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Local Roundup: WarHawks set for scrimmage

The Willmar WarHawks move one step closer to the start of the organization's second season with an intrasquad scrimmage at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Willmar Civic Center.

The scrimmage is exactly one week from the 2017-2018 season opener against in Breezy Point against the North Stars.

The intrasquad scrimmage, which is open to the public, will split the WarHawks into Black and White teams featuring seven forwards and four defenseman on each team. The scrimmage will be three periods with 12 stops in each period and various situational plays following the three periods.

"It allows guys to play in game environments and show what we need to work on," said Willmar head coach Chris Blaisuis said. "It also allows fans to see what we've got this year."

Last year, the WarHawks scrimmaged against West Division foes, the Alexandria Blizzard, prior to the season. This season, Blaisuis decided on an intrasquad scrimmage to allow more playing time for all players still trying to make their mark on the team.

The scrimmage will also likely have some of the best officiating the WarHawks will have all season with Kelli Rolstad, a veteran referee from Coon Rapids who worked the 2010 Olympics women's gold medal game played between Canada and the United States. Rolstad has worked with Blaisuis in the past back when the WarHawks boss worked as a referee.

"The big goal is to come out of it healthy," Blaisuis said. "But it'll be a good test for the guys, it'll be good to see how they execute the system."

Following the scrimmage, the WarHawks will turn to their season practice schedule and prepare for the season opener Sept. 16.

Maroney in Olivia Sept. 16

Former Minnesota Gopher and NFL running back Laurence Maroney will be at the Dairy Queen in Olivia for a meet-and-greet on Sept. 16.

Maroney will be available to meet fans and take photos from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Maroney played five seasons with the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos and played in the 2007 Super Bowl. At Minnesota, Maroney ran for almost 4,000 yards and scored 33 touchdowns in three seasons.

Koenen named to all-tourney team

Raymond Rocket Justin Koenen was selected to the Minnesota Baseball Association's All-State Tournament team by the MBA Board of Directors.

In the 2017 Class C state tournament, Koenen, a Rockets infielder and outfielder, had six hits in 13 at-bats (.462), with two doubles and four runs batted in in three games.

Justin is the son of Jeff and Darla Koenen of Clara City.

Baseball, softball boosters meet Sept. 13

The Willmar Baseball Fastpitch Booster Association will meet at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 13, in room 143 at the Willmar Middle School.

Agenda items include: a review of teams' seasons (10U through town team); a discussion of events calendar for the off-season (Sept. to May); a date for batting cage take down at Willmar High School; fundraiser ideas; equipment needs on the fields; and field updates.

Jake Schultz

Jake Schultz is a sports reporter and photographer for the West Central Tribune, working his first job out of college. He graduated from St. John's University (CSB/SJU) in 2016 and is a baseball fanatic. You can follow him on Twitter @StJake29. 

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