THURSDAY - MARCH 23,  2017


The Crookston Pirate Wrestling team held their end of the year banquet on Wednesday in the Crookston High School Commons.  The award winners are below-

Colton Weiland - Wrestler of the Year
Preston Desrosier - Most Dedicated
Jake Wagner - Most Improved
Zach Brown - Most pins (15)
Cam Hulst - Most pins (15)

All-Conference - Cam Hulst, Lukas Meier, Jake Wagner, Preston Desrosier, Colton Weiland
All-Conference - Honorable Mention: Zach Brown, Nolan Dans, Damian Hodgson

Letter winners - Cam Hulst, Jake Wagner, Luis Argueta, Preston Desrosier, Lukas Meier, Damian Hodgson, Colton Weiland, Collin Leckie, Nolan Dans, Jordan Lessard, Zach Brown, Chelsey Homme, Luke Trandem, Cameron Weiland.

Team award winners - Zach Brown, Jake Wagner, Preston Desrosier, Colton Weiland, and Cam Hulst







Mark Bittner just wrapped up his college hockey career last weekend, but his hockey playing days aren't done yet, as he was offered a contract to continue to play hockey in the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL). Mark is flying to Pensacola, Florida on Sunday to join the Pensacola Ice Flyers.
He is the second Bittner boy to play professional hockey as his “little” brother Paul is playing in the AHL for the Cleveland Monsters, the minor league team of the Columbus Blue Jackets.   Ryan Bittner just wrapped up his sophomore season at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point where he was named all conference.

In high school, Mark played football, hockey, and track at Crookston High School.  He was a three-time letterwinner in hockey, two-time All-State Honorable Mention, three-time All-Section 8A honoree, All-Mariucci Conference First Team in 2011, and honorable mention in 2009-10. He was a four-year letterwinner in football (quarterback and cornerback).  He was the football teams Most Valuable Back in 2010, Heart of the Lakes All-Conference in 2009 and 2010, conference MVP and Most Valuable Back in 2010 and All-State honorable mention in 2010.  Mark was a five-year letterwinner in track (hurdles, relays, and triple jump).

The Bittner Boys are the sons of Jon and Jo Bittner.  Jon was a Crookston Pirate Boys Hockey coach for many years before retiring about five years ago.





The Crookston Pirate Boys Basketball team held their end of the year banquet on Monday evening at St. Paul's Lutheran Church and announced the All-Conference awards, most dedicated award and captains for next year.  The award winners are below-

All Conference - Chris Wavra and Matt Garmen
All Conference Honorable Mention - Nick Garmen and Luke Froeber
The Todd Eisert Most Dedicated Award - Matt Garmen
Captains for 2017-18 are Todd Boerger, Carter Winand and Nick Garmen

Award winners - Nick Garmen, Matt Garmen, Luke Froeber and Chris Wavra




TUESDAY - MARCH 21,  2017


The Crookston Figure Skating Club held their banquet/end of the year celebration last night at the Crookston High School.  The following awards were voted on by the skaters:

Glistening Edge Awards:
Most Valuable Skater- Aleece Durbin
Most Dedicated Skater- Hannah Street
Most Improved Skater- Anna Funk

Cutting Edge Awards
Most Valuable Skater-Eliza Meyer
Most Dedicated Skater- Ava Lopez and Emilee Tate
Most Improved Skater- Kaylie Clauson

The Crookston Figure Skating award winners (Picture by Erica Uttermark)

This years lettering winners were:

​Glistening Edge: Denissa Brekken, Aleece Durbin, Megan Frisk, Emily Funk, Taylor Haglund, Kathryn Halos, Audrey Harbott, Breanna Kressin, Mathia Morlan, Hannah Street, Mallorie Sundeen

Cutting Edge: Eliza Meyer

Double ​Gold Medalist (the Highest USFSA honor) and will be awarded the Gold Medalist Coat: Aleece Durbin​

The Crookston Figure Skating letterwinners with their new letter awards



MONDAY - MARCH 20,  2017


The Red Lake Falls Pee Wee B competed in the state tournament this past weekend and came home with the state consolation championship.  In the first round they lost a heartbreaker to Edina Green 3-2, but bounced back to beat St. Cloud Red 4-3 in overtime and beat Sartell Blue 7-2 in the consolation championship.
Members of the team are
Blane Schmitz, Ty Kennett, Blake Arlt, Evan Girdler, Zadin Lallier, Dothan Wirth, Jackson Hoefer, Justin Funk, Landon Sauve, Bella Amiot, Keagan Magner, Ashtin Fredrickson, Pacey Struthers, Carson Erickson.  Coaches are Cole Schmitz and Terry Funk.

