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

Boys Basketball

COACH

Steve Grove, 9th year

ASSISTANT COACHES

Dale Becker (varsity assistant and JV), Matt Williams (sophomores), Dustin Carlson (freshmen A), Mike Buer (freshmen B)

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2008-09 SEASON

Record: 12-6 in Central Lakes Conference (3rd place), 17-11 overall; Section 2AAA, beat Hutchinson 87-80, lost to Mankato West 55-38

OPENERS/INVITATIONAL

Season/home: Friday vs. Hastings, 7:30 p.m.

Central Lakes Conference: Dec. 15, Fergus Falls

Holiday Tournament: Dec. 26-28, Bremer Bank Classic at Willmar; first-round -- New London-Spicer vs. Fond du Lac Ojibwe, Willmar vs. Benson.

Section 2AAA: March 9, 13, 18

ROSTER BREAKDOWN

(Returning letterwinners in bold)

SENIORS

Andrew Bangen, 6-0 guard

Mark Dunham, 6-0 guard

Sam Esboldt, 6-4 forward

Taylor Filipek, 6-6 forward

Sam Spaulding, 6-4 forward

JUNIORS

Jake Damhof, 6-1 guard

Nate Esboldt, 6-0 guard

Ryan Lawler, 6-2 forward

Jake Rambow, 5-11 guard

Brian Reeves, 6-4 center

Jeremy Schendel, 6-0 guard

SOPHOMORES

Jeremy Olson, 6-2 forward

Dean Stier 6-0 guard

Jimmy Unger, 6-2 guard

FRESHMEN

Alex Grove, 6-1 guard

OVERVIEW

Three starters among six letterwinners who all played a lot have graduated. The starters for Friday's opener against Hastings will be seniors Andrew Bangen, Taylor Filipek, Sam Esboldt, Sam Spaulding and junior Jake Rambow. Bangen will bring the ball up. Returning starter Brian Reeves will sit for two weeks due to a MSHSL violation. Filipek is a third-year starter who averaged 16 ppg while playing multiple roles.

Girls Basketball

COACH

Brad Atchison, 15th year (33nd overall)

ASSISTANT COACHES

Jenyne Beehler (varsity assistant, JV), Sally Wilson (sophomores); Emily Swierenga (freshmen)

2008-09 SEASON

Record: 17-1 in Central Lakes Conference (first place), 22-4 overall.

Section: In Section 2AAA, beat Marshall and Hutchinson, lost in final to Worthington

KEY DATES

Season opener: today at Hutchinson, 7:30 p.m.

CLC opener: Dec. 8 at Fergus Falls

West Central Tribune/Wild-Card Invitational: Dec. 29-30 at Willmar (New London-Spicer, KMS, Benson)

Section 2AAA: March 2, 6, 11

ROSTER BREAKDOWN

(Returning letterwinners in bold)

SENIORS

Mariel Aamot, 5-4 guard

Jennifer Knake, 6-0 forward

Alex Lippert, 6-4 post

Jena Thompson, 6-0 post

Hannah Smith, 5-8 guard

JUNIORS

Carrie Boike, 5-8 forward

Kayli Gimse, 5-10 forward/center

Sara Kallhoff, 5-6 guard

Shantel Kelly, 5-10 forward

Lucinda Sweazey, 5-6 guard

SOPHOMORES

Lindsey Atchison, 5-7 guard

Addy Nelsen, 5-9 forward

Megan Skalla, 5-5 guard

Laura Swartz, 5-9 forward

OVERVIEW

The five seniors will start the opener, including all-conference selections Hannah Smith (15 ppg, 8 rpg) and Jena Thompson (12 ppg, 10 rpg), along with Mariel Aamot, Alex Lippert and Jennifer Knake. Size (three forwards six-foot or better), ball handling and experience are each a plus. Defense is a given with Atchison teams. If this bunch can shoot, another 20-win season is within reach. The defending CLC champions will have to fight off Alexandria and Little Falls and then overtake reigning Section 2AAA champ Worthington in the postseason. The team will get an early measure tonight at Hutchinson (16-12) and Saturday against last year's Class AAA champion St. Michael-Albertville (25-7), played at St. Cloud Tech. The Knights have been nudged up to Class AAAA this year and will compete in Section 8.

Wrestling

COACH

Casey Johnson, 3rd year

ASSISTANT COACHES

Ed Oehlers (JV), Jon Gubrud, Justin Brown (middle school)

2008-09 SEASON

4-16 overall; 1-8 (9th place) in CLC. No state qualifiers.

KEY DATES

Season/CLC Opener: Today, home vs. Fergus Falls, 7:15 p.m.

Cardinal invitational: Dec. 11 (Minnewaska, Montevideo, Benson, KMS, YME, TMB, Sauk Centre, Eden Valley-Watkins), 4 p.m.

