"You'll never get ahead if you don't take care of what you have." - Doris Waddell, RIP

A historic building on our U of M-Morris campus - morris mn

A historic building on our U of M-Morris campus - morris mn
The multi-ethnic building was the original home of the music department at UMM. (B.W. photo)

Monday, January 31, 2011

To what extent might Egypt be a harbinger?

Steve Martin wouldn't find much funny in what is happening in Egypt now. It's interesting to see that the common people can rise up against a power structure that likes order, conformity and for people to just keep quiet.
There is always more power in the people than in the puppet masters.
I'm shocked because this uprising seemed to come out of nowhere - out of the ether as it were. But it didn't.
I'm sure there were signs of stress building up. It's just that our myopic American media didn't sense it. All of a sudden our TV screens were awash in images of people taking to the streets. There was so little helpful analysis.
TV news became mesmerized by the scenes themselves. Surely those intrepid news people could penetrate below the surface and answer "why?"
In the early stages at least, there was little of this. We heard generalizations about adversity for the common folk. Life's a bitch for the common folk everywhere. I doubt this feeling alone would propel people into the streets in such a coordinated way all through a country. It seemed almost scripted.
There had to be some powerful political undercurrents at work. Maybe the American media are too scared (or lazy?) to poke around in such matters. It's pretty serious stuff.
The real facts are known in the private meeting rooms in the corridors of our highest level of government. There, I suspect, it's perceived as too touchy to encourage the media to thrash around with it. Why do you think Dwight Eisenhower used to talk in circles? It was the Cold War, man.
Let the media do what it does best: show the streets filled with unruly people. Talk with amazement about it.
From the U.S. perspective, Egypt has seemed like a quiet country. America has had kittens over Afghanistan and Iraq. We have sent the military into "hotspots" like applying Band Aids.
As a boomer I'm skeptical about military adventures because I grew up with Viet Nam. Those who don't learn from history are condemned to repeat it.
We killed an ant with a sledgehammer in Iraq. Thank you, George W. Bush. Or maybe we should thank George's father whose enmity toward Iraq's dictator seemed personal. The Bushes talked about the dictator (or strongman) like he was Dr. Evil.
Saddam Hussein was a regional nuisance and little more. He was contained. Some of the stories of his atrocities were exaggerated or made up. He was no choirboy but he ruled in a distant country that didn't operate according to rules like ours.
We are reminded of our exceptionalism, and its delicacy, by Egypt now. The stakes for the U.S. could be higher with this than with any of Saddam's mischief or misadventures.
Unfortunately our military has been so strained and extended that our options now are more limited than they ought to be. If conflict is fomented that threatens our national interests, what are we to do?
Will we learn we aren't the true superpower we thought we were?
What about the Suez Canal? What about oil prices? Are we relegated to a nervous spectator's role? Can our delicate economy withstand an unforeseen shock? The U.S. got through the so-called "financial crisis" without people taking to the streets. But could it happen here?
If Wall Street, the Fed, the Beltway and other such transcendant and seemingly unaccountable entities are seen as menacing to our welfare, what then?
It hasn't gotten that bad yet. What if it does? Could the U.S. become a giant "flash mob?" Would the government "switch off" the Internet here?
To date the Internet has shown it can overcome all forces to restrain it. The old men of government are perplexed. This is something new and they can't quite get a handle on it. They are used to keeping the masses in check, to making sure the common folk get only the info that will keep them docile.
In Egypt, are we getting another lesson in how those old men can be shoved aside? Is it a triumph for the liberation of information and connectivity? If the U.S. stock market collapses or we get a dramatic burst of inflation, will we see something akin to Bastille Day?
Could the vast U.S. even be held together if a true crisis erupts?
I have read that the underpinning of the Vermont secessionist movement is the belief that the U.S. has become too big and complicated to be governed from Washington, D.C. Perhaps the Tea Party movement, awkward as it is, reflects that belief too.
I remember thinking during the 2008 presidential campaign that if I had a chance to chat with Barack Obama, I would suggest that he set up a working executive office somewhere in the Midwest. It would have great symbolism.
America shouldn't be at the mercy of elite decision-makers concentrated along the eastern sliver of the country. Power got concentrated there in the first place, of course, because that's where Europeans first arrived, bringing their civilization and concepts of government and pushing aside the Native Americans.
Communications technology has changed everything today. Your physical location means little now - nothing really.
This perception of the elites out east, with their disproportionate, ivory tower-like power, could be cured. My suggestion of a "Midwest White House" might do much.
Besides Warren Buffet, we here in the heartland have little to attach ourselves to, in terms of real power. We are sort of left to feel like knaves.
Up until now we have accepted our lot. Our 401Ks may have been dashed but we didn't take to the streets. Not that this couldn't happen. Will Egypt be a catalyst bringing economic ripples that threaten our relatively placid state?
"Oh, it couldn't happen here. . ."
But yes, it could. Maybe all those people selling gold have the right idea after all: Make sure you have plenty of bottled water. Maybe some freeze-dried food too. How about an ambitious garden?
Maybe we'll learn we just can't send the military all over the place. Maybe we'll learn that Saddam's invasion of Kuwait really was small potatoes. Maybe we'll learn that Gulf War I was just an excuse to have Whitney Houston sing the National Anthem with a little extra gusto at the Super Bowl. (Military jets flew overhead, of course.)
We have always tried to show we can be just as heroic as "The Greatest Generation" in World War II. What that august generation would readily tell us, though, is that they would give anything to have avoided that adversity. To have avoided the Depression.
They dealt with the crises of their times, the way they had to, but the world of today presents a much different set of realities. The crises of today rise up and bite you in the butt. But that's how all true crises arise, right?
We cannot rely on our militarism.
This mantra of self-sufficiency might be proven to be right on the mark.
Reliance on foreign oil has been a folly. Maybe it would be good to have small farms. Maybe it would be good to try to rejuvenate our small towns all across the Midwest. Maybe we need a type of populism that neither political party has been trumpeting, such has been their dependence on money from behemoth enterprises.
When will Americans finally tell those behemoths to take a flying leap? Will it take a Bastille Day?
It could start as one giant flash mob. If it can happen in Egypt, it can happen anywhere. Stay tuned. The nonstop images on CNN aren't telling you the whole story.
There are fundamental political undercurrents at work. The ramifications could change our world.
-Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Friday, January 28, 2011

MBA Storm girls continue winning formula

Storm 5, Detroit Lakes 4
The MBA Storm girls played a harder-fought game than they are accustomed to, when taking the ice to play Detroit Lakes on Thursday, Jan. 27. The Storm often take command in games, which can be good and bad, because while it's certainly nice to win convincingly, the closer games provide a rigorous test of competitiveness and clutch ability.
The Storm girls passed that test impressively. They turned back the Detroit Lakes skaters by a score of 5-4 in DL. It was the third straight game that required a pretty long trip for the intrepid Storm. The regular wins make the miles roll by easily!
Brooke Falk was up to the task of being part of the winning chemistry in goal. Brooke notched 36 saves. DL put two players to work in goal, Veronica Roy and Veronica Badurek, and they finished with two and 17 saves, respectively.
Sara Rajewsky and Dani Schultz had their usual prominent roles in the scoring effort. These two were instrumental in MBA gaining a 4-2 lead by the end of one period.
Sara Rajewsky struck first, getting the puck into the net at 1:36 with a Schultz assist. It was Rajewsky scoring again at 6:22, this time assisted by Schultz and Kelly Mahoney. Then it was Schultz getting the puck past the DL goalie at 7:54, unassisted. Goal No. 4 was by Schultz at 9:03 and this too was unassisted.
DL scored the last two goals of the first period to stay close.
DL kept creeping forward, outscoring the Storm 2-1 in the second period. Rajewsky scored the Storm's second period goal at :14, assisted by Mahoney and Schultz.
DL picked up momentum and got to within one goal on the scoreboard, but there would be no more scoring in this game as Brooke Falk wielded a reliable goalie stick and said "no." MBA held its advantage with those clutch attributes.
This was the Storm's 17th win of the season against three losses - quite a memorable campaign.

Storm 8, Windom 0
The MBA Storm girls took the ice at Windom on Monday, Jan. 24, and looked quite at home. Brooke Falk, who had taken a break from her first-string goaltender duties on Saturday (the win at Worthington), put the gear on again and excelled.
Brooke got a shutout, her fifth of the season. She in fact only had to perform four saves.
Coach Jeff Mahoney's Storm defeated Windom 8-0 for win No. 16. The Storm scored four goals each in the first and second periods.
Windom goalie Amber Svoboda had 40 saves.
Dani Schultz and Sara Rajewsky were their usual 1-2 punch offensively for the Storm. Each had a hat trick in this Southwest Conference game.
Sara Rajewsky began the night's scoring with an unassisted goal at 4:29 of the first period. Kelly Mahoney scored with an assist from Dani Schultz at 7:24. Schultz sent the puck into the net with assists by Sam Falk and Rajewsky at 9:21. Schultz wrapped up the first period scoring with a goal at 14:37, assisted by Mahoney and Rajewsky.
The Storm took care of business again in period No. 2, building their goal total to eight while keeping the lid on their own goal. Rajewsky and Schultz continued their ice magic at 8:57: Rajewsky scored with Schultz's assist.
Schultz scored with a Sam Falk assist at 14:25. Then it was Sam Falk scoring at 14:56 with assists by Rajewsky and Schultz.
The night's final goal (still in the second) came from Rajewsky with assists by Sam Falk and Schultz at 16:59.

