|Monday, August 25, 2003|
|Craigs Corner 8/25/03 - 8/31/03|
|Saturday, August 30th, 2003|
Former Otter athlete Tim Erickson was scheduled to have surgery on Friday. Erickson, a member of the NDSU football team, was injured in a scrimmage last Saturday.
It is unknown how long he will be out, but he will miss considerable time. "Tim is a big part of our receiving corps and he will be missed," said wide receivers coach Van Malone. "He has promised to be as close as he can to the team while going through his rehab."
Tim was a three sport standout at FFHS and is in his fourth year at NDSU. He was a redshirt player his freshman season so he has another year after this year to participate in the program.
Tim has worked hard to earn his way up the ladder at NDSU and this could have been his breakout season. With a program like the Bison have, players have to wait their turn and several become lost in the numbers game that is Division I and Division II football. I think Tim would have gotten his chance this year for a couple of reasons. The aforementioned hard work, and the fact that he is a talented receiver. Nobody is going to give you more than Tim Erickson. A lot of kids in his situation over the past couple of years would have called it quits. Not Tim. It's not in his nature. Instead, he kept working his tail off, hoping for an opportunity to show his coaches what he could do for them on the field. I only hope that he is able to come back completely from the injury.
Justin Arneson is a member of the Appalachian League champions. The Elizabethton Twins beat the Martinsville Astros two games to one in their best of three league championship series. Elizabethton lost the first game 4-3 with Arneson on the bench. Arne told me on Wednesday that the Twins had the bases loaded with nobody out in the bottom of the ninth but couldn't score. With Justin back in the lineup for game two on Wednesday, the Twins won 4-2. Arne went 3-for-4 with a double and a run scored. He was 1-for-4 in the third game on Thursday night, with a run scoring single. He was also hit by a pitch. Elizabethton won the deciding game 5-3 in ten innings. They were the visiting team in each of the last two games of the series. Justin is going to spend a couple of weeks in Fergus Falls before reporting for the Fall Instructional League.
It has really been quite a ride for Arneson. Winning the MCCC State football title and playing in a bowl game at FFCC in 2001, being a part of the 2002 Spartan baseball team which won the state title, being signed by the Twins out of a tryout camp that spring and now winning a title in Rookie ball with the Twins Minor League affiliate. What's next?!?!?!
Wednesday, August 27th, 2003
Justin Arneson's Elizabethton Twins team is in the Appalachian League playoffs this week. They play Martinsville in a best of three playoff series.
Arneson finished the regular season with a .263 batting average. He had 41 hits in 156 at bats, scored 30 runs and had 29 RBI. He also stole ten bases and had ten extra base hits, 5 doubles, 2 triples, 3 home runs. Arne was hot down the stretch, adding 20 points to his average over the last two weeks of the season. Elizabethton takes a five game winning streak into the post season. Justin has also been invited back for the Fall Instructional League in Florida. Arneson should be back in Fergus Falls for a couple of weeks before having to report for the fall league.
Monday, August 25th, 2003
The Fall Otter Coaches Association meeting was held on Monday with the Coach of the Year selection one of the highlights. Varsity wrestling coach Mark Aho was honored with the award for 2002-2003.
Aho's team was 16 and 3 last winter, qualifying four wrestlers for the state tournament. One of the truly great accomplishments of that team was the fact that 23 members of the squad had a GPA of 3.0 or higher. They received the Silver Award in Section 8AAA for having at least ten wrestlers with a GPA of 3.41 or higher.
Activities director Gary Schuler introduced four new coaches for the 2003-2004 school year at Fergus Falls High School. Jackie Bradow will be coaching 9th grade volleyball, Erin Larson will be working as the girls diving instructor and Amy Krause will be the "B" team girls soccer coach. Markus Bischof was introduced as the new head boys and girls Cross Country Ski coach.
There are still several coaching positions to fill including Middle School 7th and 8th grade girls basketball this fall. Senior high coaching vacancies include head and assistant gymnastics as well as a gymnastics spotter, assistant wrestling and assistant girls soccer.
Fergus Falls American Legion Post 30 baseball coach Aaron Olson has released his award winners for this past season.
