The Crookston Pirates Girl’s Hockey team opened up the 2015 Thief River Falls Holiday Hockey Classic in dramatic fashion as they used a late goal to force overtime, but fell in the extra session to the Park Rapids High School Panthers. The Pirates, who ended the Panthers’ season in the Section 8A Playoffs last year, couldn’t get the bounces late in a game played at the Ralph Engelstad Arena in Thief River Falls. “This was a fun game, even though we couldn’t get the win,” Crookston Head Coach Jaclyn Martin said. “The girls came out strong in the first period and, except for some spurts, played well throughout the game.”
Crookston wasted no time getting on the board as they scored just 30 seconds in to take the 1-0 lead. To no one’s surprise, it was the Pirates’ top line making things happen. Forward Annie Hajostek banked the puck off the side of the net and it skittered through the crease. Macy Strem was in the right place at the right time, diving and getting her stick on the puck to get the goal. Strem’s second goal of the season was assisted by Hajostek and Leah Trostad. Play went back and forth throughout the next few minutes as Crookston was controlling play early. “Right away today the girls were communicating really well and hustling,” Coach Martin said of her team’s start. “They were winning the battles and when you win those, good things happen.” The ice seemed to tilt the other way in the latter part of the first period as Park Rapids increased the pressure and got the equalizer off of the stick of Brooke Jerger. The junior center’s second goal of the season made it 1-1. Crookston goalie Brelee Jobe, making her first varsity start, looked solid in net early aside from the Jerger goal. The sophomore stopped the first three shots she faced and turned aside five of six Panther shots in the first period. Her first save marked the first time this season that a Pirate opponent hasn’t scored on their first shot on goal. The team’s went to the locker room tied up at 1-1 with Crookston leading in shots on goal, 12-6.
The Pirates came out firing in the second period, putting 18 shots on Park Rapids goalie Julia Smith. Crookston couldn’t capitalize on chances throughout as the Panthers kept them off the scoreboard. The Pirates’ Macy Strem got called for hooking halfway through the period and the Panthers made Crookston pay. Park Rapids’ Lexi Hinckley Smith scored her team-leading fifth goal of the season to give the Panthers a 2-1 lead. Later in the period, Park Rapids winger Taylor Sagen scored from a sharp angle to push the lead to 3-1. The Pirates outshot the Panthers 18-10 in the period but trailed 3-1 at the second intermission. “We couldn’t have asked for a second period when you look at all the chances we had,” Martin said. “That shows the resiliency of our girls and how aggressive they can be.”
In the third period, things started to tilt in favor of the Pirates. Crookston’s Annie Hajostek rifled a laser of a wrist shot from the left slot that beat Panthers goalie Julia Smith to cut it to 3-2. The momentum that Crookston grabbed from that goal dissipated quickly as Park Rapids scored 38 seconds later to push the lead to 4-2. Hajostek struck again for the Pirates, this time on the power play, to make it a one-goal game with four minutes to go. “I thought Annie (Hajostek) looked a lot faster tonight and she was flying around,” Martin said of her senior. “She started to realize that the opposing goalie’s glove was getting a bit slower and attacked that area.” The dramatics continued for Crookston with time winding down in regulation as Hajostek played distributor. Hajostek carried the puck out from behind the net and found Macy Strem on the doorstep. Strem lit the lamp for the second time and tied things up, 4-4. Assists on the goal went to Hajostek and Leah Trostad as the Pirates’ first line continued to thrive. The combination of Annie Hajostek, Macy Strem and Leah Trostad combined for four goals and five assists in the game! “The chemistry that those girls have is unbelievable,” Martin noted. “They know where each other are going to be and are really fun to watch.”
The score stayed tied at the end of regulation so the team’s switched sides and went into an eight minute overtime. Crookston and Park Rapids traded chances in the extra session before Panther sophomore Tara Johanning got to a loose puck and shot it into the net for the game-winner. “Even though we lost, the shots on goal and intensity were what we wanted to see today,” Coach Martin stated. “The girls worked so hard and played well. We’re continuing to see improvement.”
Brelee Jobe made 18 saves for the Pirates in her first varsity start while Julia Smith turned away an impressive 39 shots for the Panthers.
Crookston falls to 0-5 on the season and will take on the West Fargo Packers on Saturday morning at the Ralph Engelstad Arena. Park Rapids improves to 3-4 with the win and will take on Thief River Falls in their second game of the Thief River Falls Holiday Hockey Classic.

    Brelee Jobe with one of her 18 saves in the game                         Annie Hajostek shoots and scores for her second goal of the game

Scoring  1st 2nd 3rd


Park Rapids 1 2


1 5


3 0 4

                                              Pirates celebrate after Annie Hajostek's first goal

1st Period

:30 - Crookston - Macy Strem (2) (Annie Hajostek, Leah Trostad)
8:06 - PR - Brooke Jerger  unassisted

2nd Period
6:40 - PR - Lexi Hinckley-Smith  (Tara Johanning)    (PP)
12:14 - PR -Taylor Sagen (Brooke Jerger) 

3rd Period
7:32 - Crookston - Annie Hajostek  (2) unassisted
8:10 - PR - Serena Aletto  unassisted
13:01 - Crookston - Annie Hajostek  (3)   (Macy Strem)   (PP)
15:53 - Crookston- Macy Strem (3) (Annie Hajostek, Leah Trostad)

5:18 - PR - Tara Johanning (Lexi Hinckley-Smith)

Saves 1st 2nd 3rd OT Total
Brelee Jobe - Crookston 5 8 3 2 18
Julia Smith - Park Rapids 11 18 8 2 39



The Crookston Pirate Boys Basketball used a late first half run to get within four points at halftime, but Bemidji slowly pulled away in the second half and hit their free throws down the stretch for a 67-58 victory in the first round of the Bemidji Thanksgiving classic at the Bemidji High School gymnasium.
Bemidji couldn’t have started the game any better as they held Crookston to one point for the first seven-plus minutes of the game and led 12-1 with 10:35 left in the first half.  "We couldn't make a shot early on," said Crookston Pirate Coach Greg Garmen.  "We weren't playing bad, we just couldn't make a shot and settled for jump shots instead of driving or looking inside."  Crookston’s lone point came on an Elias Walski free throw five minutes into the game.  Crookston added two more points when Patrick Deng made two free throws 7:59 into the game and Walski followed with another free throw to bring Crookston within a 12-4 deficit.  Bemidji scored the four points before the Pirates finally scored their first field goal of the game when Deng blew by his defender and drove into the lane and made a layup while getting fouled.  Deng was able to make the free throw for the three-point play and 11:02 into the game, Crookston had their first basket and trailed 16-7.  Bemidji continued to build on their lead and with 3:52 left in the game they led 24-11 for their largest lead of the first half.  Crookston flipped the switch and all of a sudden the offense started to click thanks to a spark from Freshman Nick Garmen.  Elias Walski scored after grabbing a loose ball and hit a runner in the lane with 3:25 left in the half.  Matt Garmen scored 40 seconds later after a nice pass from his younger brother Nick.  Almost a minute later Nick Garmen scored and a few seconds later Matt followed suit with another basket and Crookston trailed 24-19 with 1:27 left in the half.  Bemidji scored to stop the 8-0 run, but Matt Garmen drove into the lane as the first half clock went below 10 seconds and as the defenders collapsed, he kicked a pass out to Matt Garmen who made a wide open three pointer from the sideline with less than five seconds left and Crookston trailed 26-22 at halftime after an 11-2 run in the final 3:52 of the first half.  "We played as poorly as we could play and we were only down four points and had hope yet," said Coach Garmen. "We shot about 20 percent in the first half and started playing better at the end.  It was a great finish and we need to be more efficient on our offense and we need to drive and get some more shots inside, and actually we missed a lot of bunnies inside."
Crookston scored the first points of the second half on a strong Luke Froeber move inside to bring the Pirates within a 26-24 deficit.  Bemidji answered with four straight points, but Matt Garmen had a big blocked shot, which led to a Chris Wavra three pointer (his first of three in the half).  Bemidji would do what they did the rest of the game, they had an answer with a run of five points to take an 11-point lead.  With 2:15 remaining in the game Crookston trailed 59-47 when Deng made a three pointer and 44 seconds later made another three pointer when he got his defender to fall for a pump fake, and with the defender in the air, Patrick made the shot to bring the Pirates within a 59-53 deficit.  Deng Followed with a free throw after a missed Bemidji free throw in the bonus and Crookston was within five points.  Bemidji made three of their next four free throws and hit their free throws the remainder of the game and held on for a 67-58 victory.  "We couldn't get a stop when we needed one and we got behind early again and played catch up the rest of the way,' said Coach Garmen. "We saw some good things, like our big guys, Froeber and Mitchell Olson played better and were stronger.  We were hustling and guys like Patrick (Deng) are hustling all over the place and that was great to see.  It all comes down to if you aren't making shots and gets tough and when you are making shots you look pretty good."
Crookston drops to 0-2 on the year and will take on Grand Rapids on Saturday at 12:30 p.m.  Bemidji improves to 2-1 on the year and will take on St. Cloud Cathedral on Saturday.
J.V. - Bemidji won 55-43
C Squad - Bemidji won 61-18

