SPORTS FEEVER – May 30, 2019

Welcome to another Sports Feever column.  Remember if you have any sports news to pass along, send it to
We are in the middle of the spring sports playoff season.  Softball crowns champions on Thursday and baseball will crown champions next week.  Section 8AA golf will crown champions next week and Section track is this weekend.

We take a look at all of the excitement in this weeks column.  Good luck to all teams and enjoy the column.

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It was a bittersweet week last week for yours truly.  My wife (Tiffany) and I have another Crookston High School alumn in the family with the graduation of Blake Gunner Fee on Friday.  It was pretty cool that he received his diploma from Crookston School Board Chair Frank Fee.  Yep, he received his diploma from grandpa Frank.
Tiffany and I are very fortunate to have our two oldest kids graduate but to be top notch kids throughout high school.

With Blake walking across the stage I was excited, nervous and sad all at the same time.  Blake has his major down to three different things, Respiratory Therapy, Radiological Tech, or Dental Hygienist.  He will be following some professionals over the next couple of weeks/months to see which one he might want to do and we appreciate everyone that is letting him follow them!! Blake has finalists narrowed down to Central Iowa Community College, where he would also try to play tennis; Lake Superior College in Duluth; and Northland Technical and Community College in East Grand Forks.

I am excited because I know he is going to be great at whatever he does and if those three things don’t work out, he could be a salesman of some sorts because he can strike up a conversation with anybody.  I mean anybody!!!! He can quickly relate to all kinds of people.  It is a gift he has and part of the reason why he is loved by so many people.

I am nervous because Blake has a few things going against him.  He is dyslexic, color blind, and ambidextrous, which cause him some problems when he is reading.  He only finished half his ACT test because of it.  With that said, he has been able to get on the honor roll almost every semester.  He never used it as an excuse except for on the ACT test and always busted his butt (most of the time) to get his school work done.  The good news, most colleges have different programs and help students like Blake.

I am sad because Blake’s athletic career didn’t end as he had hoped.  He really wanted to get to play in the individual state tennis tournament with his tag team partner Logan Wardner.  They lost an outstanding battle with teammates Nick and Jack Garmen and finished third. It was much easier to take after Blake shared this story with us and I felt it was important to pass along.
After the championship match between a Thief River Falls team and Nick and Jack Garmen, Blake went over to congratulate Jack and Nick on the trip to state (which made me pretty proud of the young man).  Jack stood up with tears in his eyes, gave Blake a hug and apologized they couldn’t win the match to give Blake and Logan a chance to go to state too.  That is pretty amazing!!!!  I have always liked Jack, but this made me respect him and like him even more.  People don’t realize how hard it is for teammates to beat each other for a trip to state.  It doesn’t happen in many other sports, but Tennis is one of them.

We have had many people tell us they feel sorry for Blake, but don’t feel sorry for him.  Blake has had a helluva life so far.  He has been to places and experienced things most people in his class won’t be able to do.  He has lived life to the fullest, has been a great kid and has left a lasting impression on many people.

CONGRATULATIONS to all the area 2019 graduates and good luck with all your future endeavors!

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The Crookston School Board elected to dissolve the hockey coop with Fisher school district at their meeting on Tuesday.  They countered with allowing Dana Conley to finish out her career, which was a good move and the right move for the board.  They also added Hatton in the Mayville-Portland girls hockey coop.
For 90 to 95 percent of the people in town, it means nothing and life will continue.  BUT, for the five to 10 percent of the people that either has kids in Fisher that currently play hockey or are friends with the families it sucks.

I am going to share this story I received from somebody at an area school on Tuesday night.
They received information about two youth sports programs that they don’t offer in the school district.  They tossed the information in the garbage because they don’t offer the sport.  They are looking out for themselves.

Red Lake Falls pulled out of the Crookston Girls Hockey coop and went to Thief River Falls because they thought it was best for them, especially with future of Crookston girls hockey being questionable at the time.

Fisher got out of the baseball/softball coop with Crookston to go with Sacred Heart, because it was in the best interest for Fisher. (it has worked out pretty darn well for the kids that played at state last year!)

The list could go on and on –

Speaking of looking out for themselves….The Crookston school district pays a ridiculous $112,000 each year to rent ice at the Crookston Sports Center each year!!!!!  The Crookston school district doesn’t pay that much to offer nine of their sports they currently offer combined!  So….let’s say five students from Fisher come over to attend school so they can play hockey.  The District will get around $10,000 per year for each kid.  Are you still wondering why they are making the decision?  If the kids don’t come to Crookston they aren’t out anything.  It isn’t an open enrollment thing… is a bottom line thing.

Crookston has one kid that went to Fisher school come to Crookston to Wrestle the past two years.  He is a great kid and pretty good wrestler too.  The $9,000-plus the district gets for him coming to Crookston covers 90 percent of the cost of the sport (7-12)!!!  Again, it is a bottom line thing.

