SPORTS FEEVER – June 23, 2022

Last week’s column was postponed to today.  With traveling back and forth to the state baseball tournament, and being busy all day on Monday I didn’t have time to get everything done so it has been moved to this week’s column and there is a lot to talk about.

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First and foremost, Happy 18th Anniversary to my wife Tiffany!  Our anniversary was on Sunday (Fathers Day).  We spent Friday evening in Fargo, went out to eat, and enjoyed some frosty cool beverages at bars that had outside seating.  We got to bed early because she had to do hair for a wedding at 6:45 a.m. in Fargo.

I am a very lucky guy.  Tiffany is a great wife, a great mom, a great friend, a great hairstylist, and a great person!  She works her butt off at work and as a mother of four, is constantly on the phone talking/texting the kids, clients, etc.  She has basically raised the kids herself with my crazy schedule.  When they are good she gets credit and when they are bad I am blamed for them being MY kids (hahahah)!  She is patient, friendly, and pretty darn good-looking, but it is her sense of humor/smart ass and compassion, and understanding that I love about her.  Heck, she has been with me for 20 years and married to me for 18.  She has worked with me while I found the right anxiety medicine, even if I was struggling to be “normal” on one of them that actually caused my anxiety to boost ten-fold.  So I am lucky and thank god every day that I am the luckiest guy in the world!  So a big THANK YOU to Tiffany for the best 20 years of my life with the last year being the best yet!!!

If you see her…..tell her she is the best!

Okay, enough of the sappy stuff!!!!  On to the column!

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Minnesota Golden Gopher Men’s Basketball great Mychal Thompson (Father of Klay Thompson) thinks the Minnesota Timberwolves should get a ring for “helping” Golden State win the NBA Championship!

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University of Minnesota Crookston Volleyball Coach Sarah Morgan recently announced she was resigning.   Since I had a little inside information, this is what made me more upset with the non-renewal of Dan Weisse as Men’s Basketball coach.

A little background.  Sarah was recently given a one-year improvement plan, which nobody that follows UMC would be surprised about since the program has gone from being competitive every year under Lee Anderson to nowhere close since she took over.  Obviously, she wasn’t thrilled about the improvement plan as she said see you later to UMC, and resigned.

Coach Weisse, from my understanding, did not receive a one-year improvement plan!  So why does a female coach who has the worst winning percentage of any coach currently out at UMC get an improvement plan for one year, and the second-winningest coach not get one????

No idea, but that is what bothered me most about the non-renewal of Weisse.  When I got the call from UMC, I thought they were going to tell me they were getting rid of the volleyball coach, not the Men’s basketball coach.

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Steph Helgeson made a good move by hiring Brian Beamish as head Men’s Basketball coach and made another good move by moving Tim Lubke to top assistant.  With that said, I feel sorry for the guys.  They have had a lot of players transfer out before and after the coaching change. As of today, there are only two returning players that played on last year’s team and 10 people on the roster.

Here are the players that have left the program and the grade they were this past season-

Left the program –
Ethan Channel (JR) (transfer)
Dylan Hushaw (Soph) (Transferred)
Uzo Dibiamaka (Soph) (Transferred)
Leonard Dixon (Jr) (Transferred)
Nathaniel Powell (Soph) (Transferred)
Zen Goodridge (Jr) (Transferred)
Quintin Winterfeldt (Transferred)
Jerome Mabry (Soph) (Transferred)
Rambo Badyal (Jr) (Transferred)
Sam Tiley (Jr) (Transferred)
Hunter Lyman (Fresh) (Transferred)

Seniors last year –
Zach Westphal (SR)
Brian Sitzmann (SR)
Silas Xia (SR)

Only players that played returning as of today –
Ron Kirk Jr. (Fresh)
Marcus Thompson (Jr)

So this is what UMC Men’s Basketball has returning this upcoming season –
Kirk Jr. and Thompson played in 25 and 19 games respectively (25 games total).
They totaled 17.2 minutes per game. They averaged 6.3 points and 2.8 rebounds per game.
So, Coach Beamish and Lubke, have their work cut out for them while hammering the recruiting trail while trying to pick up more players extremely late in the recruiting season.

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The Grandma’s Marathon was held in Duluth on Saturday and several area runners completed the full marathon!
Two Crookstonites completed the race – Jana Brekken and Katie Davidson
Fertile’s Brenda Nelson
East Grand Forks – Johnathan Gander, Zane Hemsing, McKenna Langerud, Angie Mahar, Nobel Rhen.
Ada – Lucas Lindell

Several area people competed in the Garry Bjorklund half marathon.
Crookston – Zachary Helgeson, Jack Ricord, Missy Ricord, Beth Staehnke, Tom Staehnke
East Grand Forks – Bethany Bailly, Lori Cariveau, Dan Hanson, Joni Hanson, Uriah Kerry
Red Lake Falls – Mariah McGlynn
Mentor – Carmen Fore, Zachary Fore, Brent Swenson
Ada – Kari Bergman

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Recently, Crookston High School grad Kellee (Koenig) Brown did something I guarantee I will never be able to do.  She participated in the lighthouse 100-mile run last weekend in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The race started in Traverse City and ended in Pletosky, MI. Much of the run was along beautiful Lake Michigan. There was a 50-mile and 100-mile option for this race and Kellee was one of 12 women finishing the 100 miles. She placed 5th for the women and 18th overall. 73 total runners started the race and 48 finished. Kellee has been training for several months and had a great race crew supporting her.