Back row: Blane Schmitz, Ty Kennett, Blake Arlt, Evan Girdler
Middle row:  Coach Cole Schmitz, Zadin Lallier, Dothan Wirth, Jackson Hoefer, Justin Funk, Landon Sauve, Bella Amiot, Keagan Magner, Coach Terry Funk
Front row: Ashtin Fredrickson, Pacey Struthers, Carson Erickson




The University of Minnesota Crookston Golden Eagle Baseball teams offense continued their struggles in the first game, but snapped out of their slump in the second game to score 11 runs and earned a split with Winona state losing the first game 5-0 and won the second game 11-6 in a double header played in Winona.

Game 1 - Box Score
After a scoreless first inning, UMC looked to have a two out rally going.  The first two batters were retired and the next two singled, but the Golden Eagles couldn’t follow with a third hit and were retired and it was still scoreless.  Winona State got on the board in the third inning with a walk, single and a sacrifice fly for a 1-0 lead.  Winona State took a commanding lead in the fifth inning when they scored four runs.  They led off with a double, singled and scored the first run on a fielding error for a 2-0 lead.  After a walk, Winona State followed with an rbi single and a two rbi double for a 5-0 lead.  The Golden Eagles only had one hit in the final two innings and lost 5-0.

Game 2 - Box Score
UMC finally scored some runs and had double digit hits for the first time in four NSIC games. 
The Golden Eagles recorded two hits and scored a run on a sacrifice fly to take a 1-0 lead.  Winona State answered with a run after a double and a UMC error to tie the game at 1-1.  UMC responded in the third inning, when Anthony Steward singled for the second time in the game, Ethan Mushitz (Jr. East Grand Forks) singled and Reed Hjelle (Soph. East Grand Forks) reached on a fielders choice and knocked in a run to give UMC a 2-1 lead.  Another UMC run scored on a Mitchell Bornhauser (Jr. Northfield) double and the Golden Eagles led 3-1.  Winona State answered with a run in the bottom of the third inning to cut UMC’s lead to 3-2.
UMC broke the game open with a four run, four hit fourth inning.  The first run scored on a bases loaded walk to Mushitz, Hjelle followed with a two rbi single and a Riley Thompson (Jr. Owatonna) single scored the fourth run for a 7-2 lead.  Winona State scored two runs in the fifth inning to get within a 7-4 deficit.  UMC added three more runs in the sixth inning on four hits.  Stewart singled for his third hit of the game and Hjelle doubled to score a run.  Bornhauser doubled to score a run and James Cullinane (Jr. San Francisco, CA) singled to score the third run of the inning for a 10-4 lead.  Winona State answered with two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to cut their deficit to 10-6.  UMC added an insurance run in the eighth inning and held on for an 11-6 victory.  UMC freshman pitcher, Justin Yutrzenka (Argyle) picked up his second win of his career going six innings, scattering 10 hits while only giving up four earned runs.  Offensively, Reed Hjelle was 3-5, with four rbi’s and two runs and David Anaya (Jr. Tucson, AZ) was 3-5 with a run scored.
UMC is 7-9 on the year and 1-3 in the NSIC.  Winona State is 3-11 and 3-1 in the NSIC.





On Sunday, March 12 the Crookston Pirate Treasurettes held their annual Treasurette Dance Clinic.  There were 38 girls in attendance for their Lion King themed clinic open for all girls grades K-6.  

The Treasurettes and all the participants of the Treasurette Dance clinic

Following the Clinic the Treasurettes held their banquet.  The following girls lettered in dance this year - Merran Dingman, Olivia Forgit, Hannah Lindemoen, Kate MacGregor, Quinn Siegle and Katelyn Wagner.
Merran Dingmann and Katelyn Wagner received a metal for Heart of the Lakes All Conference Dancer.  
Kate MacGregor and Quinn Siegle were given an award for Heart of the Lakes honorable mention Dancer.

