SPORTS FEEVER – March 14, 2024

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SPORTS FEEVER by Chris Fee of KROX Radio –

Welcome to another Sports Feever column!  Last week I was in Washington D.C. at Washington Nationals Park and Captiol Hill for the National Association of Broadcasters State Leadership Convention. We go over issues that affect radio and television. We had Majority Leader Mike Johnson speak at our meetings, and he is a big fan of radio (which is why he was there). We visited our congressmen and congresswomen from Minnesota and Senator Smith and Klobuchar. The main reason why I went again this year is to fight to keep AM Radio in all cars sold in the United States. We needed 218 co-sponsors, and by the time I was on the plane Thursday morning, we had passed that number, and it was a trip well worthwhile.

While we were at Minority Whip Tom Emmer’s office, Lord Stanley’s Cup happened to be in his office!  Talk about better to be lucky than good!!  The pictures below are from our trip to D.C.

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The Section 8A Boys Basketball tournament has been as expected. FANTASTIC!!!

All four quarterfinal games were great games, and the semi-finals on Wednesday were solid games too.

Fertile-Beltrami used a 7-0 run at the end of the first half and an 11-0 run at the end of the game to beat Warren-Alvarado-Oslo 77-59. It was the seventh straight Section 8A semi-final game for the Falcons, and they were 0-6 coming into Wednesday night. It was a big win, with Derek Sorenson and Caiden Swenby having big games with 19 points apiece and Preston Hanson adding 16. While Fertile-Beltrami played outstanding on the offensive side of the floor, they played even better defensively with Mason Nowacki making some tremendous hustle plays. Overall is was a great all-around team effort.

Red Lake was down by 17 points in the first half and used a great final nine or 10 minutes of the game to beat Mahnomen-Waubun in come-from-behind fashion for an 84-79 victory. Gerald Kingbird Jr. led Red Lake with a whopping 43 points. Red Lake can flat-out score, and if they get hot, they are a very dangerous team.

The teams didn’t play during the regular season. I am picking Fertile-Beltrami to win by 8.

Fertile-Beltrami is looking to make its fourth state tournament appearance with trips in 1995, 1996 (Sweet 16 runners-up, and 2001.
Red Lake is looking to make its 10th state appearance and first since 2017. Red Lake made trips in 1997, 98, 99, 2002, 2003, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017. 

KROX RADIO will have the Section 8A Championship on the Radio and video stream on Friday, March 15, from Ralph Englestad Arena. The pre-game show is at 6:30 and the start at 7:00 PM.

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The Pelican Rapids Vikings (the #1 seed) beat the East Grand Forks Green Wave 78-65 to advance to the championship game.
Park Rapids had a great game and used a 16-0 run in the second half to beat Wadena-Deer Creek 63-47 in the semi-finals to advance to the championship game.

Pelican Rapids is looking to make its seventh state tournament appearance and the first since 2009 when they were AA state champions. The previous appearances were in 1977 (runner-up), 1984 (A Champions), 1993, 2003, 2006, and 2009.

Park Rapids is looking to make its second state tournament appearance, with the only trip in 1970.

It is great to see Park Rapids making it to the championship game, and while both coaches are great guys and both programs have great kids and deserve a trip to state, I am going to be pulling for Park Rapids to make its second-ever trip to the state tournament.

The Championship will be played at 7:00 PM on Friday at Concordia College.

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The Perham Yellowjackets, the Section 8AA girls basketball champions, got the short end of the stick in the seeding process (like most 8A and 8AA teams do) at state. They were unseeded and, on the “random draw,” got the #1 seed, Providence Academy. 

Providence Academy led 41-35 at halftime, and the two teams had an offensive battle in the second half, with Providence Academy outscoring Perham 53-49 for a 94-84 victory. 

What a game for the Yellowjackets as they were led by UMC Women’s Basketball commit Willow Thiel, who had 41 points and 20 rebounds in the game!!!!  Willow was 13 of 15 from the free throw line and did everything she could do. Unfortunately for Perham, Maddyn Greenway (the sophomore daughter of former Minnesota Viking Chad Greenway) scored 49 points and added 12 rebounds, 8 assists, and 5 steals in the game. The sophomore has already scored 3,000 points in her career and is the real deal. her stats come against top-end talent every night with one of the toughest schedules in the state.

Perham will play New London-Spicer on Thursday evening at the Ganglehoff Center on Concordia-St. Paul’s campus. New London-Spicer is 28-3 on the year after a loss to Crosby-Ironton in the first round.

I pick Perham to win the game by 15 and will advance to the consolation championship.

The Section 8A representative Fosston Greyhounds will compete in the first round. Fosston wasn’t seeded and will take on the #3 seed Buffalo Lake-Hector-Steward in the first round at 5:00 PM at Maturi Pavillion. Buffalo Lake-Hector-Steward is 27-3 on the year after winning the Section 2A championship. Fosston is 29-2 on the year and is led by UMC Women’s Basketball commit Brynlea Mahlen. Fosston has played outstanding defense the entire season. They are playing their best basketball of the year and have a lot of tools. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Fosston beat BLHS by double-figures in the first round.

