Wednesday, November 15,  2017


You have to love Minnesota fans!!!  People were saying he should be fired last year and some of this year, but Paul Molitor was named American League Manager of the year.  It is the third time a Twins manager has received the award.  Molitor this year, Ron Gardenhire in 2010 and Tom Kelly in 1991.  He is only the second player to be inducted into the hall of fame and also win manager of the year.  Dusty Baker is the only other person to do it.

Don't even get me started on the Teddy Bridgewater yahoos out there that think he should start.....remember I am positive Chris and only trying to talk about positive things in the column!

Girls Hockey is underway with games being played throughout the state, Girls basketball and boys hockey started practice this week and boys basketball and wrestling start practice on Monday!

Good luck to all teams this winter!!

This week I take a look at UMC Athletics and what I would do if I was chancellor, I have all the signees from National Signing Day (In what has turned out to be National Signing week at UMC), the Mr. Football finalists, I have a bunch of volleyball awards, state football and swimming previews and a lot more.   Have a great week and enjoy the feever.


GOPHER FOOTBALL AND BASKETBALL TICKETS TO GIVE AWAY  (Email to claim the tickets - one bunch of tickets per person this week)

GOPHER Men's Basketball - Available tickets (All games have 4 tickets available)
Sunday - November 19 vs Western Carolina
Tuesday - November 21 vs Alabama A & M
Wednesday - November 29 vs Miami
Sunday - December 3 vs Rutgers
Monday - December 11 vs Drake
Thursday - December 21 vs Oral Roberts
Saturday - December 23 vs Florida Atlantic
Saturday - December 30 vs Harvard
Tuesday - January 23 vs Northwestern
Tuesday - February 13 vs Michigan State
Wednesday - February 21 vs Iowa

GOPHER Women's Basketball - Available tickets (All games have four tickets)

We have all the home games available!!!


Congratulations to the #8 ranked Stephen-Argyle Storm on their first round state football victory over #2 ranked Cromwell on Friday night.  The Storm had a great game and they were led by Josten Hoeper's four touchdowns in a 39-22 victory to advance to the state 9-Man semi-finals on Thursday morning at 11:30 a.m. in the U.S. Bank Stadium.

KROX Radio will have the game on the radio, online at and the free KROX mobile app. 

Stephen-Argyle is looking to make their first state championship appearance since 2009, when they won the state championship.  Stephen-Argyle is 11-1 on the season and will have their hand full when they take on #1 ranked Spring Grove.  They are coming out of the same section that produced last years 9-Man state champ and runner-up (it was possible because of reclassification this year).  Spring Grove is 12-0 on the year and they beat Grand Meadow 40-17 in the section semifinals, they beat Cleveland 36-35 in the section championship and they beat Verndale 34-6 in the first round of state last week.  They average over 47 points per game.    Offense is their specialty.

It should be a great game and we are looking forward to broadcasting the game.


The University of Minnesota Crookston Golden Eagle Football team wrapped up the season on Saturday with a loss to Northern State.  UMC is now 1-54 over the last five years and haven't won a game in over two years.   There are several things going against UMC and below are a few of them -

The football field and football facilities are getting worse and are worse and AT LEAST 50 to 60 high schools in Minnesota have better facilities.  The price of attending UMC is more expensive than most schools in the conference and they have the fewest majors in the NSIC.  Example – Minnesota Duluth has more graduate degrees than UMC has degrees.   UMC doesn’t have many majors that are going to draw a large crowd (nursing, full education degree, etc.), which has added to the declining enrollment.

They are not being fully funded (approximately 25 of the 28 NSIC max scholarships are offered) and every other team in the conference has more coaches and grad assistants.   The NSIC has voted to allow the NCAA Division II football scholarship maximum of 36 scholarships next year.  Schools can add eight more scholarships, which means UMC is going to be even farther behind.  That isn’t good news.

One thing I know is that something different will have to happen.  Maybe a heavy dose of junior college be honest I am not sure.  You can change coaches and UMC has several times over the past 15 years.  It hasn't changed anything.  You could bring Saban, Fleck, etc in and they likely wouldn't be able to change things much.  It is by far bigger than coaching.  
College sports comes down to money!   UMC doesn't have a lot of it and they definitely get limited support from the U of M and they don't have the alumni base.


What can UMC do?  

I will tell you what they can’t do.  
1. They cannot drop football.  The NSIC requires you to have football.
The football team is close to 1/8th of the on campus enrollment!!!!!  The football team is also a large reason why they have some of the diversity numbers they have at UMC. Schools like to have some diversity and for good reason.  

What can they do?
1. They will have to add 11 scholarships to get to be a fully funded program.  More than any other program in the NSIC and they will need help from the main campus.  With a higher cost of attendance, it will be tougher than most of the teams in the conference.
2. I have always said UMC Athletics should hold a charter bus tour of the 15 other school facilities with the University of Minnesota Board of Regents, UMC Chancellor Mary Holz-Clause), politicians and U of M President Eric Kaler and whoever else that should be on board.  I would be a sponsor. 

What should really be done.

IF I was the UMC Chancellor, I would sit down and talk with current NSIC member school presidents/chancellors that are similar to Crookston.   I would talk to Bemidji State, Minnesota State Moorhead, Southwest Minnesota State, Minot State, University of Mary, Concordia-St. Paul and Northern State.  I would also talk to the University of Jamestown, Valley City State, and Mayville State in the NAIA world and see if all the schools would be interested in forming a new NCAA Division II conference. 
If you get eight teams in a new conference, you would get an automatic bid in the region tournament in most sports.  You have great cities with great colleges/universities and most of them have solid facilities. 
It would be a win/win for everybody involved.  The only schools I don’t think would be interested would be Moorhead, Northern State, Bemidji State and Concordia-St. Paul, but they might be for it because the possible success for their rest of their teams.


It would be huge for all the teams involved.  We will see.  I don’t think my idea will gain any traction, but it would be nice to see something like this happen.

I firmly believe NCAA Division II is the right place for UMC.  But the current conference isn’t a good fit with the powerhouses of Mankato, St. Cloud State, Duluth, Augustana, Sioux Falls, Winona State, etc.

You might be asking yourself…. What about Upper Iowa and Wayne State.  If you are asking yourself that question….wow!  You are a hard core NSIC fan my friend.  
Upper Iowa and Wayne State are too far away and I want to have decent travel for all the teams. 

Let’s say we have all the teams sign up for the Northern Plains Conference – the following would be the travel partners for volleyball, basketball, soccer, etc.

Crookston and Bemidji State
Moorhead and Concordia-St. Paul
Southwest MN State and Northern State
Jamestown and Valley City State
Minot State and Mary
Mayville State and we would have to find another team I guess…..Maybe Dickinson State??

The headquarters would be stationed in Moorhead.

I am sure I have several fatal flaws in my idea, but if you have any other ideas to add let me know and we will see what we can come up with! 


Finalists for the 2017 Mr. Football Award have been announced by the Minnesota Football Coaches Association (MFCA). The Mr. Football Award is sponsored by the Minnesota Football Coaches Association and the Minnesota Vikings.

The Mr. Football Award was first presented in 2004, with the first winner being Nick Mertens of East Grand Forks High School. The 2016 Mr. Football Award winner was Wade Sullivan, Lakeville North.

The 2017 Mr. Football Award will be presented at the Mr. Football Banquet on Sunday, December 10th at 10 a.m. at the Doubletree by Hilton Minneapolis Park Place Hotel (1500 Park Place Blvd., Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55416).

The 11 finalists for the 2017 Mr. Football Award (in alphabetical order) are:

Ronald Audette, Elk River, T/TE/DL
Ty Barron, Minnetonka, RB/REC/DB 
Michael Empting, Alexandria, QB/DB
Isaac Hennen, Minneota, RB/REC/DB
Preston Jelen, Prior Lake, RB-R/PR/S
Owen King, Caledonia, QB
Conner Knoepfle, Andover, QB
Carter Kopet, Cleveland, QB/DB
Antonio Montero, Eden Prairie, LB/RB/K/P
Spencer Rolland, Apple Valley, OL/DL
Brevyn Spann-Ford, St. Cloud Tech, WR/TE/LB 

Mr. Football Award Criteria:

· Nominee must be a graduating senior.
· Nominee’s head coach must be a current member of the MFCA.
· Nominee must not have any MSHSL violations.
· Each player must be nominated by their Sub-District/MFCA representative, after being selected by the coaches in each Sub-district.

