|Saturday, April 30, 2005|
|Catching Up on Many Things|
|There is an informational meeting scheduled for Monday at 7:30 p.m. at the Fergus Falls High School Gymnasium for anybody interested in the Fergus Falls Area Youth Football Association.|
The program, which will be introduced this fall, will be a tackle football program for area kids grades 3 through 6. Third and fourth graders will play six-man football and fifth and sixth graders will play nine-man football.
The FFAYFA, which has been proposed by new Fergus Falls High School head football coach Richard Risbrudt, is, according to their mission statement, dedicated to providing a safe, structured environment for youth to participate in full contact football while learning the basic fundamental skills of the game, good sportsmanship and the value of playing together on a team.
Regular practices will be held Tuesday and Thursday evenings and games will be played on Saturday mornings under normal high school rules and regulations with some modifications.
Fund raisers are in the planning stages to help raise money to buy equipment and business sponsors will be sought out to help cover expenses.
Registration dates are Saturday, June 4 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and Saturday, June 18 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. in the Fergus Falls Middle School Commons. Another informational meeting for parents will be held in early August, along with a coaches clinic.
Program coordinators will be Dan Prischmann and Carl Prischmann.
The cost will be $100.00 per player with a maximum of $200.00 per family.
"Our goals are to successfully begin youth full contact football in the fall of 2005, and continue the program annually," said Risbrudt. "We want all Fergus Falls area youth to have fun and enjoy the fellowship associated with a youth football program while building character, self-confidence and team spirit in all of the participants. We want to help current middle school and senior high football programs become stronger and more competitive in future interscholastic football contests."
The Fergus Falls Otter Football Booster Club will be responsible for the day-to-day operation of the FFAYFA.
Several fund raising opportunities will be presented, including a car wash on Saturday, May 21 at 10:00 a.m. at Tires Plus. This event will be provided by next year's 9th through 12th graders.
Fergus Falls Public School will be offering a summer gymnastics program with Perham Coach Charlie Fleck as the instructor. Fleck's Perham High School team has won two consecutive Minnesota Class A titles. The program will be for students in grades 1 through 12 and will run from June 6 through July 14 at the new gym in the Fergus Falls Middle School.
There will be an informational meeting on Monday, May 2nd in the Fergus Falls High School Gymnasium at 6:30.
The schedule will be a Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday schedule with grades 1 through 3 meeting from 3 to 4 p.m., grades 4 through 6 from 4 to 5 p.m. and grades 7 through 12 from 5 to 7 p.m. Students may participate in either two or three days each week. Contact Coach Fleck at 346-3539 for more information.
Kirby Carr is on fire. The Fergus Falls High School graduate is among the MIAC leaders in nearly every offensive category as he is leading the Bethel Royals baseball team. Carr is first in the conference in runs scored, hits, RBI, home runs and total bases, second in slugging percentage, fifth in on-base percentage and sixth in batting average. His numbers are quite impressive. In 29 games he is hitting .475 (48-101) with 43 runs batted in, 34 runs scored, five doubles, four triples and eleven roundtrippers. Carr has stolen 8 bases in 9 attempts and has a .931 slugging percentage and a .542 on-base percentage. Bethel is 15-15 (7-7 in the MIAC).
Brandon Carr is also doing well for the Royals. The freshman is hitting .273 (12-44) with 2 doubles and 2 homers. He has 9 RBI and 12 runs scored and has been successful on all three of his stolen base attempts.
Mike Gaustad has been sidelined with a hyperextended knee for the last couple of weeks and is expected to return to the lineup as early as this weekend. Mike is hitting .405 (30-74) with an on base percentage of .494 and a .581 slugging percentage. Gaustad has scored 23 runs and driven in 21. He has six doubles, two triples and one home run. He also has two saves in relief, pitching three hitless, scoreless innings in three appearances.
