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Saturday, June 25, 2005
Sixty-Five Players Attend Local Football Camp
Sixty-five high school players from Fergus Falls, Frazee and Ashby attended the U of M - Crookston football camp held at the Fergus Falls High School levee Wednesday through Friday.

Forty kids from Fergus Falls, 23 from Frazee and 2 from Ashby were participating in the camp. Coaches from U of M - Crookston, MSCTC, Fergus Falls, FFHS and Frazee were involved in teaching individual offensive and defensive fundamental skills and techniques.

Each day the players also had offensive and defensive team practice times, special teams practice, 7-on-7 competitions and team scrimmages.

"It was a great week for the kids involved," said Fergus Falls head football coach Richard Risbrudt. "Everyone from ninth grade through twelfth grade was rotated into the drills and the team scrimmages. I really like what we did this week in that it gives the kids some things to work on the rest of the summer."

Members of the Otter football team will be learning the playbook and putting what they learn to practice every Tuesday and Thursday from 9 to 10:30 a.m. beginning July 6 and going through the month of July. The team practices will follow early morning speed and agility workouts with Coach Paul Ratz on the track.

Several of the football players were also playing in the Fergus Falls American Legion Baseball Tournament Friday and Saturday. The weather for the tournament was ideal and the field of competition was excellent. A tournament where you play four games in two days really stretches your pitching staff and every team was dealing with that fact on Saturday. What a great facility we have for baseball with American Legion Field at DeLagoon Park. The only thing that would make it better would be to have a second facility adjacent to the park like they have in St. Cloud. A setup like that could draw some high level tournament action.

Kellen Shebeck and Tim Erickson are doing a great job with the kids. Both love baseball and know the game so well. I've heard a lot of positive comments from parents concerning the coaching of these young men. Kellen has spent time as an assistant to Kent Bothwell at MSCTC and played college ball for the Spartans and at UND after playing high school ball for Ottertail Central and American Legion ball for Underwood/Ashby. Kellen's dad, Ron Shebeck brought those communities together to put a very competitive Legion team together several years ago and hopefully someday that program will be rejuvenated. The low number of players and the cost factor came into play when the team was discontinued a few years ago.

Tim Nelson from Frazee, is now coaching the Jamestown American Legion team. He is an assistant coach of the college baseball team in Jamestown. Nelson pitched for the Spartans and in fact, Shebeck was his catcher!

It was good to see Harley Oyloe at the games. It doesn't matter who's playing ball, Harley loves to watch. He has been working with some of the Babe Ruth pitchers and has spent time working with some of the current American Legion pitchers through the last few years. He's a great baseball man and has such a knowledge of pitching. Oyloe was a star player for the old Fergus Falls Red Sox and by many accounts, would have been a major leaguer if not for a stint in the war during his prime years. One of the highlights of my broadcasting career came when I was asked to host the 40th reunion of the Red Sox state championship team several years back and we put together a memorable televison program with the former players who were in attendance. It was a great time. Maybe I can get Peg Access to run that tape.

Speaking of Peg Access, it never ceases to amaze me when people stop me in the store or on the street or at the ball park and say, "I watch you and Svingen and Retzlaff and Wasberg on TV every week." If everyone who tells me that really watches, then we have quite an audience. Every time I come across the show I change the channel very quickly, but, thanks for watching! It's fun and with guys like Kris and Retz and Was, I'm always learning something. They know their stuff!!

Kirby Carr is spending the summer playing baseball in Alaska for an Athletes in Action team. I spoke briefly with his father, Brian on Friday night and he mentioned that Kirby was hitting about .275, fourth best on the team. It's an all wood bat league with teams consisting of college players from around the country.
Posted By Craig Olson
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Belmont Competing in All-Star Football Game
Kyle Belmont, a three-year starter for the Ottertail Central football team, will be competing in the annual Metro vs. Outstate All-Star football game on Saturday, June 25 in St. Cloud. It's a great honor or an outstanding student athlete.

Belmont started as a sophomore at cornerback and the last two years as a free safety on defense and as the Bulldogs quarterback on offense. Belmont was an Academic All-state player, the Fargo Forum Player of the Year, the Park Region Conference Player of the Year and the overall Team MVP for OTC. He is heading to NDSU on a football scholarship.

Kyle is in St. Peter this week for practice with his all-star teammates, which include area standouts Nick Grewe of Bertha-Hewitt, Jacob Wagner of Staples-Motley and Brandon Schaefer of Browerville. Grewe is one of only two 9-man players to be chosen to the team.

Minneapolis Community College assistant men's basketball coach Ron Gates has received an honor. Gates has been appointed assistant coach of the United State Maccabiah Team. Gates will join Atlanta Hawks assistant coach Herb Brown in leading the men's basketball team that will compete at the 17th World Maccabiah Games in Israel in July.

According to a press release on the Minneapolis Community College Men's Basketball website, over 7,000 athletes representing more than 60 countries will take part in the Maccabiah games, a quadrennial athletic competition for Jewish athletes. The United states is expecting to send a contingent of nearly 800 athletes and coaches, which would make it the largest U.S. Maccabiah Team in history.

Gates has been the assistant coach to Jay Pivec at Minneapolis Community and Technical College for the past 15 years. Pivec had these comments about the selection of Gates, "Ron is certainly deserving of his selection as an assistant coach to Herb Brown. I believe he will be a tremendous asset. He knows about winning and will bring a great deal of enthusiasm to the team."

