Wednesday, April 18,  2018


I came dangerously close to postponing or canceling this weeks column, but I channeled my inner baseball coach and said I am going to do whatever the heck it takes to get this column done and you know what......I put another Pulitzer prize column together.......What???....The Pulitzers were announced and the Sports Feever column didn't win again???   We got robbed......I honestly thought we had a chance this year.  
Maybe we should produce a TV show so we could win a bunch of regional Emmys.  
On the serious side of things.....I don't think that....but is there anybody crazier/fired up/whacked out than a baseball coach trying to get the field/diamond ready to play baseball? is impressive how much TLC baseball and softball coaches put into their baby (diamond).  They will do almost anything to get a game in and I appreciate that....even if we all know there isn't a chance in you know what that the game will be played. 

Before we get into the column......a couple of thoughts.

1. Wild are in trouble, especially with Parise out and they have to go back to the Peg.  The Wild haven't done anything special (they have been good, but not great) all year and that has continued in the playoffs. 
2. Timberwolves had a chance in game one to knock off the top seed Houston, but they couldn't stop James Harden and they don't like to play team basketball and the final shot of the game proved that.  If the Wolves are close in a game the rest of the way, I will be pleasantly surprised. 
3. NBA playoffs are 100 times better than the boring regular season garbage they play.  I still prefer college basketball, but NBA playoffs are fun to watch, unless your watching the Wolves.  They are so frustrating to watch.  And my good friend Charles Barkley and his cohorts on TNT are correct on the Wolves coaching staff.....they aren't very good.

Speaking of the NBA, I took a three day weekend in Sin City to visit my wife's best friends from high school and it was a great night. The first night we were there, we were going to eat supper in our favorite restaurant at Mandalay Bay (Libertine Social) and the Las Vegas Aces (WNBA team) was having the draft party at the restaurant.  We walked in and a women bigger than me walks down the steps and I said to my wife..."That must be one of the players" and I think it was Kelsey Bone (6'4, but about 6'7 with heels on and 215 pounds!).  We sit down and eat and we are paying the bill and I see Bill Laimbeer!  He is the Head Coach/President of Basketball Operations for the Las Vegas Aces.  We started to walk out of the restaurant the same time we did and I stopped him and talked to him a little bit.  I told him we were fans of the Lynx since we are from Minnesota and he said they made a trade with Minnesota and they don't need anybody from the draft.  He was a nice guy and very accommodating.

Me and Bill Laimbeer in Vegas



The University of Minnesota Athletic Director Mark Coyle made an impressive move for the second straight month when he hired Gopher and Minnesota Lynx great Lyndsey Whalen as the Gopher Women's Basketball head coach.  Coyle has made two great moves without hiring a consulting firm and when asked about the use of consulting firm, he said that is what he gets paid to do (to hire people).  If Minnesota Gopher Women's Basketball was able to get every top player in the state, year after year, they would be in the top 10 EVERY year.  So it will be interesting to see what kind of affect Whalen will have on recruiting.   I would think if she walks into a gym or home ANYWHERE in Minnesota....she is going to be able to get that girl to sign to play with the Gophers.  You have the greatest female basketball player ever from Minnesota, who played for the Gophers in the Final Four and sold out Williams arena during the regular season.  She also has won several WNBA Championships for the Minnesota Lynx.   She is a rock star in the Minnesota basketball world and it will be neat to see what she does and she will make Gopher Women's basketball relevant again.

Lyndsey's playing days aren't over yet.   She is going to play this summer for the Lynx and will try to win another championship and when the season is over, she will start coaching.....hopefully after another Lynx Championship.


The Crookston American Legion Baseball team is looking for a coach this summer.  If you are interested in coaching, call Brent Stahlecker at 218-289-7078.


It sounds like Softball and Baseball will start playing some games this week and for sure next week (weather permitting).  Teams should have a clean slate the rest of the spring sports season, except for when the frost comes out.  The games might have to be delayed one more time, but barring rain the rest of the way it looks like things should be good in far Northwest Minnesota. With that being said, we have received several cancellations and postponements this week and have updated the Crookston schedules many times over the past two days. 

Click on the following link to see the schedules.  We will keep the schedules up to date and make changes as soon as we get them from Mr. Garmen, so check back frequently and we will keep you updated.  We have updated the schedule several times already this week.


We had an update that three Crookston kids and a bunch of area hockey players were competing in the CCM High Performance series this past weekend, trying to make the final 54 players in their age group to make one of the four teams.

Those making the cut are below -

16 HP Teams-  3 teams total
Grant Slukynsky of Warroad
Evan Bushy of Thief River Falls
Luke Gramer of Moorhead
Michael Overbo of Moorhead

17 HP Team - 3 teams total
Aaron Huglen of Roseau was the only player from NW Minnesota on the teams



The 2018 Final 54 Festivals, scheduled to take place this weekend at Plymouth Ice Center, will feature the top 54 boys hockey players in Minnesota that were born in 2001 and 2002.  During the Final 54, each age group will be split into three teams.  The teams play two games within their age group and one crossover game against players in the other age level.
Following the Final 54 Festivals, the top players from each age group will be selected to represent Minnesota Hockey at a national festival/camp, sponsored by USA Hockey, which involves the best players from each of the USA Hockey districts. The national camps are used by USA Hockey to identify the top performers in each age group for possible opportunities to represent the U.S.A. at advanced levels of national and international hockey competition.




