SPORTS FEEVER – February 4, 2021

Welcome to another Sports Feever Column.  We have a lot of information this week, including the first QRF rankings of the year!  Stay warm and stay healthy!

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The Minnesota State High School League Board of Directors Meeting will be held Thursday, February 4 at 9:00 a.m. We will find out about the section tournament plans, formats, locations, etc.  It will be an interesting meeting.  The agenda is below.

Reflection, Pledge of Allegiance
1. Approval of Agenda and Consent Agenda
2. Approval of Minutes (12/3/2020)
3. Individuals or Delegations on Agenda Issues*
4. Board of Directors Members’ Reports and Comments
5. Lobbyist’s Report
6. Legal Counsel’s Report
7. Executive Director’s Report
8. Executive Committee Report
9. Action Items

A. Section/State Tournament Planning
• Dates
• Format
• Venues

B. Track and Field: Classification Distribution

10. Discussion
A. Region Assignment, Competitive Section, District Football Processes
B. Dance Rules Books: Extend for One More Year

11. Committee Reports
A. Eligibility Committee
B. Audit/Finance Committee
C. Marketing and Communications Committee
D. Education and Leadership

12. Information Items

NEXT MEETING: April 15, 2021

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The latest Minnesota High School Basketball, Hockey, and Wrestling polls are out.  Click on the link below to see the latest!

Minnesota High School Polls

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Wednesday was National Signing Day with Division I and II college football taking center stage.  It is still a sad day in Crookston after the University of Minnesota Crookston cut football.  Here are some of my thoughts on no football at UMC.
1. We don’t have to hear how this class is the best class they have ever recruited and all the signing day jargon we heard year after year and go out and get killed in most games.  We haven’t had to hear how “blessed” kids are to talk to the coaches on social media posts and all that social media B.S. the teams and recruits spew out. (That is positive)
2. Southwest Minnesota State in Marshall signed 67 players on Wednesday!!!  You can’t tell me that UMC couldn’t use the 67 student-athletes on campus next year!!  What would 67 new football players mean to the UMC campus?  Well, it would 11 percent of the on-campus enrollment!!!!  Let’s say (for easy math) you have 40 students paying their way at $25,000 each and that would bring in $1,175,000 in tuition, room, and board to the campus next year.
3. While the football team wasn’t going to be competitive anytime soon, it still was a huge impact on the campus’ overall enrollment health and with UMC struggling financially (like most post-secondary institutions) they could REALLY use football right now!  I think they only got a handful of kids to play hockey that wasn’t already at UMC or going to UMC anyway!

With signing day going on, I scoured the internet and area teams to see if they signed anybody from northwest Minnesota.

Bemidji’s Colton Hinrichs signed to play football for the mighty Bemidji State Beavers.
Bemidji’s Will Falldorf signed with Bemidji State Football.

Breckenridge’s Connor Twidwell signed to play football at Minnesota State Moorhead.
Breckenridge’s Gavin Johnson signed to play football at Minnesota State Moorhead.

Moorhead’s Trey Feeney signed with the University of North Dakota.
West Central Area’s Jaden Norby signed with UND
Minnesota State Moorhead’s Jake Richter (Detroit Lakes) signed with UND as a grad transfer.

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The QRF’s have been released this week and we take a look at the area sections so far.  The QRF is provided by

Section 8AA Boys Basketball –
We are down to three undefeated teams with Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton, Warroad, and Breckenridge.  The three teams are at the top of their respective sub-section.  It is still too early to put an educated breakdown of the section, but that hasn’t stopped me before!!   Just by what I have seen on streaming and the scores, I am pegging Breckenridge the top team right now.  There are a handful of teams right there (Fergus Falls, DGF, Perham, and Warroad round out the top five).

