|Sunday, February 27, 2011|
|Rochester Claims MCAC Men's Basketball Title|
The Rochester Yellowjackets are headed to the NJCAA Division III National Tournament after winning the MCAC title with a 74-70 overtime victory over Anoka-Ramsey Community College on Sunday afternoon in Coon Rapids.
Anoka-Ramsey won the MCAC Women's championship with an 81-60 victory over Minnesota West on Sunday at Northland Community College in Thief River Falls. Rochester beat the host lady Pioneers 60-57 in the third place game and the consolation title was won by Ridgewater as they handled Hibbing, 80-61.
|Saturday, February 26, 2011|
|MCAC Tournament Update|
The Anoka-Ramsey Golden Rams continued their amazing late season run with a 70-68 win over Vermilion in the MCAC State quarterfinals on Friday and a 72-63 win over Central Lakes in the semifinals on Saturday. Anoka-Ramsey will now face Rochester for the MCAC State title at two o'clock Sunday in Coon Rapids.
Rochester won their opening round game over Rainy River 99-76 and then beat Northland 84-67. The Pioneers had defeated M State-Fergus Falls on Friday, 80-75 in quarterfinal action. Central Lakes won their quarterfinal game against Hibbing, 88-65.
In the Women's Tournament, Minnesota West will square off with Anoka-Ramsey for the title at four o'clock Sunday at Northland Community and Technical College in Thief River Falls. Minnesota West advanced with wins over Hibbing (77-66) and Rochester (68-58), while Anoka-Ramsey defeated Itasca (79-66) and Northland (65-56). Rochester and Northland will play for third place at 2:00pm and Hibbing will battle Ridgewater in the consolation championship game at noon.
|Friday, February 25, 2011|
|Erica Nord Named to Academic All-American Team|
Concordia senior Erica Nord (Wolverton, Minn./Barnesville HS) was named to the Capital One Academic All-American Team it was announced on Thursday. Nord is an Accounting and Business major at Concordia and has a 3.99 grade point average.
Nord becomes only the second player in Cobber women’s basketball history to win the highest academic honor and is the only men’s or women’s player from the MIAC to earn the prestigious award. She also joins Concordia men’s soccer player Riley McGlynn in earning Academic All-American honors this athletic calendar year.
Nord leads Concordia in scoring this season and recently reached the 1,000-point milestone for her career. Nord is averaging 13.9 points per game this year and has 1,030 career points. She is also leading the team in steals and assists. Nord is in the top 15 of the MIAC in scoring, field goal percentage, assists, steals, 3-point field goal percentage, assist-to-turnover ratio and offensive rebounds in overall games.
A three-year starter at Concordia, Nord has helped the Cobbers earn a spot in the MIAC playoffs in all four or her seasons and has an overall record of 72-33 in her time at Concordia. Nord was been named to the MIAC All-Conference Team and was also placed on the conference All-Defensive Team. She went on to earn All-Region honors last year and was a member of the D3 All-Star Team that played in Brazil this past summer.
Nord becomes the 23rd Concordia student/athlete to earn Academic All-American honors since 1991. The Cobbers have also had 14 student/athletes honored with the Academic All-American award in the past seven years.
Formerly known as the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-American honor, Capital One took over the sponsorship of the CoSIDA Academic All-American award program this year. CoSIDA began this program in the 1950's, and since then, has honored thousands of deserving student-athletes from numerous sports and across all divisions with these elite Capital One Academic All-America® scholar-athlete honors. Currently, CoSIDA honors Academic All-Americans in 12 sports.
Student-athletes are nominated by current CoSIDA members. Voting for Academic All-District (First, Second and possible Third Team members are named) is done by current CoSIDA members. Those who obtain First Team All-District status move onto the national Academic All-America ballot; these national awards (First Team, Second Team, Third Team for each sport category) is voted upon by Academic All-America Committee members and current CoSIDA Board of Directors.
To be eligible, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his/her current institution and be nominated by his/her sports information director.
Since the program’s inception in 1952, CoSIDA has bestowed Academic All-America honors on more than 15,000 student-athletes in Divisions I, II, III and NAIA, covering all NCAA championship sports.
