|Friday, February 27, 2004|
|Craigs Corner 2/23/04 - 2/29/04|
|Friday, February 27, 2004|
Jon Kretchman had tremendous success as a barefoot skier on the World scene and he is also making an impact internationally as a coach. For the second time, Kretchman has led the U.S. Elite Barefoot Water Ski Team to a world title.
Kretchman coached the team to its 10th consecutive championship earlier this month in Australia.
Kretchman competed in world championships for 14 years, was a nine-time world record holder, a five-time world champion and served as captain of the U.S. team three times. He had the privilege of competing in the 1996 and 2000 World Barefoot Championships which were held in his hometown of Fergus Falls.
With the high school basketball playoffs starting, here are some area teams who have been recognized in the Associated Press polls. These are the most likely area teams to survive the grueling post season and make it to state tournament action.
In girls basketball, watch Section 5A closely. Three teams from the area are in the top ten. Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley is ranked 7th in Class A, followed by Parkers Prairie (8th) and Underwood (9th). In 2A, Staples-Motley is the fifth ranked team and the Hawley Nuggets, unbeaten in Heart O' Lakes play, is ranked ninth. In Class 3A, two Section 8 teams are ranked with Willmar coming in at five and Alexandria at eight. The Moorhead Spuds hold the number four ranking in 4A.
On the boys side, Ulen-Hitterdal, unbeaten until Thursday night when they lost in triple overtime to a hot Breckenridge team, has been ranked number one all year long in Class 1A, and Dan Peterka's once beaten Battle Lake Battlers are ranked eighth.
In 2A, the Morris Area Tigers are currently rated eighth. The Fergus Falls boys basketball team is number six in 3A and their section opponent, Thief River Falls, is ranked third in the state.
It's possible that Thief River Falls will be unbeaten and not get the top spot in the section playoffs. Section 8AAA uses power point standings with teams earning one points for win against a 1A school, two points for a win against a 2A school, three points for a win against a 3A school and four points for a win against a 4A school. TRF plays many 1A and 2A schools and therefore doesn't accumulate the point totals other schools around the section do. The power point standings are determined by adding up the points scored and dividing them by the games played. Fergus Falls is currently on track to earn the number one seed in Section 8AAA.
There is Golden Gloves boxing at the Wadena Armory on Saturday night. Twelve bouts are scheduled with Wadena hosting boxers from Minneapolis, Grand Forks, Detroit Lakes, Fergus Falls, Leech Lake and Brainerd. Bouts being at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
The Fargo Forum reports that the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks are in the process of being sold to an investors group led by Bruce Thom, who has been the club president since 1995 when the team was acquired by an Otter Tail Power Company subsidiary. Thom was very active in Fergus Falls athletics when his kids were in school, serving as a Backcourt Club officer and in various other capacities. His son Steve was a member of the 1984 Otter boys basketball team which participated in the state tournament and his son Brad was a swimmer for the Otters.
Wednesday, February 25, 2004
Megan Ronhovde received the Big 12 Conference Rookie of the Week award for February 16-22. The former West Central Area girls basketball standout is a freshman at Iowa State.
Ronhovde, a 6-1 freshman guard, averaged 11.5 points and 8.5 rebounds while shooting 46.7 percent from behind the arc (7-of-15) in Iowa State's two wins last week. Against Nebraska, the Barrett, Minn., native hit 3-of-6 treys en route to nine points and collected a career-best 11 rebounds. She hit back-to-back 3-pointers to stop a Nebraska comeback bid and start a Cyclone scoring run that would put the game out of reach. In addition, she swatted the second blocked shot of her career. Ronhovde had 14 points and six rebounds at Kansas, helping ISU to a 73-58 win. She drained four 3-pointers against the Jayhawks and collected two steals. Thanks to her high school coach Harold Nelson for the heads-up on the award.
