SUNDAY - MARCH 18,  2018


The University of Minnesota Crookston (UMC) Golden Eagle Baseball team had a sluggish start to the Northern Sun Conference season with six hits in the first two games on Saturday.  The offense continued their struggles on Sunday, as they were no hit in a 15-0 loss to the Concordia-St. Paul Golden Bears in game one and were shutout four the fourth time in as many games in a 2-0 loss to Concordia-St. Paul in a double head played at Minnetonka.

Concordia-St. Paul (CSP) jumped on UMC early with a leadoff homerun in the bottom of the first inning for a 1-0 lead.  CSP added four more runs in the second inning on four hits and a walk for a 5-0 lead.  The UMC bats continued their struggles and weren't able to get a hit against Golden Bear pitcher, Josh Gaworski.  In the third inning, CSP added three more runs on a three run home run for an 8-0 lead through three innings.  Neither team scored in the fourth inning, but CSP blew the game open with six runs in the fifth inning, all coming with two outs.  They had a single, took advantage of an error, an rbi double, an rbi single, a hit batter, a bases loaded walk, another bases loaded walk, and a two rbi single for a 14-0 lead.  In the sixth inning, CSP added a run on a double for a 15-0 lead.  In the seventh inning, all three UMC batters struck out and CSP won the game 15-0.  UMC's offense didn't get a hit and had 14 strikeouts in seven innings.  UMC has 41 strikeouts in the first three conference games this year. 

Box Score 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
UMC 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Concordia-St. Paul 1 4 3 0 6 1 - 15 15 1


Pitching IP H R ER BB SO
Jayden Grover - UMC 1.2 7 5 5 2 1
Jacob Butcher - UMC 3.0 5 7 3 1 2
Eric Newman - UMC 0.0 1 2 2 2 0
Wyatt Huso - UMC 1.1 2 1 1 1 0
Josh Gaworski - CSP (WP) 7.0 0 0 0 2 14

UMC didn't have a hit


After UMC didn't have a hit in the first game, Anthony Stewart led off the second game with a hit, but he was stranded and the Golden Eagles weren't able to take advantage of their first hit of the day.  CSP had a two out rally in the second inning when they took advantage of a two-out walk and had back to back singles to score a run to take a 1-0 lead.  Neither team had much of a threat until the bottom of the seventh inning.  Zach Seipel (Jr. Eagan) replaced Justin Yutrzenka (Soph. Argyle) who pitched the first six innings and only gave up one run.  Seipel struggled with his control and gave up a hit and three walks to score a run to give CSP a 2-0 lead with bases loaded.  Seipel struck out the next batter and got out of the jam with a ground ball to the shortstop Ethan Mushitz (Sr. East Grand Forks) who threw the ball to second to get the third out and the Golden Bears led 2-0 after seven innings.  UMC's offense strugled in their first four NSIC games.  UMC didn't score a run in four games and  and had a whopping 53 strikeouts in the four game series.
UMC drops to 10-9 on the year and 0-4 in the NSIC.  Concordia-St. Paul improves to 11-3 overall and 4-0 in the NSIC.

Box Score 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
UMC 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 1
Concordia-St. Paul 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 - 2 9 0


Pitching IP H R ER BB SO
Justin Yutrzenka - UMC (LP) 6.0 8 1 1 1 4
Zach Seipel - UMC 2.0 1 1 1 3 3
Louie Varland - CSP (WP) 7.0 5 0 0 1 8
Riley Sweeney - CSP (S) 2.0 0 0 0 0 4

Five different players had a hit apiece.



SATURDAY - MARCH 17,  2018


The University of Minnesota Crookston Golden Eagle Baseball team had a great non-conference season, but the real season started today with two tough 1-0 losses at the hands of Concordia-St. Paul in games played at Minnetonka.  The UMC offense had a great first 15 games, but was held in check with 27 strike outs in two games.  Wyatt Peppel was the only UMC batter to have two hits in the double-header.  On the other side, the pitching was phenomenal for the Golden Eagles, only giving up two runs in 14 innings of play while striking out 12 batters. 