For more information about the Academic All-America® Teams program, please visit www.cosida.com.
|Saturday, February 19, 2011|
|Hatlewick Commits to UW-Superior for Soccer|
University of Wisconsin-Superior women's soccer coach Melissa Nelmark has announced that Kalea Hatlewick, a senior goalkeeper from Fergus Falls, Minnesota has committed to the Yellowjackets for the 2011 season. Hatlewick was a three-year starter in goal for Fergus Falls High School, and started every game during her junior and senior years.
Following her junior year, Hatlewick was All-Central Lakes Conference honorable mention after going 11-5-1 with nine shutouts on the season. As a senior, Hatlewick had a 5-7-7 record for the Otters with a 1.73 goals against average. She was the Central Lakes Conference Scholar Athlete winner in 2010. For her high school career, Hatlewick posted a record of 18-12-8 with a goals-against average of 1.29.
"We're happy to welcome Kalea into our Yellowjacket family. She has the skill, work ethic, and game sense to make an immediate impact on our team," Nelmark said. "Her athleticism, mobility and her fearlessness are her strengths in goal. Not only is she is an excellent athlete, but she is a great role model both on and off the field. She will be another player to watch over the next several years."
A multi-sport athlete, Hatlewick played four years of basketball, two years of softball and one year of track and field at Fergus Falls. Last spring, she was named the most improved thrower on the track and field team. Hatlewick has also played nine seasons of club soccer with the Fergus Falls Cyclones and last season fashioned an 8-4 record with a 1.16 goals against average with them.
"The university has had many new and exciting updates recently, which are very appealing. The soccer team, coaches, instructors and administrators made me feel welcome during my campus visits," Hatlewick said. "During my campus visits the team and coaches acted like family when they were together. I felt a sense of belonging in two short weekends. I feel I can contribute immediately to the success of this program and I look forward to being a part of the team activities before, during and after the season."
Hatlewick plans to major in exercise science or education at UW-Superior with the goal of teaching and coaching at the high school level. An honor student, Hatlewick currently carries a 3.669 grade-point average.
|Friday, February 18, 2011|
|Remembering the National Champions of 2000-2001|
The 2000-2001 lady Spartans are celebrating the tenth anniversary of their NJCAA Division III Women’s Basketball National Championship. The team will be honored at a special ceremony Saturday, February 19, at M State in Fergus Falls.
The ceremony will include introductions and the playing of a highlight video from that magical 25-7 season. The day will start at noon with a chili feed fundraiser sponsored by the Spartan Athletic Boosters. The Spartan Baseball team will be conducting a silent auction as a fundraiser for their team. The lady Spartans will play their final game of the season at one o’clock as they host Riverland. The ceremony will follow the women’s game and the men’s game will begin twenty minutes after the completion of the ceremony honoring the 2000-2001 National Championship team. It is alumni day at the college and all alumni in attendance will receive gifts. All Spartan fans are encouraged to come and be a part of this very special day.
As a broadcaster who has covered a variety of teams over my nearly 40 years in the business, I would have to say that magical season of 2000-2001 is one of my top five highlights. To cover all 32 games (25 wins, 7 losses) during the season and see this group of over achievers do what they did against great odds, was truly amazing. It was great to be along for the ride as the lady Spartans overcame a season ending ACL injury to Amanda Rinke and a hip injury that sidelined Alayna Follingstad for a crucial stretch of the season, forcing them to play with only seven players for many games. This team defined the word Team as well as any team I have ever seen. Each player filling their role and stepping their play up to the next level to make the team better game after game. They were a fun team to watch, a very unselfish team on the court, and their work ethic was unsurpassed. The college has provided us some biographical information along with some memories of that season which we are happy to share with you in this space.
Amanda (Rinke) Gisch
After leaving FFCC Amanda moved to Minneapolis and attended the University of Minnesota where she received a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology. Not long after receiving that degree she became interested in nursing and returned to school. She now works as a Registered Nurse on a Nuerology unit at Fairview Southdale Hospital in the Twin Cities. She and her husband Jon, who also works in health care, were married a little over a year ago and currently reside in Eden Prairie. “I have good memories of my time at FFCC. I had so much fun with my teammates, lots of laughs. Coach was wonderful, she truly cares about her players. I also remember all of the support and enthusiasm from the community the year we won Nationals. It was such a wonderful experience.”