The CCM High Performance tryouts were also held for the girls.  The following girls from the area made the final cut-

16 HP Teams - 3 teams-
Anika Stoskopf of Roseau
Shelby Breiland of Thief River Falls
Kayla Santl of Roseau

17 HP Teams - 3 teams
Kaitlyn Kotlowski of Warroad
Julianna Teske of Warroad
Sophie Rausch of Fergus Falls


The 2018 Final 54 Festivals, scheduled to take place this weekend at Vadnais Sports Center, will feature the top 54 girls hockey players in Minnesota that were born in 2001 and 2002.  During the Final 54, each age group will be split into three teams.  The teams play two games within their age group and one crossover game against players in the other age level.

Following the Final 54 Festivals, the top players from each age group will be selected to represent Minnesota Hockey at a national festival/camp, sponsored by USA Hockey, which involves the best players from each of the USA Hockey districts. The national camps are used by USA Hockey to identify the top performers in each age group for possible opportunities to represent the U.S.A. at advanced levels of national and international hockey competition.


I received word this week that Jeremy Nordick (currently the head football for United North Central and Menahga boys basketball coach at  has been hired as the new Activities Director and Head Football Coach at Park Rapids.  He will be taking over AD duties for the retiring John Schumacher and it is good to know they are filling the spot with another great guy!  We look forward to working with Jeremy even more over the years.



Due to the unseasonably cool temperatures, poor field conditions, frozen turf, and supply of officials, the Minnesota State High School League Board of Directors’ Executive Committee has taken action to increase the opportunities for member schools to schedule and complete contests in a condensed season.

Length of Games
The length of a baseball or softball game may be amended as follows:
• By mutual agreement of the schools, two member schools may agree to play two 5 inning games in a doubleheader format, or as currently available, doubleheaders may be played with the first game lasting 7 innings and the second game lasting 5 innings or until a “regulation game” is completed
• Single games must still be played under the NFHS rules requiring 7 inning games or until a “regulation game” is completed.
• Appropriate application of the rules regarding “regulation game” and “suspended game” is required. To review these rules, please see the softball and baseball activity pages in the online Rules and Policy Manual. Officiating Waiver Process While every effort should be made to have two registered officials, the following officiating arrangements can be used by following the waiver process*:
• Softball: One registered official is required and two are recommended. Using a single non-registered official requires a waiver*.
• Baseball: Two registered officials are required. Using one registered and one nonregistered official or using only one registered official requires a waiver*.



The University of Minnesota Crookston men’s basketball team announced the signing of Sergio Nanu (F/C, 6-8 200, Kenosha, Wis./Kenosha St. Joseph Catholic Academy) and Zach Westphal (G, 6-2 155, West Fargo, N.D./West Fargo Sheyenne H.S.) last week.

Sergio Nanu (F/C, 6-9 210, Kenosha, Wis./Kenosha St. Joseph Catholic Academy)
Nanu played in five games as a senior before missing the rest of the season due to injury. He tallied 6.2 points and 4.6 rebounds per game for St. Joseph Catholic Academy. He had a season-high nine points against Racine St. Catherine’s. As a junior, Nanu notched 9.2 points and 7.5 rebounds per game for St. Joseph Catholic Academy. He tallied 18 points against Dominican, including going 3-of-6 from beyond the arc. Nanu put up 14 points on 7-of-14 from the field against Martin Luther. He helped his team to the WIAA Regional Final as a junior.I am excited to announce the addition of Sergio Nanu to our program,” said Head Coach Dan Weisse. “Sergio played for a close friend and college teammate of mine Jose Winston while he was at Kenosha St. Joseph High School. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Coach Winston. Every time Coach Winston and I would talk over the past few years, he would always talk about Sergio and how we need to get him to Minnesota Crookston. Sergio has had a rough go as far as injuries go and our first priority is to get him healthy. Sergio was heavily recruited before getting injured. He will redshirt next season in order to get him healthy. We are excited to bring in a versatile big that can play inside and out and really fits what we do and the type of person we try to bring in. Sergio comes from great parents and we welcome his entire family to the Golden Eagle Basketball Family.”
The son of Corina and Dan Nanu. He plans to major in biology at Minnesota Crookston. He was born Feb. 10, 2000.

Zach Westphal (G, 6-2 155, West Fargo, N.D./West Fargo Sheyenne H.S.
Westphal was a 2018 North Dakota Class A First Team All-State pick for West Fargo Sheyenne High School. He was a finalist for the Eastern Dakota Conference (EDC) Athlete of the Year. Westphal was a North Dakota Class A All-State Tournament team selection. He led West Fargo Sheyenne to their first-ever East Region basketball title and a North Dakota State Championship appearance, the first in program history. Westphal averaged 20 points per game for the Mustangs as a senior. He holds the school record at West Fargo Sheyenne for points scored in a season. He was an EDC All-Conference pick. Westphal was ranked as the No. 5 players in the state by 2018 Prep Hoops Dakota.
“I am very excited to welcome Zach to the Golden Eagle basketball family,” said Head Coach Dan Weisse. “Zach really helped West Fargo Sheyenne reach the next level. Zach, along with his teammates, did things people did not expect them to do. That is a sign of a high achieving young man and exactly the type of person we want in our program. Coach Kirchoffner has done a great job building the program at West Fargo Sheyenne and has elevated the play of his players. Zach comes from a great family background and has a great support system behind him and we are excited to have them as a part of the Golden Eagle family, as well. I look forward to challenging him and working together to get better every day on the basketball court and in the classroom.”
He is the son of Jason and Molly Westphal. Westphal plans to major in criminal justice at UMC.


