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

A house reminding of U.S. Civil War - morris mn

A house reminding of U.S. Civil War - morris mn
Click on the image to read about the historic Stanton house of west Morris.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Girls crush 'Waska, boys bow, wrestlers shine

Girls hoops: Tigers 42, 'Waska 25
The road was an agreeable place for the Morris Area Chokio Alberta girls on Thursday (2/23). The MACA hoopsters took command against a struggling Lakers team of Minnewaska Area.
The Tigers gained their eighth win of the season, 42-25. The Lakers have won but twice.
Coach Dale Henrich's squad applied a balanced attack. Still there was a standout: MaKenzie Smith with her 13 points, nine steals and nine rebounds. Yes, she nearly eked out a triple-double.
Is the win a sign of better things to come for the orange and black cause? The Tigers had been slumping. All that can be forgotten quickly, naturally, with a spurt in the post-season.
The Tigers ended the regular season with back-to-back wins.
The Thursday success was despite putting up bricks from three-point range. The Tigers made none of their seven 3-point tries and they were 15 of 50 in total field goals. In freethrows they made 12 of 22.
Smith with her 13 points was one of eight Tigers who scored. She was joined by: Courtney Gades 9, Katie Holzheimer 8, Beth Holland 6, Nicole Strobel 2, Miranda Day 2, Cassey Hickman 1 and Tracey Meichsner 1.
Paige Anderson held up 'Waska's scoring with eight points but the lowlights have exceeded the highlights in Minnewaska's season, to be sure. The Lakers have a loss skein of 18. They made just eight of 36 field goal tries Thursday.
The Tigers led at halftime 17-9.
Now we're into the post-season, where the slate calls for MACA to play Paynesville at Paynesville at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 1. We're in Section 6 of AA.

Boys basketball: Montevideo 66, Tigers 44
The Tigers took to the home court Friday (2/24) for the daunting challenge of facing Montevideo.
Monte is a high-powered unit and came here eyeing the WCC-South title. The Thunder Hawks showed their state-ranked attributes from early-on. They assumed a healthy lead and stayed on an even keel.
They boosted their conference record to 10-1 with a 66-44 win over the Tigers. Monte stands at 18-5 overall.
Coach Mark Torgerson's Tigers had trouble getting untracked offensively. The halftime score was 46-17 with Monte on its way to wrapping up the conference title.
Colton Vien was a thorn in the Tigers' side. He flirted with 30 points and snared ten rebounds.
Logan Manska was the Tigers' stop scorer with eleven points. Manska made two of the Tigers' four successful 3's. Riley Arndt and Jacob Torgerson made the others.
Arndt scored eight points. Manska was the team leader in rebounds with four. Three Tigers each supplied two assists: Austin Dierks, Brody Bahr and Tom Holland.
The Tigers were 15 of 53 in total field goals. In 3-pointers alone they were four of 15. In freethrows: 10 of 13.
Here's the complete scoring list: Manska 11, Arndt 8, Chandler Erickson 6, Jake Torgerson 5, Sam Mattson 4, Lincoln Berget 4, Austin Dierks 4 and Brody Bahr 2.
(Thanks to coach Torgerson posting stats on Maxpreps, I'm able to correct an omission from the Willmar newspaper.)
The setback left Morris Area Chokio Alberta with a 14-9 overall record and 8-3 in conference.

Two section champs among Tigers
The MAHACA initials turn up twice in the listing of section wrestling championships.
We are heading into the truly climactic phase of the 2011-12 wrestling season. The state individual tournament is coming up this weekend at St. Paul's Xcel Energy Center. The Xcel will truly be a mecca for the state's wrestling faithful.
Dawson provided the venue for the sectionals that included Morris Area Hancock Chokio Alberta. There, Tim Ostby and Zach Gibson were the headlining Tigers with their accomplishments. Both blazed past their three section foes.
Ostby and Gibson were champions at 145 and 285 pounds, respectively, each going 3-0. They will proudly carry the MAHACA banner in state. Good luck, guys.
Evan Nelson came on strong to win four bouts and drop two, a showing good for third place at 120 pounds. He had the heartbreak of losing a "true second" match. First and second place achievers advance to state.
Connor Metzger fashioned a 3-2 record as the Tigers' 170-pounder, notching third. Joel Harrison was a third place achiever at 220 pounds where he turned back four opponents and lost to two.
Taking fourth at 113 pounds was Travis Ostby who fashioned a 2-2 mark. Myles Smith sported a 2-2 record at day's end, so he too could feel pride in a fourth place finish (at 132).
Big Tyler Moser at 195 pounds took sixth with his 2-3 showing on the Dawson mats. Dillan Johnson was the No. 6 achiever at 126 pounds, going 1-2.
MAHACA was also represented by the following: Mitchell Ascheman at 106 pounds (a 1-2 showing), Jerid Berning (138, 0-2), Seth Nelson (152, 1-2), Jordan Thooft (160, 2-2) and Wade Ehlers (182, 0-2).
Bring on the bright lights and arena atmosphere of the Xcel!
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Pomme de Terre River, its lakes help define us

The Pomme de Terre River flows lazily past our wind turbines. (Photos by B.W.)
My favorite Pomme de Terre River photo, taken south of Morris close to Highway 59.
The Pomme de Terre River in springtime, bulging with springtime thaw. This photo was taken down the hill from the West Central Research and Outreach Center (WCROC).