Amy (Schoeck) Weisser
After FFCC Amy attended Valley City State University and played basketball there until a back injury forced her to quit. She graduated from VCSU with a double major in Psychology and Human Resources and went on to attend graduate school at South Dakota State for counseling. Amy got married almost 4 years ago and has a daughter, Bella (2.5 years old) and a step daughter, Ava (5.5 years old), and is expecting another child in July. She currently works as a Senior Therapist for children with autism in Central Minnesota. “Some of my favorite memories from the National Championship year would be the bus ride home from New York and arriving back in Fergus Falls with so many of our fans waiting to welcome us home. I also can think back to the games we won as a team with only seven active players on the roster and how our teamwork and unity was such a strong force to be reckoned with! Mostly, I will always remember all of the long lasting friendships I made while playing ball at FFCC.”
Julie (Hemker) Kippner
After leaving FFCC Julie attended St. Cloud State University and Metropolitan State University. She is working in Energy Accounting at CHS, Inc in Inver Grove Heights. This past October she was married to her husband Ben and they currently live in Bloomington with their dog Lexi. They will be welcoming their first child in July. “I can’t believe it has been ten years already, the time has flown by. One memory that stands out for me was seeing the Manhattan head coach before our championship game in his bright yellow suit. All I kept thinking was that it was so nice of him to show his support for us by wearing our team colors (theirs were grey and orange). Of course my favorite memory was making the final free throws to put us ahead at the end of the championship game. That was by far the best way to end my basketball career. It was a remarkable season and I am so fortunate to have had the opportunity to play with and be coached by such an incredible group of women.”
Kelly (Martin) Anderson
After FFCC Kelly went to Valley City State where she played basketball and ran track while earning her degree in health and physical education. From there she earned her Masters in Education Leadership at Minnesota State University-Moorhead and was an assistant for the women’s basketball team for three year. Currently she teaches health and physical education at Ulen-Hitterdal and is the head boys basketball coach and the jump coach for the Hawley/Ulen-Hitterdal Fighting Walleye Track Team. This spring she will have her K-12 principal licensure as well. Kelly lives on a farm outside of Hawley with her husband Nate, a grain farmer, and their 2 year old son, Tucker. “My favorite memories from our championship season are watching the highlight video once a year and still getting chills like it just happened yesterday, Seeing the Manhattan coach in his gold suit and blue suede shoes peel his star point guard off the floor after beating them, being in meg-shape as only having eight girls in practice didn’t allow for many breathers, always clicking on the floor and playing such unselfish, fun basketball, and Coach’s smile after each win.”
Jeana was named to the NJCAA Division III All-Tournament team for her performance in the three National Tournament games. She is still playing volleyball and has organized a pool league with her boyfriend. Jeana lives outside of Hewitt with her 16 month old daughter, Jasmine and works part time at Super One in Wadena in the bakery/deli department.
Heidi lives in Battle Lake and has been married to her husband, Bob, for ten years. They have two daughters, Jasmine (8) and Morgan (6). She is a Registered Nurse and is currently working in home care in Fergus Falls. Her husband works as a district manager for Sara Lee in the Duluth/Superior area and the family will be moving to that area by the end of the school year. “Not really sure what my favorite memory was from that season. It was all good! I love watching the highlight video and some of the other games. I really miss playing with all you guys. Sometimes I wish I could be a kid again and just play!”
Jessica (Draper) Huebner
After FFCC, Jessica attended the University of Minnesota and earned her bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications/Journalism. She was hired by Kleinman Realty Company, a property management company specializing in apartments. She has been with the company for eight years and is a Portfolio Manager. Jessica and her husband Darick lived in Minneapolis for several years but moved back to their hometown area of Morris to farm and raise their two boys, Drew (4) and Jonah (2). “So many awesome memories were created that magical 2000-2001 season. The ones that cross my mind often are 1) our small, close knit team of nine. We didn’t even have enough to play 5-on-5 so we had practice players … girls and guys. Never a dull practice! 2) Seeing the Manhattan team warm up for the first time. It was a circus! They brought their own music, three coolers of beverages, a full bench of players and coaches, just constant activity going on. 3) The outpouring of support from the school and community throughout the entire season. 4) Having coach and Brenda tape my ankles up every day. We had lots of laughs! 5) The crowd running onto the floor and dog piling after the buzzer sounded. It was just like a movie and the ending could not have been more perfect!”