Storm 10, Worthington 2
The MBA Storm girls made the long trip to Worthington in southern Minnesota on Saturday, Jan. 22. The trip was worth it as the Storm was (were?) in control in all three periods. They came away with a 10-2 win.
The Storm led 6-2 after one period and allowed no more goals after that. The girls could savor their 15th win of the season against three losses. This was a Southwest Conference game.
Brooke Falk took a break as goaltender, and Shianne Wold took over most capably. Wold picked up 14 saves. Her goalie rival on this night was Amanda Bristow who had a save total of 40.
The Storm may have dominated this game but it was Worthington who scored first. Stephanie Pavelko scored unassisted.
The MBA barrage then began, first with Dani Schultz sending the puck into the net at 3:31, assisted by Sara Rajewsky. Schultz scored in unassisted style at 6:31. The Lindblad girls combined for a goal at 7:32 with Hannah getting the goal and Monica the assist.
Worthington's Angie Madrigal scored at 8:43.
Two Storm players assisted on a Kelly Mahoney goal that came at 12:43. Those assists were from the prolific Schultz/Rajewsky duo. Schultz and Rajewsky combined for the Storm's fifth goal of the night. It was Schultz getting the puck into the net at 15:07 assisted by Rajewsky.
Monica Lindblad wrapped up the first period scoring with a goal at 15:29, unassisted. The Storm pulled away on the scoreboard with two goals each in the second and third periods.
Schultz and Rajewsky scored the second period goals, while Wold was putting up a wall in goal. Schultz scored at 5:51, assisted by Sam Falk. Rajewsky put the Storm up 8-2 with a power play goal at 9:54, assisted by Schultz and Sam Falk.
The third period saw Monica Lindblad score with a Mahoney assist at 9:36. Then it was Sam Falk scoring unassisted at 14:30 to conclude the night's scoring. The long ride home must have been accompanied by satisfaction for the winning Storm.
It's a delight for yours truly to be writing about the winning Storm on Friday, Jan. 28, which is my 56th birthday! Yes, I do need reading glasses these days.

More on the MBA Storm girls:
The Storm arrived at mid-week with growing credentials for offensive punch. It's a crowd-pleasing style of hockey to be sure. As of mid-week they had outscored their foes 118-36.
Schultz plays center and is tops in the state in goals and total points. This senior student athlete has surpassed 300 points in her career. Eleven times this season she has performed a "hat trick."
Schultz and Sara Rajewsky have become quite the tandem for striking fear into opposing defenders. Rajewsky is a senior like Schultz and she stands No. 4 in the state in scoring. She recently got over the 200-point plateau for her career.
Sara is the granddaughter of Dave and Yvonne Evenson of the Morris area. Dave is a pillar as a Morris barber!
Sara's hat trick total for the season is five.
The senior rolls also include stalwart goaltender Brooke Falk. Brooke frequently chalks up shutouts. Her save percentage is a dazzling .933.
The "Storm" nickname is preceded by "Morris Benson Area" and let's accent the "area." Schultz will get her diploma at our Morris Area High School this spring. Rajewsky will walk across the stage at Benson. And Falk isn't even from Morris-Benson; the goalie is a senior at Minnewaska Area.
There are six total seniors on the roster. In addition to the players already mentioned here, we have Kelly Mahoney, Sam Falk and Monica Lindblad.
Some concern is spelled for the future because graduation is going to leave a void. The number of juniors on the roster: zero. The number of sophomores: zero. The number of freshmen: one. Wow!
As the Fred Willard character in "A Mighty Wind" would say: "Wha hoppened?"
There are two eighth grade skaters. Finally the numbers stabilize when you get down to the seventh grade, where the total is six skaters.
The proud head coach of the winning 2010-11 unit is Jeff Mahoney. He has 100 career wins on his resume.
Below is a link to the MBA Storm girls hockey schedule page on Pheasant Country Sports - nicely presented:
http://www.pheasantcountrysports.com/teamschedule.php?yid=1011&tid=2068&sid=1230274

Boys hockey: 12-1 win over Windom
The MBA varsity boys downed Windom in a decisive 12-1 final on Monday, Jan. 24, in Windom. Click on the link below to read Gary Hansen's top-notch coverage of this game from the MBA Storm website:
http://www.mbastorm.com/news_article/show/76214?referrer_id=217802-morris-benson-area-storm-hockey-news

Boys hockey: 7-0 win over Worthington
The Morris Benson boys took care of business nicely in a 7-0 win over the Worthington Trojans on Saturday, Jan. 22, in Worthington. Click on the link below to read Gary Hansen's game summary from the MBA Storm's website.
http://www.mbastorm.com/news_article/show/76053?referrer_id=217802-morris-benson-area-storm-hockey-news

Here's a link to the fine new MBA Storm website itself:
www.mbastorm.com/

-Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Thursday, January 27, 2011

"Real" NFL season seems over now

The football season always seems over this time of year. There are only two teams left in the running for the NFL championship. We have to wait two weeks between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl.
It's amazing how the Super Bowl has grown to be so much more than a good NFL football game. It seems like a mid-winter reason to celebrate and shove aside the winter doldrums.
The pageantry of the game obscures the game's innate value as a championship sports event. The TV commercials seem almost as much an attraction as the game.
We go out of our way to party, socialize and snack to excess. My point here is that the distractions and non-football elements of the day obscure the game.
It's terrific if you enjoy all that extracurricular stuff. But beware, because I have read that the type of snacking we do on "Super Sunday" encourages flatulence.
I have previously written that "Super Bowl Monday" maybe should creep into being a holiday, much like "Easter Monday" has crept to become a pseudo-holiday. We can depend on our public schools and public employees leading the way with these things. It would make as much sense as Columbus Day.
When I say "the football season seems over," what I mean is that we have lost that wonderful week-to-week tapestry of NFL games. We have lost all those unpredictable human interest angles that arise with all of the NFL's teams in action.
We learn those stories every Monday on ESPN Sportscenter. They can be so unpredictable. Examples are Derek Anderson laughing on the sidelines during a bad loss, and Rex Ryan's "foot fetish."
During the season we had the week-to-week soap opera about Brett Favre's status.
All of this interest continues through the first two weekends of the playoffs. That's because a fair number of teams are still involved. First there's Wild Card Weekend and then the Divisional Playoffs. There are four games in each of these weekends and it's like an abundant buffet for people who enjoy NFL football.
After that it really does get anticlimactic. Conference championship weekend has just two games, on Sunday.
In a previous post, I did correctly predict the winners of those two games for 2010: the Packers and Steelers. I also predicted that Pittsburgh would win the Super Bowl. We'll see.
I won't get flatulence because I don't party the way so many fans do.
We had a good example of one of those unpredictable human interest stories coming out of conference championship weekend. It was Jay Cutler's behavior. Cutler is the Chicago Bears quarterback who was on the losing end against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.
Cutler left the game early with an injury. Controversy erupted among Bears fans based on two issues. One was whether he was really hurt that bad. The other had to do with his sideline demeanor once he left the game. He donned a parka and looked detached. He looked almost sullen.
He like Derek Anderson (of the Cardinals) should know that the cameras are always on. Cosmetics matter. Cutler had the opportunity to reach the Super Bowl, and perhaps he should have tried to surmount all obstacles. Wear a brace, maybe.
There is an issue here that hasn't gotten enough attention, I feel. Why weren't the Bears in better shape with backup quarterbacks? Here we are in the NFC championship game and we're having to watch quarterbacks of the type you'd expect to see in the second half of pre-season games! It was surreal.
Cutler's first backup was the fossil named Todd Collins. Collins accepts a paycheck as an NFL quarterback. Against Green Bay he seemed incapable of completing a forward pass.
The lesson here is that old guys don't make ideal reserve players. As we age we cannot activate our bodies as fast. This thought crossed my mind as I watched Collins' pathetic attempt to play.
I'm not sure what thoughts were crossing Chicago coach Lovie Smith's mind, but he saw the necessity of going further down the depth chart. Now we have a quarterback who truly belongs in pre-season games, the type of games where the home team practically has to give tickets away.
And this on conference championship weekend. Bizarre.
Just think of the top-notch quarterbacks who didn't make it this far.
I'd have to go to Google to refresh my memory on the name of the third-string Chicago quarterback. This individual did throw a couple of good passes, granted, but he threw a couple of disastrous ones too.
There is a school of thought in the NFL that your backup quarterback should be a running quarterback. There's logic here. A team's offense can lose some rhythm when a backup is called upon. Therefore it's nice to have a QB who can improvise and simply take off running when a play's scheme breaks down.
Chicago had a roster that seemed to assume Cutler was going to be indestructible.
Might Cutler have been slightly relieved to be out of the game? Green Bay seemed to have him totally figured out. He had gotten nothing going prior to being injured. We'll never know if coach Smith and Cutler could have made some adjustments to get things going.
There was no "Willis Reed moment" where a severely injured athlete takes to the court or field to inspire his team and play capably in the face of injury. I remember when Reed made his triumphant entrance to the basketball court for the New York Knicks. Was it about 1970? That sounds about right. It was the days before NBA players felt they had to put tattoos all over their bodies. Or wear the baggy shorts.
Basketball seemed like a more graceful sport back then. But it's hard maintaining interest in the NBA when you live in a state with the Timberwolves - the Detroit Lions of the NBA.
Many Chicago Bears fans are irate with Cutler. Even if his injury was severe, his sideline behavior didn't seem appropriate. He almost looked disinterested. NFL fans deserved better on conference championship weekend than to see a team so unprepared for dealing with an injured quarterback.
We could have seen a backup quarterback become a surprise hero. Instead we saw "garbage time."
Now we have the Super Bowl between the Packers and Steelers. I have written before that Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has that huge intangible called "talent," like what John Elway had. Again I feel this will be the deciding factor.
I think Pittsburgh will put 27 points on the board and dispose of the Packers.
And remember, "Super Bowl Monday" isn't a real holiday, yet.
-Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Monday, January 24, 2011