Luke Froeber goes up for 2 of his 10 points   Nick Garmen goes for 2 of his 13


1st Half

2nd Half










Matt Garmen splits two Lumberjack defenders with a no look pass in the first half





Nick Garmen 




Patrick Deng  13


3 Assists / 2 Steals
Luke Froeber 10


2 Blocks 
Chris Wavra  9    
Matt Garmen  6   4 Assists / 2 Steals 
Elias Walski 4


Mitchell Olson 3   2 Steals 


For Bemidji


Linaes Whiting  14
Caden Rolfes  10
Jeremy Beberg 8
Charlie Peterson 7
Nate Snell  7
Jace Peterson 5
Jens Huseby 4
Josh Cervenka  4
Jalin Rose 4
Caleb Carlson 3



The Crookston High School Pirate Boy’s Hockey team welcomed the Sartell-St. Stephen Sabres into the Crookston Sports Center on Friday night to start off a weekend of inter-sectional play for the Pirates. The matchup proved to be an exciting one as Sartell-St. Stephen grabbed an early lead and took advantage of their power play opportunities en route to a 7-4 win over Crookston. “What a fun game,” Crookston Head Coach Joel Gasper said. “Both teams were flying up and down the ice and the fans really got their money’s worth. I was proud of our guys’ effort and they never gave up. Our guys faced adversity several times tonight and they never rolled over.”
Both teams seemed to have the same plan from the outset as the Pirates and the Sabres flew up and down the ice, gauging what the other had to offer. Neither team had much as far as sustained offensive pressure in the early going but the hits were a plenty! “There was certainly not a lot of time where the guys sat back and felt each other out,” Coach Gasper explained with a laugh. “Both teams were ready to go from the drop of the puck.” Three and a half minutes in, Crookston’s Bobby Tiedemann went to the penalty box and the Sabres made the Pirates pay. Sartell-St. Stephen forward Jack Hennemann got to a rebound and banked it off of some bodies in front and the biscuit just trickled across the goal line before Crookston goalie Ian Johnson could locate it. The power play goal made it 1-0 in favor of the visiting team. Johnson, making his second straight start to begin the season, was busy early as Sartell-St. Stephen used quick passing to control possession. The score could have been a lot worse early but the Sabres hit the post three times in the game’s first eight minutes. The Sabre lead stretched at the 10:14 mark when William McCabe won a puck battle and went streaking down the left wing. McCabe drew a hook but scored anyone, getting Johnson to commit with a pump fake then shooting it into the net on the blocker side. “Falling behind early makes things challenging,” Gasper explained. “You have a game plan going in to the game and that’s obviously not the way you want to come out. Luckily this team didn’t let it get them down too much and they fought back.” Crookston responded three minutes later when Dane Anderson sent home a rebound on the doorstep. Anderson’s first of the season was assisted by Cody Wardner who sent the initial shot on from the high slot. The Pirates’ momentum didn’t last for long as the Sabres got traffic in front and Jordan Roller sent a rebound past a sprawling Johnson. The goal, 32 seconds after Crookston had scored, made it 3-1 in favor of the Sabres. The Pirates were outshot 11-9 in the first period and trailed 3-1 after the first 17 minutes.
The second period was a tail of two halves as Sartell-St. Stephen controlled the play in the early stages. The Sabres forced the Pirates to be one and done in the offensive zone and kept Crookston on their heels defensively. Special teams was the key to the Pirates getting back into the game as Sartell-St. Stephen got a bit undisciplined and committed multiple penalties. After the Pirates failed to convert on a 5-on-3, they got redemption a few minutes later. With the skater advantage, Cody Wardner took a Doug Larson pass at the left point and blasted a rocket on net. Sabre goalie Matthew Partch made the initial save but Dane Anderson was there to stuff home the rebound for his second goal of the game to make it 3-2. 59 seconds later, on the power play as well, Anderson completed the hat trick. Doug Larson’s shot was saved by Partch but Anderson was a force in front of the net, taking multiple swipes before finally putting the puck in to tie things at 3-3. “We’ve been working on making sure Dane uses his big body to his advantage,” Gasper said of his junior forward. “He compliments the other guys on that top line so well and he has been clutch for us. He’ll be fun to watch this year.” The Pirates held the lead for just three minutes though before Sartell-St. Stephen converted on a power play of their own. The Sabres moved the puck around the zone and senior forward Keenan Lund lit the lamp to make it 4-3 with 1:19 left in the period. Sartell took the 4-3 lead into the locker room, outshooting Crookston 25-20 through two periods.
It took just 54 seconds for the Pirates to tie things up in the third period as they struck on the power play once again! Bobby Tiedemann picked up his third goal of the season when he sent home a Doug Larson rebound to make it 4-4. Parker Nicholls got the second assist on the Tiedemann tally. Sartell-St. Stephen didn’t take too kindly to the Pirates tying things up as they regained the lead 40 seconds later. Jack Hennemann’s got to the loose puck in front for his second of the game to make it 5-4 with 15:26 remaining in regulation. Crookston’s Dane Anderson took a penalty minutes later to put the Sabres on another power play. Sartell-St. Stephen hit their fifth post of the night on the man advantage and the Pirates were able to kill it off to keep it at a one-goal margin with eight minutes to go. The Sabres got another power play goal with less than five minutes to go when Colin Johnson lit the lamp to make it a 6-4 advantage. Crookston’s next power play came late in the game and the Pirates were able to pull their goalie to have a two skater advantage. The Pirates couldn’t strike on their late power play and the Sabres added an empty net goal late as they took the win, 7-4.
Special teams had a big impact as the teams combined for six power play goals. “Obviously the power play was good tonight but our penalty kill needs some work,” Gasper said. “Special teams were the story of the night.” Aside from Dane Anderson, senior defenseman Cody Wardner had a nice game with three assists and senior captain Doug Larson added a pair of helpers in the game. Ian Johnson made 29 saves in net for the Pirates.
Crookston falls to 1-1 on the season and will host The Blake School at 2 p.m. tomorrow to finish off the back-to-back. “I love that we play right away again tomorrow,” Gasper said. “We don’t have time to dwell on this loss and can just move forward and play tomorrow. It’s great and we’re excited to be back at the rink tomorrow.” Sartell-St. Stephen improves to 2-0 with the win and will take on the Warroad Warriors in Warroad on Saturday.

Dane Anderson puts home the rebound for a hat trick     Cody Wardner blasts a shot from the point

Scoring  1st 2nd 3rd Final
Sartell 3 1 3 7

          Doug Larson goes for the backhand shot

1st Period
4:59 - Sartell- Jack Hennemann (Connor Kalthoff)  (PP)
10:14 - Sartell- William McCabe (Andrew Grant)
13:04 - Crookston -  Dane Anderson (1)  (Cody Wardner)
13:36 - Sartell- Jordan Roller (Alec Adelman, Spencer Meier)

2nd Period
11:22 - Crookston - Dane Anderson (2) (Cody Wardner, Doug Larson)  (PP)
12:21 - Crookston - Dane Anderson (3) (Doug Larson, Cody Wardner)  (PP)
15:41 - Sartell- Kennan Lund (Colin Johnson, Spencer Meier) (PP)

3rd Period
:54- Crookston- Bobby Tiedemann (3) (Doug Larson, Parker Nicholls)  (PP)
1:34- Sartell- Jack Hennemann (Matthew Moran)
12:13- Sartell- Colin Johnson (Jordan Roller, Keenan Lund)  (PP)
16:30- Sartell- Keenan Lund (Matthew Michaud)   (Empty Net)

Saves 1st 2nd 3rd Total
Matthew Partch- Sartell   8 9 12 29
Ian Johnson- Crookston  8 12 9 29



The University of Minnesota Crookston had 21 student-athletes named to the 2015 NSIC Fall All-Academic team as announced by the conference office Wednesday. The Golden Eagles had five football players, nine women’s soccer players and seven volleyball players named to the team.

The Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference announced that 636 student-athletes have earned NSIC All-Academic Teams honors for the 2015 fall athletic season. To be eligible for this honor, the student-athlete must be a member of the varsity traveling team and have a cumulative grade point average of 3.20 or higher. Furthermore, the athlete must have reached sophomore athletic and academic standing at her/his institution (true freshmen, red-shirt freshmen and ineligible athletic transfers are not eligible) and must have completed at least one full academic year at that institution.

