Wednesday, January 11 ,  2017


It was a fun evening Tuesday night.  I broadcast the UMC Women's basketball victory over Bemidji State at the Sanford Center in Bemidji, ran to the Bemidji High School to watch the second half of the Pirate Girls Basketball game vs Bemidji, ran across the way to watch the third period of the Pirate boys Hockey game vs the Bemidji Lumberjacks and ran back to the Sanford Center to watch the last nine minutes of the UMC Men's basketball game vs Bemidji State.  Not a bad day for hitting four games in a matter of an hour.  It is nice when things work out!   But as most of you know I love watching high school and college sports and even though the home town teams went 1-3 it was still better than sitting at home watching TV!!! 

Speaking of TV.....what a National Championship Football game on Monday night.  I was cheering for Clemson because my son Blake loves Alabama and I can't stand cheering for the favorites unless they are a team I like so it was fun, even though Blake went to bed at halftime because he had weights in the morning.   Now we put our attention on college basketball and the 24th ranked Gophers and college hockey with the top 10 ranked Gophers.   Ski-U-Mah and row the boat and whatever else they are saying now in Dinkytown!

We are going college heavy this week in the Feever and will be back to high school next week with some big games and the sections are shaping up more and more each week!  Stay tuned.  Enjoy another tremendous Feever column!


I have had some interesting discussions with youth sports parents and coaches over the past month with the equal playing time rule for youth sports.  Some thoughtful and careful discussion has been happening over the past few weeks with the end of Park and Rec basketball and the start of CYBA and youth hockey has been going strong for several months.

One thing keeps coming up with everybody involved.   Do all the kids DESERVE equal playing time and is it fair to the kids that are advanced?  Here is some discussion topics for thought.

If a kid has been playing basketball/hockey since he was able to walk/skate and has put in a significant amount of time in the gym/on the ice and has a higher level of skills compared to a kid who just came out in seventh grade (for example)......should they be playing even time?

This is the conversation that is happening.  I look at the senior classes of Pirate sports lately and they are all extremely small and pretty much every kid has been there since Kindergarten/first grade!!!  The kids that got equal playing time in seventh and eighth grade aren't there anymore.  So is this hampering development of the better athletes and more importantly the kids that have put in significant time?    To be fair, not every kid that puts in significant time is going to be a good player thanks to genes and not being able to figure out how to play the game, etc...and at no fault of their own. 

Some background on me
I was on the B squad in seventh and eighth grade basketball.  I benefited from playing B team basketball and was allowed to play the game I loved and I gain confidence and starting putting more time into my game and became an average high school player who was recruited by some area colleges to play basketball!!!  I have a soft spot for the kids that aren't as good in junior high.   These days, most teams in the area don't have enough for an A and a B team so we are putting kids that are well rounded with the basic fundamentals with kids that can't skate well or can't get make a layup in the warm-up line. 

So what do you think?  Are we hampering development of better kids and at the same time are we hampering development of the kids that don't have the skills that go out and struggle?  Where is the incentive to get better???  You are going to play no matter what?  In school you are going to pass, pretty much no matter what.  Where is the incentive to be great, besides personal drive?

We have the same thing in schools.  We put kids of all intelligence/work ethic in one class room and I feel it hampers the development of the smarter kids, or the kids that do their homework at home and read along with all extra things good students do.  While some kids cause disruptions with their behavior and they hamper the kids that want to be good students. 

I have been told by a certain school board member that you can't break up classes into one class of the "smart kids", two or three classes of the average students, and one class of the struggling students with two teachers and para help to push all the students.

Some might think of it as elitist, but I had one kid that would be in the smarter class, and the rest of my kids would probably be in the average class.  As long as my kids are getting pushed with nobody out of their control holding them back I would be happy. 

I might have opened up pandora's box, but the conversation has been fascinating to say the least.


