SPORTS FEEVER – March 21, 2024

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SPORTS FEEVER by Chris Fee of KROX Radio –


The 16th Annual Crookston High School Triple A Academics, Arts, and Athletics Senior Recognition Banquet will be held Monday, April 29, at 6:00 p.m. at the Crookston High School. Seniors that have academic letters and have participated in athletics, band, choir, drama, Knowledge Bowl, Leo Club, National Honor Society, orchestra, speech, student council, top academics, visual arts, yearbook, and Envirothon. Tickets for parents, family members, and friends may be purchased at the Crookston High School, KROX, or Wonderful Life Foods and must be purchased by Monday, April 22. The cost of tickets is $17. High school seniors are free, and they can pick up their tickets at the CHS office. Make checks payable to Triple A. If you have any special dietary needs, please contact Andy or Carol at Irishman’s Shanty at 281-9912. If you have any questions, contact Nate Lubarski at the Crookston High School at 281-2144 or Margee Keller at 218-349-4566. The Triple A Banquet is sponsored by Crookston Rotary, Crookston Lions, Pirate Fine Arts Boosters, and Pirate Boosters.

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The Fertile-Beltrami Falcon Boys Basketball team had a tremendous run in the Section 8A Boys Basketball tournament and played some of the best TEAM basketball I have seen a team play in the tournaments in a long time. It was so much fun to watch how all five players on the floor worked so well together on the offensive and defensive end of the floor.  They beat Stephen-Argyle in the first round of the section tournament 59-44. In the quarterfinals, Fertile-Beltrami edged Sacred Heart 57-54. They beat Warren-Alvarado-Oslo 77-59 in the semi-finals and played their best game of the tournament in the championship when they beat Red Lake 92-67 to advance to state.

Fertile-Beltrami is looking to make its fourth state tournament appearance with trips in 1995, 1996 (Sweet 16 runners-up, and 2001. Neil Steffes has been the coach of the Falcons for 31 years, and they have been a top team in the Section each and every year. It just goes to show how tough it is to win four games in a section tournament and get to the big dance.

Fertile-Beltrami takes on Goodhue in the first round of the State Class A tournament. Goodhue is the Section 1 champion with a record of 18-13. The record might be a little deceiving because they were 12-1 in section play. They lost four games to state participants. The Goodhue losses were to Zumbrota-Mazeppa 70-42, Lake City 60-42 (State AA participant), Cannon Falls 69-41, Byron 88-56, Stewartville 87-50 (Class AAA state participant), Kasson-Mantorville 63-60 (Class AAA school), Zumbrota-Mazeppa 78-54, Lake City 66-49 (State AA participant), Cannon Falls 79-65, Byron 64-51, Pine Island 63-58, Kingsland 76-74, and Stewartville 87-32 (State AAA state participant).
In the playoffs, Goodhue beat Schaeffer Academy 79-59, Rushford-Peterson 75-64, Fillmore Central 86-66, and Blooming Prairie 47-44.

Goodhue will be making its fifth state tournament appearance. They made previous appearances in 2004, 2011, 2016 (runner-up), and 2017.

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The Fertile-Beltrami Falcon boys basketball players have enjoyed a ton of success over the years and the past three years have been a lot of fun with A LOT of success.

Mason Nowacki, Caiden Swenby, and Derek Sorenson were on the state Class A Boys Golf Championship team in 2022 and the State 3rd Place team last spring.

Derek Sorenson, Bryer Strem, Kolby Hemmah, Caleb Stoltman, Steven Sather, Caleb Sather, Caiden Swenby, Preston Hanson, Drew Gullickson, Easton Petry, Brady Bjerk, and Gage Henrickson were all on this years football team that made it to the State 9-Man Semi-finals this past fall and many of them were on the team that made it to the State 9-Man Championship in 2022 and several of them were on the team that made it to the State 9-Man semi-finals three years ago.

These guys know how to win, and that is something that really can’t be taught.  It is like the Warroad hockey teams. They just know how to win the big games!

