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Friday, May 29, 2009
WCA's Erickson and Strom to Play College Baseball
Eric Erickson and Alan Strom, seniors at West Central Area High School in Barrett, have both signed letters of intent to play baseball for Rainy River Community College in International Falls.
 
Erickson is a two-time Heart O' Lakes Conference All-Conference player.  This year he had a 4.00 ERA with 71 strikeouts in 56 innings pitched.
 
Strom was an HOL All-Conference selection this season.  He hit .429 in 56 at bats with 23 stolen bases.
 
"Eric is a great kid withi big potential at the next level, and Alan is an excellent shortstop with great range, glove and arm," commented WCA head coach Tim Pattrin, Jr. "I am very proud of both boys and I'm glad to see that they are getting the opportunity to play."
Posted By Craig Olson
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Odegard to Play College Volleyball
Kansas Wesleyan University Volleyball coach Rick Mischka added to his 2009 recruiting class with the signing of Ariana Odegard of the Underwood Rockets to a letter of intent with the Coyotes. 
 
Odegard, a 5-7 setter / right side hitter, played her entire high school career for Coach Diane Ross.  She was twice named All-Conference in the Little Eight Conference, and was named the MVP for Underwood High School in her senior season, serving as captain.  She also set game and match records for aces in 2007.
 
"Ariana will be coming in as a setter for us this fall," Mischka said. "Ariana is a hard working, athletic player who really wants to be on the volleyball court.  I think that her positive attitude and dedication to wanting to be the best volleyball player she can be are going to pay off for her, the team, and the program.  I know that the team already is excited that Ariana will be joining us.  They really seemed to connect, which is what you hope happens with all your recruits."
 
Kansas Wesleyan opens its 2009 volleyball season on September 2 in the William Jewell College Triangular in Liberty, Missouri, against Culver Stockton of Missouri and William Jewell.
Posted By Craig Olson
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Hansen and Storrusten to Play in Lions All Star Game
Derek Hansen of the Fergus Falls Otters and Tydan Storrusten of the Pelican Rapids Vikings have both been selected to play for the Northern team in the 35th Lions All Star Baseball Tournament to be played at Chaska Athletic Park June 18-20.
 
The Lions All Star game is co-sponsored by the Minnesota Lions and the Minnesota State High School Coaches Association.  All proceeds from this tournament will go to the Lions Children's Eye Clinic at the University of Minnesota.
 
Hansen is currently hitting .329 with five doubles, six home runs and thirty runs batted in.  Storrusten is hitting .516 with 26 RBI and 21 runs scored.  He has 17 stolen bases and has walked 15 times.
 
Storrusten played in the Basketball All Star game and will play in the High School Football All Star game this summer, putting him in an elite group of high school student athletes who have competed in all three All Star events.
Posted By Craig Olson
Friday, May 22, 2009
Section 6A Baseball Pairings Announced
The Section 6A high school baseball playoffs begin on Tuesday.  Wheaton/Herman-Norcross received the number one seed in the South sub-section, while Bertha-Hewitt is seeded first in the North half of 6A.
 
In the South half, Ashby and C-G-B will square off in a pigtail game at three o'clock Tuesday in Wheaton with the winner facing the Warriors at five o'clock.  Second-seeded Hancock will entertain West Central Area, number three Morris Area is at home to Brandon/Evansville and number four Chokio-Alberta hosts Hillcrest Lutheran Academy.  All games are at five o'clock.
 
In the North half, Parkers Prairie and Lake Park-Audubon will play a pigtail game at three o'clock in Bertha, with the winner meeting the Bears at 5:00 p.m.  Other sub-section quarterfinal round games on Tuesday include New York Mills at second-seeded Menahga, Verndale at number three Hawley and number five Pine River-Backus visits fourth-seeded Sebeka.
 