The members of the football team named NSIC All-Academic were: Nathan Cole (R-So., QB, Aliso Viejo, Calif.), Adam Connette (So., WR, Corona, Calif.), Casey Kraska (R-So., DL, Stephen), Drew McDurmin (Jr., OL, Aiea, Hawai’i) and Drew Selvestra (R-Sr., DL, Eagan). Selvestra was also a CoSIDA Academic All-District pick and is eligible for CoSIDA Academic All-American.

The UMC soccer team had nine players recognized as all-conference of 12 eligible student-athletes who had been with the program for at least a year. The team members recognized were: Ellie Brettschneider (So., D/MF, Lakeville), Molly Buck (Jr., D, Lakeville), Nicole Corbin (So., D/MF, Ramsey), Samantha Deutsch (Jr., D, Lakeville), Nikki Dogan (So., MF, Grand Forks, N.D.), Danielle Gau (Jr., D, Monticello) Lexie Gauger (Jr., GK, Green Bay, Wis.), Gabby Kekke (So., MF/F, Argyle) and Delaney McIntyre (Sr., D/MF, Flin Flon, Manitoba).

The Golden Eagle volleyball team had seven student-athletes named to the NSIC All-Academic team. The Golden Eagles had just 11 student-athletes who were eligible who had played at least one year with the program and is not a transfer. The honorees for UMC volleyball were: Casey Cashman (Jr., DS/Lib., Ashland, Wis.), Kaycie Hagen (So., DS/S, Savage), Kali Erickson (Jr., OH, Fargo, N.D.). Alyssa Muelken (So., MH, Savage), Stephanie Pearson (Sr., OH, Frankfort, Ill.), Sierra Trost (Jr., Ham Lake) and Becca Vandenheuvel (So., DS/Lib., Cannon Falls).





The Crookston Pirate Boy’s Hockey team, fresh off a 13-13-1 season, started their season in style on Tuesday night, putting 60 shots on net in defeating the Red Lake Falls Eagles 5-0. The win started a season that is much anticipated for the Pirates as they look to use their experience to make things happen in the 2015-2016 campaign. This week’s Wednesday Feature previews the Pirates as they start the journey with the end goal of making it to the State Tournament at the Xcel Energy Center.


As with any program, a lot of work is done before the first game as players work hard in the offseason. “We are coming off of one of the best off seasons since I’ve been here,” Crookston Head Coach Joel Gasper said. “Coach (Josh) Hardy did a great job with the offseason program and the boys really bought into it.” Luckily, the Pirates return a lot of players in key positions, including the top line, blue line and goaltenders. What’s the goal for the Pirates this year? “Our goals for this year are definitely to be seeded top two in our section when it comes to tournament time,” senior defenseman Parker Nicholls said. “Of course, the ultimate goal is the State Tournament. That’s where we want to get to.” In order to achieve that goal, the Pirates have to get better every game. “We need to practice hard and do all the little things right,” senior assistant captain Bobby Tiedemann stated. “If we do those things, we have a good group of guys this year that we’ll be able to make things happen.”


Last season’s top line of Chandler St. Michel and Doug Larson centered by Bobby Tiedemann combined for 63 of the team’s 99 goals and luckily for the Pirates, Larson and Tiedemann are back for their senior campaigns. With St. Michel gone, junior power forward Dane Anderson has slid into that top line wing spot. As was evident in the season opening win over Red Lake Falls, where the line combined for four goals and four assists, the Pirates top guys have quite the chemistry. “This line is going to be very good for us this year,” Coach Gasper said. “Dane is in the best shape he’s been in and his size really fits well with the playmaking ability that both Doug and Bobby have.” When a line has good communication, you can usually tell just by watching them pass. So many passes are tape-to-tape and players don’t need that big of a window to thread the puck to their teammate. “Playing with Dane and Doug is going to be fun this year,” Tiedemann said with a smile. “All of us bring something different to the table and practices have gone really well.” Senior Harrison Bjorgo, who scored his first goal of the season against Red Lake Falls, anchors the second line and the Pirates will also look to Drew Dragseth, Ethan Magsam and Brandon Boetcher among other to contribute big minutes. In order to succeed in high school hockey, a team has to have depth. Early indications are that the Pirates will be able to roll three lines and four or five defenseman consistently.


“Having Cody (Wardner) and Parker (Nicholls) back on the blue line is going to be huge for us,” Gasper noted. “They have taken some of the younger guys like (sophomore) Ben Trostad and (junior) Ethan Christopherson under their wings and done a great job. This is the deepest we’ve been on the blue line since I’ve been here.” Wardner, who stands at 6’3”, had four goals and four assists last year and looked very good in the win over Red Lake Falls. The right-handed shooting defenseman carried the puck up the ice with ease and controlled the top of the zone well. The smooth skating Parker Nicholls also will be relied on by the Pirates. “Parker is probably one of the most tenacious competitors I’ve ever seen,” Gasper said. “He competes so hard and you can tell how much he wants to win.” Nicholls has seen the improvement in the defensive corps already. “Our d-corps is a lot better than we expected,” Nicholls said. “We just have to stick to our system and we’ll be solid.” The Pirates will also rely on Ethan Christopherson and Ben Trostad to play well on the blue line, especially since the talent level in Section 8A is so deep.  


Another bright spot for this year’s Pirate team is in between the pipes. Crookston returns senior goalies Adam Huglen (9-8-1, 3.3 goals against, .883 save percentage in ’14-’15) and Ian Johnson (4-5-0, 3.78 goals against, .879 save percentage in ’14-’15). Johnson got the start against Red Lake Falls and posted a 13 save shutout! “I’m really looking forward to this tandem,” Gasper said of his goalies. “They’re constantly pushing each other and their competitiveness helps them improve. I expect a lot from two talented, senior goaltenders.” The main hope is for consistency and stability no matter who starts in net. Good teams can score; great teams can score and get great goaltending at the same time!


The Pirates’ schedule is favorable early as they play eight of their first 10 games in the friendly confines of the Crookston Sports Center. Home ice advantage is something that can be so critical, and after going 4-6 at home last year, the coaching staff and players alike hope that the home ice advantage comes into effect. “The boys know that they need to play better at home this year,” Gasper explained. “We’re more mature this year and we want to make this barn a hard place to play in.”


The road to the State Tournament won’t be easy as the Pirates play in arguably the toughest section in all of Class A. Section 8A features the reigning state champion East Grand Forks Green Wave, section runner-up Thief River Falls Prowlers, perennial power Warroad Warriors and an up and coming Detroit Lakes Lakers team. “It’s going to be a dog fight in this section again,” Gasper said. “I’m so lucky to be able to coach against these teams and we embrace being an underdog. Our goal is to be in the conversation with all of those teams at the end of the year.” Just like the coaches, the Pirate players embrace the opportunity to play some of the best teams in the state. “Playing the teams we play really excites me, it’s fun,” Parker Nicholls exclaimed. “Playing against some of the best competition in the state really brings our competition level up. I love it.”


Crookston got things off on the right foot with a 5-0 win against Section 8A rival Red Lake Falls. The Pirates will need to emulate that kind of performance time and time again in what should be another exciting high school hockey season. 




The Polk County West Football team held their end of the year banquet and handed out a bunch of team awards.  The award winners are listed and pictured below -

Ryan Holte - ACE Thunder, All District, All Section, Co Linemen of the year
Dylan Brandner, Dyllon Mclean, Jonan Garcia, and Joe Sullivan - Co linemen of the year
Zach Cameron - Co linemen of the year, All district honorable mention
Isaiah Bartels - Co linemen of the year, Rookie of the year
Beau Byklum - Co Mr. D, Co linemen of the year, All district, All Section
Devin Evavold - All District
Riley Wavra - Mr. O, All District, All Section
Zac Bethke - Co-Mr. Practice
Pelon Pruneda - Most improved, All District Honorable Mention
Matt Vanyo - Co linemen of the year, All District Honorable Mention
Paul Gapp - Co Mr. D, All district, All section
Deven Rosas, Co Mr. Practice

Back row - Ryan Holte, Dylan Brandner, Zach Cameron, Dyllon Mclean, Isaiah Bartels, Jonan Garcia, Beau Byklum, Devin Evavold, and Head Coach Darrin Byklum. 
Front Row - Joe Sullivan, Riley Wavra, Zac Bethke, Pelon Pruneda, Matt Vanyo, Paul Gapp.   Not Pictured - Deven Rosas





