Welcome to an Independence Day holiday week column.  Every year I think this will be a short column and then I get a bunch of news that falls into my lap!   Have a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July.

I have an honest question – Is there anything better than an ice-cold Coke, Cherry Coke, or Coke zero in a can on a hot summer day?  I am still searching…..although an ice cold Corona Premier with a lime is a solid second place.

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ISD 593-Crookston Public Schools will be selling used weight room equipment by sealed bids. Interested parties can view equipment on Tuesday, July 7 from noon to 7:00 pm by calling Greg Garmen at (218)281-2144 and setting up an appointment.

Please turn your bids into:

Activities Director Greg Garmen
Crookston High School
402 Fisher Ave
Crookston, MN 56716

Sealed envelopes must be marked “Weight room bids” and turned in by Monday, July 13, 2020 by 1:00 pm

Once the bids are opened, you will be notified if you are the highest bidder.  Equipment will need to paid for and be removed by July 22nd.  Some of the equipment needs to be taken apart to get through the doors.  Crookston Public school staff will dismantle and place on a pallet for you to pick up at a specified date and time.

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I go to the Feever email inbox.   I honestly have no idea if this person is serious or joking, but figured I would share –

I noticed that some yards have UMC signs that read #ownthenorth on it.  I find it interesting that a liberal institution like the University of Minnesota would allow that out there after all the things that have gone on in the last month.
What do you think?

Answer – While I can’t tell if you are serious, giving the needle to UMC, or know how bad I disliked the phrase when they came out with it last year, I will say this-

I never thought of it until you brought it up, to be honest.  I am thinking UMC probably should pull those signs to be safe and they have a new slogan this year with I M Crookston.  So I approve of the new slogan and would strongly encourage them to keep it for several years.  I got my new sign Wednesday.
I did suggest that they should reach out to the Crookston High School athletic department and get a UMC and Pirate logo on it and have the I M Crookston motto. I never heard back from either person.  It was disappointing, but I never know with my email and will give them a little benefit of the doubt.  I thought it would have been a good idea because it would have helped get the University of Minnesota Crookston logo (actually U of M logo) out there in more yards because (like it or not) UMC is second fiddle to the Crookston School District and even more so in the sports world for many reasons.  It would have been some good collaboration.  Maybe next year…..????

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Speaking of UMC, it was great to see former UMC Football coach Mark Dufner this week.  I bumped into him twice and he was proudly wearing Golden Eagle clothing.  He is one of the nicest guys I have met and has always been nothing but class to me and everybody at KROX and I am glad he is sticking around Crookston!

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It was revealed earlier this week that the floor at Lysaker Gymnasium on the campus of UMC will be named Gary Senske court.  Coach Senske (or as we called him in the 1995-96 season – the Grey Fox!) is a great guy and a very good coach.  I enjoyed him as a coach and enjoyed the interviews with him over the years.  He always cared about his players and still remember the time he talked to me after my grades weren’t where they should be and gave me the Come On Man/I am disappointed speech.  It was a fatherly type of speech and it hit home.  I will always remember some of his sayings, along with the fun we had with Assistant Coach Jeff Oseth and Coach/team manager Al Westburg. It was a fun season even though we had a lot of interesting things happen to us and being new to the four-year school thing was another challenge.  Coach Senske always handled the challenges with grace and class and deserves the honor.  He was a great coach and his junior college record is outstanding.

The University of Minnesota Crookston (UMC) recently has undergone a major renovation as the entire Lysaker Gymnasium floor was sanded down, repainted and sealed this spring. In addition, Golden Eagle athletics is very excited to announce that the renovated floor has been named in honor of one of Minnesota Crookston’s greatest all-time coaches, Gary Senske, and will be known as Gary Senske Court. The entire facility itself is still known as Lysaker Gymnasium. It was completed in 1981 and named in honor of former UMC athletic director and coach Hersch Lysaker.

Senske is the longest-standing coach (21 years) to ever coach at Minnesota Crookston and has the most successful record in the program’s history. He amassed 176 wins as head coach of the Trojans and Golden Eagle men’s basketball squads from 1981-2002. Senske coached the team at three different levels, as he began when the team competed in the NJCAA, coached the squad through their transition as a four-year school in the NAIA, and again during a transition to NCAA Division II in 1999.

