SPORTS FEEVER – May 27, 2002

This week would have been a lot of high school softball and baseball playoffs talk, sub-section track and golf, boys tennis, and other high school tourney talk in the column.  Unfortunately, that isn’t the case this year because everything has been canceled.
It has been a tough start to the week here at KROX with the loss of our morning announcer, Mark Anderson who passed away after a medical emergency.  You couldn’t have found a more dedicated and caring employee.  Like everybody at KROX, he was willing to do whatever was needed to help KROX.   He knew we all come and go, but KROX will always be here and was proud to be an important part of it over the years.
Mark was one of the nicest guys you will meet and loved to get jokes in any chance he could get.  Some were good…..some were not, but that is what made his humor charming.  Mark will be missed not only at KROX, but throughout Crookston.

Mark would want us to joke, have fun, and enjoy life so we will do that in honor of him!

We have another busy column with a lot of news, even if there aren’t any sports.  Enjoy this week’s column!

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We have received two recordings from David Dahlberg and we will be playing them next week on Monday, June 1 and Tuesday, June 2 at 7:05 p.m.

Monday – Crookston Pirate Football vs Thief River Falls from October 27, 1972.  It was the last game of the year and Thief River Falls had a 19 game winning streak going over a three year period.  TRF ended up 8-1 on the year and Crookston went 7-2.  It was Hall of Famer Les Drechsel’s second year as head coach.

Tuesday – Crookston Pirate Boys Basketball vs East Grand Forks in the District 31 finals on March 9, 1973.  Crookston lost to EGF 80-76 about two weeks earlier.  Herb Hasz was in his third year as head coach and the Pirates ended up 18-6 on the year.

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Choice Therapy in Crookston will be offering a Sports Performance Program this summer for athletes entering grades 7-12.  The program will work on Balance Training, Biofeedback, Core/muscular strengthening, Postural Awareness, and Body Mechanics.  The program’s goals include – Protecting from injury, improve movement quality and function, and increase acceleration.

Training Sessions will be held two times per week for 60 minutes. Sessions will run on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 am to 10:00 am. Start June 9-July 16, 2020. No sessions will run on June 30 and July 2 for the 4th of July Holiday.

For more information on the program and the registration form – CLICK HERE

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Former University of Minnesota Crookston Golden Eagle Football coach, Chuck Moller passed away this week at the age of 58.
Moller was coaching football for Bradshaw Mountain High School and was found in his home in Prescott Valley.  Moller was originally from Eagle Bend and coached over 30 years.  He was an assistant coach for five National Coach of the Year winners including Tyrone Willingham at Stanford (1997-2001) as an offensive line and tight ends coach in the 2000 Rose Bowl and under Les Miles at Oklahoma State (2001-2004).
Moller coached at UMC one year in 2011.

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Thief River Falls’ Meleah Biermaier has been named to the Mile Split all-decade first team in hurdles.

Biermaier, a 2016 grad who also ran track at the University of Minnesota, had a pretty impressive high school career, including an All-time Minnesota State High School League track meet record in the 300 hurdles and also had a top 10 all-time finish in the 100 hurdles.  All her accomplishments are below –

  • PRs – 300H: 41.35 (MN All-Time Record), 100H: 14.27 (MN All-Time #7), 400m: 56.70, 4x100m: 48.68
  • 2016 USATF Junior Nationals 400H 5th Place
  • 2015 New Balance Outdoor Nationals 400H 9th Place
  • 3x Class AA State Champion 300H (2012, 2015-16)
  • 2x Class AA State Runner Up 300H (2013-14)
  • Class AA State Runner Up 100H (2016)
  • Class AA State 3rd Place 4x100m (2016)
  • 5x Class AA State Finalist 300H (2012-16)
  • 3x Class AA State Finalist 100H (2013-14, 2016)
  • 5x Class AA State Qualifier 100H (2012-16)
  • 2x Class AA State Qualifier 4x100m (2015-16)

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Perham Boys Basketball player, Charlie Rasmussen has signed to play basketball at Concordia College in Moorhead. The senior guard averaged 17 points per game, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists per game. Former Breckenridge Cowboy and Moorhead Spud Boys Basketball coach Tyler Bormann is the new Cobber head coach and was able to get a good one in next year’s crew.

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Minnesota PGA will host a 2020 Minnesota High School Senior Golf Showcase on June 9-10 at Bunker Hills Golf Club in Coon Rapids. A boys’ 18-hole individual tournament will be played the first day, a similar girls’ tournament the second. The field will be limited to 114 boys and 114 girls golfers. Over 100 boys have already registered and less than 100 have signed up for the girls.
Priority registration was given to those who played in the 2019 Minnesota State High School League state tournament as juniors. Seniors who did not qualify for the state tournaments a year ago are now being registered. The cost is $40 per player.