Kelle had a time of 23 hours, 11 minutes, and 31 seconds!!!

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Congratulations to Thief River Falls’ Dylan Hahn and Jack Onkka on winning the Minnesota State High School League Class A Doubles championship a few weeks ago.  As far as I can tell by looking at the doubles champions over the years.  Hahn and Onkka are the first public school champions since Crookston’s Jake Olson and Troy Kleven in 1997!!!  So they pulled off a pretty impressive and rare championship!

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Congratulations to the Roseau Ram baseball team on a MSHSL State Class AA Baseball runner-up finish.  The Rams outscored opponents in the first two games at state by a 21-3 margin and lost to Fairmont in the Championship at Target Field.

Roseau is also the heavy favorite to win the district Division II American Legion tournament also.

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Congratulations to the Sacred Heart Eagle Baseball team on a MSHSL State Class A Baseball fourth-place finish!  It was a great year for the Eagles and one of the best seasons in program history.

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Congratulations to the Fertile-Beltrami Falcons Boys Golf team on winning the MSHSL State Class A Boys golf tournament for the second year in a row.  Senior Rylin Petry finished second place by one stroke after finishing first last year.  A pretty impressive run for the Falcons!

Also Congratulations to the Fertile-Beltrami Falcons Girls Golf team on a sixth-place finish at the MSHSL State Class A Girls Golf tournament.

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Congratulations to the Red Lake Falls Lafayette Eagles Softball team on a MSHSL State Class A Consolation Championship.

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Congratulations to the State Track and FIeld champions from Section 8A!
Jade Rypkema (Nevis) – 1600 meters
Monica Johnson (Northome/Kelliher) – Shot Put (Had a state record put of 46-04.75)

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Wayne State College athletics (member of the NSIC – same as UMC!) has announced plans to construct a $26.5 million athletic and recreation facility renovation project, which includes the addition of an air-supported indoor structure and major renovations to the Recreation Center, Rice Auditorium and the Kirk Gardner Indoor Athletic Complex.

This will be a three-phase project beginning with the new indoor facility, construction on the project is set to begin in spring of 2023 with a tentative completion date set of fall 2025.

Over the last three years, WSC has seen 20 percent growth in enrollment, 200 percent growth in club sports, 25 percent growth in intramural participation, and the addition of two varsity athletic programs. Because of this growth, facilities need to be developed to service all needs.

The feature item of the project is a new air-supported indoor structure connected to the Recreation Center. The structure will create a full-scale indoor, multi-functional practice, competition, and recreation facility with artificial turf and house an indoor 300-meter synthetic track surface. The facility will also create enhanced indoor throws and jump areas and new men’s and women’s track and field locker rooms and office space. In addition to providing practice and competition space for varsity programs, club sports and intramural activities, this new facility will also provide opportunities for regional service through competitions, youth camps and sports leagues.

The Recreation Center and Alley Expansion will be a central point and control for the new indoor facility, featuring a larger student weight room and an auxiliary weight room specifically for intercollegiate athletics, club sports and academics. The new-look Recreation Center will showcase increased square footage for student fitness including additional basketball/volleyball/recreational court space, cardiovascular equipment, multi-use fitness spaces, and overall improvement of pedestrian flow between facilities that includes patron access to Rice Auditorium.

Renovations to Rice Auditorium include increasing the size of the lobby to support ticketing and concessions for intercollegiate athletic programs and the creation of a practice court in the current Kirk Gardner Indoor Athletic Complex for women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s basketball, club sports and intramural activities.

The expansions and renovations are intended to raise the recruiting and competitive profile of WSC’s NCAA Division II athletic programs while also impacting retention and enhancing the current student-athlete experience.

The Wayne State Foundation continues to actively fundraise to supplement the college funds that will pay for all of the projects.

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The Crookston Pirate Football program and Coach Nate Lubarski will be hosting a Pirate Pride Youth Football Camp August 2-4 from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. for 3rd-6th graders at the Crookston High School Football fields.

Cost is $50 and you must register by July 14 to guarantee a camp t-shirt. Payment is due on the first day of camp (Cash or Check only). Make checks to Crookston Pirate Football.

The registration form is below, or you can register online at

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KROX is proud to be the sponsor of the Crookston Blue Line Club 10,000 Puck Challenge this year.  One thing to remember is this….how often do you take a shot standing still???  Remember that when shooting.   Shooting with rollerblades on, and moving around while you shoot will help you 100 times more than standing still and shooting.

The Crookston Blue Line Club is pleased to present the 10,000 Puck Challenge. The program was created as a development opportunity for hockey players to develop their skills at home.

