|Saturday, March 29, 2008|
|Otter Swimmers Nominated for State Awards|
The Fergus Falls girls and boys swimming and diving teams had exceptional seasons this past fall and winter. Now, some of their swimmers, and their coach, are up for some prestigious state awards.
Senior Nathan Jobe and Freshman Mike Hurley have both been nominated for Class A Swimmer of the Year, while Coach Tom Uvaas has been nominated for both the Class A Girls and Boys Coach of the Year. The winners will be announced at the All State Swim Banquet on Friday, April 11.
Coach Uvaas completed his 33rd coaching season at Fergus Falls with an undefeated girls dual season, the Central Lakes Conference title, the CLC Sportsmanship Award, and the Section 8A championship. At the State Meet, the Otters finished fourth, their highest finish ever, scoring 146 points in 10 events. They also had six All-State swimmers. The boys had a history-making second place finish, scoring 197 points. They were runners-up in the CLC, tied for the CLC Sportsmanship Award, and won the Section 3A title.
Jobe, a senior co-captain, achieved the perfect conclusion of his high school career, anchoring both the winning 200 Medley Relay and the 400 Freestyle Relay in the State Meet. In addition, Nathan set two school records at the State Meet. He also helped the Otters to the Section 3A title, being named the Section Swimmer of the Meet with four first place finishes.
Hurley made history for the Otters with three first places at the State Meet. He was a member of both the winning relay teams and was an individual champion in the 200 IM, setting a new State Class A Record. He was the 2007-08 scoring leader for the Otters with 555.5 points.
All girls and boys who placed in the top eight at their state meet will also be honored that night. The Otter girls will be represented by Heidi Busack, Kara Fisher, Shannon Johnson, Susie Kitzman, Sarah Monk and Ariel Schuelke. The Otter boys will be represented by Preston Anderson, Eben Danielson, Mike Hurley, Nathan Jobe and Joel Money.
Fergus Falls Flyers summer swim team registration will take place on Monday, April 7 and Wednesday, April 9 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the Fergus Falls Middle School Commons. Swim wear will be available for anyone to purchase at registration in a variety of sizes, as well as swim caps, goggles and other accessories. There are two parts to this program, the Preseason Fitness Swimming from April 21 through May 17 and the Summer Swim Season from May 19 through July 18. This is a program where individual can swim at their own commitment level as swim team practice is held five days a week in the summer with the ability to choose to participate in meets. The program is well known for developing the whole person by swimming with a purpose to experience life lessons, not just swimming success. For more information you can visit the Fergus Falls Flyers website at www.fergusfallsswimming.org
, or e-mail [email protected]
, or call Amy Fisher
The American Legion Baseball Coach for 2008 will be Chris Winter. Chris is a 1998 graduate of West Central Area High School, coached Pee Wee baseball in Hoffman from 1996 through 2001, coached Junior High baseball at WCA in 1999, the JV at WCA in 200 and 2001, and again in the 2006 and 2007 baseball seasons.
Winter will be holding a player/parent meeting for interested players on Thursday, April 3 at 6:30 p.m. at American Legion Post 30 in Fergus Falls. For more information you can e-mail coach Winter at [email protected]
or call 320-815-1688.
|Tuesday, March 25, 2008|
As the Major League Baseball season begins in Japan (I'm watching the first game as I write this), plans are beginning to unfold for youth baseball here at home.
Firs, the MLB scene. The Red Sox and A's are playing a pair of games in Tokyo, today and tomorrow (5:00 a.m. first pitch each day), as the season begins in Japan for a third time in the last ten years. Daisuke Matsuzaka who won 128 games and recorded over 1,400 strikeouts playing in the Japanese League, is pitching for Boston in the opener. Red Sox reliever Hideki Okajima and Oakland catcher Matt Suzuki are also playing in their home country.