The good news  – if the kids from Fisher really want to play hockey, they can continue playing with the Crookston Youth teams and when they get up to J.V/varsity level or by ninth grade, they can come to Crookston schools and still play hockey.
The Minnesota State High School League has rules in place that state you cannot transfer schools after you start your freshman year unless the parent(s) move/live in the district.  So if the kids from Fisher enroll in the Crookston School District as Freshman (or earlier if they are playing JV/Varsity) they can play hockey in Crookston their entire career.
The families are already coming to Crookston for practice and games all the time now, so when they play J.V./Varsity they would have to make the trip a couple more times a week until the kids can drive.
It doesn’t state anywhere the kids CAN’T play hockey.  They will just have to attend Crookston School District.

The bad news – the kids would have to leave Fisher Schools (nobody wants to uproot their kids to a different district) and come to Crookston.  The families will be required to do a little more travel until the kids get a drivers license.

I am not going to give an opinion on the matter, because I don’t have a horse in the race.  It doesn’t affect me one way or the other and hockey people don’t want the opinion from a “basketball guy” that spends THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of dollars less than them per winter sports season 😉

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If you are looking for somewhat of a “local” flavor in the NBA Finals, Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse was an assistant at the University of South Dakota from 1993-95.

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The Section 8A Track and Field meet will be held at the East Grand Forks High School track on Saturday, June 1.  I have looked through the meet program and there are some impressive sub-section performances and some of the races and events should be full of great competition.
I have gone through each event and calculated the top three results for each event and also where Crookston Pirates are ranked coming into the section meet.  They are all below.

100 hurdles (Girls) –
1. Jaryn Johannsen (Frazee) 16.00
2. Paige Ziegler (Frazee) 16.04
3. Breanna Kressin (Crookston) 16.31

110 hurdles (Boys)-
1. Josiah Hubbard (Clearbrook-Gonvick) 15.48
2. Joby Geifer (Frazee) 15.51
3. Harmon Leibl (Fertile-Beltrami) 15.97

100 meters (Girls)
1. Mini Jallah (EGF) 12.53
2. Sophie Helgeson (Roseau) 12.63
3. Karley Motschenbacher (Park Christian) 12.83

100 meters (Boys)
1. Ben Olson (Roseau) 11.45
2. Ethan Dorman (Clearbrook-Gonvick) 11.46
3. Noah Kiel (Crookston) 11.61
Luke DeWulf (Nevis) 11.61

200 meters (Girls)
1. Mini Jallah (EGF) 26.08
2. Karley Motschenbacher (DGF) 26.20
3. Sophie Hegeson (Roseau) 26.39
6. Emma Borowicz (Crookston) 26.90

200 meters (Boys)
1. Noah Kiel (Crookston) 22.99
2. Blake Moen (EGF) 23.09
3. Cole Nelson (WHA) 23.26
11. Brady Wisk (Crookston) 24.45

4×800 Relay (Girls)
1. Warroad 10:10.41
2. Crookston 10:15.25
3. Park Rapids 10:17.96

4×800 Relay (Boys)
1. East Grand Forks 8:34.66
2. United Clay-Becker 8:35.99
3. Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 8:37.38

4×200 Relay (Girls)
1. Park Rapids 1:48.96
2. Frazee 1:49.82
3. Fertile-Beltrami 1:50.86
8. Crookston 1:53.78

4×200 Relay (Boys)
1. Walker-Hackensack-Akeley 1:34.51
2. Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 1:34.67
3. East Grand Forks 1:36.76
5. Crookston 1:37.43

1600 meters (Girls)
1. Katherine Geist (Crookston) 5:15.85
2. Faith Rustad (United Clay-Becker) 5:28.60
3. McKenna Langerud (EGF) 5:30.19

1600 meters (Boys)
1. Cole Nawacki (EGF) 4:39.92
2. Adnew Stueven (Northome/Kelliher) 4:45.35
3. Jack McNamee (Nevis) 4:48.73
14. Ben Brantner (Crookston) 5:03.85

4×100 relay (Girls)
1. Park Rapids 51.39
2. Roseau 52.41
3. Frazee 52.61

4×100 relay (Boys)
1. Clearbrook-Gonvick 45.29
2. Park Rapids 45.31
3. Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 45.91
8. Crookston 47.53

400 meters (Girls)
1. Tatianna Wiley (Pelican Rapids) 59.11
2. Siri Danielson (United Clay-Becker) 59.93
3. Marin Roragen (Fertile-Beltrami)
7. Anke Wiersma (Crookston) 1:03.01
15. Kailee Magsam (Crookston) 1:06.17

400 meters (Boys)
1. Joshua Finseth (DGF) 52.45
2. William Snobl (Bagley/Fosston) 52.82
3. Jacob Vetter (United Clay-Becker) 52.98