Game one was a pitchers dual with the teams having a combined five hits and 14 strike outs as Concordia-St. Paul won the conference opener 1-0. 
UMC was shut down offensively as Concordia-St. Paul’s Gus Varland (Jr., Maplewood) limited the Golden Eagles to just a hit by Wyatt Peppel (Soph., Greenbush) in the top of the sixth inning.  UMC’s Zach Rustad was stellar in his start on the mound for the Golden Eagles allowing just four hits in six innings, but his one run allowed came in the fourth inning after a couple of hits and a sacrifice fly and the Golden Bears won the game 1-0.

Box Score 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
UMC 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Concordia-St. Paul 0 0 0 1 0 0   1 4 0


Pitching IP H R ER BB SO
Zach Rustad - UMC (LP) 6 4 1 1 3 5
G. Varland - CSP (WP) 7 1 0 0 2 10

Wyatt Peppel had the only UMC hit


GAME 2 -
Pitching continued to reign supreme in game two. Parker Hanson (Jr., Hawley) took the mound to start for UMC and allowed just one hit in his first five innings of work before allowing two hits in the bottom of the sixth inning including a single into centerfield to plate the first run of the game for either side as Concordia-St. Paul took a 1-0 lead into the seventh inning. In the top of the ninth inning, UMC got the tying run to second base as Reed Hjelle (Jr., East Grand Forks) advanced into scoring position after an Ethan Mushitz (Sr., East Grand Forks) walk. Scott Mortenson (Sr., East Grand Forks) singled back to the mound to load the bases with the tying run now 90-feet away from home plate with two outs in the top of the ninth inning. Zach Frazier (Sr., Grand Rapids) stepped to the plate with the bases loaded, but went down on strikes as Concordia-St. Paul hung on for their second 1-0 win of the day.
UMC drops to 10-7 overall and 0-2 in the NSIC.  Concordia-St. Paul improves to 9-3 overall and 2-0 in the NSIC.  The teams will play another double-header on Sunday at Noon.

Box Score 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
UMC 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 0
Concordia-St. Paul 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 - 1 5 1


Pitching IP H R ER BB SO
Parker Hanson - UMC (LP) 7 5 1 1 2 7
Aaron Hollcraft - UMC 0.1 0 0 0 1 0
Esten Beneda - UMC 0.2 0 0 0 0 0
Zach Lauzon - CSP (WP) 8.1 4 0 0 2 16
Riley Sweeney - CSP (S) 0.2 1 0 0 0 1

UMC had five players with a hit each




University of Minnesota Crookston Golden Eagle baseball player Reed Hjelle (Jr., 1B, East Grand Forks) was named National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Central Region Player of the Week. Hjelle was one of 16 finalists for the NCBWA Division II National Players of the Week after his big week in Florida.
Hjelle was named NSIC Player of the Week Monday after a successful first seven games during Minnesota Crookston’s trip to Florida. Hjelle is the first person to earn NCBWA Central Region Player of the Week honors in the program’s history.
Hjelle hit an impressive .643 in seven games with nine runs scored, four doubles, one triple, two home runs and 14 RBIs. He earned three walks on the week. Hjelle posted a 1.071 slugging percentage and a .656 on-base percentage. He was 4-of-6 with four RBIs, three runs scored and a home run in an 18-11 win over Greensboro College. He finished 4-of-5 with three RBIs and two runs scored in a 7-6 win over No. 25 Seton Hill University. Hjelle went 3-of-3 with one RBI in a 3-1 loss to No. 13 West Chester University of Pennsylvania, the defending NCAA Division II National Champion.  Hjelle is hitting .492 on the 2018 season with 13 runs scored, eight doubles, one triple, two home runs and 23 RBIs.




