinals where they defeated Moorhead again, 50-20. That victory matched them up against Detroit Lakes for the title. Fergus Falls beat the Lakers 29-24 to add the NDSU championship to their Concordia championship which they won two weeks ago.
Sophomore Andrew Larson was the quarterback for all five games. Luke Schalekamp, who won the MVP honors at the Concordia passing tournament, had another great day as a receiver and defensive back.
I talked with assistant coach Dan Prischmann who said the Otters received some tremendous defensive efforts from Schalekamp, Brandon Carr, Adam Nelson and Mat Rugg. He said the coaches were also impressed with juniors Anthony Oslund and Treston Wold.
Other Fergus Falls football players who have competed in one or both of the tournament this summer include Jared Bangs, Casey Kowalski, Paul Shol, Grant Davenport, Zac Lewis, Luke Walvatne, Kyle Kosak, Chris Peterson, Levi Evenson, Brett Miller and Lonnie Gabrielson.
The Fergus Falls team has won all ten games they have played in the 7 on 7 passing tournaments. At the Concordia Tournament they beat Breckenridge convincingly (56-12) to win the title. These Fergus Falls football players are working hard in the weight room and keeping in great shape over the summer as they look forward to a successful fall on the football field. This will be an exciting team to watch. They will play some exciting offense and some hard-nosed defense. Two-a-days will start in less than a month-and-a-half! Enjoy the summer boys!!
Monday, June 23rd, 2003
Fergus Falls is going WILD, Minnesota Wild that is. Members of the NHL organization, including a couple of players, will be at the Fergus Falls Fairgrounds Ice Arena on Friday, June 27th as a part of the team's summer tour of the state.
Wells Fargo is sponsoring the stop in Fergus Falls which will take place between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. on Friday. The Fergus Falls Hockey Association will be involved, serving hot dogs and refreshments and giving away WILD memorabilia. Proceeds raised from the event will help support youth hockey in Fergus Falls.
Defenseman Jason Marshall, a nine-year NHL veteran who spent his first season with the Wild in 2002-2003, and 24-year old center Mark Cullen, a Moorhead High School graduate, will be the two team members appearing in Fergus Falls. Former NHL standout Reed Larson and television analyst Mike Greenlay will also accompany the team.
"After the success of the Minnesota Wild this year, the team's visit to our community is an exciting event," said Phil Frederick, Wells Fargo Bank president. "Having the Wild here is a great chance for the youth of the community to be able to interact with the pros. It's so rewarding for Wells Fargo to be part of a project that makes Minnesota a great place to live."
I remember last year's event as being one that brought a lot of enthusiasm to Fergus Falls. The Wild have a classy group of people running the show and they realize the impact they can have on the youth of Minnesota. This is a great opportunity for kids and adult hockey fans to have some close contact with team members and franchise representatives. They really promote the game and the kids get some great hands-on experiences with the players at these functions. Last year Willie Mitchell spent a lot of time just shooting pucks with the youngsters. I'm sure that's the plan again this year. Hopefully, a lot of the youth hockey players will get out to the rink between 11 and 1 on Friday.
I'm sure some of the Division I hockey players from Fergus Falls, Kevin Ackley, Josh Anderson and Ryan Miller will also be making an appearance at the special day. Those guys are the hero's of the youth hockey players in Fergus Falls and it's always great to see them involved. I know they've been taking part in the VG Skills hockey camp, run by Brian Vatnsdal and Larry Goos, and that Josh has been working with members of the Otters on some dry land training. Ackley and Anderson are at St. Lawrence and Miller just recently signed with Bemidji State.
|Monday, June 9, 2003|
|Craigs Corner 06/09/03 - 06/15/03|
|Saturday, June 14th, 2003|
Justin Arneson is on a bus bound for Elizabethton, Tennessee today. Arne, who has been re-habbing his left wrist injury, will start playing Monday for the Minnesota Twins Advanced Rookie League team based in Elizabethton.
The injury has been slow healing but has really come around for Justin the past couple of weeks. Arneson, who is being made into a switch-hitter by the Twins organization, experiences some difficulty with the wrist from the right side of the plate but none as a left handed hitter. He has been playing for the last week in Fort Myers but was designated for assignment to Elizabethton on Thursday with several of his Fort Myers teammates.
Elizabethton is in the Appalachian League and the team has been affiliated with the Twins since 1974. In fact, they recently came to agreement on a new four year contract.
The season begins with a game Monday at Bristol, Virginia against the defending league champion Bristol White Sox. The two teams will play again on Tuesday night in Elizabethton, Tennessee. The short season minor league schedule will have Arneson playing 68 games from now through late August. You can find out more about the team and follow Arne's progress at www.elizabethtontwins.com
The high school baseball state tournament's are over. Perham, as you can read about elsewhere on this site, took third in AA, beating Hermantown 8-7. St. Cloud Cathedral handled the Breck School to win the title 12-2. In Class A, Howard Lake-Waverly beat Win-E-Mac 6-4 to win the championship and Section 6A champ, Menahga, lost to Sleepy Eye St. Mary's 11-4 in the third place game. In AAA, Brainerd, the Section 8 champion, beat Elk River Area 5-4 to take the consolation title. In the championship game, Rochester Century edged Cretin-Derham Hall 3-2.