The Twins open at home next Monday, March 31, against Torii Hunter and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. It will be strange to see Hunter patrolling center field at the Metrodome in something other than a Twins uniform. We will also get our first look at his replacement, Carlos Gomez, who beat out Denard Span and Jason Pridie for the starting job. Other new faces in the starting lineup will include Delmon Young in left field, Mike Lamb at third base, Adam Everett at shortstop and Brendan Harris at second base. Another newcomer to Minnesota, but a veteran pitcher, Livan Hernandez will be the opening day starter. In an off season that saw Hunter and Johan Santana leave through free agency, the Twins were able to keep their closer. On Monday they signed Joe Nathan to a three year contract extension through 2011, with an option for 2012. That enables the club to keep one of the best bullpens in the game, together. I believe the Twins will be very competitive in the AL Central this season. True, Detroit and Cleveland will be very good, although, I'm not sold on the Tigers pitching staff or the Indians depth on the mound. I don't think the White Sox are as good as the Twins and the Royals are an improving team but not yet ready to challenge. I admit that I am an optimist when it comes to the Twins, but they have improved their offense, their bullpen is still among the best, and their young pitching is very intriguing. It should be an enjoyable season. They may not make the playoffs, but they will be fun to watch. John Gordon may have said it best, "They may not contend, but they will definitely compete."
Speaking of John Gordon, the voice of the Twins joins me on Talkin' Sports every Wednesday at 7:20 a.m. on AM 1250, KBRF. Following the program, which is sponsored by McDonald's of Fergus Falls, Kevin Johanson
, LPL Financial Adviser, will be giving away two tickets to a Minnesota Twins home game. You can become eligible by correctly answering a Twins Trivia question which will be appearing on the home page of www.craigolsonsports.com
every week. A drawing among all correct answers submitted will determine the winner of the tickets.
Now, for the local scene. Mike Gaustad, a 2003 graduate of Fergus Falls High School and a 2007 graduate of Bethel College, is back in Fergus Falls. Mike will be doing some coaching at the Babe Ruth level this summer, along with his father, Dave Gaustad. He is also coordinating the Lakes Area Baseball Camp for a second straight year. The camp is going to be held Saturday, April 26 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Sunday, April 27 from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at American Legion Field at DeLagoon Park in Fergus Falls. The cost is $100.00 per participant and is open to baseball players entering the first year of kid pitch (Dwarf League) through high school.
"The goal of this camp is to provide participants with personal instruction on the fundamentals of throwing, pitching, catching, fielding, running, and hitting," said Gaustad. "Also, new this year, each participant will be videotaped in the batting cage with personal hitting instruction, as well as written feedback. The camp will concentrate on small group instruction which will provide an outstanding opportunity for quality instruction and learning."
Registration forms are available at the Fergus Falls Parks and Recreation Department on South Peck Street in Fergus Falls. For more information or to sign up you can call Mike Gaustad at 218-205-0948 or e-mail Mike at [email protected]
If your registration form is received by April 12, you will receive a complimentary Lakes Area Baseball Camp T-shirt.
Dan Prischmann, who does such a great job with the Babe Ruth and Traveling teams in Fergus Falls, has provided us with a list of important dates for those teams, as well as tryout dates for the Park and Recreation Leagues.
April 9th at 6:30 p.m. the Lakes District 208 Babe Ruth organizational meeting will be held at the Pelican Rapids High School. On April 14th at 7:30 p.m. the 2008 Fergus Falls Babe Ruth and Traveling 12 Y/O's Youth Baseball informational meeting will be held at the Fergus Falls Middle School Cafeteria.
Tryouts will begin at Monday, April 28th at 5:30 p.m. at Broadway Park with tryouts for 10 and 11 year olds (Dwarf League). On Wednesday, April 20th at 5:30 p.m., once again at Broadway Park, tryouts for 12 and 13 year olds (in-house league and Traveling teams) will be held.
Prischmann advises that players may be involved in both the Parks and Recreation League and as a member of a traveling team, however, two league players are strongly urged to not pitch in both leagues. There will be a strict 10-innings per week limit enforced.
Wednesday and Thursday, May 7th and 8th at 6:30 p.m. at American Legion Field, the Fergus Falls Babe Ruth League tryouts for 14 and 15 year olds will be held. Two separate teams will be selected on these dates.
If you have further questions or need more information you can e-mail Dan Prischmann at [email protected]
|Friday, March 21, 2008|
|Draxten Receives More Honors|
Fergus Falls High School senior Hannah Draxten has received more honors.
Draxten, who finished her girls basketball career with 2,364 points and 1,039 rebounds has been selected to the Associated Press All State second team and was named to the St. Paul Pioneer Press All State team. She also made the Class 3A State Tournament team, scoring 23 points and grabbing 13 rebounds in the Otters overtime loss to Minnehaha Academy.
Draxten will represent Section 8AA as the girls Triple A award winner at the state competition which will be held during the State Boys Basketball Tournament.
|Sunday, March 16, 2008|
|Girls BB Team Welcomed Home, Super Sunday Results|
The Fergus Falls girls basketball team was welcomed home by fans and the High School pep band on Sunday afternoon.
