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Better times seem to be on the horizon for Minnesota deer hunters after a mild winter. "I think the deer actually came through it very well," Wadena conservation officer Greg Oldakowski said. "The deer I have been seeing in the county have a pretty good fat supply on them." After two straight winters of of tough conditions, the winter of 2014-2015 got off to an early and chilly start last November. Something remarkable happened when December arrived without snow and it continued with a mild January which left resident wildlife free to feed on crop residue.
Is professional football planning to eradicate the running back? Never, you say. There will always be a place for the running back in a game with a "foot" in it. The ghosts of Knute Rockne and Red Grange have nothing to fear. A lot of teams do seem to be be giving up on their running backs these days. The Eagles traded LeSean McCoy, the Cowboys let DeMarco Murray end up with division rival Philadelphia, San Francisco's Frank Gore has has joined the Colts, Reggie Bush is going with the 49ers and Darren McFadden is going to be a Cowboy. Of course the green stuff is what it is all about.
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.