morris mn - it's a delight to keep writing here

I'm pleased to note that this website is over a year old. It has been a learning experience and a fulfilling one. I had pondered it for some time, but wondered if I was enough of a "geek" to get it going.
A sense of urgency grew when one of the legacy media businesses in our community, the newspaper, went into serious retreat by becoming once a week. That's a 50 percent reduction in frequency of publication. With a weekly paper, we are now in league with Clinton, a nice little town but admittedly a much smaller one.
The newspaper in Clinton has actually stayed more true to the tradition of community newspapers, so kudos to them. For example, they still put out a bona fide "bridal edition" in the spring. We used to have this in Morris until the corporate ownership in Fargo, or Detroit Lakes, depending on what layer of the bureaucracy got involved, decided it wasn't bringing in enough profit.
Those same bean counters decided it was no longer practical to publish obituaries for free.
For free? Aren't obituaries "community news?" Isn't this one of the most valuable features of a community media institution?
Of course, the newspaper is a business and it will try to make money on anything. It makes money on publishing high school sports schedules three times a year, even though this is arguably "news" and has inherent value like obituaries.
Those tiny boxes with names of businesses on the edge of those sports schedule pages probably cost the "sponsors" way too much. I would have a hard time living with myself if I were selling those. I would have a harder time processing obituaries knowing that the grieving families were being squeezed financially for this.
I know there 's an obit charge because a friend told me, a friend who had a family member die in another state. He submitted the obit info and was told he'd have to pay. He was told the charge was 50 bucks.
Who knows, maybe it's a hundred now, because that's the way these things go. My friend Glen Helberg and I call this the "creeping effect" in our economy.
Let's assume the obit charge is still $50 - I think it's disgusting. Obits are presented beautifully on the Pedersen Funeral Home and kmrs-kkok websites. If I were a grieving loved one, I would go this route and tell the newspaper to take a flying leap. My friend with the deceased sister (who lived in Iowa) was too nice a guy to do this.
Ironically, in the old days when the paper was the only way to report this, there was no charge. So why in this new age of online reporting (where there's no overhead expense) should there be a charge for a "print" obit? It's like climbing a mountain, I guess - "because it's there."
If you can get the money, go get it. That has become the ethos surrounding us.
With my website, "I Love Morris," I am trying to supply some exciting coverage of Morris area youth sports and other local stuff for absolutely no cost to anyone who chooses to visit.
The type size does not have to be made small to "squeeze it in." Some of the Tiger wrestling reports in the Willmar newspaper have had a type size so small (agate?) that you almost need a magnifying glass, not just reading glasses.
And why spend over a buck for the weekend edition just to see if your kid's name is in one of the sports articles?
The solution is obvious: online.
My website will not be the long-term solution. Mainly I'm trying to build awareness and set an example. I started doing this about four years ago just by talking to people. I urged the radio station to beef up its website.
I once saw great potential in the radio station website, but I have gotten a little discouraged. I now realize that radio is essentially part of the old corporate media that are governed by a profit hunger at every juncture.
Too bad, because the radio station could heighten its visibility and popularity substantially by making its website more dynamic. This is a process that costs so little (if anything).
For example, all they would have to do is post a link to the Tiger football photo album I put together (through Flickr) last fall, and its web traffic would jump. That album is linked right here.
With my website, virtually the only cost I have encountered is getting an occasional roll of film developed at our local friendly Thrifty White Drugstore. I appreciate "Jen" over there asking "are you working these days?" I appreciate that she sees potential in me for gainful employment!
Sometime I'd like to answer "yes." There was a time when I gave the impression of being a "working fool." This becomes problematic when you enter your 50s and must begin pacing yourself. It's also highly problematic when you are in an industry - newspapering - that went into convulsions of downsizing and consolidation starting about the time I left it.
So I got out of the cave before the walls collapsed. But it's hardly consolation to know I'm out of work. It can be terrifying in fact. It's like a wall slowly builds up between you and other people. I'm suddenly not like them anymore.
The feeling of isolation is troubling sometimes.
I'm heartened that Jen and some other friends root for me.
Republicans say we might have to raise the age of retirement in this country to 70. As if it's that easy to just hang on that long. And we're supposed to approve of continued tax cuts for the very wealthiest among us. Well, the citizenry gave the nod to the Republicans in the mid-term, so that must be our will (not mine, though).
My website is a way for me to reach out and show I can still contribute some valuable journalism to the community.
I almost had to pinch myself to see if I was dreaming last fall when I ventured back to Morris Area Tiger football games. At first I was tentative and somewhat fearful.
A sideline volunteer (and long-time acquaintance) cautioned me that school administration might not approve of my presence as a "new media" practitioner. Actually he pinpointed one person but I won't type that name here.
He felt everyone else would be fine with what I was doing. (And I won't type his name, either.)
Why would anyone disapprove? Because public schools represent an old, ossified system with qualities of a monopoly, and monopolies have a primal fear of change. They'd look at me the way a group of monkeys might look at a bright red rubber ball.
Anyway, I survived the fall and produced some sports journalism that I feel the fans and parents enjoyed. I got some very nice feedback. And my journalism could be enjoyed for no cost whatsoever.
Surely, though, such a system could not take over as the norm, right? Why not? The Morris Benson hockey association has taken a big step forward this winter with a new and dynamic website. I just knew this would happen, because the hockey crowd is pretty independent and self-starting in comparison to the older sports programs.
And the hockey association operates much closer to the private sector model. In other words, "if it works, do it." Don't think of obstacles. Monopolies always think of obstacles.
I have been told by a school administrator that people at the school "don't have time" to initiate their own sports infomation bureau, comparable to what UMM does brilliantly on its own website.
"We don't have time" can be translated to "show us the money," in my experience.
The hockey association is not encumbered by this thinking. There are people associated with hockey who will gladly take the time. And with time, the glitzy new MBA Storm website might help that sport become the premier winter sports attraction here.
I hope that fans associated with other sports raise their voices to try to rectify this, and see that a neat new sports info bureau gets established, somehow, some way. Where there's a will there's a way.
And, a dirty little secret about what I'm doing is that it's actually fun.
My experience covering MAHS football last fall was thrilling and unforgettable. All that was missing was attending the Lions fall sports banquet and having coach Jerry Witt mention me from the podium. I'm sure he acknowledged the corporate media in the habitual knee-jerk fashion, because. . .because, well, that's the way it's always been done.
That's the problem. MBA Storm hockey is throwing off those shackles, setting a fine example in the process. Now we need to see other programs, sports and non-sports - hey, theatre! - follow suit. Fundamental change can happen slowly in society but once it's accomplished, we ask "why didn't we do this sooner?"
"I Love Morris" is striving to set an example.
People shouldn't have to pay to read obituaries, and grieving families certainly shouldn't have to pay to have such information reported. There are links to the Pedersen Funeral Home obituary page and the kmrs-kkok obit page along the right-hand side of this website.
Please explore those links (and everything else).
-Brian Williams - Morris mn Minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Hoops and hockey keep prep scene lively

Girls basketball: Tigers 64, Monte 49
The M-CA girls climbed back to within one game of .500 with a very satisfying Friday triumph. Tiger athletics is navigating through a winter that has become problematic for getting games in, such is the accumulation of snow, the gusty winds and plummeting temperature. But we love it here, right?
And those bad conditions abated long enough for the Morris Chokio Alberta student athletes to see plenty of game action. Friday was a busy night after the problematic (from a weather standpoint) Thursday. Fans Friday got to see the M-CA girls score 64 points to the Montevideo Thunder Hawks' 49.
Coach Dale Henrich's squad came out of the night with a 5-6 overall record and 3-4 in conference.
M-CA led 25-18 halfway through this home game.
The Tigers made 21 of 63 shots from the field and were two of nine in three-pointers. Katie Holzheimer made both of those long-rangers.
The most productive scorers for M-CA were Beth Holland and Erica Domnick. Each of these Tigers pumped in 14 points, helping the squad assert itself vs. the visitor. Erin Schieler was the other double figures scorer with her eleven points.
Sarah Kuhn came through with eight points while Holzheimer and Hannah Sayles each put in six. The scoring list is rounded out by Holly Amundson (2), Kelsey Loew (2) and Elizabeth Helberg (1).
Domnick and Schieler each snared seven rebounds followed by Kuhn with six. Holland dished out five assists to set the pace there. She also stole the ball three times.
The Tigers were sharp in freethrow shooting where 20 of their 29 attempts were successful.
Montevideo is in a dues-paying type of season with losses coming regularly. Amber Barnes led the Thunder Hawks Friday, scoring 16 points and collecting seven rebounds. Alyssa Doty put in 13 points in the losing cause for her team.

Boys basketball: Montevideo 59, Tigers 51
The M-CA boys also had Montevideo as their Friday opponent. The Monte girls may be struggling this season but the Thunder Hawk boys are quite on top of things. They entered Friday's game at their home gym undefeated and were relieved to survive the Friday action with yet another win.
M-CA came at the Thunder Hawks with a relentless long-range shooting attack in the second half. It worked to a large extent. Unfortunately the Tigers had gotten into too deep a hole prior to that.
Coach Mark Torgerson's boys trailed 31-15 at the half. The Tigers outscored Monte 36-28 the rest of the way. Do the arithmetic and you'll find that the Tigers' late charge wasn't quite sufficient.
Montevideo won this game 59-51 and entered the weekend with 12-0 overall won-lost numbers and 7-0 in conference.
The Tigers were 50 percent in their three-point shooting on the night, making six of twelve. Brody Bahr connected for two of those long-range successes. One each came from Cole Riley, Dan Tiernan, Tyler Roske and Alex Erickson.
In total field goals the Tigers made 22 of 47 attempts. Freethrow attempts were meager and in this department, the team numbers were one of three.
Montevideo looked to have this game locked up with 12 minutes left to play. There was a scoreboard bulge of 22 points. Were we about to see "garbage time?" Absolutely not!
The Tigers focused from three-point range and proceeded to give the Thunder Hawks a real scare in front of their home crowd. Five of eight three-point tries found the mark in a key stretch, enabling the undaunted orange and black crew to carve the deficit all the way down to a negligible two points!
Monte was getting more shots at the freethrow line than M-CA. Montevideo made its last four freethrow shots to preserve the scoreboard advantage, but surely they retired to their locker room with a big sigh of relief.
(. . ."And stop calling me Shirley." - Leslie Nielsen, RIP)
The Tigers came out of the night at 9-3 in overall won-lost. In conference: 5-2.
Cole Riley was the top M-CA scorer Friday with 15 points. Mac Kampmeier and Brody Bahr each connected for eight, and Tyler Roske put in seven. Continuing with the scoring list: Dan Tiernan (5), Alex Erickson (3), Cody Cannon (2), Riley Arndt (2) and Eric Riley (1).
Kampmeier with his six rebounds led in that category. Alex Erickson and Eric Riley each produced four assists, and Eric Riley stole the ball twice.
Jacobey Johnson was Monte's top scorer with 13 points.

