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Friday, September 30, 2005
Update
When Hal Johnson took the Otter girls tennis team to St. Cloud for a match with Central Lakes Conference opponent St. Cloud Apollo, his team saw some familiar faces.  The assistant coach for the Eagles in former Otter boys tennis player and basketball player, Travis Marohl.  Travis is also playing for St. Cloud State University.

The other familiar face was that of Kim Lindblom, who stopped by to visit with the team.  Kim is in her second year at SCSU after starring for the Otter girls tennis team for six years.

The Fergus Falls Gymnastic Academy is holding a Tailgate Feed fund raiser on Friday before the homecoming football game.  Otter Dogs, hot dogs, chips and Coke products will be served beginning at 5:30 and going up to kick-off.  The cost is $3.00 per person.  Registration for kids between the ages of six and twelve is set for October tenth.  Times and location have not been determined at this time.

Who will be in and who will be out in the American League playoffs?  We will know after the weekend.  Chicago has clinched the AL Central title, Los Angeles is in in the West and the other two spots are up for grabs between Cleveland, the Yankees and the Red Sox.  The Yankees and Red Sox play a three game series against each other in Boston this weekend.  Right now, Boston trails New York by one game in the East and the Red Sox are tied with Cleveland in the Wild Card race.  The Indians close out the season with a home series against the White Sox.  The most likely scenario that will play itself out will have Cleveland winning the wild card and the Yankees winning the East.

In the National League, everything is pretty well set, although the Wild Card is still up for grabs between Houston and Philadelphia.  It is improbable that the Phils will catch the Astros though.  Houston has a two game lead with three to play.  They have a series against the Cubs in Houston, while Philadelphia has a weekend series in Washington.

Rod Carew turns sixty on Saturday.  I can't believe it!  Since he came up in 1967 and won the AL Rookie of the Year Award Carew has been my favorite player.  Time sure flies doesn't it?  I'm very glad the Twins brought Rod back to the club as an executive vice-president.  He's a good man and is very valuable to them in a PR capacity.  In fact he'll be making an appearance on Saturday at the Barnes and Noble store in Maple Grove, autographing a new children's book, Minnesota Twins A to Z.  He will also be honored at Saturday's Twins game and the first 10,000 fans, of which my wife and I will be two of them, will receive a bronze statue of Carew.  The Twins have had some great promotional give away items this season.  The Bobble Heads they gave away of the 1965 team are hot on E-Bay and the mini-Met Stadium collectors items were very popular too.  They gave away a bronze statue of another Twins great, Harmon Killebrew, earlier in the season.

Jim Thielman dropped me an e-mail and said he had a great time visiting with people who stopped by the Victory Lundeen Company last Saturday where he was signing copies of his book, 'The Cool of the Evening', which chronicles the 1965 Twins World Series season.  Thielman was impressed by the turn out of people for the event and wanted to pass along his thanks to everyone who came and to Lundeen's.  If you haven't read the book and you're a Twins fan, get a copy!  Or if you have a friend or family member who is a big Twins fan, get it for them as a gift!  It's an excellent read and really stirs up the memories!
Posted By Craig Olson
Thursday, September 22, 2005
Author of '65 Twins Book to Appear in FF
Jim Thielman, author of a book about the 1965 Twins, 'Cool of the Evening', is going to appear on Saturday at the Victory Lundeen Company in Fergus Falls.  Thielman will be signing copies of his book, which will be available for purchase, from 12:00 noon to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, September 24.

In researching the book, Thielman spoke with nearly 20 players and coaches from the '65 Twins.  His interviews and hundreds of hours of research also revealed that player friendships formed that summer continue today.

Thielman is a native of Breckenridge, Minnesota who spent summers working at his aunt's grocery stor in Clitherall, Minnesota.  Mr. Thielman is a graduate of Minnesota State -Moorhead and covered the Twins from 1977 to 1993.

Amanda Jensen is now a junior at Northwestern College in Roseville where she is a two-time first team All-Conference selection and a captain for the Women's Soccer team.  Jensen is a former Hillcrest student athlete who is majoring in kinesiology.  Northwestern is currently 1-3 and Jensen leads the team in shots with nine and has scored one goal.

Posted By Craig Olson
Sunday, September 18, 2005
PRCA Rodeo a Huge Success!
The Red Horse Ranch Arena hosted the PRCA Rodeo over the weekend and it was a huge success!  I was there on Saturday night, along with between five and seven thousand other people, and thoroughly enjoyed a great night of entertainment!  They know how to put on a show! 

