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The rifles and slug guns come out this weekend as the Minnesota firearm deer hunting season begins a 15-day run. The state's deer herd is in fairly good shape despite a long, hard winter according to DNR wildlife manager Rob Naplin in Park Rapids. "I think we're near goal in all our permit areas so I think there will be adequate numbers out there," Naplin said. Minnesota has a fair number of bow hunters and a growing number of muzzleloader hunters but the next nine days in the Wadena area will be dominated by firearms hunting.
Emma Schmitz placed fourth in a field of 105 runners last Friday to qualify for her first trip to the Class A state cross country meet. The lissome freshman became the first WDC harrier to reach state since the 2008 season when Hannah Toedter qualified. Schmitz ran a time of 16:02.10 to join nine other Section 8A girls in qualifying for Saturday's state meet at the hilly St. Olaf College course in Northfield.
Emily Miron and Brittney Noon combined for 56 kills Tuesday evening as the Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines rallied from a 2-1 deficit to oust Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton in a five-game South Sub-Section 8AA championship match at Perham's Prairie Wind School. The top-ranked Wolverines had defeated the No. 2 Rebels 3-2 in the final regular season match for both clubs but it was DGF that grabbed the first game 26-24. The Wolverines evened the match with a 25-22 victory in Game 2 but the Rebels dominated Game 3 25-17. Faced with elimination, the Wolverines responded with a 25-20 victory in Game 4.
There is a belief in some circles that the most dangerous animal in Minnesota is neither the wolf nor the bear. In fact, it is not even considered a predator. It is the white-tailed deer. The beauty and grace of the whitetail speaks for itself. They are swift, strong and agile enough to escape from of their enemies.
The Wheaton Warriors used a powerful ground game to punish the Verndale Pirates 44-8 Tuesday in the Section 4, Class Nine-Man playoffs. Tony Thiel's Warriors, who are ranked second in the section and eighth in the state, rolled up 406 yards on the ground and saw four backs go on touchdown runs. Pat Backman reeled off scoring runs of three and 13 yards.
The Minnesota Vikings have played their ace and it looks like Christian Ponder could help them salvage a few victories. The 2011 first round draft pick was tabbed as Minnesota's quarterback of the future last April but until last week he was still a reserve behind starter Donovan McNabb, the former Philadelphia star who played in six Pro Bowls and a Super Bowl. Needing someone to put a spark into their 1-5 team after a 39-10 Monday night thumping by Chicago, the Vikes gave Ponder the reins.
Hunters who venture into fields and forests for Minnesota's firearms deer season can expect a good deer season and ample hunting opportunities, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). "We can't guarantee harvest success," said Steve Merchant, wildlife programs manager. "But we can assure hunters that good deer hunting opportunities exist throughout Minnesota." Nearly 500,000 people are expected to participate in the firearms deer season, which opens Saturday, Nov. 5, throughout Minnesota. Minnesota's whitetail deer population is about 1 million.
Top-ranked Pierz ousted Wadena-Deer Creek from the Section 8AA playoffs Tuesday night with a 47-7 romp and handed head coach Leo Pohlkamp his 200th career coaching victory. Tyler Millner scored on runs of 10 and 48 yards and returned a kickoff 80 yards for six. Millner was one of five Pierz runners that put the ball in the end zone. The Pioneers rolled up 319 yards with their rushing game. Robbie Skiba, Josh Lanners, Robert Kowalzek and Nathan Tomala also cashed in on touchdown runs. Skiba broke off a 61-yard scoring run and led the Pioneers with 88 yards on seven attempts.
Engineering and Technology Education instructor Mike Shrode has the job of building a program at Wadena-Deer Creek from the ground up. Recognizing the growing role that technology is playing in the 21st Century, the WDC school board voted to create a STEM program in their new secondary school beginning with the 2012-2013 school year. STEM is a combination of science, technology, engineering and math. STEM students takes the knowledge gained from a variety of science and math courses and use it to find the solution of an engineering problem.
Verndale administration and faculty have an idea to sell and their clientele is the Verndale student body. Beginning Nov. 2, the school will implement a Guided Study Hall program for grades 9-12. If students have missed assignments or they have a C minus or below in any class, they may be assigned to the guided study hall. Verndale faculty members have seen far too much incomplete work from students.