Debbie Slack, the former Brandon-Evansville player, is wrapping up her senior season at Concordia College in Moorhead. She had a huge game on Monday night, pulling down 22 rebounds and scoring 11 points to lead the Cobbers to a 73-65 victory over St. Mary's in the opening round of the MIAC playoffs. The Cobbers play tonight in St. Joseph against St. Ben's for a berth in the conference finals. Tori Ehlert from Battle Lake scored eight points in that game.
Former Fergus Falls High School coach Bob Bjorklund's Bethel Royals won their quarterfinal game in the MIAC playoffs on Tuesday night, beating Carleton 83-76. They will now play number one seeded Gustavus in the semifinals on Thursday night in St. Peter. Concordia is at Macalester in the other semifinal. The two winners will clash for the MIAC title on Saturday night.
Monday, February 23, 2004
The Lady Spartans will open play in the MCCC State Women's Basketball Tournament on Friday night at eight o'clock against Itasca. MSCTC is the number two seed out of the South Division and the Lady Vikings are seeded third from the North Division.
The other game in the evening bracket will feature top-seeded Mesabi Range out of the North against the fourth-seeded team from the South, Anoka-Ramsey, the host team.
In the upper bracket, top-seeded South team Minneapolis will open the tournament against the North number four team which will be either Central Lakes or Hibbing. Rainy River, the second seeded team from the North, will take on Rochester, the number three seed from the South.
The tournament will continue through Sunday with the championship game set for four o'clock on Sunday afternoon. The top finishing team from the South and the top two finishing teams from the North will qualify for Region 13 tournament action on March 6.
The playoff game in Willmar on Tuesday night between Fergus Falls and Minneapolis will determine the Southern Division representative in the Region 13 tournament March 5 and 6 at Central Lakes Community College in Brainerd. Central Lakes earned the right to host the event by winning the Northern Division title. The highest finishing team at the state tournament, other than the Northern and Southern Division champioins, will join the two division winners and the Wisconsin state champion in the region tournament field. The Wisconsin state champion has yet to be determined.
Otter basketball fans are reminded that some schedules went out with an incorrect date listed for the boys game against Sauk Rapids-Rice. The game will be played on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Fergus Falls high school gymnasium. Some schedules show the game as being a Friday contest, but the correct date is Saturday, February 28. The Otter girls will play a varsity game at 1:45 Saturday afternoon against Alexandria.
The Little 8 Conference boys basketball game between Ashby and Underwood has been changed from Friday night to Thursday night. The game will be the second game of a girls/boys double header between the two schools. The girls game, which was scheduled to begin at 7:30, will start at 6:15. The boys game will follow the conclusion of the girls game. Both 'B' games will be played at five o'clock with the boys game in the small gym and the girls game in the main gym.
|Monday, February 16, 2004|
|Craigs Corner 02/16/04 - 02/22/04|
|Thursday, February 19, 2004|
Some notes and some thoughts on a variety of sports topics.
Freshman post player Mandy Wurm of the Lady Spartans has been given the go-ahead by her doctor. Wurm, who suffered a broken collarbone in an automobile accident on January 17, resumed practice today and should be available for action in the post season. The Lady Spartans conclude their regular season schedule at Minneapolis on Saturday and will participate in the MCCC State Tournament February 27 through February 29 at Anoka-Ramsey Community College in Coon Rapids. Wurm was averaging over 12 points and 8 rebounds per game at the time of her injury.
Justin Stock was selected to participate in the Central States Collegiate Hockey League (CSCHL) All-Star game on Saturday, February 28 in Darien, Illinois. Stock has 3 goals and 7 assists in 29 games this season. Two of his goals are power play goals. Stock is a junior at Illinois.
The Illini are playing in the CSCHL regional tournament this weekend in Frasier, Michigan and will compete in the ACHA national tournament in Ames, Iowa March 3-7.