I heard so many positive comments about how great the facility was, how much fun it was to watch the events, how impressed people were to see something of this magnitude built in Ottertail County and how well organized everything was.  I will second all of that!!  The Underwood Lions did a great job moving people from parking areas to the arena and the concessionaires were quite efficient considering how busy they were!!

If there were any questions or concerns about how people in this area will support the major events that Red Horse Ranch Arena will be hosting, they were answered in a very positive manner this weekend.  Shana and Leigh Barry and their staff, including Administrative Director Kitty Rund, are to be commended for all the hard work they have put in to this point and should also try to take a couple of days off for rest and relaxation before the next events hit!!

Here are the results from the Rodeo with estimeated attendance at nearly 10,000 for the three days.  Professionals from as far away as Missouri, Nebraska and Texas competed for points that will allow them to qualify for the National Finals in Las Vegas, Nevada and over $20,000 in prizes.

Tammy Whyte of Eau Claire, Wisconsin won the Barrel Racing event with a time of 17.04, earning $1,141.06.  First place in Bull Riding with a score of 88, went to Jason Hunsaker of Fairburn, South Dakota, earning $1,391.94.  In Saddle Bronc Riding, Jeremy Crane of Baldwin, North Dakota won with a score of 88, earning $1, 097.44.  The Calf Roping event went to Grady Lockhard of Oerlichs, South Dakota with a winning time of 8.9 seconds, good for $1,632.34.  In Bareback Riding, Tigh Anderberg of Mobridge, South Dakota earned $1,185.03 with a score of 85, and in Steer Wrestling, winning with a time of 4.2 seconds was Tony Oftedahl of Pemberton, Minnesota.  Tony earned $1,508.26.

A couple of aces were recorded at Pebble Lake Golf Course recently.  On Thursday, September 15, Darel Jacobson aced the par 3, 156 yard fifteenth hole, using a six iron.  Witnesses included Walt Cichy, Loran Johnson and Pat Connell.  The other ace came on Friday, September 16, when Eric Larsen aced hole number eight, a par 3, 171 yard hole, using a six iron.  Witnesses included Jolene Larson, Todd Lockaby, Darold Woessner and Vicky Woessner.

Another note from Pebble Lake, Dale Larson shot his age on Thursday, September 15, firing an 82!

Posted By Craig Olson
Wednesday, September 7, 2005
Several Area Student Athletes Competing at Next Level
There are a lot of opportunities for student athletes to continue to compete in their chosen sport after high school and several from around our area are taking advantage of those opportunities.  I spent some time surfing the web and came up with quite a list.  Thought you might be interested, so here goes.

We'll start on the gridiron, where several Fergus Falls High School graduates are competing.  Kirby Carr, Brandon Carr and Jared Bangs are all at Bethel College, along with Hillcrest grads Steve Moline and Luke Hansen.  All will be seeing a lot of playing time this year for the Royals, who will be in the upper level of the MIAC along with Concordia and St. John's.   Other former Otters playing college ball including Luke Schalekamp, a freshman wide receiver, and Trent Scheidecker, a junior defensive back.  Both are members of the University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs.  Freshman offensive lineman Dan Beck from Pelican Rapids is also at UMD.  Zach Stafford, another former Otter, is a sophomore defensive tackle at Bemidji State University.  Freshman defensvie lineman Matt Cavanaugh is at St. John's, and five former Fergus Falls players are now members of the Concordia Cobbers.  Junior strong safety Mitch Gabrielson, junior defensive lineman Scott Masten, freshman free safety Paul Shol, freshman corner back Grant Davenport, and sophomore defensive tackle Shane Garrahan.

Ottertail Central has had some very successful football teams in recent years and that has resulted in several former student athletes from the Bulldogs playing some more football.  Kyle Belmont is a freshman at NDSU.  Junior linebacker Jeremy Christensen, junior strong safety Dave Moll, junior offensive guard Aaron Boyum and senior corner back Nick Ellenson are all Cobbers. 

The Underwood Rockets also have several players still competing.  Ben Aakre is a senior corner back for Concordia, Mitch Jeppesen is a junior safety at Minnesota State University Moorhead, Ryan Jensen is a sophomore wide receiver for St. Cloud State University, Chris Stokka is a freshman linebacker for St. Thomas and two former Rockets, junior linebacker Kyle Anderson and freshman linebacker Tate Goeden, are attending Valley City State University.

