|Friday, April 29, 2011|
|Draft 2011: Vikes Lose Forest for the Trees|
Nearly every Tuesday for the past 15-plus years, Kris Svingen, Dave Retzlaff and I have gotten together for a half hour TV show at Peg Access in Fergus Falls. The show is called Sports Wrap and we have fun talking about timely sports topics. Chris Wasberg was with us for some of that time but time constraints and demands of the job took him away from us (except as an occasional guest when one of us is unable to make it). This year we invited Ned Eerdmans, another sports fan who likes to talk, to join our group. Ned has some comments to share about the Vikings first round draft pick. That is the subject of this Craig's Corner column, which has hosted various guest columnists over the years. Thanks for sharing, Ned!
Draft 2011: Vikes Lose Forest for the Trees
Seems as though the new Fraser brain trust may of “out-thunk” themselves at the 2011 NFL Draft on Thursday night. By focusing their attention and energies on filling their empty quarterback position, they lost sight of the abundant available talent that remained available for their first round pick at number 12. The monocular focus on a quarterback blinded the Vikes to some big picture realities.
1) This isn’t last year’s NFC runner-up. There weren’t many specific needs on that 2009 team, but now the Vikings have needs across the board at all positions. They had a highly ranked cornerback, defensive tackle and offensive lineman ready and available for the taking in the first round. All would have met immediate needs. Seems the anxiety over their quarterback situation caused the Vikes to take a player (Christian Ponder of Florida State) who was commonly thought to be a second rounder at best.
2) We’re still paying for the Randy Moss trade. The Vikes could have traded up with the third round pick that they gave away to New England for Randy Moss last season. Without trading up, there was no way to get their primary candidate to fulfill their quarterbacking future. Jake Locker was gone by number 12. If they had kept their draft choice, it could have been traded for the number 10 spot where Minnesota could have drafted Missouri’s highly touted Blaine Gabbert. Seems that the Vikes were so intent on drafting a quarterback, they had to beat the other teams to the next best option, considered to be Ponder. Ponder is a successful college quarterback, but he is neither a Locker nor a Gabbert. We’ll find that out soon enough.
3) It’s a “lockout” year. Even if Ponder is a mature, professional-ready signal caller, he won’t have the normal off-season training he will need to catch up with the Viking’s offensive system and mesh his talents with those of the Viking’s receiving corps. Labor unrest will keep him out of the loop for now. Instead of setting Ponder up for success, he might be fodder for anxious fans who will demand too much too soon in order to forget Brett Favre’s final fiasco.
Teams like New England and Pittsburgh seem to bring a broad perspective to drafting college talent. The Vikes, nervous about filling their quarterback position from a graduating class full of high-profile collegiate QBs, may have focused so heavily on filling the one position that they have created too many weaknesses. In thinking too hard, they may have lost sight of the real value of their first round choice.
|Wednesday, April 27, 2011|
|Eighth Annual Senior Recognition and Hall of Fame Program Scheduled|
The 8th annual Senior Recognition and Hall of Fame awards program will be held on Monday, May 9 at the Kennedy Secondary School in Fergus Falls. The evening will begin with a social gathering from 6:00-6:30 pm in the front foyer. The Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of Mark Solie, will be the entertainment.
The awards ceremony will start at 6:30pm in the auditorium and will honor the FFHS seniors and the six new Hall of Fame inductees. The 2011 inductees are:
Elaine Olson Distinguished Alumni
Ronald Tate Distinguished Alumni
Tom Blondeau Arts
James Worner Arts
Carolyn Schmidt Distinguished Service
Len Kretchman Athletics
The program will include the senior awards, videos, musical selections from the band and choir, athletes of the year, and presentation of scholarships. After the ceremony, everyone is invited to the cafeteria for dessert – cheesecake, coffee, and punch.
|Tuesday, April 26, 2011|
|Spartans Thielen Named Player of the Week|
Sophomore catcher Sam Thielen from Wheaton is the MCAC Central Division Player of the Week. Thielen batted .563 (9 –16) as M State-Fergus Falls won five times last week.
Thielen had 1 HR, 4 2B and 3 RBI. Of 25 hits this season for Thielen, 18 have gone for extra bases including 7 triples.
The Spartans are 7-1 in Central Division Play, trailing St. Cloud Technical College (9-1) by one game in the standings.
|Wednesday, April 20, 2011|
|Hansen Named NSIC Pitcher of the Week|
The Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference announced Tuesday that Augustana's Derek Hansen has been named Pitcher of the Week for his performance in the Vikings win over Winona State last Saturday.
Hansen, a sophomore from Fergus Falls, pitched six shutout innings and allowed just two hits. He also struck out eight and held his opponents to a .100 batting average as his team notched a 3-1 win. Hansen is 4-1 on the season with a 3.68 earned run average.
