SPORTS FEEVER – November 16, 2023

SPORTS FEEVER by Chris Fee of KROX Radio –

I received the following email from Former Crookston Schools Superintendent, teacher, and football coach Dave Keuhn. Dave actually hired Eric Schmidt out of college to teach and coach in the Crookston School District…and as they say, the rest is history! Dave and his wife Allyson made a trip to Washington to watch Eric’s Washington Husky Football team

I wanted to share with you an awesome college football experience that Allyson and I had the opportunity to participate in last weekend.  We traveled to Seattle, WA, to attend a Washington Husky football game as a guest of Coach Eric Schmidt, an assistant coach with the Husky Football Program.  We had a great time and were treated like “royalty” by Eric and his wife Tiffany.  We had the opportunity to tour the Husky football facility, which is all-encompassed at the stadium location — a super impressive facility.  We were allowed to be on the field before the start of the Husky vs. Utah football game, which was an amazing experience.  The game was super exciting, with a lot of scoring and big plays by both teams.  The Huskies had a strong second half to win the game 35-28, moving their record to 10-0 with a #5 national ranking.
More importantly, Allyson & I had the pleasure of spending time with Tiffany and Eric, a couple of “Crookstonites” thriving in their very busy professional careers out in Seattle.  Eric will readily admit that Tiffany is also excelling in her second full-time job of managing their very busy homefront of three children who are very active with school and sports/activities.  I will take some credit for hiring Eric Schmidt (right out of college from UND) back in 2002 as the head football coach at Crookston High School.  He started his coaching career as a high school football coach in Crookston, MN, to now being an assistant coach at a major college — so amazing, but not a shock.  Eric continues to be a very passionate, engaging, and hard-working coach.  His ability to positively impact the people he comes into contact with is his greatest skill.  I will also take a little credit for bringing Eric & Tiffany together.  Tiffany reminded me on Saturday that she was doing a college basketball workout in the CHS gym when I brought Eric through for a tour of Crookston High School back in 2022.  In spending time with Tiffany and Eric it is very evident that they still hold onto their MN/ND values and are very appreciative of where they came from and the people who have helped them along their journey.
I am pretty sure that I am not the only one who is so proud of where Eric and Tiffany are with their careers.  Pirate Nation can also be very proud of these two, knowing that Tiffany and Eric still have a strong connection to Crookston even though they are many miles away.  In summary, one of the best weekends I have had hanging out with the Schmidt’s in Seattle.
Go Pirates & Go Huskies
Dave Kuehn

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The Crookston Pirate Girls Basketball team has had a few days of practice already, and here are the girls out this season. They have 15 out this year.

Seniors (4) Katelyn Christensen, Emma Gunderson, Isabelle Smith, Halle Winjum (injured)
Juniors (3) Shayla Azure, Naomi Johnson, Joey Nesseth
Sophomores (3) Chloe Boll, Halle Nicholas, Meme Sam
Freshmen (4) Madi Bruggeman, Teagan Fanfulik, Ashlynn LaLonde, Brooklyn Waldal
8th grade (1) – Grace Boll

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Crookston Boys Hockey is a coop with Fertile-Beltrami and Sacred Heart and have 38 out this year, including five from Fertile-Beltrami and two from Sacred Heart. The list of players is below.

Seniors – (10) – Carter Trudeau, Jackson Reese, Ashton Shockman, Dalen Korynta, Lucas Miller, Kadin Edwards, Ty Larson, Jayden Steinbrink, Koda Donarski, Blake Melsa
Juniors (12) Riley Benson (FB), Ryan Street, Brandon Colborn, Teagen Lubinski, Jack Buhler, Michael Bochow, Weston Benoit (FB), Conner Hanson, Parker Kelly, Aiden Fisketjon (FB), Dylan Thode, Joseph Walski
Sophomores (14) – Teegyn Johnson (FB), Evan Shockman, Tate Hamre, Gavin Aukhus (FB), Jace Bruggeman, Brady Chandler, Cody Demarais, Isaiah Donarski, Greyson Ecker, Garrett Fischer, Wyat Marsyla, Liam Larson (SH), Jay Reese, Masen Reitmeier
Freshmen (2) – Hayden Mercil (SH), Grant Funk

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Crookston High School Sophomore Chloe Boll advanced to state swimming in the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard freestyle! She swims with the Fosston/Bagley/Crookston Seal team.