The Crookston Pirates leading scorers from last year, Doug Larson and Bobby Tiedemann scored two goals apiece as the Pirates were finally able to penetrate Red Lake Falls goalie Bailey Schmitz in a 5-0 win at the Crookston Sports Center in the season opening game for both teams.
The last time Crookston and Red Lake Falls met was at the Crookston Sports Center on February 10 in the second to last game of the regular season last year with Red Lake Falls goalie Bailey Schmitz having 45 saves to beat the Pirates 4-3.  Tonight, Crookston would put 60 shots on goal and Schmitz would get most of them, but the Pirates were able to apply the pressure which led to two things. Five goals and holding Red Lake Falls scoreless and very little opportunities to score because of Crookston's constant barrage of pressure.
Crookston struck first when their 30 goal scorer from last year Larson received a puck just outside the Red Lake Falls blue line and he was one on three, got by one and then used another defenseman as a screen and rifled a crisp low wrist shot by Schmitz and 1-0 Crookston lead.  The second goal of the period was a strange one with a puck that was knocked into the Red Lake Falls zone, about five feet inside the blue line and the Eagles goalie, Schmitz came out and dove for the puck and was unable to grab it and then a collision with the puck popping out and Harrison Bjorgo pounced on the loose puck and had a wide open net to put it into to make it a 2-0 game after one period. "I thought we came out right away with the first line and dominated the period," said Crookston head coach Joel Gasper, "Bobby and Dougie were spreading out the ice and looking for each other and an obvious chemistry there.  Dane (Anderson) is on the line with them, he's unselfish and trying to fit in and you can tell he has that knack and he's going to score some goals."
The Crookston birthday boy, Tiedemann who turned 18 today would score two goals two minutes apart late in the second period. The first came on a great circle to circle pass in the Red Lake Falls zone as Larson fired cross rink to Tiedemann who put it quickly by Schmitz before he could react and it was 3-0. "I was just coming down the slot and I knew Doug would see me," said Tiedemann, "he has great vision on the ice and I just got open for him and I was able to get the puck past the goalie." Tiedemann would score again, this time from the side of the net, "the puck trickled off to the side of the net and I knew Doug was like back door so I just threw it back door maybe getting a rebound for him and it ended slipping through the goalies five hole," said Tiedemann on his second goal. "We knew their goalie is tough and we just wanted to get a lot of shots at net and we were able to do that."  Tiedemann didn't just score goals, but he was winning face off after face off and with 24 seconds left in the second period and a faceoff to the left of the Red Lake Falls goalie, Tiedemann won another faceoff cleanly to Larson whose quick, accurate wrist shot beat Schmitz for his second goal and gave Crookston a 5-0 lead heading into the locker room after two periods.
The third period was the Bailey Schmitz show! 22 shots Crookston put at the senior goalie and he turned all 22 away including some of the spectacular varieties showing his quick pad and skate saves as well as the glove. "You have to tip your cap to him that's for sure," said Crookston coach Joel Gasper, "I did just that in the line after the game. Particularly the second half of the game, you could just tell he was on. The first game of the year everyone's a little shaky but as the game went on you could tell he is one of the top goalies in the section."  The game only had three penalties, all in the third period and the first two on Crookston in which they killed off by outshooting the Eagles and the only power play for Crookston was with 32 seconds left in the game. "It was a pretty awesome effort tonight by our guy's," said Gasper, "I had put 50 shots on the board in the locker room before the game and we had 60, so it was a good night for the Pirates with all three lines, six defensemen contributing and playing well and Ian (Johnson) gets the shutout. From top to bottom of our lineup, you could tell them gained confidence as the game went along."  Crookston will put the 1-0 record on the line this weekend with two more home games starting with a first ever varsity game with Sartell, who is ranked 19th in the State Class A polls and on Saturday afternoon they host the Blake Bears. "One of the things we've stressed in the pre-season is to play well at home," said Tiedemann, "last year we won just a couple home games so our thing is to come out in front of our home fans with the last change to play hard, physical and play fast in our home rink."  Crookston plays their first four games at home including next Tuesday when Warroad comes to town in another Section 8A showdown.

Dane Anderson controls the puck in the offensive end

Scoring  1st 2nd 3rd Final
Red Lake Falls 0 0 0 0

Doug Larson scores through traffic to give the Pirates the lead

1st Period
7:20 - Crox- Doug Larson  (Dane Anderson) 
15:35 - Crox -Harrison Bjorgo 

2nd Period
10:46 -Crox - Bobby Tiedemann  (Doug Larson, Cody Wardner)
12:51 -Crox -Bobby Tiedemann (2) (Dane Anderson)
16:36 - Crox -Doug Larson (2) (Bobby Tiedemann)

3rd Period
No Scoring 

             Ethan Magsam fires the shot from the wing

Saves 1st 2nd 3rd Total
Bailey Schmitz-RLF  14  19 22  55 
Ian Johnson-Crookston  3  8 2 13 

Red Lake Falls goalie Bailey Schmitz with the save




The new look Crookston Pirate Boys Basketball team had a lot of questions coming into the game with basically an all new team and one question the Pirates found themselves asking was who is going to stop the Win-E-Mac Patriot’s 6’7 Freshman Brekken Lindberg, who scored 27 points in the game and led the Patriots to a 67-62 overtime victory in the season opening game for both teams in a game played at Win-E-Mac School in Erskine. 
Win-E-Mac (WEM) broke a 4-4 tie with a 6-0 run and four of the points were scored by Lindberg for a 10-4 lead.  Crookston bounced back with four points by Matt Garmen, and a basket by Chris Wavra to get within a 12-10 deficit.  WEM would expand their lead back to a 25-19 lead before Crookston’s Patrick Deng came up with a steal and basket and Wavra buried a three pointer to bring the Pirates within a 25-24 deficit with 4:30 left in the first half.  WEM responded with three points before Matt Garmen made a three pointer with 2:50 remaining, but 32 seconds later the Patriots made a free throw and neither team scored in the final 2:27 of the half and Win-E-Mac led at halftime 29-27.  “We were right there and didn’t play all that well,” said Pirate Coach Greg Garmen. “Kids were trying to get used to playing with each other and we have to know where we need to be and where each other should be.”
In the second half, Matt Garmen scored the first 12 Pirate points with two three pointers, a three point play and then another three pointer and Crookston had a 36-34 lead three minutes into the second half.  W-E-M would go on another run, taking advantage of Pirate turnovers, and took a 48-42 lead halfway through the second half.  Crookston’s Froeber scored the next seven Pirate points and Crookston trailed 50-49 with 6:27 left in regulation.  W-E-M hit a free throw only to have Garmen grab an offensive rebound of his own missed shot and scored inside to tie the game at 51-51.  The game was tied again at 53 before the Patriots scored and Crookston’s Wavra rattled home a three pointer from the corner to give the Pirates a 56-55 lead with 2:41 left in the half.  Garmen picked up his fourth steal of the game to get the ball back and after a time out Guthrie Dingmann scored on a jump shot to give Crookston a three point lead.  W-E-M scored to get within one point and after another Pirate turnover, Lindberg converted a three point play to give the Patriots a 60-58 lead with 31.8 seconds left in regulation.  Crookston answered when Matt Garmen hit a runner through the lane with a kiss off the glass to tie the game at 60-60 with 11 seconds left.  Win-E-Mac took the ball up the floor and Garmen stole a pass and ran up the floor and pulled up for a three pointer at the top of the key and missed and the buzzer sounded to force an overtime with the game tied at 60-60. “Matt had the ball with three seconds left and pulled up for a three pointer and knew he still had some time to go in for a lay up, but he knows it know and he made a good play to set up the last second shot,” said Pirate Coach Greg Garmen.
In overtime the only Pirate points were from Wavra at the free throw line and Win-E-Mac won 67-62.  “Their big guy hurt us inside and we were a little lax with the ball and weren’t crisp with our passing.  Some passes were too hard, weren’t caught, so we have a lot of things to work on, but we also have some things to build on.  We need to get used to playing with each other and that will come as we go along.  We gave a lot to work to do and the boys want to lift weights tomorrow so that is good and we just need to make some more plays and come out on top next time.  The boys are a determined bunch and we will get better.”
Crookston drops to 0-1 on the year and will travel to Bemidji on Friday.  Win-E-Mac improves to 1-0 on the year and will host Red Lake County on Monday.
J.V. – Crookston won 58-20

     Matt Garmen gets a pick and drives into the lane


1st Half

2nd Half





33 2 62


29 31 7 67

Guthrie Dingman looks for a teammate while driving by a defender





Matt Garmen

23 6 6 assists/4 steals
Chris Wavra 12 4  
Patrick Deng 8 4 3 assists
Luke Froeber 7    
Mitchell Olson 6 6  
Guthrie Dingmann 4 6  
Blake Kawlewski 2    


For Win-E-Mac


Brekken Lindberg 27
Hunter Chaput 20
Emelian Kaya 12
Alec Kiecker 6
Mikah Olson 2




