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45 commit to Ridgewater football team

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sports Willmar, 56201

Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

Starting his fourth year at the college football helm here, Rob Baumgarn has 45 commitments for next fall.

Area names include Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa quarterback Jackson Illies and BOLD running back Mitch Neubauer, the later a Tribune All-Area selection. Shane Black (RB/DB) and Dayne Johnson (LB) are coming from Montevideo, lineman Tronn Tossel from Lac qui Parle Valley, plus Brennan Hagert (RB/LB) of Redwood Valley and linemen Jake LaPatka and Jared Klever of New London-Spicer.

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He also expects two products from Foley in Justin Wennerberg (QB/DB) and 280-pound Mike Seigler (OL).

Ryan DeGree of Willmar told Baumgarn he plans to play after sitting out his first year at Ridgewater. The new Warriors will join 20-25 returnees from a 5-4 team. The defensive backfield and most skill positions must be replaced.

Ridgewater hoops

Women's basketball coach Carrie Johnson lists local athletes Kelsey Guetter and Laura Houghton of Redwood Valley, Brianna Jacobson of New London-Spicer, Brandi Bodin of MACCRAY and Whitley Strei of Lac qui Parle Valley among her recruits.

Guetter, who was second team All-Area, and Jacobson could go a long way in fixing the Lady Warriors' shortcomings in the post last year.

Guarding Lord Stanley's Cup

Kevin Dahl and his daughter, Alyssa, both got a close up look at the World 18U Hockey Championship in April. Over 10 days, games were played at the Moorhead Sports Center and the new Urban Plains Center in Fargo, N.D., where Alyssa, a Concordia College senior, works part time.

Alyssa was in charge of 180 passes for the press and the NHL scouts and administrators. Kevin signed up as a volunteer for five days.

When a call went out for someone to watch over the touring Stanley Cup, his hand shot up.

The symbol of NHL supremacy was set on a table by an NHL representative who travels with the Cup. Kevin's job was to keep an orderly flow of people coming through to have their picture taken beside the Cup or just to touch it.

"That was special for me," he said. "Just to touch the names of those (championship) teams I remember growing up in the sixties and seventies," said Dahl, who played high school hockey at St. Paul Harding.

Alyssa, who lettered three years in volleyball and four in hockey at Concordia, hopes her time working at Urban Plains will earn her a shot at a similar job at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, B.C.

Team USA won the 10-nation tournament, beating Canada 2-1 in the semifinal round and Russia 5-0 in the final.

Ridgewater softball

The Ridgewater Lady Warriors will face Rochester Community and Technical College Friday in the first round of Region13A Tournament, at the UCR Softball Complex in Rochester.

Rochester was No. 1 rated in NJCAA Division III before the state tournament where they lost in the final to No. 3 Itasca. Rochester and the Lady Warriors split doubleheaders this year. Last year at Willmar, Rochester was the region runner-up with a freshman-heavy team.

Riverland and Madison (Wis.) Technical College are in the opposite bracket of the double-elimination tournament to decide the national qualifier. Ridgewater has won the last four region titles, but is coming off a 1-2 showing at the state tournament.

On the fly

- Third baseman Andrea Brown and pitcher Callie Nelsen, both juniors at Gustavus Adolphus College and former teammates on Willmar softball state tournament teams, will play in the NCAA Division III Tournament. The Gusties, who won the MIAC regular season championship with a 21-1 record and finished second to St. Thomas at the MIAC Tournament, received an at-large bid. The Gusties (35-7) are the No. 7 seed in the Indianola Region and will play No. 2 Central Iowa (36-6).

- Willmar is host to the Region 13 Baseball Tournament on Friday and Saturday. Riverland faces Northland at Baker Field and Fergus Falls plays Western (Wis.) Tech at Swansson Field, both at 11 a.m. on the first day.

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