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The Pelican Rapids Viking Boys Basketball team had an impressive run through the Section 8AA Boys Basketball tournament to win the title. They are 24-5 on the year and 14-2 in Section 8AA play.
Pelican Rapids, who many labeled the top team from the beginning of the year, proved they were as they beat. Their five losses were to Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 54-50, Barnesville 71-51, Sauk Centre 54-44, and they ended the regular season with losses to Ada-Borup-West 67-53, Hillcrest Academy 65-52.
In the playoffs, Pelican Rapids played a solid three games as they beat Perham 57-45, East Grand Forks 78-65, and Park Rapids 82-49. 

Pelican Rapids took on a very good Lake City team that received the #3 seed.  Lake City was 24-5 on the year and had a QRF of sixth place in the Class AA QRF.  They lost to Class AAA state tourney participant Stewartville twice, State AA participant Albany 67-49, Cannon Falls, and Lewiston-Altura.
In the playoffs, they beat Albert Lea 72-37, Pine Island 65-42, Zumbrota Mazeppa 63-46, and Cannon Falls 80-56 in the championship.

Lake City is making its 8th state tournament appearance and first since 2019.

Pelican Rapids is making its sixth state tournament appearance and first since they were state AA champions in 2009. 

Pelican Rapids played a great game and had a chance to win the game in the last seconds but a turnover with a few seconds left forced overtime. Pelican Rapids’ outstanding guard and Mr. Everything to the team, Timmy Guler fouled out with 15 seconds left in regulations and that proved costly in overtime as Lake City won the game 72-61 in overtime.

Pelican Rapids played an outstanding game and represented Section 8AA very well and will take on Jackson County Central in the state consolation semi-finals Thursday night.

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The Northwest Boys Basketball Conference has announced the All-Conference awards for the 2023-34 season. The award winners are below-

Bagley – Alex Jobe, Logan Broten, Jackson Kaiser
Crookston – Reggie Winjum, Hunter Nicholas
East Grand Forks – Austin Ruling, Chase Lindgren, Carson McDonald,
Roseau – Gunnar Lund, Jordan Borowicz, Jake Borowicz
Thief River Falls – Caleb Rosendahl, Bridger Wilcox
Warroad – Liam Grover, Kason Pietruszewski

Honorable Mention
Crookston – Isaac Thomforde
East Grand Forks – Drew Carpenter
Thief River Falls – Maxton Peterson, Gannon Zutz
Warroad – Logan Kvarnlov

MVP – Calen Rosendahl (Thief River Falls)
Coach of the Year – Ryan DeBock (Roseau)
Conference Champions – Roseau High School

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The Northwest Girls Basketball Conference has announced the All-Conference awards for the 2023-24 season. The award winners are below-

All Conference
Crookston – Isabelle Smith
East Grand Forks – Tatem Votava, Alison Kovar, Kylee Mattison,
Roseau – Brooklyn Hulst, Anna Severson
Thief River Falls – Avah Waldal, Sophia Kramer, Breanna Myers,
Warroad – Faith Lilly 

Honorable Mention
Crookston – Naomi Johnson
East Grand Forks – Ellie Marcott, Ella Thorvilson, McKaylee Fitzpatrick
Roseau – Regan Kvien, Sophia Olson
Thief River Falls – Josie Peterson, Kendra Mehrkens 

MVP – Faith Lilly (Warroad)
Conference Champion – East Grand Forks

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The Pine To Prairie Girls Basketball Conference recently announced the all-conference teams. The teams in the Pine To Prairie Conference are Ada-Borup-West, Bagley, Climax-Fisher, Fertile-Beltrami, Fosston, Lake Park-Audubon, Mahnomen-Waubun, Norman County East-Ulen/Hitterdal, Park Christian, and Win-E-Mac. The award winners are below-

Brynlea Mahlen (Fosston)
Tori Erickson (Fertile-Beltrami)
Avery Aakre (Park Christian)
Peyton Hoffman (Climax-Fisher)
Morgan Smart (Ada-Borup-West)

