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Thursday, March 26, 2009
Flyers Sign Up
Sign up for the Fergus Falls Flyers Swim Team will be Monday, March 30 and Tuesday, March 31 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. in the Fergus Falls High School cafeteria.
 
There will be swim suits, caps and goggles available for purchase to anyone interested.  A parent or guardian must accompany swimmers to sign forms and pay fees.
 
The 2009 Summer Swim season runs from May 18 through July 19 at a cost of $125.00 per person, plus a $33.00 USS seasonal fee or annual fee of $53.00.  An optional Personal Fitness Program is being offered for $50.00 per person.
 
All practices and training sessions will be held at the YMCA pool due to the construction project at the Fergus Falls Middle School.
 
The only requirement to join is that swimmers must be able to swim one length of the pool (25 meters) comfortably without stopping.
 
Practices will be from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Monday through Friday for 15 and older, except for meet days and holidays, and from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday for 14 and younger, except for meet days and holidays.  All swimmers have the opportunity to participate in meets with an extended season for those competing at State and Champ level meets.
 
The Fergus Falls Flyers are coached by Tom Uvaas, the head coach of the Fergus Falls High School boys and girls teams.  Uvaas has been nominated for both Minnesota Class A Girls Swim Coach of the Year and Minnesota Class A Boys Swim Coach of the Year.
Posted By Craig Olson
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Some Miscellaneous Items

The University of Wisconsin-River Falls Women’s hockey team lost their two games in the NCAA Division III Frozen Four over the weekend.  The team, which is coached by former Fergus Falls hockey player Joe Cranston, finished fourth in the nation after losing 3-0 to Elmira and dropping a 3-2 overtime decision to top-seeded Middlebury on their home ice in the third place game.  “We played very poorly in game one and played great in the second game,” said Cranston.  “We should have won that game by four or five goals but missed four breakaways.  Middlebury scored the game winner with twelve seconds left in overtime.  We had a great season!”

Joe’s older brother, Matt Cranston, coached the St. Croix Valley Fusion girls’ hockey team, a collaborative effort between River Falls, Baldwin-Woodville, St. Croix Central and Spring Valley high schools, to a state championship with a 23-0-1 record.  They became the first undefeated state champion in Wisconsin girls’ high school hockey history. 

The brothers are the only coaches in the history of their respective programs.  Bob Burrows of the River Falls Journal wrote a very nice article on the Cranston’s and you can read it at www.riverfallsjournal.com.

Super Sunday was held this past Sunday at the Fairgrounds Ice Arena in Fergus Falls.  Six youth hockey games were played to mark the end of the house league season.  The tradition of filming the games continued and the games will be broadcast live on Peg Access Television of the next few weeks.  Check their listings at www.pegaccess.com or by watching channel 8.  Here are the results of the games.

TERMITES
BEGINNERS
AMP Insurance 2, Bremer Bank 2
INTERMEDIATE
Ottertail Telcom 5, Security State Bank 0 ADVANCED Sunmart 3, Westridge
Dental 3

MITES
THIRD PLACE
Otter Risers 16, McDonalds 9
CHAMPIONSHIP
Shoremaster 13, Godfather's 5

SQUIRTS
Service Food/Noon Kiwanis 7, Fergus Tire/Rotary 6
(Shootout)

The St. Olaf men’s swimming and diving team finished fourth at the NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving championships at the U of M Aquatic Center March 18-21.  Sophomore Luke Money from Fergus Falls contributed to the finish, which was the best in school history, matching the efforts of the 1986 and 1987 teams.

Head coaches Dave and Bob Hauck, who led the Oles’ to a MIAC title in February, were named coaches of the meet.  The Hauck’s are a father-son coaching combo.

Money was a part of the Oles’ 200 Medley Relay team which swam to a runner-up finish with a school record time of 1:29.82. Luke swam a 22.37 for the 50 butterfly split in prelims, a personal best, then turned in another personal best in the finals with a split time of 22.33 seconds.  Money swam in the 100 butterfly, finishing 27th overall after swimming a 50.74 in the prelims.

