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Monday, September 29, 2008
Risbrudt Has Praise for Assistants
Fergus Falls is 5-0 to start the high school football season.  On Friday night in Bemidji, the defense was dominant in the second half, allowing only three yards and one first down while the Lumberjacks didn't cross midfield in the half.  Head Coach Richard Risbrudt praised his coaching staff after that impressive win.
 
"The credit for the improvement in our defensive play and overall team play goes to my assistant coaches," said Risbrudt. "Steve Olson has brought both our offensive and defensive lines to where they are today.  Ryan Johnson is our defensive coordinator and on Friday night our defense knew every formation that Bemidji could throw at them.  Our players were seldom caught out of position.  That's coaching.  When they are in position, their athletic ability must then make the play.  Kevin Pearson works with our wide receivers and defensive backs.  Have they improved this season, or what?  We lost all but one wide receiver last year and all of our d-backs last year with the exception of one.  These coaches have worked hard in the off season preparing and have spent numerous hours watching tape of the opposition to better prepare themselves before passing their knowledge over to the players."
 
The Otters play the next two weeks at home with homecoming this Friday against Little Falls.  Don't miss your opportunity to see this team.  They are fun to watch and they are so fundamentally sound, and very sharp concerning technique and execution.  Only one penalty against Bemidji and that was for too many men on the field.
 
By the way, how about the pictures Paula Saurer provides to www.craigolsonsports.com from those football games!  She does a terrific job.  Check it out by clicking on the Otter football story and looking at the photo gallery.  I am so lucky to have a number of parents and fans providing pictures.  I get them from Mike Welde, Bob Franck, Amy Fisher, Randy Carlson, Jennifer Gylland, Cindy Deal, Melanie Herder and Tim Rogness.  Those are the ones who have provided pictures in September.  There are others throughout the year and I am so appreciative of that!!  Pictures add a lot to the stories.
 
Twins are still 1/2 game up on the White Sox and now must await the outcome of Monday's makeup game between Chicago and Detroit.  That game will be on ESPN 2 at 1:00 p.m. and I'm going to try to watch some of it for sure!  If Detroit wins the Twins are the AL Central Division champions.  If the White Sox pull it out, they will host the Twins on Tuesday in a playoff game to determine the AL Central Division winner.  How about Joe Mauer winning his second batting title in three years?  What a tremendous accomplishment!  To think that no catcher in the history of the game had ever won an American League batting title until Mauer did it in 2006 and now he's done it twice, really puts into perspective what he has achieved.  He is a tremendous hitter.  Only five more to go to catch Rod Carew!  Now, let's see if Morneau can win a second MVP award.  He gets my vote, even though he's been slumping the last couple of weeks.  October Baseball is great and it's even better when the Twins are in it!! Let's hope for the best the next couple of days.  The way the White Sox are playing, I'm pretty confident that they will not win two games in a row right now.  I do wish the playoff game was at the Metrodome, though.  Minnesota is 8-1 against Chicago in the dome but only 2-7 at Chicago.  Looks like Kevin Slowey will not be ready to pitch on Tuesday after taking that line drive off his wrist during the KC series.  Nick Blackburn will probably be the guy who gets the ball from Gardy if the Twins play on Tuesday.  If they qualify for the playoffs, Minnesota will open their best of five divisional series at Tampa Bay on Thursday and Friday.

Did you see this stat?  The New York Mets became the first team in Major League Baseball history to be eliminated from post season play on their home field on the final day of the regular season in two consecutive seasons.  Another collapse is complete in New York!!
Posted By Craig Olson
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Kolle to Fight on TV Tonight (Thursday, 9/25)
Fergus Falls native Andy Kolle will be facing WBO welterweight champ Paul Williams tonight in San Jacinto, California.  The fight will be televised on the Versus network.  Kolle trains with Chuck Horton at his gym in Duluth.  Kolle has a record of 17-1 with 12 knockouts, while Williams is 34-1 with 25 KO's.  I know Kerry Collins wrote a good article on this opportunity for Kolle earlier this week in the Fargo Forum.  You can still check it out on their website, www.In-Forum.com.
 
The Fergus Falls Athletic Department will be offering a shuttle bus service free of charge for Senior Citizens and all other Otter Fans on Friday, October 3rd for the Homecoming game with Little Falls. The bus will run from Grace United Methodist Church on Friberg Avenue to the Football Field starting at 5:45pm until 7:00pm and then the bus will shuttle fans back to the Church after that game.  Fans can also buy their admission ticket before boarding the bus.  Tickets are six dollars for adults and four dollars for students.
Posted By Craig Olson
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Cobbers Pull Off Rare Win at St. Johns
The Concordia Cobbers pulled off a rare feat on Saturday when they beat St. Johns University in Collegeville 9-6.  The game was the 589th game coached by John Gagliardi, breaking the previous record held by Eddie Robinson.
 
Several former area high school football players now play for the Cobbers and some had a hand in Saturday's win.  Defensive end Justin Hensch, a former Otter, recorded a sack and had five tackles, and defensive back Andrew Larson, another former Otter, was in on five tackles.  Carl Hauser booted an extra point and also connected on a field goal.
 
