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Saturday, April 29, 2006
Schneeberger to Wrestle at NDSU
West Central Area senior Brady Schneeberger will wrestle for Bucky Maughan at NDSU.  Schneeberger, who competed in four straight state tournament, won the Minnesota Class A State title at 130 pounds this year and ended his senior season with a record of 44-5.  It was the third year in a row Schneeberger made it to the championship match.
 
North Dakota State is joining a new wrestling-only conference for NCAA Division One schools in the Northern Plains, Rocky Mountains and the West Coast.  The Western Wrestling Conference will start competition in the next school year.  Wyoming is also joining the conference.  Other schools in the conference are Air Force, Fresno State, Northern Colorado, Northern Iowa, South Dakota State and Utah Valley State.
 
A proposal to eliminate the fall dance season in Minnesota high schools is drawing opposition from people who are afraid it would limit opportunities for girls to participate in sports.  About 36-hundred girls participate in Minnesota High School dance programs and some schools have both fall and winter dance seasons.  Those favoring reducing dance to the competitive winter season say it would make danceline more like other sports and even the playing field with schools that now have only one season of dance.   A 48-member assembly representing MSHSL schools in 16 regions will vote on the proposal May 18th.  The change needs a two-thirds majority to pass.
 
The Fergus Falls Parks and Recreation Youth Summer Baseball tryouts are scheduled for Monday and Wednesday at Broadway Park.  On Monday, May 1, Dwarf League tryouts are scheduled with 10 year olds at 5:30 p.m. and 11 year olds at 7:00 p.m.  On Wednesday, May 3, Pony League tryouts are scheduled with 12 year olds at 5:30 p.m. and 13 year olds at 7:00 p.m.  Volunteer Coaches are needed for both leagues.  If you are interested or would like more information, please contact Trevor Johnson at 218-739-3205.
 
The Spartan baseball team, winners of the Central Division title in the MCCC, will open state tournament play on Friday at 10:00 a.m. in Rochester.  Their opening round opponent will be the third place team from the North Division, either Northland or Itasca.  The tournametn will continue on Saturday with the top four teams out of the eight team field qualifying for the Region XIII tournament the next weekend.
 
MSCTC went into the weekend with a 12-2 division record and four games remaining on the regular season schedule.  They have a team batting average of .359, tops in the state, and an earned run average of 3.75, fourth best in the state.  Individually, Casey Kowalski leads the pitchers with a 1.96 ERA and a division leading 31 strikeouts.  His record is 3-3.  Bryan Flach is 3-0 with a 2.75 ERA, Jordan Wohlwend is 3-1 with a 2.62 ERA and Casey Bovkoon is 3-0 with a 2.75 ERA.
 
Offensively, Clayton Grimstad and Caleb Curry top the division with 25 runs batted in.  Grimstad (.465), Curry (.421) and Cody Decker (.417) are the top three hitters in the Central Division.  Curry leads in steals with 20.
 
Records that had stood for a long time fell at the K.T. Smith Track and Field Invitational on Friday.  The girls 4 x 800 meter relay was won by Fergus Falls with a time of 9:48.33.  The old record was 9:54.28 and was set just last year by the Otters.  The 1600 meter run was won by Brittany Gigstead of Perham with a time of 5:16.59.  The old record was 5:18.00 set in 1981 by Sheila Wagner of Barrett.
 
The boys 4 x 400 meter relay was won by Fergus Falls with a time of 3:29.64.  The old record was 3:31.90 and was set in 1890 by Breckenridge.  The boys pole vault was won by Beau Pilgrim of Staples-Motley with a vault of 13' 9".  The old record was 13' 2" and was set in 1979 by Dave Robley of Pelican Rapids.
 
Who saw this coming?  The Twins starting pitchers have been horrible.  A team that had the third best ERA in the American League a year ago and the best ERA in Spring training, has the highest ERA in the American League after the first month of the season.  If the starting pitching doesn't come around very quickly, like this week, the Twins are going to be in a world of hurt in the AL Central.  This road trip has been a fiasco and the first two games of the Detroit series are a down right embarrassment.  Francisco Liriano needs to be in the starting rotation and from the looks of things, we need to seriously look at replacing either Carlos Silva or Kyle Lohse by one of the top minor league prospects.  Denny Reyes has been pitching well as a starter after being sent down to AAA Rochester.  Boof Bonser is high on the Twins list and it might be time to rush Glenn Perkins along.   Manager Ron Gardenhire says he's sticking with Silva, Lohse and Brad Radke.  I think there needs to be a shakeup of some sort in the rotation and I think it needs to be sooner, rather than later.  A lot of Twins fans, including me, had high expectations for 2006, based primarily on the strength of the pitching staff.  Those hopes have been dealt a severe blow.  It's too early to give up, but it's certainly been a frustrating start.
Posted By Craig Olson
Sunday, April 23, 2006
Special Olympics, Two Man Bestball and Baseball
Coach Tom Uvaas brought eleven athletes to the Minnesota State Special Olympics Swim Meet on Saturday at the Richfield Middle School.  They competed in 26 events and won 15 medals.
 