The tournament continues on Thursday with the South being played in Morris and the North begin played in Verndale.  The Section semifinal and championship games will be played at American Legion Field at DeLagoon Park in Fergus Falls on June 2 and 4.
Posted By Craig Olson
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Softball Playoff Pairings Announced
The playoff pairings have been announced for Section 8AA softball and Section 6A softball.  The tournaments begin on Tuesday.
 
In Section 8AA, Wadena-Deer Creek received the number one seed in the South sub-section and will host Breckenridge in the first round.  Other opening round games in the South include second-seeded Fergus Falls at home to Pelican Rapids, number three Frazee hosting Staple-Motley and number four seeded Perham at home to Ottertail Central.  All games begin at five o'clock on Tuesday.  In the North sub-section, top-seeded Thief River Falls is home to East Grand Forks, number two Park Rapids Area will host Crookston, third-seeded Roseau entertains Detroit Lakes and number four Warroad has a home game against D-G-F.  First round winners advance to the Double Elimination portion of the tournament with games being played on Thursday, May 21.  South sub-section games will be in Frazee, while North sub-section games will take place in Thief River Falls.  Late stages of the tournament will played in Frazee on Saturday, May 23.
 
In Section 6A, Brandon/Evansville is the number one seeded team in the South sub-section and will receive a first round bye.  The lady Chargers will meet the winner of the Eagle Valley versus Hillcrest game on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. in Brandon.  Eagle Valley and Hillcrest will square off on Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. in Brandon.  The other pigtail game will be between Pillager and West Central Area in Verndale at 3:00 p.m. Tuesday.  The winner will take on second-seeded Verndale at 4:30 p.m.  The other sub-section quarterfinal games will find number three New York Mills at home against Bertha-Hewitt and number four Parkers Prairie entertaining Ashby.  Those games will be played at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.  In the North sub-section, Cass Lake-Bena will face Nevis at three o'clock Tuesday in Hawley with the winner advancing to play the top-seeded Nuggets at 5:00 p.m.  Other opening round games have Lake Park-Audubon at number two Sebeka, third-seeded Menahga hosting Laporte and number four Pine River-Backus at home to Walker-Hackensack-Akeley.  Sub-section semifinal and championship games will take place on Thursday, May 21 with the South playing in Brandon and the North in Menahga.  The Section 6A semi's will be on Tuesday, May 26 in Menahga, and the championship round will take place on Thursday, May 28 in Menahga.
Posted By Craig Olson
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Kaizen Movie Finished
Pelican Rapids faculty member and head cross country coach John Peter has finished a movie which chronicles the unforgettable journey of the Pelican Rapids boys basketball team as they went 33-0 during the 2008-2009 season, winning the Class 2A state title.  The movie is "Kaizen" and it will be shown twice this weekend in the Pelican Rapids High School Fine Arts Auditorium.  It will begin at 7:00 p.m. both Friday and Saturday night, May 15 and 16.  The public showings are free and DVD's will be availalbe for a donation.
 
Peter, who wrote the musical score and directed the movie says, "The movie follows the team on a dramatic, exhilarating ride from the start of the playoffs to their season's climactic conclusion."
 
I had an opportunity to view a preview copy of the movie earlier this week and if you are a Pelican Rapids basketball fan, or a basketball fan in general, you are going to love it.  John did a wonderful job mixing in game highlights and commentary with exclusive locker room footage and several comments from players and coaches.  You will truly enjoy re-living what was a remarkable few weeks for a team with 12 seniors tending to unfinished business.  This group of seniors had lost in the section championship game their sophomore and junior seasons, and were on a mission to not let it happen again.  It didn't and the rest is history.  This movie will be a great keepsake for everyone who enjoyed the ride during this remarkable basketball season.  The movie captures the cameraderie of the team and coaches, the enthusiasm and excitement of the fans and the intensity of the games as the perfect season advances to its Hollywood conclusion.  You'll definitely find yourself totally enveloped in watching the script unfold to this triumphant story of success!  Well done, John!
 