The Mel Olson MVP award went to Kirby Carr. Kirby hit .450 with 9 home runs and 42 runs batted in. Kirby had 9 doubles, 6 triples, 12 stolen bases, walked 29 times and struck out only six times. He also scored 37 runs and didn't commit an error in the field. Kirby is playing linebacker at Bethel College this fall and will play baseball in the spring.
Brandon Carr was the recipient of the Most Dedicated Player award. Brandon finished with a .344 batting average, a team high 43 runs and 12 stolen bases. His 25 walks were second only to Kirby.
The Best Defensive Player award went to shortstop Mike Gaustad. Gaustad made only 7 errors in 37 games. He also hit the ball at a .336 clip. Mike is attending Bethel College and will play baseball in the spring for the Royals.
Tyler Gagner was the recipient of the Hottest Hitter award. Gagner batted .432 with six home runs and 36 runs batted in. He also led the team with 48 hits and 13 doubles.
Casey Kowalski led the team in wins with 8, while Gagner and Ben Aakre each had five wins on the mound.
The Post 30 team finished the season with 25 wins and 12 defeats, finishing as District 9 runners-up to East Grand Forks.
|Monday, August 18, 2003|
|Craigs Corner 8/18/03 - 8/24/03|
|Friday, August 22nd, 2003|
Fergus Falls golfer Chuck Lundeen tied the course record at Pebble Lake Golf Club with a round of 65 on Friday, August 8th. Lundeen fired a 33 on the front nine and a 32 on the back nine, recording six birdies, an eagle, a bogie and 10 pars.
Eric Ecker, who won two individual Class AA State Boys golf titles was the first golfer to shoot a 65 on June 20th, 1997. Mark Sleeper, playing in the club match play championship, also shot a 65. Sleeper's 65 also came on August 8th (the same date as Lundeen's), in 1998. All three rounds were 33-32-65.
George Jurgens, Les Kvern, Jere Hansen and Joey Devorak III were playing with Lundeen at the time of the record tying round."
When asked about what made the difference in his round Lundeen replied, "I was able to get some momentum going and then it just kind of happens. I had been hitting the ball better over the last couple of weeks, other than that I can't really pinpoint anything in particular that would have made the difference. I was putting my approach shots closer to the hole making for some more makeable putts."
Lundeen made about a fifteen-footer on the 18th hole to tie the record.
Bill Israelson holds the unofficial club record with an incredible score of 61, eleven under par. Israelson's round came in the Pro-Am in 1994 but is unofficial due to the fact that he shot it from the Men's regular (white) tees. The club record score is for scores shot from the championship (blue) tees. In the '94 event, pros and amateurs all played from the regular tees.
Since his 65, Lundeen has shot some pretty decent scores, recording a 68 and a 69 since his memorable round two weeks ago.
Chuck's eagle came on the par-5 third hole. His birdies were n the fifth, seventh, thirteenth, fourteenth, sixteenth and eighteenth. His lone bogie occurred on the 11th. "My tee shot was headed out of bounds on eleven, but I got a lucky bounce off a tree and it stayed in play," said Lundeen.
The Fergus Falls Junior Olympic girls softball teams are holding a car wash on Saturday. The fund raiser for the U12, U14 and U16 teams will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Tires Plus.
Football scrimmages Saturday include the Hillcrest scrimmage at 10:00 a.m. Ashby, Wheaton, Hancock, Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley, Chokio-Alberta and Ulen-Hitterdal join the Comets in the scrimmage. The Fergus Falls Otters will participate in the Sauk Centre scrimmage. Underwood is at Verndale, Perham goes to Detroit Lakes and two area teams, Otter Tail Central and West Central Area will play in the Wadena-Deer Creek scrimmage.
Wednesday, August 20th, 2003
Stacy Busack was outstanding in the water at the Central Zone Meet in Indianapolis, Indiana last weekend. Busack, a junior at Fergus Falls High School was one of the elite swimmers at the Zone Championships.
Stacy placed third in the 50 meter freestyle and was tenth in the 100 meter freestyle. Swimmers representing twenty different states were competing in the meet.
"Stacy doesn't swim meters in competition at all and to have the showing she did against the elite swimmers in this meet was really tremendous," said head coach Tom Uvaas.
Fergus Falls 7th and 8th grade football players will be issued their equipment on Thursday at the Boys Locker Room in the Middle School. Eighth graders are to report at 3:00 p.m. and seventh graders at 4:00 p.m. Football practice starts at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, August 25th.
