Fernandez, new Ridgewater College soccer coach, has extensive background in sport

The college has tapped Edel Fernandez, 27, of Willmar to head the new men's soccer program. "I've begun working on a schedule and budget. There's a lot to do," he said this week. He wants to line up 18 to 20 games starting in August. A club progr...

The college has tapped Edel Fernandez, 27, of Willmar to head the new men's soccer program.

"I've begun working on a schedule and budget. There's a lot to do," he said this week. He wants to line up 18 to 20 games starting in August. A club program the first year, the plan is to join the Iowa Community College Conference in 2007.

Fernandez already has promoted the first-year program at the Sunday soccer league, among high school students and with friends. The coaching position is part time. Fernandez has worked for Minnesota Workforce Center as a Migrant Labor Representative since 2001. He has a B.S. degree in communications and public relations from the University of Santa Fe. Edel and his wife, Kathryn, a Spanish teacher at Jefferson Elementary, have a two-year-old daughter.

The native of Guanajuato, Mexico, grew up in a soccer family and has played or coached the sport for over 20 years. He's been a coach in the Willmar Soccer Association since 2003 and is a MSHSL licensed official who was called on to referee two girls' state tournament games last fall. He soon will attend a clinic to earn a Licensed Regional Coaching diploma from the U.S. Soccer Federation.

If interest is shown, a women's team could be organized later.


Eagle Creek's Mitzel

Matt Mitzel, assistant pro at Eagle Creek Golf Club, will be leaving May 1 after four full years here. He's returning to his hometown of Long Prairie where he will join his father's insurance business.

"He going to really be missed," said head pro Joel Jacobson. "He can handle membership issues, run the pro shop, direct leagues and clinics, give lessons and help with the business end."

Matt, 27, and his wife Stephanie are expecting their first child. Matt will return this summer to work on Sundays.

Explaining his departure, Matt cracked: "I did a little poll and found of all jobs, insurance salesmen get to play the most golf."

Club members plan to honor the popular departing pro with the Mitzel Open, a Best Ball Tournament open to the public ($30 including cart) this Saturday.

Good news for Sam

Sam Sussenguth was among those relieved when Bison men's head basketball coach Tim Miles announced Thursday he was turning down an offer to be head coach at UNC-Wilmington.


"He's a great coach," said the 2005 Willmar graduate. "We realized something like this might happen and it could happen again."

The Bison completed their first year as NCAA Division I program with 16 wins. Sussenguth, listed as a 6-8, 225-pound center, spent his redshirt season weight lifting, working out and playing pick-up games.

On the fly

n Ridgewater Warriors Adam Ferrell continues his cautious comeback from a shoulder injury sustained in Florida. He threw three shutout innings at Austin on Saturday. He figured to be the staff leader this spring and it would certainly help the Warriors' chances of getting back to the NJCAA World Series if he's healthy. He's been recruited by UW-Milwaukee in his home state.

n Derek Hilding was second at the invitational Saturday, losing the lead on the 18th hole and then losing on the first playoff hole to Cameron Fenrich of Litchfield. It was somewhat a repeat of the Eagle Creek Match Play Club Tournament Aug. 21, 2005, when he lost the championship on the 18th hole -- to his dad, Greg. Derek plans to attend Gustavus Adolphus.

n Junior Abdi Awale is turning in top times for so early in the season: 1:58 in the 800 and 4:29 in the 1,600. He's also run a 1:55.80 split.

n Former Willmar Golden Glover Jesse Ruiz, 27, now of St. Cloud, won the Upper Midwest Super-Heavyweight title a fourth year running, beating Tyrone Thunder of Red Lake.

n Dwight Kotila will be an assistant coach with the Alexandria Beetles of the Northwoods League this summer, though he'll take time off to coach a U.S. collegiate team in Australia in July. Kotila has a 302-120 record in 11 seasons as a junior college coach.


n Sophomore Megan Wrobel on the College of St. Benedict's tennis team is 15-2 playing at singles and 6-2 at 3-doubles ... Andrea Manz, sophomore catcher for Blazer fastpitch is 3-for-11 with three runs scored.

n Alan Welle was proud of his Willmar junior varsity golf team which finished 10th and ahead of eight varsity teams in the two-day tournament. An 85-87-172 by eighth-grader Grant Kallevig led the squad.

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