FRIDAY - MARCH 16,  2018


The Stephen-Argyle Storm Girls Basketball team’s outstanding season came to an end with a 74-56 loss to the Ada-Borup Cougars in the State Class A Consolation semi-finals played at the Gangelhoff Center at Concordia-St. Paul.
The Storm scored the first points of the game with an Autumn Thompson basket, but Ada-Borup answered with five straight points to take the lead.  Thompson answered with a basket before the Cougars had four more points and Ada-Borup led 9-4.  Stephen-Argyle responded with a 6-2 run with a three pointer from Thompson and a three-point play from Abi McGlynn.  The Storm would trail by anywhere from one to four points over the next seven minutes, but with less than five minutes left in the half Ada-Borup went on a run.  The Cougars led 23-19 with 4:44 left in the half when they went on a 9-2 run to take a 32-21 lead with two minutes remaining.  The Storm cut the deficit down to seven points after a basket in the paint from McGlynn and Thompson added two free throws, but Ada-Borup finished the half by scoring the final four points for a 36-25 lead going into halftime.
Ada-Borup came out strong at the start of the second half with an 11-2 run and built a 46-27 lead less than four minutes into the half.  Stephen-Argyle didn’t go down without a fight as they answered with an 13-2 run behind seven points from Thompson, four from McGlynn, and a point apiece from Madalynn and Greta Weberg to get within eight points (48-40).  Ada-Borup settled down and built the lead back into the upper teens and with a little over three minutes left in the game, the Storm went to the bench.  They took out three underclassmen starters, Abi McGlynn, Savannah Riopelle and Abbey Johnson.  A few seconds later, during the next dead ball Storm Coach Dan Lindgren made another substitution, this time he took out the two seniors Thompson and Madalynn Weberg to a standing ovation from the Storm crowd and hugs from the coaching staff in a special moment for the players, team and fans.  The teams played everybody off the bench in the final minutes and Ada-Borup held on for a 74-56 victory to advance to the Consolation Championship game on Saturday morning.  Stephen-Argyle’s outstanding season comes to an end with a 27-5 record and they lose the two seniors as mentioned earlier.  Ada-Borup improves to 27-3 and will play Heritage Christian Academy in the Consolation Championship game.

Autumn Thompson with a shot over an Ada-Borup defender


1st Half

2nd Half



36 38 74


25 31 56

Madalynn Webeger chases down a loose ball in the first half

For Stephen-Argyle


Autumn Thompson 25
Abi McGlynn 19
Savannah Riopelle 6
Abbey Johnson 2
Riley Mooney 2
Madalynn Weberg 1
Gret Weberg 1


For Ada-Borup


Brooklyn Erickson 19
Maddie Smart 16
Mariah McKeever 16
Kora Kritzberger 10
Olivia Winfrey 9
Ivy Johnson 2
Leah Sip 2