The Brainerd-Little Falls Flying Warriors used seven unanswered goals to break a tie with the Crookston High School Pirate Girl’s Hockey team and cruise to an 8-2 win on a Saturday afternoon at the Crookston Sports Center. Five of the seven unanswered goals came in the last eight minutes of the first period to put the Pirates in a hole they couldn’t recover from.
Things looked bright for Crookston early as they came out with fire under their skates right from the opening faceoff. The Pirates were swarming in the offensive zone and aggressive on the forecheck which led to a 7-0 advantage in shots on goal in the game’s first four minutes. Warrior goalie Olivia King stood the test however, stopping everything thrown her way and limiting rebound chances. “The girls were excited to have another opportunity to get out on the ice, fly around and play hockey,” Crookston Head Coach Jaclyn Martin said. “They were focused on getting after it on every shift and I was happy to see that early.” As the case has been all season, when Crookston is flying around and playing well, something unfortunate usually happens. Saturday was no different. With the Pirates on the power play, a turnover in the defensive zone led to a Maddie Ellingson shorthanded goal to make it 1-0 in favor of the Warriors. It marked the fourth straight game that a Crookston opponent has scored on the first shot on goal. “That shorthanded goal deflated our sails a bit since we had started off so well,” Martin noted. “I think we got a little frustrated too and just need to have better passes.” The Pirates weren’t trailing for long as, guess who, Leah Trostad buried a one-timer from the right wing to make it 1-1. “Leah read the play very well and knew the right place to be,” Martin said of her goal scoring leader. “It starts with her shift right when she comes off the bench. Her head is always on a swivel and she’s making sure to talk with her teammates.” After the Trostad goal, the wheels fell off for Crookston as Brainerd added four goals in the period’s final eight minutes to take a 5-1 lead into the first intermission. “Brainerd really started to put the puck on the net as much as possible in that stretch,” Martin said. “We were getting a bit too spread out in our defensive zone and need to work on staying tighter.
The Pirates switched goalies at the tail end of the first period as sophomore Brelee Jobe took over for Megan Flateland. Jobe showed some solid play early in the second period, making three saves in the first four minutes of the period. Jobe stopped 10 of the 12 shots she faced in the middle stanza. The Pirates picked up their goalie’s energy and again started off the period with a few chances and put the pressure on the Warriors. “I wasn’t sure what the locker room was going to be like when I walked in between periods,” Martin said. “The girls were upbeat and really focusing on what they could do in the second period to be better. That’s what I love about this group; they are rarely down on themselves and just keep pushing.” Brainerd’s Elaina Christiansen scored at the 10:20 mark to make it 6-1 then Maddie Ellingson picked up her second of the game to push the score to 7-1.
Play was evenly matched in the third period as both teams went back and forth and a lot of play was in the neutral zone. Brainerd’s Gabbie Smith scored her second goal of the game to make it 8-1 but Leah Trostad continued her torrid start to the season with her eighth goal to cut the lead to 8-2. Trostad, who has two assists to go along with her eight goals this year, was at the bottom of the right circle and stuffed the puck in after it caromed off the end wall. Tori Demarais and Macy Strem got the assists on the tally. Strem’s helper was her second of the day and third of the season.
Aside from Leah Trostad, the Pirates were unable to solve Brainerd freshman goalie Olivia King. The athletic net minder stopped 29 of Crookston’s 31 shots. Brelee Jobe led CHS in between the pipes with 18 saves. “Brelee just never quits and has shown that she’s pretty athletic,” Martin said of her goaltender. “She progressed throughout the game and it was fun to watch.”
Crookston’s next game isn’t until Friday in the Thief River Falls against Park Rapids which gives the Pirates plenty of practice time to get ready. “We’ll do dry land morning practices next week and also go after school on the ice those days,” Martin said. “We’ll definitely be skating more this week and fine tuning our defensive zone play.”
The Pirates fall to 0-4 with the loss and will take on Park Rapids in the Thief River Falls Tournament on Friday at 2 p.m. Brainerd-Little Falls is now 5-2 and will visit St. Francis in East Bethel, Minnesota on Tuesday.


    Macy Strem, Leah Trostad and Annie Hajostek celebrate     Catherine Tiedemann jams at a rebound in front of the net

Scoring  1st 2nd 3rd Final
Brainerd 5 2 1 8


0 1 2

1st Period
5:15- BR- Maddie Ellingson  (unassisted) (SH)
6:33- Crox - Leah Trostad  (7)  (Macy Strem)
8:57- BR- Allyson Smith  (Brooke Mimmack)
11:59- BR- Katie Orth  (Elaina Christensen, Abigail Thelen)
15:08 - BR -Abby Pohlkamp  (Allyson Smith,  Brooke Mimmack)
16:40- BR -Gabbie Smith (unassisted)

2nd Period
10:20- BR -Elaina Christiansen (Allyson Smith, Melissa Anez)
14:24- BR -Maddie Ellingson  (Ellie Riitters, Elaina Christiansen)
3rd Period
6:58 - BR -Gabbie Smith (Maddie Ellingson)
8:29- Crox -Leah Trostad  (8)  (Macy Strem, Tori Demarais)

   Jayden Allrich looks to pass

Saves 1st 2nd 3rd Total
Olivia King-Brainerd  13   8  8  29
Megan Flateland-Crookston 8  X  X  8
Brelee Jobe-Crookston 0 12 6 18



The University of Minnesota Crookston Golden Eagle Women’s basketball team used a 14-1 run to start the game and never looked back on their way to an 86-64 victory over the #6 ranked (NAIA) University of Jamestown Jimmies in the final day of the Concordia-St. Paul Basketball Classic. 
UMC started the game on a 14-1 run that was sparked by 10 straight points by Alexa Thielman (Sr. Buffalo).  “Alexa caught fire early and that helped us,” said UMC Coach Mike Roysland. “I thought her (Alexa’s) teammates did a pretty good job of getting her the ball with some nice passes.  It was a good team effort, that’s for sure.”  The run started with an offensive rebound by Katrina Nordick (Sr. Perham) and 15 seconds later Emily Gruber (Soph. Monticello) received a great pass from Nordick and the Golden Eagles led 2-0 40 seconds into the game.  Jamestown answered with a free throw only to have Nordick, who was hounded by the Jimmy defense all game long, make two free throws.  Thielman made 10 straight points, including two three pointers to complete the 14-1 run.  Jamestown finally scored their first basket of the game with 3:27 left in the first quarter, but UMC still led 14-3.  The Golden Eagles kept the offense going and led 25-12 after the first quarter, behind 14 points from Thielman.
The second quarter was more of the same for UMC as Thielman made a baseline jumper from 10 feet out and with 3:01 left in the half the Golden Eagles led by 23 points.   Jamestown finished the final minutes of the first half on a 7-3 run and UMC took a 47-28 lead into halftime behind Thielman’s 21 points.  UMC shot 49 percent (17-35) from the field and made six of their 10 three pointers in the first half.  “We got some stops and were able to make baskets,” said UMC Coach Mike Roysland. “We tried to pick up our transition game a little more and we got a lot of people involved.”
UMC outscored Jamestown 19-14 in the third quarter and led 66-42 and in the fourth quarter both teams played everybody and the Jimmies outscored UMC 22-20, but the Golden Eagles held on for the 86-64 victory.  “Jamestown is a good team and I am happy we were able to learn more about the team tonight,” said Coach Roysland. “There are some things we did really well and there are some things we need to improve.  Overall it was good for us to get down here and find out more about the team before the conference season next weekend.”
Alexa Thielman was the only Golden Eagle player named to the all-tournament team.  Concordia-St. Paul was the unofficial tournament champion as they upset Michigan Tech 86-77 by making 29 of their 35 free throws.
UMC improves to 3-1 on the year and will host Bemidji State on Saturday, November 28 in the home and Northern Sun Conference opener at Lysaker Gym.  Bemidji State is 3-0 on the year with wins over Crown College, Mayville State and Valley City State. Jamestown is 5-3 on the year and counted the game as an exhibition game.