The University of Minnesota Crookston women’s basketball team announced the signing of Kylea Praska (G, 5-8, Thief River Falls, Minn./Thief River Falls Lincoln H.S.) to a National Letter of Intent. Praska gives Minnesota Crookston a great outside shooting presence starting with the 2018-19 season.

“Kylea can really open up the court with her shooting ability from the outside,” said Head Coach Mike Roysland. “She also possesses great court vision. We are very excited to be able to add a great player from right in our backyard in Thief River Falls. She is a great get for our program and we can’t wait to see what Kylea is able to do as a member of the Minnesota Crookston women’s basketball team. We welcome Kylea to our Golden Eagle family.”

Praska was an All-Northwest Conference pick for the Prowlers for four seasons. She holds the school record for the most three-pointers made in a single game. Praska was a 1,000 point scorer for the Prowlers. She was an All-Tournament team pick in 2016 after helping lead her prep squad to the Minnesota State Tournament. Praska also played volleyball and softball for her high school. She was named Rookie of the Year for her high school and was an All-Academic pick. In 2016, helped her unranked team at Thief River Falls upset top-seed Hutchinson High School in the Class 3A quarterfinal.
Praska is the daughter of Paula Praska and Jon Praska. She plans to major in elementary education at UMC.  Her mother Paula Praska played basketball at Northland Community College and was Kylea’s coach ever since she was in third grade.

Praska is the seventh signee for the Golden Eagles. She adds to one of the best recruiting classes in the history of the program. She joins Mary Burke (F, 5-11, Virginia, Minn./Mountain Iron-Buhl H.S.), Paige Cornale (G, 5-10, Oak Creek, Wis./Oak Creek H.S.), Bren Fox (C, 6-3, Norwood Young America, Minn./Norwood Young America H.S.), Julia Peplinski (F, 5-10, Hustisford, Minn./Hustisford H.S.), Kylie Post (G, 5-7, Corcoran, Minn./Maranatha Christian Academy) and Kayla Sirjord (G, 5-6, Ulen, Minn./Ulen-Hitterdal H.S.).


Other UMC Spring signing day signees -

Baseball (7)
Luke Kinnunen/IF/Grand Rapids/Grand Rapids H.S.
John Dormanen/IF-LHP/6-0 200/Tucson, Ariz./Ironwood Ridge H.S.
Bryce Jorgenson/UT/6-0 170/Thunder Bay, Ontario/Century College
Garrett Hohn/RHP/5-10 170/Wausau, Wis./Century College
Landyn Swenson/OF/5-8 160/Devils Lake, N.D./Lake Region State College
Matt Nelson/RHP/Afton/St. Croix Lutheran H.S.
Jack Peppel/IF/6-4 215/Olivia/BOLD H.S. 

Softball (5)
Allison Martinson/C/Grafton, N.D./Grafton H.S.
Madison Kostelecky/1B-3B/Bismarck, N.D./Bismarck Century H.S.
Tatiana Tabucol/SS-2B/Stillwater/Stillwater Area H.S.
Malia Pula/UT/San Jose, Calif./West Valley College
Kristin Melloh/RHP/Noblesville, Ind./Danville Area Community College

Women's Golf (1)
Allison Bot/Minneota/University of Minnesota Morris



The Northern Sun Conference has six football players that are in the top 50 D2 NFL draft prospects.  We are all familiar with the story of Adam Thielen….if your not familiar with it, you haven’t watched a Vikings game on TV this past season, which means you don’t care about the Vikings or you are listening on KROX or another radio station.  If that is the case…..Thank you!
The top NSIC prospect is Wadena and Bemidji State’s own, Jake Krause.  The offensive lineman blew away the Gopher lineman at the Gopher pro day and he has made a big impact with his workout.  He and the rest of the NSIC guys are projected to be signed as free agents after the draft, but Krause is ranked 12th of the D2 prospects.
#13 - Dennis Gardeck (LB Sioux Falls)
#20 – Damon Gibson (TE MSU-Moorhead)
#38 – Sam Lee (Offensive Lineman Augustana)
#42 – Bryce Johnson (Offensive Lineman St. Cloud State)
#44 – Evan Perrizo (DE MSU-Mankato)


The NAIA will move to a single division in both men's and women's basketball, effective for the 2020-21 academic year, with a maximum limit of eight scholarships for each. The decision was approved by the Council of Presidents Monday at the 2018 NAIA National Convention.
The area NAIA teams - Jamestown, Valley City State, Mayville State and Dickinson State compete at the NAIA Division II level.
It sounds like the NAIA task force is recommending a postseason with 64 qualifiers and a 16 team finals tournament.  They also have an alternative format of a 32 team final site model.  The final format will likely be voted on this June.
The task force also recommends a postseason format including 64 qualifiers as well as a 16 team final site tournament to the National Administrative Council (NAC). The NAC will continue to study the recommended format as well as alternatives, including a 32-team final site model. A final format will be voted upon by the NAC, most likely in June 2018.