THURSDAY - MARCH 15,  2018


The Stephen-Argyle Storm trailed by nine late in the first half and finished strong to take the lead into halftime, but a six-minute scoring drought in the second half was costly in a 59-47 loss to #2 ranked Mountain Iron-Buhl at Williams Arena in Minneapolis in the first round of the State Class A Girls Basketball tournament. 
MIB jumped out to an 8-2 lead before Stephen-Argyle settled down and answered with a 7-3 run to get within an 11-9 deficit with less than 13 minutes left in the first half.  MIB slowly built a nine-point (23-14) lead with 4:46 left in the half before Stephen-Argyle finished the half on a 14-2 run to take 28-26 lead into halftime.  Savannah Riopelle made two free throws to tie the game at 23 and after a MIB basket, Autumn Thompson added two free throws, Madalynn Weberg scored in the paint and Thompson added a free throw to give the Storm a 28-26 lead.  “I would say the half was pretty good,” said Storm Coach Dan Lindgren. “We broke them down a few times and made some big shots.  I couldn’t be more happy with the way the girls finished the half.”
The first nine minutes of the second half was back and forth with a tie at 28 and another tie at 40 with 8:20 left in the game.  MIB went on an 11-0 run over a six-minute span to build a 51-40 lead with 2:20 left in the game.  Stephen-Argyle wasn’t able to recover and MIB won the game 59-47.  “The girls left it all out there.  I don’t know many stats from the game, but you can’t have 27 turnovers in the game. I knew we didn’t score for a while, but not scoring for six minutes and still having a shot…..I think the girls played pretty hard today,” said Coach Lindgren. “I’m ecstatic.  The girls fought and earned some respect down here today, but we want to win tomorrow.  The girls were down a little bit right after the game, but we told them get your head up, you played a great game today.”
Stephen-Argyle drops to 27-4 on the year and will play Ada-Borup/Norman County West in a consolation game at NOON on Friday. You can hear the game on KROX, online by clicking on the listen live logo, or the KROX app.   Mountain Iron-Buhl improves to 29-2 on the year and will play in the semi-finals on Friday.


Abi McGlynn leaps over a defender for a layup in the first half


1st Half

2nd Half


Mountain Iron-Buhl

26 33 59


28 19 47

Savannah Riopelle with a jump shot in the first half

For Stephen-Argyle


Autumn Thompson 15
Abi McGlynn 13
Savannah Riopelle 12
Abbey Johnson 3
Madalynn Weberg 2
Riley Mooney 2




Mary Burke 26
Madisen Overbye 14
Allie Negen 8
Macy Savela 5
Mattison Bennett 2
Patia Hayes 2
Devyn Dahl 2





The University of Minnesota Crookston (UMC) athletic program had 14 student-athletes named to the 2017-18 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) Winter All-Academic Teams as announced by the conference office. The Golden Eagles had seven men’s basketball players and seven women’s basketball players receive the award.
The men’s basketball team had every eligible student-athlete for the award garner All-Academic honors as eight people were ineligible. The women’s basketball team had seven of eight eligible student-athletes earn the accolade.
UMC Men’s Basketball players named all-academic were - Harrison Cleary (So., Oak Creek, Wis.) is a first-time NSIC All-Academic pick. Chase Johnson (So., LaCrosse, Wis.) garnered the award for the first time. Chase Knickerbocker (Jr., Annandale), Nate Lorenz (Jr., Breckenridge), Aaron Hollcraft (Jr., Crookston) and Darin Viken (Jr., Fosston) are all second-time NSIC All-Academic honorees.

UMC women’s basketball players named all-academic were - Emily Gruber (Sr., Monticello) and Micaela Noga (Sr., Parkers Prairie), both were named to the team for the third-straight season. Lindsey Weber (Jr., Delafield, Wis.) and Caitlin Michaelis (Jr., Marshfield, Wis.) are both second-time honorees. Stephanie McWilliams (So., Grand Forks, N.D.), Amber Schoenicke (So., Marshall, Wis.) and Paige Weakley (So., Kearney, Mo.) all took home the award for the first time.

The Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference announced that 601 student-athletes have earned NSIC All-Academic Teams honors for the 2017-18 winter athletic season. To be eligible for this honor, the student-athlete must be a member of the varsity traveling team and have a cumulative grade point average of 3.20 or higher. Furthermore, the athlete must have reached sophomore athletic and academic standing at her/his institution (true freshmen, red-shirt freshmen and ineligible athletic transfers are not eligible) and must have completed at least one full academic year at that institution.





