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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MURDOCK — KMS pitchers could do no wrong Tuesday afternoon against Yellow Medicine East. Claire Hauge and Katie Krieger each tossed two-hit shutouts for KMS in a 12-0 and 10-0 win, respectively. Hauge struck out six and didn't walk a batter in game one and Krieger followed that up with a five strikeout, one walk performance in game two. Both pitchers threw five innings. Saint hitters were on top of things from the jump in game one, scoring three runs in the opening inning and four in the second.
Last year, the Lac qui Parle Valley girls golf team went as far as two pairs of sisters could take them. This year, that sentiment is half true. The Eagles are back this season to fight for a second consecutive state championship, but they are down to just one set of sisters in Rachel and Sarah Halvorson after Abigail Stender's graduation last spring. History shows, though, that the Halvorson's are up to the task.
WILLMAR - The Delano Tigers probably don't like Drey Dirksen too much after Monday. Often the backstop for Willmar, Dirksen took off the catcher's mask and made his first career varsity start from the mound a memorable one, pitching six shutout innings with just one hit allowed and five strikeouts in a 2-0 win.
A few teams' paths to a state tournament just got a bit different Thursday. The Minnesota State High School League announced the new section assignments for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years that feature a number of changes to area teams, including a bump up for the MACCRAY and Minnewaska football teams to Class A and AAA, respectively. The Wolverines are back in Section 5A after a four-year stint as a nine-man team. They'll be competing with the likes of BOLD, Minneota, Dawson-Boyd, Canby, Lac qui Parle Valley, Lakeview and Yellow Medicine East.
MINNEAPOLIS — Menahga's third-ranked defense lived up to its billing Thursday night as the Braves quieted BOLD's potent offense for a 65-54 win in the Minnesota State Girls Basketball Tournament Class A quarterfinals at Maturi Pavilion. BOLD will forge on in the consolation bracket at noon Friday against Mountain Iron-Buhl at the Gangelhoff Center at Concordia University, St. Paul. Menahga advanced to the semifinals to take on No. 2 Goodhue at 2 p.m. Friday at Williams Arena in Minneapolis.
ST. MICHAEL — Monticello put up magical numbers to start Friday night's Section 5AAA semifinal game against Willmar, then had to hold for dear life to knock off the Cardinals 66-59 at St. Michael-Albertville High School. The Cardinals ended their season 15-13 while the Magic, now 13-15, move on to face the winner between Delano and Big Lake for the section title at 7 p.m. Thursday at St. Cloud State. The Magic jumped out to a 12-0 lead thanks to some lights-out shooting and strong defense, putting the Cardinals on their heels before the game's first timeout.
Many of the Willmar gymnasts couldn't watch as their teammates competed in Friday's Class A state meet. It's a superstition. And it worked, if you believe in that sort of thing. The Willmar Cardinals took fourth place of eight teams at the meet with a 145.850, an improvement of 1.850 points to last year's sixth place finish.
The Willmar gymnastics team learned a lot from last year's trip to the Class A state meet, their first in more than 20 years. The simple takeaway? Just have fun. The Cardinals get the chance to do just that this year as they represent Section 6A for the second year in a row. The team meet starts at 11 a.m. Friday at Maturi Pavilion on the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis.
NEW LONDON—Last year, the Willmar gymnastics team fought for their first berth in a state meet since before most of the team was even born. This year, they started a trend. For the second year in a row, the Willmar Cardinals flipped, leapt and soared to a Section 6A championship and a berth in the Class A state meet.
There was a time when high school sports were played on a regular basis. Roads were driveable and, believe it or not, if you stuck your hand out in front of your face, you could actually see it. Those were simpler times. Now, we've come to a time where each basketball game or wrestling match is just as likely to be canceled as it is to be played. That's a real shame, too, because this sportswriter really likes regularity but also because this season still has some big games that even Mother Nature herself would want to see.