Girls hockey: Storm 8, Marshall 0
Friday was quite a night for the MBA Storm hockey girls, who are developing into quite the upper-crust team. Their assignment Friday was to play Marshall, and they came through with a shutout win, 8-0, upping their season record to 14-3. In league they sport 4-0 numbers.
Dani Schultz was a terror on the ice in the eyes of the opponent. She handled the puck with great proficiency to get it past the Marshall goalie regularly.
Marshall goalie Paige Moravetz won't want to see Schultz again anytime soon. Moravetz may have had 38 saves Friday but her efforts were often futile against prolific scorer Schultz.
The MBA goalie was Brooke Falk who had 14 saves.
Morris Benson skated out to a 4-0 advantage in the first period. From there they outscored Marshall 2-0 in each of the remaining two periods. Schultz scored at 1:35 of the opening period with assists from Monica Lindblad and Sam Falk.
It was Kelly Mahoney scoring the Storm's second goal and this came at 3:37 of the first. Lindblad assisted. Mahoney put the Storm up 3-0 with a goal at 7:23 of the second, assisted by Schultz.
Sara Rajewsky scored the Storm's fourth goal at 11:37 with an assist from Schultz.
Schultz scored both of the second period goals. She sent the puck into the net assisted by Rajewsky and Mahoney at 8:05. Then she scored with an unassisted flourish at 15:05.
Schultz scored both of the third period goals as well, as MBA put finishing touches on this most pleasing night at home. Schultz scored in unassisted style at 5:28 of the third. She scored an unassisted shorthanded goal at 10:25.
Falk's shutout in goal was the 21st of her career.

Boys hockey: Storm 2, Marshall 2
There was boys hockey to be enjoyed as well on Friday. It was a game neither to celebrate nor to frown about, for Storm fans.
The ambivalence is due to the fact this game ended in a tie! Overtime failed to produce a victor (0-0) so the final score ended up 2-2 against Marshall.
The goal-scoring for Morris Benson was done by Tyler Hansen and Tanner Picht. MBA scored its goals in the second period as did Marshall. MBA was outshot by the visiting Marshall Tigers 45-30. Andrew Fath worked in goal for MBA and his save total was 43. Marshall goalie Andrew Noble picked up 28 saves.
The MBA Storm came out of the night with an 8-5-1 season record and 4-0-1 in league.
Picht scored a power play goal at 11:10 of the second period, assisted by Mac Beyer and Jordan Staples. Hansen scored his goal at 12:17 of that period, in unassisted style.
The teams skated with determination in the overtime extension of play, but the defenses stiffened and both teams had to accept the lukewarm outcome of a tie.
Marshall is a quite impressive unit this winter, owner of an 11-4-2 overall record coming out of Friday. In league those skaters are 8-0-1.
MBA could get some satisfaction fighting this foe to a stalemate.
Whether it's the Storm or the Tigers you're cheering for, there's abundant sports entertainment left on the winter calendar for Morris Benson (hockey) and Morris Area Chokio Alberta (basketball).
-Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Storm's 10-2 win highlights recent prep action

Girls hockey: Storm 10, LPGE-WDC 2
The MBA girls flew up and down the ice with authority on Tuesday, Jan. 18, taking charge in the first period en route to a 10-2 win.
MBA upped its season record to 13-3 with this success vs. LPGE-WDC. Those initials stand for "Long Prairie Grey Eagle Wadena Deer Creek." Their nickname is "Blue Devils." They have had a rough campaign as they owned but two wins entering mid-week.
The Storm clearly showed an upper hand, out-shooting the foe 41-20.
MBA was out front 4-1 when the first period ended in this game played at Benson. Sam Falk scored the first goal for the confident Morris Benson crew. Sam scored with assists from Monica Lindblad and Sara Rajewsky at 1:58.
It was Dani Schultz who scored next, assisted by Rajewsky, at 6:39. Then Rajewsky took over for a goal that made the score 3-0. This Storm stalwart sent the puck into the net with assists by Schultz and Falk (6:50).
Schultz expanded the cushion by scoring at 11:30 with assists provided by Falk and Rajewsky.
The Blue Devils got on the scoreboard when Katelyn Barthel got the puck into the net assisted by Halley Maas.
The Blue Devils began the second period scoring when Brooke Munland got the puck past the goalie unassisted. So the Blue Devils were able to hold their own through a portion of this game. MBA needed to work to get its superiority established again, and Rajewsky began that process with a goal at :17 of the second. Schultz and Kelly Mahoney assisted.
Then Mahoney scored at 2:36 assisted by Schultz and Falk. Schultz and Rajewsky showed their chemistry for a power play goal at 5:17. Schultz scored that goal with Rajewsky assisting. Then it was Rajewsky, who recently reached the 200-point career plateau, scoring with a Schultz assist at 15:32.
The 8-2 score after two periods pretty much let the Storm go on cruise control. Their fans enjoyed two more Storm goals in the final period.
It was the Schultz-Rajewsky show in the third as each took a turn scoring and assisting. Schultz scored MBA's ninth goal at 4:10 of the third, assisted by Rajewsky. Rajewsky sent the puck into the net at 8:43 with a deft Schultz assist.
This game could be put in the books as a decisive Storm win.
And let's not overlook the work of Brooke Falk in goal! The Morris Benson goalie had 18 saves while her opponent Sarah Holm had 31.
Optimism builds for the post-season.
Viva Morris Benson Storm hockey for 2011!

Girls basketball: Milbank 53, Tigers 38
Morris Chokio Alberta played an opponent from "across the border" Tuesday and came out on the short end. The M-CA girls played solidly in the first half which was a stalemate, but the second half was disappointing. The 23-all halftime stalemate gave way to a 30-15 scoring advantage by Milbank, SD, in the second half.
The final horn sounded with the Tigers on the short end of the 53-38 score. The game was played in Morris.
Katie Holzheimer had an impressive offensive night in the losing cause. Katie put in 14 points and had one of the two successful three-point shots by M-CA. Kelsey Loew had the other long-ranger, a department where the team numbers were two-for-four.
In total field goals, coach Dale Henrich's squad made 13 of 26 attempts to get a good grade in terms of proficiency. But the point total was rather anemic.
The freethrow numbers were ten of 19.
Sarah Kuhn attacked the boards for nine rebounds and she was followed in that department by Erin Schieler (8) and Holly Amundson (6). Beth Holland topped the assists with three. Three Tigers each had two steals: Holland, Hannah Sayles and Schieler.
Holzheimer with her 14 points was the only Tiger scoring in double figures. Sayles contributed eight points, Holland six and Amundson four, and the list is rounded out by Loew (3), Natalie Johnston (1), Erica Domnick (1) and Schieler (1).

Wrestling: Benson 40, Tigers 30
The wrestling Tigers of MAHACA picked up momentum late, but it wasn't enough to overcome the advantage that Benson carved out. In the end it was the Braves prevailing 40-30 in the renewal of this mat rivalry.
The Tigers won five matches among the last seven. That flourish included pins by Tim Ostby and Ryan Beyer. But the Tigers had fallen into too deep a hole in this WCC-South action that unfolded Tuesday at Benson.
Let's review the bouts: Travis Ostby lost by fall in 1:28 to Bryce Goff. Evan Nelson lost by fall in 1:04 to Seth Pillatzki. Dillon Johnson carved out a win for MAHACA at 119 pounds, decisioning Grant Ascheman 3-0.
Aaron Wehking came out on the short end by fall against Matt Plumhoff (4:46). The Tigers forfeited to Morgan Staton at 130 pounds. Seth Nelson lost by fall in 1:25 to Ben Lundebrek. Tony Domnick dropped a hard-fought 3-2 decision to Benson Brave Alessandro Scottini.
Jerid Berning lost by a 4-2 decision to Cody Hammerschmidt. Jordan Thooft was the forfeit winner at 152. Tim Ostby took charge to pin Scott Bridgeland in :27. Connor Metzger dropped a 9-1 major decision to Sam Carruth. Ryan Beyer got Soner Hilal's shoulders pinned to the mat in :36.
Joel Harrison had his arm raised unchallenged (forfeit) at 215 pounds. Big Zach Gibson prevailed in overtime by a 3-1 decision over Tyler Jensen.

Boys hockey: Breckenridge-Wahpeton 5, Storm 4
The January 18 game between the Storm and the B-W Braves went into overtime and it ended with B-W the victor, 5-4. This boys puck action was at our Lee Community Center. Click on the link below to read Gary Hansen's review from the MBA Storm website:
http://www.mbastorm.com/news_article/show/75544?referrer_id=217802-morris-benson-area-storm-hockey-news

The pro football beat:
Will Mark Sanchez be the next Trent Dilfer? Will he be the next quarterback of pedestrian abilities to win the Super Bowl because of the very polished system around him?
Sanchez left USC early to go to the pros. His USC coach, Pete Carroll, seemed skeptical of that decision but Sanchez has turned out most fortunate in pro ranks. This Sunday he and his New York Jets will play Pittsburgh for the AFC title.
The Jets will have to try to overcome the Pittsburgh crowd that will be raucous. The Jets are to be commended for getting this far, but I don't think they'll overcome the Steelers and their quarterback who is anything but pedestrian: Ben Roethlisberger.
Roethlisberger like John Elway has that intangible called talent, as if he has eyes on the back of his head.
Pittsburgh is coached by former Minnesota Vikings assistant Mike Tomlin. Too bad Tomlin couldn't get the top spot here. Here, the Vikings have no clue when their stadium will be repaired or who their quarterback will be next season.
Roethlisberger and Tomlin will prevail Sunday, I predict, and advance to the glow of the Super Bowl.
The NFC showdown this Sunday will involve the Packers and Bears, two teams from within the Vikings' division. That says a lot for the division but it also says a lot about the mountain the Vikings will have to try to climb, starting this summer.
Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler will duel at the quarterback spot in Chicago Sunday, with Cutler throwing with his usual abandon for the Bears. Cutler has no fear of failure. He can struggle but he can excel.
I think the Packers' Rodgers is more consistent and polished and this will be a factor Sunday. Will it be enough of a factor to neutralize the Bears and their surely-raucous home crowd? My pick is the Packers, so I'm predicting a Super Bowl between the Steelers and Packers, and my pick in the big show would be Pittsburgh.
Roethlisberger has some personal character issues but his feel for the game is unmatched.
I predict an outcome for the Super Bowl as follows: Pittsburgh 27, Green Bay 16.
I couldn't care less about the Super Bowl commercials.
-Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

On celebrities, the media, football etc.