To find our more about "Kaizen", go to www.kaizenmovie.blogspot.com.  How about that Custom Layout of the DVD cover by Jay Ripley.  By all means, visit the website and tell your friends!  This is a thrill that you will want to re-live over and over again.
Posted By Craig Olson
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
2009 FF Senior Recognition and Hall of Fame Ceremony
Monday night saw another very entertaining, rewarding and enjoyable night for Fergus Falls High School students and alumni as the 2009 Senior Recognition and Hall of Fame ceremony was held at the Bigwood Event Center in Fergus Falls.  It has been my privilege to be involved in all seven of these very special nights that were the brainchild of former Superintendent Mark Bezek and then principal Greg Winter.  It's a great night to recognize the current class of seniors and mix in a bit of the historic past off FFHS and its former students.  It was also an honor to work alongside FFHS Activities Director Gary Schuler as we served as co-emcee's.
 
The Athletic Awards were highlighted by the introduction of Erika Magnusson and Matt Mithaugen as the Outstanding Male and Female Athletes, an award voted on by all members of the Otter Coaches Association.  To be eligible for this award, students must have lettered in two or more sports during their senior year and have a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
 
The Otter Coaches Association presented four $250.00 scholarships.  Eligibility requirements for these scholarships are lettering in two or more sports during their senior year, a GPA of 3.5 or higher and no MSHSL violations.  Recipients of the scholarships for 2009 are Derek Hansen, Whitney Moore, Jordan Ringquist and Kylie Zenner.
 
Minnesota State High School League Triple "A" Award winners were Chelsey Enderle and Tommy Olsen.
 
The class of 2009 had twenty 3-sport athletes who were recognized: Joe Anderson, Devon Clark, Nikki Clouse, Chris DeMartelaere, Chelsey Enderle, Trevor Gervais, Derek Hansen, Ryan Jacobson, Chase Kolle, TJ Krivanek, Sarah Lyngby, Erika Magnusson, Andrew McAllister, Matt Mithaugen, Whitney Moore, Stephanie Olson, Jordan Ringquist, Kelly Ross, Kyle Shaikoski, Kylie Zenner.
 
2009 Hall of Fame Inductees
Gerald (Jerry) Liedl (Distinguished Alumni)
Gerald (Jerry) Liedl, Fergus Falls High School Class of 1951, found his way via a football scholarship to Purdue University, where he earned his undergraduate degree and doctorate in metallurgical engineering.  His career centered on higher education and revolved around his position on the faculty of Purdue from 1958 until his retirement in 1999.  For his last 20 years at the university, he was the head of the School of Materials Engineering and was involved in both teaching and extensive research.  He was recently a co-editor of the "Encyclopedia for Condensed Matter Physics."  Now a resident of Carriage Park in Hendersonville, North Carolina, his contributions to the community were acknowledged when the dam for a new lake was named the Gerald L. Liedl Dam.
 
Mark Foss (Distinguished Alumni)
Mark Foss was a member of the Class of 1945 at Fergus Falls High School, where he was an Eagle Scout, class president and three-sport athlete.  He served two years in the Army before earning a degree in civil engineering at the University of North Dakota.  He returned to the Army and served in Korea and Japan, where he supervised construction of the first Mobile Army Surgical Hospital.  He returned to UND and earned a master's degree.  With the architectural and engineering firm Foss Associates, he helped design West Acres Shopping Center, Westside Terminal at hector Airport and MeritCare Medical Center.  He was active in Fargo community service organizations and received two alumni awards from UND prior to his death in January 2008.
 
Lori Ronning Folland (Arts Hall of Fame)
Lori Ronning Folland graduated in 1982 from Fergus Falls High School, where her activities included orchestra and choir.  She earned her Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance from Oberlin College Conservatory, traveling nationwide to perform in concert tours with the Music from Oberlin chamber ensemble.  She received a scholarship to attend the Aspen Music Festival.  Ronning attended graduate school at the University of Michigan, concentrating on collaborative performance studies.  She was a collaborative pianist at Carnegie Mellon University before becoming staff pianist at St. Olaf College in 1991.  As a chamber musician, she has appeared in concert series in Pittsburgh and the Twin Cities, and in numerous recitals with friends and colleagues.  Ronning also has soloed with the St. Olaf Philharmonia.
 
