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Monday, January 29, 2001
Craigs Corner 01/29/01 - 02/04/01
Thursday, February 1st, 2001
I have received between 10 and 15 calls or e-mails inquiring about a bus trip to Cooperstown for the August 5th induction ceremonies. Okay, we'll give it a try!
Originally I had planned on this trip about two years ago, thinking ahead to the fact that Kirby Puckett would for sure be inducted on the first ballot and that Dave Winfield would be a sure selection, too. Last year, after a disappointing response to a trip to see the Twins battle Sammy and the Cubs and McGwire (although it turned out he was hurt and didn't play) and the Cards, I decided to not even try. Now, with several requests, we're going to give it a chance. Here's the deal:

1) We will be taking a comfortable, restroom equipped Ottertail Coaches 45 passenger bus.

2) The bus will leave Fergus Falls at 6:00 a.m. Thursday, August 2nd. We will stay somewhere that night where we can see a game. Most likely Chicago. We will leave for New York the next morning and spend all day (and I do mean all day) traveling. Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday night will be spent in New York with the bus making trips to Cooperstown on Saturday for a free day and Sunday for the ceremonies that will induct Kirby Puckett and Dave Winfield. We will leave Monday, catch a Cubs game Tuesday night on the way back and complete our journey home mid morning on Wednesday, August 8th, driving through the night on Tuesday.

3) The cost for the bus transportation (approximately 56 hours round trip), 5 nights in hotel rooms, and game tickets to two major league baseball games will be $625.00 per person (quadruple occupancy - 4 to a room), $700.00 per person (triple occupancy - 3 to a room), $750.00 per person (double occupancy - 2 to a room) or $1000 per person (single occupancy - 1 to a room). Hotel costs drive this price. Rooms are in demand in the upstate New York Area during these three days (as you might imagine). Our hotel will most likely be within an hour of Cooperstown, but definitely not in Cooperstown.

4) Exactly half of your total cost must be in my hands by March 31st, 2001. If I don't have a minimum of 35 people by that date, with at least half of their total cost to me, all plans for the trip will be canceled and I will return your checks.

5) Checks should be made payable to www.craigolsonsports.com
Click Here, the sponsor of this trip. Any questions should be addressed to me by e-mail at cosports@prtel.com
Email Craig or call my toll-free phone number 1-500-730-4064.

The dates are firm. The dollar amount is also firm. I need you to respond by the dates with the required deposits or I can not go forward with this trip. Hopefully those of you who have been contacting me with interest are serious and will follow through. If we do not have a minimum of 35 people by March 31st, I will drop the plans to take the trip. Please pass this information on to anyone you know who might have an interest in going on this trip.

Did you see where the Twins Caravan in Fargo had about 300 people in attendance? That sure makes Fergus Falls look good with our 250 plus people attending! Now, if we could only get the Twins back on local radio!

Monday, January 29th, 2001
It was a weekend of sports milestones around the Lakes Area. Some outstanding accomplishments for a number of athletes and coaches highlighted Super Bowl weekend, and I have to agree, the Ravens defense has to be among the best ever.

First off, a tremendous coach and top-quality individual, Ann Williams reached a coaching milestone when her team handed her career victory number 400 on Friday night against Hibbing. Technically, that win was number 401, but Ann has a hard time counting last year's win when she was recovering from an appendectomy. Her assistant, Brenda Johnson, took over for Ann on the bench and coach Williams says that was Brenda's first win as a college basketball coach, so she doesn't feel comfortable getting credit for it. Anyway you look at it Ann's record is phenomenal. She is in her 23rd year at FFCC and has had some extraordinary seasons. Her teams have won enough games for her over the years to rank her fifteenth in the nation in career coaching victories for NJCAA coaches. She is also the eighth winningest active coach in the country. Above all, as she stated on Friday, the players are more than players, they are all her girls.