It's 4:45 a.m. and I'm hearing all about the career of Regis Philbin. I don't think I've watched the Regis Philbin TV show for one minute in my entire life. I wish him well in his retirement.
Celebrities i.e. creations of the media, are a much bigger part of the "news" than was once the case.
The distinction between news and entertainment was once pretty marked. News was done almost as a public service. A media historian once observed that the nature of TV news changed forever when it was shown that a news-oriented program could make money.
When I was a kid, we watched Irving R. Levine deliver his business news as part of the NBC evening news, in a fashion that was surely dry but professional. Compare that to Jim Kramer. Levine concentrated on reality. He was restrained and cautious in a way that any sober observer of the business world ought to be. He knew that hysteria could lead to bubbles.
This transformation of business news into something "sexy" has been perverse. People with their inherent greedy tendencies are drawn to it. I haven't had a penny in the stock market since about 1983. I decided it was more important to be able to sleep at night. My life is no less fulfilled having not watched Regis Philbin or not owning stocks.
Celebrity Brett Favre did give some fleeting fulfillment. Will his newly-reported retirement be as genuine as Regis Philbin's? Or Larry King's? Will Favre be remembered like Y.A. Tittle, a guy who played for a little too long?
There was a headline the other day saying Favre was trying to resuscitate his image in Green Bay. We all know that in posterity, Favre will be associated with the green and gold. Scoring points with the Packer faithful might be a little difficult now, since Green Bay is immersed in its present success - quite abundant success.
Green Bay has a quarterback now who is truly in the top tier. The Packers will play the Chicago Bears for the NFC title and a Super Bowl berth this Sunday. Signal-caller Aaron Rodgers was once Favre's understudy.
Favre will have no long-term intimacy with Minnesota.
"Intimacy" is a word I should perhaps use delicately in connection to Favre. He is in the news now for reasons outside the lines. How do I asses his "sexting" tribulations?
I actually sympathize with him more on this, than on his efforts to prolong his career. All this new tech stuff presents a hazard to people who behave impulsively sometimes. The problem is that it's all too easy. Karl Rove, a man who I'm not fond of quoting, was quite precise when he said the new communications "give the illusion of anonymity."
You really do leave a trail when you use all this stuff.
These bozos who get nailed on "Dateline" would probably never have gotten in trouble in the old analog days. They might hide a "dirty magazine" under a pillow. But today by impulsively pressing a button or two, in the privacy of one's home, you can create serious problems for yourself.
These guys on Dateline are just bozos. We should just scare the heck out of them and allow them to return to normal life.
I don't think it's practical to continue treating the adolescents on the other end of these communications as total victims. The adolescents need education and must take some of the responsibility for what they do. Doing stings like on Dateline, all over the country, would just create a class of people whose ability to gain desirable employment would be gone. And taxpayers certainly don't want to pay to incarcerate all of them for long periods.
We must all acknowledge that this new world created through tech tools has hazards. This must be impressed on young people with special vigilance. The recipients of Favre's alleged inappropriate photos and overtures are adults. Yes it seems disgusting, but these are adults dealing in one-to-one fashion.
Much of the law, civil and criminal, that addresses such things was created in an earlier time. I use the word "analog" loosely. Back then you really had to cross a line with your behavior to get in trouble. It took appreciable effort and forethought. You used to have to buy film, gain some skills with a camera and then take the film to a drugstore for processing. You might have to wait a week!
If Favre's alleged misbehavior had been with an old Kodak Instamatic camera, everyone would have thought he was just nuts. Somehow the perception isn't the same today. Today we assume that the basic nature of the new communications tears down privacy. We adjust to this new frontier.
The best policy today is to probably just ignore unwanted communications, not call authorities. Or just make a polite request.
With Favre, his riches make him a target for civil actions. I'm sure agents warn pro athletes about this like crazy. But sometimes the hormones just get too powerful. Favre will have a headache for an extended time over this, more so than getting thrown to the frozen turf of TCF Bank Stadium for that re-located game.
Great, so a whole national TV audience has an image of TCF Bank Field imbued with talk of arctic-like conditions - just what the U of M football program needs for recruiting those southern athletes, right?
Jerry Kill is the new Gophers football coach? He's just another victim. Tim Brewster is in talks to return to the NFL. He'd be an obscure assistant but he'd be quite comfortably perched in his profession.
Kill is just another one of those coaches with drive and exuberance who rises through the ranks until finally he reaches a level where he can't overwhelm opponents anymore. These guys get the "genius" label in their ascent until we suddenly realize they're mortal.
We saw this in Morris, at UMM, with Al Molde and maybe even Mike Simpson and Jim Lind. Oh, they were good at this level and the institution gave them the resources they needed at that time. Molde ascended to the Mid-American Conference where he made a small splash (with Western Michigan, the Broncos) before turning mortal.
Simpson looked mortal at St. Cloud State. Lind blended into the NFL in a role like Brewster, taking advantage of political connections (all right, his old friendship with Mike Holmgren).
These guys were all capable and they were gentlemen. But the "genius" tag was probably hyperbole.
I predict Jerry Kill will languish and ultimately end up with a treadmill type of job in football. Nothing wrong with that.
The boomer generation has never had anything to feel excited about with Gopher football, and that's not likely to change.
This weekend will see Rex Ryan, he of the celebrated "foot fetish," in the limelight for NFL playoff football. Could you imagine a story like the "foot fetish" getting anywhere in the old days of media? It only came out at all because of the ease of the new communications. There was probably an "illusion of anonymity."
Stuff gets sent and forwarded around with so much ease it's ridiculous, and then there's a broad television universe ready to exploit it.
The old media universe had a gentleman's agreement not to touch JFK's dalliances. Is there anything more quaint than that? Can you just imagine Joy Behar delving into that topic?
Wes Welker of the New England Patriots was actually benched because of talking about that foot fetish thing. So the new media universe is really a minefield. Missteps can hurt lives. And it's all so impulsive. You can act as fast as you think, sometimes seemingly faster.
Young people understand this best, of course. And I don't think they're eager to send the legal attack dogs at people who just do stupid things. They would just tell us to apply a filter.
They would tell us to just use personal responsibility.
And with time they'll be old enough to set the tone with all of this.
And who exactly was Regis Philbin anyway? And who is this Piers Morgan fellow? Last night he was interviewing Howard Stern. Nothing much to be learned from that.
-Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Monday, January 17, 2011

Time rolls on and so do high school reunions

I remember as a kid calculating how old I'd be in the year 2000. "The year 2000" had such an exotic and distant ring to it. We wondered if we'd be getting around in flying cars like on "The Jetsons."
Of course, the real technological innovations are impossible to predict. "Back to the Future" envisioned a future that wasn't that big a departure from that movie series' home base of 1985. Perhaps the movie makers could do a tweaking job and insert a computer screen with "Facebook" on it.
Trying to predict broad changes is risky because you could be completely off the mark. You'd get laughed at years hence.
I calculated that I'd be age 45 in 2000. As a kid that future date struck me as so remote. Would civilization even make it?
As an adolescent I took the Viet Nam War and inflation in the economy as constants. Surely these would persist as a ball and chain on all of us.
If they were so disastrous, why couldn't our leaders do something about it?
Economics is a science. There is a way to stop inflation. We heard about "inflation psychology" and were subjected to the Gerald Ford WIN buttons ("whip inflation now"). People don't raise prices because of a particular psychology. It's a wholly practical matter. Eventually Paul Volcker took over at the Fed and made us take the bitter medicine.
Inflation is so minimal now as to not cause anyone any real worry, although that could change. But the inflation monster of the 1970s, that spectre that I thought might be permanent, is gone.
We have a profoundly troubling foreign military adventure now, in Afghanistan, but it's not like Viet Nam. Young men are not being conscripted. The spectre of the draft is not altering young men's lives.
Viet Nam was a hell hole that had many saying we were doing more harm than good. Afghanistan seems like a treadmill where you question whether the positives are worth the sacrifice.
Long-term we might be asking that about Iraq too.
I made it to the year 2000 and found age 45 to be hardly on the verge of wilting.
Now we have gotten past the first decade of the new century. With the calendar turning to 2011, I realize we're but a year away from the first informal planning meetings for our next class reunion. We have been having reunions at ten-year intervals.
The Morris High School Class of 1973 will be marking 40 years in 2013. I suppose the Old No. 1 has already been booked by some other class for the weekend we want. Let's assume that weekend is Prairie Pioneer Days. The Old No. 1 is the undisputed "in" place for having such gatherings.
I called the Old No. 1 in advance for our 30-year reunion and found we had gotten beaten out by those youngsters in the '83 class. Personally I didn't care that much. We ended up at the Morris American Legion clubrooms - wholly satisfactory. But I know of one person in our class, whose name I won't report here, who was so upset about missing out on the Old No. 1 that she didn't even attend.
I'm not sure the Old No. 1 deserves such special status in Morris. Isn't it really a patchwork of rooms? I can't help but think of the old VFW when I go there. I once interviewed James Oberstar in the basement.
Our 30-year reunion was a little tough. The enthusiasm and attendance dropped off from the 20-year. And I don't think it had anything to do with where it was held.
I suspect that our experience might have been typical.
30 years is a long time to have been out of school. The memories have gotten buried under the obligations of the present. We're not old enough to be retired. Current trends to seem to be pushing people our of their primary occupations earlier than before, though.
At age 48 we're probably still locked into a career that seemed exciting and fulfilling once, but as the finish line nears, it seems more like an ordeal to survive. Younger people with more up-to-date knowledge and with the energy of being young are nipping at our heels. High school might as well have been in the Dark Ages.
We attend our 30-year reunion (those of us who choose to come) with more grim faces.
Will we be relieved of a lot of those pressures when we reach our 40-year? It remains to be seen.
Father Gerald Dalseth once observed that as we get older, we're more direct in admitting our failures when we gather for reunions. Father Dalseth discussed the whole progression. He talked about how any occupation sounded impressive for the ten-year reunion.
The ten-year reunion, assuming it's the first, is exhilarating because all the old shackles are gone. The restraints imposed by school are gone.
The ten-year is not always the first. I know the Morris High School Class of 1971 had a full-fledged five-year affair, and I smile as I recall that two members of that class rushed to get married so they could be married for it. The marriage didn't last long. Hoo boy, I wouldn't type their names here.
The '71 class has had an especially tight bond. They have had informal gatherings in "off" years.
My class has been very tight with the once-every-ten-years approach.
My class graduated at the height of the rebelliousness of America's youth. We chose the motto "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead," a quote from the Civil War - ironic because we were supposed to be against war.
I'm not sure we intended any grand statement by this choice. Perhaps it was more of a spirit of fooling around.
The kids of today might not believe it, but we cut corners in lots of ways. We sought escape from school, and our elders didn't seem much to care. It was a cynical time under those clouds of war and the teetering economy.
Nobody talked about mutual funds then. You put money in the bank if you had any to put there. Banks had multiple active "tellers" and there would be lines at those windows. No electronic shortcuts or ATM machines.
How did we get by? But we did, serenaded by the music of Paul McCartney and Wings and Elton John. And in 2013, God willing, we'll gather somewhere and see how everything turned out.
Us boomers have always felt we held a special position, and in terms of our numbers we certainly have been overwhelming. We have set the agenda for national discussions so much. We have felt entitled.
Our elders never much got in our way. The younger population has mastered tech tools that we maybe haven't quite kept pace with. We appreciate those tools but we see a bigger picture, one nurtured by a childhood in which such tech stuff was confined to the Jetsons.
And "Mr. Spacely" (George Jetson's boss) made the phrase "you're fired" famous long before Donald Trump.
-Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Prep sports goes full bore in mid-January!