The University of Minnesota Crookston Equestrian team hosted their final home show of the season March 3 at University Teaching and Outreach Center (UTOC) in Crookston, Minn. The Golden Eagles hosted the IHSA Regional Championships the next day, and had riders Selena Young (Jr., Plymouth, Minn.), Megan Motter (Jr., Cooperstown, N.D.) and Amanda Olson (Fr., Winsted, Minn.) all qualify for IHSA Zone Finals April 8 in Springfield, Mo. Minnesota Crookston finished the season as the Zone 7, Region 3 Reserve High Point Champion.
Saturday’s home show was a success for Golden Eagle riders. Monika Frame (Sr., Polson, Mont.) opened up the day by taking second in her section of Open Fences. Rachel Johnson (Fr., Stillwater, Minn.) placed third in her section of Open Fences.  Motter put forth a strong ride in Intermediate Fences to place second. Ellie Waagen (Fr., Bottineau, N.D.) took fourth in her section of Novice Fences. Melissa Eastman (Sr., Superior, Wis.) put together her best round of the season to take second in a beautiful go in her section of Novice Fences.
In the flat portion of the day, Johnson took sixth in her section of Open Flat. Frame took fourth in her section of Open Flat. Waagen picked up a sixth place in Novice Flat, while Eastman took second and Kristina Schroeder finished third in their respective sections.
The Advanced Walk/Trot/Canter riders all had solid rounds with Sierra Coons (So., Donnybrook, N.D.) taking home a win in her section, with Sarah Cartier (Fr., Woodbury, Minn.) right behind in the section. Megan Doughty (So., Hackensack, Minn.) placed fourth and Emma Howey (Jr., Rutland, N.D.) fifth in their section. Olson rounded out the day with a confident ride to win her class of Walk/Trot Frame, Johnson, Cartier, Coons and Olson all pointed out of their divisions to qualify for the IHSA Regional Championships the next day.
On Sunday, Minnesota Crookston put forth their largest group of Hunt Seat riders the team has ever qualified in the coaching career of Head Coach Kayla Krueger. All the riders worked hard to get to this point as they reached or exceeded 36 total points in their division on the regular-season.
The day started with Open Equitation over Fences. Young took second and advanced to the IHSA Zone Finals. Frame was just shy of advancing, as she took third. Johnson was not far behind in fourth, while Mazie Pini (Jr., Grayslake, Ill.) took sixth. The fact that the Golden Eagles qualified all four riders in Open Fences says a lot about the talent the young ladies have.
In Novice Fences, Motter crushed the competition scoring high in her fence course as she joins Young in the Zone Finals.
In Open Flat, Pini and Frame both had solid rides in a deep pool of competitors, with Pini taking fourth and Frame fifth.
In Intermediate Flat, Motter and Young both put up confident rides. Motter finished second, double qualifying herself for the Zone Finals in two classes. Young finished right behind in third place.
In Advanced Walk/Trot/Canter, Cartier, Coons and Schroeder all had solid rides in their pre-lims. Cartier and Schroeder made the finals with Schroeder taking third and Cartier sixth.
Lastly, Olson rounded out the day by taking second in her class of Walk/Trot to join Motter and Young in advancing to the IHSA Zone Finals.






The University of Minnesota Crookston Golden Eagle Men's Basketball player, Harrison Cleary (Soph. Oak Creek, Wis) has been named to the D2CAA All-Central Region First Team.
Cleary becomes the first player since Joe Hasz following the 2002-03 season to represent Minnesota Crookston on an All-Region team.
Cleary led the NSIC with 24.2 points per game. He was sixth in all of NCAA Division II for scoring. In addition, Cleary led the league by shooting 96.0 percent (143-of-149) from the charity stripe. Cleary was sixth in the NSIC for three-point shooting percentage at 47.0 percent. He was second in all of NCAA Division II for free throw shooting. Cleary tallied a school-record 702 points on the 2017-18 season. The sophomore has scored an astounding 1,342 points in just two seasons at Minnesota Crookston. Cleary needs just 597 points to move past Joe Hasz for No. 1 all-time in scoring for the Golden Eagles. Cleary has also scored 1,022 points in NSIC play, which is Top 30 all-time in the NSIC. He notched 19 games with 20 or more points, including a school-record 46 points against Minnesota State University. In addition, he tallied double-figure scoring 28 or 29 games on the season.
Cleary moves on to the D2CAA All-American ballot. The national teams will be announced Mon., March 19.

