Ridgewater Winter previews

Men's Basketball COACH Bob Knutson, 1st season ASSISTANT COACHES Barry Besonen, Matt Gustafson LAST SEASON Conference: 5th place Overall: 10-14 OPENERS Season: Today/Saturday at Mesabi Range (Virginia) vs. Hibbing, Mesabi. Home: Dec. 1-2 vs. Hibb...

Men's Basketball


Bob Knutson, 1st season


Barry Besonen, Matt Gustafson



Conference: 5th place

Overall: 10-14


Season: Today/Saturday at Mesabi Range (Virginia) vs. Hibbing, Mesabi.

Home: Dec. 1-2 vs. Hibbing, Rainy River.

MCCC South Division: 8 p.m. Jan 3 at Rochester.




Isaac Brehmer, Bellingham (LQPV), 6-3 post

David Johnson, New London, 6-5 post

Tim Mattern, Willmar, 6-3, wing

Geoffrey Nelson, Clara City (MACCRAY), 6-3 wing

Micah Oates-Jenkins, Jr., Miami, Fla., 5-10 wing


Derek Amundson, New London, 6-4 post


Jacob Brustuen, Lake Lillian (BOLD), 6-2 wing

Anthony Davis, Madison, Wis., 5-8 guard

Ben Dolan, Appleton (LQPV), 6-3 wing/post

Tim Drier, New London, 6-0 guard

Andrew Ford, Mankato (East), 5-8 guard

Allen Huselid, Willmar, 6-2 wing

Travis Nordling, Maple Lake, 6-3 wing

Chris LeTendre, Slayton (Murray Cty. Cent.), 6-4 post


Travis Schultz, Balaton (RTR), 6-5 post

Terrance Walton, Mankato (East), 5-8 guard


Bob Knutson becomes the third coach in four years since Mike Johnson (1979-2003) retired. Eight sophomores are gone; only reserve guard Geoffrey Nelson and back-up center Isaac Brehmer are back from last year's 10-14 squad. Newcomers include David Johnson, who was in the Hamline program as a freshman, and ex-Willmar Cardinal Allen Huselid, who first attended the University of Minnesota. Knutson, a former head coach at New London-Spicer where he still teaches, has a team that should be strong in the post. The perimeter game has been a bigger concern for the new coach since practice opened Oct. 16. Fortunately, the Warriors have a 10-game pre-season schedule to work out the kinks before the MCCC South Division games kick in on Jan. 3. Knutson listed the following starting lineup for tonight's game: Dave Johnson, 6-5 post; Travis Schultz, 6-5 post; Allen Huselid, 6-2 wing; Micah Oates-Jenkins, Jr., 5-10 wing; Terrance Walton, 5-8 point guard.

Women's Basketball


Carrie Ogdahl, 12th season





Conference: 8-2, 2nd place in South.

Overall: 21-9; 3rd in state tournament, won region playoff, 1-2 at national tournament.


Season: Today/Saturday at Mesabi Range (Virginia) vs. Hibbing, Mesabi.

Home: Dec. 1-2 vs. Hibbing, Rainy River.

MCCC South Division: 6 p.m. Jan 3 at Rochester




Amy Ballard, 5-6 guard, Litchfield

Kayla Karnes, 5-6 guard, New London (NLS)

Ashley Olson, 5-8 wing, Murdock (KMS)

Melissa Sterkel, 5-9 wing, Creighton, Neb.