The Crookston Treasurettes with a team picture at their end of the year banquet





The Winter Awards Banquet was held Thursday, March 16 at the Climax Community Center.  The award recipients are as follows -

Boys -
Paul Gapp – Mr. Offense, Chairman of the Boards and All conference
Pelon Pruneda – Mr. Defense and Mr. Assist
Hayden Reitmeier – Co-newcomer of the year and ACE Knight
Trea Byklum – Co-newcomer of the year
Brady Klein – Co-newcomer of the year

Girls -
Sydney Magsam – MVP and All Conference
Sophie Love – Defensive MVP, Beth McDonald Hustle Award, All Conference
Mikayla Vasek – ACE Knight and All Conference Honorable Mention
Katie Rarick – Most improved
Lindsey Kurz – Rookie of the Year

Trea Byklum, Paul Gapp, Pelon Pruneda, Brady Klein.  Not pictured: Hayden Reitmeier

Award winners - Mikayla Vasek, Katie Rarick, Lindsey Kurz, Sophie Love, Sydney Magsam




SUNDAY - MARCH 19,  2017


The University of Minnesota Crookston Golden Eagle baseball team had some pretty good pitching, but the offense struggled with only nine hits in two games as they were swept in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) opener in a 3-0 and 3-2 loss to Winona State in Winona.

Game 1 - Box Score
UMC had a single in the first inning by Patrick Amerson (Sr. Elroy, AZ), but couldn't get anything more and a quick start was snuffed out by Winona State.  Winona State started the bottom of the second inning with a single and after a fly out they singled again for runners at first and second base.  The next batter popped out in the outfield, but Winona State had an infield single to load the bases and a big double to score two runs for a 2-0 lead after two innings of play.    The pitchers were dominate the next two plus innings and neither team had a hit until the bottom of the fifth when the Warriors drew a two out walk, advanced to second base on a passed ball and moved to third on a wild pitch.  The next Winona State batter doubled to score a run and the Warriors led 3-0 after five innings.  UMC couldn't get the bats going in the final two innings and Winona State won the conference opener 3-0.

Game 2 -  Box Score
UMC started the scoring in the top of the first inning with two runs.  Anthony Stewart (Jr. Oak Harbor, Wash) singled to right field, advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Patrick Amerson and advanced to third base on a pass ball.  The first run of the inning scored when James Cullinane (Jr. San Francisco, CA) singled to score Stewart for a 1-0 lead.  Cullinane stole second and scored on an Ethan Mushitz (Jr. East Grand Forks) single up the middle for a 2-0 lead and things were looking good at the start of the game.  Parker Hanson (Jr. Hawley) pitched a stellar seven innings and only gave up three hits and no runs while striking out six batters, but he ran into trouble in eighth inning as Winona State led off the inning with their first two batters reaching on two separate errors on the UMC third baseman.  The next batter had a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners to second and third and the next batter struck out for two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning.  The next Winona State batter singled to score a run and another run came into score on a wild pitch and Winona State tied the game on two unearned runs.  Hanson struck out the next batter for his eighth of the game.  In the top of the ninth inning, UMC led off with a Mushitz single, but he was later caught stealing and the Golden Eagles weren’t able to score a run.  In the bottom of the ninth inning, the Golden Eagles brought in Aaron Hollcraft (Soph. Crookston) into the game to pitch and he retired the first batter and walked the second.  The next Winona State batter double to score a run for a 3-2 victory and sweep of the double header.
The Golden Eagles only had six hits in the game with two hits from Mushitz.
UMC drops to 0-2 in the NSIC and 6-8 overall and Winona State improves to 2-0 in the NSIC and 2-10 on the year.  The two teams will have another double header on Monday.




SATURDAY - MARCH 18,  2017


The Crookston Park and Rec Pee Wee B hockey team lost to Edina White 9-1 in the first round of the State tournament and lost to Sartell Blue 3-2 in the consolation round and was eliminated in games played at the Dakota Ice Center in Prior Lake. 
In the first round game, Edina scored three goals in the first period and exploded for six goals in the second period and cruised to the 9-1 victory.  The lone Crookston goal was scored by Nathan Kelly with assists from Jack Doda and Alexander Longoria.

