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Friday, October 23, 2009
Football Playoff Brackets Set
The majority of the football playoff brackets are written in stone, now, so we can start looking ahead to Tuesday night and the quarterfinal games.
 
This column will give you a concise view of who plays who, when they play and where they play. For a look at the brackets, go to Minnesota Sports Online (http://net.minnesotasportsonline.com/brackets/)

9-Man/Section 3
 
Top-seeded Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley has a 2:00 p.m. game in Graceville against Lincoln HI, the number eight seed.  Number two seed, Edgerton/Ellsworth, entertains Hancock at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, while number three seed, Wheaton is home to Brandon/Evansville, also at seven o'clock.  The fourth-seeded Chokio-Alberta/Herman-Norcross Spartans will host Hills-Beaver Creek in a six o'clock kickoff in Chokio.
 
9-Man/Section 4
 
Verndale is the number one seed, followed by Bertha-Hewitt, Hillcrest Lutheran Academy, Isle, Underwood, Onamia, Eagle Valley and Ashby.  Two of the four quarterfinal games will  begin at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday with Verndale hosting Ashby and Bertha-Hewitt at home to Eagle Valley.  The other two games begin at 6:00 p.m. with Underwood traveling to Isle and Hillcrest hosting Onamia at Hillcrest Lutheran Academy in Fergus Falls.
 
Section 6A
 
The unbeaten Barnesville Trojans are the top seeded team in Section 6A and will open playoff action at home on Tuesday against Parkers Prairie.  Second-seeded Browerville will host Pillager, number three Lake Park-Audubon has a home game against Pine River-Backus and fourth seeded Upsala/Swanville Area (USA) will be at home to Royalton.  All games will begin at seven o'clock.
 
Section 5AA
 
Unbeaten Eden Valley-Watkins is the number one seed and will host Benson.  BOLD received the number two seed and is at home against Paynesville Area.  The third seed goes to Yellow Medicine East, which will entertain Lac qui Parle Valley.  Morris Area gets the other home game and will host fifth seeded Minnewaska Area.
 
Section 6AA
 
The Crosby-Ironton Rangers received the number one seed and will open tournament play against Wadena-Deer Creek.  Number two Pierz will be home against West Central Area, while third seeded Osakis entertains Ottertail Central.  The Breckenridge Cowboys are the four seed and they have a home game against Holdingford.  All Section 6AA games begin at six o'clock Tuesday night.
 
Section 8AA
 
Number one seed Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton hosts Walker-Hackensack-Akeley, number two Hawley is home to Bagley, number three Frazee welcomes Pelican Rapids and number four United North Central has a home game in Sebeka against Warroad.  All games kickoff at six o'clock Tuesday night.
 
Section 6AAA
 
All games are at 7:00 p.m.  Top seeded New London-Spicer is at home against Sauk Centre.  Melrose is at number two Albany.  Zimmerman, the number three seed will host Litchfield and Annandale is at number four Foley.
 
Section 8AAA
 
Pequot Lakes gets the number one seed and opens up at home against Roseau at 6:00 p.m. Tuesday evening, while second seeded Perham entertains Park Rapids Area at 7:00 p.m.  Staples-Motley, seeded third, will host East Grand Forks in a 6:00 p.m. start and number four Thief River Falls has a 7:00 p.m. home game against Crookston.
 
Section 8AAAA
 
The Fergus Falls Otters are the eighth seeded team in  and have drawn top-seeded Sartell-St. Stephen in the quarterfinal round.  Number two Alexandria will host St. Cloud Apollo, number three Sauk Rapids-Rice is home to Detroit Lakes and number four Rocori entertains fifth seeded Little Falls.  All games begin at seven o'clock Tuesday night.
 
Section 8AAAAA
 
The top two seeds Buffalo (#1) and Brainerd (#2) get first round byes.  Tuesday night, #4 Moorhead will host St. Cloud Tech, with the winner playing at Buffalo Saturday afternoon at 2:00 p.m.  In the other first round game Tuesday, #3 Cambridge-Isanti will host Elk River, with the winner going to Brainerd at 2:00 p.m. Saturday.
 
Posted By Craig Olson
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Wrenshall Forfeits Football Season
Wrenshall Forfeits Football Season
 
The 2009 varsity Nine-Man football season is over at Wrenshall High School. Coaches and administrators decided to forfeit the remainder of the season late last month after injuries and players leaving the team reduced the roster to nine players, seven of whom are freshmen.
 
"We only played one game this year," coach Jeremy Zywicki said. "We were in a real tough spot. We have three transfer students who have to sit out a year by state high school league rules, and we didnít have enough players to play."
 
