Sports Feever – March 14, 2019

We are a week away from March Madness beginning!!!  The best tournament/sporting event in all of sports.  Even the hockey people can’t try to argue against the statement because they all have brackets they have filled out.

My daughter (Macy) and I are going to head down to the State Girls Basketball tournament to watch Roseau play their last two games and to watch Paige Bueckers of Hopkins play.  She is the #1 rated junior girls basketball player in the nation and the Star Tribune Metro Girls Basketball player of the year for the second straight year.  We are looking forward, weather permitting, to go down and just watch the games and cheer on the fun to watch Roseau Rams and the best sophomore in the state with Katie Borowicz!

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Enough of this winter stuff, it is time for spring to come.  We are digging out after another blizzard and the storms have caused havoc with the boys basketball playoffs in the area.  And spring sports, once again, are wondering why they offer them in Minnesota!  With boys volleyball getting close to becoming a Minnesota State High School league sponsored activity (in the spring), look for it to take off in NW Minnesota when it does because they will play every match scheduled since they are in a gym.  Could hurt baseball and track.

The Section 8AA Boys Basketball playoffs postponed their quarterfinals games on Saturday to Monday and were going to play the semi-finals on Wednesday.  They postponed the games on Wednesday to Friday and now the Section 8AA championship will be played a day later on Saturday.  It really is a no win situation, but it is the way the winter has gone this year.

It was a tough State Boys Hockey tournament for the East Grand Forks Green Wave as they ran into the best two teams in the state tournament and finished fourth place.  Congratulations to the Green Wave on another great season.

Congratulations to the Roseau Ram Girls Basketball team on winning their first round game at state with an exciting one-point victory on Wednesday night over Redwood Valley.  They advance to the state sem-finals and are looking to get to the state championship game for the third straight year.

The Section 8A Boys Basketball championship game will be a rematch from last year with Ada-Borup/Norman County West vs Cass Lake-Bena.  You can hear the game on KROX Radio with a pre-game show at 6:30 p.m. and the opening tip at 7:00 p.m. on Friday night.  You can also listen online at by clicking on the listen live link at the top right hand side of the page.

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The Crookston Pirate Boys Basketball team wrapped up their season last Thursday with a hard-fought loss to East Grand Forks in the first round of the Section 8AA tournament.  The boys didn’t have the season they were hoping for as far as wins and losses but provided some good entertainment all season long.
Crookston says goodbye to five seniors – Nick Garmen, Jaden Lubarski, Chris Kazmierczak, Jonathan Abeld and student-manager Shaun Nelson.

Nick Garmen was the leader and one of the best to put on a Crookston Pirate boys basketball jersey.  He holds the following program records –
Most points in a season with 532
Career charges taken – 31
Career 3-pointers made – 222 (out of 664 for 33.4%)
Other top 10 career finishes –
Second in career rebounds with 712 (five behind Aaron Hollcraft)
Third in career steals with 172
Fourth in career scoring with 1292
Sixth in career assists with 242

Nick averaged 19.7 points per game and had a player rating of 615 (one better than Caden Osbor).  Nick also had 185 rebounds, 52 assists, 58 steals, and he made 72 three-pointers on the year.  He wasn’t the quickest or most athletic kid on the floor, but he was smart, played hard and found ways to score.

Jaden Lubarski averaged 10 points per game and had a player rating of 107.  He had 85 rebounds, 31 assists, 19 steals and 9 blocks.  He was the most athletic player for the Pirates and created some tough matchups for the opponents.

Chris Kazmierczak and Johnny Abeld didn’t play as much as they would have liked, but they were great teammates, they are great kids and worked hard every day.

Shaun Nelson was the boys basketball manager for three years and he was outstanding.  He was always prepared and had everything ready for the coaches and players.  Managers are such an important part of any high school sports team and Shaun was one of the best.

Crookston loses some great players, but they return three starters and some important players that came off the bench and they could be competitive next year.

The top returner is Cade Osborn.  The 6’2 junior post shot 61 percent (170 of 280) from the field, he average 17 points per game, he had 10 rebounds per game, 61 steals and 71 blocked shots.  He will be one of the top players in the section and he is a kid that will work hard and if he can put a few more pounds of muscle on in the offseason he could have a fantastic year next year.
Walker Winjum, a junior guard, really came on as the season went along.  He was playing his best basketball and had one of his better games against East Grand Forks in the playoffs.  He was aggressive and he will always play hard.   He averaged 8 points per game, he had 69 rebounds, 61 assists, 42 steals, and had a player rating of 161 third on the team).
Jack Garmen is the third starter coming back and he was a three-point threat for the Pirates.  The freshman made 22 three’s on the year and averaged three points per game.  he will be looked at to do more next year.
Carter Bruggeman started to get some playing time in the second half of the season and showed he is ready for the varsity level.  He is big and strong and likes to drive.  If he works hard on getting a little quicker, even stronger and work on the jump shot he could be a big factor in the Pirates success like the previous three I mentioned.
Easton Tangquist is another player that will be fighting for a starting spot.  The guard has the skills and if he can work on his shot and making it consistently he could be a big factor next year for the Pirates.
Others that will be players fighting for a starting spot are Brady Butt, a big and strong player that needs to get quicker work on his shooting during the offseason and he could be a big factor next year.  Gunnar Gunderson is a freshman guard and has the chance to get a lot of minutes next year, but he will have to get stronger and a little bigger.  Jacob Miller is another guard that will have a chance to get some minutes next year.  Brooks Butt is another player from this years varsity roster that has a good shot at some more minutes.  He is a big and strong kid and if he can get faster and work on his shot, he could see some minutes next year.

The Pirates all need to get in the weight room because that is where the game is won.  To be a good basketball player, you have to be strong, skilled and have some athleticism.  Did I mention the Pirates need to get in the weight room and they also need to get faster/quicker.  The Section 8AA teams have some very athletic kids and you need to be able to run with them.

We will look at Pirate Girls Basketball next week.