Boys basketball: Tigers 65, YME 37
Morris Chokio Alberta pushed its win total to nine Friday, winning by a hefty margin over Yellow Medicine East. Coach Mark Torgerson's Tigers took control with a 38-21 lead at halftime. They applied finishing touches to win in the 65-37 final, here.
Opponents are stymied trying to determine who to focus on, in the Tiger offense. There are many spokes in the Tigers' offensive wheel. Friday saw Cole Riley pace another balanced offensive attack. Cole put in 16 points and he was one of ten Tigers scoring. Wow!
M-CA came out of the night with a 9-2 season record and 5-1 W/L numbers in conference. This was win No. 7 in a row for the surging orange and black crew.
Riley had eight rebounds to complement his 16 points.
The Tigers were four of 13 in three-point shooting with four different players scoring this way: Eric Riley, Dan Tiernan, Alex Erickson and Brody Bahr.
Cole Riley and Riley Arndt were the rebound leaders with eight and six respectively. Erickson deftly picked up four assists.
In total field goals the Tigers made 22 of 54 shots. They had an outstanding night at the freethrow line where the stats were 17-for-23.
Let's roll up our sleeves and list the point scorers: Mac Kampmeier (8), Riley Arndt (10), Cole Riley (16), Eric Riley (6), Sam Mattson (2), Dan Tiernan (3), Tyler Roske (6), Alex Erickson (5), Cody Cannon (4) and Brody Bahr (5).
Taylor Olson led the Sting with 13 points.
Viva Morris Chokio Alberta boys basketball for 2011! Fans at the spacious Morris Area gym are cheering with zest.

Girls basketball: YME 60, Tigers 41
The M-CA girls were humbled on the boards in being dealt defeat Thursday by YME. The Tigers ended a disappointing week (an earlier loss to Paynesville) by falling to the Sting at the Granite Falls gym.
The Tigers are hardly alone in being humbled by the Sting. Yellow Medicine East came out of Thursday with a 10-0 season record and 8-0 in conference. Coach Dale Henrich's Tigers ended the week at 4-5 overall and 2-4 in league.
The final score Thursday was 60-41.
How awesome were (was?) the Sting on the boards? The team rebound numbers were 48 for the host Sting and 25 for the Tigers.
Angie Scheffler was a force for the Sting as they pulled away. Angie accounted for 17 of the YME rebounds and she scored a team-best 21 points.
Kelsey Loew made two three-pointers for the Tigers and Hannah Sayles sank one.
Erica Domnick led M-CA in rebounds with nine while Erin Schieler collected five. Beth Holland dished out four assists, and Katie Holzheimer stole the ball twice.
Domnick topped the scoring list with her nine points. Continuing with the scoring list we have: Erin Schieler (7), Holzheimer (7), Loew (6), Sayles (5), Holland (4), Shadow Olson (2) and Natalie Johnston (1).

Girls hockey: Storm 4, Northern Lakes 3
The margin of victory came with a goal by Sara Rajewsky with about four minutes left, when the MBA Storm girls defeated Northern Lakes Tuesday. Dani Schultz assisted. Schultz had scored the three previous goals in this 4-3 Storm victory.
The home triumph continued an impressive skein of Storm success on the ice. The squad entered mid-week owner of an eight-game win streak. In overall record these skaters could boast 12-2 numbers.
In the first period it looked as through MBA might cruise to success. MBA built a 3-0 advantage. Schultz scored at :31 with an assist from Rajewsky to put MBA on its way. Schultz made the score 2-0 with an unassisted goal at 1:33. Schultz then put MBA up 3-0 with a goal at 16:26, assisted by Sam Falk and Monica Lindblad.
Instead of putting away the foe in period #2, the Storm spun their wheels for a while, failing to score and allowing a goal by Northern Lakes' Mandy Carlson (Kaylyn Eggena assist).
The wheel-spinning continued into the third period. Erika Monson of NL scored at 1:57 of the third (Alex Palm assist), and Eggena sent the puck into the net at 6:12 unassisted.
The score had suddenly become tied!
But Rajewsky seized back enough momentum to end the night on a winning note for Morris Benson hockey. Rajewsky and Schultz showed the type of chemistry (goal/assist) that has built much MBA success.
Brooke Falk was the Storm's goaltender and she had 24 saves. NL goalie Kat Jensen picked up 37 saves.

Boys hockey: two wins, a loss in recent skating
The Morris Benson boys hockey Storm defeated Prairie Centre 4-2 on the road Thursday. Read Gary Hansen's thorough summary of this winning night by clicking on the link below:
http://www.mbastorm.com/news_article/show/74983?referrer_id=217802-morris-benson-area-storm-hockey-news

The MBA boys fell to the Northern Lakes Lightning by a score of 5-2 in January 11 home skating, at our Lee Community Center. Again, please click below to read Gary's summary:
http://www.mbastorm.com/news_article/show/74717?referrer_id=217802-morris-benson-area-storm-hockey-news

And on January 8 the outcome was an 8-3 win over the Worthington Trojans at the Lee Community Center. Click below to read Gary's summary from the MBA website:
http://www.mbastorm.com/news_article/show/74453?referrer_id=217802-morris-benson-area-storm-hockey-news

Boys basketball: Tigers 77, Paynesville 43
The M-CA boys are showing chemistry with balanced scoring as the win total gets hiked. It got hiked to eight on Tuesday (against two losses) as the Tigers blew past Paynesville 77-43.
Four Tigers scored in double figures led by Cole Riley whose precise shooting eye led to 24 points scored. Mac Kampmeier and Alex Erickson each put in 12, and Riley Arndt joined the barrage with ten.
Erickson made both of the Tigers' successful three-pointers.
Tyler Roske and Eric Riley contributed to the mix, each with six points, and the following Tigers also scored: Dan Tiernan (4), Brody Bahr (2) and Sam Mattson (1).
The Tigers clearly seized this game by halftime, at which point the score was 34-19. The Tigers made 13 of 20 freethrow attempts. They entered midweek still with just one conference loss.
Tanner Wendroth led Paynesville in scoring with 13 points.

Girls basketball: Paynesville 59, Tigers 55
Paynesville found the range in three-point shooting, a department where you can make up ground in a hurry, and those Bulldogs came from behind to defeat the M-CA girls Tuesday. M-CA was in quite good shape halfway through this home game, leading 27-18, so coach Henrich must have been upbeat along with his players.
Then came the second half when the Bulldogs started to let fly from long range. They made seven of nine attempts from beyond the three-point stripe in that half.
The M-CA lead eroded and was eventually gone.
Erika Schlangen was a key Bulldog displaying that sharp shooting eye.
The Tigers ended up on the short end by four points, 59-55, and slid back to .500 in season won-lost (4-4).
Paynesville finished the night with 50 percent success in three-point shooting (nine-for-18). The Tigers made three of nine in that department and were 16 of 47 in total field goal shooting. In freethrows the Tigers were quite sharp with 20 of 29 numbers.
Hannah Sayles was at the fore of M-CA scoring with her 16 points. She was joined in double figures scoring by Erica Domnick with 12.
Let's continue with the scoring list: Beth Holland (9), Sarah Kuhn (8), Erin Schieler (4), Shadow Olson (3), Katie Holzheimer (3) and Kelsey Loew (2).
Sayles made two of the Tigers' three-pointers. Holzheimer made the other.
Kuhn topped the rebound list with eight while Domnick collected seven. Olson contributed three assists, while Schieler had four steals and three blocked shots to lead in those departments.
Morris Chokio Alberta basketball is helping make this arduous winter, weather-wise, a little more palatable with a determined and entertaining brand of play, even when victory might be elusive.
To repeat a suggestion, it would be neat to see the boys and girls basketball programs join hands for an attractive and informative website, just like what the MBA Storm has. Coaches needn't bear a disproportionate burden of the work. A variety of individuals could be involved.
I mean, if I can do it. . .
-Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Thursday, January 13, 2011