Augsburg College track and field athlete Jason Edwards (Sr., Fergus Falls, Minn.) was named Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Men's Track and Field Athlete of the Week on Tuesday, after his record-setting performance in a meet on Saturday.
Edwards set a new school record in the men's 600-meter dash at the Minnesota State-Mankato Invitational on Saturday, finishing fourth at the meet in 1:24.81. He broke the previous school record of 1:25.09, set by Chris Ohnstad in 2001.
Edwards' time is currently the top 600-meter time in the MIAC this season, and is also the top time in conference converted to the 600-yard distance for the conference championships (1:15.65).
Edwards is the third Augsburg athlete to earn MIAC Athlete of the Week honors in indoor track and field this season.
Bob Bjorklund's Bethel Royals Men's basketball team will either be the fourth or fifth seed in the MIAC tournament which begins on Tuesday. The outcome of Saturday's games will determine where the Royals are seeded and if they will host the quarterfinal game with Carleton or play on Carleton's home court. Bethel will host St. Thomas and Carleton is home to Gustavus in the regular season finale in the MIAC on Saturday. Bjorklund's team is 17-7 overall and 12-7 in the MIAC. His son, Tyson, is averaging 7.2 points per game and has made 49-of-100 three-point field goal attempts, an extremely impressive 49% from behind the 3-point arc.
The Gustavus Adolphus College men's and women's swimming and diving teams both captured the team crowns at the 2004 MIAC Championships, held at the University of Minnesota's Aquatics Center. Former Otter Willie Sutor had a tremendous meet, repeating as MIAC champion in the 100 butterfly and earning an automatic berth in the NCAA Division III National Tournament in that event with a time of 49.79 seconds. He was also a member of the 200 medley relay team which established a new meet record and an MIAC record with a time of 1:32.79, qualifying automatically for the NCAA Division III National Tournament.
Sutor also made the NCAA Division III 'B' cut in the 200 butterfly (1:54.52) and as a member of the 400 freestyle relay team (3:06.48). Depending on other times from around the country, he may qualify to compete at the National Tournament in either or both of those events.
Connor Swenson and Kyle Shaikoski will be competing in the Elks "Hoop Shoot" State Finals on Saturday in Hutchinson, Minnesota. Swenson will be competing in the 10 and 11 year old boys division and Shaikoski in the 12 and 13 year old boys division. The two boys won their District championships in Wadena on January 24 after winning their local competition on January 17 at the Fergus Falls High School gymnasium. Elks Lodge #1093 hosted the local 'Hoop Shoot' contest.
I saw an ESPN interview with Alex Rodriguez after the Rangers traded him to the Yankees. He was asked if the trade was good for baseball and his response was, "I don't know, but I think it was good for the Yankees." It doesn't seem like the luxury tax on high payrolls is slowing down George Steinbrenner.
I'm glad to see Gregg Maddux end his career where he started it. He will be a very good addition to an already very good pitching rotation in Chicago. The Cubs, already one of the NL favorites, have now become the front runner. Think of Maddux in with Mark Prior, Kerry Wood, Matt Clement and Carlos Zambrano. That is right up there with Houston and Roger Clemens, Andy Pettite, Roy Oswalt, Wade Miller and whoever they slide into the number five spot. The NL Central will be competitive, but I like the Cubs chances a lot.
How about Albert Pujols of St. Louis. Seven years, $100 million. It took him just three seasons to reach a $100 million contract.
Remember if you would like to weigh-in on anything in sports, send me some e-mail at [email protected] and I'll put it up on the "Fan Feedback" portion of www.craigolsonsports.com
Wednesday, February 18, 2004
"What a fun evening it was! Both amateur and professional boxing at its best!" That's the report from Sharilyn Walters concerning Zach Walters' fight on Friday night at the Hermantown Dome.
Zach's match against Ray Johnson was a display of boxing skill and technique. It was a balanced match with good exchanges, but it soon became apparent that another Jungle Boy victory was in the making. It was a crowd pleaser, with lots of punches and counter-punches. A crowd of 550 came out to see Jungle Boy's last MN fight before taking the next step in his boxing career.
