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Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Planning to Watch Hannah, Congratulations Megan Johnson
Former Otter Hannah Draxten will play at Williams Arena on Sunday, February 8 at 2:00 p.m. when her Iowa Hawkeyes battle the Minnesota Gophers.  A large group of Fergus Falls fans will be in attendance when Hannah hits the floor at the "Barn".  Here's a chance for you to be a part of that crowd.
 
The Otter girls basketball team and coaches will be at the game and there has been some interest expressed in getting a fan bus to go along with the team.  The cost for the bus would range from $26 to $37 per person, depending on the number of people on the bus.  A minimum of 32 people would be needed to commit to the bus.  The game tickets and meals are not included in this price.  The bus would load at 9:15 a.m. and leave at 9:30 a.m. from the Fergus Falls senior high school parking lot and would return home after the game.  If you would like a seat on the bus, please contact Pam Olson by Friday, January 30.  Her phone number is 736-6558 or you can e-mail [email protected].
 
Concordia College Athletic Director Larry Papenfuss has announced that Megan Johnson has been named the new women's fastpitch softball coach for the Cobbers.  Johnson takes over for Stacey Holm who left to take a job at NDSU.  Johnson assumes the head coaching position after spending the past two seasons as the team's assistant coach.  She played for the Cobbers from 1999 to 2002 and graduated from Concordia in 2002.  She was a four-year member of the fastpitch team.  As a senior Johnson started 30 games as the teams's center fielder and helped Concordia to a fourth place finish in the MIAC.  She also helped the Cobbers post a pair of top three finishes her freshman and sophomore seasons.  After graduating from Concordia, Johnson taught at Fergus Falls High School from 2002 through 2005.  While at Fergus Falls she helped coach the fastpitch softball team as well as the volleyball and girls' hockey teams.  She then moved to Perham High School where she taught from 2006 to 2007.  She was also the head fastpitch softball coach in 2007.  Johnson earned her Master's Degree in Education from Southwest Minnesota State University in 2006.  In addition to her duties as head fastpitch coach, Johnson will also teach in the Health and Physical Education Department.  I have no doubt that Megan will do an outstanding job at Concordia!
Posted By Craig Olson
Monday, January 26, 2009
Cooperative Agreement to End Between Rothsay and Barnesville

The cooperative agreement between Rothsay High School and Barnesville High School will be discontinued after the 2008-2009 school year.  The two schools have been together in football since 1991.  They also participated together in track and field and golf.

 

“It’s been a very positive agreement, it’s just a situation where times change and the people of Rothsay are looking to provide more activities and opportunities for our students,” said Activities Director Ehren Zimmerman.

 

The discussion of discontinuing this arrangement began several years ago with community meetings and school board meetings focusing on providing programs independently and supporting those programs for the long term.

 

“When you look at a situation like this at a time when a lot of people are making cutbacks, Rothsay is looking to make some additions to what we offer,” acknowledged Zimmerman.  “It is a bit of a leap of faith and it’s a huge commitment by everybody in the community and supporters of our public school system.  We need to come together and work for the positive good of our students and the families in our district.”

 

One of the main concerns is enrollment numbers, especially when it comes to football.

 

“The numbers game is always a concern and that was a major part of our discussion,” said Zimmerman.  “We know it will be tight year in and year out, but we’ll work very hard to get kids involved and keep them involved by providing a positive atmosphere and opportunity for those young men.”

 

Zimmerman says it will be a three year process before a varsity football schedule takes shape at Rothsay.  The 2009-2010 season will see Rothsay forming a junior varsity and a junior high team, along with the involvement of their elementary age kids in an established youth football program, possibly the Fergus Falls Area Youth Football Association.  The 2010-2011 season would see a partial junior varsity schedule and partial varsity schedule along with the junior high and  youth programs.  The third year of the plan (2011-2012 season) would hopefully see the Tigers involved in a conference with a full varsity schedule, maintaining a JV schedule, a junior high schedule and the youth program.

 

For the past few years elementary students from both Rothsay and Barnesville have been involved in the Fargo-Moorhead program.  That is a possibility, along with the Breckenridge-Wahpeton area and Fergus Falls.

 

As for the coaching, Zimmerman says, “We would hire three football coaches and will be looking for volunteers to assist throughout the program.  We know it will be a difficult challenge and we’ll be looking for people who have an interest in building a program from the ground up.”

 

Rothsay has adequate facilities to accommodate the addition of a football program.

“We have an excellent facility here and we’ve spent some time in the last couple of years making improvements,” continued Zimmerman.  “We’ve had some junior high and JV games which have brought a great deal of support from fans.  We put new locker rooms in our building a few years ago and have some other changes in mind.  Facility-wise we feel we’re in pretty good shape.”

 

Of course we’ll keep you posted as the Tigers begin their independent programs and will provide coverage of their teams as we currently do for the volleyball and basketball teams at Rothsay.

Posted By Craig Olson
Monday, January 19, 2009
College Update, CLC Recognizes Otter Players
Time for a college update. 
 
Stacy Busack, already a senior at the University of Minnesota, continues her tremendous college swimming career.  The Gophers beat Washington 164.5 to 97.5 on Saturday in Seattle.  They are currently ranked number ten nationally.  Stacy was a member of the winning 200 medley relay team (1:43.63) and also the 440 freestyle relay team (3:25.52).  She won the 100 freestyle (50.88) and placed second in the 50 freestyle (23.80).  The Gophers will host the Quad Duals on January 30 and 31 at the U of M Aquatic Center.  Teams involved are Illinios, Purdue and Wisconsin.
 