On being Minnesotan during trials of winter

We face winter each year like it's an adversary we can always outlast. It's grim, perhaps never more so than now in mid-January of 2011. We know that Minnesota instills a certain kind of resilience.
I have even heard "Minnesota nice" attributed to the trials of winter. It's essential to be nice to people in the warmer months because you might need them in winter. We carry this trait with us even when we visit Las Vegas.
I didn't care for the violent storyline in the movie "Fargo" but if you put aside that, it presented our winter and our people with accuracy. I'm not sure any other movie has ever shown anyone vigorously scraping the windshield of his car.
I recently wrote that this scene could have also shown the Macy character kicking off "car clumps" (those ugly clumps of snow and dirt, sometimes hard but sometimes not, that collect just behind your tires).
I now have another suggested scene: the "non-stop" when entering a highway. Good examples are right here in Morris: 1) by the Pizza Hut Restaurant, 2) just down the hill from Heartland Motors, and 3) coming out of the old Coborn's parking lot (to the north).
In these locations and most likely others, there is an incline as you approach the highway. You had better get a good running start if you want to make it. The tires can start spinning hopelessly otherwise.
The look on the face of someone at the wheel with tires spinning perhaps epitomizes the feeling of adversity we have in winter.
Would it help if the City of Morris went out of its way applying more gravel in these places? I'm quite sure local law enforcement doesn't approve of stop signs being ignored.
Will the day arrive in Minnesota when we're all required by law to own a four-wheel drive, heavy duty vehicle? I'd rather see the appropriate agencies be a little more vigilant working to make all roadways easily passable.
But in the current political environment, local government whines about not having the financial resources it purportedly needs. Local government needs to emphasize the essentials. Let's get a little more gravel out there, guys.
I miss the days when Morris had a school in the heart of the community, immediately surrounded by residential neighborhoods, because I think it was comforting for dealing with winter. There was more of a feeling of "we're all in this together."
Isn't this the feeling, really, that gets us through winter in most hardy fashion?
The old school is still there. It might as well be the Titanic at the bottom of the ocean. Except that we have to look at it all the time. Not only is it depressing because of its blighted, crumbling condition, it's depressing because we can think back to when it was brimming with the activities of young people.
For crying out loud, what will it take to get this building (or collection of buildings a la erector set) torn down?
Wasn't there a re-use committee? Were those people wearing clown suits or what? I suppose they were gifted at bureaucratic rhetoric. Maybe they could get a plaque for that.
And what of that "green neighborhood" that was supposed to sprout on the old school property? I think that proposal actually has a plaque (award). Probably accepted by someone wearing a suit and tie, and trumpeted with a press release, enthusiastically parroted by the local corporate media.
I can only evaluate that property based on how it looks now, and it looks like a disaster - the Titanic above water. And it's a stone's throw from our U of M-Morris campus.
UMM continues in its mid-winter break as I write this. In fact, UMM went through a period of total shut-down as a cost-savings measure (all offices closed etc.).
I recently said to one of my UMM acquaintances in regard to that: "Be careful what you wish for."
In other words, don't get too enthusiastic about this logic that we can save money by just closing. It can become a slippery slope.
The economic travails of state government across the U.S. might lead to draconian measures.
I know one thing: if I ever again see flocks of picketing employees around the edges of the UMM campus, I won't smile and wave to them. I'd say "get off your butts, or at least don't bother me."
The last time this spectacle happened, I suspected that most of the people who smiled, waved or gave a thumbs-up actually had private feelings that were totally the opposite: "Get back to work, you knaves, like everybody else."
University officials will step up to a microphone and say they have nothing against unions, that organizing and collective bargaining are part of the American experience, but at night they lie awake gnashing their teeth with irritation over having to deal with this.
I have been stranded twice in my life due to blizzards getting too intense. I had to check into the motel in Starbuck when trying to get back from the printing plant in Lowry (Quinco Press). Actually it was totally foolhardy to even go to Quinco in the first place. Back then I was so committed to my work. A lot of good that did me. The newspaper eventually became acquired by a conglomerate run by pencil-pushers and the rest is history.
If you still wish to buy that paper, congratulations on having so much disposable income. Because you're sure disposing of it.
The blizzard that landed me in Starbuck was not only intense, it was very cold. I put on goggles for walking to the Water's Edge to get something to eat. I remember having outerwear with me that might have been suitable for climbing Mount Everest. It was needed.
A feeling of camaraderie really builds among people who gather at a place like the Water's Edge during an intense storm. We celebrate coping. We befriend strangers much more easily than usual.
"We're in this together."
The other time I got stranded in a blizzard, it was in Westport. A family took me into their home. I was in college at the time (St. Cloud State) and driving my '67 Oldsmobile Toronado, a car that I sure wish I still had. That maroon-colored gem (with white top) could be displayed in parades. ("Owner: Brian Williams.")
Most of us here in Morris breeze past Westport all our lives, en route to Sauk Centre, without knowing what's there. I can claim that I do.
It was a nice family that offered bottles of beer to help the time pass. They had relatives visiting too. This was the time of the generation gap, so when the Smothers Brothers were introduced as guests on the Tonight Show, a man angrily got up to switch channels. The Smothers Brothers were a cultural lightning rod.
It was a pleasant experience for me but I should have stayed home.
The first people out on the highway after the all-clear is given have the same sense of camaraderie as those people at the Water's Edge. As we drive along in somewhat tentative fashion, snow and ice crunching under the tires, we wave with more enthusiasm than we otherwise might.
It's more than the "Minnesota finger wave," described with such precision by Howard Mohr. Oh, no, this isn't an obscene gesture, rather it's the obligatory type of wave us reserved Minnesotans often show as we drive, lifting a finger from our grip on the steering wheel to acknowledge someone coming from the other direction.
Apparently this is a regional trait.
You can read more in Mohr's "How to Speak Minnesotan."
In reflecting more on Minnesota winter imagery, I'm reminded of an old Dick Guindon cartoon. Us boomers will well-remember artist Guindon whose quirky humor appeared in the Minneapolis newspaper. He used charcoal. He once portrayed a group of bundled-up Minnesota schoolkids out walking to school together. They were all walking backwards. Haven't we all done this? The stinging cold can be hard on the face so if we're walking into the wind, we adjust. Us Minnesotans always adjust.
We know spring will come, the days will get longer, "snirt" will surround us (snow/dirt mixture) and we'll hear the annual horror stores about what might happen in Fargo with flooding.
Eventually we'll resume normal life post-winter as if nothing had happened. It can make one proud to be a Minnesotan. Or make one want to live in Missouri. As I get older, the latter option looks more attractive.
Happy MLK Day.
-Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tigers win on wrestling mat over 'Waska

The MAHACA wrestlers treated their home gym fans to a 41-24 win over Minnewaska Area on Thursday, Jan. 6.
Does anyone find any redeeming value in that string of initials? I'd welcome an alternative but apparently this is the official name. The alternative I'd welcome is "Morris Area."
At 103 pounds it was Travis Ostby of the Tigers pinning Weston Lardy in a time of 3:05. Jacob Braaten of the Lakers won at 112 pounds, by fall over Evan Nelson in 2:53.
Gary Steffenson of the Lakers won by a 2-0 decision over Dillan Johnson at 119 pounds. Myles Smith of the Tigers was the forfeit winner at 125.
130 pounds: Seth Nelson of the Tigers won by fall over Mitchel Manthei in 3:28.
Tony Domnick prevailed for MAHACA at 135 pounds, by a 6-4 overtime decision over Ryan Stottler. Jerid Berning, the Tiger wrestling at 140 pounds, decisioned Brock Wollschlager 8-5.
145 pounds: Patrick Weaver of the Lakers pinned Jordan Thooft in 3:13. Tim Ostby was the forfeit winner for MAHACA at 152 pounds.
160 pounds: Connor Metzger of the Tigers was the technical fall winner over Zach Steffenson - score of 20-5.
171 pounds: Taylor Lundebrek of the Lakers pinned Wade Ehlers in 1:35.
189 pounds: Tyrel Swensrud of 'Waska decisioned Ryan Beyer 6-4.
215 pounds: Joel Harrison of MAHACA won by a 4-2 decision over Micah Klemme. Zach Gibson at 285 pounds decisioned Danny Holtkamp 4-0.

On the pro football beat:
"Wild Card Weekend" has always befuddled me because these are not all wild card teams. "Wild card" suggests teams that are in the playoffs despite not finishing atop their division in the regular season.
I was offended (well, not personally) one year as the sports media built up the hype for Wild Card Weekend and the Vikings were in it. Why the offense? The Vikings won their division. Certainly some of the luster seems taken off that, when you're forced into the same slate as the true wild cards.
One of the most underrated factors in the post-season is the value of getting a bye through the opening playoff round. I'm not sure why some division winners get this and others don't.
Oh, there is a formula. The top two seeds get that bye based on won-lost.
But there are three divisions in each conference. A division winner is forced into the fray for Wild Card Weekend. It's mathematics.
This past weekend we saw the often-woeful Seattle Seahawks host a playoff game because they had won their woeful division. No one could feel sorry for Seattle having to play on Wild Card Weekend.
But most often the division winner that is forced to play on Wild Card Weekend is quite respectable.
I understand that only two teams can get that bye. But it's too bad we have to settle on "Wild Card Weekend" as the term for the opening playoff weekend. Technically it's not precise.
I have long asserted that the first two playoff weekends represent the height of interest in the NFL each year. The games mean a lot so presumably the teams are performing with top intensity.
Don't we all have some doubts about New Orleans, though? That back-breaking long run by that Seahawk had umpteen missed tackles, arm tackles and the like.
Is there some reason why New Orleans seemed to have less than a full tank? They won the Super Bowl last year. Did they not want to go through that whole climb again?
I certainly hope that NFL players are properly incentivized to do well in the post-season.
The Seattle Seahawks are a charming underdog. But serious NFL fans are probably asking questions about how the superior New Orleans team went limp. Surely the Seattle crowd couldn't have intimidated them.
Some of these concerns will be eased if Seattle can continue on a roll. They next play Chicago, a team that is always hard to figure. Maybe Seattle is just jelling in the late stages and has some sort of destiny push behind them. I wouldn't dare try to predict the outcome of that game.
The upcoming playoff weekend, like last weekend, has four games on tap - two each on Saturday and Sunday. It's a lot of football and it generates a lot of stories and analysis.
I consider this to be the peak of the NFL season because henceforth, the pace diminishes markedly. Conference championship weekend has just two games. Then we get that pregnant two-week break which tests our attention span for the NFL product.
When I was a kid there was the phenomenon called "Super Bowl hype." It still exists but it doesn't stand out as much. Our entertainment universe is so much wider now. We can ignore it.
When I was young there were Super Bowl games that seemed very anticlimactic. After all the buildup, we'd get a game with little suspense. The Vikings were involved in some of those.
The Oakland Raiders with Kenny Staebler crushed us.
The Super Bowls of recent years have been more entertaining. I certainly hope there's no conspiracy to ensure this. But there is such a tremendous amount of money invested, it's a legitimate concern to have.
Whenever money gets poured into something, by dump trucks full, the people spending it usually want to make sure they get maximum value. It's just a basic principle.
New Vikings coach Leslie Frazier says he wants to build up the running game. I assume that's a feint. That's not the way you win in the NFL today.
The concept of the marquee runningback like Walter Payton has faded. Today you want a stable of reliable if unspectacular runningbacks. You want them to be reasonably solid ballcarriers while not hurting you, i.e. by not fumbling. You need a stable because the NFL game today is so punishing.
Adrian Peterson is considered a marquee runningback. But has he had enough highlight-reel carries to make up for his fumbles? I would say no. If Frazier thinks he can hitch his wagon to Peterson and win, forget it.
The NFL game today is built around the quarterback. Tarvaris Jackson probably can't handle the starting role consistently enough, although at his best he's impressive. Joe Webb is a project. Frazier says he will not call amateur photographer Brett Favre.
We'll probably see a complete newcomer at quarterback for next fall. Would Sage Rosenfels have been such a bad bet? I wonder if we could get him back.
Rookies are always a long shot.
All in all, the Vikes face the very real prospect of being a bottom-tier team next year and perhaps beyond that. We won't know what hit us. Detroit Lions fans have been through this for years
The Vikings and Gophers could both become total yawners. Maybe that new Vikings Stadium isn't such a priority after all.
Let's adjust our priorities, perhaps?
-Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Tigers and Storm delighted fans Thursday