The big news across the state this past week was the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers Athletic Department hiring P.J. Fleck as the new football coach.  People have asked for my thoughts on the hire so here you go (I am not sure what my thoughts matter, but I digress). 
First of all - He looks like somebody named P.J. Fleck.  He just does, doesn't he?
Second - He has already boosted recruiting in the first 24 hours of getting the job (see below). With transfers from Western Michigan the Gophers have gone from the 77th ranked recruiting class to 49th in 12 hours!!!!!
Third - I love the energy and excitement, nothing against Tracy Claeys, but he didn't do anything to get me more excited for Gopher Football.
Fourth - The University is going to take six months or so to hire a chancellor at UMC, but they can hire a football coach that is making millions of dollars in three days.  This proves my point that the University knows that Athletics IS THE MOST IMPORTANT thing on campus!!!  Or the Athletic Department can get things done in a more timely fashion!
Fifth - People are talking Gopher Football in January!  That is another win.

I have included a story from the Pioneer Press about the impact Fleck has had so far -

As soon as the dust settled following P.J. Fleck's rah-rah introductory press conference, the new University of Minnesota football coach got to work. He spent a good chunk of Friday night on the phone with some of his Western Michigan recruits, gauging their interest in following him to Minnesota.

In the hours since, six Western Michigan recruits have flipped their commitments to Minnesota, with more likely to follow. That list, according to Rivals, includes three-star wide receiver Christopher Bell, three-star linebacker Trenton Guthrie, three-star quarterback Tanner Morgan, three-star offensive lineman John Michael Schmitz, two-star defensive end Noah Hickcox and two-star defensive end Esezi Otomewo.
As a result, the Gophers' recruiting class, which ranked 77th in the nation before Fleck's hiring, has surged to 49th.

Morgan told the Pioneer Press that after discussion with his family, the decision to come to Minnesota was a no-brainer. "I'm very fortunate with the way things turned out," Morgan said. "I know coach Fleck is going to do elite things with the Gophers. So when I had the opportunity to follow him, I knew it was an opportunity I couldn't pass up." Morgan said Fleck reached out to him Friday afternoon and gave him a chance to mull the offer. "He gave me a chance to think about it," Morgan said. "He wasn't saying, 'Tanner. You need to come with me.' ... I know some coaches would've tried to pressure me. Not coach Fleck. That isn't him." Morgan has graduated and plans to enroll in college early. He plans to be on campus when school restarts in less than two weeks.

Guthrie, meanwhile, told the Pioneer Press he has similar plans and that he and Morgan plan to room together. Guthrie said Fleck reached out to him Friday night. He said he was "nervous" before hearing from Fleck, though once he finally got the call, he wasn't in need of a sales pitch. "I talked it over with my family; I knew it was the right decision for me," Guthrie said. "I had known about coach Fleck's culture, and that was something I wanted to be a part of no matter where he went."

Aside from Morgan and Guthrie, other players have taken to Twitter to confirm their decision. There likely will be more players who follow Fleck in the coming days, according to both Morgan and Guthrie. "I expect that if he reaches out to somebody, they will change their mind," Morgan said. "I haven't talked to coach Fleck about it too much, and I'm not sure what his plan is. I would expect a lot guys to follow him."

"Coach Fleck is a very dynamic recruiter," Guthrie added. "And he expects his recruits to also recruit. I'll be calling around. And I definitely expect a few more guys to flip."

Update - Fleck added four more players for a total of 10 players since he was named head coach at the U of M!!!!  But, Gophers center Tyler Moore announced Monday on Twitter that he plans to transfer to another school. Moore started as a true freshman in 2015 and had made 20 consecutive starts before missing the Holiday Bowl with a back injury. The Gophers also had three players decommit -- wide receiver Javan Hawes (Tyrone, Ga.), running back Jakyle Holmes (Ponchatoula, La.) and linebacker Claudin Cherelus (Naples, Fla.). All had committed under former coach Tracy Claeys. They joined offensive lineman Jimmie Terry (Tyler, Texas), who decommitted on Sunday.