On Saturday afternoon, Crookston got behind 3-1 and scored a late third period goal to get within one, but Sartell Blue held on for a 3-2 victory in a loser out game.

The Crookston Pee Wee B team after finishing runner up in the District tournament






Bailey Braatz (Sr. Buffalo) had a perfect game going through six-and-a-third innings and would finish with a one-hit shutout as the University of Minnesota Crookston Golden Eagle softball team beat Midland University 8-0 in the last game of their Tuscon, Arizona trip.
UMC couldn’t have asked for a better start with a five run first inning with Hailey Fitzpatrick (Fresh. Becker) reached on an error and Victoria Bayliss (Jr. West Bloomfield, Mich) singled before a walk loaded the bases.  Two runs scored on a Gabriel Antolak (Jr., Zimmerman) ground-rule double. Samantha Proctor (Fresh. Champlin) singled to score a run and UMC added a run on a Lexie Santoyo (Soph. Kansas City) hit for a 4-0 lead.  UMC added their fifth and final run of the inning on a Jenna Boardman (Jr., Genoa, Wis.) single for a 5-0 lead.
UMC added another run in the fourth inning on a Bayliss triple and a Maggie Morales (Soph. Tucson, AZ) double for a 6-0 lead. 
The Golden Eagles scored a run in the fifth inning after a Proctor triple and a Santoyo single gave UMC a 7-0 lead.
UMC added another insurance run in the sixth inning when they scored on an error for an 8-0 lead. 
Braatz’s perfect game came to an end when they gave up a one out hit in the bottom of the sixth inning, but she got out of the inning without giving up a run and the Golden Eagles won 8-0.
UMC improves to 10-12 on the season and will start the "real" season when they start conference play when they host Bemidji State on March 28. 





TUESDAY - MARCH 14,  2017


Defense wins championships and the Breckenridge Cowboys used outstanding defense to beat the Crookston Pirate Boys Basketball team 54-32 in the Section 8AA semi-finals in a game played at Concordia College to advance to the section championship game on Friday.  “I did not expect this and I really mean this, I think coach Garmen is a heckuva coach,” said Breckenridge Coach Arly Ohm.  “Credit our kids.  I just thought our defensive intensity and the work we did on the glass turned out to be the difference.  Breckenridge started the game on a 5-0 run with a Stevin Lipp three pointer and a Carson Yaggie basket.  Crookston responded with a Luke Froeber basket in the paint and after a Cowboy basket, Froeber answered with another basket and Crookston trailed 7-4 three minutes into the game. Breckenridge used their half court defense and swarmed the Pirates and forced them into a bunch of turnovers and answered with a 10-0 run before Crookston broke a 7:30 minute scoring drought with two Matt Garmen free throws and the Pirates trailed 17-6 with 7:37 left in the first half.  Crookston trailed 22-8 when Breckenridge ended the final five minutes of the half on an 11-4 run to take a 33-12 lead into halftime.  “We handled their pressure in the backcourt, but we couldn’t handle it in the front court,” said Pirate Coach Greg Garmen. “We tried to spread it out and we didn’t do that effectively, we didn’t shoot very well.  When you are struggling to make shots and you get an open look you have to make it and we weren’t able to do that tonight.”
Breckenridge started the second half with a Yaggie basket before Froeber got the Pirates on the board with an offensive rebound and basket.  Crookston struggled to get much going offensively, as the Breckenridge defense was suffocating and seemed to wear down the Pirates physically as the Cowboys played 10 players in the first half.  “One stat that is hard to measure is fatigue,” said Cowboy Coach Ohm. “We played more bodies and I felt like we wore them down.”  Breckenridge made it difficult for the Pirates the rest of the game, but one of the highlights was the end of the game when the Pirates were able to get all eight seniors in the game and Blake Kawlewski had a basket and Ryan Swenson made a three pointer back to back.  Both teams were able to play all the players that dressed and Breckenridge held on to a 54-32 victory.  “Our kids competed all game, but we didn’t have our mojo so to speak and it makes for a tough way to end,” said Coach Garmen. “Hopefully the guys can look past the game tonight and remember all the good things from the year and the good games we had.”   Crookston says goodbye to eight senior players, Matt Garmen, Chris Wavra, Luke Froeber, Blake Kawlewski, Ryan Swenson, Mitchell Olson, Jonathon Olson and Anthony Borges.  They also say goodbye to senior managers, Easton Meyer, Dante Norris, and Olivia Davidson.  “It is tough,” said a choked up Coach Garmen, who has coached the seniors all the way up, including his oldest son Matt.
Crookston’s season comes to an end at 18-11, while Breckenridge improves to 25-2 on the year and will play the #7 ranked Perham Yellowjackets in the Section 8AA championship on Friday at 7:00 PM at Concordia College.