Ann has had some extremely succesful and competitive teams through the years, but this year's talented group of eight (nine before Amanda Rinke's unfortunate knee injury), ranks as perhaps the most talented from top to bottom. Ann has settled into a great rotation with these girls and if they stay out of foul trouble, they are capable of beating anyone at anytime. They are exciting to watch and fans can expect great things from them. Right now they are 7-1 in the Northern Division and alone in first place. Overall, the Lady Spartans are 13-4. It's a critical week for both the Ladies and the Men as they travel to Grand Rapids to play Itasca on Wednesday and then head for Virginia and Ely to face Mesabi and Vermilion on Friday and Saturday. The Spartan Men improved to 16-3 overall and 6-2 in the North Division, second to Vermilion in the standings, with a pair of wins over the weekend.

Otter wrestler Bruce Rosendahl won his 100th career match over the weekend, beating Andrew Maughan of Moorhead 5-4 at the Detroit Lakes tournament. Rosendahl is just a junior for the Otters, who are 12-1 in dual competition after losing for the first time on Saturday when they fell to Thief River Falls 30-26 in a match that came down to the heavyweights. Mitch and Davis Gabrielson had each earned their 75th career wins for the Otters last weekend.

Here's our David Newell update. The former Otter has averaged 13 points and 5 rebounds per game over the last three wins for Gustavus-Adolphus. The Gusties are now 15-1 after recording wins over St. Olaf, 78-75 and Carleton, 82-70 this past week. Their 11-1 MIAC record gives them a two game lead in the conference. Three teams are tied for second with 9-3 records, including Bethel College, coached by former FFHS coach Bob Bjorklund. Gustavus is currently ranked 8th in the nation in NCAA Division III Men's basketball. Area basketball fans will be able to see David play at Concordia College on Monday, February fifth against the Cobbers.

This will be short and to the point. The Baltimore Ravens convinced me the past few weeks with their stellar defensive play. They are one of the best defensive teams in the history of the NFL. You can rank them up there with the L.A. Rams Fearsome Foursome, the Vikings Purple People Eaters, the Steelers Steel Curtain, the Bronco's Orange Crush and any other great defenses you can think of. The mindset of the Ravens seems to be that they don't only stop the opposing team's offense, but they look to score points when they don't have the ball. They have been extremely succesful. Their 34-7 win over the Giants was an impressive display. Didn't Brian Billick used to work around here somewhere?
Posted By Craig Olson
Monday, January 22, 2001
Craigs Corner 01/22/01 - 01/28/01
Friday, January 26th, 2001
Fergus Falls High School senior Luke Draxten has verbally committed to play football for North Dakota State University.
The Otters place-kicker made the decision at about 10:30 p.m. Thursday after having numerous contacts from the Bison coaching staff over the past several months. NDSU was always one of the teams Draxten was considering but he was also weighing Division I options that were slow to come into place. One of the factors when you're working with the recruiting department for a D-I school is the low priority they place on giving scholarship dollars to kickers. Until virtually every other position on the roster is exhausted of its list of recruits, they don't promise their kicking prospects much, if anything, in scholarship money. Luke had offers from at least one Big 10 team to walk-on with the hopes of making it. If he did, a scholarship would be worked out. A lot of risk for the student-athlete, none for the school and/or team.

I think Luke made a very good decision. He will be joining wide receiver Tim Erickson and offensive lineman Peter Campion, both former Otters, on the Bison. It will be great for Otter fans to be able to follow his career at one of the premier Division II programs in the country, located just up I-94 in Fargo. I also think Luke made the right choice as far as being near family and the all-important support staff! Plus, playing in the North Central Conference will allow Luke to kick in three indoor stadiums, including the Fargodome where the Bison play all their home contests.

The recruiting game is not necessarily a fun one for the athlete and his family. I don't think the Draxten family will miss the constant phone calls and contacts that have been coming over the past few month and have been increasing as the signing period approached. When you're trying to be a normal high school student and also are playing another sport, in Luke's case basketball, it becomes hard to concentrate or think about anything other than the scholarship stuff. In that regard, it's really good to have this issue behind him. Congratulations Luke! We'll look forward to seeing you boot 'em in the Fargodome!


Thursday, January 25th, 2001
The Hillcrest Comets boys basketball team did something on Tuesday night that they haven't done in 3-plus seasons, they lost a Little 8 Conference game.
The winning streak had reached 41 games against conference opponents, 36 games in league play (not counting postseason matchups), before the Ashby Arrows beat them 54-46 in Ashby. The Rothsay Tigers were the last Little 8 team to beat Hillcrest in the 1997-1998 season.

