|Monday, April 26, 2004|
|Craigs Corner 04/26/04 - 05/02/04|
|Thursday, April 29, 2004|
Coaches are needed for the summer baseball and softball season in Fergus Falls. The Parks and Recreation office is in need of volunteer adult coaches for Dwarf and Pony League baseball and Division III softball.
Speaking from experience, I would encourage parents to take this active role in the lives of their children. You will never regret it! I really enjoyed the years I coached my boys and their friends in both Dwarf and Pony League and when you involve another parent or two it makes the job easier and is very rewarding. Talk to Recreation Specialist Trevor Johnson at 739-3205 for more information.
Tryouts for Dwarf league is set for 5:30 and 7:00 p.m. on May 10 at Broadway Park. Dwarf league is for 10 and 11 year olds. Tryouts for Pony league, 12 and 13 year olds, is set for May 11 at 5:30 and 7:00 p.m. again at Broadway Park. Division III softball tryouts will be held on May 17 at 6:00 p.m. at Grotto Park.
Registration night for summer programs is scheduled for May 12 at 5:30 p.m. in the Fergus Falls Middle School Commons.
The Park and Recreation Department is looking for team sponsors for their youth baseball and softball teams. This is a new program and is available for $175.00 per team. T-shirts and hats will be provided this year to all players.
The department is also selling advertising banners at the soccer complex and American Legion Field at DeLagoon Park. They are looking for a three year commitment with a total investment of $650 to $800 per advertiser over that period of time. For more information you can contact Trevor at 739-3205. This program was instituted as an alternative way to raise funds since the budget has been reduced.
The 2004 Open House for Pebble Lake Golf Club is set for Friday, April 30 at 6:00 p.m. at Putter's Bar and Grill located in the upper level of the clubhouse. They have enclosed the deck area and put some redecorating touches on the restaurant and it is now open for the season. Brenda and Randy Knutson are once again operating Putter's. It is one of my favorite lunch destinations! Several prizes will be raffled off at the Open House including the grad prize of a set of Callaway x-16 irons valued at $880.00.
The Lady Spartans assured themselves of a spot in the Region tournament by splitting with Ridgewater last Wednesday. The Regionals are set for May 7 and 8 in Austin. Before that, they host Rochester on Friday at 3:00 PM. and Riverland (Austin) on Saturday at Noon. Both dates are double headers. They also have a double header at Grand Rapids on May 3rd.
The Lady Spartans are in the Southern Division and are in 2nd place.
Kelli Baumgartner was named Southern Division player of the week last week. She had 12 hits in 18 at bats, 2 triples and 7 RBIís. She is a first year player from Otter Tail Central and a Battle Lake High School graduate.
Monday, April 26, 2004
NDSU hosts UND in a double header Tuesday at Newman Outdoor Field in Fargo. It promises to be a beautiful day for a ball game with temperatures in the mid to upper 70's. There are some Fergus Falls connections on both of these college baseball teams.
Former Otter Troy Wasiloski is hitting .365 with nine homeruns and 45 runs batted in for UND. He bats in the clean-up spot in the Sioux batting order.
Former Spartan Jarrod Asmus will pitch the second game of the double header. He is a senior and has a 3-6 record this season for NDSU with a 7.13 ERA.
Another former Otter, Brandon Goltz also pitches for the Bison but will not pitch in the Tuesday double header. Brandon is slated to start game one of the weekend series with St. Cloud State on Friday. Opposing hitters are batting only .260 against Goltz who has a 4-2 record and a 6.16 ERA.
Bison manager Mitch McLeod won his 300th game as coach of the Bison last Friday when NDSU beat South Dakota 5-2. McLeod is in his twelfth season as Bison manager and is the winningest coach in the history of the program.
The Sioux swept a series from the Bison in Grand Forks a couple of weeks ago, winning 5-2 and 2-1. Currently, UND and Minnesota State, Mankato are tied for the NCC lead at 16-6 and the Bison are a game back at 15-7. The top four teams in the conference make the post season tournament.