Boys basketball: Tigers 79, ACGC 50
Weather cooperated fine for prep sports on Thursday, before it dealt another roundhouse punch Friday. The M-CA boys excelled with their play on Thursday, building a 20-point lead by halftime to end any suspense in their game against ACGC.
The Tigers improved to 7-2 on the season with this resounding success. The final horn sounded with coach Mark Torgerson's boys savoring victory by nearly 30 points. It was sort of a roundhouse punch on the basketball court.
The Tigers owned 79 points on the scoreboard while the Falcons had 50.
This was a WCC-South Conference game.
The Tigers with one conference loss entered the weekend trailing two unbeatens: Montevideo and Minnewaska. The two leaders are 4-0 while M-CA is 3-1. ACGC is toward the bottom of the standings. Those initials stand for Atwater Cosmos Grove City.
The Morris Chokio Alberta boys used three-point shooting to make a decisive statement in the first half . They sank six of those long-rangers in that half. Six would end up being their game total (of 17 attempts).
In total field goals the squad was just shy of 50 per cent, making 31 of 63 tries. The freethrow numbers were eleven-for-16.
Dan Tiernan made two three-point shots and he was joined in this attack by the following mates with one each: Alex Erickson, Tyler Roske, Cole Riley and Eric Riley.
Cole cleaned up on the boards for eight rebounds and he was followed in this category by Mac Kampmeier with seven and Riley Arndt with five. Roske set the pace in assists with six, and Eric Riley had four..
We've saved the scoring list for last in today's "I Love Morris" post. Four Tigers made especially ample scoring contributions. Roske and Tiernan each poured in 14 points. Cole Riley and Mac Kampmeier each put in 13.
Other scoring contributors were: Eric Riley (9), Alex Erickson (7), Riley Arndt (4), Forrest Thielke (3) and Cody Cannon (2).
Trever Heining scored 17 for the Falcons and he was followed by Mitchell Tauer with 12.
Here's a reminder to check the M-CA boys basketball schedule page on Pheasant Country Sports. Click below:

http://www.pheasantcountrysports.com/teamschedule.php?yid=1011&tid=1158&sid=1230274

PCS refers to the program as "Morris Area Chokio Alberta" while the newspaper in Willmar has opted for "Morris Chokio Alberta."
At some point it would be nice to get some clarity on this. While the word "Area" seems redundant in the longer version, it really doesn't seem logical for the C-A communities to be represented by six syllables while Morris has two. Morris essentially runs the whole show, or at least that's my understanding.
Another option is to simply say "Tiger basketball" but I'm not sure that's the route we want. I saw a wrestling schedule posted at Willie's Super Valu headed by "Tiger wrestling" - a tempting way to go because otherwise you're dealing with a conglomeration of town names.
Who needs that alphabet soup?
What about Cyrus and Donnelly? Are those town names represented in any school program names? For years, Donnelly was typically tacked on with the Morris school name but I eventually learned there was apparently nothing legal about that; it was a gentleman's agreement.
We live in an age now where everything has to be legal. No gentlemen anymore, I guess.
To date, I have recommended the Morris school district encourage the "Morris Area" reference as being fully sufficient. Would it really be that difficult a pill to swallow? It might be for a short time, for some.
But life rolls on. - BW

Girls hockey: Storm 7, Litchfield 0
There were lots of memories to be made on the Litchfield ice Thursday for the Morris Benson girls hockey Storm. Sara Rajewsky came out of the night with 200 career points, as she and her Storm mates prevailed 7-0.
Brooke Falk was stalwart in goal as MBA upped its season record to 10-2. Falk's save total: 22. Her goalie opponent was Danielle Elam who had 31.
Dani Schultz was all over the ice with her offensive prowess. Dani scored four goals in this non-conference game.
A Rajewsky assist, when this Storm standout was working in concert with Schultz, put her at the 200-point plateau. A Schultz goal completed that historic series of events, and the Storm owned a 3-0 lead.
The first period was actually scoreless.
The Storm, who needed some time getting their plan of attack established, showed that plan in period No. 2. Schultz scored unassisted at :39. Sam Falk scored with an assist from Schultz at 9:58.
Schultz sent the puck into the net assisted by Sara Rajewsky and Sam Falk at 13:20.
The Storm owned the third period too. Schultz scored at 4:08 of the third, assisted by Sam Falk. Schultz scored an unassisted shorthanded goal at 5:36. Then it was Rajewsky getting the puck into the net assisted by Falk at 5:46.
Morgan DeHaan scored the seventh and final goal for the surging Storm, unassisted at 7:58.
Congrats to Sara Rajewsky on the coveted statistical milestone, and viva Morris Benson Storm hockey for 2011!
Here's a reminder to check the Storm's new-look website:

www.mbastorm.com/

-Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Friday, January 7, 2011

Student athletes leap into 2011, win

Boys basketball: Tigers 62, BOLD 49
The scoring burden was spread among the Tigers as the squad debuted for 2011 with a winning style.
Tuesday, Jan. 4, saw the post-holidays phase get ushered in. Playing at the home gym, coach Mark Torgerson's Morris Chokio Alberta squad downed BOLD 62-49. It was their sixth triumph of the season.
Fans will remember that BOLD was a nemesis for M-CA in football.
The basketball success on Tuesday had many Tigers scoring key points. Tyler Roske with his 12 points and Alex Erickson with eleven led the effort.
Eric Riley and Mac Kampmeier each put in eight points. Cody Cannon scored seven followed by Dan Tiernan and Cole Riley each with six, and Riley Ahrndt put in four.
Tiernan succeeded twice from beyond the three-point stripe. Erickson had the other three-pointer, a department in which the team numbers were a lukewarm three-for-15. In total field goals, the Tigers made 23 of 53 attempts. The freethrow stats were 13-for-21.
BOLD basically stayed with the Tigers through the first half and trailed by just four points at the break (23-19).
The determined M-CA defense may have had a wear-down effect on the Warriors. M-CA put some distance on the scoreboard in the second half, outscoring their conference opponent 39-30.
(I use the M-CA initials because I see that some of the area media are dropping the "Area" part of the title.)
Effective as the Tiger defense was, it couldn't carve out an upper hand in rebounds. Here the BOLD stat was 33 compared to the Tigers' 26. The Tiger defense resulted in BOLD shooting below 40 percent in field goals.
The M-CA boys satisfied their home fans with a shooting eye that could continue to spell wins.
BOLD's Kyle Athmann, one of those familiar names from football, led his team in scoring Tuesday with 16 points. BOLD came out of Tuesday with a 3-4 season record.

Girls basketball: Tigers 59, WHN 54
The girls hoops story was upbeat Tuesday as the Tigers climbed over .500 by beating Wheaton-Herman-Norcross.
The Morris Chokio Alberta girls plunged into the post-holidays phase with this triumph by a margin of five points. Erin Schieler was at the fore with her scoring prowess. Erin poured in 22 points as coach Dale Henrich's squad prevailed 59-54.
Henrich coaxed his squad to a particularly impressive second half. The Tigers were down by three points at halftime but made adjustments to outscore the Warriors 40-32 in the second half.
Three-point shooting was an ingredient in the M-CA success. Katie Holzheimer made three three-pointers as part of finishing the night with 14 points. Sarah Kuhn made the other Tiger three-pointer, a department where the team numbers were four-for-13.
In total field goals the numbers were 20-for-58.
Erica Domnick joined Schieler and Holzheimer in double figures scoring, putting in ten. Right behind was Beth Holland with her nine points.
Kuhn's three-pointer gave her three, and Holly Amundson scored one.
Three Tigers each attacked the boards for six rebounds: Holland, Kuhn and Domnick. Two Tigers each picked up four assists: Holzheimer and Holland. And, two Tigers set the pace in steals, each with three: Holzheimer and Holland.
Tracy Boehmlehner was WHN's top scorer with 16 points.
Viva Morris Chokio Alberta boys and girls basketball for 2011! Keep checking your calendar on the refrigerator. Or better yet, visit the Pheasant Country Sports website for schedule details.

Boys hockey: Storm 9, Redwood Valley 1
The Storm streaked onto the ice in most impressive fashion for the new year, downing the Redwood Valley Cardinals 9-1 on the Benson ice Tuesday.
Read Gary Hansen's thorough review of this action by clicking on the link below, which is to a page on the new-look MBA Storm website:

http://www.mbastorm.com/news_article/show/74102?referrer_id=217802-morris-benson-area-storm-hockey-news

Girls hockey: Storm 5, Park Rapids 1
The big Tuesday slate of sports had the MBA hockey girls downing Park Rapids 5-1. The Storm basically picked up from where they left off from 2010, as winning has been their habit. Their record coming out of Tuesday was 8-2.
Dani Schultz put the Storm on their way with a goal at 6:45 of the first period. Sara Rajewsky and Kelly Mahoney assisted. Schultz and Rajewsky worked together for the Storm's second goal as well. Schultz assisted and Rajewsky put the puck in the net.
The lead became 3-0 when Schultz scored with assists from Rajewsky and Sam Falk.
The score became 4-0 in the second period when Schultz and Rajewsky showed their chemistry again. Rajewsky assisted and Schultz scored (at :29).
Sam Falk wrapped up the Storm scoring for the night with her goal at 13:05 of the third, assisted by the Schultz and Rajewsky combo.
Park Rapids scored its only goal in the third period.
Brooke Falk worked in goal on this winning night and stopped 33 of the 34 shots flung at her. Bailey Moore was the Park Rapids goaltender.
Viva Morris Benson hockey for 2011! Stay abreast of these teams by visiting the new-look MBA Storm website. Would it be possible for Tiger basketball to establish its own site like this? Or other sports too? Why not?
-Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com