SPORTS FEEVER – April 15, 2020

We are a month into the COVID-19 pandemic and the stoppage to the sports world.  All of us have pretty much figured out there won’t be a spring sports season.  Several summer athletic activities have been canceled already.  We are heading L.A. saying they likely won’t host a sporting event until 2021.  New Orleans saying they won’t be hosting a sporting event this year, and many other places.  If sporting events are held, they won’t have crowds watching the games.

Many people have said they don’t think the football season will start on time.   We will see what happens, but be ready for the lack of high school sports.

Enjoy this week’s column, stay home, stay healthy and stay safe!!!

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We have been playing back Classic Crookston Pirate games this week and they have been extremely well received.  It has been a blast listening to the games.  Coming up on Friday, we will have the 1980 Class A Football State Championship game between Crookston and Pipestone.  The game was played in Crookston.
Crookston was 10-0 coming into the state tournament and beat Park Rapids 19-8 in the first round.  In the semi-finals, the Pirates beat Rochester Lourdes 35-12.  In the championship, Crookston beat Pipestone 32-6.

The crazy thing that many might not remember is that the Catholic School in Crookston, Mount St. Benedict went to state in Nine-man the same year!  The Mount’s enrollment was 230 and Crookston Central’s enrollment was 516.

Crookston Central was coached by Hall of Famer Les Drechsel (it was his 24th year and he was 65-27-1 in those 24 years). The assistant coaches were Jim Simon, Jim Myrold, Rodd Olson, and Gary Vorachek.
The Mount St. Benedict was coached by Mike Finco (his 3rd year) and he was assisted by Fran Finco (who was also the A.D.).

Dan Crane (a member of the 1980 Pirate football team) dropped off the 1980 State Football program and game recording and it was a lot of fun to look through the program.  I scanned the two Crookston teams along with McIntosh-Winger and Mahnomen team pages from the program below.

Thursday – April 16 – 2006 Section 8AA Girls Basketball Championship  – Crookston vs Barnesville at 7:05 pm
Friday – April 17 – 1980 State Football Championship – Crookston vs Pipestone
Monday – April 20 – 2007 Section 8A Girls Hockey Championship – Crookston vs Warroad

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Last week we had a picture of the Crookston Pirate Softball seniors and asked for any coaches, parents, and students to send us pictures of their teams, seniors, or whoever.

This week we have the Fertile-Beltrami Boys and Girls Track teams.  We received it from Coach Brian Nelson

Chris, read sports fever this week and saw you were looking for some spring sports pictures.  Here is the 2020 Fertile-Beltrami 7-12 boys and girls track teams. We quick took a picture the Tuesday before our shutdown/and wait season (have a few missing in pic).  We are distance coaching them right now and are hopeful we can get back at it May.  Thanks and hope you and your family are safe and well.   Our distance coaching motto has been   “Stay Safe, Stay Active”

Send your pictures to and we will post them each week!

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Minnesota Duluth Men’s Hockey player, Scott Perunovich (of Hibbing), won the Hobey Baker Award for the best Men’s Hockey player in the country this past weekend.

There is a local tie-in with Perunivich.  Hibbing and Crookston played in boys tennis a couple of times and I remember the one match at state where Crookston’s Bobby Tiedemann took on Perunovich.  Both had shoulder injuries (Bobby’s from spring hockey and Perunovich’s from playing slowpitch softball – Yep…you read that right) going into the state tournament and Bobby won in a three-setter.  The two met the next year as seniors and Bobby won a three-set match 6-7, 6-3, 10-3.

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I was looking through some old recordings last week and came across an interview I did with Kevin Garnett (now a hall of famer) in October of 2004 when the Timberwolves played an exhibition game at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks.   I did a short three-minute interview with KG after the game and it is below.  My sixth-grade son, Carter, now thinks his dad is pretty cool!!

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Several Minnesotan’s are ranked in the Central Scouting Final rankings. Nobody from Northwest Minnesota was in the top 150, but Warroad’s Grant Slukynsky went from being unrated before the year started to 152nd after scoring 30 goals and recording 101 points on the season. Slukysnsky will be going to Northern Michigan next year.
Thief River Falls’ Evan Bushy is ranked at 156th and will be playing at St. Cloud State.

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Due to the quarantine…
I’ll only be telling inside jokes.

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Mildred, the church gossip, and self-appointed monitor of the church’s morals, kept sticking her nose into other people’s business. Several members did not approve of her extra-curricular activities, but feared her enough to maintain their silence.
She made a mistake, however, when she accused George, a new member, of being an alcoholic after she saw his old pickup parked in front of the town’s only bar one afternoon. She emphatically told George (and several others) that everyone seeing it there would know what he was doing.
George, a man of few words, stared at her for a moment and just turned and walked away. He didn’t explain, defend, or deny. He said nothing.
Later that evening, George quietly parked his pickup in front of Mildred’s house, walked home, and left it there all night.

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After I warned the nurse taking blood that it would be very hard to find a vein on me, she said, “Don’t worry. We’ve seen worse. Last year we had a girl come in to get a blood test for her marriage license and we had to stick her six times in four places before we got anything.”
“Yes, I know,” I said. “That was me!”

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

Paul Bittner is playing for the Cleveland Monsters, the AHL affiliate of the Columbus Bluejacket.

Brady Heppner, is playing hockey for the Roanoke Raildogs in the SPHL.

Aleece Durbin, is a Sophomore on the University of North Dakota Women’s Track and Field team.

Brita Fagerlund, is a Junior on the University of Jamestown Jimmy Women’s Track team.

Ben Trostad is a sophomore member of the University of Minnesota Crookston golf team.

Isaac Westlake, is a Senior on the Winona State Warrior Men’s Golf team.

Elise Tangquist, is a Junior golfer for the University of Northwestern in St. Paul.

Mason LaPlante, a freshman, is playing soccer at the University of Jamestown.

Rachel Hefta, a freshman, is playing volleyball at Hastings College in Nebraska.

Cade Salentine is a redshirt Freshman playing football at the University of North Dakota

Nick Garmen, is a freshman playing basketball and tennis at the University of Minnesota Morris.

Thea Oman, a freshman, is swimming at St. Ben’s.

Crookston School District Coaches –
Jeremy Lubinski
 is a Pirate 8th Grade Football coach.
Amy Boll 
is the head Pirate Girls Track head coach and assistant volleyball coach
Sarah Reese 
is the Pirate Head Girls Soccer coach
Cody Brekken
 is the Head Pirate Girls and Boys Tennis coach and Crookston Community Pool Supervisor
Marley Melbye is the Head Girls Swimming coach
Mitch Bakken is the head Pirate Baseball coach.
Brock Hanson
 is the Pirate Baseball volunteer assistant coach.
Jeff Perreault 
is the Pirate Girls Golf head coach
Wes Hanson is the Pirate Wrestling Head Coach and assistant boys golf 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 a youth wrestling Coach
Blake Fee is an assistant wrestling coach
Colton Weiland is an assistant wrestling coach

Non-Crookston High School coaching –

Cody Weiland is an assistant wrestling coach at Proctor/Hermantown

Kaylee Desrosier is a softball coach for Fargo Davies Middle School.

Justin Johnson is an assistant softball coach at the University of Minnesota Crookston.

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 Head Baseball coach at Delano.

Jake Olson is an Assistant Football Coach and Head Boys Tennis coach at Delano.

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

Katy Westrom, is Head Girls Tennis Coach and Head 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

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.

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 at Minot.

Philip Kujawa class of 2004 from Crookston High School.  He is an Army recruiter in Rochester.

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