Former Otter tennis player Titus Christianson, now at St. Cloud State University, finished second in the NCC singles tournament and teamed with Zac O'Donnell to take second in the NCC doubles competition. SCSU dominated the event, taking the top six singles spots and the top three doubles spots in the tournament. Bryan Baumann was the singles champion and was paired with Josh Lunak in doubles, also winning that title.
Jacob Volkman from Henning just completed his senior season as a member of the U of M wrestling team. Volkman was voted the Most Dedicated Wrestler for the Gophers. He was a 3-time All-American and had three top four finishes in the NJCAA National Tournament during his collegiate wrestling career.
|Wednesday, April 21, 2004|
|Craigs Corner 04/19/04 - 04/25/04|
|Wednesday, April 21, 2004|
Jess Holicky is a great athlete. There is no question about that. Now, she has received a very prestigious honor. Holicky has been named 3rd team All-American in NJCAA Women's Division III College Basketball.
Holicky, a guard for Minnesota State Community and Technical College, Fergus Falls, had an outstanding year for Ann Williams. She shot 44% from behind the three-point arc, making 77-of-175 shots, 49% on 2's and 47% overall (151-325). Holicky averaged 16.7 points per game, 3.8 rebounds per game, 4.0 assists per game and 3.1 steals per game. She was also a 79.4% free throw shooter (54-68). She led the Lady Spartans with .6 points per minute played. Holicky, a Fergus Falls High School graduate, is playing softball for Lloyd Danzeisen's team this spring. She is planning on pursuing a Pharmaceutical degree at UND.
Anita (Follingstad) Heier is the only other Lady Spartan to be named to the NJCAA All-American squad. She was an honorable mention selection her sophomore year. Amy (Nelson) Trost was selected as a Kodak All-American. Anita and Amy were both Rothsay High School graduates.
Nakia Carlisle of Minneapolis Community College was selected as a first team All-American, Bonnie Johnson of Anoka-Ramsey joined Holicky on the third team and Nicole Switzer of Mesabi Range was an honorable mention selection.
Kerri Holtz, an outstanding volleyball and basketball player at Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley, has decided to attend MSCTC. Holtz will be a good addition to the Lady Spartans as a hitter in volleyball and a post player in basketball. She is a 1,000 career point scorer in basketball.
Fergus Falls guard Josh Mohagen is also going to attend Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Fergus Falls and will play basketball for the Spartan men. Mohagen shared the team hustle award for the 2003-2004 season and was a key contributor to the Otters 22-4 state tournament season. He is a deadly three-point shooter and his work ethic is unequalled. I think Josh will be a very good player in this league.
Former Otter and Spartan point guard Matt Johnson has decided on Mary College in Bismarck, North Dakota. He'll play for Jim Feeney, who coached in the MCCC back in the late 80's and early 90's.
The 32nd Annual All-Sports Honors Night, sponsored by the Spartan Boosters, is set for Tuesday, May 4 at VFW Post 612 in Fergus Falls. The social event starts at 5:30 p.m. with the banquet set to begin at six o'clock. The ticket price is ten dollars and tickets may be purchased from any Spartan coach or through a Spartan Booster. The deadline for purchase is Thursday, April 29.
|Monday, April 12, 2004|
|Craigs Corner 4/12/04 - 4/18/04|
|Friday, April 16, 2004|
Members of the Fergus Falls varsity swim teams are coaching Special Olympic athletes for a third straight year and on Saturday they will accompany their athletes and participate in the State Meet at the Richfield Middle School.
Otter coach Tom Uvaas has more participants this year than either of the two previous years. Seven Special Olympic athletes and six volunteer coaches will be swimming in the event. Fergus Falls has three different unified relay teams which consist of two Special Olympic athletes and two volunteer coaches.
"This really is the best in sport," said Uvaas. "Great individual victories and unbelievable sportsmanship! Watching or volunteering to help in an event like this leaves you with an incredible high!"