I asked University of Minnesota Crookston Golden Eagle Men's Basketball coach, Dan Weisse, his thoughts on the move by the NAIA.  Below is his response-

I have a lot of respect for the NAIA level. I have a lot of respect for all levels of basketball for that matter. I think what the NAIA is trying to do is do their best to mirror the NCAA. The NAIA has lost so many teams in recent years to NCAA Division II. The GAC in our region was basically formed from NAIA teams. The GLIAC just added NAIA teams to their league. Minot State and Sioux Falls in our league were NAIA not too long ago. I think the NAIA level may be in scramble mode a little bit trying to keep themselves above water. I think teams will continue to switch from NAIA to Division II for a host of reasons. Division II has great competition, high academic standards, a higher social profile, and a model and brand that is consistent across the country. With all that said, I would be curious what NAIA schools in our region might be interested in going to Division II and who knows, that could affect our league in some way. If the North Star Conference or some members decided to go Division II I think there would be a lot of discussion on how that would affect the Northern Sun. It will be interesting on how this all plays out.


In case you missed it last week, the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved a new stipulation allowing receiving teams to fair catch the kickoff inside the 25-yard line, which will result in a touchback and the team getting the ball at the 25.
In the last few years, the NCAA has moved the kickoff from the 30-yard line to the 35 and moved the starting line for a touchback from the 20 to the 25-yard line. It's all in an attempt to further reduce the threat of injury on the play.
With the new NCAA rule, a team can now fair catch the ball at the 5-yard line and its offense will automatically start at the 25. So it remains to be seen if accurate directional kickoffs will be just as effective.

I asked UMC Golden Eagle Football Coach Mark Dufner his thoughts on the new rule and his reply is below-

It appears that the NCAA will be making a few new rule changes next year.  I presume all of the rule changes will apply to Division 1, Division 2 and Division 3.
We will have an officiating crew working our spring game on Sunday; I will be able to confirm all of the rule changes with them at that time.
In regards to the new fair catch rule, my best guess is the teams that have good returners will probably still try to return the ball while teams who do not have top tier returners may elect to fair catch more often.   
For UMC last year, we were second in the conference averaging 23 yards/return.  If we can be as productive with this unit this fall, we will be returning everything that doesn’t go into the end zone.


Park Rapids will be postponing the softball tournament to April 21. They have four teams and will play a round robin format so all teams get three games. The tournament will be at the fields north of the high school. They will start at 10:00 am and going 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm.
The four teams that will be playing are Park Rapids, Barnesville, Crookston and Lake of the Woods.



Pirate Hoops Summer Skills and Drills 2018

For Pirate Basketball players (girls and boys) grades 3-12(next years grade)
Where: CHS gym
When:  Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday
Time:   7:30-9:00am
Cost $40 ( Family max=$80) (Make checks to Pirate Basketball)
Attend all or as many as you are able to.

Send to:           Pirate  Hoops
                        Crookston High School   Attn: Greg Garmen
                        402 Fisher Ave.
                        Crookston, MN 56716


Keep top portion




Grade fall 2018_________________________________________________

School attended(circle):    CHS    HES    Cathedral    Our Saviors       Home School    

I understand that Crookston High School and the Summer Basketball Academy staff will not be held responsible for injuries of loss of personal property while the above athlete is attending the academy.  I authorize the directors to secure any emergency treatment deemed necessary.  The staff will not be held responsible for payment for this emergency treatment.  Any hospital or doctor fees that are a result of injury will be the responsibility of the parent or guardian.  I also acknowledge that the above athlete is physically ready for the activity of the basketball academy.

Signature of parent/guardian_________________________________________




By Bob Gardner, Executive Director of the National Federation of State High School Associations and Alan Beste, Executive Director of the Iowa High School Athletic Association

Many parents across America are trying to live the dream through their sons and daughters. It’s a popular dream: Land a college athletic scholarship by prioritizing traveling sports teams or specializing in a single sport year-round.

Unfortunately, most of these dreams are never realized. The odds of a sports scholarship paying for even a portion of a student’s college education are miniscule.

The College Board, a not-for-profit organization comprised of 6,000 of the world’s leading educational institutions, reports that a moderate budget for college students who attend a public university in their state of residence is $25,290 per year. The annual average budget at a private college checks in at $50,900.

Meanwhile, the most recent data from the NCAA reveals that the average Division I athletic scholarship is worth only $10,400. More significantly, the same study shows that fewer than two percent of all high school student-athletes (1 in 54) will ever wear the uniform of an NCAA Division I school.

Even if the dream of getting a college athletic scholarship is realized, parents likely will spend more money on club sports than they will regain through college athletic scholarships. Because of the costs of club fees, equipment, summer camps, playing in out-of-state tournaments, and private coaching, youth sports have become a $15 billion per year industry.

There is another way to get competition, camaraderie, and life lessons from sports, and it’s a financially viable one: Encourage your sons and daughters to participate for their high school.

In education-based high school sports, student-athletes are taught, as the term implies, that grades come first. The lessons learned through high school sports experiences offer insights into leadership, overcoming adversity, and mutual respect that cannot be picked up anywhere else. Coaches in an education-based athletic setting are held accountable by the philosophy, mission, and goals of their school district. And the cost of participating in high school sports is minimal in most cases.