Previous winners of the Mr. Football Award:

2016 – Wade Sullivan, Lakeville North
2015 – J.D. Spielman, Eden Prairie
2014 – Robbie Grimsley, Hutchinson
2013 - Jeffrey Jones, Minneapolis Washburn
2012 - Bridgeport Tusler, Osseo
2011 - Philip Nelson, Mankato West
2010 - Peter Westerhaus, Holy Family Catholic
2009 - Zach Vraa, Rosemount
2008 - Varmah Sonie, Apple Valley
2007 - Michael Floyd, Cretin-Derham Hall
2006 - Blake Sorensen, Eden Prairie
2005 - Matt Carufel, Cretin-Derham Hall
2004 - Nick Mertens, East Grand Forks


Grand Rapids High School Hockey received a big blow this week when they found out Mr. Hockey favorite Blake McLaughlin will forgo his senior season at Grand Rapids High School to stay with the USHL's Chicago Steel. Future Gopher hockey players is projected as a 2nd/3rd round pick for the 2018 NHL Draft.

It would be interesting to ask him if two extra games on the schedule would have made a difference?  I am guessing NO.


The Polar North Volleyball Conference has announced their All-Conference team.  They are listed below-

Player Name School Grade
1  Teagan Carlstrom Crookston 12
2  Rachel Hefta Crookston 11
3  Livia Pesch East Grand Forks 12
4  Julia Warmack East Grand Forks 12
5  Julia Bernstein Red Lake County Central 11
6  Jenna Pahlen Red Lake County Central 10
7  Megan LaCrosse Red Lake Falls 12
8  Emma Duden Red Lake Falls 12
9  Ivy Edwards Sacred Heart 10
10  Molly Hanson Sacred Heart 12
11  Jessica Remer Sacred Heart 11
12  Kylea Praska Thief River Falls 12
13  Kendra Wiggs Thief River Falls 12
14  Kaitlynn Johnson WAO 12

2017 Honorable Mention
Player Name School Grade
1  Kylie Solheim Crookston 11
2  Katelyn Wagner Crookston 12
3  Natalie Carlstrom East Grand Forks 12
4  Tyra Chupka East Grand Forks 12
5  Hannah Kolstoe Red Lake County Central 12
6  Calyssa Eskeli Red Lake County Central 10
7  Madison Derosier Red Lake Falls 12
8  Hannah Hollcraft Sacred Heart 12
9  Maddi Mitzel Sacred Heart 10
10  Katelyn Rudolph Sacred Heart 12
11  Holly Steer WAO 12


The Crookston Pirate Volleyball team has been honored by the Minnesota Volleyball Coaches Association with a Silver Academic Award for having a team GPA of 3.5 to 3.74.
23 teams from Northwest Minnesota received the Gold or Silver Academic awards and they are listed below -

Gold Award (3.75 – 4.0 Team GPA)   SILVER Award (3.50 – 3.74 Team GPA)
Ada-Borup/NCW   Badger-Greenbush-Middle River
Barnesville   Breckenridge
Bemidji   Crookston
Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton   Mahnomen
East Grand Forks   Park Rapids
Fertile-Beltrami   Sacred Heart
Fosston   Staples-Motley
Kittson County Central   Warroad
Norman County East/Ulen-Hitterdal    
Red Lake Falls    
Thief River Falls    


Crookston High School Graduate, Allison (Lindsey) Axness, was named the Minnesota Volleyball Coaches Association Section 5AAA Assistant Coach of the year.  She is an assistant coach at Champlin Park High School.

Three area high school volleyball players have been named to the Minnesota Volleyball Coaches Association All State Volleyball team.

Stephen-Argyle Central’s Abigail (Abi) McGlynn was named to the Class A All-State first team.  McGlynn, a junior, had 454 kills and now has 1,542 in her career.  She had 141 digs on the year and has 502 in her career.  She had 69 blocks this year and now has 184 career blocks.  And she added 29 aces for 96 in her career.  “Abi has started on Varsity since about half-way through her 8th grade year,” said Storm Volleyball Coach Renae Lindgren.  “Abi has a quick approach with a powerful arm-swing.  She gets high into the air with a vertical of 23".  On the court she is a very positive and energetic player.  She is a threat from anywhere on the court.

Wadena-Deer Creek’s Casey Volkmann was also named to the Class A All-State first team.

Paige Fabre of Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton was named to the Class AA All-State 1st team and UMC Golden Eagle Women’s Basketball recruit, Bren Fox of Norwood-Young America was named to the Class AA All-State Honorable Mention team.


The Crookston Pirate Boys Soccer team recently held their end of the year banquet and handed out the following team awards -

Varsity Awards -
Most Valuable Player – Drew Dragseth
MVP Offense – Eric Delorme
MVP Defense – Dilon Owens
Most Improved – Brock Heppner
Hardest Worker – Ben Brantner
Best Leadership – Alex LaFrance
Rookie of the Year – Casey Tiedemann

JV Awards -
Most Valuable Player – Noah Dragseth
MVP Offense – Kaleb Thingelstad
MVP Defense – Mason Owens
Most Improved – Drake Lord
Hardest Working – Gavin Anderson
Best Leadership – Andrew MacGregor
Rookie of the Year – Zachary Tahran

Captains for 2018 – Seniors - Dilon Owens and Brock Heppner.  Junior -  Isaiah Barlow


Josh Kotelnicki has been dismissed as head football coach at the University of Mary.  Athletic director Dale Lennon held a press conference following their game Saturday, Nov. 11, against Minnesota Duluth to address the coaching change.  Kotelnicki had been the head coach the past four seasons, leading the Marauders to a 5-6 record in 2014. But the program had won just one game each of the past three seasons (all against UMC).
Lennon will serve as the interim head coach of the football program. Asked whether he would consider taking the job full time he said it had crossed his mind, but is more focused on a national search.


Last week was National Signing day and we have several commitments of interest listed below along with UMC commitments -

A day after the Section 8A Girls Swimming and Diving meet, Crookston Pirate Swimmers, Kate MacGregor and Merran Dingmann, signed National Letters of Intent to continue their swimming career next year at Minnesota State University Moorhead.  They will join former Pirate teammate, Haley Roed, who is a sophomore on the Dragon Swim team and follow their high school coach, Marley Melbye, who swam for the Dragons in college. "It is a very exciting day.  The girls have loved swimming all of their lives and you can tell they love this sport and the water and it is great to see their goals and dreams achieved and they get to continue doing something they love the next four years," said Crookston Pirate Girls Swim coach Marley Melbye. "It is nice because MSUM is close to home and it is a growing team and they are more competitive than ever before.  These girls will fit in, just like Haley has.  They have sacrificed a lot of free time, social time to do something they love and to see their success is a lot of fun.  It is bittersweet to see them go because they will leave a great legacy with a lot of records that will probably be around for a long time."

Kate MacGregor -

Kate will compete at her fifth straight Minnesota Swim meet next weekend after she broke school records in the 100 backstroke and 100 butterfly and was part of the school record breaking 200 Medley Relay team (Merran Dingmann, Thea Oman, and Elizabeth Erdman) on Saturday at the Section 8A Swim meet.  As an eighth grader, Kate was part of the 200 Freestyle Relay that competed at state.  As a Freshman, she swam in the 100 Butterfly, 100 backstroke and 200 free relay.  As a Sophomore she swam in the state meet in the 200 Freestyle and 400 Freestyle relays and the 100 backstroke.  Last year she swam in 400 freestyle relay, 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke.  As a senior she will swim in the 100 backstroke after winning the section championship and breaking her own school record in the process.  Kate also finished third place in the 100 butterfly and 400 freestyle relay, and she was part of the fifth place 200 medley relay team.  "It feels good (to sign), I am really happy to be swimming somewhere because it was my goal and I am happy it is at Moorhead," said MacGregor. "It was a pretty easy decision, ever since third or fourth grade, I have been going to some camps and I knew I wanted to swim and I really like the team and it is close to home."  Kate is looking at majoring in Art Education. 

Merran Dingmann-
At the Section 8A meet on Saturday, she was part of the third place 400 freestyle relay team, she finished fourth in the 200 IM, she was part of the fifth place 200 medley relay team and seventh place in the 100 backstroke while placing in all four of her events.  She was on the 400 freestyle relay team that made it to state as a junior and she was on the 200 Medley team that set a new school record on Saturday. "It feels great.  I am excited to start swimming and studying at MSUM," said Dingmann. "I went on an official visit this fall and got to see their everyday lives and it was exciting to see that and I liked the atmosphere."  Merran added that knowing Haley Roed is swimming for the Dragons and Kate will be swimming next year was a factor in her decision. "It did have a big factor because it is comforting to know that I will have people that I am close to already and I can easily blend in with the team," said Dingmann. "I am not really sure what I want to do (major in) yet, but I am glad MSUM has a lot of options so I can figure out art or education or something like that."