Megan Taylor with a shot in the paint      Alison Hughes looks to pass by a Jamestown player

Box Score


2 3







22 64



22 19 20 86


For UMC Points Rebounds Assists/Steals
Alexia Thielman   23 5 2 Assists 
Emily Gruber   14 5  
Alison Hughes  13 7 3 Assists
Micaela Noga  13   
Katrina Nordick   7 7  2 Assists/ 4 Steals
Megan Taylor    6   
Lindsey Weber


Caitlin Michaelis 


Isieoma Odor   2 2  
Katie Klein 





Trailing by 19 at halftime, the University of Minnesota Crookston Golden Eagle Men’s Basketball team battled back to tie the game late but a University of Wisconsin-River Falls Falcons basket with one second left proved to be the deciding factor. The Falcons took the win, 81-79, in the finals of the Merrill Thompson Tip-Off Classic in Superior, Wisconsin.
The first half was one to forget for the Golden Eagles as they put themselves in a hole early. Gable Smith (R-Fr., Lodi, WI) opened up the scoring just six seconds into the game with a layup to put UMC up 2-0. UWRF’s Garrett Pearson knocked down a three-pointer a minute later to put the Falcons up 3-2, they wouldn’t trail the rest of the game. Things stayed tight in the first half as Smith knocked down a three-pointer of his own for UMC and Derrick Redd, Jr. (R-Sr., Menifee, CA) hit a jump shot to cut the lead to 13-9. Pearson responded once again as his basket pushed the lead back to 15-9 with 15:58 left in the half. Pearson was on fire for the Falcons in the first half, scoring 11 of his team’s first 15 points. Wisconsin-River Falls put together a 30-17 run to end the half and led at the break by a commanding 45-26 margin. "This game was lost in the first half," UMC Head Coach Dan Weisse said. "Wisconsin-River Falls had some junior and senior big guys who put on a clinic and got the ball wherever they wanted. That just can't happen."
Derrick Redd, Jr. continued his solid play to open the second half as he knocked down a three-pointer and a layup but the Falcons answered both times and the score stood at 50-31 in favor of the Falcons 44 seconds into the second half. Kobe Critchley (Fr., Roseville, MN) converted a old-fashioned three-point play and that started the comeback for UMC. Critchley and Nate Lorenz (Fr., Breckenridge, MN) scored to cut the lead to 16. With 9:59 left in the game, Ben Grygiel (Jr., Rockford, IL) made a three to bring the deficit to single digits at 58-50! UMC still had no answer for Garrett Pearson as the forward picked up his 18th point of the game on a triple to push the lead back to 61-50. UMC got within one at 68-69 with 3:04 left after they went on an 18-7 run, capped by a Grygiel slam! The Golden Eagles showed their resilience late. Trailing 75-71 with a minute left, Minnesota Crookston went on a 8-4 run to tie things at 79. Chase Knickerbocker’s (Fr., Annandale, MN) first three-pointer of the game tied things up and set the stage for an exciting finish. UWRF got the ball back and Brennan Witt picked a perfect time for his first basket, knocking down a shot with one second left to take the lead. UMC had a last second three miss the mark and the Falcons held on for the thrilling 81-79 win. "River Falls was the tougher team tonight," Weisse said. "They manhandled us in the first half. I hope our guys can learn from this."
The Golden Eagles had four players in double figures scoring, led by Derrick Redd. Jr’s 19 points. Kobe Critchley had 15 points, Ben Grygiel 14 and Nate Lorenz contributed 11. Minnesota Crookston shot 50.8% (30-of-59) from the field and knocked down 39% (9-of-23) of their three-pointers. Wisconsin-River Falls dominated on the glass, out-rebounding the Golden Eagles 38-23. "I'm happy about the way the guys fought back in the second half tonight," Weisse noted. "I expect our guys to fight and grind from the opening tip on."
UMC falls to 2-2 on the season and will have their Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference opener on Saturday against Bemidji State. The game between Highway 2 rivals begins at 4 p.m. at Lysaker Gymnasium. "We have good players on this team who I know will learn from this game," Weisse said. "I expect us to have a great week of practice as we get ready for the conference season."

Box Score

1st Half

2nd Half



26 53 79

UW-River Falls

45 36 81


For UMC Points Rebounds Assists/Steals
Derrick Redd, Jr. 19 3 4 assist/2 steals
Kobe Critchley 15   2 assists
Ben Grygiel 14    
Nate Lorenz 11 4  
Gable Smith 7 4 3 assists
Xavier Hall 4
Chase Knickerbocker 4    
C.J. Polk 3    
A.J. Walton 2    



Crookston senior Haley Roed will be swimming in two events in the Minnesota State Class A Girl's Swimming and Diving championships today at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center in Minneapolis. Roed finished 12th in the 50 freestyle race and then 16th in the 100 freestyle to qualify for today's consolation finals.  The top eight in each event in yesterday's preliminaries are swimming the championships today while the ninth through 16th swim in the consolation.  The event starts at NOON.

Haley Roed had a slow start but recovered nicely in the 50 freestyle race and finished 14th place with a time of 25.07, three-hundredths of a second slower than her personal best and school record time she swam on Thursday in the prelims. "To get two of my best times both days was great!" said Roed with a big smile. "My start was definitely pretty slow, if I wouldn't have had that I could have probably broke 25 seconds.  The 50 is an all out sprint so I just swam as hard as I could."  Coach Marley Melbye said Haley swam a good race. "She swam well and was a little slow off the blocks, but all in all a pretty good race."

                                    Haley Roed swimming in the 50 Freestyle Consolation finals

Haley had a solid race in the 100 Freestyle and finished 14th place with a time of 54.72.  "It went pretty good.  It was close to my section time so that was good.  My start was better than the 50," said Roed. "It is a great way to end my Pirate swimming career.  It (the finality) hasn't hit me yet because of the adrenaline of swimming at state."  Coach Melbye was happy with Haley's races. "She swam well today and did great in the 100 Freestyle.  She had a great start and was strong off the walls and finished her career pretty solid with a technically sound race."  It is the third straight year the Pirates have had somebody at state to wrap up the year. "The goal is to get down here each year," said Coach Melbye. "The girls swam well down here and we are very proud of them."

                 Haley Roed on her way to a 14th place finish in the 200 Freestyle

Pirate Event Time Place
 Friday's consolation finals      
Haley Roed 50 freestyle 25.07 14th
Haley Roed 100 freestyle 54.72 14th
Thursday's preliminaries      
1-8 advanced to finals
9-16 swims in consolation
Haley Roed 50 Freestyle 25.04 12th
Haley Roed 100 Freestyle 55.11 16th
Kate MacGregor 100 Backstroke 1:01.54 18th
Marietta Geist, Sierra Pry
Kate MacGregor, Haley Roed
200 Free Relay 1:42.53 20th
Marietta Geist, Thea Oman
Kate MacGregor, Haley Roed
400 Free Relay 3:46.28 17th

Haley Roed dives into the water to start the 200 Freestyle



The #8 ranked Michigan Tech Huskies used a big third quarter to beat the University of Minnesota Crookston Golden Eagle Women’s Basketball team 85-62 at the Radisson Hotels Concordia-St. Paul Basketball tournament in St. Paul.
Michigan put their stamp on the game early making two early shots to take a 4-0 lead.  UMC answered with a 9-5 run to tie the game at 9-9 with about six minutes left in the first quarter.  Michigan Tech, as they did all night, answered with a run of their own, outscoring UMC 13-6 to take a 22-15 lead at the end of the first quarter.  The first quarter was a sign of things to come for Michigan Tech as they made 59 percent of their shots (10-17) in the quarter.
Michigan Tech scored the first four points of the second quarter and led by 11 points (26-15).  The Golden Eagles started to get some stops on the defensive end and cut the deficit to 36-34 with 3:38 left in the half, but Michigan Tech outscored UMC 11-2 the rest of the quarter for a 47-36 lead at halftime.  In the first half, Michigan Tech shot 58 percent (21-36), while UMC shot 48 percent (15-31).
Michigan Tech took over the game in the third quarter as they limited UMC to one made basket in 11 attempts and shot 71 percent (12-17) from the field and made all four three point attempts to outscore the Golden Eagles 31-12 for a commanding 78-48 lead.  UMC was able to record 10 of their 12 third quarter points at the free throw line in the third quarter.  “They really had things going in the third quarter,” said UMC Coach Mike Roysland. “We had good looks, but couldn’t make any of our shots and it started to snowball and you could see it wearing on us as the quarter went along.”
In the fourth quarter both teams went to the bench and Michigan State coasted to the 85-62 victory.  “They are a very good team and every time they had an open shot they seemed to make it,” said Coach Roysland. “They moved the ball well, shot the ball well, and played good defense, and we didn’t make plays tonight.”
UMC drops to 2-1 on the year and will play the #6 ranked (NAIA) University of Jamestown on Saturday.
Michigan Tech improves to 2-0 on the year and will play Concordia-St. Paul on Saturday.