Lexi Mahlen (Fosston)
Laura Schauer (Lake Park-Adubon)
Isabel Klemetson (NCE-UH)
Morgan Egnel (Ada-Borup-West)
Libby Suckert (Park Christian)

Kendra Nelson (Lake Park-Aububon)
Izzy Marcussen (Ada-Borup-West)
Maddie Bass (Mahnomen/Waubun)
Tessa Manecke (Fosston)
Lauren Kaupang (Win-E-Mac)
Kaycee Endreson (Park Christian)

Lexi Pazdernik (Mahnomen/Waubun)
Ella Paulsrud (Climax-Fisher)
Brenna Olson (NCE-UH)
Taylor Schauer (Lake Park-Audubon)
Annika Johnson (Park Christian)
Madison Stueness (Fertile-Beltrami)

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER – Brynlea Mahlen (Fosston)
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Tessa Manecke (Fosston)
COACH OF THE YEAR – Kelly Viken (Fosston)

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The Northern Galaxy Girls Basketball Conference awards have been announced. The award winners are below.

Kittson County Central – Morgan Turn, Kaydence White, Greta Kuznia
Sacred Heart – Isabel Vonesh, Lexi Lawrence, Lydia Riskey
Warren-Alvarado-Oslo – Hannah Pederson, Reegan Mortimer
Northern Freeze – Rylie Klopp, Kaydence Augustine
Stephen-Argyle – Liv Efta, Regan Swanson
Red Lake Falls – Shandi Nelson
Goodridge/Grygla – Morgan Underdahl

Kittson County Central – McKinley Folland, Lily Peterson
Sacred Heart – Finley Horken, Leah Sundby
Warren-A-O – Macey Boe
Northern Freeze – Ada Pearson
Stephen-Argyle – Ayla Woinarowicz
Red Lake Falls – Elizabeth Lytle
Goodridge/Grygla – Chesney Salo
Red Lake County Central – Carly Vettleson 

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Morgan Turn – Kittson County Central

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Finley Horken – EGF Sacred Heart

COACH OF THE YEAR: Mark Johnson – Kittson County Central                                       

2024 TEAM CHAMPIONS – Kittson County Central

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The Minnesota State Youth Hockey tournaments were held this past weekend and a lot of success was had by teams in Section 8A.

Bantam A –
Warroad beat Mankato 5-2
Warroad beat St. Louis Park 6-3
In the championship, Warroad beat Hopkins 3-0

PeeWee AA-
East Grand Forks lost to Woodbury 5-3
East Grand Forks beat Andover 4-2
Consolation Championship – East Grand Forks beat White Bear Lake 6-1

PeeWee A –
Thief River Falls beat Cottage Grove 5-4 in OT
Warroad beat Marshall 8-0
Thief River Falls beat Proctor 5-4
Warroad beat Roseville 9-4
In the Championship – Thief River Falls beat Warroad 7-4

12U A Girls –
Warroad lost to Minnetonka 4-3
Warroad beat Anoka/Rodgers 7-1
3rd place game – Edina beat Warroad 2-0

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The #4 ranked Northland Community and Technical College Women’s Basketball team finished third place at the National Junior College Women’s Basketball Tournament in Rochester last weekend.

The team finished 25-6 on the year and beat #12 ranked Nassau Community College 84-49 in the first round at Nationals. In the quarterfinals, they beat #4 Anoka Ramsey Community College 54-53. In the semi-finals, they lost to #1 ranked Minnesota West Community and Technical College. In the third-place game, they beat #6 ranked Dallas College-Cedar Valley 79-64.

The team is made up of local players –
Emma Osborn (Soph. Crookston)
Josie Iverson (Fresh. Fertile-Beltrami)
Lynelle Charnoski (Soph. Kelliher)
Sunny Edin (Soph. Newfolden)
Shavonda Bender (Soph. Roseau)
Riley Mooney (Soph. Argyle)

Emma Osborn led the team averaging 15.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2 steals, and 1.2 assists while starting all 31 games. She averaged 4 made three-pointers per game.

