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Moss making timely return to Minnesota

When the Minnesota Vikings drafted Randy Moss in 1998 it was a daring but risky move. Now their season suddenly depends on how well their former wideout can play at the age of 33.

Moss wore the nickname of "The Freak" when he came out of Marshall because of his uncanny pass-catching abilities. He defied the squeaky clean image that Minnesotans want their football heroes to have. Draft analysts at the time were wondering if then-head coach Dennis Green had snapped his cap.

Minnesota fans loved Moss in his rookie season and for seven years the Vikings put up with his out-spoken manner. A lot of Minnesota fans were fighting mad when the Vikes sent Moss to Oakland. They were even sorer when the player the Vikes drafted with their No. 1 pick, South Carolina wideout Troy Williamson, proved to be a bomb.

Moss caught 574 passes for the Vikings, scored 90 touchdowns and had more than 1,000 receiving yards for six straight seasons. He was instant offense. In his rookie season the Vikings scored 556 points, second only to the 579 points New England scored in 2007, with Moss, of course, on the roster.

The 6-4, 210-pound receiver is back in Minnesota and the asking price, a third-round draft pick, seems ridiculously cheap. He is still brash so hopefully he is still as dangerous as a hair trigger on the football field.

Brett Favre galvanized the Vikings last year and now the 40-year-old quarterback will be in the same huddle with Moss, Adrian Peterson, Percy Harvin and Visanthe Shiancoe. Down the road, if the Vikings see wideout Sidney Rice find his 2009 form after his hip surgery, the team will have an offense to match their No. 2 defense.

Defense proving to be key to WDC's great season

Sue Volkmann's Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines are tearing up the competition this fall as they hunt for their third straight trip to the Class AA state tournament.

Volkmann confesses that WDC's competition has not been the same as it has been in other years, but an undefeated record, a completely undefeated one, is very impressive.

The Wolverines are murder on defense. Volkmann knew she had a great defensive team going into the season but the veteran head coach was not shy about saying Tuesday morning, after seeing her team bury Staples-Motley, that this is the very best defensive team she has ever had.

Mandy Perkins, Hope Theisen, Avery Jackson and Caitlin Volkmann are the back row people that make the defense work so well. Players like Kelsi Crawford, Courtney Volkmann, Rachel Craig and Rachael Carlisle have been supplying great leadership. Brittney Noon and Emily Miron have been weapons at the net. Miron's rapid rise this season is the only real surprise that Volkmann has experienced. Miron has teamed with Rachel Craig to give the Wolverines a pair of great blockers at the net.

A Class AA state consolation trophy came back from St. Paul last year with the Wolverines. Volkmann and her team are in the mood to improve on that.

Tranvik sees stirrings of tennis pride on team

WDC first-year head girls' tennis coach Pete Tranvik is seeing a development that could pay dividends in the next few years.

Since calling his first practice at the Franklin Drive courts in mid-August, Tranvik has been working with a WDC team that is long on youth but not so long on pride and experience. The reason is not hard to pinpoint. Tranvik said that one of his players told him that he is the fourth head tennis coach she has had at WDC.

Sophomore Macy Hartman has started at No. 1 singles most of the season and Tranvik feels she has great potential. Haley Anderson has given the Wolverines a tough competitor at No. 2 singles.

Tranvik feels that victories over New York Mills, Perham and West Central Area have the young Wolverines a sense that they can be much better.