Jarita Bond won first place medals in the 50 freestyle, the 100 freestyle and the 100 backstroke.  "This is probably our best individual performance ever at the state meet," said Uvaas.
 
Sam Adelsman was second in the 15 meter freestyle, Kyle Backman took two seconds in the 25 freestyle and the 25 backstroke and was third in the 15 meter freestyle, Ryan Bullis was first in the 15 meter free, Kyle Haak took first in the 15 meter free and second in the 25 meter backstroke, Emily Lutz won two third place medals in the 15 meter freestyle and the 25 meter backstroke, Ben Meder was second in the 15 meter walk and third in the 15 meter flotation race, and Matt Miller took second in the 25 meter backstroke.
 
Other results included fourth place finishes for Brandon Miller in the 15 meter freestyle and the 25 meter backstroke, and a fourth in the unified relay by the team of Kyle Haak, Andrew Kowalski, Kyle Backman and Rezza Shateri.
 
"This was probably the largest state swim meet in the history of Minnesota Special Olympics," stated Uvaas.  "The competition started at eight in the morning and went straight through to seven o'clock at night!  It was lots of fun for everyone!"
 
The Pebble Lake Golf Club 2-Man Bestball Tournament was held in ideal weather conditions on Sunday.  The scratch division was won by a team of area goflers who are teammates at Central Lakes Community College in Brainerd.  Former Fergus Falls High School golfer Derek Harris and former Battle Lake High School golfer Justin Speer paired up to shoot a 67 and won a tie-breaker against Brian Shuck and Chuck Lundeen of Fergus Falls.  The team of Mike McFeely and Tom Welle placed third with a 69.
 
In the net division, Brad Anderson and Mark Forsberg took first with a 63, Dave Conzemius, Jr. and Don Neitzke took second with a 65, winning a tie-breaker from Mike Alt and Jerame Tysdal who finished third.
 
The Longest Drive winners were Tyler Syvertson (under 10 handicap) and Jerame Tysdal (10 & over handicap).  The Closest to the Pin winners were Dan Thompson (under 10 handicap) and Mike Alt (10 & over handicap).  The Longest Putt Holed in the tournament was by Ben Olson.
 
Troy Wasiloski has been stinging the ball for the Fighting Sioux baseball team.  The former Fergus Falls High School slugger had a great four game stretch when UND battled Minnesota-State, Mankato and Minnesota-Crookston.  Against Mankato, Wasiloski drove in seven runs in two games.  He then knocked in five runs against the Golden Eagles, giving him a total of 32 RBI for the season.  He is currently ranked fifth place aall-time in career RBI with 139.  Wasiloski now has five home runs this season and is among the top five home run hitters in the NCC.
Posted By Craig Olson
Monday, April 17, 2006
Honors and More
Shortstop Caleb Curry of the Spartan baseball team was named the Central Division player of the week after week one.   In four games Curry had 12 hits, one homerun, 8 RBI’s and 6 stolen bases.  The Spartans have earned wins in their first six division games and have six more scheduled for this week.
 
Former Fergus Falls High School standout Kirby Carr was named the MIAC Player of the Week on April 10th.  The junior centerfielder for the Bethel Royals hit an impressive .500 and had a slugging percentage of .833 over a six game span.  He had six singles, a double, a triple and a home run.  He also scored three times and knocked in four runs.  Carr finished with a perfect fielding percentage, recording 17 putouts.  On the season, Kirby in in the top five in the MIAC for batting average, sluggin percentage and hits, while leading the conference in home runs. 
 