Section 8AA – North Standings
Team (QRF) Section Overall
Dilworth-Glyndon-F (75.2) 3-0 3-0
Warroad (63.5) 2-0 6-0
Thief River Falls (44.7) 4-1 4-3
East Grand Forks (30.0) 1-2 3-3
Bagley (22.6) 0-2 2-4
Park Rapids Area (21.5) 1-0 1-4
Roseau (20.4) 1-1 2-4
Hawley (16.8) 0-4 1-4
Crookston (11.5) 0-5 1-5


Section 8AA – South Standings
Team (QRF) Section Overall
Breckenridge (79.2) 4-0 5-0
Fergus Falls (78.4) 0-0 4-2
Perham (61.1) 3-2 4-2
Wadena-Deer Creek (59.0) 0-0 4-1
Barnesville (47.1) 2-2 2-2
Pelican Rapids (43.5) 2-2 3-2
Frazee (25.0) 1-3 2-4
Menahga (17.9) 0-1 1-3
Staples-Motley (15.4) 1-0 1-6


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Section 8A Boys Basketball
Section 8A is about as wide-open as it has ever been.  You have the usual suspects in Cass Lake-Bena, Fertile-Beltrami, Red Lake.  You also have Stephen-Argyle, Red Lake County, and Win-E-Mac rounding out the top six.  Again there are several teams that are also knocking on the door.  The Section 8A tourney will be a fun one this year!

Section 8A – East Standings
Team (QRF) Section Overall
Cass Lake-Bena (49.6) 3-0 4-1
Win-E-Mac (43.4) 2-2 5-2
Red Lake (38.3) 1-0 3-1
Blackduck (35.5) 2-2 3-2
Goodridge/Grygla (31.6) 3-2 4-3
Fosston (31.0) 2-2 4-3
Northome/Kelliher (24.2) 1-2 3-3
Clearbrook-Gonvick (19.2) 0-4 1-4
Lake of the Woods (6.6) 0-2 0-4


Section 8A – West Standings
Team (QRF) Section Overall
Fertile-Beltrami (56.7) 3-0 5-1
Red Lake County (51.6) 4-0 4-0
Stephen-Argyle (50.3) 5-0 5-0
Badger/Greenbush-MR (41.8) 4-1 4-1
Northern Freeze (25.5) 2-2 2-3
Warren-Alvarado-Oslo (24.5) 1-4 2-4
Sacred Heart (19.5) 2-3 2-4
Ada-Borup (17.7) 1-2 2-4
Kittson County Central (6.4) 0-4 0-6
Climax/Fisher (3.9) 0-4 0-7

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Section 8AA Girls Basketball
Section 8AA Girls Basketball has proven it is wide open.  We will find out more in the next couple of weeks with a lot of top teams playing each other.
Right now I have to go with Pelican Rapids as my top team (they are the defending champs).  Fergus Falls, Hawley, Crookston, and about four others are all right there.  There could be up to eight teams that could all beat each other.  The advantage clearly goes to Hawley and Crookston because they are the only two teams with a winning record and as of today, have a chance in the north. 

Section 8AA – North Standings
Team (QRF) Section Overall
Hawley (61.8) 5-1 5-1
Crookston (57.9) 5-1 6-1
Thief River Falls (29.4) 2-1 2-4
Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton (28.2) 2-4 2-4
Park Rapids Area (23.3) 1-2 1-4
Roseau (20.3) 1-3 1-4
Warroad (16.4) 0-2 2-5
East Grand Forks (7.9) 0-4 1-5
Bagley (5.3) 0-1 0-5


Section 8AA – South Standings
Team (QRF) Section Overall
Fergus Falls (82.5) 0-1 3-2
Pelican Rapids (77.7) 3-0 5-0
Breckenridge (60.3) 3-1 3-2
Menahga (60.0) 2-0 4-1
Perham (56.5) 4-1 4-2
Barnesville (49.6) 2-2 3-2
Staples-Motley (35.7) 1-1 3-3
Wadena-Deer Creek (26.6) 0-2 3-4
Frazee (18.5) 1-5 1-5

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Section 8A Girls Basketball
Section 8A Girls is another interesting one.  Stephen-Argyle is the top team right now with Red Lake, BGMR, and Fosston right behind.  Goodridge-Grygla, Cass Lake-Bena, and Red Lake Falls seem to be improving and will be there at the end of the year.  

