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Summer break ended Tuesday as a new school year arrived for Wadena-Deer Creek's K-12 student body and the faculty. The first day's head count found 956 students within the walls of WDC elementary, junior high and senior high classrooms. While the opening day enrollment is 45 under last year's first day enrollment of 1,001, it fits neatly into the pre-school estimate of the WDC administration.
When the National Football League was in flower 40 years ago, one of the best teams of all was the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings were mentioned in the same breath with teams like Pittsburgh, Dallas, Oakland, Miami and Washington. A feeling of overwhelming confidence descended on their faithful fans. There was no team the Vikings could not play with in those days. They dominated the Central Division of the NFC and they played in four Super Bowls. Fast forward to the beginning of the 2010 season. The Vikes are coming off a 12-4 season behind aging Brett Favre.
Perfect weather touched Whitetail Run Tuesday as the Perham boys and the Little Falls girls ran away with team honors in the Wadena-Deer Creek Invitational. Seven Perham boys placed in the Top 20 with Brady Speicher, Nick Carignan and Dalton Dahms finishing third, fourth and fifth with times of 17:33, 17:41 and 17:53. The strong showing gave the Yellowjackets a first place score of 24. Little Falls was a second with 67 points. Byron Shuldt of Nevis set the winning pace with a time of 16:36. Little Falls' Brad Zimney finished second with a time of 16:58.
A salty Park Rapids club handed the Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines their second shutout loss in a row Tuesday in Mid-State Conference play. The Panthers were straight set winners all the way through singles and doubles competition en route to a 7-0 victory on the Park Rapids courts. The Wolverines started their fourth week of varsity play without Macy Hartman's racket in the lineup. Hartman, a 2010 section qualifier who is slated to become WDC's No.
Teresa Moenkedick had 18 digs and 17 kills as the Verndale Pirates lost to Swanville Tuesday in four matches that were decided by a total of 11 points. The Pirates nipped Swanville in the opener 26-24 but the Bulldogs came back to win 25-22, 25-21 and 26-24. Sarah Moenkedick dished out 16 set assists and contributed 16 digs.
The senior-dominated Moorhead Spuds provided Wadena-Deer Creek's defending state champion Wolverines with a strong test Thursday before bowing 3-1 in the season opener. The Spuds claimed the first game 26-24 but the Wolverines rallied to win 27-25, 25-22 and 25-23 to notch the match victory. "Nothing like jumping right into the fire to start the season," WDC Head Coach Sue Volkmann said. "The kids really held their composure during this tough match. Moorhead was predominantly seniors and our young kids filling new positions did very well.
Dale Finck and Gloria Bullock won top honors in Sunday's Whitetail Run Club Championships. Finck defeated his father, Dick Finck 4-2 in the men's championship finals. He reached the finals by topping Michael Wing in the first round and defeating Cory Pettit 2-up in the second round. Dick Finck made the finals by edging Kevin Stevens in Round 1 and Brian Hillesland in a 19-hole match in Round 2. Wing tripped Ken Bullock for consolation championship honors. Dale Zeise won both the men's handicap and senior championship competition. Bullock won the women's title 93-95 over Konnie Zimmerman.
Lars Ellefson of Park Rapids did the rugged Black's Grove Mountain Bike course in 1:02.11 Sunday under sunny skies. Tucker Hibbert of Pelican Rapids earned runner-up honors with a time of 1:04.09.
Emna Schmitz fnished 21st in the varsity girls' race and Neil Janson placed 31st in the boys' varsity field Monday during the Morris Invitaitonal at Pomme de Terre Golf Course. Schmitz, who placed 11th in the section meet last year and was a Mid-State Conference runner-up, turned in a time of 17:32. Janson opened his senior year of cross country running with a time of 19:42.
Head Coach Mike Mahlen has been looking at Verndale squads for more than 40 years and it has given him a few insights into what makes winners on the gridiron. "The biggest thing is that we have a little bit of an attitude," Mahlen said. Attitude, for the record, is just fine with Mahlen, who owned the state record for victories by a Minnesota high school coach until last year. Past Pirate teams have terrorized the competition with their size.