Justin Pitts*! Northwest Missouri State Sr.
Jhonathan Dunn Southern Nazarene So.
Tyler Rudolph# Minot State Sr.
Harrison Cleary Minnesota Crookston So.
CJ Carr Missouri Southern State Sr.

Trey Lansman Nebraska-Kearney Sr.
Brady Skeens# Washburn Sr.
Ryan Bruggeman Southwest Minnesota State Jr.
Gage Davis# St. Cloud State Jr.
Ian Smith Northern State Jr.




TUESDAY - MARCH 13,  2018


Crookston High School graduate, Brady Heppner, was one of seven Saint John's University (SJU) hockey players that received MIAC honors last week.  Heppner a sophomore forward led the MIAC with two shorthanded goals and finished third with nine goals in conference play. A MIAC All-Rookie team honoree last season, Heppner led SJU with 13 goals, which were good for fifth in the MIAC, and recorded 24 points in 25 games overall.
SJU recorded its best combined special-teams percentage in recorded history at 62.0 percent (67-for-108) in MIAC play. The 32.7-percent power play (16-for-49) was not only good enough for No. 1 in the MIAC, but it was the program's best since 1993-94 (33.3 percent, 28-for-84) and a huge improvement from last season (17.5 percent, 11-for-63). The Johnnies also led the MIAC on the penalty kill (86.4 percent, 51-for-59) in conference play.
The Johnnies finished second in the MIAC, one point from the regular-season championship, with an 11-5 conference record (16-8-2 overall). The 11 conference wins were the most since the 2005-06 season for SJU, which earned its fifth trip to the MIAC Playoffs in the last seven years. The 11 game-winning goals in conference play were scored by 11 different Johnnies, nine of which are expected to return in 2018-19.




MONDAY - MARCH 12,  2018


The University of Minnesota Crookston Golden Eagle Baseball team’s Reed Hjelle (Jr. East Grand Forks) has been named the Northern Sun Conference player of the week after he hit .643 (18-28) in seven games in Florida.  Hjelle scored nine runs while hitting four doubles, one triple and two home runs while recording 14 rbi’s in the seven games.  On the season, the first baseman, is hitting .500 (29-58) in 14 games.  He has 12 runs scored, eight doubles, one triple, two home runs and six walks.  He has only struck out three times in 58 at bats.
Hjelle is a large reason why UMC is off to their best start as a four-year institution with a 10-5 record.  The Golden Eagles will open conference play this weekend when they travel to Concordia-St. Paul with two games on Saturday and two more on Sunday.




The Crookston 8th grade girls CYBA Basketball team won the East Grand Forks Tournament this past weekend. 
They beat Stephen-Argyle 23-13, beat Grafton 24-21, beat Thief River Falls 26-13 and they beat East Grand Forks 35-28. 
 The team members are- Amelia Overgaard, Emma Osborn, Hayden Winjum, Ally Perreault, Hannah Loraas, Jenna Coauette, Ellie Nesseth, and Bailey Cameron.  The team is coached by Justin Cameron and Brandi Nesseth. 