 Chris Wavra with a jump shot           Matt Garmen handles the ball
(Pictures by Dave Emanuel of Wildfire Photography)


1st Half

2nd Half



33 21 54


12 20 32

Blake Kawlewski with a shot  Mitchell Olson with a pull up jump shot
       (Pictures by Dave Emanuel of Wildfire Photography)





Luke Froeber 8 3 3 steals
Chris Wavra 7   2 Steal
Ryan Swenson 5 3  
Carter Winand 4 3  
Todd Boerger 3    
Matt Garmen 2 4 4 assists
Blake Kawlewski 2 3 2 steals

Jonathan Olson brings the ball up the floor    Anthony Borges gets ready to play some defense
                      (Pictures by Dave Emanuel of Wildfire Photography)

For Breckenridge


Noah Christensen 16
Stevin Lipp 10
Andrew Kram 10
Carson  Yaggie 8
Caden McGough 5
Hunter Fiegum 5

  Ryan Swenson dribbles the ball     Luke Froeber for two points
       (Pictures by Dave Emanuel of Wildfire Photography)

              The huge Crookston Pirate student body cheers on the boys
                   (Picture by Dave Emanuel of Wildfire Photography)




2014 Crookston High School graduate Brady Heppner has been named to the MIAC Men's Hockey All-Rookie team. Heppner in his first year with the St. John's Johnnies Men's Hockey team had a great year with six goals (1 shorthanded and two game winning goals) and seven assists and was fifth on the team in scoring this season.
Brady played two season for the NAHL's Minnesota Magicians where he scored 25 goals and added 34 assists in 121 games over two seasons (2014-16)
Brady is the son of Brad and Kari Heppner.

     Brady Heppner




The Crookston Pirate seventh grade girls CYBA basketball team finished second place at the East Grand Forks tournament this weekend. 
Crookston went 3-1 on the day.  The beat Thief River Falls 22-10, they beat Stephen-Argyle 16-14, lost to Thompson 26-22 and beat East Grand Forks 30-27.
Members of the team are Hannah Loraas, Ameilia Overgaard, Amanda Schultz, Emma Osborn, Madison Hoiland, Hayden Winjum, Ellie Nesseth, Ally Perreault, Vanessa Hazelton, Grace Miller, Bailey Cameron and Jenna Coauette.  The team is coached by Brandi Nesseth and Justin Cameron.

The Crookston seventh grade girls basketball team with their second place trophies




One of the Crookston Fifth grade girls CYBA basketball teams (they split into two teams) finished third place at the East Grand Forks tournament this past weekend.
Crookston defeated Sacred Heart - 21-10, then lost to Thief River Falls - 20-15 and beat Grafton 32-21.
Members of the team are Emma Gunderson, Katelyn Christensen, Bailey Turnwall, Elsa Dingman. Brooke Simpkins, Miracle Bernia, Ava Oakes, Jaden Newquist, Calleigh Fanfulik, Keona Arnold, Frankie Torvinen, Isabelle Smith, Halle Winjum and Grace Meiners and Amelia Cordova.

Back Row: Emma Gunderson, Katelyn Christensen, Bailey Turnwall, Elsa Dingman. Brooke Simpkins, Miracle Bernia, Ava Oakes
Front Row: Jaden Newquist, Calleigh Fanfulik, Keona Arnold, Frankie Torvinen, Isabelle Smith, Halle Winjum
Missing from picture: Grace Meiners, Amelia Cordova


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