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Last week I mentioned Red Lake County Rebel football looked like they would be able to drop to nine-man football next year and I did the coop match take the full enrollment of the largest school and 50 percent of the smaller school. The Minnesota State High School League does the football scheduling with their districts (a typical MSHSL mess) in October with numbers that are higher than what the MSHSL has for them in their latest classification numbers that they are using to classify what class each team will play.
With Red Lake Falls and the 50% of Red Lake County Central enrollment, they were 8.5 students below the cutoff.  I talked with Rebel Football coach Brian Remick and he said they were already given an 11 man schedule by the MSHSL and if they wanted to play 9-man they would still have to play an 11 man schedule.  So Remick called the MSHSL and he was told they were already classified as 11-man when they did the districts in October.
Brian said he is fine staying up because it looks like both schools enrollment numbers are going up and they would likely have to move back up next time.


We have also heard a rumor that the Fergus Falls Otters might drop down to Class AA basketball next year.  That would more than likely put them in Section 8AA and that would change things at the top of the section.

I was talking to Jim Weinzierl, Region 8A Executive Secretary, last weekend at the Section 8A Boys Basketball quarterfinals and asked him about it.  He said the Minnesota State High School has 184 appeals on classification so far, so they are trying to get through those in the next couple of weeks.

I also learned something pretty interesting about the money made by the Section committees at the tournaments.   I was told that the Region 8A committee will get all the money from the Section 8AA girls basketball championship game because both teams (Crookston and Roseau) are in Region 8A.  The semi-finals had three teams out of the four from the North/Region 8A so Region 8A will get three-quarters of the gate.

With that said, the University of Minnesota Crookston did a great job of the hosting the Section 8AA semi-finals and championship!

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The Northwest Boys Basketball Conference has announced the all-conference award winners for the 2018-2019 season.  The winners are listed below –

All Conference
Caden Osborn    Jr.  Crookston
Nick Garmen     Sr.  Crookston
Julian Benson    Jr.  East Grand Forks
Nathan Willett   Jr.  East Grand Forks
Tanner Campos    Fr.  East Grand Forks
Eric Hoffer      Sr. Roseau
Jacob Lindemann   Sr.  Roseau
Storm Manning   Jr.  Thief River Falls
Brevyn Lingen    So.  Thief River Falls
Luke Perkovich   Sr.  Thief River Falls
Isaac Falk-Stoskopf   Sr. Warroad
Jett Shoen     Sr.  Warroad
Kenly Gordon    So. Bagley

Honorable Mention
Walker Winjum    Jr. Crookston
Colton Dauksavage  Jr.  East Grand Forks
Tyler Aamodt      Jr.  East Grand Forks
Gunner Zutz       Jr.  Thief River Falls
Tyler Fox            Jr.   Warroad
Alec Norum        So. Bagley

Co-Offensive Players of the Year
Eric Hoffer         Jr.      Roseau
Nick Garmen     Sr.     Crookston

Defensive Player of the Year
Isaac Falk-Stoskopf     Sr.   Warroad

Most Valuable Player
Julian Benson    Jr.   East Grand Forks

Coach of the Year
Josh Perkerwicz      East Grand Forks

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Here is the North Tri-County Boys’ Basketball All-Conference and Honorable Mention team:
Brenden Bethke, Sacred Heart
John Fontaine, Sacred Heart
Evan Sczepanski, Sacred Heart
Oscar Ortiz, Sacred Heart
Jonny Hamnes, Clearbrook-Gonvick
Ethan Dorman, Clearbrook-Gonvick
Ben Engebretson, Clearbrook-Gonvick
Derek Peterson, Red Lake County
Brandon Wiskow, Red Lake County
Isiah Olson, Red Lake County
Jake Tharaldson, Goodridge-Grygla
Honorable Mention:
Ian Evavold, Sacred Heart
Sam Gapp, Sacred Heart
Alex Dawson, Clearbrook-Gonvick
Erick Bergman, Clearbrook-Gonvick
Ben Cardinal, Red Lake County
Eric Gieseke, Red Lake County
Peyton Verbout, Goodridge-Grygla
Kaleb Sjulestad, Goodridge_Grygla
Conference Tri Champions:  Clearbrook-Gonvick,  Sacred Heart, Red Lake County
North Tri-County JV co-champions:  Goodridge-Grygla and Red Lake County

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A couple of thoughts on the Section 8A Boys Basketball tournament.

  1. Is there a better coach than Fertile-Beltrami’s Neil Steffes?   He gets the most out of his teams and they are always better than people “think” they will be.  Watching them play Ada-Borup/Norman County West in the Section 8A semi-finals on Monday and Fertile-Beltrami had Ada-Borup on the ropes and even though they came up short, they had a great game!
  2. Cass Lake-Bena is a fun team to watch.  They can all shoot the ball, they get after it on defense and they are in great shape!
  3. It is nice to see a 6’8 kid actually post up!  Mason Miller of Ada-Borup/Norman County West is a very good player and he looks to post up every trip down the floor.  He is a very good player and has actually been underutilized by his teammates in the postseason.

My prediction for the Section 8A Championship game – Cass Lake-Bena to win by 8 points.

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Some thoughts on the Section 8AA Boys Basketball championship game –
1. The boys are the opposite of the girls.  The south is much stronger than the north.  That was proven again this year.  (Of course, if you take hockey away from TRF, EGF, Warroad, Roseau and Crookston….their boys basketball teams would be dominant every year too.)
2. It is tough to win a championship in Section 8AA.  Osakis only had one loss all season and they lose in the Section quarterfinals.  Perham didn’t have a loss last year and suffered their first loss of the year in the section championship game.  You have to be very good, tough, a little lucky, and healthy in order to make a run.
3. Is this the year Perham gets back to state?  I am predicting they will and it would be good for the section because if Perham goes to state they will likely be the second seed.  If anybody else goes to state, they probably won’t be seeded.

My predictions in the Section 8AA Championship –  Perham wins the ship by 7

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The Sacred Heart Eagle Boys Basketball team wrapped up their regular season with a loss to Fertile-Beltrami and in the loss, a couple of big things happened for the program.

Brenden Bethke scored his 1,332 career point and set a new Eagle Boys Basketball career record.