Troy Wasiloski has also been red hot for the Fighting Sioux of UND. Wasiloskis is the team leader in runs and hits and is second in RBI and total bases and third in home runs. Troy is hitting .341 (47-138) in 41 games with 10 doubles, a triple and 9 homers. He has driven in 39 runs and scored 36 times. His slugging percentage is .623 and his on base percentage is .425. He is 3-for-3 in the stolen base department. The Sioux are 23-18 overall (5-7 in the NCC).
Lefthander Ryan Hendrickson, another former Otter and former Spartan, has pitched in ten games for the Sioux with four starts. He is 4-0 with a 3.38 earned run average, has allowed 37 hits and 7 walks in 29 1/3 innings while striking out 28.
Jason Fuller, who played for Pelican Rapids in high school, has pitched in seven games and has a 1-0 record and 8.10 ERA. He has pitched just 6 2/3 innings.
Darin Heston from Frazee is 5-2 in eight games, including seven starts, with an earned run average of 5.06 in 37 1/3 innings. He has struck out 23 and walked 12.
If you have stats on former area high school players now competing collegiately in any sport, please send me an e-mail and tell me about it! [email protected]
Greenquist Academy is hosting the Invitational Tae Kown Do Championships on Saturday, May 7 at the NDSCS Blikre Activities Center in Wahpeton. Competition will begin at 11:00 a.m. Trophies will be presented for first through fourth place in Forms and Weapons Forms. Large Custom Medals will be presented for first through third place in Board Breaking and Sparring. Grand Champion trophies will be awarded for childred 5 through 8, juniors 9 through 14 and adults (15 & up). For more information contact Master Eric Greenquist at 218-643-8018.
Several individuals from the area participated in Lee's Invitational, an International Blackbelt Federation Invitational in Marshall on April 23 at Southwest State University.
Miss Josephine Greenquist from Greenquist Academy in Wahpeton won the Female Grand Championship in Black Belt Grand Champion Sparring competition.
Three competitors from the Master's Martial Arts Academy in Fergus Falls also did well with Mr. Taylor Gray taking first in weapons, second in forms and second in sparring at the Junior Black Belt level, Mr. Quinten Gray finishing first in sparring and fourth in forms at the Childrens Yellow Belt level, and Mr. Cameron Osmondson taking second in sparring and fourth in forms in the Children's Green Belt competition.
Mr. Cody Higdem of Detroit Lakes won the Men's Division Grand Championship.
There were over 400 competitors at this event.
Dan Frei and Mark Frei won the Scratch Division at the Pebble Lake Golf Club 2-Player Bestball Tournament on Sunday, April 24. Their total of 67 tied Asko Rajaniemi and Lance Anderson, however, the Frei's won on a scorecard tie-breaker. Dan Madsen and Chris Daniels were third with a 68.
In the Net Division, Dale Veches and Brandon Veches shot a 60 to win it. Larry Medenwald and Mike Rick took second with a 65, winning a scorecard tie-breaker with Joel Myhre and Chip Norby who finished third.
Joe Stachowski and Pat Tuel were winners of the longest drive competition, Tim Stromberg had the longest putt and Daniels was the Closest to the Pin winner.
The Town and Country Saddle Club of Fergus Falls will be hosting five rodeos this spring and summer with the first coming up May 21 and 22. It's the Minnesota High School/National Little Britches combination Rodeos. On July 1 through July 3, the National Little Britches Rodos will be held. These rodeos will have youth ages 5 to 19 competing in events such as bull riding, bronc riding, mutton busting, steer wrestling, goat tying, calf roping and barrel racing. Last year over 400 kids throughout Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming and Wisconsin came to compete in these events. For more information contact Kelly Thorson at 739-4864.
The twelfth annual Shada 3 on 3 basketball tournament will be held on June 10, 11 and 12.
The Shada has, year in and year out, provided thousands of players in the West Central area of Minnesota and eastern North Dakota with an opportunity to compete in a highly competitive but also extremely fun environment.
This event is open to make and female players as young as this year's third graders and moves up through the ranks to include post high school, college and a 35 and over division.