The Crookston Eighth Grade Girls Basketball team with their championship shirts



MINNESOTA CROOKSTON BASEBALL ends eight-game Florida trip with extra-innings win over pace university (ny)

Minnesota Crookston baseball wrapped an eight-game Florida trip with a 7-1 record after topping Pace University (NY) 8-7 in 11 innings in a game played at Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Florida.
The Golden Eagles wasted little time putting a crooked number on the scoreboard in the first inning with lead-off hitter Anthony Stewart (R-Sr., Oak Harbor, WA) driving a pitch clear over the right field wall for a solo home run to give UMC a 1-0 lead. Jonathan Lund (Jr., Tolna, ND) cleared the bases later in the inning with a single down the right-field line to score Ethan Mushitz (Sr., East Grand Forks) and Reed Hjelle (Jr., East Grand Forks) giving the Golden Eagles a 3-0 lead. Minnesota Crookston added one more run in their opening inning as Zach Frazier (R-Sr., Grand Rapids) singled through the left side of the infield allowing Lund to score from second base giving UMC a 4-0 lead after one inning. Zach Rustad (Jr., Blaine) got the start on the bump for Minnesota Crookston as the lefty tossed four scoreless innings allowing just three hits while walking three and striking out two. Rustad was replaced by Gabriel Cavasos (Sr., San Antonio, TX) to start the fifth inning and right-handed reliever failed to record an out while giving up four runs as Pace tied the game at 4-4 after five innings. In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Golden Eagles reclaimed the lead following a sacrifice fly out into right field off the bat of Jonathan Lund allowing Mitchell Bornhauser (Sr., Northfield) to score and give UMC a 5-4 lead heading into the eighth inning. The Setters tied the game with a single in the top of the eighth inning, but the Golden Eagles responded during their next at-bats. With two outs Anthony Stewart tripled into right-center field scoring Zach Frazier to push UMC ahead 6-5 before Reed Hjelle reached on an infield error, scoring Stewart from third base to give Minnesota Crookston a 7-5 lead heading into the ninth inning. UMC closer Zach Seipel (Jr., Eagan) took the mound looking to claim his first win of the season after entering the game in the top of the eighth inning, but a two-out single with base runners on second and third sent the game into extra innings as Pace tied it in the top of the ninth inning at 7-7. The Setter appeared poised to complete the comeback in the top of the 11th inning with runners on second and third base with no outs in the inning, Jacob Butcher (R-Sr., Palmer, AK) entered from the bullpen inheriting the jam from Aaron Hollcraft (Jr., Crookston). Butcher forced a line out, ground out, and a strikeout looking to emerge from the inning unscathed to preserve the 7-7 tie heading into the bottom of the 11th inning. The Golden Eagles walked off as winners during their next at-bats with Mitchell Bornhauser wearing a pitch with two outs and the bases loaded allowing James Cullinane (Sr., San Francisco, CA) to score the winning run for Minnesota Crookston in the 8-7 victory.
Jacob Butcher picked up the win for UMC to improve to 1-0, while Pace’s Greg Najar (Fr., Howell, NJ) was tagged with the loss dropping him to 0-1.
The Golden Eagles improve to 10-5 this season while the Setters fall to 4-2. The Golden Eagles return to Minnesota to begin NSIC Conference play with a doubleheader on Saturday at Concordia St. Paul beginning at 1:30 PM.  

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 R H E
Pace 0 0 0 0 4 0 0 1 2 0 0 7 15 2
UMC 4 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 1 7 13 2


Pitching IP H R ER BB SO
Zach Rustad - UMC 4.0 3 0 0 3 2
Gabriel Cavasos - UMC 0.0 4 4 4 0 0
Jadyn Grover -UMC 2.0 2 0 0 0 2
Louis Gerzin - UMC 1.0 0 0 0 0 0
Esten Beneda - UMC 0.1 3 1 1 0 0
Zach Seipel - UMC 1.2 2 2 2 1 2
Aaron Hollcraft - UMC 1.0 1 0 0 0 1
Jacob Butcher - UMC  (WP) 1.0 0 0 0 0 1
Ryan Aquino - PACE 2.0 7 4 4 0 1
Joe Pizzingrillo - PACE 3.0 2 0 0 1 2
Lorenzo Russo - PACE 1.1 1 1 1 2 1
Alex Busby - PACE 0.2 0 0 0 0 0
Jake Amoroso - PACE 1.1 1 2 1 1 0
Kyle Cashman - PACE 1.0 1 0 0 1 0
Greg Najar - PACE 1.0 1 0 0 1 1