Under Coach Destry Sterkel, the Eagles have gone from a perennial play-in game to a perennial contender.  From 2010 to 2014 Sacred Heart Boys Basketball had a combined 18 wins.  From 2015 to 2019 they have recorded 73 total wins!  A great job by the coach, the kids, and their families to turn things around.

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The University of Minnesota Crookston baseball program announced the signing of five student-athletes to National Letters of Intent for the 2020 season. The Golden Eagles have inked Tyrique Alston (OF, 5-11 190, Ewing, N.J./Erasmus Hall H.S.), Taylor Brayton (RHP, 6-1 195, Prentice, Wis./Iowa Central Community College), Brad Morris (OF, Auckland, New Zealand/Riverland Community College), Yadiel Ortiz (IF, 5-9 190, Patillas, Puerto Rico/Riverland Community College), and T.J. Wagner (RHP, 5-8 165, Cottage Grove, Minn./Itasca Community College).

For a complete look at each of the signees, click here.

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Hey Chris,

A Little State Hockey Trivia:

Greenway High School of Coleraine made it back to the state high school hockey tournament this year (2019) after a long drought.  Greenway appeared in 3 straight tournaments from 1966 through 1969.
Mick Metzer played on the 1966, junior year (Consolation Champion) and 1967, senior year (State Champions) teams – a center wearing #9.
Ten years later, Mick coached the Mount St. Benedict Blue Wave to the Section 8 championship game, by knocking off Lake of the Woods, Bemidji and Fergus Falls, reaching the final tilt against Neil & Aaron Broten, Butsy Erickson, and the Roseau Rams.  Playing four games in just over a week, the Blue Wave ran out of gas against the high-flying Rams.

Roseau went on to lose 2-0 to Edina East in the first round of the state tournament.

I saw Mick in Coleraine a few weeks ago, for the first time since 1977, 42 years ago.  Retired from teaching, he turns 70 this summer.  The amazing thing is that he rattled off 90 percent of our team roster when we were 18 and he was a young 28!

Seems like yesterday.
Rom Ogaard
MSB – Class of 1977

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The Minnesota High School Girls Basketball Coaches Association has released the Girls All-State teams and several area girls made the list.  You can see the Class A and AA All-State teams below.  Area girls names are in bold.


Class AA All-State
Kacie Borowicz- Roseau
Katie Borowicz- Roseau
Olivia Lane- Pequot Lakes
Tori Peschel- Sauk Centre
Hannah Purcell- Annandale
Emma Schultz- Eden Valley-Watkins
Alyssa Ustby- Rochester Lourdes
Mia Curtis- Minnehaha Academy
Haley Jansen- Eden Valley-Watkins
Abby Mackenthun- Norwood-Young America

Class AA All-State Honorable Mention
Shawna Mell- Rush City
Paige Meyer- Albany
Taytum Rhoades- Minnehaha Academy
Leigh Steiner- Holy Family
Caitlin Rorman- Blue Earth Area
Alison Hunstad- Zumbrota-Mazeppa
Shyanne Loiland- Crosby-Ironton
Grace Kirk- Duluth Marshall
Emma Kniefel- Medford
Ellie Hasz- Pine City
Ava Hill-Mesabi East
Hayden Glander- Norwood-Young America
Madison Schirmer- Maple River
Allie Critchley- DGF
Nevaeh Galloway- Minnehaha Academy
Paige Thompson- Hawley
Sam Pogatchnik- Proctor
Megan Voit- St. Cloud Cathedral
Kat Brown-Erdal- Jordan
Breianna Smestad- Maranatha Christian
Ivane Tensaie- Concordia Academy
Maggie Murphy- Providence Academy
Alyssa WIlliamson- Martin County West
Kaisa Coborn- Park Rapids
Sierra Morrow- Mpls. Edison


Class A All State
Lydia Sussner- Minneota
Lexie Lodermeier- Goodhue
Alyssa Peterson- Menagha
Allie Negen- Mt. Iron-Buhl
Mariah McKeever- Ada-Borup
Taya Hakamaki- Cromwell-Wright
Shaily Hakamaki- Cromwell-Wright
Adrianna Torres- Pelican Rapids
Jordyn Glynn- Grand Meadow
Taylie Scott- Heritage Christian

Class A All State Honorable Mention
Abi McGlynn- Stephen-Argyle
Makenna Steffel- BOLD
Kora Kritzberger- Ada-Borup
Sidney Fick- Hills-Beaver Creek
Madisen Overbye- Mt. Iron-Buhl
Cierra Ahif- Menahga
Kate Opsahl- Goodhue
Faith Alberts- Parkers Prairie
Emily Beseman- Swanville
Karley Motschenbacher- Park Christian
Riley Queensland- Grand Meadow
Kia Tower- Bigfork
Kaelynn Kudis- Cherry
Madison Mathiowetz- Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s
Elecia Brown- Hayfield
Jazlynn Prins- SW MN Christian
Hannah Nerem- SW MN Christian
Jessica Remer- Sacred Heart
Marissa Radtke- Lester Prairie-Holy Trinity
Alyssa Rostad- Houston
Erika Bute- AC/GE
Haley Hungerholt- LeRoy-Ostrander
Sara Kottke- Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart
Macy Savela- Mt. Iron-Buhl

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The teams listed below are the Youth Hockey District 16 Teams (NW Minnesota) advancing to State.  Not a surprise that Roseau, Warroad, and East Grand Forks teams are going, but Bagley going to state in PeeWee B’s is nice to see!

Bantam AA: Roseau
Bantam A: Warroad
PeeWee AA: Roseau
PeeWee A: East Grand Forks and Warroad
PeeWee B: Bagley

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WHERE:   Red Lake Falls High School
WHEN:     Monday, March 25
TIME:       Sixth Grade Future Stars games start at 4:30 and run until 7:00 p.m. until Senior Showcase game around 7:15

COST: Adults $5   Students $2   All proceeds go towards conference expenses

Featuring North Tr-County Senior athletes from –
Clearbrook/Gonvick, Goodridge-Grygla, Red Lake County and Sacred Heart

Other attractions –
3-point shootout, buzzer beater, conference champions presentation, all-conference and honorable mention teams announced, concession stand available, 50/50 drawing, half-court shot between quarters.