Despite playing only one game on the field, a 42-8 loss against Nevis in the second week of the season, Wrenshall does have a win. Laporte forfeited the first game of the year to the Wrens before forfeiting its season, too.
 
Wrenshall in turn forfeited its game against Northland-Remer on September 18.
 
"We were starting five freshmen and we were starting players who werenít quite ready for a varsity field," Zywicki said. "They werenít ready mentally and, though they were big enough physically, they werenít ready to make the adjustment to the speed and strength of the players at the varsity level."
 
Wrenshall started the season with 15 players, but lost two seniors to injuries while a third senior left the team. Zywicki was starting a foreign-exchange student with no football experience at guard as a result, and he also left the team.
 
More Troubles Up North
 
The Iron Range sports programs are continuing to face threats of consolidation or closure as populations in those communities continue to decline.
 
Nashwauk-Keewatin, a grid power in Class 7A in recent seasons, has ended its football program and will send its 18 players to Coleraine to combine with the Raiders. Coleraine is facing its own problems and has combined with Grand Rapids in several sports and Nashwauk for wrestling. Nashwauk won the 7A grid title for three straight years as recently as 2005.
 
AlBrook, Cotton, Cook, Orr and Tower-Soudan are all threatened with the end of their football programs pending the results of a $78 million school district referendum in November. Nashwauk faced the alternative of dropping to nine man play had it kept its own team.
 
The additions swell the Raiders ranks to 60 in the top for grades. Cotton has paired with East Range Academy, a charter school in Eveleth, to maintain its grid team this fall. Tower has only 16 football candidates while Cook County of Grand Marais, which has long ruled the region, is facing a drop to nine man ball.
 
Even if the referendum passes, there will be major changes with a new consolidated high school built and Cook, Cotton, Orr, AlBrook and Tower-Soudan almost sure to close. Tower students would move to Babbitt-Embarrass High.
 
Gustafson, leads CLC women
 
Former Wadena-Deer Creek golfer Tracy Gustafson placed second  as the Central Lakes College women's golf team opened the season September 2 by winning an invitational at Ruttger's.

Gustafson carded an 86 as the Raiders finished with a 286 team score. 

PL grad signs at Weber International

Charlie Hollinbeck of Pequot Lakes has signed to play golf this season for Weber International University in Florida.

Hollinbeck was a member of the Pequot Lakes Patriots boys' golf team that finished runner-up the last two seasons in the Section 6-2A tournament.

Hollinbeck was also a member of the Northern Lakes hockey team.
 
Eden Prairie a national powerhouse?
 
Eden Prairie has landed a spot on Sports Illustrated's ranking of the top 10 high school athletic programs in the country.
 
In building its list, the magazine said it looked at state championships, Division I scholarship athletes and their success on and off the field.
 
The Eagles claimed the number nine spot. Sports Illustrated noted Eden Prairie's state championships in boys' hockey and girls' lacrosse, along with the school's second straight Challenge Cup -- a statewide, yearlong competition among the member schools in the Minnesota State High School League.
 
The top school, according to Sports Illustrated is Honolulu Punahou, which has won 61 state titles over the past four years, 19 of them during 2008-09. One of Punahou's distinguished former athletes is President Barack Obama.
 
Olafson captures inaugural Pine to Palm Mid-Am title
 
The Pine to Palm Golf Tournament is full of tradition through its 77 years of existence and it looks like itís adding to that trend. The Mid-Am Division made its Pine to Palm debut this summer and for all things considered ó it will be a mainstay for the future.
 
lthough the division had only 22 golfers register for qualifying, the competitive play from the 40-55 year old golfers was an attraction throughout the week at the Detroit Lakes Country Club.
 
For Jay Olafson, a former Wadena resident,  it was extra special after he topped Kent Fronk 3 and 2 for the first Mid-Am championship. Olafson now has earned the right to have his named sketched as the first-ever Pine to Palm Mid-Am champion.
 
"That will be cool and great," Olafson said of seeing his name as the first Mid-Am champion. "To see my name somewhere up there will be huge. The Mid-Am was lots of fun this week and I think it will only be bigger next year with some bigger names."
 
The Mid-Am champion said the Pine to Palm committee was dead-on by installing the new division.
 
"It's a nice thing to have at our age," Olafson said. "You get to play guys your own age, who don't get the opportunity to play golf every single day like some of the young guys in Championship.
 
"It is still competitive, but it's not cut-throat competitive. There was some close matches and I see the quality getting better."
 
Posted By Kyle Gylsen
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