The 1-94 BMX race track will be hosting a huge event this weekend as a multipoint weekend of racing is scheduled. On Friday, June 24 there will be a double point Race for Life with racers rounding up donations for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Then, on Saturday, June 25 there will be a double point State Race Qualifer, followed on Sunday, June 26 by a triple point Redline Cup Qualifier. Only a handful of these races are awarded to tracks in the tri-state area and Fergus Falls was selected as one of those tracks for this season. Over three hundred participants and their families from Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota and Wisconsin are expected to converge on Fergus Falls for this full weekend of BMX racing.

This is the twelfth year of BMX racing in Fergus Falls and with a rebuilt track, remodeled concession area, new board members and new track directors, the Fergus Fallx BMXer's are looking forward to an exciting 2005 season. You can find out more by visiting their website at i94bmx.com . A link is provided at the bottom of the home page on www.craigolsonsports.com

Two racers from the Fergus Falls track have gained national recognition. Derek Bergh is one of the best 10 year old riders in the nation and 5-year old Alyssa Martin is currently ranked second in the nation in her division.

The public is welcome to attend this full weekend of racing as well as the regularly scheduled races every Wednesday and Thursday evening at the I-94 BMX track.
Posted By Craig Olson
Thursday, June 16, 2005
UMC Football Camp Starts Wednesday in FF
The 1st Annual University of Minnesota-Crookston Golden Eagle 11-man team football camp will begin on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. at the Fergus Falls High School levee and will run through Friday afternoon.

Players entering grades 9 through 12 are eligible and must register by Saturday. For more information you can contact camp coordinator Mark Dufner at 218-281-8411 or e-mail him at dufne001@umn.edu, or you can contack Fergus Falls High School football coach Richard Risbrudt at 218-739-3419 or 205-1734, or by e-mail at drisbrudt@prtel.com

The camp will consist of individual offense and defense instruction, 1-on-1 sessions, specialties, 7-on-7 sessions, team practices and scrimmages.

The cost of the camp is $100.00 per player which covergs tuition, two noon meals and a camp shirt.

Check-in for players will be at Nelson Dodge GMC at 2228 College Way at noon on Wednesday. Fergus Falls Otter football players attending the camp may pick up their equipment on Monday at 9:00 a.m. at the high school.

Please take our poll on the change that has been made to Minnesota High School basketball with games going from 4 eight minute quarters to 2 eighteen minute halves. It will be interesting to see what the public thinks of the rule change.

I think most coaches are in favor of it and I think it will be good for the kids and the game. I've always felt that basketball was getting a raw deal with only 32 minutes of playing time and the fewest players of any varsity team sport competing at any one time. The added four minutes of playing time will be good and I think the 18-minute halves will lend itself to more fluid play by eliminating the quarter breaks. Some people think it will also allow more kids to play in a game situation. I don't know how that will play out, but we'll see.

Hillcrest standout athlete Jake Stroud will be attending St. Olaf in Northfield and will be playing MIAC football for Chris Meidt. Stroud will be a quarterback for the football team at St. Olaf.
Posted By Craig Olson
Thursday, June 9, 2005
All-Star Honor for Vikings Dan Beck
Dan Beck of Pelican Rapids High School has been selected to play in the Minnesota High School All-star Football game. The game will be played on Saturday, June 25 at St. Cloud State University.

The High School All-star game will be played with a team from Metro area schools versus players from Outstate Minnesota. The squads are made up of recent graduates and consist of only 42 players.

"When you think of all of outstate Minnesota and cut that down to 42 players you realize how much of an honor it is for Dan to have been selected to this team," said Pelican Rapids head football coach David Haugen.

The team will come together for one week of practice before the game is played. Dan is projected as a defensive lineman for this game, but that could change after the squad comes together and the coaches see what the makeup of the team is. Dan will be attending UMD in the fall and is projected as an offensive lineman for the Bulldogs.

Dan is the only player from the HOL Conference this year and the first Pelican Rapids player to get selected for this game since Troy Huseby in 1988.

The Head coach of the outstate team will be Jeff Mumm of Thief River Falls.

The outstate team leads the series 13-11.

"We’re very proud of Dan’s selection to this squad and wish him the best of luck," added Haugen. "I expect that this whole experience for him will be a highlight and one that he will look back on very fondly."

Great numbers in the Summer Strength and Conditioning program being held at Fergus Falls High School. Strenth and Conditioning coach Paul Ratz is working with 243 kids in grades 5 through 12. With the Otters entering the Central Lakes Conference next season, Ratz says it's critical that student athletes get in the weight room to improve strength, speed and agility. The summer time numbers are encouraging.

The NBA Finals have started!!! Enough, already. Do any of you care? I really have very little (if any) interest in pro basketball in June. Oh, by the way, San Antonio beat Detroit in game one.

When I was driving to the Twin Cities Thursday to cover the State Track and Field meet, I had an opportunity to listen to Mike Max on WCCO. He had Lou Nanne on for about twenty minutes and it was fun to hear Lou talk a bit about the old days with the North Stars and comment on the proposed new Gopher football stadium. Nanne has always been such a big Minnesota supporter. Gophers, North Stars, High School hockey, you name it, he always seems to be positive. He is very well respected around the country and knows his stuff. He also said he fully expects the NHL to resume play at the start of the season. He said he believes a settlement will be reached by the end of June. I'll believe it when I see it.


Posted By Craig Olson
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