Sixth Grade future starts challenge games
4:30 – Goodridge-Grygla vs. Red Lake County
4:55 – Clearbrook-Gonvick vs. Sacred Heart
5:20 – Goodridge-Grygla  vs. Clearbrook-Gonvick
5:45 – Red Lake County vs. Sacred Heart
6:10 – Sacred Heart vs. Goodridge-Grygla
6:35 – Clearbrook-Gonvick vs. Red Lake County

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The Minnesota State Girls’ Basketball Tournament is scheduled for March 13-16 at various venues in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Quarterfinals will be played at Williams Arena and Maturi Pavilion­­­­ on the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis. All championship rounds will be played at Williams Arena and all consolation rounds and third-place games will be played at Concordia University in St. Paul. Here is a look at the tournament:


The Quarterfinal Schedule:
Class A, Thursday, March 14, at Maturi Pavilion
Red Lake (21-7) vs. No. 1 seed Minneota (27-1), 11 a.m.
No. 5 Ada-Borup (26-2) vs. No. 4 Heritage Christian Academy, Maple Grove (26-2) 1 p.m.
Mountain Iron-Buhl (25-5) vs. No. 2 Goodhue (24-6), 3 p.m.
BOLD, Olivia (22-5) vs. No. 3 Menahga (29-1), 5 p.m.

Class AA, Wednesday, March 13, at Williams Arena
Redwood Valley, Redwood Falls (19-8) vs. No. 1 Roseau (28-2), 6 p.m.
No. 5 Proctor (24-6) vs. No. 4 Caledonia (24-4), 8 p.m.

Class AA, Wednesday, March 13, at Maturi Pavilion
Albany (18-10) vs. No. 2 Holy Family Catholic, Victoria (23-5), 6 p.m.
St. Peter (16-10) vs. No. 3 Minnehaha Academy, Minneapolis (22-6), 8 p.m.

Class AAA, Wednesday, March 13, at Maturi Pavilion
Hibbing (27-2) vs. No. 1 seed DeLaSalle, Minneapolis (21-5), 10 a.m.
No. 5 Fergus Falls (23-4) vs. No. 4 Academy of Holy Angels, Richfield (21-7) 12 p.m.
Austin (20-8) vs. No. 2 Robbinsdale Cooper (20-8), 2 p.m.
Marshall (21-7) vs. No. 3 Becker (25-4), 4 p.m.

Class AAAA, Wednesday, March 13, at Williams Arena
Lakeville North (18-11) vs. No. 1 Hopkins (29-0), 10 a.m.
No. 5 Maple Grove (23-6) vs. No. 4 Centennial, Circle Pines (25-4), 12 p.m.
Shakopee (20-9) vs. No. 2 Stillwater Area (26-2), 2 p.m.
Forest Lake (24-5) vs. No. 3 Eastview, Apple Valley (24-5), 4 p.m. 

Tickets: $16 adults, $10 students for quarterfinals, championship semifinals, and finals. $21 adults, $13 students for quarterfinal wristbands, good at both venues. $12 adults, $8 students for consolation and third-place games.

Ticket Box Offices open: One hour before earliest scheduled game.
Official Ball: Spalding, TF 1000 Legacy Wide Channel Design, 28.5.

The Quarterfinal Match-ups

Class A
Red Lake vs. Minneota: Red Lake – Red Lake returns to the tournament after a one-year hiatus for its second overall appearance. Angel McClain and Gerika Kingbird average 17.7 and 16.1 points, respectively, for the Warriors this year. McClain also grabs 7.9 rebounds per game. Minneota is making its second consecutive and eighth overall appearance. The Vikings placed third in 2018 and won one previous championship in 2013. Lydia Sussner, who will play volleyball at Southwest Minnesota State University next year, leads this year’s team with 17.5 points and 9.4 rebounds per game. Sussner also has 2,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds.

Ada-Borup vs. Heritage Christian Academy, Maple Grove: The Cougars of Ada-Borup return for their 10th overall appearance, but first since 2017 under this name. They are in the hunt for their fourth championship, having won previously in 2008, 2009, and 2015. Ada-Borup was in a co-op with Norman County West last year and finished in fifth place. Heritage Christian Academy is making its second consecutive and overall appearance. The Eagles are looking to improve on last year’s sixth-place showing. Taylie Scott, who is the all-time leading scorer at Heritage Christian, averages 16.5 points and 8.4 rebounds per game this year. Kirstin Scott adds 14.3 points per game for the Eagles.

Mountain Iron-Buhl vs. Goodhue: Mountain Iron-Buhl, which placed fourth in 2018, returns for a ninth consecutive and 10th overall appearance. Allie Negen leads the Rangers with 15.8 points per game this year. She also averages a team-high 6.2 rebounds per game. Goodhue returns after a one-year absence to make its fifth overall appearance. The Wildcats earned previous titles in 2016 and 2017. Kate Opsahl and Joslyn Carlson pace Goodhue with 11.1 and 10.3 points per game, respectively. Lexie Lodermeier averages 8.2 rebounds per game.

BOLD, Olivia vs. Menahga: BOLD is making its second overall appearance, but first since 2013. Makenna Steffel, who will play volleyball for Northern State University next year, leads the Warriors with 18.4 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. Menahga returns for its second consecutive and overall appearance. The Braves lost in the consolation semifinals in 2018. Menahga has three players averaging over 13 points per game this season: Alyssa Peterson (15.8), Cierra Ahlf (13.2), and Tara Hendrickson (13.1). Ahlf also corrals a team-high 6.9 rebounds per game.

Class AA

Redwood Valley, Redwood Falls vs. Roseau: Redwood Valley is making its second appearance, but first since 2014. Redwood Falls made four additional appearances between 1976 and 1979 and won a championship in 1976. Haley Garman averages a double-double for Redwood Valley this season. She leads the Cardinals with 19.3 points and 10.6 rebounds per game. Roseau returns to the tournament for a fifth consecutive year and seventh time overall. The Rams, who won a championship in 2017, are looking to improve on last year’s runner-up showing. Kacie Borowicz, who will play basketball at the University of North Dakota next year, has more than 3,000 career points. This year, she averages 27.1 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. Katie Borowicz adds 20.4 points and 6.6 rebounds per game.