"Our elementary divisions are played exclusively on Friday's," noted Doug Bruggeman, who directs the Shada. "We have had the good fortune of bringing in over fifty teams who participate in divisions that go along with the players grades."
The elementary division usually begins around three o'clock on Friday and finishes up with championship games around 9:30 that night. Teams in the elementary division can expect to play at least three games on the night and as many as six, depending on how well their team plays.
The upper level divisions for male and female participants include Junior High, B-team, Varsity, Post High School, Colege Men, 35 and over. The upper divisions are played on both Saturday and Sunday with teams competing in a round-robin format on Saturday to determine their seeds for an eight team single elimination tournament on Sunday. Games on Saturday begin at 8:00 a.m. and continue throughout the day, finishing up around seven o'clock. Teams can plan on playing 3 to 4 games on Saturday in a 4 to 6 hour window of time. Most teams then come back to Pelican Rapids for Championship Sunday with games generally beginning at 11:00 a.m. and wrapping up by 6:00 p.m.. Teams coming back Sunday are guaranteed at least two games and possibly 4 or 5.
"The Shada has been one of the most successful and longest lasting bsketball tournament in the are," continued Bruggeman. "Over the last nine years we have consistently attracted over 150 teams to our tournament."
For more information or to register contact Doug Bruggeman at 218-863-4388 or by e-mail at [email protected]
Fergus Falls wrestler Karl Haataja and West central area wrestler Brady Schneeberger attained All-American status by placing in national tournaments. Haataja wrestled in the USA National Cadet Folkstyle tournament in Cedar Falls, Iowa, winning five matches on his way to a seventh place finish. Haataja defeated Nick Finkenbinder from Illinois 8-1 to finish seventh. Schneeberger wrestled in the Junior National Tournament in Cleveland, Ohio and captured sixth place. Wrestling for fifth place, he lost his final match to Dalton Bullard of Illinois, 8-5.
The Chris Vettel Wrestling Camp Fundraiser is scheduled for June 3 and 4 at the Beulah High School Gymnasium in Beulah, North Dakota and is limited to 100 wrestlers. The camp fee is $35 with a free will offering for all coaches and parents that wish to attend. All proceeds go to the Vettel family for medical expenses. Chris was diagnosed with leukemia and has been undergoing treatment since early December. Vettel is a senior at Beulah High School.
Camp instructors will include former Frazee High School coach, now the head wrestling coach at Concordia College, Clay Nagel.
Contact Shawn Voigt, Beulah Head Coach, for more information or to register. Call 701-873-4918 or e-mail [email protected]
When Derek Harris won the Fergus Falls Boys Golf Invitational a little over a week ago, he became the first Fergus Falls golfer to win the individual title since Eric Ecker in 1995. Ecker's win that year was his third in a row. He won it as a sophomore in 1993 with a 75, won it in 1994 as a junior with a 69 and then shot a 72 to win it again as a senior.
|Thursday, April 7, 2005|
|PLAY BALL! Two of my favorite words. Spring has arrived. You can tell it by the weather. You can tell it by the smiles on faces of people you meet on the street, but most of all you can tell it is spring because the baseball season is underway.|
I consider myself a true baseball fan. Perhaps not a purist, but certainly very close to a purist. I can't remember a summer when baseball wasn't a very important part of my life. Since the Twins moved to Minnesota in 1961 I have followed them. I was only six years old then, but remember vividly the chase of Babe Ruth's record of 60 homers by Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle. I recall sitting with my grandfather listening to Jack Kralick throw the first no-hitter in Twins history in 1962, and taking a trip to the Twin Cities for my first game at Met Stadium, where the Twins proceeded to beat the New York Yankees. I got my first autograph that day from a very congenial Dick Stigman, the lefty from Nimrod. He quickly became my first 'favorite' Twins player. Years later I had the opportunity to interview Stigman and thanked him for his kindness to an eight-year old boy.
The 1965 all-star game at the old Met stands out, too. Our summer baseball league coordinator in Brainerd gave us a mimeographed sheet with different categories to fill in as we watched the game ... first hit, first RBI, Home Runs, etc., Willie Mays hit a lead-off homer for the National League in that game and Harmon Killebrew delighted the hometown fans with a home run.