While there is a belief that the only way to get noticed by college coaches is to play on club travel teams year-round, many top-tier Division I football and basketball coaches recently have stated that they are committed to recruiting students who have played multiple sports within the high school setting. They believe there are physical, emotional, and social benefits to being a multi-sport student-athlete.

By focusing on academics while playing sports in a school setting, students can earn scholarships for academics and other talents – skillsets that are oftentimes nurtured while participating in high school activities. These scholarships are more accessible and worth more money than athletic scholarships. While $3 billion per year is available for college athletic scholarships, more than $11 billion is awarded annually in the United States for academic scholarships and other financial assistance.

The Iowa High School Athletic Association firmly believes students will have more fun, make more friends, and be better prepared for life beyond sport by participating in multiple sports and activities offered by their high school.



Make plans now to attend the 25th annual “Lace ‘em Up” basketball camp to be held in Red Lake Falls high school at the Robert Matzke Gym from June 4-8, 2018.

The camp is open to any boys or girls who are currently in grades K-11.  The camp is set up to run from 8:00 a.m. until 11:30 for grades 6-11 each morning, and from 12:00 noon until 3:30 p.m. for grades K-6.  The cost of the camp is $60 with a maximum cost per family of $100.  If you register before May 25,  you will also receive a camp T-shirt.  After May 25, ALL SINGLE REGISTRATION FEES WILL BE $70 AND THE MAXIMUM COST PER FAMILY WILL BE $120, DUE TO CAMP PREPARATION AND AWARD ORDERS.

NOTE: by request, sixth graders may come in the morning, afternoon, or both for one price.

Cut on the dotted line and return the following to: Steve Philion, 518 Champagne Ave., Red Lake Falls, MN 56750.  (218-253-2499). E-mail:

Make checks payable to: Lace ‘em Up basketball camp


Name____________________________________   Grade in 2017-2018________________ (grade just completed)

I was a 6th grader this year and would like to come: (circle one) MORNING AFTERNOON BOTH

T-shirt sizes:     Please circle one:

                        Youth sizes:       EXTRA SMALL           SMALL            MEDIUM             LARGE

                        Adult sizes:        SMALL     MEDIUM     LARGE      X-LARGE        XX-LARGE



MALE____________              FEMALE____________

I, the parent of the above student agree to allow my child to participate in the 2018 “Lace ‘em Up basketball camp in Red Lake Falls.  I also understand that the camp director, the City of RLF, and the RLF school district are not responsible for any injuries or accidents that my child might occur. 

SIGNATURE OF PARENT OR GUARDIAN:_______________________________________


RiverView Health will hold a 5K Walk/Run and Kids ½ Mile Fun Run on Saturday, May 12th.  Registration begins at 9:00 am at the Rehab entrance on the south side of RiverView Health in Crookston.  The Kids Fun Run starts at 9:30 am and the 5k Walk/Run starts at 10:00 am.  This is a family friendly event.  There is no cost for the Kids Fun Run.  There is a $15.00 entry fee for 5k registrations postmarked May 2nd or before.  5k registration forms postmarked after May 2nd have a $20.00 entry fee.  All pre-registered 5k participants will receive a t-shirt.  Race day registration will be accepted as well, but you will not get a t-shirt. No pets, bikes or rollerblades will be allowed, but strollers are welcome.  Registration forms are available at   For more information, call 218-281-9211.


The University of Minnesota Crookston football program will host two youth camps Wed., April 25 and Wed., May 2. The camps will be $20 per participant and will commence with registration at 5:30 p.m. at the Minnesota Crookston Sports Center. The camp is available for student-athletes in grades 5-8.

The camp will run from 6-8 p.m. on the campus of University of Minnesota Crookston. The campers will learn general football skills and will develop their skills through position specific drills. They will receive instruction from the Minnesota Crookston football staff and players.

If you are interested in participating, contact assistant coach Sam Gooding at or you can register in person on the day of the camps from 5:30-6 p.m.

The football program will have a plethora of camp options this year. They will also host a high school camp on July 22. In addition, Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) will host a 7-on-7 camp on the Minnesota Crookston campus June 20. The FCA camp is not sponsored by Minnesota Crookston.



The University of Minnesota Crookston men’s basketball program will host three camps this summer.
The Golden Eagles will host a pair of individual skills camps in June.

The first one will be the Junior Eagle Day Camp from June 11-14. The camp will run from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Each camper will receive a camp t-shirt and a ball. The last day, the campers will receive a pizza party following the completion of the camp. The camp is available for boys and girls grades 1-6.
UMC will then host an Offensive Skills Day Camp June 18-21. The camp will run from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Each camper will also receive a camp t-shirt and a ball with a pizza party following the conclusion of camp. The camp is available for boys and girls grades 5-12.
The campers for both camps will develop their skills through drill work, contests and games. They will also receive instruction from coaching staff and players. Cost for both camps is $50 per camper. For the camp brochure and registration, click here.