Chloe is 26th out of 31 swimmers in the 50 freestyle. A LOT of girls made the state qualifying time, 15 to be exact, so they have almost double the 16 automatic qualifiers).

Chloe is 18th out of 22 swimmers in the 100 freestyle. Six girls made the automatic qualifying time in this event.

Chloe will have to move up two spots in the 100 freestyle to make it to Saturday’s finals. She will have to move up 10 spots in the 50-freestyle. Chloe is no stranger to having to move up a spot or two as she came into the section meet seeded fourth and fifth and came out second and third, so I think she could have a shot at advancing to the finals in the 100-freestyle.  The good news…it is all a bonus when you reach this point in the season, and it will be overwhelming and nerve-wracking. But it will be a great experience no matter what place she gets.

Fosston/Bagley/Crookston is also sending Hayden Friborg in the 100-Yard Butterfly. Haidyn is coming in 19th out of 20 swimmers.

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The Minnesota State High School League State Football playoffs begin this week.



First-round games-
Fertile-Beltrami beat Goodridge-Grgyla 35-6
Kingsland beat Hills-Beaver Creek 26-14
Ottertail Central beat Cedar Mountain 28-8
Nevis beat Mountain Iron-Buhl 12-8

Semi-finals – (Thursday, November 16 at U.S. Bank Stadium)
Fertile-Beltrami (12-0) vs Kingsland (12-0) at 10:30 a.m.
Ottertail Central (11-0) vs Nevis (11-0) at 1:00 p.m.

The QRF rankings for the going into the first round of state were as follows. All the top qrf teams won except Hills-Beaver Creek as they were ahead of Kingsland.) So take that for what it is worth!

Fertile-Beltrami continued to roll as they cruised past Goodridge-Grgyla, and Isaiah Wright started the game with a 91-yard touchdown run, and he had 241 yards rushing in the game. Caden Swenby is outstanding at quarterback and can hurt you running or passing. Bryer Strem is an outstanding talent and can catch a pass or run the ball for big gains.
The defense has been stellar all season long, and they are only giving up

Fertile-Beltrami has averaged 46.9 points per game while only giving up 8.3 points per game. They haven’t had a close game all season long and always seem to dominate the second half as they have done for several years. Fertile-Beltrami has played a solid schedule and beat Border West with ease, and they are #10 in the QRF. They beat Cleabrook-Gonvick twice by large margins, and they are also ranked #10 in the QRF, beat Goodridge-Grygla handily and they are ranked #7 in the QRF. They also beat Park Christian handily, and they were 7-3 and ranked #19 in the QRF. So they have had almost half their opponents in the top 20 in the QRF and haven’t had a close game yet.

Fertile-Beltrami is led by Isaiah Wright with 114 carries and 1,466 yards, 23 touchdowns and he also has 17 receptions for 311 yards and 4 touchdowns. Caiden Swenby is 76 of 104 passing for 1,257 yards with 13 touchdowns and 1 interception. He also has 45 carries for 376 yards and 11 touchdowns. Bryer Strem has 55 carries for 338 yards and 7 touchdowns and has 33 receptions for 545 yards and 6 touchdowns.

Kingsland has averaged 48.8 points per game while giving up 15.9 points per game. Kingsland is in Section 1, which means they are battle-tested with the likes of LeRoy-Ostrander and Spring Grove in the section, and all three teams were in the top 16 qrf.
Kingsland, who is relatively new to 9-man football, had 3,520 rushing yards and 1,743 passing yards and averaged 438.6 yards per game.