His next match is at the Emerald Queen in Tacoma, WA on February 28. He will be fighting Fadeyi Ayodiji, 6-0-0. Ayodiji is also 6'4". His victories have all come from knockouts in the first round. It is critical that Zach performs at the top of his fight game to win a 3-year contract with Brian Halquist Productions.
Monday, February 16, 2004
A benefit Dinner, Silent Auction, and Raffle is planned for tonight at the Fergus Falls VFW Post 612 for Frank Marty (38), a local gentleman who was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. This event will feature several sports related items on the silent auction and I thought I would list some of them here. This community is so good at getting behind individuals and families in need. Let's see a great turnout tonight at VFW Post 612.
Some of the silent auction items include donations from Dave Goltz and the Minnesota Twins. Among the items, a Rod Carew autographed bat, a Tony Oliva autographed ball in a case and an Oliva Topps baseball card, a Kent Hrbek autographed ball, a Dave Goltz autographed ball in a case and a Corey Koskie autographed ball.
Xcel Energy has donated four Minnesota Wild Hockey Club Seats to the game against Phoenix on March 22. BP Canada Energy has donated two Minnesota Wild Hockey Club Seats to the game against Anaheim on March 28 and two Minnesota Timberwolves tickets to the game against Portland on March 14.
There are many other items including a Minnesota Wild cap, a Ping golf sweater, a Fergus Falls Otters hooded sweatshirt, a blue MSTCT Spartans windshirt, Titleist NXT Tour golf balls, a one-year family YMCA membership and many other non-sports related items.
Total value of the 85 items on the silent auction is over $8,000. Please come and help raise funds for this family.
Frank Fee, long time Crookston radio sports announcer, reports the following in his Sports Feever column on the KROX AM website.
A group of people, Friends of the Garmen family, are having a supper to raise money to help the Greg Garmen (former teacher & coach at Fergus Falls High School, now at Crookston) family. They are hoping to help defray some of the costs that the Garmenís have incurred in the pre-mature birth of their son Jack. The Garmenís have insurance, but a lot of the costs, the long hospital stay in the Twin Cities and transferring Jack by air to Grand Forks and associated treatments, have put a lot of financial burden on the Garmens. Their friends have wanted to do something to help and they will have a Bar-B-Q supper with the extras on Friday, February 20th when the Crookston Pirate boyís basketball team hosts Warroad. It will be a free-will offering from 5:00-7:30 PM in the Crookston High School commons area.
Just wanted to post this information in case some of you can make it to Crookston for this event. Please keep both of these families in your prayers and support them any way you can.
|Tuesday, February 10, 2004|
|Craigs Corner 02/09/04 - 02/15/04|
|Tuesday, February 10, 2004|
The boys Heart O' Lakes Conference basketball race has been an exciting one to follow. If not for a foul committed by Perham in the final seconds of regulation in their double overtime loss to Ulen-Hitterdal, we could have a tremendous battle raging for the title. Was that really a 3-pointer that Tom Lunde put up, or was it a 2? The officials said a 3 and Lunde made all 3 free throws to send the game into overtime. The rest is history and the Spartans lead the conference by two games. We have some numbers for you basketball junkies!!
The top shooting team in the HOL is Ulen Hitterdal (49.2%). Pelican Rapids is second (46.5%) and Hawley is third (45.4%). The Spartans are tops from 2-point range (53%), the Vikings are second (50.7%) and Barnesville is third (48.4%). From 3-point land, Ulen Hitterdal is first (37.7%), Hawley second (35.3%) and West Central Area third (33%). On the free throw line it's Perham (66.4%), West Central Area (65.4%) and two teams, Ulen-Hitterdal and D-G-F (64.2%).