Boy’s Basketball
Jaxon Knotek, of River Falls, Wisconsin signed to play basketball at North Dakota State  (Dale and Mary Ann Knotek’s grandson)

Girls Track and Field
Natalie Windels, of Eagan signed to run track at the University of Minnesota (Jeanine and Harvey Windels granddaughter)


The University of Minnesota Crookston women’s basketball team announced the signing of Julia Peplinski (F, 5-10, Hustisford, Wis./Hustisford H.S.), 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.), Kylie Post (G, 5-7, Corcoran, Minn./Maranatha Christian Academy) and Kayla Sirjord (G, 5-6, Ulen, Minn./Ulen-Hitterdal H.S.) to National Letters of Intent.
Julia Peplinski (F, 5-11, Hustisford, Wis./Hustisford H.S.)
Peplinski averaged 23.5 points and 13.0 rebounds per game as a junior at Hustisford High School. She was an All-Trailways-East Conference First Team pick last season. In addition, she was named the Female Athlete of the Year at Hustisford High School. Peplinski as selected 95.3 WXRO Radio All-Area. She earned All-Star accolades at a club tournament. In addition, she also recently reached 1,000 points. Peplinski also tallied 3.0 assists and 4.1 steals per game as a junior. She notched 30 points on 9-of-14 from the field against Oakfield High School. Peplinski tallied 35 points on 12-of-21 from the field versus Dodgeland High School. In addition, she notched 29 points on 11-of-14 from the field against Rio High School. “Julia is a very powerful inside out player,” said Head Coach Mike Roysland. “She is a player who works relentlessly on the glass. In addition, she has a burst of speed that makes her a hard player to guard. Julia is a physically demanding presence in the post. We are excited to have her join the Golden Eagle basketball family.”
Peplinski is the daughter of Reed and Carrie Peplinski. She was born June 22, 2000. Peplinski plans to major in exercise science and wellness. She was named to the National Honor Society and High Honor Roll. Peplinski enjoys working on the farm milking cows.

Bren Fox (F/C, 6-3, Norwood Young America, Minn./Norwood Young America H.S.)
Fox is a three-time All-Minnesota River Conference selection. She was named the Minnesota River Conference Player of the Year as a junior. Fox has helped lead her team to five Minnesota River Conference Championships and two state appearances. She has career marks of 1,145 points, 972 rebounds and 300 blocks. She is the all-time record holder for blocks at Norwood Young America High School. Fox helped lead her squad to a 29-2 mark last season. She has also found success on the volleyball court, where she is a three-time All-Minnesota River Conference pick. Fox was named All-State in volleyball, as well. She is the school record holder for blocks, kills and games played. Fox also played softball, helping lead the team to a Minnesota River Conference Championship. “Bren is a true center,” said Head Coach Mike Roysland. “She plays well with her back to the basket and she is a great rebounder. Bren is another player who comes from a winning program in Norwood Young America. Bren brings great physicality to the position. In addition, she has the ability to step outside and shoot the three. We are excited to have Bren join the Minnesota Crookston basketball family.”
Fox is the daughter of Darrin and Angie Fox. She plans to major in biology at Minnesota Crookston. Fox was born Aug. 17, 2000. She comes from a long line of coaches. Fox was a member of National Honor Society and is a three-time letter winner.

Paige Cornale (G, 5-10, Oak Creek, Wis./Oak Creek H.S.)
Cornale averaged 2.6 points and 1.4 assists per game as a junior at Oak Creek High School. She played for the Wisconsin Basketball Academy Prestige this summer. During her AAU season, she averaged 7.0 points and 1.2 assists per game. She also tallied 2.2 rebounds per contest. Cornale notched 19 points on 8-of-15 from the field against the Purple Aces. She notched 14 points on 5-of-9 from the field against the WI Flight Elite. Cornale helped Oak Creek High School to a 14-0-0 mark in the Southeast Conference. Her prep squad finished with a 21-5 mark last season as they lost in the sectional finals to Milwaukee King High School.  “Paige is a gritty point guard, who also brings to the team a size and length that you don’t often see at the position,” said Head Coach Mike Roysland. “In addition, she has great handles and great strength. Paige comes from a winning program in Oak Creek High School and we are excited to add her to the Golden Eagle family.”
Cornale is the daughter of Kevin and Diane Cornale. She was born June 20, 2000. Cornale plans to major in biology/pre-med at Minnesota Crookston. Her brother Nathan Cornale played football at Carroll University. She has earned the Oak Creek High School Board of Education Awards each year.

Mary Burke (F, 5-11, Virginia, Minn./Mountain Iron-Buhl H.S.)
Burke was a Class A All-State First Team selection by the Minnesota Girl’s Basketball Coaches Association. Burke averaged 17.1 points and 7.1 rebounds per game for the Rangers. She helped lead Mountain Iron-Buhl to a 25-1 mark. The Rangers lost in the Class A final last season to Goodhue High School. Burke was picked to the All-Tournament Team at the MSHSL Class A Tournament in 2017. She shot 56.0 percent from the field as a junior and 42.5 percent from beyond the arc. Burke was an 80.4 percent free throw shooter. She has been an All-Arrowhead Conference First Team pick in the last three seasons. She is a member of the 1,000 point club at Mountain Iron-Buhl High School.  “Mary is one of the most versatile players I have ever recruited to the University of Minnesota Crookston,” said UMC Head Coach Mike Roysland. “She has the ability to play the 3, 4 and 5 positions in our system. Mary is great at attacking the rim and she can also stretch the floor with her outside shot. She comes to us from a great program at Mountain Iron-Buhl and we are excited to get on campus.”
Burke plans to major in health sciences at UMC. Burke is the daughter of Dan and Penny Burke. 

Kylie Post (G, 5-7, Corcoran, Minn./Maranatha Christian Academy)
Post was an All-MCAA Conference pick as a sophomore and junior. She was named to the All-State Tournament team as a sophomore. Post has helped Maranathan Christian Academy to the Class A Semifinals where they lost to Mary Burke’s Mountain Iron-Buhl High School squad last season. During her sophomore season, Post helped Maranatha Christian Academy to the Class A Finals where they lost to Goodhue High School. She played AAU for the Minnesota Stars. Post averaged 11.9 points on the season, while shooting 42.4 percent from the field. She added 6.1 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game. Post played especially well in the state tournament, scoring 18.5 points per game on 42.9 percent from the field. 
Post is the daughter of Dana and Kristin Post. She was born Sept. 28, 1999. Post plans to major in elementary education at Minnesota Crookston. Her father Dana played football at University of Minnesota Morris.

Kayla Sirjord (G, 5-6, Ulen, Minn./Ulen-Hitterdal H.S.)
Sirjord plays basketball for Norman County East/Ulen-Hitterdal. She helped lead her team to a 10-14 mark and a 9-5 record in the Pine to Prairie Conference as a junior. Sirjord was a 2017 Courts Plus Summer League All Star. She averaged 17.6 points and was second in league history with three-pointers made. Sirjord was also a 2015 Courts Plus Summer League All-Star after tallying 19.9 points per game. She also ran track in high school, making it to section finals in 100m hurdles two years in a row. She was first in subsection in 100m hurdles in 2017. Sirjord played AAU basketball for the MN Comets. “Kayla can score the ball anywhere on the court,” said Head Coach Mike Roysland. “She has a very quick release on her shot. In addition, her speed is very deceptively quick. We are always excited when we can sign area kids and Kayla is one we are very excited to get here to Minnesota Crookston. We can’t wait to see what she can do as a member of the Golden Eagle family.”
Sirjord is the daughter of Jerome and Angie Sirjord. She was born Dec. 4, 1999. Sirjord plans to major in Health Sciences (Pre-Med). Her father Jerome played football at the University of Minnesota Crookston. Her mom Angie competed in gymnastics at the University of Wisconsin-Las Crosse. Her brother Brady plays football at Concordia College (Minn.). She was been a member of the National Honor Society and Minnesota Honor Society, along with A Honor Roll.


The University of Minnesota Crookston Volleyball team announced the signing of Porsha Porath (OH, 6-1, Windom, Minn./Windom H.S.) and Hannah Stark (OH, 5-10, Esko, Minn./Esko H.S.) to National Letters of Intent. Porath and Stark are the first two signees of the Sarah Rauen era of Minnesota Crookston volleyball.  “We are excited to add both Porsha and Hann to the Golden Eagle Volleyball family,” said Head Coach Sarah Rauen. “Both players are great athletes and amazing people, and we can’t wait until they are on campus with us. After graduating three outside hitters this year both will help us add depth to that position.”

