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Wadena's Dale Erickson, Steve Schloeder and Larry Pulju were first flight leaders Saturday in the Minnesota Elks State Golf Tournament at Whitetail Run. A field of 107 golfers competed in the event which drew linksters from Alexandria, Bemidji, Brainerd, Faribault, Hibbing, Hopkins, International Falls, Minneapolis, Rochester and Stillwater to the Wadena course. Erickson won the first flight with an eight-under-par handicap score of 64.
Back in June while taking aerial shots of Wadena I was lucky enough to get a good tip from Larry Brincefield, a local pilot, and now I am passing it on. If you love flying and aircraft the place for you in late July is the Experimental Aircraft Association's AirVenture convention in Oshkosh, Wis. You will not be lonely. The week-long show draws 800,000 people and is the largest annual gathering of aviation lovers in the United States. You are on the cutting edge of aviation when you visit the 1,392-acre Wittman Regional Airport, home of the busiest air control tower in the world.
Wadena-Deer Creek's Tom VanErp is serving as vice president of the Minnesota State High School Coaches Association. VanErp will become president of the MSHSCA in his third year. The New York Mills prep standout graduated in 1984. VanErp attended Fergus Falls Community College and earned a degree in physical education, health and coaching. He received his master's of education degree from the University of Minnesota and his K-12 administration license from St. Mary's. VanErp began teaching and coaching in 1992 at South St. Paul High School. He moved to Wadena in 1996.
Zach Miller, Tim Zastrow and Duane Miller combined for six hits and six RBIs as Long Prairie rallied to bump Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale out of the District 6 American Legion Tournamentt Friday with a five-run comeback in the top of the seventh. Post 336 broke a 2-2 tie with a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth and went on to post a 7-4 victory. Dakota Aeling and Dustin Motschenbacher both drove in two runs for BHV. Pat Riewer went 2-for-2 and walked twice. Aeling pitched the first six innings for BHV allowing 10 hits and five runs, including a home run by Zastrow.
Errors and walks proved costly for Wadena-Deer Creek American Legion squad July 21 as they fell to Pierz 11-2 and Long Prairie 14-3 in the District 6, Division 2 baseball tournament at Menahga. Pierz hurler Travis Kahl stopped Post 171 cold for the first five innings while his Post 341 teammates were building a commanding 8-0 lead. Post 171 pitchers surrendered 10 walks while the defense committed four errors. Post 171 broke the scoring drought in the sixth as Ryan Redfield connected for a two-run homer.
Wadena-Deer Creek Activities Director Norm Gallant introduced school board members to an athletic academic eligibility policy at their July 18 meeting that he feels would be "less punitive and more supportive." In going to bat for the new eligibility policy, Gallant pointed out shortcomings in the present policy, which the district has been using with only limited success for the last eight years. Aiding Gallant in the project has been WDC Secondary Principal Tyler Church. "Basically the policy we have had in place was if you messed up, if you weren't passing your classes, fix it yourself,"
The kind of teaching Tom Riitters is going to enjoy seeing at Verndale this fall is the kind that students will grab onto and run with. Riitters officially took over as Verndale's new 5-12 principal on July 1. The native of Randall, Minn. is moving in from the Little Falls school district, where secondary students will be putting down books and picking up Apple iPads this fall. The pace of technology as a teaching tool has been accelerating. One of Riitter's secondary teachers, Samantha Schmitz, began using iPad technology in her classroom last year with the help of a technology grant.