Section 8A – East Standings
Red Lake (49.5) 2-0 4-0
Fosston (48.5) 4-0 6-0
Goodridge/Grygla (47.0) 4-1 5-1
Cass Lake-Bena (41.4) 2-0 4-1
Clearbrook-Gonvick (36.6) 2-1 3-1
Kelliher/Northome (28.5) 1-2 3-3
Blackduck (12.6) 0-3 1-4
Win-E-Mac (5.7) 0-2 0-6
Lake of the Woods (4.5) 0-1 0-2


Section 8A – West Standings
Team (QRF) Section Overall
Stephen-Argyle (56.4) 6-0 7-0
Badger/Greenbush-MR (42.6) 2-2 4-3
Red Lake Falls (41.5) 4-2 5-2
Fertile-Beltrami (38.7) 1-1 3-2
Kittson County Central (34.0) 1-3 2-3
Warren-Alvarado-Oslo (28.1) 3-3 3-3
Northern Freeze (24.4) 0-3 1-3
Sacred Heart (16.7) 1-4 1-4
Climax/Fisher (16.4) 0-2 1-4
Red Lake County Central (9.8) 1-4 1-4

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Section 8A Boys Hockey
For once, it isn’t the big three!!  EGF, Warroad, and Thief River Falls.
East Grand Forks beat Warroad to take the top spot and I still think it is between the two teams come section championship time.  But, Red Lake Falls is 4-0 in section play, but haven’t played one of the big three yet.  Detroit Lakes is having a solid season, and Thief River Falls will be there in March too. 

Team (QRF) Section Overall
East Grand Forks (67.0) 1-0-0 3-4-0
Red Lake Falls (48.9) 4-0-0 6-1-0
Warroad (47.0) 2-1-0 4-1-1
Detroit Lakes (29.9) 1-2-0 4-2-0
Park Rapids Area (23.1) 1-1-0 3-3-0
Bagley/Fosston (20.3) 0-2-0 3-2-0
Kittson Central (17.8) 2-1-1 2-2-1
Thief River Falls (17.0) 2-1-1 2-3-1
Lake of the Woods (4.9) 0-3-0 0-4-0
Crookston (1.4) 0-2-0 0-5-0

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Section 8A Girls Hockey
It is Warroad at the top and everybody is playing for the runner-up trophy.  So who is the second-best team?  Right now, I am saying Thief River Falls and we will find out who the third-best team is on Friday when Crookston plays Detroit Lakes.  Crookston and DL are improved while East Grand Forks and Thief River Falls suffered heavy graduation/transfers since last year and without the Red Lake Falls girls on the Prowler team, they probably don’t have a win!

Team (QRF) Section Overall
Warroad (71.0) 2-0-0 5-0-0
Detroit Lakes (32.5) 1-0-0 4-1-0
Thief River Falls (24.0) 2-1-0 3-3-0
Crookston (17.1) 1-3-0 3-4-0
East Grand Forks (16.4) 1-3-0 1-5-0


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Section 8A Wrestling
This is the most wide open Section 8A Wrestling has been since they went to three classes.  You have five teams that could all win the section.  United North Central is my pick for the top team so far.  BGMR, Crookston, Fosston-Bagley, and Frazee are all right there.  It will likely come down to team matchups at sections. 

Team (QRF) Section Overall
Badger/Greenbush-MR (50.7) 2-1 7-3
United North Central (49.3) 1-0 8-4
Crookston (42.9) 3-1 9-3
Fosston/Bagley (33.2) 2-0 4-4
Frazee (31.2) 0-0 3-4
Park Rapids Area (24.7) 1-2 3-3
Mahnomen/Waubun (23.0) 1-2 4-4
Fertile-Beltrami (11.6) 1-3 1-7
Red Lake County Central (5.4) 0-2 0-6


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Section 8AA Wrestling
Pequot Lakes/Pine River Backus seem to be the top team so far with Detroit Lakes, Thief River Falls, Perham, and Pierz in the top five.  It is another wide-open section this year.  

Section 8AA – East Standings
Pequot Lakes/Pine River-B (77.9) 3-0 9-1
Pierz (53.0) 2-2 8-4
Perham (48.7) 1-0 3-7
Alexandria (47.6) 3-1 5-5
Sauk Centre/Melrose (17.1) 0-1 1-9
Section 8AA – West Standings
Team (QRF)
Detroit Lakes (68.6) 2-1 8-2
Dilworth-Glyndon-F (54.8) 2-0 5-2
Thief River Falls (52.1) 2-2 8-4
United Clay-Becker (30.8) 1-3 3-6
Fergus Falls (23.1) 0-4 0-8
Roseau (11.1) 0-2 1-10


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Red Lake Falls Boys Hockey still has one of the top five players in total points.  Zak Kennet has 25 points with 13 goals and 12 assists.  That is good for third in the state so far this season!
Zam Plante 7 16 14 30
Kyle Ahlschlager 6 14 14 28
Zak Kennett 7 13 12 25
Parker Mitchell 7 12 13 25
Spencer Klotz 7 7 17 24

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We still have up to two months of the winter sports season remaining, but Spring Sports are right around the corner!  Most spring sports will be starting in late March!