300 hurdles (Girls)
1. Jaryn Johannsen (Frazee) 47.83
2. Andrea Dudley (Nevis) 48.53
3. Emma Borowicz (Crookston) 48.81
6. Breanna Kressin (Crookston) 49.65

300 hurdles (Boys)
1. Josiah Hubbard (Clearbrook-Gonvick) 40.94
2. Joby Geifer (Frazee) 41.17
3. Hunter Magnusson (United Clay-Becker) 41.57

800 meters (Girls)
1. Faith Rustad (United Clay-Becker) 2:23.92
2. Lindsey Rotz (Barnesville) 2:24.02
3. Eliana Bleess (Warroad) 2:25.49
10. Thea Oman (Crookston) 2:31.18

800 meters (Boys)
1. Roni Tirkkonen (Bagley/Fosston) 1:59.90
2. Adnew Stueven (Northome/Kelliher) 2:02.08
3. Seth Breitweser (Park Rapids) 2:02.71
13. Jaden Lubarski (Crookston) 2:12.73

3200 meters (Girls)
1. Katherine Geist (Crookston) 11:21.19
2. Jade Rypkema (Nevis) 12:03.54
3. Lily Peterson (United Clay-Becker) 12:09.16

3200 meters (Boys)
1. Tyson Mahar (EGF) 9:58.38
2. Christian Sterton (Ada-Borup/West) 10:26.64
3. Christian Carlson (Frazee) 10:27.31

4×400 Relay (Girls)
1. Pelican Rapids 4:06.86
2. United Clay-Becker 4:08.77
3. Barnesville 4:10.14
6. Crookston 4:17.90

4×400 Relay (Boys)
1. Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 3:32.53
2. United Clay-Becker 3:35.59
3. Bagley/Fosston 3:36.59

High Jump (Girls)
1. Jordan Tschumperlin (Barnesville) 5-03
2. Madi Wagendorf (Park Christian) 5-00
3. Rylee Moore (Frazee) 5-00

High Jump (Boys)
1. Ethan Dorman (Clearbrook-Gonvick) 6-01
2. Eli Sytsma (Pelican Rapids) 5-11
3. Avery Wolff (Park Rapids) 5-09
Verdis Barber (Ada-Borup/West) 5-09
5. Karsten Isaacson (Crookston) 5-07

Pole Vault (Girls)
1. Signe Harris (Park Christian) 9-06
2. Emma Borowicz (Crookston) 9-00
Macie Stanislawski (EGF) 9-0

Pole Vault (Boys)
1. Ryan Pederson (West Marshall) 12-03
2. William Snobl (Bagley/Fosston) 12-00
3. Zane Brosowske (Pelican Rapids) 11-09
Weston Bring (BGMR) 11-09

Long Jump (Girls)
1. Karley Motschenbacher (Park Christian) 17-10
2. Abigail McGlynn (West Marshall) 16-09.25
3. Macie Stanislawski (EGF) 16-01.25
Katherine Finseth (DGF) 16-01.25

Long Jump (Boys)
1. Joshua Finseth (DGF) 20-01.75
2. Hunter Ehlers (Clearbrook-Gonvick) 20-00.5
3. Isaac Durand (West Marshall) 20-00

Triple Jump (Girls)
1. Abigail McGlynn (West Marshall) 35-07.5
2. Samantha Passa (Barnesville) 35-03.50
3. Andrea Dudley (Nevis) 34-04.5
4. Hayden Winjum (Crookston) 33-07

Triple Jump (Boys)
1. Joshua Finseth (DGF) 41-08
2. Eli Systma (Pelican Rapids) 41-01.5
3. Cole Fleisher (Frazee) 40-08.5

Discus (Girls)
1. Faith Porter (West Marshall) 107-01
Danae Stenzel (Clearbrook-Gonvick) 107-01
3. Kristina Swendseid (West Marshall) 103-07
13. Jada Dillabough (Crookston) 95-07

Discus (Boys)
1. Mason Miller (Ada-Bourp/West) 155-03
2. Jacob Lindemann (Roseau) 154-10
3. Cameron Johnson (DGF) 139-02
9. Ty Hamre (Crookston) 123-01

Shot Put (Girls)
1. Monica Johnson (Northome/Kelliher) 37-11
2. Kamree Carlson (Park Rapids) 37-07
3. Jada Dillabough (Crookston) 36-04.25
9. Rachel Hefta (Crookston) 32-06.75

Shot Put (Boys)
1. Bryce Anderson (DGF) 52-11.25
2. Mason Miller (Ada-Borup/Wes) 51-05.75
3. Samuel Sanchez (Crookston) 48-09.5
5. Ty Hamre (Crookston) 45-05

Section 8A Track & Field Meet Information
East Grand Forks High School Athletic Facility –  June 1st, 2019

Admission: $8 (adults) $5 (students)

Medals: Will be awarded to places 1-6. Places 1-8 will be scored and will need to report to the awards area after the event. Please remind your athletes to do this!

