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Friendly Rider is closing in on a milestone in its seven-year history. The bus transit system should be carrying its 250,000th rider within the next three weeks according to figures assembled by transit coordinator George Behl. Friendly Rider carries approximately 800 riders each week in the winter. The service had provided transportation for 247,534 riders as of Nov. 24. The small bus service carries a variety of passengers including elderly, handicapped, students and people having their vehicles repaired. Behl credits the drivers that Friendly Rider employs with their growth.
The Long Prairie-Grey Eagle/Wadena-Deer Creek Blue Devils earned a split in their first week of Class A girls hockey play. The Blue Devils lost their opener 8-0 to the Litchfield Dragons Friday before edging Redwood Valley 5-4 Saturday. Litchfield 8, LPGE/WDC 0 Ellie Black had a four-goal game as the senior-led Dragons dominated the young Blue Devils. Emma Lemke and Kennedy Summerfeld also contributed with Lemke recording a goal and four assists and Summerfeld icing two goals and one assist. Sarah Holm had 30 saves for the Blue Devils while seventh-grader Skylar Houts stopped three shots.
An 8-2 finish and some good returning height have given new Wadena-Deer Creek head girls' basketball coach Keith Ferris plenty of optimism about the upcoming cage season. Ferris picked up plenty serving as assistant coach to head man Brian Silbernick last year and his transition into the top job has been a smooth one. "This is my fourth year coaching them and that's been a good thing," Ferris said. "I learned a lot from Coach Silbernick last year." Most of the WDC girls' basketball team made up the 33-0 WDC volleyball team that won the Class AA state title Nov. 13 in St.
The Wadena-Deer Creek dance line team continues to grow as they head into their 2010-2011 season. The Rhythmettes have 33 girls on their varsity and junior varsity squads. One of the highlights of the season comes up Dec. 22 when they will dance before the Minnesota Timberwolves-Utah Jazz game at Target Center. Seniors on this year's team include Haley Anderson, Alicia Schmidt, Jenna Geiser and Sonja Kern. Juniors are Taylor Snyder, Charley Cantrell, Addie Dunker and Evelyn Kumano. Sophomore dancers include Jana Bachman, Sayde Anderson, Lindsey Eliason, Hanna Jacobson and Molly Kramer.
Shoving Brad Childress out the door was a sign by Zygi and Mark Wilf that big changes are in the wind for the Minnesota Vikings. Among the usual tripe regarding the sacking of Brad Childress this week there have been some good observations. I just hope the Wilfs read some of the same ones I did. Childress was not the entire problem, as everyone with a brain knows, but he did not have the solutions either. Childress basically took over a team with no talent and took it two victories forward each year until this season.
Photo by Brian Hansel Wadena public works employee Shawn Swenson spreads de-icer Monday morning on a city sidewalk near Northwest Park. A winter weather advisory for snow is in effect until 9 p.m. Monday. A winter storm watch is in effect from Wednesday morning through Thursday afternoon.
The Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines wrapped up their 2010 season with a shining 33-0 record Saturday as they claimed their first Class AA state volleyball championship in St. Paul's Xcel Energy Center. The Wolverines maintained their excellent chemistry and focus throughout the three-day event and capped it Saturday afternoon by beating top-seeded Hutchinson 25-20, 25-19, 29-27.
District 2155 school board members Ann Pate, Steve Techam and Dan Toedter have answered the call to serve with a group that could make some dramatic changes in the Wadena community over the next few years. On the same day that a Rachel Contractors full swing began taking down the high school in front of a large crowd of spectators, the school board heard members of the Wadena City Council express their interest in putting together a team that could land additional funds from the Minnesota Legislature in January. The new WDC school will be built by the time the 2012-13 school year begins.
If George Behl's hair turns a little gray this winter it might be traced to his team. They have a way of making games exciting for fans but nerve-wracking for coaches. Behl will be taking over the head reins of the Long Prairie-Grey Eagle/Wadena-Deer Creek Blue Devils this season, an outfit that won four of and lost three of their 22 games by a single goal.
All-Conference pick Ashley Richter has been named Offensive MVP of the 2010 Verndale Pirates volleyball team. Megan Richter, Jordanna Schluttner and Teresa Moenkedick shared Defensive MVP honors. Other varsity team awards went to Richter (Most Dependable), Elizabeth Johnson and Kaitlyn Richter (Table Setter), Moenkedick (Team Player), Johnson (Hustle), Kristin Korfe (Spirit) and Miranda Dougherty (Most Improved). Johnson and Moenkedick were also conference honorable mention picks. Dougherty was Defensive MVP of the junior varsity team and shared Offensive MVP honors with Kristia Dailey. O