Awards from the Minnesota Girls Basketball Coaches Association have been announced.  They are listed below by class.

Class AAAA all-state — Kayla Hirt, Bemidji; Megan Nipe, Centennial; Sam Mehr, Eastview; Kara Elofson, Hopkins; Cassie Rochel, Lakeville North; Tayler Hill, Minneapolis South; Katya Leick, Park (Cottage Grove); Nicole Dooher, Robbinsdale Armstrong; Theairra Taylor, St. Paul Central; Kate Thompson, Wayzata

Class AAAA coach of the year — Paul Goetz, Eastview. Assistant coach of the year — Scott Antl, Centennial

Class AAA all-state — Chrissy Holm, Hill-Murray; Briana Edwards, Minneapolis North; Rachel Hansen, Minnehaha Academy; Kate Loberg, Princeton; Jenny Dowd, Rogers; Brittani Wiese, St. Michael-Albertville; Lizzi Naumann, Totino-Grace; Kelsey Evans, Willmar; Holli Aggen, Worthington; Gabby Boever, Worthington

Class AAA coach of the year — Kent Hamre, St. Michael-Albertville. Assistant coach of the year — Aaron Swanson, Detroit Lakes

Class AA all-state — Laura Melquist, Rochester Lourdes; Alyssa Kerkhoff, New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva; Abby Busch, Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop; Brooke Burmeister, Jackson County Central; Hannah Linz, Eden Valley-Watkins; Katie Pettit, Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted; Amber Dvorak, Hinckley-Finlayson; Brittany Chambers, Jordan; Leah Dietel, Jordan; Ashley Tinglestad, East Grand Forks

Co-Class AA coaches of the year — Scott Sorenson, Caledonia; Mike Dreier, New London-Spicer. Assistant coach of the year — Harold Nelson, West Central Area

Class A all-state — Laura Kolness, Ada-Borup; Katy Ness, Ada-Borup; Nicole Smart, Ada-Borup; Sam Lynn, Adrian; Erica Thier, Adrian; Shelby Gable, Bigfork; Jenna Meissner, Brandon-Evansville; Jessica Benson, Grand Meadow; Bree Holleman, Hancock; Cara Lutes, New Life Academy; Jenny Ramey, New Life Academy; Sari Noga, Parkers Prairie

Class A coach of the year — David Smart, Ada-Borup. Assistant coach of the year — Kevin Nowotny, Adrian

Posted By Craig Olson
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Busack Ends Stellar Swimming Career at U of M
Fergus Falls High School graduate Stacy Busack ended a stellar swimming career for the University of Minnesota on Saturday night as she competed in the 2009 NCAA Division I Women's Swimming and Diving Championship Meet at Texas A & M Universeity in College Station, Texas.
 
Busack's final race as a member of the Gophers was the 400 freestyle relay where she led off the race for the team that finished tenth with a time of 3:15.74.  Meredith McCarthy, Jenny Shaughnessy and Alison Eggers completed the relay team.  Earlier in the evening, Busack swam to a twelfth place (48.58) finish in the 100 freestyle, improving on her 15th place preliminary position.
 
The event started on Thursday with Busack, McCarthy, Kaylee Jamison and Eggers swimming to an eleventh place (1:29.31) finish in the 200 freestyle relay.  Stacy was also on the thirteenth place (3:33.61) 400 medley relay team along with Castina Wabeke, Jillian Tyler and Megan Braun.  Busack did not qualify to swim in the finals of the 50 freestyle, taking 19th place in the prelims with a time of 22.37 seconds.
 
On Friday, the 800 meter freestyle relay team (7:01.02) was fifth.  Shaughnessy, McCarthy and Yuen Kobayashi joined Busack on the team.  The 200 medley relay team was disqualified in the finals after swimming the fifteenth fastest time (1:38.89) in the prelims.  Jenna Lennertz, Tyler and Jamison were on the relay team along with Busack.
 