Also on the 25th, organizational meetings will be held for 7th and 8th graders who will be participating in cross country, girls swimming, girls tennis and girls volleyball. The meetings will begin at 4:30 p.m. in the Middle School Auditorium. Opening day of practice for each of those sports will be Tuesday, September 2nd.
Monday, August 18th, 2003
The contact begins today at high school football practices. Pads go on for the first time after a week of two-a-day conditioning drills. Several teams will also be involved in football scrimmages this week.
Otter Tail Central and Underwood will have a passing scrimmage on Wednesday at six o'clock in Battle Lake. The Bulldogs will join West Central Area, Bagley and Wadena-Deer Creek at the Wolverines Scrimmage at ten o'clock Saturday morning. Hillcrest Lutheran Academy hosts their annual scrimmage beginning at 10:00 a.m. Saturday. Chokio-Alberta/Herman-Norcross, Ashby, Wheaton, Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley, Hancock and Ulen-Hitterdal will be participating. Fergus Falls will be a part of the Sauk Centre scrimmage which begins at 9:30 Saturday morning and the Underwood Rockets will be involved in the Verndale scrimmage.
The starting time for Tuesday's Fergus Falls girls tennis opener has been changed to 10:00 a.m. According to Activies secretary Julie Nelson, the time was changed because of the hot weather and/or the threat of thunderstorms.
The Otter boys soccer schedule for their season opener on Thursday against Crookston has also been altered. The 'B' and varsity games were originally set to start at 4:00 p.m. on different fields. Crookston is having trouble fielding enough players for two teams due to injuries, ineligibilities and other reasons, therefore the games will be played back-to-back beginning with the 'B' squad game at 3:30.
Justin Arneson is now hitting .243 with 33 hits in 136 at bats for the Twins Rookie 'A' League team in Elizabethton, Tennessee. Arne has four doubles, two triples and three homers. He has knocked in 24 runs and scored 24 runs. He also has 8 stolen bases, has walked 19 times and struck out 41 times. His Elizabethton team is 35-23 and leading their division in the Appalachian League by two games as they wrap up their regular season schedule this week. Arne has been much more consistent at the plate over the last 25-30 games after coming off his wrist injury in late June.
Asko Rajaniemi captured the 2003 Men's Club Stroke Play Championship at Pebble Lake Golf Club in Fergus Falls. Seventeen golfers competed in the 45-hole event with 18 holes being played on Saturday and 27 on Sunday. Rajaniemi had a 3-under par total of 178 (73-70-35) to finish one shot ahead of Brian Shuck (74-67-38). Jere Hansen was third with a 188 (74-77-37) and two golfers, Derek Harris and Wade Jyrkas tied for fourth at 189. Tom Morstad and Gregg Western each had rounds of 190, Erik Johnson shot a 194, Steve Lundeen and Leon Jensen each came in at 198, Kyle Rohlfs and Lance Walvatne carded 200's and Dan Madsen finished at 203.
|Monday, August 11, 2003|
|Craigs Corner 08/11/03 - 08/17/03|
|Wednesday, August 13th, 2003|
Fergus Falls Hurricanes Coach Dave Johnson will put 9-0 Nate Brown on the mound in the State Amateur baseball tournament opener Thursday against the Lonsdale Aces in Northfield.
In 62 innings this summer, Brown has struck out 55 batters, walked 29 and allowed 49 hits. He has a 1.31 earned run average.
The Canes drafted Jake Stoll, a left handed pitcher from the Vergas Loons after the Region 16C Tournament. He joins catcher Pat
Lisko from Pelican Rapids and Chris Stoll, a right handed pitcher from the Dent Wildcats as post season draftees.
Lonsdale is the 2002 Class C Runner Up and are just a stones throw from Northfield. "I am sure it will be a hostile crowd and we will be going in as the underdogs," said coach Johnson.
According to Johnson, Brown has pitched his best games the last two starts and the 'Canes will need a repeat performance from him if they expect to come out on top. The Canes will be missing their
leading hitter in Tim Erickson, who is at NDSU playing
football. Erickson was hitting .429 with 18RBI, 35 runs and 18 stolen bases.