Special Olympic athletes and the events they are participating in include Sam Adelsman (15 meter assisted swim, 25 meter freestyle); Jarita M. Bond (50 meter backstroke, 25 meter backstroke, 25 meter freestyle, 4 x 25 meter freestyle unified relay); Tyler DeVries (15 meter unassisted swim, 25 meter freestyle, 4 x 25 meter freestyle unified relay); Emily Lutz (15 meter unassisted swim, 25 meter freestyle, 4 x 25 meter freestyle unified relay); Benjamin L. Meder (15 meter walk, 15 meter flotation race); Christopher Pickett (15 meter unasssisted swim, 25 meter freestyle, 4 x 25 meter freestyle unified relay); Randy Pickett (15 meter unassisted swim, 25 meter freestyle, 4 x 25 meter freestyle unified relay).
Volunteer coaches include Kris Jobe, Joanna Keller, Andrew Kowalski, Jessi Mikkelson, Jenny Miller and Rezza Shateri.
Stacy Busack made swimming history for the Otters this past fall when she won two individual state titles, setting state Class A records with times that meet All-America Standards in both the 50 freestyle (23.59) and the 100 freestyle (51.74). Stacy is a nominee for the 2003-2004 Class A Female Athlete of the Year for Minnesota Girls Swimming and Diving. Stacy will be recognized at the All-State banquet on Saturday at which time the winner will be announced.
Speaking of swimming ... it is time to sign up for the USS Swim Team summer program. Registration will be held at the Middle School Commons on Monday, April 19 and Tuesday, April 20 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. A parent or guardian needs to accompany the swimmer to sign forms and pay fees. The regular season begins on Monday, May 24 and continues into mid to late July. Daily practices are held at the middle school pool and there are several opportunities to participate in swim meets. The cost is $128.00 per swimmer. For more information you can contact Sherri Money at 736-2519 or check out the website at www.ffflyers.org
The Fergus Falls Parks and Recreation Department is again in need of parent volunteer coaches and assistant coaches who are willing to take time to help youth develop their baseball and softball skills. There will be an informational meeting on Tuesday, April 20 at 6:00 p.m. at the Fergus Falls Fire Hall. If you would like to be a coach or an assistant coach, please contact the Parks and Recreation Department at 739-3205, or just come to the Fire Hall on Tuesday night.
The Shada 3 on 3 Tournament will be held on the weekend of June 18,
19 & 20. The tournament will be held in conjunction with Pelican
Rapids' Friendship Festival. The tournament is open to boys and
girls who are currently in grade 3 and all the way to grade 12.
There are also post high and college divisions for men and women.
There were over 180 teams that competed in last years tournament
making it one of the largest 3 on 3 tournaments in Northern
Minnesota. The Shada is also one of the longest lived tournaments as it now enters it's 11th year of existence.
New this year is the ability to go on line and get information about
the Shada and to print off registration forms. Go to
Monday, April 12, 2004
Frazee High School wrestling coach Clay Nagel will address a gathering of nearly sixty senior student athletes, their parents, coaches, administrators, school, county and city officials at the fifth annual Senior Student Athlete of the Week banquet on April 25 at Thumper Pond Golf Course.
The event is sponsored by the law firm of Svingen, Hagstrom, Karkela, Cline and Dirks. The student athletes have been featured on Lakes Radio over the past several months. Seniors from Fergus Falls, Hillcrest Lutheran Academy, Battle Lake, Underwood, Ashby and Pelican Rapids have been interviewed by Craig Olson on AM 1250, KBRF in Fergus Falls, while seniors from Perham, Frazee and New York Mills have joined KPRW FM sports director Mike Peterson on the Lakes 99.5.
Over 200 senior student athletes have been honored through this program. Speakers in previous years have included Dave Retzlaff, Ann Williams and Gary Schuler. The meal is catered by Elmer's Texas Barbecue.