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The Minnesota Department of Health has come out with their guidance on social distancing in youth sports.

If your program involves sports as either an activity within a program or as the focus of the program itself, please use the following guidance. The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is supportive of the following parameters for youth sports:
▪ Within the program, create consistent pods of the same staff, volunteers, and participants with a maximum number of 10 people in each pod.
▪ Make sure you’re in compliance with Safe Sport mandates (federal law).
▪ Host practices outdoors as much as possible.
▪ Remind parents or caregivers that they should not attend practices. If necessary for them to be at practices, ensure that proper social distancing is maintained between parents or caregivers.
▪ For sports activities that are part of a child care, school, or day camp program:
▪ Keep any “play” or interaction between players contactless.
▪ For example: Kick a soccer ball back and forth, but do not allow for training around stealing the ball where contact between players may occur.
▪ Do not have intermixing between groups.
▪ For organized recreation or club sports:
▪ Focus on skill development.
▪ Keep any “play” or interaction between players contactless.
▪ Do not have intermixing between groups.
Do not participate in games or tournaments, even if these events are out of state where youth sports games/tournaments are supported.
▪ Discourage sharing of equipment as much as possible. If sharing has to occur, consider the equipment and type of use and consider cleaning equipment between each use.
▪ Avoid using locker rooms and facility showers.
▪ If facility showers need to be used, only allow shower and locker room use if there are
partitions or else place signage to maintain proper physical distancing of 6 feet.

▪ Follow the outlined ratios for participants per field:
▪ One team/sport per field/rink/court at any time.
▪ Football/soccer field (approx. 57,600 sq. ft.) – no more than four pods of ≤ 10.
▪ Baseball field (40,000+ sq. ft.) – no more than three pods of ≤ 10.
▪ Ice rink (approx. 17,000 sq. ft.) – no more than two pods of ≤ 10.
▪ Basketball/volleyball court (4,700 sq. ft.) – no more than one pod of ≤ 10.
▪ Adhere to facility or field specific guidelines for COVID-19

For the complete three pages of guidance, click here

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The College of St. Scholastica in Duluth has announced they are leaving the UMAC conference to join the MIAC starting the 2021-22 season.
St. Scholastica, which sponsors 22 varsity sports, will be part of the MIAC in 20 of the 22 varsity sports as the men’s and women’s hockey programs will also be moving from the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association (NCHA). The men’s and women’s nordic ski programs will remain a part of the Central Collegiate Ski Association (CCSA).
The Saints will be the 13th full-time member of the MIAC in 2021, joining other Minnesota private undergraduate colleges Augsburg University, Bethel University, Carleton College, Concordia College-Moorhead, Gustavus Adolphus College, Hamline University, Macalester College, the College of Saint Benedict (women only), St. Catherine University (women only), Saint John’s University (men only), Saint Mary’s University and St. Olaf College.
Along with St. Scholastica joining the conference in 2021, Macalester College will be re-joining the league in football as the conference transitions to a 10-team, two-division format.

One division will consist of St. Scholastica, Carleton, Gustavus Adolphus, Saint John’s and St. Olaf. The other division will consist of Augsburg, Bethel, Concordia-Moorhead, Hamline and Macalester.

Each MIAC team will play eight conference games, including four “in-division” games, three “crossover” games, and one “playoff” game. The final week of the regular season will function as “Championship Week,” wherein teams will be ranked 1-5 in each division based on the current season’s in-division games only. Each team will then match up with the corresponding seed in the other division for a “playoff” game. The winner of the contest between the two divisional leaders will receive the MIAC’s automatic qualifier to the NCAA Division III Football Playoffs.

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Bemidji State Men’s Basketball is getting its second D-1 transfer with the addition of Edgars Kaufmanis (originally from Latvia), a 6-4 junior G/F from Texas A&M Corpus Christi and originally from Latvia. He averaged 5.5 mins over 11 games this past season.

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The Gustavus Baseball field renovation project will be completed in the coming months as the construction of Phase Two begins this summer. Highlights of the second phase include a 350-seat covered grandstand, two enclosed press boxes, patio-style viewing areas, state-of-the-art sound system, and improved live broadcast elements. The $2 million project, which began in 2017, is entirely donor-funded.

“This project is an exciting piece to a larger fundraising campaign,” said Athletics Director Tom Brown. “We are grateful for all the donors who support our vision to provide Gusties with one of the best facilities in Division III.”