Fans heard from Activities Director Gary Schuler, Head Girls Basketball Coach Dave Rund, the eight senior players on the team and their two senior student managers. All offered thanks to fans, the band and the community of Fergus Falls for their awesome support during the entire season and especially during their post season run.
Superintendent Jerry Ness received a pair of plaques for the trophy case, one for the Section 8AAA championship and the other a participation plaque for the State Class AAA Tournament.
The Otters were serenaded one last time by the pep band, playing Maroon and Gold and their signature song, Hey Baby.
By the way, Totino-Grace beat DeLasalle 53-40 to win the Class AAA State title on Saturday. Rogers took third place with a 65-52 win over Minnehaha Academy.
The annual Super Sunday youth hockey tournament, sponsored by the Fergus Falls Hockey Association, was held on Sunday, March 16 at the Fairgrounds Ice Arena. Three Termite division champions were crowned, a championship and third place game were held for the Mites and the four Squirt teams were divided into two teams for a title game.
At the Squirt level, the combined team of Rotary and Fergus Tire defeated the Service Food / Noon Kiwanis team by a score of 7-4. Ean Goos had a hat trick in the game, while Kyler Peterson scored a pair of goals and Peter Johnson and Lauren Norgren each notched one goal for the winners. Ryan Smith assisted on Norgren's tally. Service Food / Noon Kiwanis goals came from Abby Hobbs, Brady Halvorson, Alex Phillipe and Mitchell Toso. Phillipe also assisted on a goal.
In the Mite Division, McDonalds won the title game 7-5 over Otter Risers. For McDonalds, Brady Kampsula scored five goals, including the final goal of the game into an empty net. He also assisted on goals by Adam Swanson and Tanner Stadum. Carter Randklev scored a hat trick and assisted on another goal to lead the Otter Risers. Sophie Rausch and Brandon Hatlestad scored their other goals.
Third place in the Mite Division went to Godfather's Pizza with a 5-2 victory over Shoremaster. After a scoreless first period, Jakob Brimhall got Godfather's on the board and Riley Sheridan scored from Hunter Eldien to start the second period. Nate Longtin of Shormaster cut the lead in half before Logan Wentworth scored from Sheridan and Sheridan scored an unassisted goal with only eighteen seconds left in the second period to put the score at 4-1 at the intermission break. Wentworth netted a fifth goal of Godfather's and Brad Moxness scored for Shormaster in the third period.
In the Termite Division:
AMP Insurance won the Beginners game 6-2 over Bremer Bank, with Brady Lill scoring five times. Makenna Stenstrom had the other AMP goal. Colton Partain and Wyatt Goetz scored for Bremer Bank.
Security State Bank was a 4-3 winner over Ottertail Telcom in the Intermediate game. Tyson Rieken scored twice, Gavin Lindberg tallied on a breakaway and got another goal on a one-on-three play for Security State. Ottertail Telcom goals came from Alex Hastings, Chance Fazio and Ben Palmer.
In the Advanced game, Westridge Dental Center beat SunMart 6-2 with Declan Young scoring four goals. Andrew Johnson and Ian Richards each scored once. For SunMart, goals were scored by Maddie Koep and Cole Knudson.
|Thursday, March 13, 2008|
|Golden Gloves Boxing, Hockey Honors|
The Fergus Falls Boxing Club will host Golden Gloves action on the main floor at the Fergus Falls Eagles Ship on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. Several local fighters will compete in various weight categories with boxers from all over Minnesota and the Dakotas. Fergus Falls boxers include Tyler Hultin, Jesse Wannamaker and Bruce Butler.This event helps to subsidize annual club expenses. The public is encouraged to attend and concessions will be provided.
It was earlier announced that Fergus Falls senior Cody Peck and sophomore Lucas Gervais were both honorable mention selections to the Associated Press Boys Hockey team. Now, Peck has been chosen as a first team forward on the 2007-2008 All-Section 6A team. Gervain was an honorable mention choice.
The other first team forwards are sophomore Beau Hanowski and junior Ben Hanowski of Little Falls. Defensemen are Izaak Berglund, a junior from Little Falls, and junior Marvin Wensman of Alexandria. Junior goalie Matt Hemingway of Alexandria is the first team goalkeeper.