Porsha Porath (OH, 6-1, Windom, Minn./Windom H.S.)
Porath notched 369 kills as a senior for Windom High School. She was named All-Big South Conference during her senior season. Porath broke the school record for career kills Sept. 7, 2017 as she notched her 1,292nd kill of her career. She has tallied 1,595 career kills at Windom High School. As a junior, Porath was selected All-Big South Conference and Worthington Daily Globe All-Area. She reached her 1,000th kill as a junior for Windom High School. Porath was also named All-Big South Conference, All-Area and MN Class A All-State as a sophomore. As a freshman, she was named All-Area Second team and All-Big South Conference Honorable Mention. She was a five-year starter and letter winner at Windom High School. Porath was named to the Minnesota Class A Showcase All-Tournament Team as a sophomore. She was selected as one of the Top 75 juniors by Minnesota Breakdown in 2016. Porath competed at the club level as a sophomore and junior for Kairos Elite Volleyball Club in Sioux Falls, S.D. As an eighth grader and ninth grader, she competed for Southwest Minnesota Juniors out of Marshall, Minn. Porath previously participated in hockey and track and field. “Porsha brings height and dynamic athleticism to our outside hitter position,” Rauen said. “We are excited to get her in a Golden Eagle uniform. I have had a chance to watch her play over the past few years and believe she has a great career ahead of her. Porsha’s volleyball experience, strength and jumping ability will help her adjust to the college game quickly.”
She is the daughter of Paul and Kristen Porath. She has two younger brothers Tylan and Cragen. She competitively raced go-karts when she was younger. Her brother continued to race until he was 12-years old. She enjoys to watch spring car racing during the summer. Porath was a member of the Windom High School choir and girl’s pop group. She was born Feb. 23, 2000. She plans to major in health management.

Hannah Stark (OH, 5-10, Esko, Minn./Esko H.S.)
Stark was an All-Polar League First Team pick as a junior and senior. She earned All-Polar League Honorable Mention during her sophomore season. Stark earned Best Offensive Player honors for Esko High School as a junior. She also played softball for Esko High School. Stark earned Second Team All-Polar League honors as a junior softball player. She was named the Defensive Player of the Year for the Esko High School softball team as a junior. Stark played at the club level for Northland Volleyball Club. As a junior, she tallied 313 kills for 3.8 kills per set and hit .207 on the season. Stark added 193 digs and 40 aces in 83 sets played. As a senior, tallied 25 kills versus Virginia High School. She picked up matches with 18 kills twice against Cloquet High School. She also competes in basketball. “Hannah will add explosive strength to our outside hitter position, and will increase the level of competition in our gym,” Rauen said. “Being a successful three-sport athlete has her ready to make huge strides as she focuses in on volleyball. Working with Hannah at camp allowed us to see that she will fit in well with her program, and we can’t wait to get her in our gym training.”
Stark is the daughter of Joe and Betsy Stark. She plans to major in business. Stark was born Dec. 10, 1999. Her uncle Tom Stark played football at St. Cloud State University.


The University of Minnesota Crookston softball team announced the signing of three student-athletes to National Letter of Intents. The Golden Eagles inked Hannah Macias (OF, 5-2, West Covina, Calif./South Hills H.S.), Leah Macias (OF, 5-2, West Covina, Calif./South Hills H.S.) and Darian Pancirov (RHP/1B, 5-10, Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.)“I am very pleased with this early signing period,” said Head Coach Don Stopa. “All three players that will join our program next fall have the skills and athleticism to be impact players for this team for the next four years. They play in places that have great year-round weather and bring a lot of high level player experience as true freshmen.”

Hannah Macias (OF, 5-2, West Covina, Calif./South Hills H.S.)
Macias played prep softball for South Hills High School where she was named to the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Southern Section All-Academic Team. Macias also played club softball for the Heybucket Softball Club and played with the Minors Gold 18-U. She has played two years of varsity softball. Last season, she notched four runs and one RBI.
She is the daughter of Michael and Jayme Macias. Her twin sister Leah Macias also signed with the Golden Eagles. She was born June 3, 2000. Hannah comes from a softball family as two of her older sisters have played college softball. Her sister Sarah Macias played at Wayne State College, while her sister Rachel Macias currently plays at Morningside College. Hannah plans to major in Early Childhood Education.

Leah Macias (OF, 5-2, West Covina, Calif./South Hills H.S.)
Macias played prep softball for South Hills High School where she was also named to the CIF Southern Section All-Academic Team. She also played club softball for Heybucket and Minors Gold 18-U. Macias scored six runs last season with seven RBI’s and one home run. She has played two years of varsity softball. She is the daughter of Michael and Jayme Macias. Her twin sister Hannah Macias also signed with the Golden Eagles. She was born June 3, 2000. Leah comes from a softball family as two of her older sisters have played college softball. Her sister Sarah Macias played at Wayne State College, while her sister Rachel Macias currently plays at Morningside College. Leah plans to major in early childhood education. “Getting one good athlete is a plus, getting her twin sister too is a huge plus,” Stopa said. “Hannah and Leah are great athletes that play a great club schedule with the HeyBucket/Minor’s Gold program. They have played softball at a very high level and have faced a lot of great competition year round. I think they will be ready to jump right in at the college level.”

Darian Pancirov (RHP/1B, 5-10, Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.)
Pancirov has played high school softball for Bishop Gorman High School. She also competed on the club level for the Las Vegas Lil’ Rebels and the Las Vegas Blast 18-U. She was named the Most Valuable Player on defense for Bishop Gorman High School and was her team’s Player of the Year. In addition, she was an All-Sunset 4A Region Honorable Mention pick. She has maintained a 3.0 GPA in the classroom. She has been a two-year starter for Bishop Gorman High School.
Pancirov was born Feb. 14, 2000. She is the daughter of Michael and Tina Pancirov. She plans to major in health sciences. Pancirov’s mother Tina played softball at Vanguard University. Her dad Michael is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus. In addition, her brother Gavin a sophomore defensive lineman just down the road at University of Jamestown. “Darian is a two-way player that has skills to get it done in the circle and at the plate,” Stopa said. “As a pitcher, I think Darian has a chance to be a great college pitcher right away. She is tall, has good velocity and has played a great year-round schedule in the desert. She has learned how to get great hitters out. She is good defensively at first base, but her bat is better than good. She can hit and the ball jumps off her bat.”


The University of Minnesota Crookston men’s golf team announced the signing of Dylan Wenzel (6-4 200, Lino Lakes, Minn./Centennial H.S.) to a National Letter of Intent. 
Wenzel is the first signee for Head Coach Bryant Friskop, who took over the men’s golf program prior to the 2017-18 season.  “I am very excited to have Dylan join our men's golf team this upcoming year,” said Head Coach Bryant Friskop. “Dylan is a hard-working young man that I've been very impressed with since I first got the opportunity to talk with him.  I believe that Dylan will be a valuable asset for this team and this University.”

Dylan Wenzel (6-4 200, Lino Lakes, Minn./Centennial H.S.)
Wenzel shot an 82 at the Players’ Tour Series C1 at Legacy Golf Course on the Minnesota Junior PGA Tour in July of 2017. In addition, he turned in rounds of 84 at Rochester Golf and Country Club and Austin Country Club on the Minnesota Junior PGA Tour in July of 2017. He carded two rounds of 83 at the Francis A. Gross Golf Course and the Mankato Golf Club on the Minnesota Junior PGA in 2016. Wenzel averages a tournament score of 83.9.
Wenzel is the son of Dan and Jen Wenzel. He plans to major in natural resources-law enforcement. Wenzel was born June 15, 2000. His father Dan Wenzel played baseball at Augsburg University, where he is in the Athletic Hall of Fame.


The Minnesota State High School League announced today that three finalists have been selected for the Executive Director position. Three finalists were interviewed this week.

Mindy Chevalier --- Currently the Community Education Director/Assistant Principal at Belle Plaine High School.

Erich Martens --- Currently the Principal at Sauk Rapids-Rice High School.

Troy Urdahl --- Currently the Activities and Facilities Director at St. Anthony Village High School.

The Selection Committee announced that all three finalists have extensive experience with the Minnesota State High School League and high school activities. The Selection Committee will make a recommendation to the League’s Board of Directors for consideration at its meeting on November 30.
The selected finalist will take over for longtime MSHSL Executive Director Dave Stead, who announced in August that he will transition to a senior administrative role. Stead is the longest-serving Executive Director in the League’s 101-year history. Stead was hired as an Associate Director in 1986, and two years later, was promoted to the Executive Director position.