State qualification: Individuals and Relays- 1st & 2nd place plus those who qualify by state standard. (Coaches of athletes who advance to state, please pick up your state packet from the awards sheet. The envelope contains one parking pass per team per gender for the State Track and Field Meet.  Each school receives one pass per gender regardless of the number of competitors).


Section 8A Track & Field Meet

Schedule of Events – Saturday, June 1, 2019

9:00 am Shot/Discus Weigh-in begins (located in the north window of the concession stand)
9:15 am – Coaches meeting in the High School Cafeteria (Enter door # 2)

  • Scratches will be handled at this time.
  • Breakfast will be served starting at 8:30 am

Field Events – 10:30 a.m.
Boys Shot Put – Girls to follow  (west outside the fencing)
Girls Discus – Boys to follow  (west outside the fencing)
3 preliminary attempts and 3 final attempts for the top 9

Girls Pole Vault – Boys to follow
Boys High Jump – Girls to follow
Boys Long Jump (SE runway)
Girls Long Jump (NE runway)
Boys & Girls Triple Jump – Following Long Jump (on the same runways as the long jump3 preliminary attempts and 3 final attempts for the top 9 


Time                Event
11:00 100 Meter Hurdles Girls followed by 110 Meter Hurdles Boys
11:20 100 Meter Girls followed by 100 Meter Boys
11:45 200 Meter Girls followed by 200 Meter Boys

  • Advancement to finals – top 2 in each heat plus the next 4 fastest times

12:30  4 x 800 Meter Relay Girls
12:45  4 x 800 Meter Relay Boys
1:00   100 Meter Hurdles Girls
1:05   110 Meter Hurdles Boys
1:15   100 Meter Girls  followed by 100 Meter Boys
1:25   4 x 200 Meter Relay Girls followed by 4 x 200 Meter Relay Boys
1:40   1600 Meter Girls followed by 1600 Meter Boys
2:00   4 x 100 Meter Relay Girls followed by 4 x 100 Meter Relay Boys
2:15   400 Meter Girls followed by 400 Meter Boys
2:30   Break to set hurdles and catch up on award presentations
2:45   300 Meter Hurdles Girls followed by 300 Meter  Hurdles Boys
3:00   800 Meter Girls followed by 800 Meter Boys
3:20  200 Meter Girls followed by 200 Meter Boys
3:30   3200 Meter Girls followed by 3200 Meter Boys
4:00   4 x 400 Meter Relay Girls  followed by 4 x 400 Meter Relay Boys
4:15   Presentation of Trophies






2019 State Track and Field Qualifying Standards:

Event                           Girls A                            Boys A
100m Dash                  12.71                              11.32
200m Dash                 26.06                               22.72
400m Dash                  58.58                              50.47
800m Run                    2:20.38                           1:59.61
1600m Run                  5:10.51                           4:24.87
3200m Run                  11:23.26                         9:43.50
100m Hurdles               15.51                              XXXXX
110m HH                      XXXXX                              15.55
300m Hurdles                46.64                              40.41
4x100m Relay               50.68                                44.28
4x200m Relay              1:46.42                            1:32.18
4x400m Relay              4:04.57                            3:27.71
4x800m Relay             9:46.76                             8:14.35
High Jump                  5′ 2″                                    6′ 3″
Pole Vault                    10′ 6″                                13′ 3″
Long Jump                  16′ 11″                               21′ 8″
Triple Jump                 36′ 2″                                 44′ 1″
Shot Put                       39′ 3″                                51′ 10″
Discus                          119′ 0″                             152′ 6″                         

Wind-aided performances MAY NOT qualify by standard, in the 100-meter hurdles, 110-meter high hurdles, 200-meter, 100-meter, long jump and triple jump.  Wind-aided is a wind reading of greater than 4.0 m/s.

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The Minnesota State High School League Individual tennis tournament will be held next week on June 6 and 7 in Minneapolis’ Reed-Sweatt Family Tennis Center.
Crookston’s Nick Garmen and Jack Garmen will take on the #5 seed Jacob Hageman and Tanner Funk of Foley in the first round at 10:00 a.m. on June 6.
Thief River Falls’ Noah Rupprecht and Tucker Skime will play Jacob Adams and Dustin Bergstrom of Pine City in the first round.
Win or lose, the teams will play again at 2:00 p.m.

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The Section 8A Baseball tournament will is in full swing with defending champion Sacred Heart taking on Fosston to get into the championship game of the double-elimination tournament.
In the losers bracket, Red Lake County continues their great run in the tournament when they take on Mahnomen-Waubun and Norman County East/Ulen-Hitterdal will take on Win-E-Mac.  The winners of the two games will play at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 4 and the winner of that game will play the loser of Fosston and Sacred Heart to get into the championship game.