Senske retired in 2002 and currently resides in Perham. He was inducted into the University of  Crookston Athletics Hall of Fame in 2004. His son, Steele Senske, who played for his father from 1988-90, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007.

The Lysaker Gymnasium floor renovation pairs with phase one of the renovation that was started in the summer of 2019. The facility received a facelift with news bleachers, a new sound system from NLFX in Bemidji, and a brand new state-of-the-art Keemotion live stream and instant replay camera system. In addition to the new floor, the facility will also have brand new portable basketball goals for the 2020-21 season.

The Lysaker Gymnasium floor was originally installed prior to the 2007-08 season and hadn’t been sanded down and repainted in that span. The new paint scheme includes “Gary Senske Court” on the south side of the floor, “Minnesota Crookston” on the north side of the floor, “Golden Eagles” on both baselines, “M Crookston” logos in white in all four corners on the north and south side, and gold “NSIC” logos just under the free throw line on the east and west sides. In addition, the Golden Eagle logo was enlarged from the previous logo. One of the more noticeable changes is a lighter stain on the majority of the floor, with a darker “spice brown” stain inside the three-point arc on both the east and west sides.

A dedication for the floor is slated for the fall of 2020. The first volleyball game is currently scheduled for Friday, September 18 against the University of Sioux Falls. The men’s and women’s basketball programs are still finalizing their 2020-21 schedules.

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The University of Minnesota Golden Gophers athletic department announced Tuesday night that seven student-athletes from multiple sports have tested positive for COVID-19, putting Minnesota in line with the testing numbers recently reported by other Big Ten schools.
The Gopher Athletic department administered 170 tests with the seven positives.
Most of the football team is back on campus, anticipating beginning official activities July 13. Men’s and women’s basketball, soccer and volleyball are also all in various states of returning.
Student-athletes who test positive are entered into protocol and are asked to self-isolate. During this time they will have access to all necessary resources and food and will be in daily communication with members of Minnesota’s athletic medicine staff. Student-athletes will undergo additional testing and screening before they may physically participate in team activities. A team physician must also clear the student-athlete before they are permitted to return to athletic activity.
Contact tracing was conducted and any individual who was potentially exposed was asked to quarantine to help prevent spread of the virus.
Nebraska has tested about 250 student-athletes and found eight positive. Iowa has administered 408 tests with 17 positive results. Maryland reported no positive tests after testing 105 student-athletes. Five Michigan State student-athletes have tested positive.

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The Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference/Sanford Health Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments will continue to be played at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota for the next two seasons. The league’s athletic administrators extended the agreement with the Sanford Pentagon during their annual meetings earlier this month.
The Sanford Pentagon has been home to the NSIC/Sanford Health Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments since 2014. This premier tournament brings eight women’s and eight men’s teams to the Sioux Falls community to compete at the Sanford Pentagon over a four-day period.

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There will be no lunch this year due to COVID-19 and all groups will be 9 holes only.

Boys and Girls Age groups
Medal play in all age groups with prizes and trophies awarded, plus extra contests

Age groups – 13-14, 15-17 – Shotgun start at 9:00 a.m. with sign-in at 8:30
10 and under, 11-12 – Shotgun start at Noon – sign-in at 11:30

Entry deadline is preferred by Noon on July 19, but can register the morning of.
Send Entry to –
OR call 218-253-2499 or EMAIL:

All participants are required to fill out a waiver and a health questionnaire.  The waiver should be sent to Steve Philion before July 20 and the health questionnaire.  The waiver should be sent to Steve Philion before July 20 and the health questionnaire must be handed in the morning of the tournament when you sign in.  To receive the waiver and health questionnaire, send an email to

The event is sponsored by the Holy Family Knights of Columbus Chapter of Red Lake County for the benefits of the youth of the area.

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Warroad will be hosting the Warwick basketball camp July 6, 7, and 8.
Darin Spenst said they submitted a plan with COVID-19 guidelines and procedures and it was approved by the camp so the camp is on.
For the camp and registration information CLICK HERE.

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What do you call a bulletproof Irishman?
Rick O’Shea
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My dating bio says that I have a corner office with views of the entire city, drive a $500,000 vehicle, and that I’m paid to travel.

My dates never seem too happy when I tell them I’m a bus driver.

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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