My Perham contacts tell me that former Yellowjacket Jamie Grismer has signed a three year contract to play pro football in the Arena Football League. Apparently Grismer will be with the Detroit Fury, an expansion team in the league. The season begins in April. Grismer played for the Bismarck Blaze of the Indoor Football League last year. Grismer was a defensive tackle and tight end in high school but will probably play an offensive tackle for the Fury.

The Lady Spartans will try to hand coach Ann Williams her 400th career coaching victory on Friday night when they host Hibbing. The Lady Spartans are playing very good basketball, they are 5-1 in the Northern Division of the MCCC and are ranked number one in the state poll. The game starts at six p.m. Friday and is the first of four games at FFCC this weekend. The men play Hibbing at 8:00 p.m. Friday and on Saturday, Rainy River is in town for a one o'clock ladies game and a three o'clock mens game. Rainy is the only division team to beat the Lady Spartans.

One of the best players in Section 8-3A, Ryan Miller, will be in Fergus Falls on Saturday afternoon with his Little Falls Flyers. Otter coach Gary Schuler says that Miller can do it all. In scouting Miller on several occasions, Coach Schuler says he can't find a weakness. The game starts at 2:45 p.m. The Fergus Falls Band Boosters will holding their barbecue feed fundraiser from 12 noon to 2:00 p.m. Saturday in the FFHS cafeteria with Dairyland serving their delicious barbecues. Several other items will be on the menu, including a variety of homemade bars!

Monday, January 22nd, 2001
Barnesville won the 30th Annual Fergus Falls Freshman boys basketball tournament on Saturday at the Fergus Falls Middle School, beating Wahpeton 42-35 in the title game. Barnesville last won this tournament championship in the 1977-78 season.
The Barnesville team started off the tourney with a 37-30 opening round win over the host team from Fergus Falls and then defeated Pelican Rapids in the semifinals 64-44.
Other first round scores were Wahpeton 45 Henning 32, Staples/Motley defeated Detroit Lakes 45-26 and Pelican Rapids beat Underwood 59-41. The other semifinal contest saw Wahpeton hand Staples-Motley a 48-39 setback.

In the consolation semi's, DL took Henning 40-30 and Fergus Falls knocked off Underwood 84-31. Fergus Falls took fifth place with a 57-33 win over Detroit Lakes and Staples/Motley claimed third place with a 60-52 win over Pelican Rapids.
"Other than our first game, our kids played some of the most inspired basketball of the season," stated coach Jeff Moon. "Virtually all of our dressed players scored in our last two games, which speaks of the depth this squad has. Barnesville has a very fine club and played very well in all of their games."
Moon has done a great job juggling 22 players on the years ninth grade squad. They are now 6-5 on the season.

A game featuring three former Fergus Falls basketball players was played over the weekend. Gustavus Adolphus defeated Augsburg 78-74 on Staurday to gain outright possession of first place in the MIAC. Gustavus is now 13-1 overall and 9-1 in the MIAC. Augsburg fell to 8-2 in the conference and 9-5 overall.
Former FFHS player David Newell contributed 13 points, including a dunk, and had 6 rebounds. He was 5 for 5 from the floor. Newell currently leads Gustavus and ranks sixth in the nation among NCAA Division III players in shooting percentage, sinking 69% of his field goal attempts. The Gustavus team leads the nation in overall shooting percentage, making 54% of their shots.
Augsburg was led by former FFCC standouts Matt Davis and Tommy Chatman. Davis had 24 points and 8 rebounds while Chatman scored 20 points, including a pair of dunks, and had 4 boards.

Senior boxers from Fergus Falls were in action at the Legion Club in Sauk Rapids this past weekend. At heavyweight, Jacob Walters won a second round RSC over Lee Rodgekamp of Wadena. At 165 pounds, Brett Nelson lost a close decision to Jesse Ruiz of St. Cloud. Andy Kolle won a decision over Richard Kerns of Rochester at 156 pounds. Next action for Kolle and Nelson will be the State U.S. Championships in St. Paul this coming weekend.