The Minnesota State High School League’s state football tournament semifinals will be held over three days this week at U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis. Winners of the semifinals advance to the Prep Bowl Championship games on Nov. 24-25 at U.S. Bank Stadium. Here is a look at this week’s semifinals:

The Schedule:

Class Nine-Man
Thursday, Nov. 16 -
Spring Grove (12-0) vs. Stephen-Argyle Central (11-1), 11:30 a.m.
Friday, Nov. 17 - Russell-Tyler-Ruthton (10-2) vs. Nevis (10-1), 9 a.m.

Class A
Saturday, Nov. 18 -
Wabasso (12-0) vs. Ada-Borup/Norman County West (12-0), 9 a.m.
                                  Mayer Lutheran (11-1) vs. Minneota (12-0), 11;30 a.m.

Class AA
Thursday, Nov. 16 -
Caledonia (11-0) vs. Paynesville Area (9-2), 2 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 17 - Pipestone Area (11-1) vs. Moose Lake/Willow River (7-5), 11:30 a.m.

Class AAA
Saturday, Nov. 18 -
Jordan (9-3) vs. Pierz (11-0), 2 p.m.
                                 St. Croix Lutheran (11-0) vs. Pequot Lakes (9-2), 4:30 p.m.

Class AAAA
Thursday, Nov. 16 -
Winona (11-0) vs. Academy of Holy Angels (10-1), 4:30 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 17 - South St. Paul (9-2) vs. Cloquet (11-0), 4:30 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 17 -
Elk River (10-1) vs. Apple Valley (10-1), 2 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 18 - Owatonna (10-1) vs. Brainerd (9-2), 7 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 16 -
Maple Grove (8-3) vs. Eden Prairie (11-0), 7 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 17 - Minnetonka (10-1) vs. Cretin-Derham Hall (9-2), 7 p.m.

Per session
: $14 adults; $9 students

Official Ball: Spalding TF-SB1

Spring Grove advanced to the semifinals with a 34-6 victory over Verndale in the quarterfinals at Buffalo High School. Alex Folz scored three touchdowns for the Lions. Spring Grove is making its third state tournament appearance and first since 2011. In the other upper bracket quarterfinal, Stephen-Argyle Central recorded a 39-22 victory over Cromwell-Wright at Bemidji State. The Storm stormed to a 32-6 lead, in part, behind four rushing touchdowns from Josten Hoeper. Stephen-Argyle Central has won seven Nine-Man state titles. Russell-Tyler-Ruthton advanced by edging Mountain Lake 8-6 at New Ulm High School. Cooper Hansen and Carter Hansen hooked up on a touchdown pass and then a two-point conversion pass for the Knights. Nevis completed the semifinal pairings with a 42-14 victory over North Woods at Bemidji State. Kyle Schmidt led Nevis with four rushing touchdowns.

Class A
Mayer Lutheran advanced to the semifinals with a 31-21 victory over Goodhue in the quarterfinals at Shakopee West Junior High. Kenson Boelke had two touchdowns for the Crusaders, one on a reception, the other on an interception return. Minneota used a 34-22 victory over Mahnomen at Alexandria High School to earn the semifinal berth opposite Mayer Lutheran. Isaac Hennen led the way for Minneota with four touchdowns. Wabasso is in the semifinals for the second consecutive season following a 53-14 victory over Bethlehem Academy at New Ulm High School. Wabasso raced to a 53-0 lead behind two touchdowns each from Colton Taylor and Cooper Taylor. Ada-Borup/Norman County West recorded a 29-20 victory over Braham at Brainerd High School. Ada-Borup scored 22 unanswered points in the second half for the victory.

Class AA
Caledonia, the two-time defending Class AA champion, looked sharp in a 38-0 victory over Minneapolis North Community in the quarterfinals at Burnsville High School. Minneapolis North won the Class A crown in 2016. Owen King accounted for four touchdowns for Caledonia, three through the air and another rushing. Paynesville Area recorded a 58-33 victory over Barnesville Area at Alexandria Area High School. The Bulldogs scored 38 points in the middle two quarters in building a 52-20 lead. In the lower bracket, Pipestone Area used a 19-12 victory over Blue Earth Area at New Ulm High School to earn a spot in the semifinals. Pipestone Area scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to rally, one each from Jordan Baatz and Garrett Ploeger. Moose Lake/Willow River completed the semifinals with a 41-14 victory over West Central Area at Brainerd High School. Colton Little had four touchdowns for the Rebels.

Class AAA
St. Croix Lutheran raced to a 61-29 victory over Rochester Lourdes at Prior Lake High School in a rematch of the 2016 Class AAA championship game that Rochester Lourdes won. Mike Stern had six touchdowns in the Crusaders’ runaway victory. Pequot Lakes cruised to a 34-0 victory over Mora at Alexandria Area High School behind two touchdown runs by Nathan Traut. In the lower bracket quarterfinals, Jordan advanced with a 20-13 victory over Fairmont at Prior Lake High School. Jonathan Draheim threw three touchdown passes for the Hubmen. In the final quarterfinal in this enrollment class, Pierz zipped to a 42-13 victory over Proctor at Brainerd High School. Reese Kapsner had three touchdown runs for the Pioneers.

Class AAAA
Winona’s hopes for a return trip to the Class AAAA championship game remained alive following a 17-14 victory over Fridley at Farmington High School. Winona, the Class AAAA runner-up last year to Benilde-St. Margaret’s, raced to a 17-0 lead before yielding two fourth quarter touchdowns to Fridley. Academy of Holy Angels advanced with a 20-8 victory over Rocori at St. Cloud State University. Joseph Heimbold had two touchdowns for the Stars, one rushing and one through the air. South St. Paul, which lost to Winona in the 2016 quarterfinals, advanced to the semifinals with a 42-14 victory over Marshall at Shakopee West Junior High. Cade Sexauer and Angel Rodriguez had two touchdowns each for the Packers. Cloquet completed the semifinal pairings with a 36-21 victory over Becker at St. Cloud State University. Spencer Wehr had two touchdowns for the Lumberjacks.

Defending Class AAAAA champion Elk River outlasted Andover for a 66-60 victory at Mounds View High School. The teams combined for 90 points in the first half. Sherrod Kpahn scored his second touchdown of the game to snap a 60-all tie. Apple Valley, which lost in the 2016 quarterfinals, advanced with a 41-28 victory over Mankato West at Shakopee West Junior High. Tyler Cardella had two touchdowns to lead the Eagles. In the other semifinal, Owatonna faces Brainerd in a rematch of the 2013 Class AAAAA championship that Owatonna won. The Huskies advanced with a 59-34 victory over Mahtomedi at Lakeville North High School. Jason Williamson powered the Huskies with seven touchdowns. Brainerd used a 24-7 victory over St. Louis Park at St. Cloud State University to complete the semifinal pairings. Charlie Geraets had three touchdowns for the Warriors.

Maple Grove had the most dramatic quarterfinal victory of any enrollment class when it recorded a 29-27 victory over St. Michael-Albertville at Park Center High School. Maple Grove, trailing 27-10 with a minute remaining in regulation, rallied in furious fashion with 19 points. Evan Hull completed the stunning comeback on a 2-yard run with four seconds remaining in regulation. Next up for Maple Grove is Eden Prairie, which defeated the Crimson 28-7 in Week 5. Eden Prairie, top-ranked and favored to win its 11th big-school championship, defeated Lakeville North 35-0 in another quarterfinal. In the other bracket, Minnetonka advanced with a 10-6 victory over Prior Lake at Osseo. Aaron Syverson hooked up with Jackson Owens with 1:12 left in regulation to lift the Skippers. Cretin-Derham Hall completed the Class AAAAAA semifinal pairings with a 28-14 victory over Edina at White Bear Lake High School. Zion Guerra and Danny Callahan had two touchdowns each for the Raiders.


The 2017 Minnesota State High School League Girls’ Swimming & Diving Meet is scheduled for November 16-18 at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center on the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis. Here is a look at the meet:

Schedule: Thursday, November 16: Class A diving preliminaries at noon, Class AA diving preliminaries at 6 p.m. Friday, November 17: Class A swimming preliminaries at noon, Class AA swimming preliminaries at 6 p.m. Saturday, November 18: Class A swimming and diving finals at noon, Class AA swimming and diving finals at 6 p.m. 