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Detroit Lakes High School graduate, Kate Smith, has been named the Big Ten Women’s golfer of the week.  Smith is playing at Nebraska and tied for 3rd at the SMU Trinity Forest Invitational while recording five birdies and an eagle in the final round.  It is the fourth career Golfer of the Week honor for Smith.

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Paul Bittner arrived in Sweden last week after a total of about 24 hours of travel and is wearing #72 for Vasby IK.  The story below is from the Vasby IK website.

American Paul Bittner most recently came from four seasons in the AHL where he played for the club Cleveland Monsters, which is the grandfather team for the NHL team Columbus Blue Jackets. Paul played for the USA U18 national team in Hlinka, the tournament where all the best in that age category are involved and would also have been in the JVM, but an injury put a stop to him at the last minute. However, Paul’s progress on the ice did not go unnoticed and the Columbus Blue Jackets drafted Paul in 2015 when he was selected in the second round and as a player 38 in total.
Paul was born in 1996 and is a left-handed striker who measures 193 cm and weighs 93 kg. He has not played anything this season because the AHL was down but has during his seasons in the league played a total of 190 games where he was behind 68 points divided into 25 goals and 43 assists.

Sports director Tom Tärnström about Paul’s arrival to the squad.
-Paul is a powerforward who has done well in the AHL and played a major role with both PP and BP games in recent years. He is a strong skater, uses his size in a good way and also has a playing skill that I judge will keep a good class in this league. This is exactly the type of player we have been looking for for a while and getting Paul in at this stage feels fantastic.

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COVID-19 has forced the NHL to cancel the Minnesota Wild games through February 9.  The press released from the Wild is below –

The National Hockey League announced that as a result of five additional Minnesota Wild Players being added today to the NHL’s COVID Protocol Related Absence List, the team’s games will be postponed at least through Tuesday, Feb. 9.

The team’s training facilities have been closed, effective immediately, and will remain so until further notice. The League is in the process of reviewing and revising the Wild’s regular-season schedule.

The Wild organization has, and will continue to follow, all recommended guidelines aimed at protecting the health and safety of its players, staff, and community at large as set by the NHL, local, state, and national agencies.

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Roseau Girls Basketball player Julia Braaten scored the 1,000th point of her career on Saturday.

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The three wise men are out for a stroll when they come across a stable. The three of them decide to duck inside.
On the way in one of the wise men hits his head on the low entranceway.
“Jesus Christ!” he says.
Joseph says, “Quick, Mary, write that down! It’s a hell of a lot better than Clyde!

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A teenager takes a seat on a bench next to a middle-aged man reading a newspaper. After a few minutes, the man looks over and stares intentively at the youth’s multicolored mohawk.
The teenager looks over at the man and says “What’s the matter old man, never done anything interesting in your life?”
The man responded with “I once got drunk and had sex with a parrot, I was just wondering if you were my son.”

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The following joke is from NBC (Jay Leno Show)

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How are former Crookston Pirates athletes doing in college or elsewhere?

Paul Bittner is playing professional hockey in Sweden for Vasby IK of the HockeyAllsvenskan league.

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

Ben Trostad is playing Club Hockey at UMC.

Ty Hamre is playing Club Hockey at UMC.

Brandon Boetcher is playing Club Hockey at UMC.

Brady Butt is a freshman playing football at the University of Jamestown.

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

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

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

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

Nick Garmen is a sophomore, playing tennis at the University of Minnesota Morris.

Caden Osborn, is a freshman playing basketball at the University of Minnesota Morris.

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

Crookston School District Coaches –
Emily Meyer is a girls hockey and softball assistant coach.
Carrie Clauson 
is a Junior High girls tennis 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 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
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