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Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Congratulations Perham!
Congratulations are in order for Perham High School as they have been named the latest winner of the Minnesota State High School League's Challenge Cup competition for small-schools.  The award is presented to the school that enjoyed the most success in their sports programs over the last school year.
 
Schools earn points for placing in postseason tournaments and Perham was helped by titles in boys' cross country and girls' gymnastics.  In all, the Yellowjackets scored 548 points in 12 activities.
 
On Friday night, prior to their football clash with Pelican Rapids, Perham will link its present athletic success of winning the MSHSL Challenge Cup to the past athletic glory and success of the 1950's and early 1960's with the induction of the 2008 class of the Perham Athletic Hall of Fame.  The night will be full of stars from the past and present.
 
This year's induction class will be Ed Grimm (Class of '51), Ray Schmitz (Class of '51), Kenny Nelson (Class of '59) and Ed Winjum (Class of '63).  The induction will take place at halftime of the game at Ted Meinhover Field.  Following the game there will be a reception at Mulligan's Pub and Eatery at Perham Lakeside Golf Course.
 
You may have noticed the new look to www.craigolsonsports.com as we enter our tenth year on the web with the beginning of the 2008-2009 school year.  I hope you like the new look and that you spend some time navigating through the site, familiarizing yourself with the new layout.  Darren Rogness does a tremendous job with all the graphics and design.  I couldn't do it without him!!  Profiles of the Perham Athletic Hall of Fame members and biographies of members of the Fergus Falls Chamber of Commerce Athletic Hall of Fame will be appearing in the days to come as we have added this feature to the site.  A long time in the planning and now becoming reality.  We will also be providing live internet coverage of all Spartan basketball games again this winter for a third straight season.  Thanks to MSCTC-Fergus Falls and the Spartan Athletic Boosters for their major role in making this possible. 
 
It's hard to believe I've had a presence on the world wide web for ten years!  It has been very educational, very challenging, very exciting, very time consuming, and very much worth it!!  To do what you love to do for an occupation is a real blessing and I feel very blessed with the opportunity to cover area high school and collegiate sports and athletes in this manner and through my years with Lakes Radio.  I just wish I had the same energy level I had back in 1981 when my wife and I moved to Fergus Falls because we thought it would be a good spot to spend a few years!!  Two sons, two grandsons and 27 years later, we're still here!!  Thanks to the tremendous support of the advertisers you see on my website.  Without their participation in what we are doing, it wouldn't be happening.  Of course, thanks to all of the visitors to my site.  The numbers astound me.  I appreciate you consistently checking the site for updated information and it has always been my pledge to you that I will do whatever is humanly possible to get information posted in a timely fashion.  I have stated it here before and to coaches every season that I rely heavily on them for information to be able to present stories about their teams to their fans.  The vast majority of the coaches have been outstanding in providing that information to me consistently and for that I am truly thankful!  Now, bring on the next ten years!  Let's get to it!  Drop me an e-mail sometime at [email protected] and remember, the NFL Prediction Contest and Athlete of the Week, both sponsored by Olson Oil Company, return this week!
Posted By Craig Olson
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Jobe and Hurley Honored
Fergus Falls swimmers Nathan Jobe and Mike Hurley, who turned in All-American Consideration times last winter have both been recognized as All-Americans.  It's the first time members of the Otter boys swimming team have received such an honor.  Stacy Busack did it for the Otter girls in both the 50 and 100 freestyle events.
 
Jobe was recognized for his time of 21.40 seconds in the 50 freestyle and Hurley was honored for swimming a time of 1:56.2 in the 200 IM.
 
John Page recorded his fifth career hole-in-one when he aced the par 3, 142-yard second hole at Pebble Lake Golf Club in Fergus Falls on August 18, using a seven-iron.  Witnesses were Dave Siems, Snook Harworth and John Fitzgerald.
 
Final results are in from the 2008 Fergus Falls Chamber of Commerce golf scramble held on Friday at Pebble Lake.  The team of Jon Anderson, Rick Anderson, Chris Anderson and Jeff Mauch took first place with a score of 55.  Cory Thompson, Scott DeBrito and Brad Christenson won a scorecard playoff for second place with a 58 and the team of Tyson Hajieck, Roger Fenstad, Kent Ritterman and Hugh Veit settled for third with their 58.
 