Posted By Craig Olson
Tuesday, January 16, 2001
Craigs Corner 01/15/01 - 01/21/01
Friday, January 19th, 2001
Thirty years and still going strong. That's a good way to describe the Freshman Boys Basketball Tournament that will be hosted by Fergus Falls on Saturday at the Middle School Gyms.
The eight team tourney begins at ten o'clock with Wahpeton playing Henning in the East Gym and host Fergus Falls playing Barnesville in the West Gym. The 11:30 a.m. games will have Detroit Lakes going up against Staples-Motley in the East Gym and Pelican Rapids facing Underwood in the West Gym. The tournament will conclude with the championship game at 5:30 p.m. in the East gym.

Former Otter boys basketball coach Bob Bjorklund got to coach against one of his former players this past weekend, as his Bethel Royals knocked off Gustavus-Adolphus College by one point. Bjorklund coached David Newell during the '96-'97 season at FFHS and Newell is now a member of the Gusties, who are currently 12-1 (8-1 in the MIAC) and ranked sixth in the NCAA Division III national poll.
Gustavus will matchup with Augsburg, also 8-1 in the MIAC, for the league lead on Saturday at Gustavus. Augsburg features former FFCC players Matt Davis and Tommy Chatman. Davis currently leads the MIAC in rebounding with an average of nearly 10 per game and Chatman is 13th in rebounding in the MIAC.
Newell is the seventh best shooter in the conference, hitting 64% of his shots. He scored 12 in the 94-87 win for Gustavus on Wednesday night against Hamline.

Otter assistant boys basketball coach Keith Pearson is a dad for the third time. His wife, Michelle (Hoff), gave birth to their third son on Thursday, January 18th at 7:14 p.m. Nicholas Paul Pearson weighed 7 pounds, 12 ounces and was 20-1/2 inches long at birth. Older brothers Drew and Ty are excited I'm sure! Not to mention the proud grandparents!

Ask any coach who has a family and they will tell you that the support of their spouse and children keeps them going over the years they are committed to coaching. There are many sacrifices that family members make when one of the spouses is involved in coaching a sport, so without support and encouragement from your husband or wife, it just doesn't make for a good situation. Don Stueve had a tremendous supporter in his wife, Marlene Stueve. Marlene was a soft spoken, friendly person, who always seemed to have a smile for you. She lost her battle with cancer a little over a week ago and friends and family will say goodbye to Marlene on Saturday at a Funeral service at 11:00 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Fergus Falls. Marlene devoted her life to her family and her extended family, spending over 30 years working in Social Services, always helping others. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Don, their sons Wade, Chad and Ned, and family members as they grieve her loss.

Tuesday, January 16th, 2001
The votes have been counted and two former Minnesota Twins are now Hall of Famers. Kirby Puckett, who spent all twelve of his major league seasons with the Twins, and native Minnesotan Dave Winfield, who spent a short time with the Twins, have both been elected to the Hall.

I'm glad to say that the voters did a good job this year. That's not always the case. In fact, in past years some voters haven't cast ballots for shoo-ins like Willie Mays and Hank Aaron. Can you imagine not voting for those two guys? Tom Seaver received the highest percentage of votes in the history of the balloting, 98%. Some members of the Baseball Writers Association of America just won't vote for a player in his first year of eligibility and I think that's ridiculous. If they are Hall of Fame caliber, like the aforementioned Mays and Aaron definitely were, then vote for them!

Jim Rice and Gary Carter were the top two vote getters who didn't get named on the necessary 75% of the ballots. I don't know that either of them would be on my immediate list of deserving candidates. Pitcher Bert Blyleven tops my list. I shared my reasons in this column last year and here they are back by popular demand.