Perham volleyball is proud to present another fantastic opportunity for Perham area volleyball players to improve their skils by attending a summer volleyball camp featuring one of Minnesota's elite volleyball coaches. Perham assistant coach Steph Schumacher has arranged for former Bemidji State University volleyball coach Donna Palivec to come to Perham this summer to put on the annual summer volleyball camp. The camp will be held July 7-9 at the Prairie Wind Middle School and will be open to Perham girls in grades 5-12. Cost of the camp will be just $35 for Perham athletes. For more information contact Dan Christenson at 346-1720 or e-mail [email protected]
The Spartan baseball team had their four games over the weekend postponed. The two scheduled at Ely against Vermilion Community College have been rescheduled for Monday, April 19, following double headers at Hibbing and Itasca on Saturday and Sunday. That's a stretch that is sure to challenge the pitching depth for MSCTC. The other games, against Mesabi Range, have not yet been rescheduled. Kent Bothwell's team plays two games in Brainerd on Tuesday, against Central Lakes Community College.
The injuries are sure taking a toll on the Twins. What bad luck to lose your top two catchers, your centerfielder and a pitcher in the first week of the season. The injuries are also extending down to the minor leagues as Justin Arneson is experiencing problems with his quadriceps and may be placed on the disabled list at Quad Cities. Arne started the season 0-for-4 and then walked in his first at bat in the second game of the year. When he stole second base, he felt a burning sensation in the quadriceps area and came out of the lineup. Right now he is resting and hoping that he can return without being sidelined for any length of time. We will be featuring an interview with Justin on Monday, April 19 at 7:20 a.m. on AM 1250 KBRF. He will be my guest on Talkin' Sports. Remember, you can hear John Gordon every Wednesday on the program.
|Sunday, April 4, 2004|
|Craigs Corner 04/05/04 - 04/11/04|
|Thursday, April 8, 2004|
All State honors have been handed out for boys and girls basketball players, including several from around our area. The Minnesota Basketball News has announced their All-State teams in all four classes of girls and boys basketball.
Tom Lunde of Ulen-Hitterdal was named to the Class A first team and his teammate Kirby Jacobson was named to the second team. Grant Gunhus of Park Christian School was an honorable mention selection. In Class 2A, Brett Winkelman of Morris Area was named to the first team. In Class 3A, the Otters Mitch Leifert was an honorable mention choice.
In girls Class A, Ashley Samuelson of Underwood was named to the first team and Barnesville senior Kim Lewis was an honorable mention selection. In 2A, Katie Walden of Hawley and Gillian Bjerke of Pelican Rapids were named to the second team.
Spartan sharp shooter Andy Parochka has been named the captain for the 2004-2005 MSCTC Men's basketball team. As a freshman, Parochka averaged 13.5 points per game, hitting 48.6% of his 3-point field goal opportunities and 89% of his free throw attempts. The Spartans finished the season 25-8, won the Region XIII title and qualified for the NJCAA Division III National Tournament where they finished sixth.
Long time Concordia College baseball coach Bucky Burgau, a Perham native, earned his three-hundredth career win in the M-I-A-C on Wednesday when the Cobbers beat conference rival Hamline 5-1 in the second game of a double header.
Wednesday, April 7, 2004
WOW! What a start for the Twins. Two unbelievable, come-from-behind victories. I had the privilege of witnessing the first one in person at the Metrodome and enjoyed listening to the second one. One thing is certain, this team is going to be fun to follow.
I've already talked about this on the radio and TV, but I have to write about it, too. In the opener, Cleveland starting pitcher C.C. Sabathia was dominant. The Twins didn't have a clue against him. He had total command of his pitches and had the Twins off balance in the batter's box all night long. So, why does his manager, Eric Wedge, pull him with a 4-0 lead after seven innings? That was the turning point in the game. The Twins proceeded to jump on the Indians bullpen and came back to force extra innings, winning the game on a dramatic 3-run homer in the 11th by Shannon Stewart. When a guy has total mastery of an opponent the way Sabathia did, I think you at least leave him out there until he gets a baserunner on against him in the eighth. I guess I'd make a pretty poor manager. We didn't get home until 3:00 a.m., but it was worth it!