They are led by two players, which the offense completely revolves around. They have a senior runningback, Beau Wiersma, who has 178 carries and 1818 yards while scoring 34 touchdowns this year. They also have a sophomore quarterback, Kaaleem Reiland, who has completed 97 of 165 passes for 1,738 yards, 20 touchdowns, and six interceptions while carrying the ball 109 times for 932 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Kingsland will be a tough opponent (as you would expect in the semifinals). They will be similar in size to Fertile-Beltrami. Both teams are ultra-athletic, and it should be a great game.

It always comes down to taking care of the ball and not hurting yourself.

KROX will have the game on the radio and online by clicking Listen Live in the upper right-hand corner of the page.

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First round results-
Mahnomen/Waubun beat Parkers Prairie 18-0
Springfield beat Fillmore Central 22-12
Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa beat Mayer Lutheran 28-6
Minneota beat Braham 55-0

Semi-finals (Saturday, November 18 at U.S. Bank Stadium)
Mahnomen/Waubun (11-0) vs Springfield (11-1) at 9:00 a.m.
Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa (11-0) vs Minneota (12-0) at 11:30 a.m.

Mahnomen/Waubun gets a tough draw with Springfield, who has one loss on the season. Springfield lost to Sleepy Eye United 16-14 in the fifth week of the season, but bounced back to beat them in the Section 3A Championship by a 36-18 score.

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First round results-
Barnesville beat Osakis 42-36
Jackson County Central beat Caledonia 41-0
Cannon Falls beat Triton 51-6
Eden Valley-Watkins beat Moose Lake/Willow River 60-0

Semi-finals (Friday, November 17 at U.S. Bank Stadium)
Barnesville (12-0) vs Jackson County Central (10-0) at 9:00 a.m.
Cannon Falls (10-2) vs Eden Valley-Watkins (11-0) 11:30 a.m.

Barnesville will have their toughest task of the season, hands down. They take on a powerful Jackson County Central team who dismantled Caledonia in the first round. It will be interesting to see how Barnesville does as they have the advantage of being back to the state semi-finals (a familiar place for them). The biggest key for Barnesville is stopping the JCC offense.

— — —


Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton beat Albany 33-0
Stewartville beat Waseca 22-0
Dassel-Cokato beat Minneapolis North 14-7
Annandale beat Esko 14-7

Semi-finals (Saturday, November 18 at U.S. Bank Stadium)
Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton (10-1) vs Stewartville (12-0) at 2:00 p.m.
Dassel-Cokato (10-1) vs Annandale (11-0) at 4:30 p.m.

The top two QRF-ranked teams lost in the first round. The third (Dassel-Cokato), fourth (Stewartville), fifth (DGF), and sixth-ranked team (Annandale) all advanced.

DGF, as you would expect in the semi-finals will have a tough task, but the Rebels were edged in the state championship last year and looking at making a return trip to the championship.

Stewartville beat Waseca in the first week by a 27-13 score before beating them again in the first round of state by a 22-0 score. They haven’t had any other close games this season.
DGF lost their first game of the season to Barnesville 14-7 and haven’t had a game within a couple of scores since.

This will be an interesting matchup, but I would think DGF has a solid chance to return to the state championship game.

— — —

Congratulations to the following area student-athletes who have signed National Letters of Intent to play sports in college.

Dominic Fairbanks (Cass Lake-Bena) to play basketball at Bemidji State.
Hampton Slukynsky (Warroad) to play hockey at Northern Michigan
Willow Thiel (Perham) to play basketball at UMC.

— — —

Congratulations to UND Women’s Basketball player Kacie Borowicz (of Roseau) on being named the Summit League’s player of the week this week.

— — —

I have obviously not been following Division III football, or at least Minnesota Morris. Minnesota Morris has made the NCAA D3 Football postseason tournament and will play Wisconsin-La Crosse in the first round!

That is crazy. When Morris was in Division 2, they and UMC were in the same boat, and they opted down to Division III, and now they are in the postseason. UMC has continued to stay in Division II and cut the football team instead of dropping to Division 3, where they should go, and I honestly believe they would have a lot of success and be able to do it with area student-athletes.  Imagine bringing back football??? A boost of 80 to 100 students over a two or three-year period would be huge for the campus that is struggling big time with enrollment while the likes of UND, NDSU, Mayville State, and many others are reporting record enrollment!