Augustand is 21-13 overall and 13-5 in the NSIC.
|Wednesday, April 20, 2011|
|Gervais Has Best Collegiate Round|
Fergus Falls High School grad Trevor Gervais, a sophomore at Gustavus, posted the lowest individual round of his career with a 70, the lowest 54-hole total of his career (217) and his first top five finish (4th) at the Bobby Krig Invitational at Le Sueur Country Club on Monday.
The Gusties finished second in the 54-hole tournament with a score of 879. Their final round of 283 (+3) is the lowest single round team score in seven years and the eighth lowest round in the history of the program.
Gustavus will take part in the St. John's Invitational, a 36-hole tournament this Friday and Saturday in Monticello and St. Cloud.
|Wednesday, April 20, 2011|
|Fergus Falls Athletes Compete in Special Olympics|
Eight Special Olympics athletes from Fergus Falls competed in the Special Olympics State Basketball competition this past weekend in Eden Prairie.
Coach Zach Lewis reports that Amy Kerr and Cara Scott won gold medals in the Individual Skills Competition with Kerr competing in Division 5 and Scott in Division 11. The athletes are ranked according to their combined score in speed dribbling, passing and shooting. They advanced to state by qualifying at the Area competition in Perham and the Regional competition in St. Cloud.
The Fergus Falls team also won the 3-on-3 Tournament in the "A" Division, taking the gold medal for the third time in the last four years. Team members were Ben Meder, Aaron Lawrence, Matt Miller, Brandon Miller, Dakota Birch and Alex Hanson.
|Sunday, April 17, 2011|
|Tipsinah Mounds Hosting Two May Tournaments|
Tipsinah Mounds Golf Course in Elbow Lake will be hosting a pair of May tournaments. The Early Bird 4-Man Scramble is set for Saturday, May 7 and the First Annual WCA North PTO Golf Tournament will be held on Saturday, May 21.
The Early Bird 4-Man Scramble is an 18 hole tournament which begins at 12:00pm with a shotgun start. Registration will be between 11:00-11:30am. Entry fee is $40 per person for members, $50 per person for non-members and the fee does include a cart. To register, call 218-685-4271, sign up at the course, or complete a registration form and mail it to Tipsinah Mounds Golf Course, 15185 Golf Course Road, Elbow Lake, MN 56531. Contact Jody Brasel (218) 685-4811 or Kraig Hunter (218) 685-5188 for more information. The tournament will be limited to the first 48 teams and it is being sponsored by the Tipsinah Mounds Men's League.
The First Annual WCA North PTO Golf Tournament will feature an 11:00am shotgun start with registration beginning at 10:00am. Participants must be at least 18 years old. The formtat is a 4-person scramble and the entry fee is $40 for members and $50 for non-members with a fee of $10 per person for a cart. Call 218-685-4271 to reserve carts. Lunch will be provided. There is a May 7 registration deadline. This tournament is a fundraiser to support the West Central Area School and is an opportunity to support the Parent Teacher Organization that helps provide equipment, supplies and activities for students and faculty. To register call 218-685-4200.
|Sunday, April 17, 2011|
|Ferry Plays in All Star Series|
The "Clash of the Classes" All Star Series took place at the University of St. Thomas on Friday and Saturday, April 15 and 16. Ten girls from each of the four Classes (A, AA, AAA and AAAA) are selected to the All Star Team by the Minnesota Girls Basketball Coaches Association. Senior Ellen Ferry of Underwood was selected to play on the Class A team.
The Class A girls won the Friday night opener against the Class AAA girls in a close game with an exciting 83 - 82 finish. Ferry contributed 8 points, pulled down 7 rebounds and had 2 steals in the contest. The Class A girls went on to place 2nd in the tournament, losing the Saturday Championship game to a very talented Class AAAA team. Class AAA finished 3rd and Class AA in the 4th position.
|Wednesday, April 6, 2011|
|Fergus Falls Flyers Registration Set for Tuesday and Wednesday|
Fergus Falls Flyers registration for 2011 Summer and Pre Season will be on Tuesday and Wednesday, April 12 and 13, from 4:00pm to 6:00pm, at the Kennedy Secondary School Commons/Cafeteria (please use the entry off Friberg).
Registration and health information forms that need to be completed are available on the swim website at www:fergusfallsswimming.org
You can print a copy and have them completed when you come to registration or mail them to: FF Flyers, PO Box 236, Fergus Falls, MN 56538
Swim suits, caps and goggles will be available for purchase both registration days.
FF Flyers swim at the KSS Pool and the Head Coach is Tom Uvaas
. Pre Season Instruction and Training dates are May 2nd - May 26th and the Summer Season runs from May 31st to July 15th, with an extended season for those who are still competing at meets.
In order to join the swim team, you must be able to swim one length (25 yards) of the pool comfortably without stopping. All new FFF swimmers are required to swim for the coach before the season begins in order to be placed in the correct practice times. Contact President Jana Emery
(731-7268) or email email@example.com
if you have questions.
|Monday, April 4, 2011|
I had the privilege of being present for the induction of Don Stueve into the Minnesota Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame on Saturday night at the Double Tree Park Place Hotel in Minneapolis.