Four Fergus Falls girls players received honorable mention selections to the A.P. All-State team. Forwards Hannah Anderson, Erika Magnusson and Cristina Masten are joined by goalie Jeni Grugel on the list. Magnusson was earlier named to the All Central Lakes Conference team, while Masten, Grugel, Anderson and Tayler Vatnsdal were CLC honorable mention choices.
|Tuesday, March 11, 2008|
|MSHSL Girls State Tournament Preview|
Wednesday night at 8:00 p.m. all eyes will be on the Fergus Falls girls basketball team as they make their first ever state tournament appearance. The game will be broadcast on AM 1250, KBRF beginning with a 7:15 p.m. pregame show. Several busloads of fans will be heading to Target Center at 3:30 Wednesday afternoon.
As they have done many times through the years, JK Sports is making championship t-shirts available to fans. They will be on sale Wednesday morning beginning at 7:45 a.m. at the Fergus Falls High School Activities Office. All proceeds go to help defer the state tournament cost for the Otters.
St. Paul Central is the only team returning to defend its 2007 title. The Minutemen, who are making their ninth tournament appearance, will defend their Class AAAA championship. Eight teams are making first appearances: New Life Academy of Woodbury, Lake of the Woods of Baudette, Cedar Mountain/Comfrey, Southwest Star Concept of Okabena, Wrenshall, Hinckley-Finlayson, Fergus Falls, and St. Cloud Tech.
This is the 12th year of the four-class format and the fifth year with all games being played in Minneapolis. This is also the second year that the Class AAA and Class AAAA tournaments were seeded by the participating coaches.
The 2008 State Girls’ Basketball Tournament starts Wednesday, March 12, with quarterfinal games being played at Target Center and Williams Arena in Minneapolis, as well as Thursday, March 13 at Williams Arena only. Semifinals start at Target Center on Thursday, March 13, and conclude on Friday, March 14. The championship games of all four classes will be played at Target Center on Saturday March 15. Third-place games will be played on Saturday at Concordia University in St. Paul.
Class AAA Preview
(No. 8 Seed-Section 1) Austin (20-7) vs. (No. 1 Seed-Section 6) DeLaSalle, Minneapolis (27-1): The unranked Packers of Austin return after a three-year absence to make their third appearance. Senior Jenni Fisher leads the Packers with 8.6 points per game. Fisher also led the Big Nine Conference with her 47.7 percent three-point shooting. The top-ranked DeLaSalle Islanders are making their third consecutive and overall tournament appearance. They earned runner-up honors in 2007. DeLaSalle did not provide team or individual statistics.
(No. 5 Seed-Section 8) Fergus Falls (23-5) vs. (No. 4 Seed-Section 4) Minnehaha Academy, Minneapolis (26-3): The Otters of Fergus Falls, who were No. 6 in the final AP poll, are making their debut tournament appearance. Senior Hannah Draxten has more than 2,300 career points and 1,000 career rebounds. She’s the team’s top scorer, averaging 20.4 points per game. Fergus Falls shoots 44.1 percent from the field and 29.9 percent from three-point range. The Redhawks of Minnehaha Academy return after a two-year hiatus to make their third appearance. They were ranked No. 3 in this year’s final AP poll. Senior Megan Erlandson leads the team with 15.3 points per game. Junior Sarah Peterson and sophomore Rachel Hansen add 14.4 and 14.2 points per game, respectively.
(No. 7 Seed-Section 2) Marshall (20-7) vs. (No. 2 Seed-Section 5) Rogers (26-3): The unranked Marshall Tigers are making their sixth appearance and first since 2006. The school also made one additional appearance as Marshall/Marshall Area Christian. If the Tigers win it would be their third title; they won previously in 2001 and 2002. This year’s team shoots 37.6 percent from behind the arc and averages 62.6 points per game. Senior Anna Full is Marshall’s top scorer. She averages 17.9 points per game and has 1,018 career points. The Royals of Rogers are also returning after a one-year hiatus. This is their second appearance and they come in ranked No. 2 in the final AP poll. Senior Casey Mann, who is the team’s leading scorer with 16.2 points per game, has more than 2,000 career points and 600 career steals (3.9 per game). The Royals enter the tournament on a 14-game win streak.
(No. 6 Seed-Section 7) Grand Rapids (25-4) vs. (No. 3 Seed-Section 3) Totino-Grace, Fridley (25-3): According to the final AP poll, the Grand Rapids Thunderhawks enter the tournament as the No. 10 team. They are making their second appearance, but first since 1998. This year’s squad averages 57.3 points per game and shoots from 42.4 percent from the field. Senior Ashley Runge scores an average of 15.7 points per game. Totino-Grace, which lost in the quarterfinals of the 2007 tournament, returns to make its second consecutive and fourth overall appearance. The Eagles were ranked No. 5 in the final AP poll. Totino-Grace did not submit team or individual statistics.