Contest winners at the event were Jay Johnson for closest to the pin on the second hole, Jerry Shea for longest putt on the fourth hole, John Svingen for closest to the pin on third shot on the fifth hole, Matt McGovern for longest drive for men on the seventh hole, Jason Anderson for longest putt on the ninth hole, Steve Emerson for longest putt on the twelfth hohle, Stacey Woods for longest drive for women on the fourteenth hole, Chris Anderson for closest to the pin on the fifteenth hole, Bernie Dague for longest putt on the seventeenth hole and Brad Christenson for closest to the pin with a second shot on the eighteenth hole.
 
The Pot O' Gold and Labor Day Classic will be held on the earliest possible dates (August 30, 31, and September 1) this year.  Pairings will be announced this weekend.
Posted By Craig Olson
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Football Scrimmage Set at Hillcrest
The 2008 Hillcrest Lutheran Academy Football Scrimmage will be held this Saturday beginning at 9:00 a.m.
 
The Comets will be joined by Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley, Brandon-Evansville, Chokio-Alberta/Herman-Norcross, Ashby, Ulen-Hitterdal and Wheaton.  Junior varsity teams will also be participating.
 
Each team will have eleven minutes on offense and eleven minutes on defense.  Teams will start from the 35 yard line and go towards each goal line with no first downs allowed.  Each team will face three opponents with the scrimmage finishing up just before noon.
 
The ninth annual Lee Franklin Maroon and Gold Golf Tournament is scheduled for Saturday, September 6 at the Pebble Lake Golf Club in Fergus Falls.  A 9:30 a.m. shotgun start is planned.  Proceeds will go to the Lee Franklin Memorial Scholarship Program, and the Fergus Falls High School hockey team.  For registration forms contact Leigh Gervais at [email protected] or Missy Johnson at 218-589-8441.
Posted By Craig Olson
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
More Golf Events, Girls Swimming Fund Raiser
There are several charity golf events every summer and August and September are busy months for these events.
 
The Sixth Annual Jeff Dahlen Memorial Golf Tournament is this Saturday, August 16 at Tipsinah Mounds Golf Course near Elbow Lake.  This is a 4-person scramble with a cost of $45.00 per person, $35.00 for 18 and under.  Prizes will be presented for top teams and their will special events on the course.  It's an 11:00 a.m. shotgun start with proceeds going to Ashby Athletice in memory of Jeff Dahlen.  For questions or to sign up call 218-747-2257.
 
The Fergus Falls Chamber of Commerce is hosting their fourth annual golf scramble on Friday, August 22 at Pebble Lake Golf Club in Fergus Falls.  The cost is $90.00 per player, $360.00 for a foursome with eight spots remaining in the tournament for groups of four golfers.  Golf registration fees include a cart, green fees, entry in the grand prize and door prize drawings, dinner and fun on the course.  Call the chamber office at 736-6951 if you have questions or would like to register.
 
The Fergus Falls girls swimming and diving team is holding a car wash this Thursday from one to six p.m. as a fund raiser.  The car wash will be held in the Pamida and Tires Plus parking lots.
Posted By Craig Olson
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Fall Sports Begin, Lady Spartans to Host Volleyball Pals
The fall sports season officially begins on Monday, August 11 when practice begins.
 
Fergus Falls football coach Richard Risbrudt has asked us to remind students entering grades 9 through 12 that practice will start with an 8:30 a.m. team meeting on Monday in the Fergus Falls High School choir room.  All registration papper work must be completed and the activity fee paid at the high school activity office prior to a player being allowed to participate.  Players that did not receive their football equipment from Carl Prischmann earlier this summer can do so Monday morning from 7:30 to 8:15 a.m..  Players should enter the high school on the east side of the gymnasium and proceed to the football equipment room below.  The two-a day practices will be held consecutively each morning from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for the first two weeks of the season.  Players should bring a sack lunch and drink for the break held between practice sessions at 10:30 a.m. 
 
Fergus Falls offers football, volleyball, boys and girls cross country, girls tennis, girls swimming, and boys and girls soccer in the fall.  There is one new head coach at FFHS this fall as Lowell Carpenter moves up from coaching junior varsity boys soccer, replacing Ben Jurgens who resigned from the head coaching position at the end of last season. 
 