For me, those early memories led to what has been a lifelong love affair with our National Pastime. I can't imagine life without baseball. Everyone needs a hobby or an escape from reality every now and then and I guess mine has always been baseball.
Now, the 2005 edition of the Minnesota Twins is creating memories for a whole new generation of fans. This team is attempting to win their fourth straight Central Division title. If they succeed, they would become only the fifth team since 1921 to win four consecutive division or league titles. I really think the Twins will win the division, win the AL pennant and win the World Series this season. Their pitching is perhaps the best in baseball from top to bottom. They will catch the ball as well as any team in the game. Their lineup is young in the heart of the order, but the potential to score a lot of runs is there. I think by mid season they will be producing some impressive offensive numbers.
For the record, and for anyone who cares, here are my picks for the rest of the divisions. In the AL East, the Yankees. Look for Baltimore and the Red Sox to challenge, with the Orioles perhaps surpassing Boston and pursuing a wild card spot. That lineup is tough. If their young pitching comes through the Orioles may make it to the post season. I think Detroit, yes the Tigers, will be in the running for the wild card. In the AL West, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are my pick to win. I think they are far and away the best team in the division. Texas has a powerful lineup but poor pitching. Oakland lost too much in the off season and Seattle is improved, but still lacking, primarily in pitching.
Okay, National League. I like the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central, with St. Louis and Houston once again making this the most competitive division in baseball. Cincinnati may even hang around if they get decent pitching. The wild card team will come out of the central. In the West, San Diego looks pretty tough, although if the Giants get Barry Bonds healthy, look out. The winner in the East will be Atlanta, with the Mets and the Marlins giving them a run. No one will dominate this division.
Had to get my baseball fix, so now let's look at how some of those kids playing college ball are doing.
Bethel University is 8-7 (1-1 in the MIAC). Fergus Falls graduates Mike Gaustad, Kirby Carr, Brandon Carr and Jared Bangs are all members of the Royals team. Gaustad is hitting .449, leads the team with 22 hits, 18 runs batted in, 17 runs scored and 5 doubles. Kirby Carr is second with 21 RBI and 21 hits. He is hitting .429 with a team high 4 homers and 9 extra-base hits. Brandon Carr has 3 hits in 12 at bats for a .250 batting average and has driven in four runs. Bangs hasn't batted and is primarily used as a bullpen catcher. The Royals will be competitive in the MIAC and it will be a lot of fun to follow them. They will play at Concordia College in Moorhead on Saturday, May 7th at one o'clock. That would be a great day to plan a baseball outing!
The move to Division I has been tough on NDSU as they have struggled to a 1-19 record. Fergus Falls graduates Brandon Goltz, Tim Erickson and Tyler Gagner are all members of the Bison baseball team. Goltz is 0-4 with a 14.02 earned run average, Gagner has pitched five innings in relief and has an ERA of 11.12, and Erickson is hitting .209 with 14 hits in 67 at bats and a team high 11 walks.
UND also has former Otters on the roster. Troy Wasiloski, coming off shoulder surgery during the off season, is hitting .269 with six doubles, a homer and twelve runs batted in. He had a good Florida trip as he got on track after a slow start at the plate, going 14-for-29. He was the only Sioux player to collect multiple hits in an exhibition game with the Gulf Coast Twins on March 18. Left handed pitcher Ryan Hendrickson is 1-0 with a 3.95 earned run average. Hendy has walked only one batter in 13 2/3 innings and has struck out twelve. He was impressive in his first start in a Fighting Sioux uniform, striking out ten batters and walking none over eight-plus innings against West Liberty State. Former Pelican Rapids player Jason Fuller, has pitched in four games and has an ERA of 13.50. Frazee graduate Darin Heston shutout the Bison on Tuesday with an impressive outing and has an overall record of 2-2 with an 8.35 ERA.