What am I missing here? Bert Blyleven wasn't even in the top ten vote-getters this year for election to Baseball's Hall of Fame. What are these voters thinking? Blyleven ranks among the top pitchers in the history of the game in a number of statistical categories. Here's the evidence of why I feel he should be a Hall of Famer ... you be the judge: 287 career wins - baseball has had 20-300 game winners, Blyleven is 22nd all-time in wins. 3,701 strikeouts - third all-time behind Nolan Ryan and Steve Carlton ... more than many every other Hall of Fame pitcher. 60 career shutouts - 9th all-time ... only one behind Ryan and Tom Seaver. 685 career starts - 9th all-time ... More than Hall of Famers like Walter Johnson, Warren Spahn, Tom Seaver, Early Wynn, Fergie Jenkins and many more. 4,970 innings pitched - 13th on the list ... agains more than Seaver, Wynn, Jenkins, Robin Roberts and several other Hall of Fame pitchers. Oh, by the way, Blyleven also pitched for two world champions (including the '87 Twins). He never did win a Cy Young Award but several Hall of Famers join him in that category. Plus, Blyleven had the best curveball I've ever seen from a big league pitcher. To me, Bert should have been elected this year, and to see him finish out of the top ten is inconceivable to me. If Bert had played for the Yankees or Dodgers would he be in already? I would hope that wouldn't come in to play in the voting. That he was able to put those numbers together on teams like the Twins and the Pirates and the Rangers and the Angels makes his election an even easier sell. How can Phil Niekro be in the Hall and Bert Blyleven be ignored? What do you think? Got any answers for me? If so, e-mail me ... PLEASE!

Hope to see you at the Twins Winter Caravan Wednesday night. Remember, doors open at 6:15 p.m. at the Fergus Falls Middle School Commons. The cost is five dollars and tickets are available at the door. Proceeds will go to Community Youth Partners. The event is sponsored by Elmer's Texas Barbecue, Viking Coca-Cola, Charter Communications and Lakes Radio.
Posted By Craig Olson
Monday, January 8, 2001
Craigs Corner 01/08/01 - 01/14/01
Thursday, January 11th, 2001
Cross Country Skiers are having a blast this winter! The snow has been good and the temperatures very nice and this weekend the Fergus Falls Nordic Ski team will host a meet at Spidahl's Skigaard.

Check out our current story on the team and Rolf Eisinger's success in this lifetime sport. Rolf's sister, Annie Eisinger, is currently competing collegiately for Colby College in Maine. In fact, this weekend she is skiing the Olympic course in Lake Placid, New York. There is a hill at Lake Placid known as the Russian Hill. The name comes from the fact that at the Olympics, only the Russians could ski it. Annie relays that it is a "brutal" hill, indeed. If you're into surfing the net you can investigate these websites for more cross country skiing information, including pictures. www.skinnyski.com (you'll find some pictures from Minnesota High School meets at this site, including some of the Otters). www.nexcski.com/pawint01/olejr1.htm (that's where you'll find a picture of Annie competing for Colby College - she's the one with the word COLBY down the leg of her ski tights).

The University of Minnesota Extension Service and Alumni Association, Alexandria Chapter is sponsoring a trip to a Golden Gopher bsketball game on Saturday, February 10, at 7:00 p.m. The Gophers will face the Spartans of Michigan State. A chartered motor coach will depart at 2:00 p.m. from the Douglas County Services Center in Alexandria. The trip will include options to tour the Gateway Center, Mariucci Arena, and Williams Arena. The cost is $35 per person and includes transportation, game ticket and group tour. For more information you can contact the Fergus Falls extension office at 739-7130 or e-mail Lori Anderson at loria@umn.edu.

It would have been difficult in the past few years to take a trip like this one, but with the scandals surrounding the U of M basketball program, ticket sales have really dropped off. The current Gopher team is playing very good basketball right now and Dan Monson appears to have the program back on track.

Monday, January 8th, 2001
I know the football season is still going on for Minnesota fans, but opening day of the major league baseball season is less than 3 months away and that means it's time for the Twins Winter Caravan.

Fergus Falls is always a favorite stop for the Twins on their annual caravan. Our community has always supported the Twins stop with a great fan turnout. Over 500 people have attended the event the last two years with many walking away with nice door prizes!

This year the Twins Winter Caravan date is Wednesday, January 17th at the Fergus Falls Middle School Commons. The doors will open at 6:15 p.m. with a short press conference starting at 6:30, the meal at 6:45, the program at 7:15 and an autograph session to follow.