The Spartans are far and away the best rebounding team with an average of 38 boards per game. D-G-F is second with 34.3 and WCA is third with 33.1.
Individual leaders are as follows:
Scoring: Tom Lunde (U-H) 18.7, Elliot Richards (WCA) 18.1, Adam Johnson (WCA) 16.9, Jake Haraldson (HAW) 16.8, Kirby Jacobson (U-H) 16.4, Greg Martodam (HAW) 15.8, Jake Driscoll (DGF) 15.3, Bobby Perry (BRECK) 13.8, Nick Torkildson (PR) 13.8, Kyle Gustafson (PER) 13.7, Adam Holte (DGF) 13.7.
Rebounding: Tom Lunde (U-H) 13.5, Elliot Richards (WCA) 13.4, Adam Holte (DGF) 11.5, Greg Martodam (HAW) 9.7, Dan Radke (WCA) 8.4, Jordan Grafsgaard (U-H) 7.8, Brady Winter (PER) 7.8, Brett Summerville (BRECK) 7.5, Taylor Huseby (PR) 7.2, Dustin Johnson (BARNES) 6.7.
Assists: Kyle Gustafson (PER) 6.5, Adam Johnson (WCA) 6.4, Tony Bogenreif (BRECK) 4.3, Cody Abdo (U-H) 4.3, Cody Baxter (HAW) 4.1, Adam Johnson (PR) 3.8, Tyler Drechsel (DGF) 3.6, Mason Askegaard (BARNES) 3.5, Kirby Jacobson (U-H) 3.1, Tom Lunde (U-H) 3.0.
Steals: Tony Bogenreif (BRECK) 4.4, Kyle Gustafson (PER) 4.0, Kirby Jacobson (U-H) 3.6, Adam Johnson (WCA) 2.9, Cody Baxter (HAW) 2.8).
2-Point FG%: Adam Holte (DGF) 67.8%, Elliot Richards (WCA) 62%, Nick Torkildson (PR) 61.8%, Jordan Grafsgaard (U-H) 60.6%, Tom Lunde (U-H) 58.5%, Jake Haraldson (HAW) 58%, Josh Anderson (BARNES) 57.3%, Mason Askegaard (BARNES) 56.6%, Brett Summerville (BRECK) 56.4%, Taylor Huseby (PR) 53.5%.
3-Point FG%: Tyler Drechsel (DGF) 52.2%, Kirby Jacobson (U-H) 51.7, Jake Haraldson (HAW) 48%, Matt Green (DGF) 45%, Tom Schram (FRA) 42%, Blake Olson (WCA) 39%, Bobby Perry (BRECK) 37%, Cody Baxter (HAW) 36.7%, Travis Hemmelgarn (PER) 34.8%, Adam Johnson (WCA) 33.3%.
Free Throw Percentage: Kirby Jacobson (87.9%), Taylor Huseby (PR) 86.2%, Cody Baxter (HAW) 84.6%, Jake Driscoll (DGF) 81.3%, Mike Erb (FRA) 76.5%, Casey Johnk (DGF) 73.7%, Jonas Sauve (BARNES) 72.4%, Cody Abdo (U-H) 69%, Mason Askegaard (BARNES) 68.5%, Brady Winter 66.7%.
|Friday, February 6, 2004|
|Craigs Corner 2/01/03 - 2/07/03|
|Friday, February 6, 2004|
It is a very busy time of the year and a very difficult time for me to keep this space updated. Only so many hours in a day and keeping on top of the continuous schedule of games is about all I can do, however, I have spent some time searching for information on area athletes competing collegiately and it's time for an update.
Former Otter hockey player Ryan Miller, in his first year at Bemidji State University, gets a chance to play at Mariucci Arena tonight and tomorrow night as the Beavers play the Gophers. What a thrill that will be for the leading scorer in Otter history. Miller has played in 18 of the Beavers 24 games and has scored two goals and collected seven assists for a total of nine points. His plus-minus is a plus-7 and one of his goals was a game winner. The Beavers lead the CHA and have an overall record of 15-7-2.
