SPORTS FEEVER – April 4, 2019

Welcome to another awesome, outstanding, fantastic, thrilling, Sports Feever column.  President Trump tells me it is the best northwest Minnesota sports column on  He said the hits are huge, the column is awesome and his dad is still from Germany, no matter what all the Fake News channels and his dad’s birth certificate are saying.
My wife and I celebrated my first weekend off since September with a trip to Vegas.  We sat at the beach/pool area all day soaking up the warmth and sun all afternoon (I was watching some basketball too on my phone) at Mandalay Bay.   We ate Wagyu steak, had some drinks, went to Michael Buble at T-Mobile Arena and the concert was OUTSTANDING with a full orchestra/band behind him and he was pretty funny too.
It was nice to get away, enjoy some sunshine and temps in the mid-70’s and it was a much needed break before a busy spring sports season.

The one great thing about our spring has been the slow thaw so we don’t have to worry as much about the possibility of major flooding, but it hasn’t helped the spring sports.  I hope the temps stay in the 50’s and we get everything dried out and have a good end of April and Month of May.  It should be a fun spring sports season.  Good luck to all teams in their competition.

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Minneapolis is hosting the Final Four this weekend and I am sure many of you have tickets to the games.  First of all, I will see you there.  Both my dad (for the second straight year) and I got four tickets through the lottery system and while the seats are in the third level, I don’t think there are too bad of seats in US Bank stadium with the design.  I guess we will find out this weekend.

I will be honest, I was disappointed when Duke lost.  If you aren’t familiar with my college basketball fandom, Minnesota is #1 and Duke is #2. I have loved Duke since the Laettner, Hurley and Hill days.  Plus you get to watch them all the time.
I was looking forward to watching Zion Williamson play and so were my kids.  But now that the Blue Devils aren’t playing I look at the four teams left and they are all great “teams” that play together and play solid defense.  The highest scoring teams didn’t make it to the final four.  I am guessing the three games this weekend could be some great games and I hope I am right.

I saw this stat about the Final Four teams this year, ONLY 7% of all points scored of teams in the final four have come from freshmen.  Pretty impressive stat….in college and high school, you always win with a strong senior class.

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I have always said baseball coaches are crazy/determined/die-hard.  No other coach in sports comes close.

The craziness/determined/die-hardness came full throttle this week with UMC Baseball‘s determination to play on their home field even though the temperatures were forecasted to be below freezing (with a wind chill), and flurries.  UMC had the field “ready” and UMC’s wanting to play at home was countered with Winona State not wanting to play unless it is “decent” out.
You can’t blame either side.  The NSIC rules say if the temp is below 32 degrees (real-feel), both coaches have to agree to play.
I would want to play at home, but on the flip-side, I wouldn’t want to play on a field that isn’t “ready” and the wind chill is in the 20’s.  Having players trying to play in conditions below freezing puts the athletes at risk of injury.  Baseball, more than any other sport has muscles that aren’t used for minutes at a time and then all of a sudden, bang…you have to explode to try to catch a fly ball, field a ground ball, etc.  When the muscles aren’t warm, you risk injury and that is why I am on Winona State’s side this time.  I think playing in wind chills in the teens or 20’s is foolish.
I understand UMC wanting to get the game in at home, but it is FAR MORE IMPORTANT to get the games in than to play at home, especially with the start the Golden Eagles had.  Unfortunately for UMC, wanting to play at home at all costs, cost them three winnable games against Winona State this week and I hope that doesn’t come back to bite them later in the season.  It looks like it might have hurt them because they got outscored 13-3 by Sioux Falls (a team that only had four wins coming into the double-header on Wednesday).

— — —

The Crookston Pirate Girls Track team has already set two indoor track records in the first two meets of the year.

The first record fell when Katherine Geist, a junior distance runner, shattered the previous 1600 meter record by 14 seconds.  Geist won the 1600 meters race in Moorhead with a time of 5:14.25 breaking the indoor record of 5:28.81 set by Janae Altepeter in 1999.

The second record was Emma Borowicz‘s 400 time in the second meet of the year on Monday in Moorhead.  Borowicz finished with a time of 1:03.25, breaking Katrina Wahlin (2004) and Jennifer Taus’ (1985) record of 1:03.92.

The Crookston Pirate Boys and Girls track teams will be back in action on Tuesday when they travel to Bemidji State for the Beaver relays.

— — —

The 2018-2019 Northern Galaxy Conference has released its all-conference team and awards.