Gary Boldenow recorded a hole-in-one at the Pebble Lake Golf Club on the first of June. Gary aced the par 3, 185-yard 11th hole, using a four wood. Witnesses were Sharon Boldenow and Dee Gust. Way to go Gary!!
Monday, June 9th, 2003
Former Fergus Falls hockey player and the all-time scoring leader for the Otters, Ryan Miller, has signed on with Bemidji State University, a Division I hockey program.
Miller, who spent this past season with the Topeka Scarecrows of the USHL, joins former Topeka teammate Luke Erickson from Roseau, who signed earlier with the Beavers.
"We follow the USHL very closely and were familiar with Ryan's hockey skills," said BSU head coach Tom Serratore. "It came to a point where our staff was saying, 'we need one more guy' and we really liked what Ryan brought to the table, so we decided to offer him a spot."
Miller will be one of fifteen forwards on the Bemidji State roster when the season starts and will receive one of the top scholarships on the squad.
"He plays the game with a lot of passion, he has great enthusiasm, tremendous energy and all the skills," continued Serratore. "As a coach I look for three things in a player, hockey sense, and Ryan has great hockey sense, the will to play the game at a high level, to get to the loose pucks, to work harder than the other guy and superior skills. We think Ryan has all of them."
Bemidji State finished last season with a record of 14-14-8. The Beavers were 10-6-4 in the College Hockey Association and came within a goal of being the CHA's first-ever automatic qualifier for the NCAA championship tournament, losing to Wayne State of Michigan 3-2.
Another former Otter, Sarah Tuel, who spent four years as a member of the Fergus Falls varsity girls hockey team, will continue to play the sport at the collegiate level. Tuel will become a member of the Gustavus-Adolphus girls hockey team next year. Her coach will be Mike Carroll, who coached the Fergus Falls Community College hockey team in the mid-80's and served as the arena manager at the same time. The Gusties have qualified for three national tournaments under Carroll.
Tuel is planning to be a pediatrician and will study chemistry and biology at Gustavus.
|Monday, June 2, 2003|
|Craigs Corner 06/02/03 - 06/08/03|
|Monday, June 2nd, 2003|
For the first time in thirteen years, I played in a competitive softball game. I never thought I'd be out on the diamond again as a player and maybe I shouldn't be, but I have to admit it was enjoyable, even though we got thumped twice!
When my pastor called and said he needed people to fill out a roster for a second softball team from our church, I was hesitant to say yes for a couple of reasons. One, I hadn't played for so long, and two, I wasn't sure if I would enjoy playing with diminished skills. Now, I was never a tremendous ball player, but I always loved to play the game, played it hard and was able to contribute to some pretty good slow pitch softball teams in the '80's. I had the privilege of playing on a couple of Hope Lutheran teams my first few years in town that could play with anyone. After that, our First Baptist teams of the mid 1980's were very competitive. Both of those teams were league champs at one time in a very good church league in Fergus Falls.
The second team from our church is playing softball for fellowship, relational growth and maybe a bit of physical exercise. The focus on winning is minimal. Sure, anytime you play you want to win, but if you lose, oh well, it's only a game. Now, that's a different approach to playing softball than I have ever had. Being realistic about my (here comes that term again), diminishing (or diminished) skills, I thought it might be fun to play again, but I was apprehensive. Not anymore. Monday night was great. Playing with (and against) some of the guys who played in the old days, and a mix of new guys who I hope to get to know better, was and will be a lot of fun. The risk of injury is certainly higher and the aches and pains will linger longer, but I think it will be a fun time.
I need to single out a couple of guys for their accomplishments on Monday. Dave Schneeberger, who can still run like the wind, made a spectacular diving catch to rob one of my teammates of a hit. If ESPN had been there it would have been the number one WEB GEM of the night!! Oh, by the way, Dave is resurrecting his career to play ball with his son!! One of the great things about divison two church league. Saul Stensvaag can still get on base. He had a few solid hits and looks like he's having a great time playing with the younger guys. Gary Anderson was the umpire. Gary was umping when I moved to town in 1981. He has always been a very solid umpire (in my opinion), and he told me his knees are slowing him down a little bit. The thing I always liked about his umpiring was the way he always seemed to get himself into position to see the play the best he could. It's hard to argue a call when the umpire is working hard to do that. He's been at it for 26 years!! Give him a medal!
I used to be at DeLagoon Park three nights a week playing ball and now I'll make one trip a week out there to be a part of a new team. It's a great sport and if I can still enjoy it (and hopefully not hurt my team too much) at 48 years old, why not!?!?! Thanks for talking me into it Pastor Ned! Who knows, by playoffs we may be playing some pretty good ball!