Two other former Otters continue to play at St. Lawrence University. St. Lawrence, a Division I team, is 9-15-4. Forward Josh Anderson and goaltender Kevin Ackkley are both juniors at St. Lawrence. Anderson has scored one goal and has assisted on four others for a total of five points. His goal was a power play goal. Ackley has played 19 games in the net, has a 3.22 goals against average and a save percentage of .889. His record is 5-11-3.
Dan Perry is a freshman wing for Concordia College in Moorhead. He has two goals and two assists for a total of four points.
Ben Larson is attending the University of Minnesota, Crookston and is a defenseman for the Trojans. He has played in nine games and has one assist. Former Otter goalie Tyler Ness is being red-shirted at Crookston this season.
Jodi Hensch is a defenseman at UW-River Falls, playing women's college hockey for former Otter Joe Cranston. Jodi has 14 points (5 goals, 9 assists) and her team is 12-8-1 (8-4-1). She has scored 3 power play goals and has one game winner.
In basketball, Matt Draxten is averaging 9.6 minutes per game for the Golden Eagles, leads them in 3-point shooting (40%), having hit 14-of-35 from behind the arc, has hit 8-of-11 free throws (72.7%) and is averaging 2.5 points per game.
Former Spartan Aaron Austin is playing at UND, averaging 12.8 minutes per game and 3 points per game. Look for his playing time to increase as he was away from the program for personal reasons for a few weeks but is now contributing and looking good.
A couple of other former Spartans are at UM-Morris. Adam Sullivan is averaging 18.5 minutes per game, scoring 7.6 points per game and grabbing 3 rebounds per game. He is second on the team in steals with 28 and third in assists with 47. Josh Grove is contributing 4.9 points and 2.7 rebounds per game in 18.3 minutes of playing time.
Two former Barnesville high school players are also on the Cougars roster. Brent Durensky is scoring 3.6 points per game in 13.1 minutes of playing time and James Carr is scoring 3.1 points per game in 6.6 minutes of court time. He is leading the team with 45.5% success on three-pointers and is shooting 48.8% from the field.
In women's basketball, former Otter Janna Davis and former Rothsay Tiger Brenna Rollie are both members of the MSUM Dragons basketball team. Davis is averaging 26.8 minutes, 7.3 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. She also leads the team with 37 blocked shots. Rollie is playing 19.2 minutes per game and is averaging 3.3 rebounds and 5.3 points per game. She is number one on the team with 46 assists and 28 steals and has converted 40-of-48 free throws (83.3%).
Megan Ronhovde, standout for West Central Area High School, is a freshman at Iowa State University. She has started five games and played in all 19 of their games this season, averaging 24.1 minutes per game. Megan has connected on 37% of her 3-point attempts and leads the Cyclones with 31 three's. She is averaging 4.7 rebounds per game and 6.8 points per game and has 17 steals. The Cyclones are 10-9 on the season.
Debbie Slack, who played high school ball for Dick Simpson at Brandon-Evansville, is one of four area athletes at Concordia College in Moorhead. Debbie is averaging 9.7 rebounds and 7.4 points per game in 25 minutes of playing time. She is hitting 50% of her field goal attempts and 80.8% from the foul line. She is also second on the team with 30 steals.
Tori Ehlert, who excelled at Battle Lake High School for Mike McCarney, is playing an average of 14.8 minutes per game, averaging 4.1 points and 3.6 rebounds per game.
Two former Heart O' Lakes Conference players, Breanne Gottenborg from Hawley, and Karla Solum from Barnesville are seeing limited playing time for the Cobbers in their freshman seasons. Gottenborg is averaging 7.4 minutes in the 16 games she has been in and Solum is playing 3.5 minutes per game.
If you know of others, please get me the information so I can track them. Contact me at [email protected]