Tom Larson is the sports editor of the West Central Tribune.
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ACGC Falcons West Central Conference Head coach: Jeff Tanner (35th year, 306-345 record) 2014 records: 6-11 overall, 4-8 WCC, 1-2 Section 5A Returning starters: Colton Minnick (Sr. 1B, team-leading .413); Derek Dengerud (Sr., SS/P); Brody Larson (Sr., P/OF, 3 wins, 2.94 ERA); Brett Busskohl (Sr., OF/C); Cullen Hoffman (Sr., C/IF); Sheldon Rasmussen (Sr., OF). Keys to the season: Falcons suffered five or six close losses – including an extra-inning loss to state tournament team Royalton – and hope returning veterans can help turn those results around.
Willmar’s prep baseball program has taken a bit of a beating in recent years and new head coach Tom DeBoer said he believes he and his staff have the know-how to get the Cardinals rolling in the right direction again. As a former Willmar player, DeBoer not only is happy to be representing his hometown team but also envisions a return to the days when his Cards were in the thick of the section playoffs and vying for a state tournament trip, as they did his senior season in 2000. “It’s going to be a fun year,” said DeBoer, whose 2015 Cardinals open their season playing host to Sartell at 5 p.m
Check out previews for the Tribune-area's prep softball teams, which open the 2015 season this week
The Ridgewater softball team continued its torrid hitting on Saturday, roughing up the North Dakota State College of Science pitching staff in a sweep of a doubleheader at Ridgewater College
Morris/Chokio-Alberta's Lauren Reimers earned Class AA All-State honors in 2014, hitting .598 with a .645 on-base percentage. She slugged a phenomenal 1.146, hit 11 home runs, drove in 43 runs and scored 35 times to win the West Central Conference North MVP award
New London-Spicer head coach Mike Dreier was leaving on vacation soon after his Wildcats were defeated in the Section 6AA championship game. It’s an annual trip he would only delay if his squad made it back to the Minnesota State Girls Basketball Tournament. It’s nice to get away after a long season, he was told, but it was too bad that he’d be missing what looked like an exciting Class AA tournament.
Willmar head boys basketball Steve Grove has resigned but will remain on duty as an assistant coach for the Cardinals football team. Grove said Friday night that family time was the primary reason for his departure, with one son at Concordia-Moorhead and another on his way there this fall. Son Alex is a Cobbers junior quarterback and WHS senior Austin will join the team in August. After talking with his wife, Grove said he told his assistants a few games into the season that this would be his last year. “With Austin being a senior and Alex a (Cobbers) junior next year — and in a couple of
ST. CLOUD — If Sauk Centre head coach Scott Bergman could bottle whatever magic he imparted on his Mainstreeters late in the first half of the Section 6AA championship game on Friday, his fellow coaches would buy it by the case. Five and a half minutes remained in the first half when Bergman gathered up his team.
Whatever the New London-Spicer girls basketball team did in its first game against Sauk Centre, they will need to replicate it in the Section 6AA championship game today at St. Cloud State University. Nothing anyone has thrown at the Mainstreeters worked before or after that December game. “We know their weaknesses and we know theirs,” said NLS guard Alyssa Fredrick. “They’re going to pressure us more than Litchfield did (in the 6AA-South final). We just have to show up and play our game.” The Wildcats and Mainstreeters play at 7:45 p.m.
March in prep basketball is the time for jubilance and heartbreak. The wins that bring championships and the losses that bring finality and tears. And then, as time passes and age wises us up, comes the realization that being there is the true reward of the first month of spring. As the 2015 Minnesota State Basketball Tournament rolls into high gear today, two former opponents recall a singular moment in their basketball lives, 45 years on. One won, one lost. But that’s really the only difference between the two men.