200-Yard Medley Relay
Class A — Seven teams that earned medals at the 2016 state meet are returning: Orono, defending champion; Breck School of Golden Valley, runner-up; Hutchinson, third; Hill-Murray of Maplewood, fourth; Mankato West, sixth; Sartell-St. Stephen, seventh; and Monticello, eighth. Delano owns the fastest qualifying time of 1:44.44.
Class AA — Seven teams that competed in the 2016 final are back, including the three-time defending champions from Wayzata. The other returning teams are: Minnetonka, runner-up; St. Michael-Albertville, third; Andover, fourth; Edina, fifth; Eden Prairie, sixth; and Minneapolis Southwest, seventh. The Minnetonka Skippers have the best qualifying time of 1:43.39.

200-Yard Freestyle
Class A — Sophomore Lexi Kucera of Hutchinson, who earned runner-up honors last year, leads a field of six returning medal-winners. The others are: sophomore Kali Sayovitz of Sauk Centre, third; ninth-grader Abby Larson of Faribault, fifth; junior Sophie Kishish of Visitation of Mendota Heights, sixth; junior Morgan Frank of Delano, seventh; and ninth-grader Sophia Mattaini of Visitation, eighth. Taylor Williams, a ninth-grader from Benilde-St. Margaret’s of St. Louis Park, boasts the best qualifying time of 1:53.37.
Class AA — Senior Kelli McCarthy of Edina returns in search of her second consecutive title. She is joined by four additional returning medalists: Wayzata sophomore Melinda Zhang, third; Minnetonka sophomore Nicole Burg, sixth; Edina senior Sophie Clarkowski, seventh; and Lakeville North senior Elizabeth Thull, eighth. Robbinsdale Armstrong sophomore Sierra Smith has the fastest qualifying time of 1:50.79.

200-Yard Individual Medley
Class A — Five competitors return from the 2016 field, including defending champion, junior Madison Potter of Blake. The other returning medal-winners are: sophomore Gabi Baldwin of Hill-Murray, runner-up; junior Alyssa Eckstein of Monticello, fourth; senior Anna Ellis of Sartell-St. Stephen, fifth; and sophomore Kali Fischer of Visitation, sixth. Baldwin has this year’s fastest qualifying time of 2:06.13.
Class AA — Defending champion, sophomore Isabelle Stadden of Blaine, has this year’s best time of 2:00.03. Five other 2016 medalists also return: Edina senior Raime Jones, runner-up; Wayzata junior Jordan McGinty, fourth; Edina junior Emma Berdelman, sixth; Rosemount junior Anna Wenman, seventh; and Stillwater Area senior Ciana Fragnito, eighth.

50-Yard Freestyle

Class A — Defending champion, junior Makayla Suominen of Cloquet-Esko-Carlton, returns with this year’s fastest qualifying time of 23.41. Four additional medal-winners return: sophomore Grace Farnsworth of Monticello, fifth; sophomore Ava Hoffman of Visitation, sixth; senior Megan Gehrke of Faribault, seventh; and senior Alice Foote of Little Falls, eighth.
Class AA — Five of eight medalists return: Lakeville South senior Ryenne Hathaway, runner-up; Minnetonka ninth-grader Macy Klein, fourth; Roseville Area sophomore Pyper Doo, sixth; Rosemount senior Macy Klein, seventh; and Minnetonka senior Emily Haan, eighth. Doo has this year’s fastest qualifying time of 23.32.

One-Meter Diving
Class A — Breck School junior Saylor Hawkins returns to defend her 2016 title. Detroit Lakes senior Emma Disse and Fergus Falls senior Camryn Appert also return. They placed fourth and fifth last year, respectively.
Class AA — Defending champion, sophomore Megan Phillip of Edina, is the highest returning qualifier. Five additional medalists return: Roseville Area senior Michelle Schlossmacher-Smith, runner-up; Buffalo senior Alex Zeiss, third; Wayzata senior Elly Morrison, fourth; Blaine senior Abigail Egolf-Jensen, seventh; and Rochester Mayo senior Isabella Lichen, eighth.

100-Yard Butterfly
 Class A — Blake junior Madison Potter returns to defend her 2016 crown with the best qualifying time of 55.10. Three additional medal-winners return from last year’s field: junior Gabbie Werner of Big Lake, fourth; sophomore Grace Farnsworth of Monticello, sixth; and sophomore Maggie Broyles of Breck School, seventh.
Class AA — St. Michael-Albertville junior Emma Lezer is the highest returning qualifier. She earned runner-up honors last year. Lezer will be joined by three additional 2016 medalists: Hopkins junior Molly Meland, fourth; Edina senior Sophie Clarkowski, sixth; and Rosemount junior Anna Wenman, seventh. Meland owns the fastest qualifying time of 55.71.

100-Yard Freestyle
Class A —Six 2016 medal-winners return: sophomore Lexi Kucera of Hutchinson, runner-up; junior Makayla Suominen of Cloquet-Esko-Carlton, third; senior Julia Landwehr of Blake, fourth; senior Alice Foote of Little Falls, sixth; senior Megan Gehrke of Faribault, seventh; and sophomore Meghan Minne of Hibbing, eighth. Suominen has this year’s best qualifying time of 51.49.
Class AA — Six medalists, including defending champion, Edina senior Raime Jones, return from last year. The others are: Roseville Area sophomore Pyper Doo, third; Wayzata junior Jordan McGinty, fourth; Edina senior Ashley Post, fifth; Minnetonka sophomore Nicole Burg, sixth; and Minnetonka senior Emily Haan, seventh. McGinty has the fastest qualifying time of 50.44.

500-Yard Freestyle
Class A — Hutchinson eighth-grader Hailey Farrell is the highest returning medalist; she earned runner-up honors last year. Four additional 2016 medal-winners return: senior Jordyn Wentzel of Delano, third; junior Morgan Frank of Delano, fourth; junior Sydney Gulon of Detroit Lakes, sixth; and ninth-grader Abby Larson of Faribault, seventh. Wentzel has the fastest qualifying time of 4:59.86.
Class AA — Two-time defending champion, Edina senior Kelli McCarthy, leads a field of five returning medalists. McCarthy also owns the best qualifying time of 5:00.47. The others are: sophomore Melinda Zhang of Wayzata, runner-up; senior Kate Van Meter of Cretin-Derham Hall of St. Paul, third; junior Emma Sanders of Champlin Park, fifth; and senior Maria Currie of Chanhassen, sixth.

200-Yard Freestyle Relay
Class A — Six medal-winning teams return, led by the three-time defending champions from Visitation. The other teams are: Hutchinson, runner-up; Foley, third; Faribault, fourth; Benilde-St. Margaret’s, fifth; and Breck School, sixth. Hutchinson owns the best qualifying time of 1:37.88.
Class AA — All eight teams return: Edina, defending champion; Wayzata, runner-up; Eden Prairie, third; Lakeville South, fourth; Prior Lake, fifth; Eagan, sixth; Rosemount, seventh; and St. Michael-Albertville, eighth. Minnetonka has the fastest qualifying time of 1:36.99. 

100-Yard Backstroke
Class A — Sartell-St. Stephen senior Anna Ellis is the highest returning qualifier; she is looking to improve on last year’s runner-up showing. Four other 2016 medalists have qualified again: Hill-Murray sophomore Gabi Baldwin, fourth; Richfield senior Abby Stok, sixth; Melrose Area senior Mikayla Von Wahlde, seventh; and Visitation sophomore Kali Fischer, eighth. Katelin Phelps, a ninth-grader from Breck School, has the best qualifying time of 57.32. 
Class AA — The 2016 runner-up, Blaine sophomore Isabelle Stadden, returns with the fastest qualifying time of 53.88. Four additional medal-winners return: junior Molly Meland of Hopkins, fourth; sophomore Ashley Frankwitz of Minnetonka, sixth; senior Amelia Baxley of Minneapolis Southwest, seventh; and junior Raegan Willis of Minnetonka, eighth.

100-Yard Breaststroke
Class A — Four 2016 medalists return: Faribault senior Bre Bresnahan, runner-up; Monticello junior Alyssa Eckstein, third; Hill-Murray senior Amelia Berg, sixth; and Orono junior Caroline Gardner, seventh. Delano senior Jordyn Wentzel owns the fastest qualifying time of 1:04.57.
Class AA — Defending champion, St. Michael-Albertville junior Emma Lezer, returns in search of more gold. Three additional medal-winners return: Eden Prairie sophomore Kylie Rydland, fourth; Andover senior Andrea Fischer, fifth; and Minnetonka senior Sam Frigard, seventh. Minnetonka senior Julia Brazeau has the best qualifying time of 1:01.85.