Hauser hasn't missed a kick yet this season, converting all seven of his extra point attempts and going 3-for-3 on field goal opportunities, scoring a total of sixteen points for the team.  He also has averaged 50.8 yards on 14 kickoffs.
 
Senior Paul Shol, a former Otter, has returned three kicks for 81 yards, a 27 yard average per return, and had returned three punts for 24 yards, an average of 8 yards per return.  He has also caught one pass for 9 yards.
 
Junior linebacker Jed LaPlante, also a former Otter, has three tackles this season and junior Craig Lachowitzer, who played high school football at Ottertail Central, has one carry for six yards.
 
Other area players on the team are wide receiver Nick Lewis (Fergus Falls), running back Tim Evavold (Ashby), running back Peter Nelson (Breckenridge), defensive end Aaron Schindler (Barnesville), offensive tackle Aaron Meyer (Breckenridge) and wide receiver Alex Jenson (Breckenridge).
 
There is a fan bus going to Bemidji on Friday for the Fergus Falls High School football game.  The bus will load at 3:35 p.m. and leave at 3:45 p.m. from the main doors in front of the high school gymnasium.  The cost is fifteen dollars for individuals, $28.00 for a couple and $13.50 for each additional family member.  Contact Sue Thorsen in the activities office or Wade Lee at jmorrell@prtel.com, wjablee@prtel.com, or 770-4698.
Posted By Craig Olson
Monday, September 15, 2008
Area Sports Program on Local Digital Television
There's a new program on Park Region Telephone / Ottertail Tel Com digital television.  It is called Craig Olson Sports and the program features scores and video highlights from high school and community college sporting events, along with interviews with coaches and players. 
 
The show airs on Channel One and subscribers to Park Region Telephone / Ottertail Tel Com digital television can view new shows every Tuesday at 7:00 p.m.  The show runs numerous times during the week.  This week we feature interviews with Hillcrest head football coach Charlie Brue and Fergus Falls head football coach Richard Risbrudt.  The entire Fergus Falls versus Sartell-St. Stephen high school football game will follow Craig Olson Sports. 
 
We will be covering Fergus Falls, Hillcrest, Ashby and Underwood high school athletics, along with Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Fergus Falls.  For information on subscribing you can contact Park Region Telephone / Ottertail Tel Com at (218) 998-2000.  You can also call that number if you have any video footage of games involving teams from those schools.  We'd love to have more highlights!
 
Early season stat leaders in Heart O' Lakes Conference girls volleyball have been released.  Kendra Coleman of Pelican Rapids leads the conference in kills per game with 3.8 and Tiff Schroeer of Perham is second with 3.2 kills per game.  Coleman also leads with 6.8 digs per game and Tatum Hall of Lake Park-Audubon has 5 digs per game.  LPA's Hailee Hovde leads the HOL with 10 blocks, Kaylee Pender of DGF has 8 blocks and Coleman has 7 blocks.  Amy Field of Pelican Rapids has a conference high 10 ace serves and Rachel Pfeffer of Perham has 6 ace serves.  Sadie Baxter of the Hawley Nuggets leads the Heart O' Lakes with 6.5 assists per game, followed by Pfeffer of Perham and Christine Deal of Breckenridge with 5 assists per game.
 
The Fergus Falls Football Booster Club will be taking a fan bus to Rocori on Friday to cheer on the Otters in their Central Lakes Conference contest against the Spartans.  The cost is fifteen dollars for one person, $28.00 for a couple and $13.50 for additional family members.  The bus will load at 4:30 p.m. and depart at 4:45 p.m. from the Fergus Falls High School parking lot on Friday.  You can reserve a seat by contacting Wade at jmorrell@prtel.com or wjablee@prtel.com, or call 736-5464.  You can also contact Sue Thorsen in the Fergus Falls High School Activities Office.
Posted By Craig Olson
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Otters Have Top CLC Performers, Perham CC Ranked
The fall season is off to a great start for members of the Fergus Falls Otters as two of them have already received some conference recognition for early performances.
 
Fergus Falls senior David Sanderson has been honored as the Central Lakes Conference Performer of the Week in boys soccer. Sanderson scored four goals last week, including both goals in the Otters overtime win over Bemidji.
 
Fergus Falls senior Josh Campion received the honor as the Central Lakes Conference Performer of the Week in football, following the first week of the season. Campion had 11 pancake blocks at his offensive tackle position and returned an interception 55 yards for a touchdown from his defensive tackle position.
 
Perham cross country coach Jeff Morris has another awesome group of runners!  The Perham boys cross country team is currently ranked fourth in Class A and the girls are ranked third!  Maddie McClellan is ranked third among Class A individuals and Abby Anderson is fourth.
 
Morris reports that former Perham runners Eddie Stenger (SDSU) and Justin Tellinghuisen (NDSU), who were on two state championship teams for the Yellowjackets, both ran their first collegiate race recently.  Stenger was eleventh and Tellinghuisen twelfth overall with times of 26:40 and 26:44 in their first 8K race.  Another former Perham standout, Kevin Lachowitzer, is running for the Minnesota Gophers and opens his season as a redshirt freshman in a few weeks.
Posted By Craig Olson
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