There is evidence to show that daily micro-practices are effective and often superior to longer practice sessions once or twice a week. When you practice a little each day, skills do not erode. In fact, they consolidate. It is like a bank account earning compound interest: a virtuous spiral where skill accrues quickly.

So, how well do you think your shot would improve if you were to take 10,000 shots over a 20-week period? Or goalies how many extra saves or assists can you make?

Think it can not be done? Think again! We have created a plan for players & goalies of all ages and abilities to follow over 20 weeks to accomplish this goal.

GOAL: Increase shot speed, quickness and accuracy in 20 weeks

Player Plan: Shoot 10,000 pucks
(weekly goal: 500 shots per week; daily goal: 100 shots per day – 5 days/week)

Goalie Plan: Complete 2,500 catches, 2,500 blocks, 2,500 forehand and 2,500 backhand shots (weekly goal: 500 reps per week; daily goal: 100 reps per day – 5 days/week)

Dates: May 8th – September 25th, 2022

Ages: 2021-22 players – Mite3, 8U, Squirt, 10U, Peewee, 12U, Bantam

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The Crookston High School Athletic Department’s 19th Annual Pirate Pride Golf Scramble will be Friday, July 15 at Minakwa Golf Course.

9:00 Registration
10:00 Shotgun Start
Lunch will be served starting at 11:00

$60 per person (Includes T-Shirt, 18 holes of golf, Sandwich, Salad, Chips)

4 member teams
Call Clubhouse to reserve a cart (not included)

Must be 18 years of age or have graduated High School

All proceeds will help support Crookston High School Pirate Athletics.


Call Steve Kofoed at 320-290-9904 or email leaving a message with your team members is fine.

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Sacred Heart Basketball will be hosting the Sanford Power Basketball Academy this summer. The information is below.
This summer basketball camp with the Sanford POWER Basketball Academy is designed to teach the fundamentals of the game, while pushing every athlete outside of their comfort zone. With offensive skills being our focus, we will work on advanced ball handling, passing, finishing, and shooting drills.
There is no better place to start your week than the gym! For four days, improve your game with our high-intensity Summer Skills Camp.
Who: Grades 5th -12th
What: Summer Skills Camp
When: Fridays – June 24th, July 15th and 22nd
• Session #1: 5th-8th grade boys and girls 9:00-10:30 ($115)
• Session #2: 9th-12th grade boys and girls 10:30-12:30 ($135)
Where: Sacred Heart High School

*Give payment to Coach Sterkel at Sacred Heart & make all checks payable to “Sanford POWER”

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

Elise Tangquist, is the Assistant Girls Volleyball and Assistant Girls Golf Coach this year at Heritage Christian Academy in Maple Grove.

Katherine Geist, a sophomore, is running track for Carleton College.

Emma Boll, a freshman, is playing softball at Northwestern University in St. Paul.

Emma Borowicz is a freshman running track at Minnesota State Mankato.

Ben Trostad is a senior playing Men’s Golf at UMC.

Kaleb Thingelstad is a freshman playing golf at Kansas Wesleyan University.  KWU is done for the fall season.

Joslynn Leach is a freshman playing golf at Concordia College in Moorhead.  The Cobbers wrapped up the Fall season.

Brady Butt is a sophomore playing football at the University of Jamestown.

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

Ty Hamre is playing football at Bemidji State University.

Paul Bittner is playing professional hockey in Germany, for Düsseldorf EG.

Gretchen Theis is a sophomore at NDSU on the Equestrian team.

Kate MacGregor is a senior swimming at Minnesota State Moorhead.

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

Nick Garmen is a junior playing tennis at the University of Minnesota Morris.

Crookston School District Coaches –
Emily Meyer 
is the Pirate head girls hockey coach and softball assistant coach.
Lacia Hanson is the Junior High softball coach.
Jeremy Lubinski
 is a Pirate 8th Grade Football coach.
Amy Boll 
is the head Pirate Girls Track head coach
Sarah Reese 
is the Pirate Head Girls Soccer coach
Cody Brekken
 is the Crookston Community Pool Supervisor
Marley Melbye is the Head Girls Swimming coach
Brock Hanson
 is a Pirate Baseball volunteer assistant coach.
Ben Halos is a Pirate Baseball assistant coach.
Alex LaFrance 
is a 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
Colton Weiland is an assistant wrestling coach

Non-Crookston High School coaching –

Collin Reynolds is the head baseball coach for the University of Colorado Buffalo Club Baseball team.

Trent Stahlecker is a School Security Specialist & he works for the Brevard Public Schools, Florida

Cody Weiland is an assistant wrestling coach at Proctor/Hermantown

Josh Edlund is the head 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.

Katy Westrom, is Head Girls Tennis Coach and Head Boys Tennis coach at Monticello High School.

Matt Harris, is an Assistant Principal/Athletic Director at Saguaro High School in Scottsdale, 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 the Director and Fitness at Mission Ranch and Fitness in Camel, California.

Kyle Buchmeier
 is a Tennis Pro at the Reed-Sweatt Family Tennis Center in Minneapolis

Ben Andringa is serving our country with the Army and is been deployed to Iraq for nine months.

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.

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