Former Pelican Rapids student athletes Nick Torkildson and Craig Hesteness are at Concordia.  Torkildson is a freshman running back and Hesteness is a freshman defensive tackle.  Another former Viking, Kirk Peterson, is a senior defensive end at MSUM, and Ryan Fox, a freshman defensive lineman, is at Mayville State University.

Hillcrest graduates Evan Twedt and Jesse Tysdal are members of the Jamestown College football team and another of their high school teammates, Jake Stroud, is playing at St. Olaf in the MIAC.

Nate Novak from Ashby is a sophomore linebacker at St. John's University this year and former Breckenridge player Aaron Cribb is a junior offensive tackle at MSUM.  Freshman wide receiver Tony Bogenreif, another Breckenridge grad, is playing for Coach Terry Horan at Concordia.  Other area student athletes at Concordia include junior offensive tackle Ryan Mason from Barnesville, junior wide reciever Mike Raths and freshman linebacker Dennis Sik, both from West Central Area.

Several area athletes are competing for the Spartan football team at MSCTC, including Underwood graduate Dan Meyer, OTC grads John Muehlberg, Jordan Pieper, Will Luhning, Derek Frederick and Zach Henry, Fergus Falls athletes Cameron Rittenour and Zach Stich, Hillcrest Lutheran Academy graduate Daniel Sunde, Chris Ohren from Ashby and former Pelican Rapids player Tayler Michels.

Volleyball players from around the area include freshman middle hitter Abby Scheel from Hillcrest, now playing for MIAC power Concordia, sophomore middle blocker Heather Sjolie from Fergus Falls, now at Bemidji State, and sophomore outside hitter Liz Glesne from Underwood, now playing for Bethel.

Four former Otters are playing men's soccer.  Matt Klein, a sophomore, and his younger brother, Aaron Klein, a freshman, are teammates at Concordia, along with former Hillcrest/Pelican Rapids player Miguel Diaz, a freshman for the Cobbers.  Leonardo Diaz, another freshman, is at Mayville State University, where he is a teammate of former Fergus Falls High School goalkeeper Joe Johnson, a freshman.  The other Otter playing college soccer is sophomore Jack Underwood who is at Gustavus.
Another Fergus Falls grad, Abby Barker, is a freshman on the MSUM women's soccer team.

Fergus Falls graduates, Nicki Brusven, Emily Winans and San VanWechel are all competing on cross country teams.  Brusven is a junior at Concordia, Winans is a freshman at St. Cloud State University and VanWechel is a freshman at St. Benedict College. 

Kim Lindblom from Fergus Falls is a sophomore for the St. Cloud State University women's tennis team, and two former Otters are swimming competitively in college.  They are Stacy Busack, a freshman at the U of M, and Kayley Uvaas, a junior at UND.  Chelsey Ouren is a freshman on the U of M women's golf team, playing for former Otter Katie (Weiss) Hanneman, and Brooke Bezek has transferred to St. Cloud State where she will be playing golf for the Huskies.

Kasey Maier, former West Central Area student athlete is playing golf as a freshman at Minnesota State Moorhead and will play tennis there in the spring.      

The Fort Myers Miracle ended their season this past weekend and wound up hitting .199 with 34 hits in 171 at bats.  His on-base percentage was .293 and his slugging percentage was .287.  Arne had 4 doubles, 1 triple and 3 homers.  He drove in 22 runs and scored 23.  He stole six bases in seven attempts and he struck out 62 times while drawing 19 walks.  Arneson played hurt all year long and I am one who certainly hopes he can get healthy and stay healthy for a full season.  Justin will turn 24 in December and the Twins like him as a person and a ballplayer.  He just needs to stay healthy and get a break or two.  Hang in there, Arne! 

Brandon Goltz went 2-0 with a 2.81 earned run average for the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks when he joined them for the final two weeks of the regular season.  Goltz appeared in four games, starting two of them, pitched sixteen innings, gave up only eight hits, walked nine and struck out seven.  He allowed five earned runs and opponents hit a meek .143 against the hard throwing right hander.  Talk about making the most of your opportunity!  Brandon did a great job for Doug Simunic and company.

Steve Undseth will be the new baseball coach at Hillcrst Lutheran Academy in the spring.  Undseth, who has been teaching at Hillcrest Lutheran Academy for many years, has some head coaching experience in his background as he once coached the Comet volleyball team.  He will replace Carl Selvig who has taken a job as principal at a school in North Dakota.  Carl's a big baseball fan and we'll miss visiting with him.  We wish him well.
Posted By Craig Olson
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