This year the Twins will be represented by Denny Hocking and Matthew LeCroy. Hocking was a favorite when he was here with Ron Coomer two years ago. LeCroy is one of about five candidates for the Twins starting catcher position this year.

Joining the current players will be Twins alum, Dan Gladden, a key member of the Twins World Series teams. In addition to being a former Twins player, Gladden now occupies the radio broadcast booth for road games. His partner, John Gordon will also be a part of the Twins group in town on the 17th. Gordon has been with the club since 1987 and has made several appearances in Fergus Falls on previous winter caravan stops. He has also been a regular guest of mine on Talkin' Sports the past two summers. John joined us every Monday morning at 7:20 a.m. on AM 1250 - KBRF, no matter where the Twins were playing!

Lakes Radio, Charter Communications, Elmer's Texas Barbecue, Viking Coca-Cola and Falls Automotive, the local Dodge dealer, are all sponsors of the event.

The entourage will be making a noon appearance in Morris, will stop at the Hoffman Care Center during the afternoon, and will join the Fergus Falls crowd in the evening for some baseball talk! Tickets are available in advance from Lakes Radio for $5.00. All money raised will go to Community Youth Partners. For more information you can call Kris Wilke at Lakes Radio (218)736-7596, or e-mail me!! Tickets will also be available at the door. Hope to see another great turnout to support the Twins!
Posted By Craig Olson
Monday, January 1, 2001
Craigs Corner 01/01/01 - 01/07/01
January 4th, 2001
Culpepper says he's 100% and Moss has a strained muscle in his back. How much can you believe about injury reports at playoff time? It's hard to say, but I choose to not put much stock in them.
Some are pretty obvious. For example, Ricky Williams being listed as doubtful for the Saints. The guy hasn't played for many, many weeks and his injury (a broken ankle) is more serious than those of Moss or Culpepper. I tend to believe the report on Williams. Culpepper saying he'll be 100%, wishful thinking. I know he's reportedly a fast healer and the two weeks between games will help, but I think there will be some noticeable impact remaining from the injury. I hope not, but realistically it's unlikely that 100% is accurate. Daunte at even 75% is better than most NFL QB's, so let's hope for just 75%. As for Moss ... right. They've been saying stuff like this about him all year. Probably just to build an excuse in case he decides not to show up and play like he can on any given Sunday (or Saturday). I'm thinking he'll be up for this game and will have a huge day for the Vikes. The injury reports are always interesting, but you wonder how much of it is just a smoke screen for the opponents, the media and the fans. At this level, if you can walk on game day, you're going to play. Just try to keep Culpepper or a Cris Carter on the sidelines at playoff time. You'll have to drag them off. By the way, I like the Vikes at home, to beat the Saints 27-20. Also, the Eagles will go in and pull off the upset at New York, 17-10. AFC, Tennessee beats Baltimore 17-13 and Oakland smokes Miami 31-17.

Gustavus-Adolphus continues to play great college basketball. The team, which features David Newell, the former Otter, is ranked 11th in the nation. They are 8-0, recording their first win at St. John's University in six years when they won 66-63 on Tuesday. Newell had 8 points and 4 rebounds. They will play host to St. Thomas, ranked 25th in the nation, on Saturday.

The Elks Hoop Shoot free throw shooting contest will be held at one o'clock on Saturday afternoon at the Fergus Falls High School gymnasium. Boys and girls ages 8 to 13 are invited to participate.

January 1st, 2001
Each year holds many memories and in the sporting world there are always many. Today I'd like to recall just a few of the highlights from the past year around our area. I'm sure I'll miss some, but these are the ones that I remember most and that others have submitted.

It's impossible to rank them from top to bottom as they all hold a high rank for the achievement they represent. Some were accomplished individually, others by teams. Perhaps that's the way I should group them.