And if UMC dropped to Division 3, they would be able to move hockey from a club sport to an NCAA Division 3 sport.  Moving to Division 3 would be a more challenging for UMC hockey. I believe with their current coach (who is great) and the area we live in, they would be able to be competitive and have a solid program right away in D-3 and have a shot every year to make the national tournament.

The one bad thing is athletic scholarships wouldn’t be offered anymore by dropping to D-3. But the academic scholarships would still be available, which is the student-athlete you want to get on your campus anyway!

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The Minnesota State High School League Winter Sports season has officially started for Dance and Girls Hockey. The start dates, State tournament dates, and other information is below.

Sport – Start Date- First Competition date
Wrestling – November 20 – November 30
Boys Basketball – November 20 – November 30

State tournament dates
Dance – February 16-17
Girls Hockey – February 21-24
Wrestling – February 29 and March 1-2
Boys Hockey – March 6-9
Girls Basketball – March 13-16
Boys Basketball – March 20-23

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The Crookston Pirate Winter Sports Schedules are available on our website. Click on the link below –


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Crookston Park and Recreation and the Crookston Wrestling Club is offering a Free Wrestling Clinic on Monday, November 27 and Wednesday, November 29 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the CHS Wrestling room. This clinic is for Pre-K through grade 6.

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I’m no cactus expert…
But I know a prick when I see one.

— —

Susie came home from her first day at school.

Her mother said, “Well, Honey, what did you learn today?”

“Not enough, I guess….They want me to come back again tomorrow.”

— —

A woman who plays cards once a month with a group of friends was concerned that she always woke her husband when she came home around 11:30.

One night she decided to try not to rouse him. She undressed in the living room and, purse over arm, tiptoed nude into the bedroom – only to find her husband sitting up in bed reading.

“Darn it woman!” he exclaimed. “Did you lose everything?”

— —

A big city lawyer went duck hunting in rural North Wairarapa. He shot and dropped a bird, but it fell into a farmer’s field on the other side of a fence. As the lawyer climbed over the fence, an elderly farmer drove up on his tractor and asked him what he was doing.The litigator responded, “I shot a duck and it fell in this field, and now I’m going to retrieve it.”

The old farmer replied, “This is my property, and you are not coming over here.”

The indignant lawyer said, “I am one of the best trial attorneys in New Zealand and, if you don’t let me get that duck, I’ll sue you and take everything you own.”

The old farmer smiled and said, “Apparently, you don’t know how we settle disputes in North Wairarapa. We settle small disagreements like this with the ‘Three Kick Rule.'”

The lawyer asked, “What is the ‘Three Kick Rule’?”

The Farmer replied, “Well, because the dispute occurs on my land, I get to go first. I kick you three times and then you kick me three times and so on back and forth until someone gives up.” The attorney quickly thought about the proposed contest and decided that he could easily take the old codger. He agreed to abide by the local custom.

The old farmer slowly climbed down from the tractor and walked up to the attorney.

His first kick planted the toe of his heavy steel toed work boot into the lawyer’s groin and dropped him to his knees!

His second kick to the midriff sent the lawyer’s last meal gushing from his mouth.

The lawyer was on all fours when the farmer’s third kick to his rear end, sent him face-first into a fresh cow pie.

The lawyer summoned every bit of his will and remaining strength and very slowly managed to get to his feet. Wiping his face with the arm of his jacket, he said, “Okay, you old fart. Now it’s my turn.”

The old farmer smiled and said, “Nah, I give up. You can have the duck.”

— —

A kindergarten teacher was observing her classroom of children while they drew. She would occasionally walk around to see each child’s artwork. As she got to one little girl who was working diligently, she asked what the drawing was.

The girl replied, “I’m drawing God.”

The teacher paused and said, “but no one knows what God looks like.”

Without missing a beat, or looking up from her drawing the girl replied, “They will in a minute.”

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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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