Minnesota finished eleventh in the team competition with 136 points.  They were the second highest finishing Big Ten team in the meet.  Indiana finished just ahead of them in tenth place.  California won the meet with 411.5 points, followed by Georgia with 405 and Arizona with 389.
 
Busack was competing in her fourth straight NCAA Championship meet.  She was also a key part of the team that took runner-up honors in the Big Ten meet, winning the 100 freestyle with a Big Ten record time of 48.08 seconds, taking second in the 50 freestyle, and placing second in the 200 freestyle.  She was on the winning 400 freestyle relay team, the winning 200 freestyle relay team, and the second place 400 medley relay team.
Posted By Craig Olson
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Shaikoski to Play for Jamestown
Former Otter Krista Shaikoski, who recently completed her Spartan basketball career at M State-Fergus Falls, has decided to attend Jamestown College in Jamestown, North Dakota, continuing her collegiate basketball career with the Jimmies.
 
Shaikoski was the only member of the lady Spartans named to the Women's All-State Team and was named to the Southern All-Division first team.  She averaged 19 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 assists per game her sophomore season.  She made 31.5% (47/149) of her 3-point field goal attempts and shot 70% (91/130) from the free throw line.
 
"I decided to continue playing basketball because I love to play," said Shaikoski. "It has always been a part of my life and has made me the person I am today.  I chose Jamestown because when I visited the campus it really felt like home to me.  I also watched one of their games and really like Coach Wiest's style of coaching and could see myself playing for him.  At this point I am planning on majoring in Health and Fitness Administration."
 
Shak would be a huge plus to any program and will definitely make Jamestown a better basketball team.  I hope she enjoys the experience and meets with great success.  It has been a real privilege to follow her career as a broadcaster and through the web!
 
 
Posted By Craig Olson
Friday, March 20, 2009
March Madness
There are several levels of March Madness.  The Minnesota High School basketball playoffs, the NIT, the NCAA Division I Mens' and Womens' Tournaments, the Division II Regional and National Tournaments and Community College Regional and National Tournaments at the Division I, Division II and Division III levels, are the ones we pay closest attention to, along with the WCHA Final Five and the NCAA Mens' Hockey Tournament.
 
This report on March Madness is going to focus on Community College teams competing at the National Tournament level. 
 
In the Division I Tournament in Hutchinson, Kansas, The NDSCS Wildcat men started play ranked tenth in the nation and beat Southwestern Illinois College 50-49 on Tuesday night.  Southwestern Illinois came into the tournament ranked fifth in the National Poll with a 31-2 record.  In the second round on Wednesday, NDSCS took on thirteenth ranked Salt Lake Community College from Utah (28-6), losing to the Bruins by a score of 91-55.  On Thursday, the Wildcats lost to Lamar Community College of Lamar, Colorado (25-11).  Lamar posted a 77-64 win over NDSCS. 
 
In Coach Scott Schumacher's inaugural year as head coach, the NDSCS Wildcats finished the season with an impressive 31-4 record, clinched the Mon-Dak Conference title with a 13-1 record and became both the Region XII Champions and the District XI Champions. 
 
NDSCS placed three players on the All Mon-Dak Conference Team as James Livingston and Maurice Foster took First-Team Honors and Ridge McKeither was the Conference MVP.  Region XIII All-Tournament honors went to John Kramer, McKeither and Livingston was the Tournament MVP.
 
In the NJCAA Division III National Tournament in Delhi, New York, Minneapolis Community College finished as runners-up.  The Mavericks opened play with a 73-58 win over CCAC Allegheny Cougars from Pennsylvania.  Kenny Olafeso scored 18 and Cortez Wallace added 17 for Minneapolis.  Sean Mayberry had 8 assists and the Mavs held a 32-27 advantage on the boards.  In round two, Kenny Olafeso had 17 points and 9 rebounds, Peter Olafeso had 15 points and 7 boards and Minneapolis recorded a 69-58 win over Bergen Community College from New Jersey.  In the championship game, Richland College of Texas edged Minneapolis 58-57.  Trailing 58-56, Wallace was fouled attempting a three-point field goal with 2.3 seconds left.  He made the first free throw but missed the next two.  Cameron Hodges scored 17 points, Wallace finished with 15 and Peter Olafeso had a double-double (11 points, 11 rebounds). Hodges made the All-Tournament team.  Minneapolis finished 33-2, ranked number one in the nation.  Richland ended up 20-13 and unranked.
Posted By Craig Olson
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Q & A with Joe Cranston

