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WILLMAR -- After agreeing last year to stay affiliated with the Cornbelt South for another season of amateur baseball, the Cornbelt North has decided to break ties with its southern brethren. "Last year we wanted out," said North president Buddy Beier. "But the South talked us into playing each other once. Even before last year we talked about leaving." Atwater, New London-Spicer, Norway Lake-Sunburg, Paynesville, Regal and Starbuck make up the North and the six teams will stay together and play a 10-game league schedule on Sundays throughout the summer.
With travel costs becoming too much for schools, four teams from the West Central Conference are looking to leave. Foley, Milaca, Mora and St. Cloud Cathedral are ready to leave the North portion of the WCC and join Becker, Little Falls, Princeton and Zimmerman to form a new conference. In order for the new league to be formed all eight schools have to their board of directors agree on the proposal. Foley, Milaca, Mora and St. Cloud Cathedral have already voted to join the new conference, while Becker, Little Falls, Princeton and Zimmerman will make their decisions early next week.
WILLMAR -- Only one time has the Class C championship featured teams from the same league since the Minnesota State Amateur Baseball Tournament went back to a three-class format in 1987. It could happen again this year as Raymond and Sacred Heart from the Cornbelt South League are still alive heading into the final weekend of play. "The baseball gods are shining down on us for having two teams this far," said Mike Nagel, the president of the Cornbelt South. "And to have two teams unbeaten is pretty amazing." Sacred Heart (29-13) meets the Moorhead Brewers (30-7) at 6 p.m.
SACRED HEART -- It's busy enough when a person has to juggle work and family. But imagine trying to find enough time for two jobs, a family and playing baseball. If you need any help, just ask Ryan Hebrink and Jeremy Hinderks for advice. Both Hebrink and Hinderks have day jobs, a wife with two children, coach high school football for Renville County West and play amateur baseball for the Sacred Heart Saints. "It's been busy but fun the last few days balancing our work schedule plus still having family time," said Hebrink, who is a physical therapist and the head football coach at RCW.
A kid's curiousity level is on high for almost every waking moment of their childhood. Some adults also operate on the same level. One way the younger and older generations can connect is to go fishing. Whether it's on a boat, on a dock, on shore or on a bridge, taking a kid fishing can be just as enjoyable as catching the big one. In Minnesota, citizens who want to catch some quality family time are encouraged to take advantage of Take-A-Kid Fishing weekend, which is June 11-13. State residents 16-and-older can fish for free during these days when they accompany an angler age 15-and-under.
MORRIS -- The Morris Area school board approved recently a request from Chokio-Alberta High School to pair all of its sports programs but football with the Tigers starting this fall for the 2010-11 school year. The two school districts have been paired for girls basketball since 1994 and this year marked the first season the boys basketball and wrestling programs have come together.
WILLMAR -- The underdog Eagles of New Ulm gave Willmar a surprise test Tuesday as the Cardinals held on to collect a 63-57 win in the quarterfinals of the Section 2AAA playoffs in boys basketball. The No. 2-seeded Cardinals (18-9), who will host No. 3 Mankato West (17-8) Saturday at 7 p.m. in the semifinals, relied on their defense to advance as their offense missed some close-range looks and shot 46 percent from the field. No. 1 Hutchinson and No. 4 Mankato East meet in the other semifinal Saturday.
WILLMAR -- An early shower of three-pointers allowed Willmar to fight off Rocori's second-half comeback attempt and deny the Spartans' bid for a Central Lakes Conference title as the Cardinals ended the regular season by edging Rocori 59-54 Friday. The Spartans (15-3, 19-7) came in tied with St. Cloud Tech for the top spot in the CLC standings, but Willmar (10-8, 17-9) got three 3-pointers from Sam Esboldt and another from Andrew Bangen in the first half to establish control. St.
One can't go back in time and undo history. But one can help erase un-wanted history by achieving previously-set goals. Justin Wendlandt suffered a knee injury for the second time in his young life back in the fall, the same knee that he injured two years earlier. Both were during football season for the current Paynesville senior, but Wendlandt made two different decisions on how to deal with the injuries. The latter one, he says, was the wrong choice. "I wish I would have had surgery during football," said Wendlandt.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Glencoe-Silver Lake has had some great teams in the past, but this year's squad could be nominated for the best the program has produced in 16 years. The top-ranked Panthers are undefeated, have posted eight shutouts and forced 42 turnovers while their offense has produced 52 touchdowns -- 45 on the ground -- in 13 games. In the five games GSL hasn't pitched a shutout, opponents have been able to come up with only five touchdowns. "Never in a million years would I have thought we would have eight shutouts, let alone four," said GSL coach Scott Tschimperle.