For Sacred Heart and Fosston it is a huge game because if you win, you are the only team without a loss and will have to be beaten twice in the championship.  For the rest of the teams, every game could be your last of the season….so obviously the games are huge.

KROX will be covering all the Red Lake County and Sacred Heart games the rest of the way.  You can listen by clicking on the listen live button at the top-right corner of the page.

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The Section 8AA Baseball tournament continues with a couple of upsets in the north Sub-section.  #1 seed East Grand Forks won, but the #2 Warroad, #3 Roseau and #4 Thief River Falls all lost to teams from the south.
The south is loaded with talent with Perham getting the top seed and Wadena-Deer Creek having the top player in the section.   East Grand Forks in the north will be in the mix too.  The second round of the playoffs and the start of double elimination will begin on Thursday.

— — —

The Section 8A Softball tournament has some familiar teams in the final three.  Badger-Greenbush-Middle River is currently in the driver’s seat without a loss while Red Lake Falls and Norman County East/UH will play at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday for the rights to play BGMR in the championship game.  It should be some great games on Thursday.

The Section 8AA Softball tournament also has some familiar teams in the final three.  Thief River Falls is the only team without a loss and they await the winner of four-time defending section champ, Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton and Park Rapids.  TRF is in good shape, but all three teams could come away as the champ!

— — —

The Section 8AA Boys and Girls golf tournament will be held on Monday and Tuesday (June 3 and 4) at Bemidji Town and Country Club.  Detroit Lakes will be the heavy favorite in the girls and the Lakers will be the favorite on the boy’s side too.  Although several teams can make a run at Detroit Lakes on the boy’s side.  Since they have gone to a two-day tournament, upsets have been harder to come by.

— — —

Congratulations to Coach Keith Pederson and the Fertile-Beltrami boys’ golf team and Coach Brady Johnson and the Badger-Greenbush/MR girls’ golf team.  Both advanced to the Class A State golf tournament.

Individual Boys’ Qualifiers also advancing to State:

  • Hayden Hennen, KCC — Boys Medalist (156)
  • Jaycee Clark, Mahnomen-Waubun
  • Ryan Engle, Ada-Borup/West
  • Gannon Kuznia, BGMR
  • Caleb Nelson, Northern Freeze

Individual Girls’ Qualifiers also advancing to State:

  • Sydney Hufnagle, LOW — Girls Medalist (166)
  • Tessa Motteberg, Fertile-Beltrami
  • Lindsay Person, Mahnomen-Waubun
  • Makenzie Pieper, LOW
  • Andrah Clark, Fertile-Beltrami


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The University of Minnesota Crookston men’s basketball team announced the signing of Hunter Yutrzenka (G, 6-3 185, Argyle/Stephen-Argyle Central H.S.).
Yutrzenka was a three-time All-Six Star Conference pick while competing for the Storm. He was a one-time all-conference selection for football. In addition, he was an All-State pick as a senior defensive back on the gridiron. Yutrzenka was selected All-Six Star Conference for baseball one time. He helped the Storm football team to an 11-1 mark. He led the football team to a Top of the State Conference Championship and a Section 8 9-man Championship. He helped Stephen-Argyle to the quarterfinals of the State Championship in 2018. Yutrzenka threw for 824 yards and 10 touchdowns as a senior. On the ground, he rushed for 129 yards and three touchdowns. Defensively, he notched 24 tackles with one interception.
Yutrzenka has a long line of family members who competed at Minnesota Crookston. His father Jason Yutrzenka competed for men’s basketball from 1991-95. His mother Jennifer (Walter) Yutrzenka played volleyball at Minnesota Crookston from 1992-95. His aunt Tammie (Walter) Yutrzenka played volleyball from 1988-90…His uncle Mitch Olsen played football at Minnesota Crookston from 1986-88. His cousin Kelsey Lindgren played volleyball at Minnesota State University Moorhead, while his cousin Morgan Olson plays volleyball at Minnesota State University, Mankato. He is the son of Jason and Jennifer Yutrzenka and plans to major in criminal justice.
“I am very happy that Hunter will be joining our basketball family,” said Head Coach Dan Weisse. “Hunter had a tough senior year due to injuries, but he is athletic and can shoot the ball. Hunter is extremely unselfish and will do whatever it takes for his team to win. He is also a local young man that brings in the qualities that we look for in a student-athlete. Hunter is a great addition to our program and I look forward to working with him.”

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University of Minnesota Crookston baseball player Reed Hjelle (Sr., 1B, East Grand Forks, Minn.) was selected to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Division II All-Central Region First Team. Hjelle is a back-to-back NCBWA All-Central Region First Team selection, earning the accolade in 2018, as well.

Hjelle was joined on the All-Central Region First Team by fellow NSIC players Max Steffens (Augustana), Dominic Austing (St. Cloud State), Teddy Petersen (Minnesota State), Jordan Barth (Augustana), and Jordan Hart (Minnesota State). Steffens was named All-Central Region Pitcher of the Year, while Tim Huber of Augustana was selected as the NCBWA All-Central Region Coach of the Year.