Proctor vs. Caledonia: The Rails of Proctor are making their third appearance, but first since 2001. Sam Pogatchnik leads this year’s squad with 15.6 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. Sam Parendo set the all-time assist record, for boys and girls, at Proctor this year. The Caledonia Warriors return to the tournament for the first time since 2011. They won one previous championship in 2009. Katie Tornstrom averages 21.7 points and 9.2 rebounds per game for Caledonia. Tornstrom also has 1,000 career points.

Albany vs. Holy Family Catholic, Victoria: Albany is making its 13th appearance, but first since 2008. The Huskies are in the hunt for their fourth championship. They won previously in1980, 1983, and 2008. Paige Meyer leads the Huskies in both points per game (20.8) and rebounds per game (8.6). Holy Family Catholic returns to the tournament after a two-year absence. This is the second overall appearance for the Fire. Holy Family Catholic averages 61.0 points per game this year while holding its opponents to 42.3. Leigh Steiner, who has more than 90 steals this year, averages 16.2 points and 5.8 rebounds per game for Holy Family.

St. Peter vs. Minnehaha Academy, Minneapolis: The Saints of St. Peter are making their seventh appearance, but first since 2011. Sarah Conlon has been averaging 23.5 points and 7.0 rebounds per game during the playoffs. She has also been shooting 70 percent from behind the arc. This marks the sixth consecutive and 13th overall appearance for Minnehaha Academy, which won a championship in 2010. The Redhawks lost in the consolation semifinals in 2018.

Class AAA
Hibbing vs. DeLaSalle, Minneapolis: Hibbing, which includes students from Victory Christian Academy, is making its first appearance as this co-op. Hibbing made four additional appearances between 1976 and 2007. Abbey McDonald paces this year’s Bluejackets team with 20.7 points per game. Haley Hawkinson and McKenzie Maki add 8.8 and 7.8 points per game, respectively. DeLaSalle, which fell in the consolation semifinals in 2018, returns for its third consecutive and 10th overall appearance. The Islanders won three consecutive championships between 2011 and 2013. Nurjei Williams leads DeLaSalle in both points (19.3) and rebounds (9.4) per game.

Fergus Falls vs. Academy of Holy Angels, Richfield: Fergus Falls is making its fifth appearance, but first since 2014. The Otters average 62.1 points and 33.8 rebounds per game this year. Ellie Colbeck leads Fergus Falls with 15.9 points per game. Lily Pearson grabs a team-high 7.9 rebounds per game. Pearson, who has scored more than 1,000 career points, also adds 12.2 points per game. The Stars of Academy of Holy Angels are making their fourth consecutive appearance and seventh overall. They are looking to improve on last year’s fifth-place showing. Academy of Holy Angels won previous titles in 1975 (Winter) and 2016. Francesca Vascellaro leads this year’s team with 19.7 points and 8.1 rebounds per game.

Austin vs. Robbinsdale Cooper: The Austin Packers return for their fourth tournament appearance, but first since 2008. Colie Justice paces this year’s team with 12.3 points per game. Hope Dudycha adds 10.3 points per game.  The defending champions from Robbinsdale Cooper return for their second consecutive and overall appearance. Aja Wheeler, who averages 15.7 points per game, became the all-time scorer for the Hawks this year with 1,829 career points. Kierra Wheeler corrals an average of 10.6 rebounds per game for Cooper.

Marshall vs. Becker: The Marshall Tigers are making their 11th overall appearance under this name, but first since 2016. They won previous titles in 2001 and 2002 and made one additional appearance as a co-op with Marshall Area Christian in 2000. Jordyn Hilgemann leads the Tigers with 22.5 points per game. Emily Meier averages 7.4 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. Becker returns to tournament action after a two-year hiatus. This is the third appearance for the Bulldogs who won one previous title in 2007. Adeline Kent and Julia Bengtson average 17.7 and 17.5 points per game, respectively, for the Bulldogs. Courtney Nuest leads Becker with 6.1 rebounds per game.

Class AAAA
Lakeville North vs. Hopkins: The Panthers of Lakeville North placed third in 2018 and are looking for their second championship. They won their first in 2010 and are making their ninth overall appearance. Lauren Jensen, who has 1,554 career points, set the new single-season scoring record at 794 this season. Jensen also averages 27.4 points per for Lakeville North. Sarah Kuma leads the Panthers with 5.5 rebounds per game. Kuma also adds 10.4 points per game. The Hopkins Royals return for their fifth consecutive appearance and 13th overall. They earned runner-up honors in 2018 and are looking for their seventh title. They won previously in 2004, 2006, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2015. The Royals average 83.9 points per game this season and their opponents score an average of 49.4 points per game. Paige Bueckers paces Hopkins with 24.5 points per game and Dlayla Chakolis adds 14.2 points per game. Maya Nnaji has a team-high 6.3 rebounds per game.

Maple Grove vs. Centennial, Circle PinesMaple Grove returns for its second consecutive appearance and fifth overall. The Crimson placed sixth in 2018. Jordyn Lamker leads the Crimson in both points (15.7) and rebounds (5.6) per game this season. Abby Schulte averages 12.2 points and 4.9 rebounds per game for Maple Grove. Centennial is making its seventh tournament appearance, but first since 2015. Taylor McAulay, who will play basketball at Drake University next year, leads the Cougars with 19.0 points per game. Sara Stapleton adds 10.1 points and a team-high 6.1 rebounds per game.

Shakopee vs. Stillwater Area: The Sabers of Shakopee, who made their last appearance in 2015, return for their sixth overall. Shakopee has three players that average over 11 points per game this year: Isabell West (11.8), Jaley Coplin (11.5), and Natalie Holte (11.3). West also averages 6.2 rebounds per game. The Stillwater Area Ponies return to the tournament for the first time since 1988. This is their third appearance overall. Liza Karlen averages a double-double for Stillwater Area with 12.6 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. Sara Scalia is the top scorer for the Ponies; she averages 23.3 points per game.