We have heard rumblings that you can expect the University of North Dakota and the Missouri Valley Football conference and the Summit League to announce within the next month that UND will be joining the two conferences.  I think it is a no brainer, but as a college sports fan this is great news.  It will be great to have UND, NDSU, South Dakota, South Dakota State all in the same conference again and that is going to boost attendance at all four places.  We haven't been told when the official announcement will come, but you can expect it within a month or so!


The University of Minnesota Crookston Golden Eagle Basketball teams had a good Saturday this past weekend when they both beat St. Cloud State. 

The Women's win was big, not only for the players who have been so close to beating several of the top teams this year, but for Coach Mike Roysland who won his 100th game as UMC Women's Basketball coach!

The Men's win was big, but a loss to Bemidji on Tuesday took away from the win on Saturday and it is no longer a big win, it is now another win.  It is too bad that the men had such a bad first half against Bemidji, because if they would have won again it would be have been big for the program. 

I keep saying the future is bright for these two teams with all the youth they have, but they might be progressing faster than I thought.  We also have to remember with young teams there will be games where they take a step back, but as long as they respond like they did on Saturday, that is something you can live with.  We will see how the rest of the season goes, but I know this....nobody will want to play either team in the playoffs!


With a little over a month left in the regular season the Northern Sun Conference Men's and Women's basketball teams are gearing up for the final stretch with a lot of big games coming up.   Since we primarily care about UMC we are going to look at their big games coming up. 

The Golden Eagle Men have four games (two each) against Minot State and the University of Mary.  All four games will be big games and all four are winnable games.  If UMC could win all four that would put them in the middle of the pack and could possibly move them into the fourth or fifth spot in the north!!!  What an accomplishment that would be and the last games of the regular season are at home against Mary and Minot State.  Of course they will have to beat some other teams, including Concordia-St. Paul and Wayne State.  With the win over St. Cloud State the men have shown they can beat anybody and should have beaten MSU-Moorhead, but the Dragons made a buzzer beater for the win. 
There isn't a TOP team like last year with Augustana and MSU-Moorhead.  This year you have a bunch of teams at the top with MSU-Moorhead, St. Cloud State, Northern State and in the south you have Southwest Minnesota State, Upper Iowa and Augustuna, although there isn't a team that teams are afraid of playing this year.  That could create an interesting tournament in February!


MSU Moorhead 8-2 13-3
St. Cloud State 7-2 11-7
Northern State 7-3 11-5
Minnesota Duluth 3-6 4-11
Minot State 3-7 7-9
U-Mary 3-7 5-11
Minnesota Crookston 2-7 6-9
Bemidji State 2-7 4-10
Southwest Minnesota State 8-2 13-2
Upper Iowa 8-2 11-5
Augustana 7-3 12-4
Sioux Falls 6-4 10-8
Minnesota State Mankato 5-4 10-5
Winona State 4-6 7-7
Wayne State 3-7 5-11
Concordia-St. Paul 1-8 4-12



The NSIC Women's Basketball has one undefeated team and that is the Minnesota State Moorhead Dragons!  They are having a fantastic season, but the surprise team this year is Sioux Falls.  They have reloaded and after graduation of some pretty good players they are having a great start to the season and are one of the top teams. 
In the North, Moorhead, Duluth and Northern State are the top three and look like they are safe in their top spots.   In the south, it is wide open with Sioux Falls, Winona State, Wayne State, and Augustana in the top four and any of those four teams could win the division.