There were some outstanding teams to cheer for this past year and some firsts for some of them.
The Ashby Arrows girls volleyball team qualified for their first ever state Class A tournament, and the first ever state tournament appearance for an Ashby High School team.
The Rothsay girls basketball team made their first ever appearance in the state Class A tournament and placed third. They had to beat the defending state champs from Brandon-Evansville to get to Williams Arena.
The Ottertail Central Bulldogs claimed second place in the Class AA state football tournament after winning their first 13 games of the season. They lost to Triton in the Prep Bowl at the Metrodome.
The Perham girls cross country team placed tenth in the state Class A meet.
The Yellowjacket baseball team qualified for the state high school tournament but lost their first two games.
The Fergus Falls boys hockey team made it four straight state tournament appearances as they once again claimed the Section 4A title. They lost to eventual state champ, Breck in the opening round.
The Otter boys tennis team qualified for the state tournament with a perfect 20-0 dual meet record and placed sixth, winning one of three matches at state.

Individually, Titus Christianson of the Otter tennis team put together an amazing record of 33 wins and 2 losses, advancing to the state quarterfinals.
Fergus Falls Ninth grader Jenny Reff won the Class AA 800 meter run with a school record time of 2:15.55. Another freshman for the Otters, Irene Thomas took fourth in the 100 meter dash.
Rolf Eisinger made Fergus Falls sports history by qualifying for the school's first trip to state in Nordic Ski competition.
Golfer John Ouren placed 14th at the Class AA state golf tournament at Bunker Hills in Coon Rapids.

Perham cross country runners Gabriele Anderson and Jake Januszewski both participated in the state Class A meet, representing Section 8A as individual champions. Anderson was fifth in the girls state competition and Januszewski finished seventh for the boys. Paul Stromme was third in the Section meet, also qualifying as an individual for state participation.
Pelican Rapids had two boys qualify for the state cross country meet. Moises Urbano who finished fifth in the section race and Brent Magnusson who took seventh place at sections. They became the first Vikings to qualify for a state cross country meet.
Rachel Longfors of Pelican Rapids competed in two events at the state track and field meet, the shot put and the discus, taking a bronze medal in the discus.

Perham golfers Frances Rise and Jake Avery were involved in the state Class A golf meet with Rise tying for 27th place in the girls competition and Avery finishing tied for 46th in the boys competition.
Agassiz Valley's Jill Larson also competed in the girls state meet, and tied for 31st place.
Sheena Berg represented the Thunder at the state track and field meet in Blaine and was sixth in the 300 hurdles.
Ottertail Central's Tyler Severson took fifth in the 300 intermediate hurdles.

Fergus Falls sent three wrestlers to state, Kurt Rosendahl, Jake Carr and Mitch Gabrielson. Rosendahl set two school records, most victories (106) and most takedowns (189).
Jake Anderson of Pelican Rapids claimed second place at 119 pounds in the Class A state meet.
Perham wrestler Tony Hermes placed sixth at 189 in 2A. JJ Kratzke also participated in the state meet.
Ottertail Central wrestler Ben Anderson finished second at 189 in Class A.
West Central Area sent five wrestlers to the state Class A meet with Billy Morgan taking second at 160 and Chad Bertram third at 112. Heavyweight Dallas Koplin, Dustin Schneeberger at 103 and Josh Hammer at 130 did not place.

Otter swimmers Willie Sutor and Kyle Busack placed at state. Sutor was third in the 200 individual medley and seventh in the 100 freestyle. Busack finished fourth in the 100 backstroke. The Otters were 14th out of 31 teams with 63 points.
FFCC golfer Josh McManigle qualified for the NJCAA National Tournament in New York.
Spartan outfielder Rick Schlieman was named a third team All-American and a first team All-Region XII player. Pitcher Darin Gronwold joined him on the All-Region squad.

Other highlights included the Spartan men's basketball team losing to NDSCS. The loss marked the end of their 50 game-home court winning streak.
Also, the city of Fergus Falls once again won a gold medal with their hosting of the 12th World Barefoot Water Skiing Championships. Team USA won the event and local skier Jon Kretchman captained them.

Obviously, the year 2000 was a very memorable one in the world of sports. I'm sure I've missed some very exciting and historic events, but this gives you an idea of the accomplishments we witnessed in sports in the year 2000. What does 2001 hold? Time will tell and you can follow those memorable events right here on www.craigolsonsports.com

HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Posted By Craig Olson
Athletic Republic - Fergus Falls
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