Pelican Rapids standout athlete Jason Fuller has received a partial scholarship from Mayville State University. Once his shoulder improved, he pitched very well for the Orange Sox during the American Legion baseball season and the whole team played better. He set a new Pelican Rapids Legion record with a 1.47 ERA this summer. In their 10-6 loss to Win-E-Mac, only one of the runs was earned. The Orange Sox defense which had been playing very well, suddenly got very bad in that game as they committed 6 errors, 3 in the 2nd inning, when W-E-M scored 6 times. Steve Babb did a fine job with his team once again this summer.
The first meeting of the season for the Fergus Falls Quarterback Club will be Thursday, August 21st at the Otter Tail Power Community Rooms at 7:00 p.m. All interested football fans are encouraged to attend.
Date for Fergus Falls Middle School sports equipment to be issued have been set. 7th and 8th grade issue of football equipment and registration forms will be on Thursday, August 21st. 8th graders at 3:00 p.m. and 7th graders at 4:00 p.m. at the boys locker room in the Middle School. Middle School football practice starts at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, August 25th.
Organizational meetings for 7th and 8th grade Cross Country, Girls Swimming, Girls Tennis and Girls Volleyball participants will be held at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, August 25th. The Opening day of practice for those sports is set for Tuesday, September 2nd.
Fergus Falls Assistant Activities Director Roger Olson has issued this reminder to 7th graders. If you intend to participate in Middle School interscholastic athletic activities you must have on file in the Student Activities Office, a record of a physical examination performed by a medical (M.D.), or an osteopathic physician or surgeond (D.O), or a doctor of chiropractics (D.C.) within the previous three years Proper forms are available at local clinics. It is recommended that these physicals be completed prior to the start of the school year for all incoming 7th graders and prior to the start of each sport season for anyone whose physical has expired. In most cases, a typical situation would require a physical exam as a 7th grader and again as a 10th grader. Each exam is valid for a three year period from the date of the physical exam, and continues for the next three calendar years.
Monday, August 11th, 2003
Fergus Falls High School has taken the first step toward possibly becoming involved in a conference for all of their varsity sports. Currently, only the boys and girls hockey team compete in a conference, the Marriucci Conference. If all goes well, the Otters could be in a conference as early as the 2004-2005 season.
Letters of interest have been sent to all activities directors in the Central Lakes Conference and the Heart O' Lakes Conference. Fergus Falls could follow those letters with actual application to join the conferences. There is reportedly unanimous approval by the Otter coaches to become a member of a conference. The Central Lakes Conference would appear to be the best fit for Fergus Falls with schools similar in size like Willmar, Little Falls, Brainerd, Rocori and Alexandria already in the conference. The Heart O' Lakes consists of schools with smaller enrollments. Pelican Rapids, Perham, Agassiz Valley (Barnesville), D-G-F, Hawley, Lake Park-Audubon and Frazee.
Talk about joining a conference is certainly nothing new, but this time around there appears to be a consensus among the coaches that it would be a good thing to do. That hasn't always been the case. It's all in the preliminary stages but don't be surprised if it happens.
Fergus Falls boys soccer coach Scott Bjerke has announced that Jack Underwood and Jake Haws have been selected as captains of the Otter boys soccer team. A third captain will be named in two weeks.
Bjerke also commented on the passing of former Gopher and U.S. Olympic hockey coach Herb Brooks, who was killed in an automobile accident Monday. "I was fortunate enough to meet him about five years ago and what a great down to earth guy he was. He will be missed!"
Herb Brooks was a great motivator and a great hockey coach. He will always be remembered for the coaching the 1980 gold medal winning United States Olympic hockey team, but he did much for hockey here in Minnesota. First as the coach of the National Champion Gophers (three times) and then as the first ever coach at St. Cloud State University, lending instant credibility to that Division I program. Brooks also played college hockey at the U of M and was on the 1964 and 1968 U.S. Olympic hockey teams, serving as captain in '68. Brooks was probably respected as much as any coach in the game.
|Thursday, August 7, 2003|
|Craigs Corner 08/04/03 - 08/10/03|
|Friday, August 8th, 2003|
The Jeff Dahlen Memorial Golf Tournament is coming up on Saturday, August 16th at Tipsinah Mounds Golf Course in Elbow Lake. The event is a 4-person scramble with a cost of $40.00 per person.