Former Spartans Benji Kieffer, Charlie Woida and Jared Olson are all playing at Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota. Kieffer is leading the Wolves with a .364 batting average and has a team high 12 walks and 9 stolen bases. Woida is hitting .318 with two homers and 14 runs batted in. Olson, a pitcher, has a record of 2-3 with an 8.88 earned run average.
Other former Spartans still in the game include Wade Reichmann at Mayville State University. Reichmann is 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA and nine strikeouts in seven innings. Pelican Rapids High School graduate Josh Rudie is also playing for the Comets. He has played in three games and has one putout as an outfielder. He has not had an at bat.
NJCAA Division III All-American Nate Meissner, a sophomore at Minnesota State Community and Technical College, Fergus Falls, missed the Tuesday double header against Concordia's junior varsity with a strained back. Meissner said he hurt his back while watching the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. The former Brandon-Evansville High School standout athlete has suffered similar injuries through his high school and college athletic career, but it never lasts long. He expects to be back in action this weekend. Meissner is hitting .318 with four extra-base hits, including a home run.
Battle Lake High School graduates Tori Ehlert and Ashley Worden are juniors on the Concordia College softball team. Worden has 2 hits in 9 at bats, has walked five times and driven in two runs. Ehlert is hitting only .080 with 2 hits in 25 at bats. Both players are infielders for the Cobbers.
On Friday and Saturday the 39th annual Hillcrest Invitational Basketball Tournament will be held in Fergus Falls. Over 50 teams, 400-plus players, plus fans and families will be attending 85-plus basketball games that will be played at Hillcrest Lutheran Academy, Fergus Falls Senior High School, Fergus Falls Middle School and Minnesota State Community and Technical College, Fergus Falls campus. At the end of the tournament, 8:00 p.m. at MSCTC, fifteen trophies will be presented to the winning teams and players. All basketball fans are encouraged to attend the tournament.
Dustin Harris, golf pro at Bois de Sioux in Breckenridge-Wahpeton, has begun his second year in that position. Harris is a Fergus Falls High School graduate. Bois de Sioux opened to the public on Tuesday. No carts can be used until the grounds are more stable.
Pebble Lake Golf Course in Fergus Falls will be opening for the season this weekend. The weather has been cooperating and area courses are all ahead of schedule.
Back to baseball. Bob Kurtz, the radio voice of the Minnesota Wild, will be the Twins public address announcer for the 2005 season. Kurtz will fill in while the search for a full-time replacement for the late Bob Casey is conducted.
"I'm honored and humbled that the Twins considered me for these responsibilities this season," said Kurtz. "Whoever said 'everyone's replaceable' surely never met Bob Casey. I'm certainly not going into this season trying to replace him in any way, shape, or form, because Bob will never be replaced. I"m just going to tryand do my best until someone else is on board."
Did you know that the Twins are now 22-23 in season opening games in their 45 year history. They dropped the opener to Seattle 5-1 when Richie Sexson took Brad Radke deep twice. Minnesota bounced back after falling behind 4-0 after one inning on Wednesday night. Johan Santana retired fourteen of the final fifteen batters he faced and the Twins erupted for seven runs in the fifth inning on the way to a big win. Then, on Wednesday night, in the rubber game of the series, the Twins got a great pitching performance from starter Carlos Silva and beat the Mariners 4-1. Now it's home for the weekend series against the Chicago White Sox. Kyle Lohse will pitch the home opener on Friday night with Radke pitching Saturday and Santana slated to go when the Twins and ChiSox lock up on Sunday night at the Metrodome in the ESPN headline Sunday night game.
Justin Arneson has been placed on the seven day disabled list for the Class A Fort Myers Miracle. Arne will be on the DL from April 8 through April 15. His knee, which he had arthroscopic surgery on during the off season, became inflamed and was quite painful so the Twins decided to shut him down for a short period of time. The doctors and trainers say this is quite common after having surgery and then going back to an intense day-to-day workout schedule for an extended period of time. Arneson fully expects to be playing by the middle of the month.