Stephen-Argyle – Abbey Johnson, Abi McGlynn, Savannah Riopelle
Warren-Alvarado-Oslo – Shelby Durand, Rylie Mortimer
Sacred Heart – Sydney Lloyd, Jessica Remer
Northern Freeze – Keylee Dahl
Red Lake Falls – Clara Girdler
Red Lake County Central – Jenna Pahlen
Grygla-Goodridge – Maci Bakken

Stephen-Argyle – Riley Mooney
Warren-Alvarado-Oslo – Mackenzie Roller
Red Lake Falls – Makenzie Williams
Red Lake County Central – Kia Bachand, Calyssa Eskeli


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The University of Minnesota Crookston men’s basketball program announced the signing of Ebrima Jassey Demba (G/F, 6-7 200, Birmingham, England/Monroe College (N.Y.) to a National Letter of Intent. Jassey Demba is the first junior college signee for the Golden Eagles for the 2019 class. He joins a signing class that includes Reed Miller (G/F, 6-6 205, Appleton, Wis./Kimberly H.S.), Tyrese Shines (G, 6-3 190, LaGrange, Ill./Lyons Township H.S.), and Quintin Winterfeldt (G, 6-4 195, Waupun, Wis./Waupun H.S.).

“I am excited to welcome Ibu to the Golden Eagle basketball family,” said Head Coach Dan Weisse. “Ibu will provide some length and athleticism. He is a versatile player that can do multiple things on both ends of the floor. He comes from a high-level Division I junior college and played with very high-level players in the past two years. I look forward to getting Ibu on campus, and getting him acclimated with our current players.”
Jassey Demba competed for Monroe College in New Rochelle, N.Y., who went 25-6 on the 2018-19 season, earning a Regional Championship in Division I of the NJCAA. He played in 30 games and started five for Monroe College. Jassey Demba averaged 4.1 points and 3.5 rebounds per game as a sophomore. He shot 44.0 percent from the field. Jassey Demba played with Thomas Binelli, who is committed to Division I Eastern Michigan University, and Will Martinez, who is committed to Division I Wagner College. As a freshman, he played in 30 games and notched 3.6 points and 3.9 rebounds per game.
Jassey Demba’s family is originally from Gambia, but he was born in Spain. His family lived in Spain for 17 years before moving to the United Kingdom. He is the son of Fatou Demba Jassey and Kebba Jassey Demba. He was born Jan. 31, 1998. Jassey Demba plans to major in sports management at UMC.

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East Grand Forks’ Trey Ausmus announced this week that he has committed to play hockey for the University of North Dakota.  It worked out pretty good for his brother and I am sure he wasn’t looking too hard at going anywhere else.

— — —

Mayville State Men’s Basketball has recently signed two area boys basketball players to play for the Comets next year.

Jake Taggart, a 5’11 155 pound guard from Badger-Greenbush-Middle River.

Kyle Spenst, a 5’11 155 pound guard from Warroad.

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Some area high schools will be looking for new basketball coaches.

Barnesville Boys Basketball coach Todd Henrickson has resigned his basketball duties.
Fergus Falls Hillcrest Lutheran is looking for a new boys basketball coach.
Sacred Heart is looking for a new girls basketball coach.

— — —

The Concordia Cobber Volleyball program has announced the hiring of Faith Dooley as their sixth coach in program history this week.  Dooley was an all-American volleyball player for the University of North Dakota and is currently assistant track and field coach for Climax-Fisher-Sacred Heart.
Dooley was one of the top high school student/athletes in the state of North Dakota. She earned 12 varsity letters in three sports at Central Cass High School. She helped Central Cass win the state championship in volleyball and was a 3-time All-Region honoree. Dooley was also an all-conference, all-region and all-state selection in basketball and qualified for the state meet in track and field in the high jump all four years – finishing second as a senior.

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Thief River FallsAaron Meyers is playing hockey for the Minnesota Wilderness and was named the NAHL Central Division star this past week.  He had one goal and five assists for a total of six points in two games.
For the season, Myers leads the team in scoring with 50 points in 55 games played. “Aaron is an outstanding 200-foot player. He showed again last weekend why he is one of the best all-around players to ever play for the Wilderness,” said Wilderness head coach Dave Boitz.

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Last weekend, the HP-16 and 17 teams representing each section competed for a spot in the final 54.  Some highlights from the Section 8 teams are below –

The HP-16 Section 8 highlights
Crookston’s Noah Dragseth played three games and made 37 saves on 45 shots and had a goals against average of 5.33 and a save percentage of .822.
Wyatt Olsonawski was the other Section 8 goaltender and he played in three games and made 33 saves on 38 shots for a goals against average of 3.33 and a save percentage of .868.
The leading goal scorer for Section 8 was Haden Kruse of Brainerd with six goals (and two assists).  He was also second on the team in points.
The leader in assists and points was Paul Huglen of Roseau with 3 assists and 6 goals for nine points.

