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Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Swimming Registration Begins April 4

Registration for the Fergus Falls Flyers Swim Team spring season begins on April 4. The spring season is set for May 5 through May 29 and the summer session will be June 2 through July 18, with an extended season for those competing in summer state meets. 

“Try Competitive Swimming” has been added the first week of May for those new to competitive swimming. The Flyer Head Coach is Tom Uvaas and Age Group Coach is Joyce Monk.

For more information including on-line registration directions, costs per season, practice days and times and the summer meet schedule, go to the website listed below. Check under ‘More Information’ or ‘Contact Us’ on the website for contact information for the coaches, President Sherri Money and Registrar Rebecca Svingen.

The swim website is www.fergusfallsswimming.org 

 

Posted By Anne Andersen
Saturday, March 22, 2014
Masten Named First Team All-American, Up for Player of the Year

The American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA) announced Thursday that for the second consecutive season, Bethel College women's hockey player, Cristina Masten was selected to the Division III CCM Hockey All-American First Team. The honor was Masten's second All-American award, as she was a member of the CCM All-American Second Team a year ago.  

Also six players who have distinguished themselves on the ice in 2013-14 have been named finalists for the 2014 Laura Hurd Award, given annually to the best NCAA Division III women's ice hockey player in the country. The list of finalists includes two players who led their teams into the 2014 NCAA Division III Women's Ice Hockey Championship in Plattsburgh, NY, this weekend. They are Sydney Aveson, a senior goaltender from Plattsburgh State, and Tori Charron, a senior forward from Norwich University.

Sponsored by the American Hockey Coaches Association, the Hurd Award honors the memory of former Elmira College standout Laura Hurd. A 2005 graduate of Elmira, and a four-time All-American, Hurd died in an automobile accident shortly after graduation. She was the recipient of the AHCA Player of the Year Award in 2005. The recipient of this year's Hurd Award will be announced this Thursday evening during the student-athlete banquet at the NCAA Division III Women's Ice Hockey Championship in Plattsburgh, NY.

Finalists for the 2013-14 Laura Hurd Award AHCA Women's Ice Hockey College Division Player of the Year Sydney Aveson, Senior, Goaltender, Plattsburgh State (West Covina, California) 2013-14 ECAC West Player of the Year; Cristina Bravi, Senior, Forward, Williams College (Montreal, Quebec) 2013-14 NESCAC Player of the Year; Tori Charron, Senior, Forward, Norwich University (Tecumseh, Ontario)* 2013-14 ECAC East Player of the Year; Michelle Greeneway, Sophomore, Forward, Lake Forest College (Sheboygan, Wisconsin) 2013-14 NCHA Player of the Year; Cristina Masten, Senior, Forward, Bethel College (Fergus Falls, Minnesota) 2013-14 MIAC Player of the Year; Cassandra Salmen, Senior, Forward, UW-Stevens Point (Stillwater, Minnesota) 2013-14 WIAC Player of the Year.

Posted By Press Release
Friday, March 21, 2014
Cheer on the Otters One More Time (Fan Bus Info)

Fergus Falls girls basketball fans have one more opportunity to cheer for their team as the Otters face Minneapolis Washburn in the Class 3A third place game at 2:00pm Saturday at Concordia University in St. Paul.  Fans can sign up to ride a fan bus throughout the day Friday at the Activities Office at the Kennedy Secondary School.  Cost is $20 and the busses will load at 9:45am Saturday.

Fans are also reminded of the Welcome Home celebration for all Fergus Falls winter sports athletes who participated at the state level.  The event is scheduled for 1:00pm Sunday in the Gold Gymnasium and will honor the girls basketball team, the boys swimming and diving team, and the state wrestling participants.

Posted By Craig Olson
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Monke's Season Ends with Loss at U of M

Mariah Monke, a redshirt freshman for Wisconsin-Green Bay, saw her season end on Wednesday night when the Phoenix lost to the lady Gophers 62-60. 

Wisconsin-Green Bay led by ten points at halftime, 33-23, but Minnesota scored the first eleven points of the second half to get back into the game.

Monke had three rebounds, two of them on the offensive end, hit one of two free throws and had one assist in eight minutes of playing time. 

I had a chance to spend a few minutes visiting with Mariah after the game and asked her how she felt about her progress this season.  "There have been ups and downs, but I feel like I've taken the right strides to getting where I want to be."  As for the future of the team, "I am so excited about it!  We are all sorry to see our two seniors go.  They were great leaders for us and helped all of us out in adjusting to the college game.  I'm looking forward to growing with them and creating some great chemistry as a team."

As for advice to the Otters, Mariah said, "Play hard and enjoy the experience.  You'll always remember these games, so give it your all."

Posted By Craig Olson
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
What a Great Time of the Year

On the eve of the start of the NCAA Tournament I am just being a fan.  Earlier today I worked the Fergus Falls Girls Basketball State Tournament game at Mariucci Arena.  After a lunch and Annie's Parlor with a long time friend who I don't see nearly enough, I am now across the street at Williams Arena, sitting in press row, ready to watch Mariah Monke and her Wisconsin-Green Bay teammates take on the U of M lady Gophers in the first round of the WNIT.

Mariah comes off the bench for the Phoenix and averages 3.9 points per game, 2.1 rebounds per game and plays just under 11 minutes per game.  Her field goal percentage (50.5%) is second best when looking at the starters and top five reserves.  Her team was 22-9, won the Horizon League title with a 13-3 record, but lost in the tournament semifinals to Wright State, knocking them out of consideration for the Women's NCAA Tournament.