Hjelle ended his career as a Golden Eagle as the best player in school history, setting numerous records including hits, runs, home runs and RBIs. Hjelle was a 2018 NCBWA All-America Third Team selection. He was named 2018 ABCA/Rawlings All-America Third Team. Hjelle was the ABCA/Rawlings Position Player of the Year. He was also ABCA/Rawlings All-Region First Team, and NCBWA All-Region First Team as a junior. As a senior, Hjelle led Minnesota Crookston by hitting .356 with 42 runs scored, three doubles, three triples, 11 home runs and 41 RBIs. Hjelle had an astounding .638 slugging percentage and a .530 on-base percentage. He posted a 1.168 OPS for Minnesota Crookston. He also displayed some speed with 12 stolen bases on 17 attempts. Hjelle led the NSIC in 2019 in walks with 46. Hjelle helped Minnesota Crookston to their most successful stint in program history as they won 101 games in four years with three appearances in the NSIC Tournament. He was also a two-time All-NSIC First Team pick. Hjelle was also a stand-out in the classroom, earning the NSIC Butch Raymond Scholarship. Hjelle earned his degree in exercise science and wellness from the University of Minnesota Crookston.

Hjelle and Kenny Perez are the program’s only two All-Region selections during the NCAA Division II era. Perez was a D2CCA All-Central Region Second Team selection in 2016.

Hjelle was also selected D2CCA All-Central Region First Team earlier this month. He is currently eligible for All-America accolades from both D2CCA and NCBWA. Hjelle is the program’s only All-American selection in the Division II era.

All-NCBWA Division II Central Region First Team:

Starting Pitcher:
Zach Parrish, Missouri Southern, Junior
Max Steffens, Augustana, Junior
Dominic Austing, St. Cloud State, Senior

Relief Pitcher: Jonathan Sprinkle, Central Missouri, Sophomore

Catcher: Ramon Enriquez, Oklahoma Baptist, Junior

First Base: Reed Hjelle, Minnesota Crookston, Senior

Second Base: Teddy Petersen, Minnesota State, Junior

Third Base: Freddie Landers, Missouri Southern, Senior

Shortstop: Caleeb Sneed, Southwest Baptist, Senior

Utility Player: Jordan Barth, Augustana, Sophomore

Designated Hitter: Kane Koenigseder, Southern Arkansas, Senior

Erik Webb, Central Missouri, Junior
Jordan Hart, Minnesota State, Senior
Johnuelle Ponce, Northwest Oklahoma State, Senior

Player of the Year: Erik Webb, Central Missouri, Junior

Pitcher of the Year: Max Steffens, Augustana, Junior

Coach of the Year: Tim Huber, Augustana

—  —  —

The nine rules changes approved for the 2019-20 high school ice hockey season focus on consistency and clarity.

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Ice Hockey Rules Committee recommended the changes at its April 29-30 meeting in Indianapolis, and all changes were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

Three changes in Rule 3 related to equipment expand the maximum length of a player’s stick from 63 to 65 inches and the goalkeeper’s stick from 26 to 28 inches. Additionally, Rule 3-4-5 now emphasizes the requirement that all players, including goalkeepers, must wear helmets and facemasks that meet HECC/ASTM standards at the time of manufacture.  “From an awareness and educational standpoint, the committee continues to push the importance of wearing proper equipment for the health and safety of our participants,” said Dan Schuster, NFHS director of educational services and liaison to the Ice Hockey Rules Committee. “The committee has done a great job over the past several years and has put the rules in a good place.”

Rule 7-10-3 now clarifies that striking an opponent with the stick above the opponent’s shoulders is prohibited, regardless of whether the action was intentional or not. The change also eliminates repetitive language to allow the official to assess the appropriate penalty for an infraction.  “This creates consistency with other fouls of this nature,” Schuster said. “It gives officials flexibility to call what they see. Officials can call a minor penalty or if flagrant, a major penalty or game disqualification, depending on the severity of the infraction.”

Changes to Rules 4-7-5 and 9-2-1 make it clear that only goalkeepers can defend a penalty shot and establish that only players in goalkeeper equipment are given goalkeeper privileges, regardless of when they are substituted.  “The intent of the rules is to have goalkeepers defend the goal cage,” Schuster said. “Goalkeepers have specific equipment for a reason. This change cleans up language that other players should not be defending the goal cage.”

Two revisions to Rule 9 involve game flow. Prior to a faceoff, officials will now present the puck to the players before dropping the puck, allowing players to better see the puck before it is dropped and increasing the chance of a clean faceoff. The second change moves 9-1-11k to 9-1-9e since there is no offending team in 9-1-11, which covers when a puck deflects off an official and is illegally scored. The faceoff will now take place where the puck was last fairly played.  “It doesn’t happen often, but the committee did not like seeing the faceoff come outside of the zone in that situation,” Schuster said.