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Climax-Fisher eighth-grader Peyton Hoffman has received a verbal offer from the University of North Dakota Women’s Basketball program. It will be the first of many she will receive.

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The North Border Boys Basketball All-Conference awards have been announced. They are below –

Lewis Jones- GGG
Blake Rychlock- GGG
Carson Rubischko- GGG
Everett Nelson- Northern Freeze
Noah Underdahl- Northern Freeze
Cade Knutsen- Northern Freeze
Jordan Borowicz- Roseau
Jake Borowicz- Roseau
Gunnar Lund- Roseau
Liam Grover- Warroad
Kason Pietruszewski- Warroad

Honorable Mention:
Masen Swenson- BGMR
Spencer Coan- GGG
Logan Kvarnlov- Warroad

Conference Champs: Goodridge-Grygla-Gatzke

Senior of the Year: Lewis Jones- GGG

Coach of the Year: Andrew Sundberg- GGG

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The 2023-24 North Border All-Conference Girls Basketball honors have been announced. They are listed below –

Anya Severson- Roseau
Chesney Salo- Grygla-Goodridge
Faith Lilly- Warroad
Kenzie Dahl- BGMR
Rylie Klopp- Northern Freeze
Kaydence Augustine– Northern Freeze
Kaydence White– KCC
Morgan Turn– KCC

North Border All-Conference Honorable Mention
Greta Kuznia- KCC
McKinley Folland- KCC
Lily Peterson- KCC
Ada Pearson- Northern Freeze
Teagan Landsrud- BGMR
Morgan Underdahl- Grygla-Goodridge-Gatzke
Attlee Larson– Warroad
Brooklyn Hulst– Roseau
Sierra Westberg– BGMR

North Border Conference Champions – Kittson County Central

North Border Conference Sr. Player of the Year – Faith Lilly– Warroad

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Congratulations to Pelican Rapids alum Casey Bruggeman on being named the head coach at the University of Jamestown, which will be joining the NSIC in NCAA D2. The Bruggeman family is basketball in Pelican Rapids and the area and it is good to see Casey getting a shot at the head coaching job.

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Congratulations to East Grand Forks alum Landon Parker. He was named the MIAC Men’s Hockey Rookie of the Year. Parker had a great season for Augsburg. Parker was named MIAC Rookie of the Year after tallying six goals – including a pair of game-winners – in conference play. Parker ranked fourth among all skaters with a plus/minus of nine and totaled 12 points on the season. He is the first Augsburg player to receive MIAC Rookie of the Year honors in men’s hockey.

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The latest Minnesota High School sports rankings are available by clicking the link below.

Minnesota High School Rankings – KROX (

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Make plans now to attend the 29th annual “Lace ‘em Up” basketball camp to be held in Red Lake Falls High School at the Robert Matzke Gym from June 3-6, 2024

The camp is open to any boys or girls who are currently in grades K-11.  The camp is set up to run from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 for grades 5-11 (grade they were in this past school year) each morning and from 12:30 until 3:00 p.m. for grades K-4 (grade they were in this past school year).  The cost of the camp is $70, with a maximum cost per family of $100.  If you register before May 22,  you will also receive a camp T-shirt.  After May 22, ALL SINGLE REGISTRATION FEES WILL BE $80, AND THE MAXIMUM COST PER FAMILY WILL BE $120 due to CAMP PREPARATION AND AWARD ORDERS.

Cut on the dotted line and return the following to: Steve Philion, 518 Champagne Ave., Red Lake Falls, MN 56750. (cell:  218-686-3608) (home: 218-253-2499). E-mail:

Make checks payable to: Lace ‘em Up Basketball Camp

If anyone needs help with the cost of the camp, let Mr. Philion know as we have people who have offered to cover costs for kids that need financial help.

_    _   _   _   _   _   _   _   _   _   _   _   _   _   _   _   _   _   _   _   _

Grade in 2023-2024________________ (GRADE JUST COMPLETED)

T-shirt sizes:     Please circle one:

Youth sizes:       EXTRA SMALL           SMALL            MEDIUM             LARGE

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


MALE____________              FEMALE____________

I, the parent of the above student agree to allow my child to participate in the 2024 “Lace ‘em Up” basketball camp in Red Lake Falls.  I also understand that the camp director, the City of RLF, and the RLF school district are not responsible for any injuries, accidents, or COVID that my child might incur.

SIGNATURE OF PARENT OR GUARDIAN:_______________________________________

Emergency cell number of parent or guardian:________________________________

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A beautiful young model boarded a plane to New York with a ticket for the economy section. She looked at the seats in economy, and then looked into the forward cabin at the luxurious first-class seats.