Joe Cranston is finishing up his 10th season as women's hockey coach at UW-River Falls.  It has been one of his most successful since starting the program in 1999.  The Falcons earned an automatic berth into the NCAA Div. III Tournament when they beat UW-Stevens Point 5-3 to claim the NCHA 2009 O’Brien Cup as conference champs.

 
His team won their twentieth game of the season when they recorded a 2-1 win over Gustavus Adolphus College in the first round of the NCAA Div. III National Tournament on Saturday afternoon.  The win was the 150th of his career and gives him a 150-94-20 career coaching record at UWRF.

With the win, the Falcons advance to the NCAA Div. III Frozen Four at Middlebury College in Middlebury, VT on March 20 and 21.  UWRF (20-5-3) will face Elmira (23-4-1) at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, March 20. If the Falcons win they will play for the NCAA Championship at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 21. If they fall to Elmira, the Falcons will compete in the third place match at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 21.

Cranston earned the NCHA Coach of the Year award for the third time, having previously been honored with the award in 2007 and 2003. 

 

His teams have finished now lower than third place in the highly competitive Northern Collegiate Hockey Association.  He has coached the Falcons to eight straight winning seasons.

 
A native of Fergus Falls, Minn., he played youth and high school hockey there. He played for the high school team from 1979-1983 and was the team captain as a senior.
 
He played, and was the captain, of the 1983-84 North Iowa Huskies of the USHL.
 
Cranston then returned to Fergus Falls to attend the community college where he played with that team in 1985-86. He was the team's captain, MVP and was ranked in the Top 10 in the nation in scoring.
 
He earned an AA degree from Fergus Falls Community College in 1986 and his undergraduate degree in elementary education from UW-River Falls in 1990.
 
Recently, www.craigolsonsports.com had an e-mail Q & A with Joe. 
 
Q: Your team is on an 11 game winning streak.  What have been the keys to the success during that stretch of games and what made the difference for you in the win against Gustavus-Adolphus?
A: I think we matured a great deal throughout the season.  We are a very young team, and we had to battle hard and win a lot of tough games to  get to that Gustavus game.  All of our success is a result of hard work.

Q: How many times have you qualified for the Frozen Four and how have you fared in previous appearances?
A: We were in the Fozen Four in 2003, and we lost in the fist game to the undefeated, and national champions, Elmira, in Elmira, NY by a score of 2 to 1.

Q: What does winning Coach of the Year in your conference and winning the conference title mean to you and your program, especially when it comes to recruiting?
A:  Winning coach of the year is a team award, and I only received it because my team played with so much heart and determination, and were able to win our conference.  I don't think it has any much to do with recruiting, but winning coach of the year three out of the nine years of this conference shows the quality of the program and the quality of the girls who play for me.

Q: How would you describe your coaching style and philosophy?
A:  The experience of playing college hockey here needs to be a best possible experience for the players.  That's my job, simply put.

Q: What people in your life had the most influence on your development as a coach and teacher?
A: My dad was, by far, the biggest influence on me as a coach and person. I learned from him at a very young age that you have to give back more than you ever take from the sport, and that it is never about me, either as a coach, or when I was a player.  It's about the game and the collective efforts of EVERYONE on the team.  I also learned a great deal from Charlie Burggraf and Tim Cullen my senior year in Fergus Falls.  They taught me that there is a price for success.

Q: What have been the most satisfying elements to starting and building a collegiate hockey program?
A: Watching all the great players come through here and have life long memories, and life lessons, that will make them better people.

