Brown is new Willmar girls soccer coach
Places with lyrical names like Sherman Oaks, Green Lake, Fargo and Zumbrota figure into the background of Chelsea Brown, Willmar's newly-named girls soccer coach.
Sherman Oaks: Brought up in California's San Fernando Valley, she began youth soccer at age 5 leading to varsity soccer at Notre Dame High School, just off the teeming Ventura Freeway.
Green Lake: Where Chelsea spent quieter summers at the home of her grandparents, the late Don and Jo Orth. She moved with her parents to Minnesota before her senior year and she would graduate, sans soccer, from New London-Spicer in 1998.
Fargo: where she would attend college and resume soccer with the North Dakota State University Bison.
Zumbrota: Home town of her husband Justin Brown, a middle school social teacher and assistant coach for football, wrestling and girls softball. The Browns have two daughters, Emma, 6, and Ellie, 4.
"I've got soccer in my blood," said Chelsea by phone on Monday at the couple's home in Spicer.
The kindergarten teacher at Roosevelt has been Jeff Winter's assistant coach for three years. Winter endorsed Brown for the job when he took the boys program after Richard Courtney decided to retire from coaching.
Since the programs share the same practice area, Winter suggests treating the "programs as a whole", especially regarding drills and demonstrating skills. Since up to six teams are sharing the same limited area, he believes it could make practices more efficient.
Brown's expectations are high.
"There's the potential to take it to the next level," she said, "which is winning a section title."
The Willmar Rails amateur baseball team is back on track with players Darin Ditterich and Anthony Stern stepping up to manage the town team.
The two played baseball for the Willmar Cardinals and both graduated in 2004.
Ditterich, a left-handed pitcher, played one year at Ridgewater College and has been with the Rails for four summers. Stern, a third-year Rail who pitches and plays third base, coached the Moorhead VFW one summer while in college. He's an accountant with Conway Deuth & Schmiesing.
Ditterich earned his degree in elementary education in May from St. Cloud State. While student teaching at Paynesville, he coached the Bulldog's freshmen team. He currently works at Home Depot and is a substitute teacher.
Mark Krogstad, a law student, stepped into the breach last season when a manager was desperately needed.
Former Rails' managers Rick Schwantes and Rick Maursetter will help with the transition, including advice on contracts and scheduling.
Ditterich feels he and Stern have the advantage of being familiar with the Rails' operation and can get busy right away.
"It's a big year," he said. "With the state tournament (in Willmar, Bird Island and Spicer), there are expectations. We want Rails baseball to be taken more seriously."
After 18 years as an assistant swimming coach at Sartell, Jason Anderson (WHS 1987) is the new head coach of the Sabres' boys program.
His first team finished 7-1 in the Central Lakes, losing only to Fergus Falls, making the Sabres a contender for the top spot at the conference meet today and Saturday.
He's a sixth grade science teacher married to the former Gina Hippe of Willmar.
Anderson is a second-generation swim coach. His father, Bob, worked beside Gayne Stone and the late Ron Gerard to establish the boys program in the early 1970s.
High school students at Willmar are introduced to curling during physical education class using the Civic Center's Blue Line Arena. They get four hours of instruction and on-ice experience.
Over 250 boys and girls will get a taste of the Olympic sport this winter and over 850 students have thrown the rock during school-day sessions over the last four years, according to Kevin Madsen, Civic Center supervisor.
Madsen, who estimates he's instructed over 1,200 people on the sport, spent Jan. 23-30 in Bemidji as an official and member of the ice crew for the USA Junior National Championships. The winning teams (Washington state boys, Minnesota girls) advance to the World Junior Curling Championships in Switzerland.
On the fly
- Baylie Young is the Central Lakes Performer of the Week for Girls Hockey (Defense). The Cardinals' sophomore goalie stopped 65 shots over consecutive ties to Alexandria (1-1) and Brainerd/Little Falls (3-3).
- Senior infielder Tyler Horning and freshman outfielder Jordan Smith belted three hits apiece to help St. Cloud State whip Wisconsin-Parkside 14-7 at the Metrodome on Sunday.
- Jerrid Sebesta, former Ridgewater Warriors basketball player from Montevideo, joined the KARE 11 weather team in January. He had previously worked at KDLT in Sioux Falls, S.D., before moving to KARE 11's sister-station KPNX in Phoenix. Sebesta averaged 15.5 points and 8.2 rebounds to help the Warriors reach the 1999 junior college state tournament.