400-Yard Freestyle Relay
Class A — Six teams that qualified for the finals in 2016 return, including the defending champions from Hutchinson. The other medal-winning teams returning are: Visitation, runner-up; Blake, third; Hill-Murray, fourth; Breck School, fifth; and Sartell-St. Stephen, sixth. Blake has the fastest qualifying time of 3:35.52.
Class AA — All eight of the 2016 medal-winning teams return, including the two-time defending champions from Edina. The other returning teams are: Wayzata, runner-up; Minnetonka, third, Minneapolis Southwest, fourth; Andover, fifth; Rosemount, sixth; Prior Lake, seventh; and Lakeville South, eighth. Minnetonka owns the best qualifying time of 3:29.37.

Class A – Visitation won its eighth team championship since 2005 by compiling 261 points. Breck School was second and Hutchinson was third. There were no Class A records established in 2016. 

Class AA – Edina won its 14th championship in school history with 353 points. Wayzata was the runner-up and Minnetonka was third. Three new Class AA and all-time records were set: Carly Quast of Wayzata completed the 200-yard freestyle in 1:47.33; and Edina set the new standard in both the 200-yard medley relay (1:32.89) and the 400-yard medley relay (3:21.89).




You’ve heard the ABC World Wide World of Sports opening? ‘The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat!’
That was encompassed in a 10 second span last year for the Section 8A Girl’s Hockey Championship. Trailing Warroad 2-1 with a minute to go, East Grand Forks pulled their goalie for an extra attacker and with 36 seconds to go, they scored to tie the game 2-2. That’s the thrill for the Green Wave and the agony for Warroad. WAIT, 10 seconds later and with 26 seconds to go in the third period, Warroad’s Kaitlyn Kotlowski’s slap shot found its way past Green Wave goalie, Mckenzie Whalen to give Warroad the win and the thrill of victory and certainly the agony of defeat for East Grand Forks. Warroad would go on to take third place in the Minnesota State Class A Tournament.
The coaches of Section 8A Girl’s Hockey, there is six of them, think it will be a rematch for the Section title this year in a poll conducted by KROX RADIO in Crookston, Minnesota. Last year Warroad won the championship IN East Grand Forks while the Section 8A semi-finals and championship will be IN Warroad this season.
With five of the six coaches completing the poll, East Grand Forks is the favorite garnering four of the five first place votes in the poll which you could not vote for your own team, which makes it unanimous for the Green Wave who return a lot of their scoring, some defense and one of the better goalies in the State of Minnesota in senior Mackenzie Whalen.
Since Park Rapids is the only one that didn't vote, they had five coaches vote for them, while the rest had four coaches votes. Taking that into consideration, Crookston and Park Rapids tied for 5th.

Team (first place votes) total points
1. East Grand Forks  (4)    4
2. Warroad  (1)                 7
3. Thief River Falls            10
4. Detroit Lakes               13
5. Crookston                    18
6. Park Rapids                 18  

East Grand Forks
Jim Enright is in his fourth year coaching girl’s hockey at East Grand Forks and his 32 years coaching hockey in the East Grand Forks system! East Grand Forks returns 17 players from last year’s runner up team with 11 of them being seniors! The Green Wave will be led by All State Honorable Mention goalie, Whalen (committed to UW-Superior) played over 20 games last year with a 1.51 goals against with a 95%!!! save percentage. Coach Enright thinks the Green Wave should be able to score more with the mature group led by Nicole Schlenk (13g,12a last year), Livia Pesch (13g-6a) and Tiffany Hanson (8g-12a). They have a good group of defenders returning that will be in front of Whalen and three new girls up from the youth program that will be able to fit right in. The Green Wave have no JV, so they brought their numbers down to 20 to start the season. A strong schedule should make East Grand Forks ready for the Section Tournament!

Warroad lost All State player Mariah Gardner, the last of the talented sisters who scored 34 goals last season and was seventh in the state last year. They lost both their goalies including Emma Brunelle who played 23 games with a 1.53 goals against. That’s the bad news for Warroad who has won the Section title the last two years. But, the Warriors have lots of GOOD NEWS. Starting with All-State Honorable mention forward Madison Oelkers who had 36 goals last year including seven in the section and state tournaments along with 46 assists to lead the Warriors in scoring. Oelkers has committed to Division I, Minnesota State-Mankato. Joining Madison Oelkers will be an All State Honorable mention defenseman, last year’s section hero, Kotlowski (13g,19a), Abigail Hardwick (9g, 8a as an eighth grader) plus a lot of players who seen a lot of playing time last year and will give the Warriors a lot of speed and skating ability.  Kotlowski, a junior, has committed to Division I Wisconsin.
Head Coach David Marvin has 31 girls out for varsity and JV, 13 that played varsity last year and in his 12th year of coaching girls hockey at Warroad, he’s looking to add to his 229 win total!!

Thief River Falls
One of the top 10 teams in the State Class A rankings for the last three years and two years out from a State Class A Championship, the Prowlers have a new coach, Brett Johnson who is a former Thief River Falls hockey player and has been the head boy’s hockey coach at Lake of the Woods for the last six years where he compiled 55 wins). He inherits nine players that played varsity last year led by Tessa Jorde (14g,18a), a senior who has committed to play at UW-Superior (will be a teammate of Mackenzie Whalen). The Prowlers lost a lot of firepower with Callie Fagerstrom (18g,21a) and Kora Torkelson (21g,19a) graduated as well as Ava Marolt. But Jorde will have plenty of company in Shelby Breiland (19g,14a), Jaimee Nelson (16g,14a), Khloe Lund (13g, 15a) and Grace Bergland (8g, 11a). Coach Johnson will have to find a goalie as Mariah Nelson (2.17 goals against and 87% saves) played the majority of the Thief River Falls games last year.

Detroit Lakes
Gretchen Norby is in her seventh year as the head coach for the Lakers, where she also played. She has welcomed back 11 starters from last year’s Lakers team. They lost their top scorer but return Abagail King (8g,5a), Karrigan Hallisey (7g, 2a), Lily Burnside (2g, 6a) and Payton Carlblom (4g,3a). They do return three of their top four defensemen along with goalie Kyndra McDougall  who played in 18 games last season with a 5.74 goals against and 83% saves. Coach Norby has 31 girls out for hockey on both varsity and JV and says they’ll have to score some goals to win and find a second and third line.

Park Rapids
A new coach in Erik Myhre lost some good players but none more valuable then goalie Julia Smith (20 games-4.34 goals against, 90% save!!). That will be the question mark for the Panthers between the 4x6.
They do return some girls who have scored in the past, Alexa Kennedy (16g,15a), Taylor Sagen (11g, 14a), Lexi Hinckley-Smith (10g, 12a) and Paige Myhre (9g,11a). Goalie? Klohie Mankie played in parts of four games last season for Park Rapids.

Numbers crunch for Crookston right now. They return four varsity players after losing eight seniors from last year's team. Lost top three scorers and will count on Catherine Tiedemann (3g, 11a), Kylee Meier (4g, 2a) and MacKenzie Epema who are the only three up front players back. Also back is goaltender Brelee Jobe. Three years ago, Jobe was a defenseman playing some JV and some varsity and now is a veteran goalkeep playing in 24 games with a 6.68 goals against and a 70% saves. “Brelee has come a long way since a couple years ago,” say’s Crookston head coach Jaclyn Martin in her third year as head coach and 10 years overall with Pirate girl’s hockey, where she also played. “Even though I know she’ll get lots of shots again this year, I know she’ll keep us in games.”
The Pirates will have 10 eighth graders joining the varsity team as the program has 19 girls on the team that will play varsity only this year. With the youth movement, they figure they’ll suffer their lumps again, but with some talented youth teams coming to blend in with the eighth graders, they feel they will be a couple years away from challenging. They will be playing two lines, maybe three defense at times, so stamina will be a question mark as well.

Some notes:
Five of the six head coaches are coaching at their alma mater!

There are 10 Section 8A girl’s playing Division I hockey
Mak Langei
(East Grand Forks) – Bemidji State
Emily Bergland (Thief River Falls) – Bemidji State
Sylvia Marolt (Thief River Falls) -  Bemidji State
Briana Jorde  (Thief River Falls) -  Bemidji State
Haley Mack (East Grand Forks) -  Bemidji State
Patti Marshall (Thief River Falls) -  Minnesota
Lynn Astrup  (Warroad) -  Minnesota-Duluth
Mariah Gardner (Warroad) -  Minnesota State-Mankato
Demi Gardner (Warroad) -    Minnesota State-Mankato
McKenna Brand (Park Rapids) -  Northeastern

There are six Section 8A girl’s playing other College Hockey  (that we know of)
Sara Baumann  (Warroad) -  Concordia College-Moorhead
Callie Fagerstrom (Thief River Falls) -  Concordia College-Moorhead
Ali Hutter (Crookston) – St. Catherine
Karly Nelson (East Grand Forks) – St. Catherine
Kora Torkeson (Thief River Falls) – Wisconsin-River Falls
Brandi Malwitz (Thief River Falls) -  St. Scholastica

Both Section 8A hockey tournaments, girl’s and boy’s will be held at the Garden’s in Warroad!!