Q: What have been the most frustrating parts of that process?
A: The first year was very frustrating, but it had its' rewards as well. The most frustrating part of being a coach is the time commitment that keeps me away from my family more than other jobs.

Q: Take us back to your formative years in hockey.  What are your earliest memories of learning the game in Fergus Falls?
A: I loved playing in the house league championships.  My years on B teams were always more fun than years on A teams.  I can remember practicing on a slough not far from the Fairgrounds and resting on a muskrat house.

I enjoyed the trips to Winnipeg.  I enjoyed staying with the other kids on the other teams when we would travel.  I have great memories of my senior year of high school.  One of the most fun years of hockey was coming back and playing one year at the Fergus Community College.

Q: As a high school player, what are your most fond recollections?
A: My senior year was awesome.  We were a great team, with great leadership and great coaching.  I don't remember our record, but we only lost one or two games all year, and we were ranked 2nd in the state most of the year.

Q: How long do you see yourself doing what you are doing?
A: As long as I still enjoy it.  I really can't picture myself not going into a rink every day.  Some day when I realize that my time is up, and there are people who could do a better job than me, then I will step down.  I would probably still be an assistant coach though.

Q: You have three children, are they hockey players?
A:  All three are players:  Roy is a second year Pee Wee, Walter is a second year Squirt, and Irene played "in house" Mites this past season.

Q: Do you have a motto you live/coach by or a favorite quote you like to share with your teams?
A:  If something is good, we just say, "Oh sure".  If something is not good, I like to say that it's, "a big bucket of ish".

Posted By Craig Olson
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Moore and Johnson to Play Volleyball at M State
Whitney Moore, a setter/outside hitter from Fergus Falls and Emily Johnson, a setter from Ashby have both signed with the Spartans.
 
Whitney's parents are Mark and Sue Moore of Fergus Falls. Emily's parents are Terry and Brenda Johnson of Ashby/Dalton.

"Both players will be huge contributors to our program. They have good offensive skills and also play great defense," said Head Volleyball Coach Terri Strom.

The Spartans first home regular season match is Sept. 2 at 6:30 vs. Anoka Ramsey CC.

 Moore and Johnson will also play basketball for the Lady Spartans.
 

 

Posted By Craig Olson
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Backcourt Club to Host Boys Youth BB Tournament
The annual Backcourt Boys youth basketball tournament is this Saturday, March 14, in Fergus Falls.  Forty teams are entered in grades 4 through 8.  Teams will be coming from Sartell, Brainerd, New London-Spicer, Melrose, Alexandria, Benson, Perham, Pelican Rapids, Detroit Lakes, DGF, Wahpeton, Breckenridge, Fargo, Moorhead, West Fargo, Casselton and Kindred.
 
The tournament begins at 9:00 a.m. and runs until 4:00 p.m. with fourth graders playing at the Middle School, fifth graders at Cleveland Elementary, sixth graders at the YMCA, seventh graders at the Fergus Falls High School and eighth graders at Hillcrest Lutheran Academy.
 
It takes about 125 volunteers to make this tournament a reality each year and it is the primary fundrasing event for the Backcourt Club of Fergus Falls.  Admission will be four dollars for adults and a dollar for students.  This is an all day admission price and concessions will be available at all sites.
Posted By Craig Olson
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Henkes a Proud Grandpa
In late February, Maple Grove gymnast RachelAnn Anderson, the grand daughter of Fergus Falls Hall of Fame member Jim Henkes, dedicated the Section 5AA meet to her 'Papa Henkes', where she won all four individual events and the all around title. 
 