MSU Moorhead 10-0 13-1
Minnesota Duluth 7-3 9-5
Northern State 7-3 11-3
St. Cloud State 5-5 7-7
U-Mary 4-6 9-9
Minnesota Crookston 4-6 3-10
Bemidji State 1-9 4-9
Minot State 1-9 3-13
Sioux Falls 8-2 12-2
Winona State 8-2 13-3
Wayne State 7-3 12-3
Augustana 7-3 12-5
Concordia-St. Paul 4-5 8-7
Minnesota State Mankato 3-6 7-6
Upper Iowa 2-8 2-12
Southwest Minnesota State 1-9 1-13


Alabama, which is one of the most profitable college football programs in the country, defends its title against Clemson on Monday night.

A win could bring in even more money for the school.

The Crimson Tide's football program reported $103.9 million in revenue for 2016 and posted a $47 million profit. That's up 3.6% from last year.

Ticket sales account for a big chunk of those earnings, and another championship title will probably mean even stronger ticket sales for next season.

Merchandise revenue will also get a big boost -- Alabama has a lucrative deal with Collegiate Licensing Company. Its netted $98 million in royalties since the company was founded in 1981 by Alabama's current athletic director, Bill Battle. Alabama was the company's first client and is its top seller, with licensing fees skyrocketing 250% since 2005. Battle no longer runs the company.

Ticket prices for Monday night's game hit a record high. The average resale ticket price was $3,053 as of Saturday, according to TicketIQ. The cheapest ticket to get into the game on the Alabama side was $1,794. On Clemson's side, the cheapest tickets cost $2,600.

While these prices won't affect 2016 profits, they'll translate into more money for the program going forward.

As a Division I school, Alabama also gets a cut of ESPN's 12-year deal for the rights to broadcast the playoffs, which is worth $7.3 billion.

With all the money Alabama makes, it can afford to pay its head football coach well. Nick Saban, the second-highest paid college coach in the country, made $6.9 million in 2016. Michigan's Jim Harbaugh made $9 million.

In addition to his CEO-like salary, Saban has postseason bonuses built into his contract, which he'll receive whether the team wins or loses. Other coaches and select staff members will also receive bonuses.

Staff bonuses are just part of the expenses of playing in a championship game. Clemson, which narrowly lost to Alabama in the 2016 title game, took out an insurance policy this year to help cover the cost of what it hoped would be a rematch.

Alabama, which has won four national championships in the last seven years, didn't need insurance.

In the words of Battle, Alabama feels "like self-insuring is a better bet."

Battle said Alabama budgets for postseason expenses like bowl and championship games so spending on insurance doesn't make sense.


Pacesetter Sports is again running youth basketball regional playoffs for girls and boys in grades 4-9 in Minnesota. 

Region 1 - Rochester
Region 2 - Mankato
Region 3 - Redwood Falls
Region 4 - Willow River / Barnum
Region 5 - St. Cloud State University
Region 6 - Moorhead
Region 7 - Grand Rapids / Hibbing
Region 8 - Bemidji 

Regional champions in each grade advance to the Minnesota State tournament.  Teams with just one loss qualify for the MIT (MN Invitational Tournament)

Registration form is attached.  Online registration available with this link:


2017 Lady Bomber Shootout

Divisions:  4th Grade Girls,  5th Grade Girls, 6th Grade Girls
When: Saturday, February 25, 2015 starting at 9AM
Where: Waubun Gymnasiums
Entry Fee: $125 (3 games guaranteed)
Entry Deadline:  February 17 

Tournament Information: Tournament Limited to first 8 teams paid in each division.  Teams will be guaranteed 3 games. Awards will be given to first and second place teams.
Games will be two 15 minute halves with running clock.  If the score is within 10 points, we will play stop time for the last 2 minutes of the game.
Referees will be provided.  Please lead your program by example and treat ALL referees with respect and show sportsmanship.
Concessions will be provided.


TOWN/TEAM  = _____________________________

Grade Level  = ____________

Coach/Contact Person = _________________________

Cell Phone of Contact = _________________________

Email of Contact ___________________________            

(We will send out all information via-email unless requested otherwise)

Make the $125.00 Check payable to Waubun Basketball.