Anthony Stewart - 3-5, 2 runs, 2 rbi's
Reed Hjelle - 2-5, run
Ethan Mushitz - 2-4, run, triple
Scott Mortenson - 2-3
Zach Frazier - 2-4, rbi, walk




It’s not uncommon for athletes in junior high to clutch to dreams of playing Division I college sports. Every kid practices the game-winning shot in their driveway, counting down the clock in their head as they get ready to mentally beat the buzzer in front of a packed arena. It’s far less common for those dreams to involve watching the shooters foot to see if it stepped on the three-point arc, or if the shot was out of the shooters hand before the backboard illuminates to signify the expiration of the game clock. However, for the University of Minnesota Crookston’s Ethan Johnson, a member of the Golden Eagle’s golf team and a graduate of Roseau High School, he would much rather be the guy determining whether that hypothetical buzzer-beater should count rather than the player taking that shot. “I remember dressing up as a kid during Halloween and I was going to be a basketball official, I always liked the game and always liked the aspect of calling the game,” said Johnson. Ethan enjoyed the game and did play at the high school level for Roseau, but that didn’t stop his pursuit of officiating the sport beginning at a young age, “I started calling elementary stuff when I was in seventh grade,” he shared.
Ethan was attracted to the University of Minnesota Crookston for a multitude of reasons including the officiating program for the school’s intramural sports, “the small campus, the golf, and I made connections with the officials here through basketball.” Despite a full schedule of classes and plenty of time spent on the links as an NCAA Division II golfer, Johnson still manages to find himself on the hardwood officiating high school basketball games across northwest Minnesota. “I’m the officials' coordinator at our wellness center and that gives me an avenue to critique and use what I’ve learned to do that stuff and the camps I’m doing get me to be a better official,” said Johnson.
Recently his pursuit of an officiating career has taken Johnson outside of his home state and put the college junior in a position to officiate games on the biggest stage possible for an official of his age and experience. In late February, Johnson journeyed southeast to the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign to officiate a National Intramural and Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) regional basketball championship, an honor bestowed upon just 27 referees from across the region. “They have clinicians there and every game that you do,” explained Johnson, “you get feedback and you get rated on how you performed, so you have pool play on the first day and then on the second day they make cuts to the officials just like the teams get cut. So, you have this pool of officials and they take the best ones as we go on, you learn something new in just about every game.” Of those 27 officials, Johnson was selected as one of the top three officials that will advance to the biggest stage, the NIRSA National Basketball Championships in Columbus, Ohio from April 20-22. “I was able to finish in the top three, which gets me an all-tournament bid,” Johnson added, “I get to go to nationals, which is at Ohio State University. Once you get to nationals, it’s the same format, there is no guarantee as to how many games you’re going to get, but you get rated, instead of all-tournament, as all-American and there have been a lot of professional officials and division I officials that have that title. Our keynote speaker at this event and one of our clinicians is the head of referee operations for the NBA so there are a lot of big names there.”
Johnson says his ultimate goal is to become an NCAA Division I basketball official while practicing law as he’s currently in the process of applying to law schools in addition to his pursuit of a career in refereeing. Johnson still plans to officiate local high school basketball games next school year while finishing his undergraduate degree and playing golf for the Golden Eagles and hopefully making a second straight appearance at the National Championships. Johnson dreams of one day officiating in the Big Ten and hopes to remain in a rural area but noted that he’ll have to live close to a big airport to work in the Big Ten. “Before I graduate Law School, I’d love to be doing NSIC games and if I achieved that, I’d know I was on a really good pace,” said Johnson. “Before I’m 33, I’d like to be at the Division I level.” Earning All-American honors would go a long way towards Johnson achieving that goal and KROX will keep you updated on how Johnson performs with the whistle in late April.

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