Dahlen, who passed away last year, was a very popular teacher and coach in Ashby.
The tournament will be an 11:00 a.m. shotgun start with 18 holes of golf, door prizes, hole events and a meal ticket for a brat or burger with chips included in the entry fee.
For more information or to register for the tournament you can call Bernie Novak at the Ashby High School, (218)747-2257.
Also, the Lee Franklin Memorial Golf Tournament is coming up on Saturday, September 6th. This is a 4-person scramble at the Pebble Lake Golf Course in Fergus Falls, beginning at 9:30 a.m. The cost is $55.00 per person if paid by August 15th, $65.00 after that date. For more information or to register you can contact Rod Rohlfs at (218)998-3233.
Chuck Evert will be missed in the capacity of Athletic Director at Pelican Rapids High School. Evert recently resigned the position effective August 22nd (see article on website). Chuck will be serving in an interim position for the upcoming school year but is also beginning a new job as a sales associate for JK Sports. I really appreciate the way Chuck has helped me out in both the radio and website business. He's always very helpful and has such an easy going personality. I'm sure they'll miss him greatly at Pelican Rapids. We wish him well in his new position.
Wednesday, August 6th, 2003
I'm vacationing this week, celebrating my Mom's 70th birthday with my Dad and my only sibling, my brother Jim who lives in Virginia (the state). My access to internet service has been sporadic at best, but right now I'm able to do some work!
Summer is really coming to a rapid conclusion. The Pine-to-Palm golf tournament is in Detroit Lakes next week and after that, I really feel like fall has arrived. Many student athletes will see their summer vacation end when fall sports practices convene on Monday. They have already been participating in captain's practices. I'm starting to get itchy for the season to begin. Fall always goes so fast. I remember telling long time Otter football coach Don Stueve that nothing went faster than the football season. The weeks just fly by. Well, we're almost ready to usher in a whole new school year and football, volleyball, cross country, girls swimming, girls and boys soccer and girls tennis help us get underway.
Fergus Falls Tennis coach Derek Abrahams begins his first year as a married head coach. He and his bride Elizabeth (Shradick) were married this summer and spent part of their honeymoon at Fenway Park in Boston. Derek is a huge baseball fan and I'm guessing Elizabeth must be a fan too (or is becoming one)! Congratulations on your marriage!
Speaking of Otter girls tennis, Kim Lindblom, their number one singles player, is beginning her senior season. Hard to believe. I told her mother (Kim's gonna love this), that I remember her running around the Fairgrounds Ice Arena in her Otter cheerleader outfit as a late elementary/early middle school student cheering for her brother and the Otters. Now she's starting her sixth and final season as a varsity singles player. She has compiled some great numbers for the Otters over the years, winning over two-thirds of her varsity matches. Last year she was 26-4 as a junior, losing two of those matches at the section tournament.
Kim had a busy summer, playing in the Red River Open in Grand Forks where she recorded a 6-0, 6-0 win over a player from Brooklyn Park and then lost to Alex Gruska of St. Cloud Apollo, 2-6, 4-6. Gruska was one of the girls who beat Kim at the section tournament. She won the 18 and under singles title at the Moorhead Community Open, beating Melissa Rippy of Fargo 6-0, 6-0, Ashley Cummings of Fargo, 6-1, 6-4, Elle Matheson of Moorhead, 6-0, 6-0 and Tiffany Doyle of Fargo, 6-0, 6-2 in her four matches. She also participated in Coach Abraham's tennis clinic. Be watching the website for more on the Fergus Falls girls tennis team and on all of the fall sports teams over the next few weeks and months. I will be previewing many of the teams over the month of August. I'm getting excited for the start of a new high school and community college sports season.
By the way, with the change of FFCC (Fergus Falls Community College), to MSCTC (Minnesota State Community and Technical College, Fergus Falls campus), many people are wondering how that will affect the sports teams. Well, the people I talk to at the college tell me the colors of the sports teams will remain blue and gold, although the college logo is different, and the nickname will remain the "Spartans" and the "Lady Spartans". It's going to be weird, from a broadcaster's point of view, to not call them FFCC after 22 years of calling their games, but I'm sure I'll adjust after some time.
Vacation ends tomorrow so much more updating to do over the weekend and then there's no let up in the schedule for a long time!! Enjoy what's left of summer!