The 2008 Lady Spartan Volleyball Team invites students entering elementary grades 1 through 6 this fall to participate in the 5th Annual Spartan Volleyball Pal Camp.  The camp is sponsored by American Federal Bank, Lake Area Docks and Lifts, Park Region Telephone-0tter Tail Telcom, ShoreMaster, and Ziegler Cat.  The camp will run Wednesday, August 13 and Thursday, August 14 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.  The cost is twelve dollars per person with participants receiving a volleyball, a Volleyball Pal t-shirt and free admission to all Lady Spartan home games just for wearing the t-shirt. 
 
The Lady Spartans will be demonstrating and teaching volleyball fundamentals (passing, setting, hitting, and serving).  Head Coach Terri Strom will be assisted by Assistant Coach Renae Rasmusson and members of her team.  For more information or to sign up you can contact Coach Strom at 320-760-9340.
 
The Minnesota Museum of Broadcasting will induct Minnesota Twins radio play-by-play voice John Gordon into its Hall of Fame at an October ceremony.  Gordon has worked with the Twins for 22 seasons.  He formed a memorable tandem with Herb Carneal for many of those years.  Gordon is one of six members being inducted this year.  The ceremony will be held on October 11 at the Metropolitan Ballroom in Golden Valley.
Posted By Craig Olson
Monday, August 4, 2008
Golf and Softball Highlights
Some golf and softball highlights making the sports news in early August.
 
The 2008 Pebble Lake Golf Club Junior Club Championship was held on Monday.  Madison Houska won the Girls 12-14 year old division with a 77.  Boys winners were Trevor Gervais (15-18) with a 73, Keaton Lausch (12-14) with an 81 and Jack Nathe (11 & under) with a 49.
 
The season long Monday Junior Series champions were Megan Niblock (Girls 12-14), Connor Lausch (Boys 15-18), Chris Swenson (Boys 12-14) and Will Haas (Boys 11 & under).
 
Kurt Nygaard reports that his Eagles/Indigo Sign slow pitch softball team participated in the Mens Masters (35 and older) State Slowpitch tournament this past weekend in Mankato.  The team finished in 2nd place, losing only to the Mankato #1 team. 
 
The team enjoyed a first game bye and then won by the 12 run rule over Sauk Rapids #1 and then beat Brainerd #1 on Saturday night to put them into the undefeated bracket.   Sunday, they started out by losing to Mankato #1, defeated Brainerd #1 again and then falling to Mankato #1, 15-12 in the championship.   The local team would have had to beat them twice in a row to take the crown. 

 

There were 3 teams from the St. Cloud / Sauk Rapids area, 2 from Mankato, 2 from Brainerd, 2 from Bloomington, 1 from New Brighton, 1 from Winona and the Fergus Falls team, making for a strong 12 team field. 

 

“We played the best softball we have played in a State tournament in many years,” noted Nygaard.  “We had solid defense and clutch hitting all weekend.” 

 

Team Members for this 2008 State Finalist team included Joey Andreason, Troy Andreason, Jeff Baron, Monte Fredrickson, Keith Hanson, Kurt Nygaard, Reid Olson, Ward Olson, Paul Ratz, Dave Sillerud, Bud Sjolie, and Chad Swenson

 

Winning top honors in the Fergus Falls Women’s slowpitch league last Tuesday night was Willie’s Supermarket.  Seeded first, the team out of Morris, Minnesota, lost early Tuesday night to second seeded Fergus Falls American Legion team.  Pairing up later in the evening, the Legion lost and the two teams met in their third and final game of the night, the winner taking home the plaque for District Tournament champions, as well as first place during the season.   The Legion team was ahead most of the game until the bottom of the seventh, with two outs, the out of towners came back, winning 13-12.  Willie’s supermarket team is made up of Morris area residents and University of Minnesota Morris students, including local resident, and former Otter fastpitch player Heather Briese.

 

 
 

 

Posted By Craig Olson
Friday, August 1, 2008
Baseball Heaven
I have been in Baseball Heaven this week!  Five baseball fans (all guys), leaving family for eight days, traveling in a Chevy Trailblazer, sharing hotel rooms, talking a lot of baseball and visiting four outdoor ballparks and the Baseball Hall of Fame.  Does it get any better than that for baseball fans? 
 