Alexa Thielman drives by a Michigan Tech defender

Box Score


2 3



Michigan Tech

22 25 31 7 85


15 21 12 14 62

   Isieoma Odor looks to pass in the second half

For UMC Points Rebounds Assists/Steals
Katrina Nordick   15  5 2 Assists  
Alison Hughes  12   3 Assists 
Alexia Thielman  10    
Emily Gruber   8  7 2 Assists  
Isieoma Odor  7
Micaela Noga   6  2  
Katie Klein   2    
Megan Taylor  2    



The University of Minnesota Crookston Golden Eagle Men’s Basketball team handled an early season test well as they took down the Valley City State University Vikings, 63-60, in the first round of the Merrill Thompson Tip-Off Classic. The Vikings, who had played exhibition games against Division 1 Marquette University and North Dakota State University, proved to be a tough test but couldn’t handle the Golden Eagles backcourt in a game played at Mertz Mortorelli Gymnasium in Superior, Wisconsin.
“We put a heavy emphasis on us playing defense this week at practice,” UMC Head Coach Dan Weisse said. “I was really pleased because our guys really improved on the defensive end by holding a team to 60 points.” The Golden Eagles, who dropped their first game of the season at Walforf, have started to show more consistency as they’ve picked up wins now in their past two. “Our mantra this year has been to ‘get better every day’,” Coach Weisse said. “We have a young team and they are getting used to a different coach and level of play. I’m hoping they continue to get better every day and continue buying in to what we’re doing.”
As expected, the game was a close one throughout. Neither team lit up the scoreboard in the first half as the Golden Eagles jumped out to a 28-24 lead after the first 20 minutes. UMC’s 28 points came from seven different players. “This game was nip and tuck throughout,” Weisse said. “Neither team could really get any separation in the first half.”
In the second half, UMC started to get some breathing room, leading by as many as 11, but Valley City State stormed back to take a one point lead with four minutes remaining. Ben Grygiel (Jr., Rockford, IL) hit a big three-pointer to put the Golden Eagles back up by a pair. “We got the stops we needed to tonight on defense,” Weisse noted. “We also hit our free throws down the stretch and it was a good way to close out the game.”
A big difference between this year’s team as opposed to past years was evident tonight as the dynamic tandem of C.J. Polk (So., Milwaukee, WI) and Derrick Redd, Jr. (R-Sr., Menifee, CA) combined for 46 points. The early returns this season have showed that both of those guys can pour in the points if needed to for UMC. “Having different guys who can handle the ball and attack the basket is a big difference on this year’s team compared to last year,” Weisse said of his balance. “Our team is able to handle the pressure a lot better and if we continue to improve our shooting, good things can happen.”
Aside from Redd, Jr.’s 27 points and Polk’s 19, the Golden Eagles got five points from Ben Grygiel (Jr., Rockford, IL), four from Nate Lorenz (Fr., Breckenridge, MN), three points from Chase Knickerbocker (Fr., Annandale, MN), two each from Jim Warmack (So., East Grand Forks, MN) and Kobe Critchley (Fr., Roseville, MN) and one from Xavier Hall (Jr., Tartan, MN). “This team has so many guys who are settling into their roles and do the things we need them to do to be successful,” Weisse said of his rotation. “Xavier Hall, Chase Knickerbocker, Ben Grygiel and Chase Knickerbocker really gave us great minutes off the bench. I also want to give credit to the guys on our scout team, Darrin Viken, Aaron Hollcraft and Riley Rice, for beating us up this week in practice and getting us prepared.”
The Golden Eagles improve to 2-1 and will take on the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. UWRF beat University of Wisconsin-Superior 67-55 on Friday night. Tip-off will be at 7 p.m. in Superior, Wisconsin.


1st Half

2nd Half



28 35 63

Valley City State

24 36 60


For UMC Points Rebounds Assists/Steals
Derrick Redd 27    
CJ Polk  19    
Ben Grygiel 5    
Ben Lorenz  4    
Chase Knickerbocker  3    
Kobe Critchley 2
Jim Warmack  2    
Xavier Hall  1    




It’s been a busy time for both college coaches and high school athletes as the signing period for multiple sports is in full swing. In the past week, UMC Golden Eagle women’s basketball has signed five players, Golden Eagle Men’s Basketball inked one, UMC Volleyball signed one, UMC Softball signed five and UMC Baseball signed 11 student-athletes. With this time of the year, the ability to recruit is brought to the forefront because when athletes sign, that shows the fruition of all the work that coaches put in. This week’s feature focuses on the recruiting process.

UMC head coach Dan Weisse made it pretty clear:  “Recruiting is the lifeblood of any college program.”

A powerful, eight word quote but one that rings so true to any college coach, at any level. Student-athletes graduates, transfer, leave the program, etc. and they need to be replaced. That’s where recruiting comes in, it’s an overwhelmingly important part of being a college coach and college sports in general. KROX talked to multiple University of Minnesota Crookston Golden Eagle head coaches about recruiting, what goes into it and what they look for when they are trying to convince 17-18 year olds to go to UMC and be a part of their program.

There’s no question in college sports, a coach has to be able to recruit. Yes, a program in itself can be a draw, but the relationship a coach makes with a student-athlete is what leads them to choose the school. “You always have a job in college athletics if you can recruit,” according to Levi Bullerman of UMC football. “If you don’t have that skill, you become very expendable.” There are many factors that go into recruiting. Do the academics match up? Does the school offer what the young man or woman wants to get a degree in? The difference in Division II and Division III compared to Division I is that a coach doesn’t really worry about a kid leaving early for the pro’s, so academics are escalated.  This fact ramps up the responsibility a coach has as a recruiter. It is important for them to know the school they coach for and what they offer. “We really want to be able to sell the kids on the school, and we have a great school here at Minnesota Crookston,” UMC basketball coach Dan Weisse states. “Our academics are second to none and if a kid likes the programs or classes we have to offer, that’s a big plus!” Coaches become salesmen and saleswomen for the school. As stated before, Dan Weisse hit the nail on the head when referencing the importance of recruiting. “Recruiting is the lifeblood of a program,” the Wisconsin native said. “You have to replace players and continue to build your program, you do that through recruiting. It’s absolutely necessary to make a college program go round.”

What do coaches look for in a player? Before coaches even go to a tournament, or call a kid, or visit them, they need to know what they are looking for. “We look for three things,” Dan Weisse noted. “Can the kid play? What kind of talent do they have? How are their grades? And one of the most important things is to look at their character. Do they help a teammate up off the floor? Are they cheering on and keeping their teammates focused when times are tough?” No matter the sport, a lot of the answers are the same for what coaches are looking for. “I’m looking for the complete package,” UMC Softball Head Coach Don Stopa said. “Physical skills and abilities are very important but I also look at academics. I expect success on and off the field.” Sometimes recruits initiate the contact with a prospective school. “I think it happens more on the women’s side of things, but we get emails from student-athletes who are interested in what our school has to offer,” Mike Roysland said.

Recruiting a student-athlete is quite the process. Before the 2015 soccer season had started for UMC, Golden Eagle soccer coach Joe Alianiello had his 2016 class almost figured out. “My 2016 class is going to be good,” Alianiello stated. “We’ve got some talented girls coming in who, along with our returning players, will make us a really competitive team in the NSIC.”

Some sports have an “early signing period” to go along with the normal signing period. For example, basketball’s early signing period is in November and this year, Golden Eagle women’s basketball had five players sign their National Letters of Intent during the period. “The trend is becoming for more and more athletes to sign earlier, especially on the women’s side,” Women’s Hoops Coach Mike Roysland explained. “We always want to sign kids as soon as we can and sometimes, like this year, things just fall into place.”

Finding student-athletes, figuring out whom to recruit or look at, has been made way more efficient through the emergence of social media. “With social media, especially Twitter, you always see names of kids get tossed out there to keep an eye on, but you have to go see them yourself,” said Dan Weisse. “Sometimes that’s the first part of the process or sometimes we’ll talk to the kid first. A big difference in this is between football and a sport like basketball just because of roster size. Recruiting for a football team, with a roster of 70-90, compared to a basketball team, with a roster of 15-17 (including redshirts) is amplified. “We get a lot of names and info on players from services we subscribe to like Collegiate Sports Data and the Minnesota Football Coaches Association,” Bullerman said. “We have a database right now of around 1,900 kids who we’ll eventually whittle down to the 30 or so we want to have committed here.” In recruiting, making relationships is a key! “The key in recruiting is building relationships with student-athletes beyond the ball field. I want to know everything about them and their families,” Steve Gust emphasized. “I also keep in close contacts with high school, legion and club coaches around the area and throughout the country. I've been in this long enough where some of my former players are now coaches at those levels. They are invaluable resources.” Minnesota Crookston Women’s Basketball Head Coach Mike Roysland also emphasized making contacts. “It’s all about making contacts and making sure people know what we are looking for,” the reigning NSIC Coach of the Year stated. “It’s a lot of word of mouth. We see a lot of kids at AAU tournaments in the summer but also are in constant communication with those coaches as well as high school coaches.”

Some coaches look for the best players available, some recruit to their systems. “We have a system so we look for if a kid fits our system,” Weisse stated. “But we will also make it work if there is a player that is just super talented or could become a great player and we’ll find a way to fit them into our system.” UMC football shares a similar philosophy. “We recruit a combo of what positions do we need but we also want to get the best players available,” Bullerman said. “The last thing we want to do is let a really talented player get away. And, if we have a lot of guys at a position, it can benefit the players by really fueling competition.” Many coaches also try to focus on the area as far as where they are recruiting. “We start in Crookston and work our way out. Minnesota and North Dakota recruits are important because I believe there are some good players who don't get recruited,” UMC Baseball second-year Head Coach Steve Gust said. “Those kids have the values and the work ethic we like, and they are more likely to be retained for four years.”