Other invitationals: Dec. 18-19 at Cass-Bena; Jan. 2 at Montevideo; Jan. 23 at Hutchinson; Fb. 13 at Morris

Section 8AAA: Team tournament, Feb. 20 at Alexandria; Individuals, Feb. 26-27 at Bemidji

VARSITY BREAKDOWN

Returning letterwinners in bold

(Name, weight, 2008-09 record)

SENIORS

Adam Fagerstrom, 130, 20-17

JUNIORS

Austin Anderson, 215

Tyler Billie

Coty Milhausen, 140

Zachary Morris, 125, 6-22

Taylor Neumann, 171

Mason Pomerleau, 135, 10-18

Eugene Stepan, 152, 10-19

Nathanial Swoyer, 171, 22-14

SOPHOMORES

Alex Johannes, 112,

Shawn Johnson,

Seth Pollack, 119, 19-17

FRESHMEN

Cass Herzog

Nathaniel Mittag, 103

Logan Wigton

Anthony Wood, 189

EIGHTH GRADE

Mitch Johnson

Zach Lueders,

Austin Miley

LINEUP

103: Nate Mittag ... 112: open ... 119: Alex Johannes ... 125: Seth Pollack ... 130: Zach Morris ... 135: Adam Fagerstrom ... 140: Mason Pomerleau ... 145: Coty Milhausen ... 152: Eugene Stepan ... 160: Martin Cabrera ... 171: Nathaniel Swoyer ... 189: Anthony Wood ... 215: open 275: Austin Anderson

OVERVIEW

Adam Fagerstrom is the lone senior, but there are seven letterwinners in the junior class. Open spots may fill yet this month if less-seasoned prospects benefit from time in the wrestling room. Cardinals are not ready to make an impact as a team, but will strive for individual success in a new section (8AAA). Numbers are decent in high school with 25 and the middle school holds promise with about 30 on the mat. Swoyer and Fagerstrom are both 20-win wrestlers.

Gymnastics

COACH

Larry Selchow, 15th year

ASSISTANT COACHES

Jodi Mottinger, Doug Rossum, Jordan Shoulders (spotter)

2008-09 SEASON

9-3 dual meets; 7-3 (3rd place) in Central Lakes Conference duals. Third in the CLC meet.

KEY DATES

Season/Conference opener: Today at Brainerd.

Home opener: Dec. 10 vs. St. Cloud Tech, 7 p.m. at Kennedy Elementary

Invitationals: Jan. 9 at Marshall; Jan. 23 at Buffalo

CLC Championships: Feb. 6 at Fergus Falls

Section 6A: Feb. 20 at New London-Spicer

ROSTER BREAKDOWN

(Returning letterwinners in bold)

SENIORS

Ashley Delp

Jody Bombeck

JUNIORS

Arlene Baitosta

Natashia Bemis

Kara Hallberg

Kelsey Jacobson

Kaitlyn Lindblad

SOPHOMORES

Ashley Geurtz

Liz Reeb

Anissa Tallakson

Abby Weiler

Gabbie Wodash

Dana Woltjer

FRESHMEN

Tosha Davis

Gretchen Holmgren

Emily Minnick

Emilee Nelson

Bailey Rathbun

Raelin Setrum

Brooke Stier

FROM THE COACH

Larry Selchow comments: "We will miss (graduates) Annalise Bratt in all-around and Bethany Pollock on bars, but Kara Hallberg looks tough and ready to fit in as a replacement. Floor and beam will be our strongest events. Kelsey Jacobson went to state meet in vault. Kaitlyn Lindblad and Abbey Weiler also return from a full year of varsity competiton. Our senior leader, Ashley Delp, is a captain along with Hallberg. Eighth-grader Morgan Stoeberl will also be a varsity reserve. The move to Section 6A from 2AA is a huge change, giving each of our girls a shot at state (individually). We'd love to compete at state at the team level again. Melrose, Sartell and New London-Spicer will be our main rivals in that regard."

Nordic Skiing

COACH

Brad Haugen, 6th year

ASSISTANT COACH

Rob Palmer

2008-09 SEASON

Central Lakes Conference meet: Boys 5th, Girls 4th; Section meet: Boys 8th, Girls 8th ... no state qualifiers

KEY EVENTS

Season opener: Tuesday, St. Cloud Apollo Invite at Riverside Park (Dec. 3 opener at Riverside canceled due to no snow)

Mesabi Invitational: Jan. 9 at Biwabik

Home Invitational: Dec. 22 at Prairie Woods ELC.

Central Lakes Championship: Jan. 28 at Brainerd Northland Arboretum

Section meet: Feb. 2-3 at Little Falls, Camp Ripley

BOYS ROSTER

(Letterwinners in bold)

SENIORS

Michael Cola

Greg Hilleren

Brad Kallhoff

Tom LaPatka

Daniel Voss

Matthew Weitzel

JUNIORS

Henry Bielenberg

SOPHOMORES

Joe Ballandby

Jon Ohnnen

Ahmed Siddiqui

FRESHMAN

Nathaniel Erickson

EIGHTH GRADE

Ryan Haines

GIRLS ROSTER

(Letterwinners in bold)

SENIORS

Tina Bloch

Anna Burns

Danielle Erickson

Melissa Juetten

Julie Hulstrand

JUNIORS

Aileen Clarke

Kaia Halbritter

Marie Nilles-Melchert

Emily Streich

SOPHOMORES

Catey LaPatka

Kalina Larsen

Tia Swoyer

OVERVIEW

There is experience on both varsity teams. The boys are senior-loaded, so this is the year to move up in the standings. At 42 (including two sixth graders), numbers are the best in Brad Haugen's five years as head coach. Dry-land training was at Robbins Island and the senior high. With snowmaking planned over weekend, the team hopes to compete Tuesday at Riverside Park in St. Cloud at the St. Cloud Apollo Invite.

FROM THE COACH

Brad Haugen comments: "Coach (Rob) Palmer and myself are excited to have these numbers and considerable experience. If the teams practice hard and motivate themselves, we should do better than a year ago."

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West Central Tribune (320) 235-6769 customer support

Covers Willmar and area high schools and Ridgewater College, plus amateur baseball, stock car racing and fitness events in summer. Writes weekly column since 1980. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children. 

(320) 214-4334
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