UMC Men's Basketball will also host their second annual Varsity Team Camp Friday, June 22. Games will take place all day with a four-game guarantee. The games will be played at Lysaker Gymnasium and the Minnesota Crookston Wellness Center. The camp costs $200 per team. Minnesota Crookston t-shirts will also be available to participants.
The Golden Eagles are in their fifth season of having summer camp offerings. They have continued to show growth in numbers each season with their camps as they had 97 campers for individual camps last season and eight teams for their inaugural varsity team camp.  For the camp brochure and registration, click here.
If you are interested in the camp or have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact assistant coach Bryan Beamish at 218-281-8431 or  If you are interested in registering for the camps, see the attached forms and mail payment to:

UMC Basketball
142 Sports Center
2900 University Ave.
Crookston, MN 56716


The University of Minnesota Crookston volleyball program is excited to announce that they will host Summer Camps for the second-consecutive season. The Golden Eagles will host three camps over three days from July 11-13 at the UMC Sports Center.
The camp offerings commence July 11 with a Positional Day Camp beginning with check-in at 8 a.m. It is available to players entering grade 7 to players entering college. The cost of the camp is $25 per session and $80 for all sessions. The sessions will run from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The first session will focus on attacking and blocking and will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. The second session will focus on passing and defense and will run from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Lunch will be served in Brown Dining Center from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. The serving session will then commence at 12:30 p.m. and run until 2 p.m. The final session will focus on setting and will take place from 2 p.m. until 3:30 p.m.

UMC will host a Junior Eagles Skills Camp July 12-13 at the Minnesota Crookston Sports Center. The camp is available to players entering grades six and under. Registration is $60 and includes a gift for all participants. Check-in for the camp will be at 8:30 a.m., with the camp taking place from 9-11:30 a.m. The camp will feature instruction from Minnesota Crookston Head Coach Sarah Rauen, Assistant Coach Anna Morgan and current Golden Eagle volleyball players.

The final camp offering is a Golden Eagles Skill Camp from July 12-13 at the Minnesota Crookston Sports Center. The camp is available to players entering grades seven to players entering college. The camp runs from July 12 at 1 p.m. to July 13 at 3 p.m. Campers have the option to commute to the camp or stay on-campus during the duration of the camp. The cost for a commuter is $150 and the cost for a resident is $200. Participants also have the option to request a roommate. Campers will receive instruction from the Minnesota Crookston volleyball coaches and current players. Participants will also receive a camp gift.

Those interested in participating in the camp can contact Anna Morgan at or 218-281-8410 or mail-in registration forms to the address below.  Click here for the registration form.

2900 University Ave.
Attn: Anna Morgan
Crookston, MN 56716
*Make checks payable to Minnesota Crookston VB


We told you in an earlier column that Crookston High School graduate, Paul Kuznik, will be inducted into the 2018 Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame Saturday, April 28 in Benson. Information on the banquet is below, along with Paul's Bio.

2018 Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association David Bartelma Wrestling Hall of Fame Induction Dinner

Larry Goodnature -Coach, Mark Jensen - Coach, Ed Kane - Contributor, Paul Kuznik - Athlete, Pat McNamara - Athlete, Chris Nelson - Athlete, Jim Williams - Contributor Roger Wilson - Contributor.

Pioneer Award Recipients: Merv Jensen -Brainerd, Glen Gertes - Faribault, Fed Stoecker - Owatonna

Date: Saturday, April 28th, 2018

Place: McKinney’s on Southside (banquet) Country Inn (attached hotel) 300 14th St. South Benson, MN 56215 Phone: (320) 843-4395 (rooms) · Fax: (320)843-4655 Toll-Free Hotel Reservations: 1-866-843-4394 (for rooms-block held until April 14, 2017) or try Benson Inn, 320-842-6990 (located at 600 22nd St. South in Benson)

Time: 4:00 PM Social * 5:00 PM Dinner 5:30 PM Induction Ceremony * Cash Bar Price of Dinner: $33.00

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City, State, Zip

Home Phone ( ) _____

Work Phone ( )__________________________________________

Email address:_______________________________________________

#of Tickets Ordered @ $33.00 each = $ ________________

Make checks Payable to: MWCA Send Order Form to: Steve Ricard 405 15th S t. North Benson, MN 56215 320-843-4508(h) 320-843-2710 (w) 320-444-0569 (cell)

Would like to be seated near the following inductee:_______________________________ or: makes no difference_____