We left Fergus Falls Sunday at 7:00 a.m., arrived in Chicago at about 5:30 p.m., ate some deep dish pizza, got to bed at a decent time (after walking around downtown for awhile), left before 6:00 a.m. Monday for Cleveland, checked into hotel #2 around 3:00 p.m. (after an impromptu stop at Notre Dame which was fun), and then caught the Indians and Tigers at Jacobs Field (it's officially Progressive Field, but will always be Jacobs Field to me).  Paul Byrd pitched a complete game shutout as the Indians won 5-0.  We didn't know it at the time, but Ivan Rodriguez would play only one more game as a Detroit Tiger.  The Italian Sausage with peppers and onions was the group favorite!
 
We departed Cleveland at 6:00 a.m. Tuesday and arrived in Cooperstown, New York, site of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, where we spend a day touring the museum, stopping at some of the unique baseball themed shops, and relaxing at the Terrace Motor Inn overlooking Lake Otsego.  What a great spot!!  That day flew by and before we knew it we were on our way to Boston and Fenway Park.  Every baseball fan wants to eventually see two parks in their lifetime ... Fenway is one and Wrigley Field in Chicago is the other.  I can now check that off my list of things to get done!  Fenway was everything I hoped it would be and to top it off, the Angels whipped the Red Sox 9-2 with former Twin Torii Hunter hitting a solo homer.  We also saw the debut of first baseman Mark Teixeira, who the Angels acquired in a trade with Atlanta on Tuesday night.  Fenway food was good, although I rate it third so far on my personal preference list.  The only negative I can think of is the seats are cramped.  Not much leg room at all, no cup holders and some seats are obstructed by steel beems, but hey, it's an OLD park.  The atmosphere is hard to beat, although I came away feeling that the atmosphere at Wrigley Field was still the best I have experienced in the major leagues.  The fans really got into Neil Diamond's 'Sweet Caroline' in the middle of the eighth inning and that was fun!
 
From Fenway Park to Yankee Stadium.  Thursday night, the Angels moved on to New York and we went along for the ride.  They manhandled the Yankees, pounding out 18 hits in a 12-6 win. The Angels hit three 3-run homers in the game (one by Hunter) and believe me, that doesn't happen often!!  I think the last time the Angels accomplished that feat was 1979.  Prior to the game as we walked around the stadium and saw the new stadium under construction, we decided to have a group picture taken so we looked for a trustworthy photographer.  We saw a man in a Minnesota Gophers shirt and thought he was the guy.  He agreed to snap the photo and we had a pleasant conversation with him.  Turns out he is from Monticello and was out in New York with family.  His kids were student-athletes at Staples and he said they are very familiar with this website.  The gentlemen's name was Ken Anderson and we sure appreciate his assistance.  It's always fun to run into people from your home area when you are on the road.  The only disappointment at Yankee Stadium was the fact that we didn't get to see Monument Park as there were so many people lined up that they turned thousands away due to time constraints.  Viewing of the Monuments takes place from the time the gates open (2 hours prior to game time) to 45 minutes before game time.  Too many people, not enough time.
 
Well, the alarm clock goes off in about 4 1/2 hours as we head for Washington, D.C., where the Nationals host the Cincinnati Reds Friday night.  We were excited to see Ken Griffey, Jr., however, now he is a member of the White Sox, which doesn't excite any of us.  We are looking forward to seeing the newest ballpark on our list and of course to watching more baseball.  We are also staying with my brother and his family, which will be a real treat for me!!  We are very thankful for their offer to host us on this leg of our trip.  He's even going to grill up some burgers and dogs for us!!  Should be a fun day.  Not much rest, though, as we head to Indianapolis on Saturday to see a AAA minor league game between the Indians and the Toledo Mudhens in what is called the best Minor League Ballpark in America.  That will be a long travel day, as will Sunday as we head back to Fergus Falls.  We've been looking forward to this trip for several months and so far it has gone very well.  Like I said earlier, to a baseball fan, it doesn't get much better than this!  Plus, the Twins are winning and are just 1/2 game behind Chicago as I write this!!  Wow, it's August 1st!! Where has the summer gone!
Posted By Craig Olson
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