Then, on Tuesday night, Jacque Jones, who has had some awful at bats in the first two games, delivers a two-out, two-run, game tying homer to force extra innings. After blowing several opportunities to win the game, the Twins finally pull out a 7-6 victory when Jose Offerman grounds a bases loaded single to center scoring Doug Mientkiewicz with two outs in the 15th. That's right ... the 15th. The game ended at 12:13 a.m. and I was glad to be sitting at home!
A couple of things ... the bullpen has been very efficient over the first two games. Carlos Pulido struggled, but he came in when Johan Santana was removed in the fifth inning after suffering an injury to his forearm. Pulido promptly gave up a 3-run homer to Tim Laker, but it was a tough situation for him. The Twins have gotten excellent play from everyone, utilizing their whole roster over the twenty-five-and-a-third innings they have played. That's nearly three full games in two days!
Jones made the comment during the pre-game show Tuesday that this club will have a different hero every night and he may be right.
Joe Mauer left the game with an injury and he is listed as day-to-day. With an off day scheduled for Friday, after games at home against Cleveland on Wednesday and then at Detroit on Thursday, it will be interesting to see what the Twins elect to do with him. It could be that Henry Blanco will start both games and Mauer will get three days of rest. He certainly is off to a great start. He is 3-for-4 with a pair of walks and two runs scored. He is so patient at the plate and so confident behind the plate. The way he handles himself you would never guess that he is a twenty year old rookie. He will be a fan favorite and an all-star for years to come.
Torii Hunter also left the game with a slight hamstring pull and you just hope that all of these injuries are minor ones. They appear to be, but you never know.
Look for the Twins to complete the sweep with Kyle Lohse pitching the series finale against the Indians.
Detroit has won in Toronto twice, Milwaukee has taken two in St. Louis and Tampa Bay beat Mike Mussina for the second time as the Devil Rays downed the Yankees 9-5. Those are the most surprising happenings through the first two days of the season.
Way to go Casey Kowalski. What a great story! Casey comes all the way back from his broken leg, suffered in the football season, and pitches into the sixth inning before allowing a hit as the Otters won their opener 8-1 over DL. Casey is the ace on Phil Link's pitching staff and Link praised him for his hard work and desire after the win. It's been a long, tough rehabilitation for Casey, but he's ready to reap the benefits. This Otter baseball team is going to be very good. They are so solid up the middle and can hit the ball as well as any team around. Should be a great year of Fergus Falls baseball.
Fourteen and fifteen year olds are asked to register for the Babe Ruth Baseball program next Tuesday, April 13 from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Otter Tail Power Community Rooms. Parents and their kids should be at the registration. There will be two Babe Ruth teams for sure, and possibly a third, depending on the numbers.
This week is also the week for softball teams to register for the Fergus Falls leagues. Registrations need to be in by Tuesday, April 13th. The team fee is $475 with a $50 deposit due at the time of registration. For more information contact the Parks and Recreation Department at 739-3205. Division II Church League will play on Monday, Division I Church League on Tuesday, Co-Ed League on Wednesday, Women's League on Thursday and Men's League on Friday.
Monday, April 5, 2004
Opening Day for the Twins! NCAA Championship! Lady Gophers with a phenomenal season. Local highlights involving area athletes. Fantasy Baseball Fever. It's all here.
Brad Radke gets the start opposite C.C. Sabathia at the Metrodome as the Twins open up the 2004 season against the Cleveland Indians. Many of the 'experts' out there are picking either Kansas City or Chicago to win the division. They will be proven wrong. The Twins have the best lineup, top-to-bottom, in the division, the best starting pitching and as good a bullpen as any other team in the AL Central. They will win their third straight division crown. Joe Mauer will be in the running for AL Rookie of the Year and either Jacque Jones, Torii Hunter or Matthew Lecroy will hit 30 homeruns. Johan Santana will win between 15-18 games, and Joe Nathan will be every bit as effective as Eddie Guardado was. Those are my bold Twins predictions!! Tonight's score, how about 6-4 Twins.