Paul Kuznik, Athlete

Paul Bryan Kuznik graduated from Crookston Central High School in 1986.  He was an exceptional wrestler who achieved a 141-10 career record at a time when fewer matches could be wrestled.  As an 8th grader, he took 3rd place in Region 8AA losing in a true second match.  He was 24-4 that year.  His record his freshmen year was 27-3, and he won the Region 8AA Championship and placed 4th at State.  In his sophomore year, his record was 29-2, won the Region 8A Championship and placed 3rd at State.  Paul became Crookston’s first Wrestling State Champion in 1985 with a record of 30-1.  His only loss was in the Region 8A Championship match to Wayne Werner of Perham.  Paul won his second State Championship in 1986 while compiling a perfect 31-0 record. In the spring of Paul’s Senior Year, he wrestled for Team Minnesota against Wisconsin.  He was selected Outstanding Wrestler for Team Minnesota.  He was a 1986 High School All American in Wrestling as well as Academic All-State.  Paul also was a Bronze Medalist in the United States Freestyle JR National Wrestling Tournament in 1986 tech falling Tom Brands twice in his route to earning All-American Status.  Some of his other high school honors were as follows:  Captain of the Cross Country Team and Minnesota State High School Cross Country Qualifier.  First Chair in the High School Orchestra and selected to the All-State Orchestra.  The 1985 Minnesota State 4-H President and State Ambassador. Paul was also named to the Guillotine’s Academic All-State Team.  After high school, Paul was offered scholarships from the University of Minnesota, University of Nebraska, University of North Dakota, and the United States Military Academy at West Point.  Paul attended West Point, The United States Military Academy where he majored in Leadership Management and Engineering.  Former West Point Assistant Coach and Head Coach at Cornell and the University of Oklahoma Jack Spates said “his open heel picks and head snaps were awesome and his battles with Iowa great Dan Knight were legendary”. Paul wrestled at West Point where he was Captain of the team his senior year.  He was a three time NCAA Division I EIWA place winner, placing 2nd, 3rd and 5th.  He also was a two time NCAA Division 1 national qualifier.  Paul suffered a career ending injury his senior year.  He was ranked 5th at the time.    While at West Point, Paul won the West Point Arvin Memorial Award for Outstanding Leadership, West Point Pierce Memorial Award for Outstanding Athletics and in 1988 set the All-Time West Point Physical Fitness Record established in 1802.  He was a 1990 Graduate of West Point.  Paul served in the U.S. Army as a 1st Lieutenant in the Field Artillery stationed at West Point and as the Graduate Assistant Wrestling Coach and later at Fort Sill, OK as both a Firing Platoon Leader and an Executive Officer   He currently resides in Fort Lauderdale Florida with Brenda , his wife of 25 years.  Paul has had a 25 year career in the medical device industry and is currently serving as the Chief Executive Officer, Bolton Medical in Fort Lauderdale, FL.


It looks like youth Lacrosse could be coming to Crookston.

Hi Chris,
It is happening, I am working with Ryan Olson of Crookston to get Crookston Lacrosse started.  There are actually a couple things going on.

First, Ryan was a NCAA D1 lacrosse player in the day in up out east.  He has lived in Crookston for the past few years and has been yearning to get back to the game.  I have been encouraging him to get something going in Crookston but work and family have kept him tied up.  But I must have pushed him along just hard enough that we are going to work together to put together a lacrosse association for Crookston.  Not a lot of details right now, this is pretty fresh.  The biggest thing is we need to get the word out to the community and the surrounding communities as any family that wants to come to town for lacrosse events is welcome.  As the word goes out, we also need to capture contact information so we can monitor interest and build a contact list to tie those interested together and start communicating directly with those folks.  To collect information we have a simple Google form that can be found at .  We also have an email, and a Facebook page, .

Second, Ryan has been working with his east coast contacts and is finalizing a lacrosse day camp at UMC this June.  These great teaching coaches will be coming to Crookston to put campers through four days of drills to improve the game here in NW Minnesota, as well as Eastern North Dakota and Southern Manitoba.  Ryan is also working with Crookston Economic Development and Convention and Visitors Bureau to work out arrangements for out of town campers to get discounts on hotels and restaurants.

I know from emailing with you in the past that you have an awareness and an interest in lacrosse and we would appreciate if you could use your voice in Crookston to help us spread the word to you listeners and those that visit the KROX webpage as well.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me by replying to this email or to


Brent Lindstrom


The Crookston Pirate Booster Club is gearing up for its annual membership drive. PIRATE BOOSTERS exists to support Crookston High boys’ and girls’ athletic programs.
The PIRATE BOOSTERS provide financial assistance which allows student athletes to obtain equipment, uniforms, warm-ups and facilities enhancements. Your annual investment will help the athletic needs of the Crookston High School student athletes.

With your contribution of $100.00 or more, you will have your name placed on the PIRATE BOOSTERS sustaining membership board which is located in the CHS Commons. In addition, your name will be placed in all printed programs for CHS athletic events.
The Contribution levels are broken down as follows:
$100.00-$249.00 - Blue Club Member
$250.00-$499.00 - Gold Club Member and will receive recognition as an event sponsor during the 2018-2019 academic year.
$500.00-$999.00 - Pirate Club Member and will receive recognition as a multiple event sponsor during the academic year 2018-2019.
$1,000.00 or more - Captain’s Club Member and will receive special recognition throughout the entire 2018-2019 academic year.

Although giving levels have been established, any contribution to PIRATE BOOSTERS will be greatly appreciated.

As a part of your annual membership, you are assured CHS athletic team members will not solicit you or your business with smaller fundraisers. You will have a choice to approach a specific team if you desire to provide additional support. If you are interested in joining PIRATE BOOSTERS, please make your check payable to PIRATE BOOSTERS by April 30, 2018. You may bring your donation to Greg Garmen at Crookston High School or Charles Reynolds at Fitzgerald, Reynolds, Harbott, Knutson & Larson, PLLP.  If you would prefer to have your donation picked up, please contact Greg Garmen or Charles Reynolds. You can send a check to Crookston Pirate Boosters - 402 Fisher Avenue, Crookston MN 56716.

The Crookston High School Athletic Department student athletes and coaches and the entire PIRATE BOOSTER CLUB appreciate your generous support.