One of my biggest disappointments through the years is that I have had few opportunities to watch former high school athletes from our area compete collegiately.  The high school broadcast schedule that I have just doesn't allow me to get to many college events, so when an opportunity like this comes along I take it! 

How perfect is this for the Monke family? Anna, a senior at Fergus Fall High School, plays a quarterfinal tournament game at 10:00am at Mariucci Arena and as luck would have it, Mariah is in town to play the Gophers.  The luck of the draw! 

Well, tip-off is just a few minutes away.  I'll add a couple of comments from Mariah following the game.

AFter the Otters play Marshall tomorrow afternoon I'll be locked in on the NCAA Tournament the rest of the afternoon/evening and all day Friday.  Saturday will have to work around when the Otters play, hopefully at 6:00pm for the 3A state title, but Sunday will be wall-to-wall basketball.  March Madness is great and it also means that Opening Day in Major League Baseball is just around the corner!

 

Posted By Craig Olson
Sunday, March 16, 2014
Bracket Challenge Returns

The Bracket Challenge is back for another run, thanks to the sponsorship of Kevin Johanson, Certified Financial Planner with LPL Financial.  The College Basketball Challenge is open to anyone and you can access the contest at http://lplncaa.mayhem.cbssports.com/e.  When prompted, enter the password lpl and fill out your bracket!  One entry per person with a deadline of Thursday at Noon EDT.

Kevin will be providing cash prizes of $100, $50 and $25 for the top three finishers in the challenge.  In addition, all entries with more points than our host will be thrown into a drawing for another $100 in cash!

Posted By Craig Olson
Saturday, March 15, 2014
Game Ticket Sales and Fan Bus Registration Begins Monday

The Class AAA state girls tournament seeding has been completed and the Fergus Falls Otters (28-1) received the #2 seed in the tournament. 

The Otters will play Kasson-Mantorville in the first round, scheduled for Wednesday morning at 10:00am, at Mariucci Arena on the campus of the University of Minnesota (next to Williams Arena). 

Ticket sales and sign up for fan bus transportation will start Monday morning in the Activities Office at Kennedy Secondary School.  Tickets to the Wednesday game are priced at $14.00 for adults and $9.00 for students.  The cost to ride the fan bus is $20.00 per person with the bus loading at 5:45am Wednesday.  Be advised that when you come to purchase tickets there is no parking in Lot 2 at the Kennedy Secondary School.  Parking is available in Lot 3. 

Posted By Craig Olson
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Koalska's Step Down as Otter Girls Hockey Coaches

For the past four years the husband-wife coaching duo of Matt Koalska and Leah (Graff) Koalska have been side-by-side on the ice during practice and on the bench during games, leading the Fergus Falls girls hockey team.  Matt as the head coach and Leah as his varsity assistant, a role she fulfilled for one year with previous head coach Brian Vatnsdal.  Leah, a 2002 FFHS graduate, also played for the Otters.

The Koalska family has doubled in size since Matt and Leah began this coaching venture.  First, two-year old Rue joined the family and on February 25 her baby sister Lara was born.  It was the expansion of the family that was the primary reason for their decision to leave coaching at this time.  That and Matt's new job.

"I just think it is best for myself and my family at this time for me to be there for them on a daily basis," said Matt.  "I truly feel with my heart it is time to stop and give more time to them and also to my new position at Shoremaster."

Koalska, who was a trainer at Athletic Republic until it closed at the end of 2013, is now the Business Development Coordinator at Shoremaster.

"My job is to make sure we have a good communication flow both internally with our employees and externally with our clients and distributors," said Koalska. "I do a lot of different things, but basically I do what I can to help continue to make Shoremaster a successful company."

Leah added, "It was fun for us to coach together for the last four years.  We enjoyed going to the rink, getting to know the girls and seeing the improvements they made throughout the year.  We just know that with two young girls at home it would be very difficult to make the commitment to continue with the program."

Under the leadership of the Koalska's the Otters played in the Section 6A finals in three of the last four seasons.

Koalska, a hero for the Minnesota Gophers during their national championship years of 2002 and 2003, had a taste of the NHL before a heart condition led to his early retirement. 

"It was great to see the girls enjoying their time at the rink and building relationships with teammates and fans," commented Matt.  "Everyone involved with the rink was really great to work with and Leah and I really appreciated their efforts to provide us with a top notch facility.  As for coaching in the future, never say never. We'll see how things work out down the road."

 

Posted By Craig Olson
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Masten Named MIAC Womens Hockey Player-of-the Year

Fergus Falls High School graduate and former Otter girls hockey player Cristina Masten has been named the 2013-14 MIAC Player-of-the-Year. Masten led the MIAC for the second straight season in scoring, totaling 35 points and a conference-high 20 goals scored.

The 2012-13 All-American leaves Bethel as the program’s all-time leading scorer with a total of 123 points, breaking the previous record by 18. Masten was named to the All-Conference team all four years of her Bethel career and is the first Royal to earn the league’s highest individual honor. Masten joins a group of eight Bethel athletes in the last two years to earn MIAC Player-of-the-Year honors in their respective sports.

For more information on Bethel College athletics, click on the following link:

http://athletics.bethel.edu/news/2014/3/5/WHOCK_0305141232.aspx

Posted By Craig Olson/Bethel Press Release
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