Forest Lake vs. Eastview, Apple ValleyThe Rangers of Forest Lake are making their second consecutive appearance and fourth overall. They fell in the consolation semifinals in 2018. Abigail Groeneweg leads Forest Lake 15.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Abby Leach adds 9.2 points per game. The defending champions from Eastview return in search of more gold. The Lightning are making their eighth consecutive appearance and their 12thoverall. In addition to last year, Eastview also won in 2014. Macy Guebert paces this year’s Lightning squad with 16.5 points per game. Lauren Glas adds a team-high 5.4 rebounds per game.

2018 State Tournament Recap

Class A: The Athletics of Lyle/Pacelli, who entered the tournament as the No. 1 seed, won their first title after defeating unseeded Sleepy Eye 57-33 in the title game. Kristi Fett was a dominant force in the low post with 30 points and 16 rebounds for Lyle/Pacelli. Abigail Bollingberg chipped in 10 points for the Athletics. Lyle/Pacelli started its tournament run with a 59-43 win over Heritage Christian Academy of Maple Grove. The Athletics then defeated Minneota 53-41 in the semifinals. Minneota bounced back to claim third-place honors after defeating Mountain Iron-Buhl 74-56. The co-op of Ada-Borup/Norman County West took home the consolation hardware after posting a 63-47 victory over Heritage Christian Academy.

Class AA: The top-seeded Sauk Centre Mainstreeters won their first championship after defeating No. 3-seeded Roseau 63-52 in the championship game. The victory also avenged the Mainstreeters’ loss to the Rams in the 2017 title game. Tori Peschel paced Sauk Centre with an 18-point, 15-rebound performance. Kelsey Peschel also had 18 points. The Mainstreeters opened the tournament with a 67-61 win over Byron. In the semifinals, they defeated Norwood-Young America 54-45. Norwood-Young America defeated Maranatha Christian Academy of Brooklyn Park 64-54 in the third-place game. In the consolation final, Byron fell to Tracy-Milroy-Balaton 64-32.

Class AAA: In Class AAA, the Robbinsdale Cooper Hawks won their first title after defeating Northfield 49-37. Cooper entered the tournament as the No. 1 seed and Northfield was seeded No. 2. Aja Wheeler scored 15 points in leading the Hawks’ aggressive offense. In the quarterfinals, Robbinsdale Cooper defeated Alexandria Area 58-51. The Hawks advanced and beat Willmar 65-54 in the semifinals. Grand Rapids took home third-place honors after defeating Willmar 51-42. Academy of Holy Angels of Richfield beat Alexandria Area 56-46 in the consolation final.

Class AAAA: Top-seeded Eastview of Apple Valley earned its second championship after posting a 68-63 victory over No. 2-seeded Hopkins. The Lightning were led by Megan Walstad’s 20 points and seven rebounds. Eastview started the tournament with a 78-44 quarterfinal win over Prior Lake. In the semifinals, the Lightning defeated Lakeville North 57-47. Lakeville North claimed third-place honors after posting a 51-46 victory over Roseville Area. Cretin-Derham Hall of St. Paul beat Maple Grove 64-57 in the consolation final.

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The Minnesota Minute Men announced today that Bryce Brodzinski from Blaine High School is the recipient of the 35th annual Mr. Hockey Award, given to the outstanding senior boys’ high school hockey player in the state of Minnesota. Charlie Glockner from Minnetonka High School received The Frank Brimsek Award, in recognition of Minnesota’s top senior goaltender.
Jeff Poeschl (Mahtomedi High School) and Mark Manney (Andover High School) received The John Mariucci Award, given to the Class A and Class AA high school coaches of the year. Bruce Johnson received the Cliff Thompson Award, presented to the “Old Timer Coach” of the year and Doug Woog was the recipient of the second annual Mr. Hockey Ambassador Award, given to an influential leader dedicated to the growth and development of hockey in Minnesota.
The Mr. Hockey Award is given to the outstanding senior high school boys’ hockey player in the state of Minnesota and is selected by a panel of National Hockey League Scouts, Junior Scouts/Coaches and selected media members from around the state. Other finalists for this year’s award were: Grant Docter (Minnetonka), Ryder Donovan (Duluth East), Aaron Huglen (Roseau), Jack Jensen (Eden Prairie), Jett Jungels (Edina), Mike Koster (Chaska), Josh Luedtke (Minnetonka), Mason Nevers (Edina) and Charlie Schoen (Andover). Brennan Boynton (Champlin Park) and Ben Fritsinger (Andover) were the finalists for The Frank Brimsek Award this year.
Previous Mr. Hockey Award winners are: Sam Walker (2018), Casey Mittelstadt (2017), Riley Tufte (2016), Jake Jaremko (2015), Avery Peterson (2014), Grant Besse (2013), Justin Kloos (2012), Kyle Rau (2011), Nick Bjugstad (2010), Nick Leddy (2009), Aaron Ness (2008), Ryan McDonagh (2007), David Fischer (2006), Brian Lee (2005), Tom Gorowsky (2004), Nate Dey (2003), Gino Guyer (2002), Marty Sertich (2001), Paul Martin (2000), Jeff Taffe (1999), John Pohl (1998), Aaron Miskovich (1997), Dave Spehar (1996), Erik Rasmussen (1995), Mike Crowley (1994), Nick Checco (1993), Brian Bonin (1992), Darby Hendrickson (1991), Joe Dziedzic (1990), Trent Klatt (1989), Larry Olimb (1988), Kris Miller (1987), George Pelawa (1986) and Tom Chorske (1985).

Previous Frank Brimsek Award winners are: Atticus Kelly (2018), Jake Begley (2017),Nick Althaus (2016), Dyllan Lubbesmeyer (2015), Hunter Shepard (2014), David Zevnik (2013), Michael Bitzer (2012), Alex Lyon (2011), Zane Gothberg (2010), Casey O’Connor (2009), Joe Phillippi (2008), Reid Ellingson (2007), Austin Lee (2006), Alec Richards (2005), Matt Lundin (2004), Jon Anderson (2003), Josh Johnson (2002), Eric Aarnio (2001), Jake Brant (2000), Adam Laaksonen (1999), Adam Coole (1998), Kyle Kolquist (1997), Karl Goehring (1996) and Todd Kelzenberg (1995).