She again dedicated the state gymnastics meet to him and called him for inspiration prior to the meet to defend her title as the state champion in floor exercise.  The title was decided by .05 of a point in favor of another gymnast, but RachelAnn proudly received the second place award on the floor and four place on the balance beam.
Posted By Craig Olson
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Gotta Love That Big Ten Network
Fans of the Big Ten have fallen in love with the Big Ten Network!  This time of year I don't get to watch a lot of television, but when I do have the opportunity to view something I have found myself tuning in to the Big Ten Network.  Thursday night you will want to do that at 7:30 p.m. to watch the Big Ten Women's Swimming Championships.  This is a tape delay of the event which featured a second place finish by the University of Minnesota and an individual title in the 100 freestyle by Fergus Falls High School grad Stacy Busack.  Stacy had a great meet overall as she continues her excellent senior year at the U of M.
 
I have Park Region Telephone/Ottertail Telcom Digital Television and you can find the Big Ten Network on Channel 35.  If you are a Charter subscriber tune in to Channel 26.  On DirecTV you can find it on channel 610 and on the Dish Network tune in to channel 439.
 
Watching Hannah Draxten play for Iowa has been fun this season and the Hawkeyes will face the Minnesota Gophers in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament on Friday night at 7:30 p.m.
 
By the way, I love PRTV Channel 1, too.  This is a channel totally dedicated to local programming.  I host a weekly local sports show called Craig Olson Sports (original, huh?).   Here's info from Park Region's latest e-mail newsletter regarding the local programming.
 
Craig Olson Sports features area high school events and interviews with local athletes and coaches throughout our service area. You'll see highlights from the Ashby Arrows, the Underwood Rockets, Hillcrest Comets, Fergus Falls Otters and the MSCTC Spartans. The show airs Tuesday nights at 7pm with replays throughout the week.

Find It In Fergus Falls with Lisa Workman showcases area businesses and events and airs Fridays at 7pm with replays througout the week.

The Week In The Arts with Rebecca Peterson and David Stoddard features interviews with local artists and updates about area events. The show airs on Thursday nights at 7pm with replays through the week.

PRTV TV1 News with Mary Dolan is our newest show and will air on Monday and Thursday evenings. This local news program is a joint effort of The Daily Journal and PRTV, bringing you the lastest in Journal News.

Catch LIVE coverage of Fergus Falls Boys and Girls home basketball games AND replayed coverage of Ashby, Underwood and Hillcrest sports on PRTV Channel 1.

Find out what all the excitemet is about, log on to parkregion.com to view a sample of each show. For more details, give them a call at 218-998-2000.
 
I have also been after Tim Brinkman to add MLB Network!  What could be better than baseball coverage available 24/7!!
Posted By Craig Olson
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Q & A with Hannah Draxten
Hannah Draxten, a 2008 Fergus Falls High School graduate, is a freshman at the University of Iowa and a member of the Iowa Hawkeyes women's basketball team.  Recently, www.craigolsonsports.com asked Hannah to respond to a questionnaire.  Her response in the body of this story.
 
Q: What have been the most difficult adjustments you have had to make in your transition to college and to college basketball?

A: Definitely time management. All there is time for is basketball, school, sleeping, and eating. It has also been a big transition being away from my family for so long.

 

Q: At what point did you start to feel comfortable as a freshman member of the Hawkeyes both on and off the court?

A: Off the court I felt like part of the team right away when I got here this past summer. The older girls did a great job of making me feel welcome. On the court it took me a couple of conference games to finally not feel like a freshman.

 

Q: Looking back, how do you think your involvement with high level traveling teams over the last few years helped prepare you for Division I college basketball?

A: It helped me get ready for the speed and physicality of division one basketball. It’s also fun to see my former AAU teammates and opponents in Big Ten games.

 

Q: Take us through a typical day for you (non-game day).

A: I have class from 8:30 to 12:30

     From 12:30 to 2:00 I grab a bite to eat and have some time to relax

    2:00 to 6:00 I’m at Carver. I get there an hour before practice to get ready and get treatments. We practice from 3 to 6 and then we have a team meal right after practice.

   When I get back to the dorms I grab my books and head over to the learning center to get about an hour of studying in.

After homework I head back to the dorm and relax until I go to bed around 10:30

The next day I wake up and do it all over again

  

Q: What type of study arrangements are made when you are away from campus on road trips?