Phase One of the renovation project was completed in the fall of 2017, which included artificial turf on the entire playing surface, new fencing to enclose the field, a 36-foot-wide scoreboard, and landscaping to improve spectator areas.

“What we’ve said all along is that to build the best Division III baseball program in the country we need to attract the best student-athletes,” said Head Coach Brad Baker. “With the completion of this project we will have one of the best ballparks in small college baseball. I’m really thankful for the donors who have supported our vision for the young men that choose Gustavus.”

The project will be completed prior to students returning to campus this fall.

Gustie Baseball Field renovation facts:

  • Surface: SPINTURF Ultrablade DFE 42 on the entire field (including home plate and pitcher’s mound)
  • Multi-use surface: soccer practice, club sports, and intramurals use it as well
  • Open to the community: field is available to rent for local baseball organizations
  • Dimensions: 315’ – left foul pole, 365’ – left-center, 390’ – center, 365’ – right-center, 320’ – right foul pole
  • Elevated spectator areas directly behind home plate and down the right-field line
  • 350-seat covered grandstand
  • 200 square-foot press box at top of the grandstand, 70 square-foot auxiliary press box in the third-base dugout

* The baseball field has been in its current location since 2007 after the construction of the football field replaced the former location of Myrum Baseball Field. Games were played on natural grass and dirt through the 2017 season.

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It sounds like former University of Minnesota Golden Gopher Men’s Hockey coach, Don Lucia is a finalist for the new CCHA commissioner job.

Also Red Berenson, longtime Michigan Wolverine Men’s Hockey coach, will be a hockey advisor for the Big Ten conference.

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Alabama-Huntsville will be cutting Men’s hockey again.  They will also cut men’s and women’s tennis.  If you don’t remember, Alabama-Huntsville was one of three schools from the WCHA that wasn’t included in the formation of the new hockey conference.  Huntsville tried to cut hockey back in 2011 before a new president overruled it.

Unfortunately, this won’t be the last announcement in the next three months.  You will see a mixture of cutting games that are played (which Division II fall sports already has), and sports will be cut.

It will be interesting, but I am predicting you will see more hockey, baseball, softball, wrestling, tennis, soccer, and golf teams among others getting cut across the country.

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In some stores, buying more than one package of toilet paper isn’t allowed. The police have named it ‘The Big Crack Down.

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A man got really drunk one night in his local pub. The barman refused to serve him any more alcohol and told him he should be heading home. The man thought this was a good idea so he stood up to leave but fell over straight away. He tried to stand up again but only fell over again. He thought if only he could get outside and get some fresh air he’d be grand. So he crawled outside then tried to stand up and fell over again. In the end after falling over lots more he decided to crawl home. When he got back to his house he pulled himself up using the door handle but as soon as he let go he fell over again. He had to crawl up the stairs and managed to fall over onto the bed and fell asleep. When he finally woke up the next morning his wife asked him what he was doing at the pub last night. He denied it but she said, “I know you were there…” he maintained his innocence until “…the barman rang to say you forgot your wheelchair again….”

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President Trump and the Secretary of Defense David Norquist are sitting in a bar.
A guy walks in and asks the barman, “Isn’t that Bush and Powell sitting over there?”
The barman says, “Yep, that’s them.”
So the guy walks over and says, “Wow, this is a real honor. What are you guys doing in here?”
Trump says, “We’re planning WW III.”
And the guy says, “Really? What’s going to happen?”
Trump says, “Well, we’re going to kill 140 million Iraqis this time and one blonde with big tits.”
The guy exclaimed, “A blonde with big tits?” “Why kill a blonde with big tits?”
Trump turns to Norquist and says, “See, I told you no one would worry about the 140 million Iraqis!”

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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.

Brady Heppner, is playing hockey for the Roanoke Raildogs in the SPHL.

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

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

Ben Trostad is a sophomore member of the University of Minnesota Crookston golf team.

Isaac Westlake, is a Senior on the Winona State Warrior Men’s Golf team.

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

Mason LaPlante, a freshman, is playing soccer at the University of Jamestown.

Rachel Hefta, a freshman, is playing volleyball at Hastings College in Nebraska.

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

Nick Garmen, is a freshman playing basketball and tennis at the University of Minnesota Morris.

Thea Oman, a freshman, is swimming at St. Ben’s.

Crookston School District Coaches –
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 Head Pirate Girls and 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
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 a youth wrestling Coach
Blake Fee is an assistant wrestling coach
Colton Weiland is an assistant wrestling coach

Non-Crookston High School coaching –

Cody Weiland is an assistant wrestling coach at Proctor/Hermantown

Kaylee Desrosier is a softball coach for Fargo Davies Middle School.

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 High School.  He is an Army recruiter in Rochester.

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