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The Section and State Girls Basketball academic champions are listed below.  Congratulations to Clearbrook-Gonvick and Wadena-Deer Creek in our area.

Section Team Champion Team GPA
1A Goodhue 3.904
2A MN Valley Lutheran 3.722
3A Minneota 3.899
4A Heritage Christian 3.948
5A Verndale 3.869
6A Hancock 3.934
7A Floodwood 3.874
8A Clearbrook-Convick 3.836
Overall A Champ Heritage Christian 3.948
1AA Plainview Elgin Millville 3.898
2AA St. Peter 3.863
3AA Eden Valley-Watkins 3.943
4AA Trinity-River Ridge 3.717
5AA Annandale 3.911
6AA Minnewaska 3.919
7AA Pequot Lakes 3.896
8AA Wadena-Deer Creek 3.954
Overall AA Champ Wadena-Deer Creek 3.954
1AAA Kasson-Mantorville 3.78
2AAA Mankato East 3.669
3AAA St. Anthony Village 3.87
4AAA Hill-Murray 3.63
5AAA Big Lake 3.88
6AAA Dassel-Cokato 3.86
7AAA Chisago Lakes 3.843
8AAA Sartell-St. Stephen 3.847
Overall AAA Champ Big Lake 3.88
1AAAA Lakeville North 3.801
2AAAA Edina 3.623
3AAAA Rosemount 3.821
4AAAA Cretin-Derham Hall 3.87
5AAAA Champlin Park 3.717
6AAAA Wayzata 3.683
7AAAA Cambridge-Isanti 3.713
8AAAA Maple Grove 3.82
Overall AAAA Champ Cretin-Derham Hall 3.87

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Make plans now to attend the 26th annual “Lace ‘em Up” basketball camp to be held in Red Lake Falls high school at the Robert Matzke Gym from June 3-7, 2019.

The camp is open to any boys or girls who are currently in grades K-11.  The camp is set up to run from 8:00 a.m. until 11:30 for grades 6-11 each morning, and from 12:00 noon until 3:30 p.m. for grades K-6.  The cost of the camp is $60 with a maximum cost per family of $100.  If you register before May 25,  you will also receive a camp T-shirt.  After May 25, ALL SINGLE REGISTRATION FEES WILL BE $70 AND THE MAXIMUM COST PER FAMILY WILL BE $120, DUE TO CAMP PREPARATION AND AWARD ORDERS.

NOTE: by request, sixth graders may come in the morning, afternoon, or both for one price.

Cut on the dotted line and return the following to: Steve Philion, 518 Champagne Ave., Red Lake Falls, MN 56750.  (218-253-2499). E-mail:

Make checks payable to: Lace ‘em Up basketball camp


Grade in 2018-2019________________(grade just completed)

I was a 6th grader this year and would like to come:
(circle one) MORNING    AFTERNOON    BOTH

T-shirt sizes:     Please circle one:

Youth sizes:       EXTRA SMALL           SMALL            MEDIUM             LARGE

Adult sizes:        SMALL     MEDIUM     LARGE      X-LARGE        XX-LARGE


MALE____________              FEMALE____________

I, the parent of the above student agree to allow my child to participate in the 2019 “Lace ‘em Up basketball camp in Red Lake Falls.  I also understand that the camp director, the City of RLF, and the RLF school district are not responsible for any injuries or accidents that my child might occur.

SIGNATURE OF PARENT OR GUARDIAN:_____________________________

— — —


Brenda and Steve took their six-year-old son to the doctor.
With some hesitation, they explained that although their little angel appeared to be in good health, they were concerned about his rather small penis.
After examining the child, the doctor confidently declared, ‘Just feed him pancakes.  That should solve the problem.’
The next morning when the boy arrived at breakfast, there was a large stack of warm pancakes in the middle of the table.
‘Gee, Mom,’ he exclaimed ‘For me?’
‘Just take two,’ Brenda replied.  ‘The rest are for your father.’
— — —
Bob, a 70-year-old, extremely wealthy widower, shows up at the Country Club with a breathtakingly beautiful and very sexy 25-year-old blonde-haired woman who knocks everyone’s socks off with her youthful sex appeal and charm and who hangs over Bob’s arm and listens intently to his every word.  His buddies at the club are all aghast.  At the very first chance, they corner him and ask, ‘Bob, how’d you get the trophy girlfriend?’  Bob replies, ‘Girlfriend?  She’s my wife!’  They are knocked over, but continue to ask.  ‘So, how’d you persuade her to marry you?’  ‘I lied about my age’, Bob replies. ‘What, did you tell her you were only 50?’
Bob smiles and says, ‘No, I told her I was 90.’
— — —

How are former Crookston Pirates athletes doing in college or elsewhere?

Paul Bittner, is playing for the Cleveland Monsters, the AHL affiliate of the Columbus Bluejacket.   Paul will miss the games this weekend due to concussion protocol.

Ryan Bittner, is a Senior playing hockey for the #1 ranked University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.  The Pointers won the WIAC Conference tournament and play St. Norbert  on March 16 in the NCAA D-III Men’s Ice Hockey National Tournament.  The Pointers received a first-round bye.

Aaron Hollcraft, is a Senior playing baseball for the UMC Golden Eagles.   Aaron pitched 4.2 innings and gave up three runs on five hits, while striking out four and walking two and has an ERA of 5.79 in the three games he has pitched.  UMC is 7-7 on the season and they will have their first conference games of the year when they travel to Omaha, Nebraska to play Wayne State on Monday and Tuesday for four games.

Aleece Durbin, is a freshman on the University of North Dakota Women’s Track and Field team.  UND will compete San Antonio, Texas at the UIW Spring Break invite March 14-15.

Brita Fagerlund, is a Sophomore on the University of Jamestown Jimmy Women’s Track team.   The Jimmies are scheduled to start the outdoor season at Wayne State (Neb) March 22-23.