Recruiting players can be tough because of scheduling as well. The seasons are the same and that makes it tough to see players in games. College coaches combat this in a couple of different ways. “If there is a high school game on a Tuesday or Thursday and we have practice scheduled, I might move it to the morning,” Joe Alianiello explained. “Or if it’s a closer game I’ll just have my assistant finish practice and I’ll leave for the game.” Other ways to see players is by camps or on-campus visit workouts.

The other parts of the process include phone calls, in-home visits, campus visits and watching players both in season and in the offseason on their select/AAU teams. Of course, the ultimate goal is getting a fax from the player on signing day saying they’re going to come to your school.

A side of recruiting people may not know about is the financial side of things. The University of Minnesota Crookston is a University of Minnesota school, yes, but that doesn’t mean they have the kind of money that the Division I Gophers have. Soccer coach Joe Alianiello sheds some light. “Soccer only has 3.8 scholarships to work with. And one scholarship is about $19,800 (tuition, room and board). So I have $75,240 to divide among my whole roster,” the fourth year head coach noted. “I like certain kids and would love to give them more money, but I have to focus on building a roster as well and I need to have depth.” In softball, there are very few players, if any, who get full scholarships. “Being a smaller school, I don’t have as many scholarships to work with,” Coach Stopa explained. “I’m speaking to 250 or more kids over a time to fill four or five spots. I really have to hunt for my players.”

“You’re never on vacation,” Coach Weisse laughed when asked what people may not realize. “I may be on a vacation but I’ll still be talking to recruits. It’s one of those things where you can never get away, but at the same time as a coach you have to make sure you’re always there if a guy wants to talk to you.” Coaches don’t really have that time to relax. “Recruiting is never-ending,” Golden Eagle Baseball coach Steve Gust said. “I was on the road nearly every weekend this past summer looking at prospects. You really need a family that understands the demands of coaching. Recruiting trips can often become modified family vacations.” The offseason is when they hit the road going to their different recruiting areas, spending a lot of time in hotels and becoming experts at which hotel offers the best continental breakfast.

The “behind the scenes” or unsung heroes in the recruiting process are numerous, both on campus, in the households and in the community. “I can think of so many people on campus who play such a big part in recruiting,” Bullerman said. “Our compliance director, Jason Tanquist, makes sure guys can come for official visits. Ashley Brekken is our administrative assistant in athletics and handles so much of the paperwork. Facilities helps in scheduling recruiting cars, Melissa in food services does a great job helping us schedule meals when we have official visits. Even in town, managers at the local hotels help us out when kids stay in town during official visits. Athletic Director Steph Helgeson also gives us so much support in what we do.” 

In recruiting, coaches are trying to sell their school and program. “I have to make sure I know my school, my program and do my research on the student-athlete,” Coach Stopa explained. “I’m selling a four year program that will have an impact on the rest of a student-athlete’s life.”

Recruiting takes time, effort, persistence, a lot of late nights, hotel breakfasts, drive thru stops and long drives to get the players to help continue build a program. 





The Crookston Pirate Girls Swim team had five individuals swimming at the Minnesota State High School League Girls Swimming and Diving meet at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center in Minneapolis and Haley Roed will be advancing to swim in the consolation finals in two events on Friday.

Haley Roed was the first swimmer to compete, swimming in the 50 Freestyle.  Haley came into the meet with the 14th best time and swam a personal best 25.04, which was one-tenth of a second better than her personal best for a 12th place finish to advance to the consolation race on Friday afternoon. The 25.04 time is also a new school record for Haley, breaking her old record of 25.14.  "I am just happy to be swimming tomorrow," said Roed after her race. "That was a pretty good race and pretty exciting to get a personal best.  I didn't really know what to expect and improving on my seed time was nice."
Two races later, Haley had to swim again, this time in the 100 Freestyle.  Haley finished with a time of 55.11 and finished 16th and will advance to the consolation race on Friday. "I couldn't quite get up to the tempo I wanted to with my arms, but I will get to come back tomorrow and hopefully do better tomorrow," said Roed. "Haley put up a solid swim in the 50 and added some time in the 100 and now has tomorrow to see how it goes," said Pirate Coach Marley Melbye.

           Kate MacGregor on her way to an 18th place finish in the 100 Backstroke

Kate MacGregor was the other Pirate swimmer to compete individually and she finished 18th place in the 100 yard backstroke with a time of 1:01.54.  Kate missed swimming in the consolation round by 23 hundredths of a second.  "It went pretty good, actually I had a very good event, but I didn't get my fastest time so that was a bummer," said MacGregor. "It felt good out there and was a good race."

          Marietta Geist gets some air while swimming the 200 Freestyle Relay

The 200 Freestyle relay team (Marietta Geist, Sierra Pry, Kate MacGregor, Haley Roed) was making their third trip to the state meet and turned in their best time at state, but finished 20th place and will not advance to Friday.  "The girls swam better this year than last year," said Coach Melbye. "It just goes to show you there was some pretty good talent here this year."  The Pirates were pretty happy with their race. "It was pretty good and it was our fastest state time so we were happy with that," said Marietta Geist, who added, "I am glad we made it again and I am excited to watch Haley swim tomorrow."  Sierra Pry is another senior on the relay team and was happy with her race. "We wanted to do our best and we gave it our all and it is a little disappointing we didn't get a better place, but we gave it our all," said Pry. "It never gets old coming down here and driving in the suburban is always fun."

Sierra Pry gets some air in her leg of the 200 Freestyle Relay

The 400 Freestyle Relay team made their first trip to state, in the event, and finished 17th place with a time 3:46.28.  "I was really excited and was nervous because I have been down here before, but never had the experience of actually swimming," said Thea Oman on her first trip to state. "I was nervous and I saw Marietta coming in and heard everybody cheering and said I got this.  I think I did pretty well, we all did well, but I am super excited with how the season went this year."

                   Thea Oman swims her leg of the 400 Freestyle Relay

"It was a good day for us and I am really pleased with how the girls swam and how they held themselves," said Coach Melbye. "It was a great meet with stiff competition and we watched a National Record fall in the breaststroke so that was pretty neat.  To represent Crookston High School as well as we did, I am pretty proud."

                      Haley Roed takes a quick breath while swimming in the 100 Freestyle

Pirate Event Time Place
1-8 advanced to finals
9-16 swims in consolation
Haley Roed 50 Freestyle 25.04 12th
Haley Roed 100 Freestyle 55.11 16th
Kate MacGregor 100 Backstroke 1:01.54 18th
Marietta Geist, Sierra Pry
Kate MacGregor, Haley Roed
200 Free Relay 1:42.53 20th
Marietta Geist, Thea Oman
Kate MacGregor, Haley Roed
400 Free Relay 3:46.28 17th

The 200 Relay team ready to start their race (their third time at state)



Crookston High School graduate and current Crown College Football running back, Josh Edlund, was named to the UMAC Football All Conference second team this week. 
Josh, a junior, had over 900 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns while averaging five yards per carry.  He also had 112 yards receiving and a touchdown.  Edlund ran the ball 179 times and had six receptions and didn’t fumble this season!  Josh’s brother Luke was a freshman on the Crown College football team this fall.



The University of Minnesota Crookston volleyball team announced the signing of Alyssa Thomas (OH, 5-11, Marion, Iowa/Marion H.S.) to a National Letter of Intent. Thomas is the first signee for the Early Signing Period for the Golden Eagles and will begin competing for UMC during the 2016 season.

Alyssa Thomas/OH/5-11/Marion, Iowa/Marion H.S.

Thomas was named First Team All-State in 2014, while playing for Marion H.S., by the coaches and by the Des Moines Register. She was a Second Team All-State pick in 2013. Thomas was a First Team All-WaMac pick from 2012-14. In addition, Thomas was an First Team All-Region pick and has led her team to two state tournaments in 2014 and 2015. Thomas had 340 kills and 76 total blocks as a junior for Marion High School, while averaging 3.24 kills per set. “Alyssa is a very dynamic and physical volleyball player,” said UMC Head Coach Lee Anderson. “She has the potential to bring a lot of offense as a collegiate athlete. We are very excited to have Alyssa join the UMC volleyball family.”

Alyssa is the daughter of Greg and Janet Thomas and plans to major in medical laboratory science. Her sister Brittney Thomas played volleyball at Mount Mercy, while her sister Jessica Thomas played volleyball at St. Ambrose. Her mom Janet Thomas played volleyball at William Penn, while her Dad Greg played basketball and baseball at William Penn.

     Alyssa Thomas is all smiles while she signs her National Letter of Intent to play volleyball at UMC

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