UConn ended a phenomenal run by the Lady Gophers when they knocked them out in the NCAA semifinals last night. Minnesota had some very good runs against the Lady Huskies, but UConn had an answer every time. Diana Taurasi is the real deal, huh? But, so is Lindsay Whalen!! Best to ever play at the U, without question. They will miss her, but they have some tremendous talent coming back. Janel McCarville, Shannon Schonrock, Shannon Bolden, Jamie Broback and Kelly Roysland are all coming back with this tremendous tournament experience to boost them. Look out Big Ten and NCAA next year. Roysland will most likely inherit a lot of minutes which were filled by Whalen this year. The state has fallen in love with this team and it will be interesting to see how their success helps the recruiting efforts in-state and around the country. By the way, did you see the TV shot of Lady Spartan coaches Ann Williams and Brenda Johnson and former Spartan Kelly Martin? It was a great shot of the three of them cheering on their team in the final minutes of the game! Ann and Brenda have gone to many Women's Final Four events over the years! They are seeing a great weekend of basketball in New Orleans.
Connecticut opened the season as the No. 1 team in the country and they will try to live up to that billing on Monday night. The Huskies will tangle with Georgia Tech for the national championship.
Connecticut (32-6) has a healthy Emeka Okafor, which has made the difference in this run. Okafor had all 18 of his points after halftime in Saturday's 79-78 win over Duke. What a great comeback, rallying from eight down with under three minutes to go.
Georgia Tech (28-9) is making its first NCAA title game appearance. The Yellow Jackets were 67-65 winners over Oklahoma State in the semifinals.
The Yellow Jackets have won all five NCAA tournament games by single digits and are trying to become the first team to win six by that margin since Arizona in 1997.
The teams met on November 26 with Georgia Tech handing Connecticut its first defeat, 77-61 in the semifinals of the Preseason NIT. The Huskies have won their last eight games.
Mitch Leifert played a couple of basketball games over the weekend, as a member of the Green team in the Minnesota High School All-Star games. His team beat the Blue team 103-89 on Friday night at Halenback Hall in St. Cloud. Mitch had 11 rebounds, made 3-of-4 shots from the field scoring six points, had one assist and one turnover. On Saturday, Mitch scored 7 points and grabbed 8 rebounds as the Green team beat the Maroon team 108-94 in the title game. Mitch had one 3-pointer and an alley-oop slam dunk! Morris Area standout Brett Winkelman scored 18 points for the Maroon team. The Gold All Stars beat the Blue All-Starts 95-92 in overtime for third place.
A couple of former Otter baseball players are doing well at Bethel College. Mike Gaustad is on fire at the plate, hitting a team high .486 through the first 18 games with Bethel winning 15 and losing only 3. Mike has six doubles, has knocked in 12 runs and scored 16 times. In their double header sweep of Concordia this weekend, Gaustad was 3-for-5 with a double, a homer, two runs batted in and three runs scored. His homerun snapped a 3-3 tie in the sixth-inning of the second game, lifting the Royals to a 4-3 win over the Cobbers. Kirby Carr is hitting .298 with a pair of homeruns and fifteen runs batted in this season. He has also stolen four bases and scored 12 runs. Carr is playing centerfield and Gaustad is at second base.
The report from out west on Zach "Jungle Boy" Walters fight on Friday night is as follows:
Robert Linton came in at 12 pounds overweight. Through negotiations, they decided to take the match anyway. It was an opportunity for Zach to box an experienced professional with a better record. The match was a scheduled 6 round fight. Linton's last 6 victories came from knockout early on. Zach has never gone six rounds before and his four rounders have ended early with knockouts.
The match went the full distance. Zach wasn't knocked down. He won two rounds, Linton won three rounds and one round was a draw, so the decision went to Linton.
Zach felt that he fought a good fight. He was happy to have the opportunity to box a tough opponent. He has already begun analyzing his performance and he and his trainer will go to work on the areas that need attention.
It's no fun losing, but when you've done your best, then you don't walk away defeated.
Thanks to Sharilyn Walters for keeping us updated. We'll keep you posted on what's happening in Zach's professional career!