In the HP-17 Section 8 highlights
Evan Bushy, Carter Johnson, Grant Slukynsky, Jens Richards, and Tucker Skime led the team with two points apiece.
Noah Rupprect of TRF, only allowed four goals on 32 shots for a 2.18 goals against average and a .875 save percentage.

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The 2019 CCM Minnesota Hockey High-Performance Final 54 Festivals, featuring the top boys and girls hockey players in Minnesota that were born in 2002 and 2003, are scheduled to take place April 26-28. The Boys 16 and 17 Final 54 will take place at Plymouth Ice Center and the Girls 16 and 17 Final 54 will be held at Fogerty Arena in Blaine, MN.
The rosters for the 2019 CCM HP Final 54 Festivals are listed below. Players were selected based on their performance in the Boys and Girls 16 and 17 Spring Festivals this past weekend at Plymouth Ice Center.

Following the Final 54 Festivals, the top players from each age group will be selected to represent Minnesota Hockey at a national festival/camp, sponsored by USA Hockey, which involves the best players from each of the USA Hockey districts. The national camps are used by USA Hockey to identify the top performers in each age group for possible opportunities to represent the U.S.A. at advanced levels of national and international hockey competition.

Section 8 players that made the HP Boys 16 final 54 are listed below
Judd Ginther – Roseau
Paul Huglen – Roseau
Thor Byfuglien – Roseau
Gavin Gunderson – Roseau
Logan Spencer – East Grand Forks
Haden Kruse – Brainerd
Max Strand – Roseau

Section 8 players that made the HP Boys 17 final 54 are listed below
Luke Gramer – Moorhead
Landon Parker – East Grand Forks
Grant Slukynsky – Warroad
Noah Rupprecht – Thief River Falls
Carter Johnson – Moorhead
Evan Bushy – Thief River Falls

Section 8 players that made the HP Girls 16 final 54 are listed below
Sophie Helgeson – Roseau
Kate Helgeson – Roseau
CJ Mack – East Grand Forks
Madison Lavergne – Warroad

Section 8 players that made the HP Girls 17 final 54 are listed below
Genevieve Hendrickson – Warroad
Anika Stoskopf – Roseau
Shelby Breiland – Thief River Falls
Hannah Corneliusen – Warroad
Sydney Phaneuf – Warroad

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Minnesota Hockey, in conjunction with CCM and the Minnesota Hockey Coaches Association, announced today the Minnesota rosters for the tenth annual CCM Boys High School National Invitational Tournament (NIT) to be played April 25 – 28 at the Plymouth Ice Center.

The tournament will feature teams comprised of top high school players from Minnesota, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Dakota and Wisconsin.

“Many high school players have the potential to play at the next level after their high school career is over and this tournament will give these young men and women a chance to showcase their abilities in front of scouts from the NHL, NCAA and junior leagues,” said Mike MacMillan, High Performance Director for Minnesota Hockey.

The two Minnesota boys’ teams set to participate in the 2019 Boys NIT are comprised of the most outstanding players from the 2019 Ted Brill Great 8 Tournament that took place March 29-31 at Doug Woog Arena in South St. Paul. One team of players was selected from the Senior teams and another team was chosen from players on the HP 18 (Juniors) teams at the Great 8 Festival.

The rosters for the two Minnesota teams can be found below.

The CCM Minnesota Hockey High-Performance Programs are designed to identify and develop the best players in Minnesota and to provide the top players from each district or section the chance to play with and against the best players in their area and the state.

Boys Seniors from Section 8
Tanner Mack – East Grand Forks

Boys HP 18 (Juniors) from Section 8
Hudson Hodges – Moorhead

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Fosston will be hosting a Catalyst Training Elite skills basketball camp featuring NBA Skills Coach Reid Ouse on June 24-25 at the Fosston High School.
The camp will have two sessions, one for 7-12th graders (8:30 to 11:30 a.m.) and another one for 3-6th graders from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. each day.
The camp will feature advanced skill work, keeping space vs claiming space, innovative game-play and 5 on 5.
Online registration is available at

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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: Steve Philion


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:_____________________________

— — —


A Pastor goes to a nursing home for the first time to visit an elderly parishioner.
As he is sitting there, he notices a bowl of peanuts beside her bed and takes one. As they continue their conversation, he can’t help himself and eats one after another.
By the time they are through visiting, the bowl is empty. He says, “Mrs. Jones, I’m so sorry, but I seem to have eaten all of your peanuts.”
“That’s O.K.,” she says. “They would have just sat there anyway.
Without my teeth, all I can do is suck the chocolate off and put them back in the bowl.

