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First-year head softball coach Tracy Fruechte wants to make sure her Wadena-Deer Creek squad is on the same page this spring when it comes to mechanics. Fruechte wants to improve batting and fielding as she works on changing the fortunes of a team that went 3-14 on the diamond last year. Returning letterwinners on this year's team include seniors Maddy Hinojos, Elise Kallevig, Samantha Manselle, Ashley Peters and Morgan Zeise and juniors Madison Barthel and Mikaela Nordlund. With the season opener slated for April 9, Fruechte is not rushing to shell out starting jobs.
Marc Reynolds and his Wadena-Deer Creek coaching staff are looking at their best numbers in the past five years as they prepare for the 2014-2015 track and field season. The Wolverines, who are trying to grow their junior high program along with their varsity squad, opened the season last week with 60 athletes. "Our boys will be strong in the relays, hurdles and throwing events," Reynolds said. "Our girls will be strong in the field events and the middle distance events." The Wolverines are coming off a strong season. Ten of their athletes advanced to section in 15 different events.
Wadena-Deer Creek's Michael Behl has been selected as a second team forward on the 2014-2015 All-Section 6A Coaches' Team. Behl was Section 6A's leading scorer with 33 goals, 29 assists and 62 total points. Behl also led the section with five short-handed goals. Receiving honorable mention were WDC forwards Jarrett Pettit and Dylan Phillips and defenseman Austin Sutherland. Pettit came up with 12 goals and 24 assists. Phillips contributed 20 goals and 17 assists.
Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton wants to see 50 feet of buffer strip protecting all state waters in the future. It is an idea many sportsmen are likely to support and many farmers are likely to oppose. Dayton came out with his proposal at a Department of Natural Resources roundtable back in January and it shocked a lot of people. Famous as Minnesota is for its fishing and hunting, not to mention its recreational water sports, it is also part of the nation's breadbasket.
The Verndale Pirates tuned up for the North Sub-Section 5A playoffs Friday by posting a 48-34 victory over Hillcrest in their regular season finale. Jordyn Glenz paced the Comets with 14 points. Shania Glenz backed up her sister with 11 tallies. The Comets shot 45 percent from the field on the Hillcrest court as they converted on 22 of their 49 floor shots. Verndale's defense made it a long evening for the Comets who shot converted on only 14 of 41 shots for a 34 percent average. The Comets found themselves with only 11 points at the halftime break.
Doug Breid rolled bowled a 300 game during City League action Feb. 19 at Wadena Lanes. The perfect game was the first of the 2014-2015 season in Wadena.
Gavin Becker's 25 points propelled Nevis past Verndale 54-41 Thursday night in North Sub-Section 5A action at Nevis. The top-seeded Tigers dominated the first half 32-15. Verndale held a 26-22 scoring edge in the second half. Griffin Chase backed up Becker with 14 points. The Tigers shot a lackluster 38 percent from the field but canned 17 of their 20 free throws for a red-hot 85 percent. The eighth-seeded Pirates had a tough shooting night on the Nevis court making 15 of their 46 field goal attempts for a 32 percent clip. The Pirates made only two of their 15 three-pointers.
Angela Hanson was named the Most Valuable Player of the Long Prairie-Grey Eagle/Wadena-Deer Creek girls' hockey team for the 2014-2015 season last Tuesday. The LPGE/WDC goalie also received a plaque in honor of her 2,000th career save. Other individual honors went to Abby Ecker (Ms. Hustle), Josie Formanek (Most Improved) and Kylee Damm (Hobey Baker). Damm and McKayla Woods shared the Scott King award. Ecker and Ashlee Helseth were named to the Mid-State Conference team.
Torii Hunter is shagging fly balls in Fort Myers, Kevin Garnett is back shooting buckets with the Timberwolves and it looks like even Adrian Peterson has found some legal forgiveness for his sins. Maybe Thomas Wolfe was wrong, maybe you can go home again? With the money Hunter, Garnett and Peterson have made you might think their addresses in retirement will all be on Easy Street. Yet how many famous athletes do you see providing color commentary on television and radio, working as coaches, scouts, managers and even general managers?
Ben Ellefson came up with 18 points and Jordan Harms tacked on 12 Thursday as the Hawley Nuggets opened their bid for the Section 8AA championship by ousting Wadena-Deer Creek 66-45. Ranked No. 1 in the south half of Section 8AA, the Nuggets brought a 21-3 record into the game against the winless Wolverines. Jason Mielke's eighth-seeded WDC crew found themselves buried by a blizzard of Hawley scoring in the first half and went into the locker room trailing 47-22. The Wolverines won the second half scoring battle 23-19. Tanner Horn was WDC's top scorer with 14 points.