I traveled to the cities with Roger Olson, Wally Pearson and Steve Atchison, all former Stueve assistants. Once there we were joined by Steve Olson and Keith Pearson who both had the opportunity to play and/or coach with Stueve. Current Otter football coach Richard Risbrudt and his wife Denise were also present, along with Stueve's three sons, Ned, Chad and Wade, his wife Elaine, his brother Gerhardt, who introduced him, and other family members.
It was a good evening as six individuals were inducted into the Hall of Fame and numerous coaches from around the state were recognized with Conference, Section and State Coach of the Year awards.
Among the recipients were Ottertail Central Head Coach Don Seipkes who was named the Class 2A State Coach of the Year. Seipkes, who has been coaching for 38 years at Henning and OTC, has 225 career wins and led his team to a 12-1 finish last season. Seipkes was named Prairie North Conference Coach of the Year and Section 6 Coach of the Year in 2A.
David Haugen of Pelican Rapids was honored as Section 8 Coach of the Year in Class 2A.
In 9 Man, Underwood head coach Chuck Ross was the Section 4 Coach of the Year and shared Pheasant North Conference Coach of the Year honors with Charlie Brue of Hillcrest and Rick Harig of Bertha-Hewitt. Tony Thiel of Wheaton was the Pheasant South Conference Coach of the Year and former Underwood standout Jeff Gronner, coaching at Cromwell, was the Section 5 Coach of the Year and 9 Man State Coach of the Year.
Bryan Strand of Barnesville was the Section 6A Coach of the Year and Northern Plains Conference Coach of the Year. Breckenridge Head Coach Chad Fredrickson was the Heart O' Lakes Classic Coach of the Year and of Pequot Lakes was the Heart O' Lakes North Coach of the Year.
Brainerd Head Coach Ron Stolski was named Coach of the Year. Stolski, who has the most wins in Minnesota High School Football history (330), was the Section 8 Coach of the Year in Class 5A and was the Central Lakes Conference Coach of the Year.
It was fun to be among the nearly 400 people in attendance for this event and it has been enjoyable to look through the program. Several coaches, officials, media representatives and others from around our area are among those who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame, which began in 1965. Oats LeGrand went in in 1974 and Manny Marget from Moorhead preceded him in 1971. Ralph Anderson of the Detroit Lakes newspapers went in with Jerry Dahlberg of Crookston radio fame in 1973, in a class that included Marv Helling. Will Gullickson, writer for the Fargo Forum for many years, went in in 1976, along with Murray Warmath, a well known name in Gopher and Viking history. Chauncey Martin from Pelican Rapids was inducted in 1978 along with Perham great Ted Meinhover. Bruce Bakke, long time sportswriter for the Daily Journal was inducted in 1979 and outstanding Moorhead coach Jim Gotta went in in 1983. The late Jim Henkes, who had such great success in Wheaton was inducted in 1984. Tony Thiel, who had perennial powerhouse football teams at Battle Lake in the 70's, was inducted in 1989. Fergus Falls High School graduate Roland Bromberg, who went on to coach for 30 years in Cloquet, went into the Hall in 1990 along with Al Siegle from Pelican Rapids. Crookston coach Les Drechsel, who had many memorable battles with Coach Stueve, is a 1993 inductee. Concordia College coaches Jake Christiansen (Class of 1965) and Jim Christopherson (Class of 1995) and Ross Fortier (Class of 1997)of Moorhead State are all in, and broadcaster Andy Lia from Detroit Lakes was inducted in 1997. Gerhardt Meidt, who had great teams at Rothsay and then at Minneota, went in in 1999 and Andy McCarty from Park Rapids was inducted in 2000. Keith Swanson of Hoffman-Kensington and West Central Area was inducted in 2001 and the 2002 class included Ken Baumann from Mahnomen and Rick Manke from Detroit Lakes. Neal Hofland of Chokio-Alberta was in the 2005 Class of inductees and Dan Kostich of Moorhead went in in 2007. Brainerd Coach Ron Stolski is a 2008 inductee and Mike Mahlen of Verndale was inducted in 2009.
Paul Giel, Sid Hartman, Bud Grant, Cal Stoll, Clayton Tonnemaker, Dana Powers, George Thole, Deryl Ramey, Dwight Lundeen, Bud Wilkinson, Ray Christenson, Bronko Nagurski and Bernie Bierman are all very recognizable names and all are members of the Minnesota Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Perhaps the highlight of the night came when another inductee, Merrill Pavlovich of Delano, read a letter he had received from another inductee following a football game between their two teams in 1992. The letter was in appreciation for a great contest which featured good, hard, clean football between two teams who played the game the right way. It also thanked Pavlovich for the hospitality extended to the visiting team by everyone at the school and associated with the program. It thanked him for running a top notch program with great class and efficiency. That letter obviously made quite an impact on Coach Pavlovich and it was also typical of a man who ran a similar program in Fergus Falls for 30 years, Don Stueve. Congratulations Don! This honor is much deserved.