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My barber just got arrested for selling drugs! I’ve been his customer for 10 years, but I had no idea he was a barber.

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A 6 year old and a 4 year old are raking the yard.
The 6-year-old asks, “You know what? I think it’s about time we started learning to cuss.”The 4-year-old nods his head in approval.
The 6-year-old continues, “When we go in for breakfast, I’m gonna say something with hell and you say something with ass.”
The 4-year-old agrees with enthusiasm.
When the mother walks into the kitchen and asks the 6-year-old what he wants for breakfast, he replies, “Aw, hell, Mom, I guess I’ll have some Cheerios.
He flies out of his chair, tumbles across the kitchen floor, gets up, and runs upstairs crying his eyes out, with his mother in hot pursuit, slapping his rear with every step.
His mom locks him in his room and shouts, “You can stay there until I let you out!”
She then comes back downstairs, looks at the 4-year-old and asks with a stern voice, “And what do YOU want for breakfast, young man?”
“I don’t know,” he blubbers, “but you can bet your fat ass it won’t be Cheerios!”

— — —
A passerby noticed a couple of city workers working along the city sidewalks. The man was quite impressed with their hard work, but he couldn’t understand what they were doing.
Finally, he approached the workers and asked, “I appreciate how hard you’re both working, but what the heck are you doing? It seems that one of you digs a hole, and then the other guy immediately fills it back up again.
One of the city workers explained, “The third guy who plants the trees is off sick today.”
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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 missed the game in a 6-3 victory over Lehigh Valley on Friday.  Paul was back in the line up on Saturday and din’t score, but he had one shot on goal in a 3-2 shoot out loss to Lehigh Valley.  Columbus plays Laval Wednesday and Friday, Belleville on Saturday and Rochester on Tuesday.

Aaron Hollcraft, is a Senior playing baseball for the UMC Golden Eagles.   Aaron hasn’t pitched since March 18.  UMC hosted the University of Sioux Falls on Wednesday and Upper Iowa on Saturday and Sunday.

Aleece Durbin, is a freshman on the University of North Dakota Women’s Track and Field team.  Aleece didn’t compete in UND’s events last weekend.  UND will travel to Vermillion, South Dakota for the University of South Dakota Challenge on April 6.

Brita Fagerlund, is a Sophomore on the University of Jamestown Jimmy Women’s Track team.  Brita finished 8th in the hammer throw with a throw of 35.70 meters, and 21st in the Discus with a throw of 27.99 meters at the BVU Outdoor invite in Storm Lake, Iowa on Saturday.  The Jimmies travel to Dordt this weekend.

Ally Tiedemann, a Freshman playing tennis at the University of Minnesota Duluth.  Ally lost her third doubles match 6-2 and lost her fifth singles match 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 in a 4-0 loss to MSU-Moorhead.  Ally lost her third doubles match 6-4, and won her fifth singles match 6-1, 7-5 in a 4-3 win over Mary.  The Bulldogs host Wisconsin-Eau Claire on Friday and play St. Cloud State and MSU-Mankato on Saturday.

Bobby Tiedemann, is a Junior on the St. Mary’s University Men’s Tennis team in Winona.  Bobby won his first doubles match 8-1 and he won his first doubles match 6-0, 6-0 in a 9-0 win over Crown College on Friday and he won his first doubles match 8-6 and lost his first singles match 6-4, 6-4 in a 4-3 loss to Concordia University (Wis) on Sunday.  St. Mary’s will host Hamline on Friday and travel to St. John’s on Sunday.

Ben Trostad, a Freshman playing golf at the University of Minnesota Crookston.  UMC is off until the NSIC Preview in Liberty, Missouri April 5-6.

Ethan Magsam, a Freshman playing golf at the University of Minnesota Crookston. UMC is off until the NSIC Preview in Liberty, Missouri April 5-6.

Isaac Westlake, a Junior playing golf for the Winona State Warriors. Winona State will resume play April 5-6 at the NSIC Conference preview at Liberty, Missouri.

Elise Tangquist, is a Sophomore golfer for the University of Northwestern in St. Paul. Northwestern will start the spring portion of the schedule at the Martin Luther Invite on April 11.

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 coaching –

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.

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