The Class AAA Quarterfinal Schedule — Wednesday, March 12
6:00 p.m. — Austin vs. DeLaSalle at Target Center
8:00 p.m. — Fergus Falls vs. Minnehaha Academy at Target Center
6:00 p.m. — Marshall vs. Rogers at Williams Arena, U of M
8:00 p.m. — Grand Rapids vs. Totino-Grace at Williams Arena, U of M
|Tuesday, March 4, 2008|
|Busack Helps Lady Gophers to Big Ten Title|
The University of Minnesota women’s swimming and diving team broke 14 school records and won five events to win the Big Ten Championship, February 24 in Columbus, Ohio. The Gophers scored 660.5 points beat out Michigan, who had 609 points, followed by Indiana in third with 513 points.
Junior Stacy Busack, a Fergus Falls High School alum, was named first team All Big Ten in the 400 medley relay which the Gophers won with a new school record time of 3:34.16. She was also on the 200 medley relay team which set a new school record with a time of 1:39.73, placing fourth, and the 400 freestyle relay team which set a new school record with a time of 3:18.28, also placing fourth. Busack swam on the 200 freestyle relay team, taking third place with a new school record time of 1:30.24. She also set two individual school records with a second place in the 100 freestyle (48.89) and a third place in the 50 freestyle (22.47). Busack’s time in the 100 freestyle is an NCAA qualifying time.
Fergus Falls swimming coach Tom Uvaas told me he was able to spend an hour visiting with Stacy at the State Class A Boys Swimming and Diving championships this past weekend and that his swimmers also spent over two hours talking swimming with her. Stacy is one of the most focused, goal-oriented, committed people I have ever come in contact with. She has worked diligently toward attaining her goals since she started the sport of swimming as an elementary student and is accomplishing some outstanding things in collegiate competition. In an age where people have fewer and fewer role models to look to, Stacy is one that we in Fergus Falls can be very proud of.
Fergus Falls senior Hannah Draxten has received more honors. Hannah, who recently pulled down her 1,000th career rebound, has been named as a candidate for the 2008 Miss Basketball Award in Minnesota. The announcement for the Five Finalists will be made just prior to the Girls State Tournament next week. The winner will be announced at the 34th Annual Awards Banquet which will be held on Sunday, April 27, at 5:00 p.m. at the Minneapolis Marriott West.
The other finalists are Kelsey Jacobson (Moorhead), Jordyn Sears (St. Cloud Tech), Brianna Mastey (Becker), Kamille Wahlin (Crookston), Jackie Voigt (Park of Cottage Grove), Casey Mann (Rogers), Kiara Strickland (Roosevelt), Jenny Gilbertson (Winona Cotter), Ephesia Holmes (Minneapolis South), Renae Henjum (New London-Spicer), Melissa Fitz (Minneapolis Southwest), Andrea Holler (Eagan), Brittney McSparron (Eastview), Sara Amity-Palenschat (Christ’s Household of Faith), Ali Schwartzwald (St. Francis), Alison Johnson (St. Louis Park), Emily Becken (Centennial), Kiara Allums (Centennial), Becca Friestleben (Holy Family), Georgie Jones (St. Paul Central), Kiara Buford (St. Paul Central), Krista Kaput (Hill-Murray), Amanda Viehauser (Armstrong), Megan Myhre (Barnum), Alexis Montgomery (Cannon Falls), Stephanie Sension (Hopkins), Caitlin Rowland (Hopkins), Faith Tinklenberg (Pipestone), Devin Diedrich (Braham), Casey Christian (Prior Lake), Courtney Boylan (Chaska), Jenny Noreen (Albany) and Jennie Sunnarborg (Osseo).
Draxten was also one of twelve Minnesota High School Girls Basketball players nominated for the McDonald’s All American High School Basketball teams that will compete in the 2008 games at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. None of the Minnesota nominees were chosen for the tournament. Draxten was joined on the list of Minnesota nominees by Miss Basketball of Minnesota candidates Wahlin, Buford, Gilbertson, Jones, Allums, Boylan and Mastey. Nicole Mastey (Becker) and Alisha Moritz (Crosby-Ironton) were also nominees for the McDonald’s High School teams.