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

The Brothel Parrot
A woman went to a pet shop & immediately spotted a large, beautiful parrot. There was a sign on the cage that said $50.00. 'Why so little,' she asked the pet store owner.
The owner looked at her and said, 'Look, I should tell you first that this bird used to live in a house of Prostitution and sometimes it says some pretty vulgar stuff.'
The woman thought about this, but decided she had to have the bird any way. She took it home and hung the bird's cage up in her living room and waited for it to say something.
The bird looked around the room, then at her, and said, 'New house, new madam.'
The woman was a bit shocked at the implication, but then thought 'that's really not so bad.'
When her 2 teenage daughters returned from school the bird saw and said, 'New house, new madam, new girls.'
The girls and the woman were a bit offended, but then began to laugh about the situation, considering how and where the parrot had been raised.
Moments later, the woman's husband came home from work.
The bird looked at him and said, 'Hi Frank.'


Opening Day Fishing boat-


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

Isaac Westlake, a sophomore playing golf for the Winona State Warriors.  Isaac didn't golf in the NSIC Championships last weekend.  Winona State finished second place as a team, behind Minnesota State Mankato.

Bobby Tiedemann
, is a Sophomore on the St. Mary's University Men's Tennis team in Winona.  Bobby lost his second doubles match 8-6 and he lost his second singles match 6-4, 6-4.  St. Mary's will wrap up the regular season on Saturday when they take on Hamline at the U of M Baseline Tennis Center in Minneapolis.

Amanda Trandem, is a Freshman on the University of Minnesota Crookston Golden Eagle Softball team.  Amanda didn't play in an 11-3 and 12-4 loss to Concordia-St. Paul on Friday.  UMC will travel to Mary on Wednesday, Bemidji on Thursday, Wayne State on Saturday and Augustana on Sunday.

Aaron Hollcraft, is a junior playing basketball and baseball for the UMC Golden Eagles.   Aaron pitched one-third of an inning in a 6-5 victory over Bemidji State on Sunday.  He didn't pitch in a 4-2, 12-0 and 6-2 victories over Bemidji State on Saturday and Sunday.  UMC will host St. Cloud State on Wednesday, Upper Iowa on Saturday and Sunday.

Brita Fagerlund, is a Freshman on the University of Jamestown Jimmy Women's Track team.  Brita finished 44th place in the hammer throw with a throw of 117-03 and 45th place in the discus with a throw of 102-09 at the Sioux City Relays at Sioux City, Iowa on Thursday.  Jamestown will travel to the Northern Invite on Friday and the Cobber Twilight in Moorhead on Tuesday.

Paul Bittner, is playing for the Cleveland Monsters (AHL – minor league affiliate of Columbus).  Paul didn't score in a 4-0 loss to Manitoba on Thursday and he didn't score in a 3-1 victory over Manitoba on Friday and he didn't score in a 6-4 loss to Grand Rapids on Saturday to wrap up the regular season.  Paul played in 52 games and recorded 18 points (9 goals and 9 assists), a plus/minus of -12, he had 17 penalty minutes and 108 shots on goal.

Cody Wardner, is playing Junior Hockey for the Oklahoma City Jr. Blazers in the C1HL league.   The Blazers were in the postseason this past week, competing for the Thorne Cup.  Cody didn't score in a 4-2 loss to Idaho on Wednesday, Cody had an assist in a 4-3 victory over El Paso on Thursday and he didn't score in a 5-3 loss to Ogden on Friday.  The Blazers went 1-2 in pool play and were eliminated.

Crookston School District Coaches -
Mitch Bakken
is the head Pirate Baseball Coach.
Justin Johnson is the Pirate Junior Varsity Baseball Coach.
Brock Hanson is the Pirate Baseball volunteer assistant coach.
Cody Brekken
is the Pirate Boys Tennis coach and Crookston Community Pool Supervisor
Tyler Brekken is the junior high Pirate Softball coach
Jeff Perreault
is the Pirate Girls Golf head coach
Jaclyn Martin is the Pirate Girls Hockey Head Coach and assistant girls golf coach
Wes Hanson is the Pirate Wrestling Head Coach and assistant boys golf coach
Amy Boll
is the Pirate Girls Track head coach and assistant volleyball coach

Wade Hanson
is the 8th grade boys basketball coach
Travis Ross is the 7th grade boys basketball 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 an Assistant Wrestling Coach
Nate Merten is an Assistant Wrestling Coach

Ryan Bittner, is a junior playing hockey for the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. 

Brady Heppner, is a sophomore playing hockey at St. Johns University in Collegeville.

Haley Roed, a sophomore on the Minnesota State Moorhead Women's Swim team.

Marietta Geist, a sophomore on the Carleton College Women’s Cross Country and Track and Field teams. Marietta suffered an injury and hopes to compete in the indoor track season.

Luke Edlund, is a junior linebacker on the Crown College football team.  Crown is done until next fall.

Elise Tangquist, is a freshman golfer for the University of Northwestern in St. Paul. Northwestern will be off until the spring.

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 Assistant Baseball coach at Delano.

Jake Olson is Head Boys Tennis coach at Delano.

Todd Kreibich, is the Coach and General Manager for the Minnesota Iron Rangers Junior Hockey team our of Hoyt Lakes.

Carmen (Kreibich) Johnson, is Head Volleyball coach at Little Falls High School.

Katy Westrom, is Freshman Girls Basketball coach and Freshman 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
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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