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Tom VanErp has some important pieces in place for the start of the 2011-2012 basketball season. The head coach of the Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines has three returning starters on his roster. Back for the coming campaign are senior shooting guard Ryan Redfield, senior center Ben Birch and junior point guard Evan VanErp. Redfield not only shoots well from the perimeter according to VanErp, he is a tough competitor and led the team in charges taken last year. Birch, who 6-4 is the team's tallest player, has good speed for a post and will give the Wolverines a strong rebounder.
Emily Miron had a double-double with 18 points and 17 rebounds as the Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines held off Pierz 69-59 Tuesday in their season opener. Miron matched Caitlin Volkmann for scoring honors. Hope Theisen and Avery Jackson also hit double figures scoring 17 and 14 points respectively. The Wolverines hit on nine of 17 three-point shots for a 53 percent average. Theisen came up with seven assists while Jackson dished out six. Miron blocked four shots. "The starting five played very well tonight," WDC Head Coach Keith Ferris said.
Max Hyberger had a hat trick and John Raisanen had a five-point game Tuesday as the Litchfield Dragons topped Wadena-Deer Creek 9-3 in their season opener. WDC Head Coach Chris Holman wryly noted that the Dragons have had as many scrimmages this season as the Wolverines have had practices. A new ice arena building is under construction in Wadena. The former arena building was destroyed by an EF4 tornado on June 17, 2010. The Wolverines practiced and played their home games in Long Prairie last season. The Dragons dominated the first period scoring five unanswered goals.
The Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines have talent spotted throughout the lineup this season, but will they have enough to match last year's 17-5, Section 6A runner-up finish? Graduation cost the Wolverines four state qualifiers from the last two seasons. Jared and Jacob Wegscheid are gone along with Jordan Rentz and Dylan Anderson. WDC Head Coach Norm Gallant also lost proven standouts like Derrick Rude, Isaac Lustila and Zach Bernu. Mitch Steffens is back for his senior year and is ranked sixth in Class A at 120 as the season begins.
Verndale Principal Tom Riitters and his Verndale secondary faculty have seen quick results from the implementation of a guided study hall for grades 9-12. On Nov. 2, Verndale had 152 students who had accumulated 586 missing assignments. The guided study hall, which works extra work time into a student's day by modifying their lunch hour, is designed to help students complete their assignments. Twenty days later, Riitters took the top nine students with missing work and found they had 257 missing assignments between them.
A private custodial firm sent three representatives to Verndale Monday night to make a pitch to the District 818 board. Marsden Building Maintenance is a facility services provider offering commercial janitorial, building maintenance and speciality property services. Appearing for Marsden were Larry Oelke, Peggy Bounds and Rob Stinar. Marsden has been in business for 65 years and offers technology and products that many school districts currently lack. The board asked Superintendent Paul Brownlow to contact a private firm.
A tousled, T-shirt clad gamer joined Mike Schrode's STEM class Tuesday morning for a chat. Jay Adelson had the look of a guy who had just crawled out of bed, and since it was 8 a.m. in his time zone he probably had, but the 41-year-old entrepreneur was all smiles. Wearing a headset, Adelson took questions for an hour from Schrode's Wadena-Deer Creek Elementary classroom 1,500 miles away via a Skype hookup. At the same time, a picture of the class was being beamed back to Adelson on the West Coast. Adelson needs no introduction in some circles.
Emma Lemke picked up five points with a two goals and a playermaker Friday as the Litchfield Dragons skated to a 5-2 victory over Long Prairie-Grey Eagle/Wadena-Deer Creek in their season opener. The Blue Devils struck first when Morgan Zeise found the net in the opening period. The Dragons evened the score when Lemke took a feed from Kennedy Sommerfeld. Lemke picked up a goal and two assists in the second period as the Dragons grabbed a 4-1 lead.
The Wadena-Deer Creek school board had financial matters to chew on Monday as they held their last meeting before Thanksgiving. Randy Highland of Carlson-Highland presented the board with a draft of the audit report which noted a substantial rise in the district's fund balance over the last two years. District 2155 voters went to the polls in November 2009 and voted for a substantial levy referendum increase. Seven months later an EF4 tornado destroyed the WDC High School and that fall the district realized an insurance settlement of more than $40 million.
Dr. Peter Wielinski is not convinced that educators are doing their best for high school students eager to pursue their dreams. The M State-Wadena provost is in the business of preparing young men and women to enter a career field. Yet this noble enterprise is not without its shortcomings on both sides of the problem. U.S. education is taxpayer-supported for students in the first 13 grades, but that free ride stops at high school graduation.