A: I bring my books and computer with me. I study on the plane and sometimes the night before the game in our hotel.

 

Q: Has it been a challenge to keep up with school work or do you have adequate time alotted for doing that?

A: It hasn’t been too tough to keep up with schoolwork because we are required to put in a certain number of study table hours each week. It started out at 8 hours, but now I am down to 4 a week.

 

Q: What do you enjoy most about being a part of a D-I basketball team?

A: The travel is really fun. We fly to our games in our own team jet and get to see many new places. Also, I enjoy the camaraderie of the team. We always have a great time together.

 

Q: What do you enjoy the least about being a part of a D-I basketball team?

A: The thing I enjoy the least is how much time it takes up. It’s not that I don’t enjoy it, but it’s tough to get a lot of free time and I don’t get to go home very often.

 

Q: How did it feel to play in front of so many of your fans at the U of M?

A: First of all it was great to play in Williams Arena. I have been there so many times in my life and to be able to play there against the Gophers was a blast. Seeing all of my friends and family from Fergus there made it even more special.

 

Q: What has been your most enjoyable game experience so far?

A: Probably the best was beating number 1 Ohio State at our place. It was also great to come back from a 20 point deficit in the second half to beat Penn State at their place.

 

Q: What has been the most frustrating game experience so far?

A: When we played at Indiana and got blitzed right out of the gates and never recovered. Also when I had my back injury and was unable to play or practice. It was hard to watch the game in my street clothes.

 

Q: How has your personal game changed/improved from high school to college?

A: One thing I have had to learn is to be a lot stronger with the ball. Every fundamental thing has to be done almost perfectly. A lazy pass or a missed box out means an automatic 2 points for the other team.

 

Q: What's it like coming off the bench and was that a difficult adjustment for you to make?

A: It hasn’t been a difficult adjustment for me. It was a little different at first, but my role is to come off the bench and provide a spark in the game when I go in.

 

Q: Do you get homesick?

A: At the beginning of the year I had quite a few moments of homesickness. It was especially hard around the holidays when I only had two full days at home. It has gotten easier as the year has gone on. Also, my family has made it to almost all of my home games, so once the season started up I saw someone from my family at least every other weekend.

 

Q: What do you do when you get a day away from basketball?

A: Mondays are typically our day off. I use this day as a day to relax and catch up on school work. I also try and do something fun. My teammates and I have done a variety of things. We have gone to movies, went out to eat, gone shopping, and our most recent outing was “Tattoo Monday”.

 

Q: Who are your closest friends on the team?
A: It’s hard to pick who are my closest friends on the team. We all get along really well and I enjoy being with them. Our freshman class is very close. I think that is a result of living together over the summer, and experiencing our first year away from home together. We are all supportive of each other and are there for one another.

 

Q: How would you describe the Big Ten style of play?

A: Very competitive, intense, and physical. If you don’t bring it to every game, you will get beat.

 

Q: When healthy, do you feel Iowa can play with any team in the Big Ten, or is there one or two teams that seem to be better than the rest or a difficult match up for the Hawkeyes?

A: I definitely think that we can beat any team in the Big Ten, especially when everyone is healthy. The Big Ten conference is very competitive and anyone can beat anyone on any given night. There are those teams that are difficult match ups for our team, but it is nothing we cannot adjust to. For instance, Ohio State is number one in the Big Ten and we beat them at Carver.

 

Q: Is an NCAA Tournament bid a realistic expectation this year?

A: Yes. We have a very good chance of making it to the NCAA Tournament. In order to make it, most teams have to be a +20 win team. We have 19 wins with at least 2 more to go. Also, the first two rounds are here at Carver Hawkeye Arena. We don’t want anyone else playing in our house so we use that as motivation.

 

Q: Any message you'd like to convey to the Fergus Falls basketball teams or the community as a whole?

A: To the girl’s basketball team: Good luck in the upcoming play-offs. Play hard and you guys could go to state again!

To the community: Thank you for all of your continued support! I really appreciate it!

 

Posted By Craig Olson
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