Through all 25 Bethel games, including non-conference games, Kirby is hitting .385, third on the team, with four home runs and 18 runs batted in, both team highs.  His .641 slugging percentage also leads the team.  Sophomore Brandon Carr is the leading hitter on the team at .450 and has 36 hits, 19 runs and 17 stolen bases, all team highs.  Mike Gaustad is struggling at the plate, hitting just .192, and Jared Bangs is batting .182 with only eleven at bats.  Gaustad also has one pitching performance, hurling 5 2/3 innings, striking out four, walking two and giving up four hits and one earned run for a 1.24 ERA.  Opponents are hitting .190 off him.
 
Justin Arneson, playing Class A ball for the Fort Myers Miracle in the Florida State League, is hitting .200.  Arneson has appeared in four games and has collected four hits (one in each game) in twenty at bats, including a 1-for-7 performance in a 20-inning 4-3 loss to Sarasota.  Monday night, Arne started and played the entire game at second base.  He had played centerfield his first three games in the lineup.  Justin is definitely capable of playing second and the Twins did work with him there earlier in his minor league career.  With a glut of outfielders in the system, he apparently is getting some work at that spot again.  That can only be good for him as far as playing time is concerned.
 
Here is some useful and interesting information from the latest Spartan Athletic Booster meeting, courtesy of secretary/treasurer Bernie Erickson.
The All Sports banquet is set for May 1st at the VFW Club, located on East Washington, in Fergus Falls. The silent auction bidding will begin at 5:30. Bidding on silent auction items will continue through the dinner and for a short period after. Tickets are being printed now for the event and can be purchased from any coach or at the campus office. The cost of this years tickets are $12.00 and include the meal, which will be served at 6:00 PM. The meal this year will be turkey and gravy, baby red potatoes, vegetable and beverage.
 
The Hall of Fame selection committee has unanimously chosen four individuals for induction to the MSCTC Spartan Athletic Booster Club Hall of Fame. They are Anita Follingstad, Cory Schreifels, Ryan Retzlaff and Marnie Fischer.  Follingstad, Schreifels and Retzlaff are all former athletes, while Fischer will be inducted in the Special Services category.

The Spartan Volleyball team is in the midst of a huge fundraising campaign. Coach Ann Williams says in an information release that as spring arrives, they are busy planning for the volleyball season next fall. One of the highlights of that season will be a trip to Dallas, Texas to play in a tournament hosted by Cedar Valley College. This trip will give them an opportunity to bond together as a team and play against some tough competition. They will be leaving on Thursday, September 21, and return on Sunday, September 24. They will be holding car washes, cookie sales, etc. to raise money for the trip.  Due to budget constraints, they need to raise additional funds for the trip. The total team cost is $4500.00. Incentives for financial assistance are being offered at different levels. For a $25.00 donation, the donor will receive a pass to all home volleyball matches for the fall 2006 season. The schedule for volleyball has been set and there are eight home matches. A $50.00 donation will get the donor the season pass, plus a Spartan Volleyball shirt. At another level, you might wish to sponsor the cost of an airline ticket for one player, which is $235.00. Whatever help anyone can provide will be greatly appreciated by the Coaches and players. If you do chose to help, you can make checks payable to “MSCTC volleyball” and send it to Coach Williams at 1414 College Way, Fergus Falls, MN. 56537. They are hoping to end this campaign by May 10, 2006.  If you have any questions, please contact Coach Williams at 218-736-1621.
 
 
Posted By Craig Olson
Monday, April 10, 2006
Fore!
It's that time of year!  Golf Course are opening all around the area.  It is my understanding that Balmoral, Thumper Pond and Perham Lakeside are among the area courses open for business and Pebble Lake Golf Course of Fergus Falls will join them on Tuesday. 
 
I visited with second year pro Jeff Bass briefly at Pebble this past week and he said the talk of the golfers has been the removal of the big trees around the ninth green.  It looks a lot different and will definitely make for an easier approach to the green. 
 
The opning of the course is great timing with the Masters Golf Tournament just ending Sunday.  What a great event!  What a great tournament for Phil Mickelson.  He was nearly flawless during the final round.  It sure looked like Tiger Woods was going to make a charge but his putter failed him on many occasions and that doesn't happen often.  He is one of the best putters in the history of the game.  Gary Player, who was my favorite player when I was growing up, played in his 49th Masters and plans on returning for a 50th!  Only Arnold Palmer played in that many.
 

Stacy Busack, a freshman at the University of Minnesota, received several awards following her first year as a member of the U of M varsity swim team.  The former Otter finished 22nd in the 50 freestyle at the NCAA Division I Championships and established a new Gopher record in the 50 free of 22.57 seconds.