Hannah Draxten had a breakout game on Sunday against Northwestern.  The Iowa Hawkeyes handled the Wildcats 74-46 and Hannah scored a career high 13 points in 16 minutes of playing time.  She made 3-of-6 three-pointers and 5-of-9 field goals overall.  She also had two assists and one rebound.  Last Thursday in a 72-62 win over Illinois, Draxten scored 6 points in thirteen minutes on the floor, hitting 2-of-4 from behind the arc.  The freshman from Fergus Falls is averaging 3.4 points per game and 1.8 rebounds per game.  She is hitting 40% of her three-pointers (14/35), the second best percentage on the team.  Her 1.63 assist to turnover ration is the best on the team.  Iowa is 11-7 overall, 4-3 in the Big Ten Conference and 7-1 on their home court.
 
Underwood High School graduate Ashley Samuelson is averaging 5.1 points per game and 4.3 rebounds per game for the Lady Bison who are 7-8 overall and 5-2 in the Summit Conference.  Samuelson is playing 23 minutes per game and is third on the team with 13 steals.
 
More updates later.
 
The Central Lakes Conference Performers of the Week have been announced and two Fergus Falls athletes have been honored for their efforts last week.  Derek Hansen, a senior post player for the Fergus Falls boys basketball team scored 31 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in the Otters win over Alexandria.  Senior defenseman Erika Magnusson led the Fergus Falls girls hockey team to a pair of victories, scoring three goals and adding three assists.
 
Posted By Craig Olson
Friday, January 16, 2009
Otter Boys BB Game at Tech Postponed
The Fergus Falls boys basketball game scheduled to be played tonight at St. Cloud Tech has been postponed.  Tech closed school today due to the cold weather, so their activities are also called off.  The game has been rescheduled for a 2:30 p.m. varsity start on Saturday, January 31st at St. Cloud Tech.
 
The Fergus Falls High School Activities Office is busily trying to reschedule events that were postponed yesterday.  The boys swimming and diving meet at Brainerd was rescheduled to Tuesday, February 3rd at six o'clock.  The girls basketball game in Fergus Falls against St. Cloud Tech will be made up on Tuesday, January 27th.  The girls gymnastics meet at Sauk Rapids-Rice has been rescheduled for Saturday, January 24th at 1:00 p.m.
 
The Little Eight Conference boys basketball game between Parkers Prairie and Rothsay that was called off Thursday night has been rescheduled for Tuesday, February 3rd in Rothsay.
 
We will continue to keep you posted on rescheduled events and postponements as we are informed by the schools. 
Posted By Craig Olson
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Krista Shaikoski Receives MCAC Honor
Krista Shaikoski, a sophomore post from Fergus Falls, was named the MCAC Southern Division Player of the Week.  She averaged 20 points, 9 rebounds and 4 steals for the last three games. 
 
Shaikoski is the second leading scorer in the Southern Division, averaging 19.2 points per game, and is fourth in rebounds with 8.9 per game.  She is also second in steals with an average of 3 per game.  Her free throw shooting percentage of 68.9% (51/74) ranks her tenth in the division.
 
Thursday night is a big night for Fergus Falls as the Fergus Falls Marching Band will perform their 'Yankee Doodle Dandy' routine at halftime of the Otter girls basketball game against St. Cloud Tech.  The band will be leaving on Friday for Washington, D.C. and their appearance in the Inaugural Parade on Tuesday.  It would be great to see a packed house for the game and the performance!  The cost is six dollars for adults and four dollars for students.  The varsity contest begins at 7:30 p.m. with the B game scheduled to start at six o'clock Thursday night.  You'll want to get there early for a good seat for the halftime show!
 
The Fergus Falls boys swimming and diving dual meet with Willmar that was postponed Tuesday, will be made up starting at one o'clock Saturday, January 31st at the Fergus Falls Middle School pool.  The Otters were scheduled to go to Brainerd for a dual meet on Thursday but the Warriors have postponed that meet with no makeup date announced at this time.
 
No makeup date has yet been determined for the Nordic Ski event at Little Falls that was also called off on Tuesday.
Posted By Craig Olson
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Otter Football Team Receives $1,000 Check from Vikings
The Fergus Falls Youth football budget has grown by one thousand dollars thanks to a donation from the Minnesota Vikings.
 
Coach Richard Risbrudt received a letter along with the check.  The letter came from Brad Madson, Executive Director of Community Relations/Youth Football for the Vikings.
 
In the letter Madson stated, "Now that the high school football season has concluded, you and your 2008 high school football team are being recognized for your success.  For your efforts, sportscaster Ann Hutchinson, who played a key role in the selection process, announced you as the Minnesota Vikings/KSTP-TV High School Coach of the Week for the seventh week of the season on KSTP-TV's High School Sports Wrap television show.  In honor of you, and your team's victory, we are passing along a check for $1,000 for your football budget, a Vikings High School Coach of the Week hat and official NFL certificate.  While winning is certainly important, we appreciate your excellence in developing well-rounded young people both on and off the field."
 
Congratulations Coach Risbrudt!
Posted By Craig Olson
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