Josie Iverson averaged 11.5 points, 5.6 assists, 4.3 rebounds, 2.5 steals, and 1.6 assists per game, while starting all 31 games.

Riley Mooney averaged 9.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1.4 steals per game while starting all 31 games.

Shavonda Bender averaged 6.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1.1 steals per game while starting in 28 games.

Lynelle Charnoski averaged 4.3 points per game while playing in 27 games.

Sunny Edin averaged 1.9 points per game while playing in 28 games.

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Warroad Warrior Girls Hockey player Katy Comstock has committed to play college hockey at Bemidji State University.

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The University of Wisconsin River Falls Women’s Hockey team won the NCAA D-3 Women’s Hockey National Championship game, wrapping up a perfect 31-0 season.

They have several area players on the team –
Cahlilah Lindquist (Fresh. Warroad)
Madison Lavergne (Soph. Warroad)
MaKenna Aure (Soph. Alexandria)
Jordan O’Kane (Soph, Alexandria)

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There have been a lot of area officials who have worked the Minnesota State Winter tournaments and the list is below –

Boys Basketball –
Cole Boehmer (Thief River Falls)
Chris Ellingson (Hawley)
Noah Glad (Hawley)
Brian Guler (Pelican Rapids)
Mark Gulseth (Frazee)
Ivan Hirst (Fergus Falls)
Luke Karlgaard (Detroit Lakes)
Aaron Lenes (Fosston)
Nathan Mertens (Bemidji)
Chris Nelson (Red Lake Falls)
Rob Nudell (Twin Valley)
Darrell Olson (Perham)
Perry Reinertson (Fergus Falls)
Logan Riedel (Detroit Lakes)
Glenn Roll (Glyndon)
Anthony Safranski (Argyle)
Craig Samuelson (Barnesville)
Dylan Savary (Detroit Lakes)
Brad Sylliaasen (Dilworth)
Nick Thompson (Argyle)
Ryan Weinzierl (Dilworth)
Ryan Weiser (Dilworth)

Girls Basketball –
Shannon Boen (Thief River Falls)
Andy Dumas (Moorhead)
Matt Endreson (Moorhead)
Kevin Kuznia (Stephen)
Meghan Palubicki (Fosston)
David Varriano Jr. (Hatton, ND)

Boys Hockey –
Keith Block (Baudette)
Reid Huttunen (East Grand Forks)
Tanner Landman (Roseau)
Shawn Storey (Warroad)

Wrestling –
Brian Bakke (East Grand Forks)
Scott Larson (Blackduck)
Matt Mraz (Barnesville)
Scott Snobl (Barnesville)
Brent Weller (Perham)

Girls Hockey –
Ben Bengtson (Warroad)
Mark Henry (Bemidji)
Ryan Ingeman (Grand Forks, ND)
Brendan Skime (Pelican Rapids)
Phillip Stodgell (Warroad)

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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 man is at work one day when he notices that his co-worker is wearing an earring. 

This man knows his co-worker to be a normally conservative fellow, and is curious about his sudden change in “fashion sense.” 

The man walks up to him and says, “I didn’t know you were into earrings.” 

“Don’t make such a big deal out of this, it’s only an earring,” he replies sheepishly. 

His friend falls silent for a few minutes, but then his curiosity prods him to say, “So, how long have you been wearing one?” 

“Ever since my wife found it in my truck…”

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Mrs. Pete Monaghan came into the newsroom to pay for her husband’s obituary. She was told by the kindly newsman that it was a dollar a word. Apologizing that she only had two dollars, she wrote this obituary: “Pete died.”

“I remember ol’ Pete, and he deserves more than two words,” said the newsman. “I’ll give you three more for free.”

The widow thanked him and wrote, “Pete died. Boat for sale.”

Joke found on, published on January 1999

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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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