Mail to:
Paul Clark
1013 3rd St
Waubun, MN 56589


There has been a lot of interest from people after we posted this so we will post it again.  If you have any info on Pirate sports records or want to help tracking them down read below!

Crookston High School, namely Ed Nelson, has been working on getting all the records for the Pirate Sports teams updated and it has been a process.  Ed is looking for any records, stats, state participants, etc from the following sports.

Boys Tennis
Girls Tennis
Girls Soccer

If you have Crookston Times articles with information, yearbooks with team and/or individual records, scrapbooks, or anything with any information that you might think would be of interest to Ed email him at

With that said we have links to the Crookston Pirate records pages for the following sports.  If you see something that is incomplete, or maybe an updated record let Ed know at the above email address.  I have listed the team and click on the team to see their records. 

Here is an update on the various sports covered by the website as of December 1, 2016

Sports that are done and will not change without additional information:

Boys’ Basketball
Girls’ Basketball
Boys’ Golf
Girls’ Golf
Boys’ Soccer (Poor or no records were kept over the years.)
Girls’ Soccer
Boys’ Track & Field
Girls’ Track & Field
Girls’ Hockey will be complete by the end of 2016 and join the above.  I am currently looking for “Team:  Game” and “Player: Game” records for the first 5 years of the program.

Sports being worked on:
Baseball (Justin Johnson is doing the research and has completed the last 16 years)
Boys’ & Girls’ Tennis (Mike Geffre has the information and is scanning everything.  When he is done, the records will be posted.)

Sports not yet started:
Football (I will be starting Football this winter.)
Boys’ Hockey (Frank Fee has agreed to research the records.) 


Fall Sports -
Boys Soccer       Girls Swimming      Girls Soccer      Volleyball

Incomplete records    
Girls Tennis         Football                  

Winter Sports -
Boys Basketball           Girls Basketball          Boys Hockey         Girls Hockey         Wrestling

Spring Sports-
Softball            Boys Track        Girls Track         Boys Golf         Girls Golf      -

Incomplete records 
Boys Tennis         Baseball

Sports that are no longer offered-
Boys Swimming           Girls Cross Country           Boys Cross Country


JOKES (Do you have any good jokes - email them to and I will put them in the feever



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

Sydney Boike is playing basketball for the University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks. Sydney didn't play in a 80-78 win at Northern Arizona and didn't play in a 68-65 win at Southern Utah. UND hosts Montana State on Thursday and Montana on Saturday.

Aaron Hollcraft is playing basketball and baseball for the University of Minnesota Crookston Golden Eagles.  Aaron played one minute and didn't score in an 82-58 loss to Duluth on Friday.  He didn't play in a 92-89 victory over St. Cloud State on Saturday and he didn't play in a 77-75 loss to Bemidji State on Tuesday.  UMC will host Southwest Minnesota State on Friday and Sioux Falls on Saturday.

Paul Bittner is playing hockey for the defending AHL Calder Cup champion Cleveland Monsters and affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets.  Paul didn't score, but had one shot on goal in a 4-2 loss to Texas on Friday and he didn't score in a 2-1 OT shootout victory over Texas on Saturday.  The Monsters will play at Charlotte on Friday and Saturday.

Mark Bittner is playing hockey for the #3 ranked and defending national champion University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Pointers in the MIAC in NCAA Division III.  Mark didn't score, but had two penalty minutes in a 5-1 victory at St. Olaf on Friday and scored a goal in a 6-3 victory at Hamline on Saturday.  The Pointers host Northland College tonight (Wednesday) and St. Mary's on Friday and Augsburg on Saturday.

Ryan Bittner is playing hockey for the defending national champion University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Pointers in the MIAC in NCAA Division III.  Ryan didn't score in a 5-1 victory at St. Olaf on Friday and scored a goal in a 6-3 victory at Hamline on Saturday.  The Pointers host Northland College tonight (Wednesday) and St. Mary's on Friday and Augsburg on Saturday.