 

Busack won the Most Improved Swimmer award, was named the Hardest Worker, and received the Team Spirit award.  She scored in every meet she participated in and made quite a first year impact on the program.

 
The Minnesota Basketball Coaches Association All Star Basketball Series was played on Friday and Saturday.  Friday at St. Cloud State's Hallenbeck Hall, the Blue team, which included Taylor Huseby of Pelican Rapids and Josh Roysland of Fosston, beat the Gold team 97-87.  Huseby scored 15 and Roysland had a team high 16 points.  Cory Johnson of Duluth East recorded a double/double (20 points, 10 rebounds) for the Gold team.  The other Friday game saw the Green team defeate the Maroon team 91-83.  Todd Herman of New London-Spicer scored 21 points to lead the Green team, while Eric Hostettler of Stillwater scored 16 to pace the Maroon stars.  Two-time AP All-State Player of the Year, Isaiah Dahlman of Braham, scored 14 points for the Maroon squad.
 
On Saturday the games were played at the Gangelhoff Center located at Concordia College in St. Paul.  In the third place game, it was the Maroon All Stars 118 and the Gold 107.  The Blue team won the title with a convincing 134-83 win over the Green team.  I don't have any individual stats from Saturday's action at this time but will had that info when I get it.
 
Former Otter and Spartan Justin Arneson is starting the season with the Fort Myers Miracle of the Florida State League.  Arne saw his first action of the season in the team's fourth game on Sunday when they beat Sarasota 8-4.  He started in centerfield and batted ninth.  Arneson had a single in four at bats and struck out twice.  Fort Myers has won their first four games.  Hopefully Justin will get his share of at bats.  At 24 he is the oldest of five outfielders on the roster.
 
Fergus Falls seniors Isaac Vatnsdal and Shawn Goos are going to play in the eXposure tournament this coming Friday and Saturday at Shattuck St. Mary's in Faribault.  The event is an opportunity for high school players who wish to advance to juniors or college hockey to showcase their skills.
 
Registration for the Fergus Falls Flyers swim team is set for Monday and Tuesday from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Middle School Commons.  Fees are $30.00 for United States Swimming preseason and Summer Registration, $50.00 for the Fergus Falls preseason and $100.00 for the Fergus Falls summer season.  Preseason will be from Monday, April 24 through May 19.  The regular season starts on Monday, May 20 and goes through at least July 21.  Tom Uvaas will once again be coaching the team. 

 

 
 
Posted By Craig Olson
Sunday, April 2, 2006
Gagliardi To Speak in Wadena
John Gagliardi, the long time St. John's University football coach and winningest coach in college football history, will be the keynote speaker at Tri-County Hospital's "Men's Night Out" on Tuesday, April 4 at the Wadena Memorial Auditorium. 
 
Men's Nite Out is a free educational event on health for men 18 years and older.  Health screenings will be offered from 4 to 6 p.m. and provided by Tri-County Hospital.  Screenings include glucose, cholesterol, blood pressure, prostate and body-fat analysis.
 
Informational booths on diabetes, CPR, telemedicine, physical therapy, home monitoring, and more will be available too.  A soup and sandwich dinner will be served from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in the school lunchroom.  The evening program will kick off at six o'clock with a presentation on cholesterol by Stephen Henry, M.D., followed by a panel discussion featuring: Tim Schmitt, M.D., Wadena Medical Center; Stephen Henry, M.D., Henning Medical Clinic; Susan Sigurdson, registered dietician, Tri-County Hospital; and Luther Nervig, attorney/partner, Kennedy & Nervig, LLP.  Wadena radio personality, Rick Youngbauer, will be the panel moderator, as well as master of ceremonies.
 
Coach Gagliardi will round out the evening and Men's Nite Out will conclude at 9 p.m.  Admission is free, however, pre-registration is encouraged by calling (218) 631-5234.
 
There will be sign ups for the Fergus Falls Flyers swim team on Monday, April 10 and Tuesday, April 11 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. in the Middle School Commons.  New swimmers are encouraged to sign up.  Preseason will be from Monday, April 24 through May 19 for three mornings or afternoons a week for a total of $50.00.  The only requirement is that swimmers can swim the length of the pool.  The length of time you will swim depends on age and swimming ability, that will be determined by Coach Tom Uvaas.
 
Regular season starts on Monday, May 20 and lasts through at least July 21, for a total of $100.00 with sessions being held Monday through Friday.  Swimmers will have the opportunity to participate in meets if they choose to.
Posted By Craig Olson
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