In Rule 5-3i, referees will now suspend the game – as opposed to terminating the game – if playing conditions become unsatisfactory. Suspending a contest allows it to be resumed, restarted or ended, with the decision resting with the schools, leagues and administration rather than solely with the referee.

A complete listing of all rules changes will be available on the NFHS website at

— — —

The Ninth Annual Pirate/Blue Wave Boys Hockey Alumni Golf Outing and Hockey Tournament is scheduled for June 7-9, 2019. The hockey tournament will begin on Friday, June 7 and continue on Saturday and Sunday. The cost for hockey is $60/person and 2019 Crookston high school graduates will play hockey for FREE.
On Saturday, June 8 there will be an 18-hole golf scramble starting at noon with lunch provided. Registration for golf is limited to the first 20 – 5 person teams so please sign up early. The cost for golf is $75/person or $25/person if you graduated from Crookston/Fisher High School from 2015-2019, which includes the meal at I.C. Muggs.
After golf everyone is invited to gather at I.C. Muggs with B & E Meats serving a fantastic meal. If you don’t golf, it’s just $15 for the meal.
We are now accepting payments through PayPal. Click on the link for the event you want to register and pay for and you will be directed to a secure PayPal site to complete the transaction.

Golf Registration $75 payment

Crookston/Fisher High School Grad 2015-2019 Golf Registration $25 payment

Hockey Registration $60 payment

Hockey and Golf Combined Registration $135 payment 

Please email with any questions.

— — —

The University of Minnesota Crookston Softball program will host a Softball pitching and hitting camp on Sunday, June 8.

WHEN:  SUNDAY, JUNE 8   PITCHING:  10 am – 12 pm    HITTING:  1 pm – 3 pm


DETAILS:  The University of Minnesota Crookston is an up-and-coming program which has set several school records (including wins) in 2019.  The clinics will be run by Head Coach Travis Owen, who has experience both playing and coaching.
The pitching portion will focus on techniques and drills to work on proper spin, body positioning for efficient mechanics, and ways to increase velocity.
The hitting portion will focus on mechanics that mimic the top hitters in the game, including drills and tools for improving contact, exit velocity, power, and reaching base.


Payment and registration can be completed online by clicking here.

The cost is $50 per camper, per session.  If attending both camps, the rate is discounted to $90.  Group discounts are available for sending 3+ campers together.

Email Travis Owen at with any questions.

— — —

Warroad will be hosting the Warwick Workout Advanced Skills Basketball camp July 15-16.

The Warwick Workout Advanced Offensive Skills Camp is designed for players looking to enhance and expand their skill set. Warwick Workout trainers will work with players to excel in their respective positions through progression based teaching and repetition.
Camp Features
· Perimeter moves currently used in college & NBA
· Shooting instruction and development
· Footwork and shot preparation
· Creating space to score
· Finishing at the rim
· Advanced ball handling concepts

Session 1 – 3-7th Grade Boys/Girls
Session 2 – 8-12th Grade Boys/Girls

For more information on the camp and the registration form, CLICK HERE.

— — —

The Hawley Nugget Booster Club is hosting a 3-on-3 basketball tournament –

The Nugget Summer Jam will be held on Saturday, June 1 at the Hawley High School, Elementary and Field House gyms.

Cost is $80 per team. Early Bird Registration is $72 and due by May 1, 2019.  Teams will not be guaranteed for registration after May 17, 2019.

There will be a 3 game guarantee and team sizes are limited to a 5 player max for girls and boys grades 3 through 8. As part of the registration process, you will be asked to rank your team from 1-3, with 3 being high and 1 being low. We encourage honesty as this will help us in preparation of our brackets and fair play! Grade level should be chosen based on 2018-2019 school year.

T-shirts and concessions will be available for purchase.

There will be no trainer on site, please bring first aid supplies for your team.

Contact Nathan Stoa or Kirsti Fleming with questions.

This registration session will allow you to complete contact information, sign up for participation, and submit payment.

Please read through each page carefully to ensure that all information is provided accurately.

To complete registration through their secure website, CLICK HERE.

— — —

Pirate Hoops Summer Skills and Drills 2019
For Crookston Pirate Basketball players (girls and boys) grades 2-12 (next year’s grade)
Where: CHS gym
When:  Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday
Time:   Next year’s  7th-12th graders at 7:30-9:00 am
Next year’s  2nd – 6th graders at 9:00-10:00 a.m.