After attending FFCC, Naomi went to Minnesota State University-Moorhead and received a degree in Special Education. She moved to the Twin Cities and worked in Fridley for three years in a self contained Emotional Behavioral Disorders classroom. She is now in her second year of teaching at Wadena-Deer Creek High School. She is also coaching Junior High basketball and Junior High softball. “My favorite memory from the National Tournament was just arriving there, the feel of the tournament and how relaxed we all were. I remember winning games and just going to the locker room, changing, going back to the hotel and going again the next day. No one spoke of whether we would win or lose, we must’ve known! Another favorite memory is our last game in Fergus, the Regions I believe. I remember looking up at the clock with only 55 seconds left and smiling know that we were headed to New York! Such good memories!
Alayna (Follingstad) Wagner
After finishing her final year at FFCC, Alayna went to Minnesota State University-Moorhead and graduated with an Elementart Education degree. She got her first teaching job at Ulen-Hitterdal Public School, teaching there for three years, coaching volleyball and Junior High girls basketball. She then moved to Ada where she is currently teaching first grade. She has also taught kindergarten and second grade in her four years at Ada. She also coaches ‘B’ team volleyball and is the assistant girls softball coach. Alayna was married to Matthew Wagner on December 11, 2010. “I had so much fun going to Fergus. Some memories include the exciting bus trip to New York, the winning free throws by Julie to win the National Championship, Draper guarding post players that were three times her size, the extreme injuries of dislocating my hip and Rinke tearing her ACL, waiting to sub and begging Brenda to put us in early, watching film on the bus rides, and most of all spending time with my awesome teammates and coaches on the court, bus and in hotel rooms. This was a time of my life that I will never forget!”
|Monday, February 14, 2011|
Saturday is going to be a big day at M State in Fergus Falls as the Spartan basketball teams host their final home games of the season against Riverland Community College from Austin.
It is Alumni Day at M State and as a part of that special day a celebration of the tenth anniversary of the 2001 Spartan Women's Basketball National Championship will be held. Team members will be recognized following the women's game which begins at one o'clock and preceding the men's game which is scheduled for a three o'clock start.
Special activities begin at noon with a Chili Feed sponsored by the Spartan Athletic Boosters and a Silent Auction, sponsored by the Spartan Baseball team. Discounts will be available in the College Bookstore and all alumni in attendance will receive free gifts. Plan to make a day of it on Saturday, February 19 at M State in Fergus Falls.
Spartan volleyball coach Terri Strom announces than Mindi McKee, a middle hitter from Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley has signed a Letter of Intent to play volleyball for the Spartans this coming fall.
"Mindi has been a strong presence for the Wolverines the past two seasons," stated Strom. "She is a strong blocker and sees the court very well. I'm looking forward to coaching her. We are low in numbers in our middle position, so it's exciting to have her join the Spartan family."
Her parents are John and Diane McKee from Beardsley.
|Tuesday, February 8, 2011|
|Game of My Life|
Fergus Falls High School graduate Adam Erickson
has written for this space on my website before. It's been awhile, but it's always a welcome addition to the content delivered through www.craigolsonsports.com
. Adam is a Green Bay Packer fan and was at Super Bowl XLV with his family. The stuff that lifelong memories are made of!! Here is Adam's account of attending the Game of His Life!
I will never forget Tramon Williams of the Packers knocking down the Steelers' final pass or Aaron Rodgers taking a knee to seal the game. However, there are many other things I will never forget. I will never forget the looks and reactions of my family members. The joy on my mom, dad, and brother's faces is something that I will never forget. Just being able to spend that moment with my family is something that I will carry with me the rest of my life.
I also had friends, co-workers, people I barely know, people I don't even know, who do not like the Packers (even Viking fans), cheering for them solely because my family and I were at the game. I had friends who do not even watch football tune into the Super Bowl because they wanted my team to win. How awesome are my friends? Wow. I cannot express how much this meant to me.
I do not look at my phone during any Packers' game, so when I took it out of my pocket after the game, I was blown away by the amount of messages I had received and am still receiving while I am writing this. I would like to take this chance to say THANK YOU to all those people. I know who all of you are, you know who you are, and I will not forget it. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
For all those wondering how I am feeling now, I can honestly say I still feel like I am on top of the world. I just watched my team win the biggest game of their lives, of MY life, and I got to do it with my family and friends. Would I trade that day, those moments, for anything? Not a chance.
|Thursday, February 3, 2011|
It is time to catch up on things. The winter sports season is quite consuming and it's time for me to take a step back and look at some other things that are happening.
