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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.
The strong Pierz Pioneers romped to a 7-0 tennis victory over Wadena-Deer Creek Wednesday at Pierz. Paige Hartman posted the only win for the Wolverines at No. 1 singles by defeating Tarynn Kasper 6-2 in the second set. The Wolverines have road matches slated for Sept. 6 and Sept. 8 at Park Rapids and Detroit Lakes. The Wolverines are set to host Little Falls Sept.
A new Minnesota state law that goes into effect at the start of the 2011-12 school year addresses the issue of concussions for youth athletes in the state. The law says that any coach or official who suspects an athlete (age 18 and under) is experiencing concussion symptoms must remove him or her from competition. That athlete cannot return to play until a health care provider gives written permission. Every coach and official also must go through online training to raise concussion awareness.
Ashton Dorris struck out 14 in hurling a two-hitter Saturday and leading the Mankato Mets past Bertha 6-0 in the Class C state baseball tournament. Nathan Haase had the only base hits for the Blazers. Ben Smith went 4-for-4 at the plate, scored twice and drove in one run. Josh Anderson drove in two runs for the Mets. The Mets had five doubles off Bertha pitching with Bertha collecting two. Alex Brockpahler started on the hill for Bertha but gave way to Pat Riewer in the fourth. The same two pitchers that held Fairfax to just two hits in an 8-2 Class C state victory Aug.
Wadena Airport Manager Tim Fowler has notions to plant and misconceptions to kill. Fowler has been an aerial applicator for eight years and a recent trip to southern Minnesota wrapped up his season. A specialist in applying fungicide and insecticide, Fowler quite literally understands aerial application from the ground up. "Flying is second," Fowler said. "Proper care of the chemicals is the most important part of it." Fowler would like to introduce local youth to the profession but he admits that the commitment takes time.
The Wadena-Deer Creek School Board decided by a 4-2 vote Tuesday evening not to fine former math instructor Miranda Nelson for resigning after July 1 to take a new teaching position. The master agreement between administration and the teaching staff gives the school board the right to fine a teacher who resigns their position after July 1. Nelson was a part-time instructor at WDC during the 2010-2011 school year. She was encouraged to find a full-time position by secondary principal Tyler Church.
Mike Shrode has been around and he has abilities in all directions. Now he is charting a new course. Beginning this week he will be teaching a Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) class from his classroom at WDC Elementary, a technology that has been around for 25 years but is brand-new to the WDC curriculum. CAD technology is only the beginning of what Shrode plans to teach. Shrode will tell you that a big part of any teacher's job is sales, with education as their product. The students and the administration have to buy into what the teacher is selling.
Verndale's Summer of Changes wrapped up Monday night with the District 818 board approving the hiring of three new faculty members. Joining the sea of new faces in Verndale this fall will be 7-9 social studies teacher John Holmes and teaching assistants Cameron Dick and Derek Edwards. District 818 will have 11 teachers, five teacher's assistants and a new 5-12 principal in place when the 2011-2012 school year begins Sept. 6. Holmes replaces Jed Carlson and brings a lot of technology and teaching experience to the job.
The experience level at Verndale has flipped this season as Shelley Glenz and her Pirates have a young lineup ready to play volleyball. "They're young but they've played a lot of JO ball together," Glenz said. The third-year head coach likes her team's quickness on the court. Graduation broke up the old guard but fortunately for Glenz she has returning letterwinners in senior Jordanna Schuttner and junior Teresa Moenkedick. Schluttner will fill a middle hitter spot while Moenkedick provides the team with some steady scoring punch as an outside hitter.
Wadena-Deer Creek No. 3 singles player Abby Wegscheid won her first match Wednesday and went on to claim fourth place honors in the Highway 10 Tournament. Wegscheid topped Stewartville's Nicole Stanley 6-2, 6-4 in their singles opener on the Wadena courts. A 6-3, 6-2 loss to New York Mills' Vicky Selander knocked Wegscheid out of the unbeaten ranks. Julie Jackson of Staples-Motley defeated Wegscheid 6-4, 6-1 in the third place match. WDC's Paige Hartman and Desiree Isola were both consolation champions in singles action. Hartman lost her No.