Ally Tiedemann, a Freshman playing tennis at the University of Minnesota Duluth.  The Bulldogs are off until they host St. Benedict on March 23.

Bobby Tiedemann, is a Junior on the St. Mary’s University Men’s Tennis team in Winona.  Bobby lost his first doubles match 8-6 and lost his first singles match 6-1, 6-1 in a 9-0 loss to Macalester.  St. Mary’s will host St. Olaf on Friday.

Marietta Geist, a Junior on the Carleton College Women’s Cross Country and Track and Field teams.   Carleton will be off until March 23 when they compete at St. Louis, Missouri.

Ben Trostad, a Freshman playing golf at the University of Minnesota Crookston.   Ben shot a three round total of 253 for 46th place at the Minot State invite in Las Vegas, Nevada March 8-9 and Ben shot a two day total 173 and finished 51st at the Winona State Invite in Las Vegas.  UMC will play in the NSIC Preview in Liberty, Missouri April 5-6.

Ethan Magsam, a Freshman playing golf at the University of Minnesota Crookston. Ethan shot a three-round total of 269 for 55th place at the Minot State invite in Las Vegas, Nevada and shot a two-round total of 192 and finished 71st at the Winona State Invite in Las Vegas.  UMC will play in the NSIC Preview in Liberty, Missouri April 5-6.

Isaac Westlake, a Junior playing golf for the Winona State Warriors.  Isaac finished second place at the Minot State Invite in Las Vegas, Nevada with a three round total of 218 and finished 14th place with a two-round total of 158 in the Winona State invite at Las Vegas.  Winona State will be at the Lindenwood Invite on March 25 and 26.

Elise Tangquist, is a Sophomore golfer for the University of Northwestern in St. Paul. Northwestern will start the spring portion of the schedule on April 28 at the UW-River Falls Invite.

Brady Heppner, is a Junior playing hockey at St. Johns University in Collegeville.

Bailey Folkers, is a freshman on the University of Wisconsin-Superior women’s basketball team.

Cade Salentine, is a redshirt Freshman playing football at the University of North Dakota.

Kate MacGregor, a Freshman swimming at Minnesota State Moorhead.

Crookston School District Coaches –
Brody Davidson 
is an Assistant Pirate Football coach.
Tyler Brekken is a Pirate C team football coach and junior high Pirate Softball coach
Jeremy Lubinski
 is a Pirate 8th Grade Football coach.
Amy Boll 
is the head Pirate Girls Track head coach and assistant volleyball coach
Sarah Reese 
is the Pirate Head Girls Soccer coach
Shelly Erdmann
 is the Assistant Girls Soccer coach.
Cody Brekken
 is the Assistant Pirate Girls Tennis coach, Pirate Boys Tennis coach and Crookston Community Pool Supervisor
Marley Melbye is the Head Girls Swimming coach
Mitch Bakken is the head Pirate Baseball coach.
Justin Johnson is the Pirate Junior Varsity Baseball coach.
Brock Hanson
 is the Pirate Baseball volunteer assistant coach.
Jeff Perreault 
is the Pirate Girls Golf head coach
Wes Hanson is the Pirate Wrestling Head Coach and assistant boys golf coach
Wade Hanson
 is the 8th grade boys basketball coach
Travis Ross is the 7th grade boys basketball coach
Kevin Weber is a Pirate Boys Basketball volunteer assistant coach
Connor Morgan is the Pirate Boys Hockey assistant coach
Sam Melbye is the Pirate Boys J.V. Hockey coach
Chris Dufault is an Assistant Wrestling Coach
Nate Merten is an Assistant Wrestling Coach
Tori Demarais is the Pirate Girls Hockey assistant coach.

Non Crookston High School –

Josh Edlund,  is an assistant football coach and phy ed teacher at Flandreau, South Dakota.

Allison Lindsey Axness is Assistant Varsity Volleyball Coach in Champlin Park

Jeff Olson is Head Wrestling coach and Head Baseball coach at Delano.

Jake Olson is an Assistant Football Coach and Head Boys Tennis coach at Delano.

Todd Kreibich, is the Coach and General Manager for the Minnesota Iron Rangers Junior Hockey team our of Hoyt Lakes.

Carmen (Kreibich) Johnson, is Head Volleyball coach at Little Falls High School.

Katy Westrom, is Head Girls Tennis Coach and Head Boys Tennis coach at Monticello High School.

Matt Harris, is a Director of Athletics at the British International School of Houston.

Marty Bratrud is the Superintendent and High School Principal at Westhope High School.

Gordie Haug is an assistant football coach at the University of Wyoming

Mike Hastings is the Minnesota State Mankato Men’s head Hockey coach

Mike Biermaier is the Athletic Director at Thief River Falls High School

Stephanie (Lindsay) Perreault works with the North Dakota State stats crew for Bison football and volleyball and basketball in the winter. Stephanie’s husband, Ryan, is the assistant director for the Bison media relations

Jason Bushie is the hockey athletic trainer at Colorado College

Chris Myrold is a Tennis Pro on Nevis Island in the West Indies

Kyle Buchmeier
 is a Tennis Pro at the Reed-Sweatt Family Tennis Center in Minneapolis

Erika Wheelhouse
 is serving in the Peace Corp in the Philippines.

Jarrett Butenhoff is serving our country with the U.S. Navy

Joshua Butenhoff is serving our country on a Submarine with the Pacific Fleet with the US Navy.

Alan Mart, 2009 Crookston High School graduate, is currently serving his country for the US Army as a Cavalry Scout in Afghanistan.

Peter Cournia is a 2002 Crookston High School Graduate and also a grad of West Point and is currently is serving in the U.S. Army.

Erik Ellingson is serving our country with the U.S. Air Force at Minot.

Philip Kujawa class of 2004 from Crookston Central is stationed at Hohnfels in Germany for the next 2 or 3 years.

Scott Riopelle is head of Crookston Parks and Recreation

Rob Sobolik is the General Manager of the Fargodome

That’s it for this week.  Thanks for the comments and if you have anything to add or share, please e-mail or call.  Thanks for reading and listening to KROX RADIO and