Former New London-Spicer football player Brandon Zylstra will be showcased in an ESPN feature prior to the Edmonton Eskimos' Canadian Football League Western Conference semifinals game at Winnipeg on Sunday. Zylstra, in his second year with the Eskimos, leads the CFL with 1,687 receiving yards—despite missing four games due to injury—and the former Concordia-Moorhead star is fourth in the league with 100 receptions. A crew from ESPN was in New London and Spicer last week to gather video for the feature and the two towns will be highlighted in the video.
Fall sports are wrapping up, and one local football team is headed to state. Curt and Jake break down Paynesville's Class 2A quarterfinal against Barnesville on Friday.
COLLEGEVILLE — Falling snow and steady winds didn't bother the Paynesville Bulldogs in the Section 5AA championship game on Friday at St. John's University. The top-seeded Bulldogs convincingly ended Holdingford's string of section upsets with a 32-7 victory. The Bulldogs improved to 8-2, with the only losses coming against BOLD a 10-1 Section 5A finalist, and 10-0 Pierz, the Section 6AAA champion.
ST. CLOUD — The Ridgewater volleyball team came out firing and took down Rochester 3-1 in the Region 13A semifinals on Friday at the Whitney Center. The Warriors won 27-25, 25-18, 19-25 and 25-18. The advanced to play host St. Cloud Technical for the region championship and a spot in the NJCAA Division III national tournament at noon today at Whitney Center. St. Cloud Technical defeated Minnesota State-Fergus Falls 25-17, 25-23 and 25-17 in the other 13A semifinals match on Friday at Whitney.
GLENWOOD — Morris/Chokio-Alberta overcame a second-set loss and defeated Paynesville in four sets in a Section 3AA semifinals match on Thursday at Minnewaska High School. Jenna Howden finished with 20 kills and three blocks, Jenna Larsen had 10 kills and three blocks and Karly Fehr had 42 set assists, three kills, a block and 12 digs. Paynesville finished 18-8 and got 12 kills each from Abby Schaefer and Skylar Bayer, and Jacquelyn Hoeft had 11 kills. Molly Stang had 25 set assists and Jenna Lundquist had 19 assists.
The West Central Conference bowling teams will be in action in the conference playoffs on Saturday at the Garden Center Lanes in Alexandria. After last weekend's matches in New London, Alexandria wrapped up the regular-season in first with a 12-6 record. Willmar and New London-Spicer both finished with 9-6 marks but NLS won the tiebreaker based on games won. Willmar needed to win both its matches to place second but went 1-1. Alexandria and NLS will have first-round byes. Willmar will face No. 6 Ortonville (0-15) and No. 4 Benson will play No. 5 Yellow Medicine East.
WILLMAR — Willmar's boys and girls cross country teams are ranked in among the Class AA top 10 heading into Saturday's State Cross Country Meet at St. Olaf College in Northfield. The Willmar girls team is ranked No. 5 and Heidi Schmitz is the lone Card ranked individually, finishing at No. 10. In the boys rankings, Wayzata is No. 1, Edina is No. 2 and St. Michael-Albertville is No. 3. The Willmar boys team is ranked No. 9. Wayzata is ranked No. 1, Edina is No. 2 and White Bear Lake is No. 3.
BOTTINEAU, N.D — Ridgewater's Mashawn Gordon returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown and the Warriors added a second-quarter safety, but it was all Dakota State after that as the Jacks downed the Warriors 20-9 in an MCAC quarterfinals game Sunday. Dakota State's Elijah Todd and DeRante Sanders ran for touchdowns and quarterback Jackson Argoe threw a TD pass to Quay Harvey. Ridgewater finished the season 3-6. College Volleyball Rochester 3, Ridgewater 0
ALBANY — Blake Peterson ran for 118 yards and two touchdowns and Brandon Adelman threw for two scores as New London-Spicer exacted some revenge on a district rival with a 28-20 victory over Albany in the Section 6AAA semifinals on Saturday. Ten days earlier, Albany squeezed by the Wildcats 38-36 in the teams' final East Central North regular-season game and captured the section's No. 2 seed over the No. 3-seed Wildcats to get the semifinals home game.
MINNETRISTA — The Willmar girls won the Section 2AA championship and the Cardinals boys placed second on Thursday to also earn a spot in the Class AA State Cross Country Meet. Willmar junior Heidi Schmitz also won a section championship, finishing in 18:40.10 to outdistance Waconia's Kaleesa Houston by 23 seconds. The Cards' Leah Hansen finished in 19:09.8 to place fifth. The Willmar girls finished with 50 points to edge second-place Marshall, which finished with 53. The Cardinal boys team finished with 65 points, second to Buffalo with 54.