Area notebook: BBE has some interest in its volleyball job

Activities director Rick Gossen confirms there are three candidates to fill coaching vacancy

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BBE's Karissa Jones (9) blasts the ball past ACGC's Shayna Hobson during the Section 5A-South match Oct. 25, 2019 in Brooten. Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

BELGRADE — Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa activities director Rick Gossen confirmed Wednesday that there are three potential candidates to fill the vacated head volleyball coaching position.

“Currently, I have two applicants and another who I have been in contact with,” Gossen said.

One of the candidates is Alanna Hunter, who was an assistant coach last season and led the Jaguars junior varsity team.

Gossen hopes to have the position filled this month, possibly by June 15, when the Minnesota State High School League eases restrictions on player contact because of the coronavirus pandemic. It won’t allow full-fledged practices or scrimmages, but will allow for individual workouts.

The new coach replaces Steve Waddell, who left in April to become head women’s volleyball coach at Lake Region State College in Devils Lake, N.D. Waddell was the head coach for one season, leading BBE to the state tournament last fall.


The Jaguars finished sixth in the state in Class A, losing to third-seeded Medford 3-0 in the first round, beating Henning 3-2 in the consolation semifinals and falling to Greenway of Coleraine 3-0 in the consolation championship.

Prior to last fall, Waddell had been an assistant for two seasons.

Gossen wished Waddell well.

“Steve followed a dream,” Gossen said. “I think he knew for some time that he’d try to take the next step at the college level.

“I was hoping it wouldn’t have happened that quickly.”

Waddell said he believed BBE was going to be very strong after going 24-10 last season, despite the loss of seven seniors. Gossen agreed.

“We’ve got a group of young athletes who are going to be sophomores who should be very good,” he said. “We had five freshmen on the basketball team (that went to state) and four of those five play volleyball.”

Ninth-graders Abby Berge, Allison Dingmann, Ella Halvorson, Harley Roering and Tiyana Schwinghammer all were on the basketball roster last winter.


Golf tourney Sunday

The Eagle Creek Early-Bird golf tournament is set to tee off at 8 a.m. Sunday in Willmar. There are 54 golfers, including defending champion Andy Jacobson.

Eagle Creek golf pro Joe Wisocki said the field has been closed for a while. There are a number of new requirements and protocols because of the coronavirus pandemic.

And the biggest requirement? “There are NO spectators,” Wisocki said.

Other mandates include no paper to keep track of scoring, which will be done on a phone app. There will be no live scoreboard, so participants won’t congregate because of social distancing requirements.

“It’s all new to me, too,” Wisocki said.

Hoops by the Lake canceled

The annual Hoops by the Lake 3-on-3 basketball tournament in Spicer has been canceled. The event was canceled “because of health and safety concerns for the players and fans in light of the Covid19 pandemic,” according to a press release.

The tournament plays to return to the shores of Green Lake as part of Spicer's July 4th celebration in 2021.


Tom Elliott has been the sports editor at the West Central Tribune since September 2019.
Contact him at or leave a message at 320-235-1150.
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