Bridget Boehlke, Waverly (Holy Trinity, Winsted), 5-10 wing

Karen Christopher, Breckenridge, 5-7 wing

Hilary Groothuis, Maynard (MACCRAY), 6-0 post

Kristen Hegna, Granite Falls (YME), 5-5 guard

Amy Lieser, Paynesville, 5-5 guard

Katie Meyer, South Shore, S.D., 5-8 wing

Krystle Prodoehl, Redwood Falls, 6-0 post

Hannah Tornquist, Willmar (CMCS, 5-9 wing


The Lady Warriors lost five major contributors on the national qualifiers -- leading scorer and rebounder Terra Billiet and post Sarah Primus; wings Katie Johnson and Jamie Munson and guard Jenny Cunningham. Coach Carrie Ogdahl will have to rebuild the scoring punch in the pre-season leading up to the start of conference play the first week of January. Hilary Groothuis, a two-time All Area choice, averaged 16.3 ppg and 10.8 rpg for MACCRAY's state tournament team. Krystle Prodoehl is expected to help out in the post, but the 6-foot Redwood Valley product sprained her ankle at volleyball practice on Tuesday; she'll miss the national tournament and may not be ready to join the basketball team for another two weeks. Kayla Karnes is the only returnee able to attend practice until volleyball ends. Groothius, Prodoehl, Ashley Olson, Amy Ballard and Melissa Sterkel finish with volleyball this weekend's at nationals in Rochester. Karnes can run the show from the point and freshmen Ashley Lieser and Kristen Hegna, a late walk-on, are expected to take up important roles immediately. Karen Christopher brings quickness to the defense. States Ogdahl: "We should be pretty balanced, making us hard to defend, but I expect us to struggle with scoring until everyone gains an understanding of the offense and gets to know each other. We'll count on our defense to start, to at least keep games close." The Lady Warriors will compete with eight players at Virginia this weekend.



Jesse Nelson (44-16), 5th year


Jeff Lange, Jim Soine, John Koons


Minnesota Community College Conference: 1st place (8-0)

Minnesota Community College Conference Tournament: 1st place.

NJCAA Division III: 5th place.


Next: Saturday, Augsburg Open, Minneapolis

Home opener: 7 p.m., Nov. 22, Itasca College

Colby Invitational: Jan. 5-6, Colby, Kansas

Region XIII Qualifier: Feb. 11, Worthington

NJCAA Division III: Feb. 23-24, Rochester, Minn.


(Name, hometown, weight, college record or high school state meet results)


Brian Beilke, Sauk Centre, 125, 16-13, national qualifier

Wade Cruser, Sauk Rapids, 157 pounds, 9-9

Jarret Hall, Greenbush, 165, 24-5, NJCAA third place in 2005.

Chad Listul, Clarkfield, 141, 8-8

Jimmy Marx, Webster, SD, 125, 10-13

Cody Pahan, Glenwood, 174, 26-20, national qualifier

Ted Saatzer, Mound, 184, 5-13

Jason Schueller, Dawson, 149, 5-13

Scott Thompson, Benson, 165, 6-8

Ben Thonvold, Willmar, Hwt, 13-23, national qualifier

Justin Turek, New Prague, 149, 20-17, national qualifier

Donovan Walz, Lamberton, 157, 3-11

Blaine Weber, Granite Falls, 149


Cole Cooreman, Tracy, 133, three-time state entrant

Ben Kuhn, Olivia, 133

Brandon Schunk, Wabasso, 141, three-time state finalist

Greg Skerik, Bemidji, 141, 217 career wins, 3rd, 4th at state

Mike Qurada, Wabasso,149

Brad Salveson, Maple Lake, two-time state entrant

Brent Mason, Bemidji, Hwt, three-time state entrant


The Warriors aim to build on the program's tradition of success, including the NJCAA Division III team championship in 2005. Nelson's teams have placed no lower than fifth in his four seasons. The Warriors will have frequent tests in senior college opens/invitationals at North Dakota State, Augsburg College, Minnesota State Moorhead, St. Cloud State University, Jamestown (N.D.) College and St. John's University. Sophomore leadership will come from returning 2005 All-America Jarrett Hall and National Qualifiers Justin Turek, Cody Pahan and Ben Thonvold. Hall, who sat out last season with an injury, was third at nationals in 2005. He would like to repeat what another Greenbush product, Josh Janousek, did his second year when he won a national title. Jimmy Marx is a three-time South Dakota state champion looking to break into the lineup in his second year. Another talented class of newcomers will have to sort things out in competitions and in the practice room -- Brandon Schunk at 133 claimed a state championship and two runner-up medals for Wabasso; Greg Skerik won 214 matches at Bemidji but will be challenge at 141 pounds by sophomore Greg Listul, who has a year in the college mat room in his résumé. Both 149 and 157 are crowded with three able wrestlers in each class; two former West Central Conference standouts, Cody Pahan of Minnewaska and Scott Thompson of Benson, both sophomores, will battle at 174. Ted Saatzer, who backed up graduated national qualifier Chris Sogge at 184, will have the weight class to himself this year; Brad Salveson of Maple Lake was a two-time place winner in high school and will have to hold down 197 by himself. Ben Thonvold, who won 13 matches as a freshman, will be pushed by Brent Mason, who has been out of action two years since suffering a knee injury at the 2004 Class AAA state tournament.

- Rand Middleton

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