Brady Heppner is playing hockey for St. Johns in the MIAC in NCAA Division III.  Brady didn't score, but had five shots on goal and two penalty minutes in a 2-1 loss to River Falls and didn't score, but had two shots on goal in a 1-0 victory over Superior on Saturday.  St. Johns will have a home and home series with St. Olaf this weekend.

Doug Larson plays hockey for the Brookings Blizzard in the NAHL junior hockey league.  Doug had a goal on two shots on goal in a 6-5 victory over Austin on Friday.  Brookings will host Janesville this weekend.

Cody Wardner is playing junior hockey for the Dryden GM Ice Dogs in Dryden, Ontario.  Cody didn't play in a 15-4 victory over the Minnesota Iron Rangers on Wednesday and he didn't play in a 4-1 victory over Fort Frances on Saturday.  Dryden will be at Thief River Falls on Saturday and Sunday.

Harrison Bjorgo is playing junior hockey for the River Falls Renegades in the USPHL league.  Harrison had a goal in a 5-4 OT victory over Wisconsin Rapids on Friday and didn't score in a 5-0 victory against Blaine.  River Falls will travel to Forest Lake on Friday and Steel County on Sunday.

Haley Roed is a freshman and swimming at Minnesota State Moorhead.  Haley was part of the 200 "B" free relay that finished 13th at a meet in Puerto Rico.  Moorhead will host the Dragon Invite on Friday and Saturday.

Blake Bergeron is wrestling for the #8 ranked Concordia College Cobber Wrestling team.  Blake didn't wrestle in a 31-10 loss to #22 Ferrum, a 30-9 win over Wisconsin-Oshkosh and a 23-18 loss to the College of New Jersey at the Fort Wayne, Indiana National duals.  The Cobbers will be at the Matman invite at Mount Vernon, Iowa on Saturday.

Cody Weiland is wrestling for the #8 ranked Concordia College Cobber Wrestling team.  Cody didn't wrestle in a 31-10 loss to #22 Ferrum, a 30-9 win over Wisconsin-Oshkosh and a 23-18 loss to the College of New Jersey at the Fort Wayne, Indiana National duals.  The Cobbers will be at the Matman invite at Mount Vernon, Iowa on Saturday.

Bobby Tiedemann is playing tennis at St. Mary's University in Winona.  St. Mary's tennis will be off until the spring.

Wyatt Hanson is a senior and playing golf at St. Cloud State.  The Huskies wrapped up the fall season and will be off until April.

Isaac Westlake is a freshman playing golf at Winona State.  Isaac didn't make the trip to St. Joe, Missouri this week and the Warriors are off until April.

Wes Hanson is the Crookston Pirate Wrestling head coach.

Chris Dufault is an assistant coach for the Crookston Pirate Wrestling team.

Zach Cymbaluk
is the J.V. Crookston Pirate Boys Basketball coach.

Travis Ross is the Crookston Pirate 8th grade boys basketball coach.

Wade Hanson is the Crookston Pirate 7th grade boys Basketball coach.

Sam Melbye is a Crookston Pirate Boys Hockey Assistant Coach.

Connor Morgan is a Crookston Pirate Boys Hockey Assistant Coach.

Jaclyn Martin is the head Pirate Girls Hockey Coach.

Katy Westrom is the freshman Girls basketball coach at Monticello High School.

Erica Samuelson is a member of the University of Wisconsin Pep Band and Marching Band.
Marty Bratrud is the Activities Director at Valley City 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
Erika Wheelhouse
 is serving in the Peace Corp in the Philippines.
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.
Alan Mart, 2009 Crookston High School graduate, is currently serving his country for the US Army as a Cavalry Scout in Afghanistan.
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 Iraq
Philip Kujawa class of 2004 from Crookston Central is stationed at Hohnfels in Germany for the next 2 or 3 years.
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


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