Seeing that the first-class seats appeared to be much larger and more comfortable, she moved forward to the last empty seat in first-class.

The flight attendant checked her ticket and told the woman that her seat was in economy.

The blonde replied, ‘I’m a famous model, and I’ve never had this problem before. I’m going to sit here all the way, until we get to New York.’

Flustered, the flight attendant went to the cockpit and informed the captain of the problem. The captain went back and told the woman that her assigned seat was in economy.

Again, the blonde replied: ‘I’m a famous model. I’m sitting here all the way to New York.”

The captain didn’t want to cause a commotion, and so returned to the cockpit to discuss the blonde problem with the co-pilot.

The co-pilot said that he used to date a model like her, and that he could take care of the problem. He then went back and briefly whispered something in the blonde’s ear.

She immediately got up and said, ‘okay, thank you’. She then hugged the co-pilot, and rushed back to her seat in the economy section.

The pilot and flight attendant, who were watching with rapt attention, asked the Co-pilot what he had said to the woman.

He replied, ‘I just told her that the first-class seats aren’t going to New York.’

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A circus owner runs an ad for a lion tamer and two young people show up. One is a good looking lad in his mid-twenties and the other is a gorgeous blonde about the same age.

The circus owner tells them: I’m not going to sugar coat it. This is one ferocious lion. He ate my last tamer so you guys better be good or you’re history. Here’s your equipment: chair, whip and a gun. Who wants to try out first?”

The girl says, “I’ll go first.” She walks past the chair, the whip and the gun and steps right into the lion’s cage. The lion starts to snarl and pant and begins to charge her. About half way there, she throws open her coat revealing her beautiful naked body. The lion stops dead in his tracks, sheepishly crawls up to her and starts licking her ankles. He continues to lick her calves, kisses them and rests his head at her feet.

The circus owner’s mouth is on the floor. He says, “I’ve never seen a display like that in my life,” He then turns to the young man and asks, “can you top that?”

The young man replies. “No problem, just get that lion out of the way.”

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After a day fishing on Lake Michigan, a fisherman is walking from the pier carrying two brown trout in a bucket. He is approached by a Conservation Officer who asks him for his fishing license. 

The fisherman says to the warden, “I was not fishing and I did not catch these browns, they are my pets. Every day I come down to the water and dump these fish into the water and take them for a walk to the end of the pier and back. When I’m ready to go I whistle and they jump back into the bucket and we go home. The officer not believing him, reminds him that it is illegal to fish without a license. 

The fisherman turns to the warden and says, “If you don’t believe me then watch,” as he throws the trout back into the water. 

The warden says, “Now whistle to your fish and show me that they will jump out of the water and into the bucket.” 

The fisherman turns to the officer and says, “What fish?”

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

Halle Bruggeman is a freshman on the University of Wisconsin-Stout Women’s Tennis team.

Grace Fischer is a freshman on the Concordia College (Moorhead) Women’s Golf team.

Ethan Boll is a Freshman on the University of North Dakota Football team.

Breanna Kressin is a Sophomore on the Hockey Cheer Team for THE University of Minnesota Golden Gopher Hockey team.

Emma Osborn is a Sophomore playing basketball at Northland Technical and Community College in Thief River Falls.

Jacey Larson is a Sophomore playing hockey at Dakota College at Bottineau.

Aleah Bienek is a Sophomore playing hockey at Trine University in Indiana.

Elise Tangquist is the Head Girls Golf Coach at Horace High School in Fargo, ND..

Kaleb Thingelstad is a junior playing golf at Kansas Wesleyan.

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

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

Ty Hamre is playing football at Bemidji State University.

Aleece Durbin is a Junior on the University of North Dakota Womens Track and Field team.

Elizabeth Erdman is a coach for the Moorhead Red Dragon swim team.

Crookston School District Coaches
Todd Miner 
is a Pirate Football assistant coach.
Ben Parkin 
is the head Pirate Baseball Coach.
Emily Meyer 
is the Pirate head girls hockey coach and softball assistant 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
Marley Melbye is the Head Girls Swimming coach and assistant girls golf 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/Admin/etc

Tim Desrosier is an Assistant Coach for Warren-Alvarado-Oslo Pony Boys Basketball

Pat Wolfe is the head wrestling coach for Fosston/Bagley.

Austin Sommerfeld is an Assistant Athletic Director for Strategic Communication at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth.

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 at Champlin Park

Jeff Olson is the 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) Horgen is the 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 Wisconsin Badgers Men’s head Hockey coach.

Mike Biermaier is the Athletic Director at Grand Forks Schools.

Stephanie (Lindsay) Perreault works with the North Dakota State stats crew for Bison football, volleyball, and basketball in the winter. Stephanie’s husband, Ryan, is the assistant director for 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 in the Army and is now a Ranger.

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 a grad of West Point and currently 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

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