Josh Campion is back at the U of M. Josh, who was recruited out of high school by the previous Gophers regime, had some work to do to improve his academics and spent the last year at Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia. The Academy has achieved a national reputation in athletics, usually sending thirty to sixth athletes from their high school and postgraduate teams to NCAA Division I college programs on athletic scholarships each year. Campion was introduced Wednesday as part of new coach Jerry Kill's first recruiting class at the University of Minnesota. The 6-5, 320 pound Campion will be an offensive lineman for the Gophers.
Defensive tackle Dan Wood (6-4, 250) from Pelican Rapids has been admitted to North Dakota State University as a recruited walk-on to the football program. NDSU went 9-5 last season and reached the NCAA Division FCS quarterfinals before falling to number one ranked Eastern Washington 38-31 in overtime.
John Gordon, the voice of the Twins since 1987, announced on Wednesday that the 2011 season will be his last behind the microphone. Gordon said after 43 years in professional baseball and 25 years working with the Twins, that he and his wife, Nancy want to do some traveling, see their families and spend time with them and just see what's out there outside of baseball. Gordon has a reduced schedule of games this year as he will cover 90 total games, 60 of them at Target Field and 30 on the road. He has covered 150 of the 162 games each of the last two seasons. We'll be resuming the John Gordon Show on the March 2 at 7:20am on AM 1250, KBRF, as a part of the daily Talkin' Sports program.
Super Bowl XLV. I pick the Steelers to win in overtime on an interception return for a TD by Troy Polamalu, the AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Final score, 33-27.
Fergus Falls graduate Krista Shaikoski is a senior at Jamestown College and is a member fo the Jimmies Women's Basketball team which is 16-5 overall and 6-3 in the Dakota Athletic Conference. Shaikoski has started all 21 games and is averaging 3.67 points and 2.62 rebounds per game, playing an average of 14.5 minutes.
Former Barnesville high school players Erica Nord and Jaynie Herbranson are members of the Concordia Women's Basketball team. The Cobbers are 15-5 overall and 12-4 in the MIAC. Nord has started all 20 games and is averaging 13.4 points and 4.4 rebounds per game in 32.2 minutes of playing time. Her 47 steals leads the team and her 58 assists is second on the squad. She is also second with 24 converted 3-point field goals, shooting 33% from beyond the arc. Herbranson has appeared in 17 games and is averaging 2 points and 2 rebounds per game in an average of 7.3 minutes per game. Herbranson is 4-of-9 on 3-pointers.
Brandon-Evansville High School graduate Megan Strese is a freshman at MSU-Moorhead and has started 10 of the Dragons 18 games this season. Strese is averaging 6.1 points and 4.6 rebounds per game and has hit 79% (45/57) of her free throws. She's averaging over 15 minutes of playing time each game. The Dragons are 10-8 overall and 7-7 in conference play.
Wrestler Brady Schneeberger from West Central Area High School, a senior at MSU-Moorhead is 9-8 at 141 pounds.
Concordia senior wrestlers Justin Berns (157) and Phil Moenkedick (184) stole the show at the Minnesota Duals last Friday in Perham as they both posted career win number 125 by winning three matches. Berns and Moenkedick were high school teammates at Perham. The Cobbers are ranked seventh in the nation and during the Minnesota Duals they recorded wins over number three Augsburg, number six St. John's and unranked St. Olaf. Moenkedick, the 2010 national champion in the 184 pound weight class and a two time All-American, is 26-1 this season and Berns is 22-3.
|Wednesday, February 2, 2011|
|Donations Being Taken for Zach Gabbard Family|
Breckenridge Athletic Director and boys basketball coach Dean Haugo has informed us that the Breckenridge basketball teams are in the process of collecting donations for the Zach Gabbard family.
Zach is a 17 year old junior on the Perham Yellowjackets basketball team who collapsed during a varsity game on January 20 in Glyndon. After receiving emergency medical procedures he was taken to Sanford Medical Center in Fargo where open heart surgery was performed. Once stable, Zach was moved to the University of Minnesota for more specialized care.
The Breckenridge basketball teams are asking fans and community members and businesses to join them in their effort to provide help for the Gabbard family during this difficult time. They will present the Perham team with their donation at Thursday's game in Breckenridge. Donations are being collected before school and during lunch on Wednesday and Thursday at the school, and were collected at Tuesday's girls basketball game with Barnesville. Checks can be made out to the Zach Gabbard Fund."