John Hermes (Distingquished Service)
John Hermes was an institution in the Fergus Falls athletic community when he retired in 1977 after 31 years of teaching physical education and coaching.  He was head baseball coach for those 30-plus years, with his teams compiling a record of 241-169 and making state tournament appearances in 1961 and 1969.  Hermes coached cross country for 17 years and was assistant coach for the Otters' 1957 trip to state, and he ws also assistant coach for football and baseball.  He received countless coaching awards during his tenure and was elected to the state Coaches Association Hall of Fame and, following his death in 1983, to the Fergus Falls Chamber of Commerce Sports Hall of Fame.  Each fall, the Otter cross country teams host the John Hermes Invite.
 
Noel Olson (Athletic Hall of Fame)
Fergus Falls native Noel Olson played basketball, football and tennis at St. Olaf College, where he majored in physical education and biology before earning a master's degree in physical education from the University of North Dakota.  He played and coached basketball and baseball in the Air Force for three years, then coached for six years in Fertile and Virginia.  He launched his collegiate coaching career at the University of Minnesota, Morris, then moved to St. Cloud State University, where he was twice honored as conference coach of the year.  Olson became St. Cloud's athletic director in 1976, and eight years later became commissioner of the North Central Conference.  He retired in 1997 after amassing an array of awards for his athletic and leadership accomplishments.
Posted By Craig Olson
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Spartan Athletes Recognized with Awards
Spartan athletes were honored as a part of the Academic, Leadership and Athletic Recognition program on Tuesday at M State-Fergus Falls.
 
Josh Hiltner was named the Male Student Athlete of the Year and Deveny Moore was named the Female Student Athlete of the Year.
 
Chris Ruport was the recipient of the Male Coaches Award and Emily Christenson was the recipient of the Female Coaches Award.
 
The lady Spartans have announced their basketball awards for the 2008-2009 season.  Krista Shaikoski was named the team MVP and Deveny Moore was the winner of the Eleanor Hoff Spirit Award.  Heather Nelson and Abby Wolden shared the Most Improved Player honor.  Jess Amann was voted the Top Defensive Player and Kelsey Steidl won the Hustle award.
Posted By Craig Olson
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Pitch, Hit and Run
The Fergus Falls Jaycees teamed up with the Fergus Falls Hurricanes Amateur baseball team to host their annual Pitch, Hit and Run competition on Saturday at American Legion Field at DeLagoon Park in Fergus Falls.  Pitch, Hit and Run is a youth sports baseball skills competition for boys and girls ages 7-14.
 
There were 33 participants this year with the following results:
Ages 7/8
Pitching - Nicolas Pearson
Hitting - Bauer Rogelstad
Running - Nicolas Pearson
All Around - 1. Nicolas Pearson, 2. Bauer Rogelstad, 3. Cole Knudson
 
Ages 9/10
Pitching - Ethan Rinke & Sean McGuire (Tie)
Hitting - Sean McGuire
Running - Reggie Undseth
All Around - 1. Sean McGuire, 2. Ethan Rinke, 3. Reggie Undseth
 
Ages 11/12
Pitching - Jake Olson, Ty Pearson, Donovan Wood (Tie)
Hitting - Jaden Banks
Running - Ty Pearson
All Around - 1. Ty Pearson, 2. Jaden Banks, 3. Jake Olson
 
Ages 13/14
Pitching - Sadie Knudson & Austin Rund (Tie)
Hitting - Logan Barker
Running - Austin Rund
All Around - 1. Austin Rund, 2. Logan Barker, 3. Sadie Knudson
 
All of these individuals will advance to Regional competition in Detroit Lakes on May 30.  The winners at Regional competition will then move on to the State competition, which will be held at a Twins game in mid-June.
Posted By Craig Olson
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