New coaches:  Thief River Falls head coach Brett Johnson replaced Whitney Restemayer who is now the head girls hockey coach at Moorhead.  Erik Myhre is the new head coach at Park Rapids and replaced Gary Vaudrin.
Crookston former head girl’s hockey coach, Tim Moe, is now an assistant girl’s hockey coach at Crookston.

With the University of North Dakota eliminating women’s hockey starting this year, it was a blow to high girl’s hockey in this region!! But it’s good to see that Bemidji State and former East Grand Forks hockey coach, Jim Scanlan, head women’s hockey coach at Bemidji State is doing a great job of recruiting Section 8 kids!!


The Crookston "Huff and Puff" over 50 Hockey Tourney will be held December 2-3 at the Crookston Sports Center.

The over 50 tourney is for anybody over the age of 50 by 12/31/2017
It will be held at the Crookston Sports Center on Saturday, December 2 and Sunday, December 3.
Cost is $60 per person.

Registration deadline is November 26.

Make checks payable to Heath Hanson/Over 50 Hockey or Scott Kleven/Over 50 Hockey

Send your check and registration information to
Heath Hanson                     Scott Kleven
907 South Washington        902 Memorial Drive
Crookston, MN  56716      Crookston, MN 56716

Registration form -

Name _______________________            Phone ______________________

Address _____________________________        City/State____________________    Zip_________

Email _______________________________

Position preference  ______________     Level played - Rec. Hockey,   High School,    College   (Circle one)


It is hard to believe that we are a month away from the Crookston High School Boys Basketball alumni games.  I received the following info from Pirate Boys Basketball Coach Greg Garmen.  As soon as I receive the alumni hockey, I will post that too!

2017 Pirate Boys Basketball Alumni Game(s)

When:  Saturday November 25, 2017

Where: Crookston High School gymnasium @ approximately 11am (May be adjusted will have info)

  • Current and former coaches are invited to come and visit/play/ref.
  • The alumni game committee will select teams.
  • Social event to follow – more details to come
  • Questions?  Email:


Please email to register.

Cost: $30 (Can pay the day of the games)

Proceeds will go towards the CHS Pirate Boys basketball program.

Reserve your spot now:



Phone _________________Email address_______________________________

Graduation year_____________  

Waiver:  I understand that Crookston Public schools and its directors will not be held responsible for injuries or loss of personal property while the above athlete is involved in the alumni games.  I authorize the directors to secure any emergency treatment deemed necessary. 



The Crookston Youth Basketball Association (CYBA) season for Kindergarten through sixth grade will begin the week of November 6.  Please visit the website to register your player(s):


The 25th Annual CYBA Basketball Tournament March 23-25, 2018.  Third grade boys and girls will play Saturday Only. 4-8th Girls will Play Friday and Saturday. 4-8th Boys will Play Saturday and Sunday.

No games will begin before noon on Sunday March 25. Attached is the registration form. Hope to see you all in March. For more information please visit our website at


2018 Ada-Borup Booster Club Cougar Classic Basketball Tournament 

February 3rd Boys 4th - 6th grade

February 10th Girls 4th - 6th grade

Cost: $150 per team limited to the first 8 teams paid for each grade

3 Game Guarantee

Registration deadline is Jan. 19th, 2018

Early bird Special!! ($125 entry fee if registration form and money is in by Dec. 31st 2017)
Registration forms are attached.

Tournament questions:
Jeremy Peterson email jpeterson@partnersadvantage.comor cell 701-371-9565
Amy Kroshus email or cell 218-784-8351




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


John, who lived in the north of England, decided to go golfing in Scotland with his buddy, Shawn. 

So they loaded up John's minivan and headed north. After driving for a few hours, they got caught in a terrible blizzard. So they pulled into a nearby farm and asked the attractive lady who answered the door if they could spend the night.    ‘I realize it's terrible weather out there and I have this huge house all to myself, but I'm recently widowed,' she explained, 'and I'm afraid the neighbors will talk if I let you stay in my house.' 
'Don't worry,' John said. 'We'll be happy to sleep in the barn. And if the weather breaks, we'll be gone at first light.' 
The lady agreed, and the two men found their way to the barn and settled in for the night. 
Come morning, the weather had cleared, and they got on their way. They enjoyed a great weekend of golf.  But about nine months later, John got an unexpected letter from an attorney. It took him a few minutes to figure it out, but he finally determined that it was from the attorney of that attractive widow he had met on the golf weekend. 
He dropped in on his friend Shawn and asked, "Shawn, do you remember that good-looking widow from the farm we stayed at on our golf holiday in Scotland about 9 months ago?' 
‘Yes, I do,' said Shawn

'Did you, er, happen to get up in the middle of the night, go up to the house and pay her a visit?' 
'Well, um, yes!,' Shawn said, a little embarrassed about being found out, 'I have to admit that I did.' 
'And did you happen to give her my name instead of telling her your name?' 
Shawn's face turned beet red and he said, 'Yeah, look, I'm sorry, buddy. I'm afraid I did.  Why do you ask?'

‘She just died and left me everything.'


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

Paul Bittner, is playing for the Cleveland Monsters (AHL – minor league affiliate of Columbus).  Paul didn't score, but had seven penalty minutes in a 6-1 loss to the Iowa Wild on Saturday and he had an assist in a 3-2 loss on Sunday. Cleveland will host Milwaukee on Thursday and Saturday.

Ryan Bittner, is a junior playing hockey for the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.  Ryan didn't score, but had a plus-two rating in a 7-2 victory at Saint Mary's University on Friday and he didn't score while having three shots on goal in a 2-1 OT victory at St. Thomas on Saturday.  The Pointers host Marian University on Friday and St. Norbert College on Saturday.

Brady Heppner, is a sophomore playing hockey at St. Johns University in Collegeville.  Brady didn't score, but he had four shots on goal in a 5-2 loss to Hamline on Friday.  St. Johns will travel to St. Olaf on Friday and host St. Olaf on Saturday.

Aaron Hollcraft, is a junior playing basketball and baseball for the UMC Golden Eagles.  Aaron didn't play in a 114-105 loss to Arkasas Tech University on Friday and he didn't play in a 71-64 loss to University of Arkansas at Monticello on Saturday.
UMC will host the University of Sioux Falls on Saturday and travel to Jamestown University on Tueday.

Doug Larson, is a captain for the junior hockey team, Brookings Blizzard of the NAHL.  Doug had an assist in a 5-2 loss to Aberdeen on Friday and had an assist and 12 penalty minutes in a 3-2 loss to Aberdeen on Saturday.  Brookings will host Janesville on Friday and Saturday.

Harrison Bjorgo, is playing Junior Hockey for the Minnesota Iron Rangers.  Harrison didn't score in a 5-3 loss to Fort Frances on Friday.  The Iron Rangers will travel to Dryden on Wednesday and will host English River on Friday and Saturday.

Cody Wardner, is playing Junior Hockey for the Oklahoma City Jr. Blazers in the C1HL league.  Cody had a goal in a 10-1 victory on Friday over Cheyenne, and he didn't score in a 15-0 or 12-0 victories.   Oklahoma City will host the Dallas Snipers for a three game series this weekend.

Haley Roed, is a sophomore swimmer for the Minnesota State Moorhead Dragons in the NSIC.  The Dragons placed fourth at the St. Thomas two day invite this weekend.  Haley was on the third place 400 Freestyle Relay team, she was on the 8th place 400 Medley Relay team, finished 20th in the 100 freestyle, and 24th in the 100 Breaststroke.

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.

Dylan Klatt, a senior quarterback on the University of Jamestown football team.  Dylan wrapped up his collegiate career completing 12 of 18 passes for 190 yards and four touchdowns in a 55-54 OT loss to Waldorf on Saturday.  Dylan also carried the ball 82 times for 76 yards and 2 TD's.

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.

Isaac Westlake, a sophomore golfer on the Winona State Men’s Golf team.  Winona State will be off until the spring.

Josh Edlund,  is an assistant football coach and phy ed teacher at Flandreau, South Dakota.

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 Tennis coach at Monticello High School.

Matt Harris, is an Assistant Athletic Director and assistant basketball coach at Arizona Christian University in Phoenix, Arizona.

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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