Groth is a Minnesota Newspaper Association award-winning Sports Editor of the Perham Focus and the Wadena Pioneer Journal. Groth worked in Grand Rapids as the Sports Director at KOZY/KMFY radio for two years and prior to that he was the Sports Editor/Writer for the Grand Rapids Herald-Review for seven years.
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There wasn’t much that intimidated former Minnesota Twin Justin Morneau during his 14-year playing career. However, Morneau faced one of his more daunting tasks when he was the keynote speaker for Tri-County Health Care’s Men’s Night Out at the Wadena-Deer Creek Elementary School on April 16. Morneau, who was the American League Most Valuable Player in 2006, was making his public speaking debut at the annual event.
The Wadena-Deer Creek boys track and field team has found themselves at home at the Gillett Recreation Center in Bemidji, Minn. They have competed at the venue three times this year during the indoor season and have won two of the three meets, including the Bemidji Relay which took place on April 12. Their second straight win came by the narrowest of margins. The Wolverines edged out the Bemidji Lumberjacks for the title by one point. Wadena-DC finished with 59 points, while Bemidji ended with 58.
The Wadena-Deer Creek track and field teams returned to the friendly confines of the Gillett Recreation Center on the campus of Bemidji State University on April 3 for the Little Amik Indoor meet. It was the second indoor meet for the Wolverines and it was a strong one, despite missing some kids due to ACT testing. The Wadena-DC boys team finished first with 74 points, while the girls came in seventh with 41.5 points.
While many teams are stuck inside due to the extended winter, the Wadena-Deer Creek Track and Field teams traveled to Bemidji to take part in the annual Lion’s Invite at the Gillette Recreation Center at Bemidji State University. The boys team finished with 45 points, earning a sixth place finish. The girls team earned 27 points, finishing in eighth place overall. Grand Forks Red River swept the team titles, finishing with 146.50 points for the girls, while the boys finished with 150 points.
A last second basket by Park Rapids Area was just enough for the No. 4 seed in the South to sneak by the Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines 65-64 in double overtime. Park Rapids Area bounced back from an eight point first half deficit and was able to get the game-winning basket with four seconds remaining in the second overtime. The Wolverines were unable to get a shot off and suffered the heartbreaking one-point defeat.
It started out well for Wadena-Deer Creek’s Steven Erkenbrack, but it changed in a matter of moments during the Class A Individual Championships at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., on March 2. The Wolverine senior was stopped short in his bid to advance to the quarterfinals when he was pinned by Rush City/Braham’s Dalton Mielke at the one minute and 55 second mark of their match. Mielke entered the contest ranked ninth in the state, boasting a record of 35-3.
It was a night for the seniors, but it was a sophomore who came up with the biggest basket of the game when the Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines needed it the most. Bereket Loer’s runout layup with 1.8 seconds left in overtime, secured the 75-73 victory for the Wolverines over the Upsala Cardinals on Feb. 27 on Senior and Parent’s Night in Wadena.
Wadena-Deer Creek senior Steven Erckenbrack will end his high school wrestling career on the mats at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul in the Class A Individual Tournament after earning a second place finish in the Section 6A Individual Tournament at 170 pounds. It was a tough road for the senior, but he overcame a loss in the finals to win the true second spot, securing his spot at state with his 31st win of the season.
With a chance at the Park Region Conference title going by the wayside, the Wadena-Deer Creek boys basketball team was hoping to right the ship and snap a four game losing streak when they faced off with New York Mills on Feb. 23 . The Wolverines had three players finish in double figures as they returned to .500 with a 62-51 victory over the Eagles, which snapped their four game skid.
The Park Rapids Area Panthers handed the Wadena-Deer Creek girls basketball team their seventh straight loss with an 80-54 victory on Feb. 20 in Park Rapids. The Wolverines closed out the regular season with a 7-18 record overall and a 1-6 record against Section 8AA opponents.