CLICK HERE FOR THE JUNE 7th grade through 12th-grade CALENDAR

CLICK HERE FOR THE JUNE – 2nd grade through 6th-grade CALENDAR

Cost:  7th-12th graders is $40
2nd – 6th graders is $25

Attend all or as many as you are able to.  (Make checks to Pirate Basketball)

Send to:
Pirate  Hoops
Crookston High School   Attn: Greg Garmen
402 Fisher Ave.
Crookston, MN 56716

Keep top portion



School attended(circle):    CHS    HES    Cathedral    Our Saviors       Home School

I understand that Crookston High School and the Summer Basketball Academy staff will not be held responsible for injuries of loss of personal property while the above athlete is attending the academy.  I authorize the directors to secure any emergency treatment deemed necessary.  The staff will not be held responsible for payment for this emergency treatment.  Any hospital or doctor fees that are a result of injury will be the responsibility of the parent or guardian.  I also acknowledge that the above athlete is physically ready for the activity of the basketball academy.

Signature of parent/guardian_________________________________________

— — —

The Christian Laettner Basketball Academy will be conducting a youth basketball clinic in Pillager June 24-26 at Pillager High School.
4th-8th grade 9 am – noon (co-ed)
9th-12th grade 1 pm – 4 pm (co-ed)
Cost is $125, including a water bottle
Register Online at

Christian Laettner is a retired NBA 13-year veteran whose hall-of-fame career for the Duke Blue Devils is widely regarded as one of the greatest in National Collegiate Athletic Association history. Coach Laettner will provide a fun, learning environment for the committed basketball player looking to improve their game, with a focus on skill development, striving to help players improve their ball handling, and passing, while increasing their understanding of offensive and defensive concepts. There will be great attention to detail on the core fundamentals of the game. Players, nowadays, love to dribble, dribble, dribble the ball. With that in mind, the teaching point this academy will stress the most is “catch the ball, save your dribble-and look to pass first!”. This concept is often overlooked in today’s game with the younger players – so the coaches will stress how ball movement is a key ingredient to a players game and offensive efficiency!

For the Camp form and for more information, CLICK HERE.

— — —

The University of Minnesota Crookston men’s basketball program will again offer camp options this summer. The Golden Eagles will host a Junior Eagle Day Camp from June 10-13 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m., and an Offensive Skills Day Camp from June 17-20 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. The camps will be held at the University of Minnesota Crookston Wellness Center this year due to the remodeling of Lysaker Gymnasium, which will include new bleachers and a refurbished floor. This will be the sixth annual camp.

The Junior Eagle Day Camp will be for boys and girls grades 1-6 with each camper receiving a t-shirt and a camp ball. On the last day, all campers will receive a pizza party. The Offensive Skills Day Camp for boys and girls for grades 5-12. Each camper will receive a t-shirt and a camp ball. On the last day, all campers for the Offensive Skills Camp will also receive a pizza party.
The camp will develop campers skills through drill work, contests, and games. They will receive instruction and interaction with coaching staff and players.

The cost is $60 per camper. If you have any questions contact Assistant Coach Bryan Beamish at 218-281-8431 or You can fill out the attached registration form (click here for the form) and send form and payment to:

UMC Basketball
142 Sports Center
2900 University Ave.
Crookston, MN  56716

— — —


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:_____________________________

— — —


Teacher: “If I gave you 2 cats and another 2 cats and another 2, how many would you have?”
Johnny: “Seven.”
Teacher: “No, listen carefully… If I gave you two cats, and another two cats and another two, how many would you have?”
Johnny: “Seven.”
Teacher: “Let me put it to you differently. If I gave you two apples, and another two apples and another two, how many would you have?”
Johnny: “Six.”
Teacher: “Good. Now if I gave you two cats, and another two cats and another two, how many would you have?”
Johnny: “Seven!”
Teacher: “Johnny, where in the heck do you get seven from?!”
Johnny: “Because I’ve already got a freaking cat!”

— — —

Kid 1: “Hey, I bet you’re still a virgin.”
Kid 2: “Yeah, I was a virgin until last night .”
Kid 1: “As if.”
Kid 2: “Yeah, just ask your sister.”
Kid 1: “I don’t have a sister.”
Kid 2: “You will in about nine months.”

— — —

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.

Aaron Hollcraft, is a Senior playing baseball for the UMC Golden Eagles.

Aleece Durbin, is a freshman on the University of North Dakota Women’s Track and Field team.

Brita Fagerlund, is a Sophomore on the University of Jamestown Jimmy Women’s Track team.

Isaac Westlake, a Junior playing golf for the Winona State Warriors.

Ben Trostad, a Freshman playing golf at the University of Minnesota Crookston.

Ethan Magsam, a Freshman playing golf at the University of Minnesota Crookston.

Elise Tangquist, is a Sophomore golfer for the University of Northwestern in St. Paul.

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.

Ally Tiedemann, a Freshman playing tennis at the University of Minnesota Duluth.

Ben Trostad, a Freshman playing golf at the University of Minnesota Crookston.

Ethan Magsam, a Freshman playing golf at the University of Minnesota Crookston.

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
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.
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 –

Justin Johnson is an assistant softball coach at the University of Minnesota Crookston.

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

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.

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