Del Holdgrafer used the term "time immemorial" in describing some of the original prairie close to where he grew up. It was right across the road from his family's farm, he recalled in a book put out by the Stevens County Historical Society.
He remembered the "burrowing owls and native plants." The panorama of the prairie had a timeless quality. Early explorers were spellbound at the vastness of it all. The owls and plants were part of a most resilient ecosystem.
Holdgrafer described the wondrous nature as having thrived "from time immemorial."
I have read that if you want to get an idea of what the original prairie was like, go down by the Pomme de Terre River. It's easier now than when I was a kid. We have biking/walking trails which provide for a wonderful departure from one's usual routine.
You can get a sense of the real "prairie."
The Pomme de Terre River cuts through the prairie landscape with an irresistible force. Water is like that. Anyone who grew up in Morris considers the river like an old companion.
The Pomme de Terre is "our" river. As kids we may have "wet a line" on its banks.
The wide spots are wide enough to be considered lakes. Some are borderline in this respect, like the "wide spot" at Pomme de Terre City Park. This "almost" lake provides the backdrop for the campground. It seemed more palatable for swimming years ago. The same can be said of Pomme de Terre Lake (or Perkins Lake, if that's the name you prefer) several miles to the north.
It's all hooked together by the Pomme de Terre River which snakes along close to Highway 59 North. It gets narrower as you go to the north - logical since this is how rivers behave. As you get toward Elbow Lake the river almost seems to get lost among the vegetation ("cattail" plants etc.) in places.
So where does it all begin? How many of us Morrissites, who have been familiar with the river all our lives, can answer trivia questions about it?
You have to go quite far to the north, actually, to pinpoint where the Pomme de Terre begins. We're talking the Fergus Falls area.
In all the Pomme de Terre River is a little over 100 miles long. It's part of the watershed of the Mississippi.
The Pomme de Terre River begins from Stalker Lake. Someone once told me Stalker is a quite deep lake and has walleyes. The closest town is Dalton. The river proceeds past or through Barrett and Appleton in addition to Morris.
Finally it ends up in southwestern Swift County where it gets absorbed by Marsh Lake.
Marsh Lake is on the Minnesota River. Appleton is about four miles away. Marsh Lake is maintained by a manmade dam. It was formed by a backup of water caused by the Pomme de Terre's delta.
The river strings together the lakes north of Morris known as a "chain." On the map these lakes probably look more impressive than they really are.
"Middle" Pomme de Terre really doesn't seem like a separate lake. The one lake that has recreation possibilities doesn't have a commonly accepted name. On official maps it's "Perkins." But the big sign at the public access welcomes people to "Pomme de Terre Lake."
I have raised this issue before, even bringing it to the attention of the Historical Society, but the reaction has been more or less a shrug of the shoulders.
"Let sleeping dogs lie," I guess.
The contradiction doesn't seem to bother anyone. People in Mayberry pretty much just know their way around.
The lake known as "North Pomme de Terre" looks bigger on the map than it really is. I have scouted out there and found no real redeeming qualities to the lake. It has the look and feel of a slough. I suspect it looks big on the map because it takes in vegetation ("bulrushes," cattails and the like) that don't equate with true lake surface.
It's actually hard getting a good look at North Pomme de Terre. The roads skirt the lake only partially and they aren't of high quality. Actually the dirt roads all around the Pomme de Terre Lake chain leave a lot to be desired. When wet they can seem foreboding. Plus you'll often encounter an annoying "washboard" effect.
I decided once not to even use my bike along the road that snakes out to the Pomme de Terre West neighborhood. I try to take good care of my bikes.
The road that goes to the north of Middle Pomme de Terre will eventually get you to Farwell, I believe. But keep a map handy.
The wide spot in the river at Pomme de Terre City Park has an interesting background. We have fallen back on the name "Pomme de Terre reservoir," even though this isn't really a name, it's a description.
I was fascinated to discover once this lake has had at least one real name. I was writing an article for the print media on the bike trail system. I was shown a map. I saw the name "Lake Crissey."
Lake Crissey! Sounds appealing. I had never heard it before. Was it official? Did someone name it after his girlfriend?
I wondered. Why did the name seem to die?
People began flocking to the lake for recreation after the dam was completed. "Lake Crissey" came into circulation. Contrary to being an offhand reference to someone's girlfriend, the Lake Crissey name was inspired by A.D. Crissey, state representative who had supported creation of the dam and park.
The park was first known as "Riverside" - a nice name. Odd how neither the name of the lake or park stuck.

Being proactive
I'd like to make a formal suggestion here and now: to bring back the names "Riverside Park" and "Lake Crissey."
Let's put up signs.
There was a Star Tribune article not long ago about a Minnesota artist doing logos for every Minnesota lake. Let's contact that person, offer her a little monetary sum and get a nice design for a "Lake Crissey" logo!
BTW I have referred to the Crissey name a couple times in my past writing but misspelled it "Crissy," going from memory. I'll have to go back and fix those.
How could we possibly allow the bland and sterile name "Pomme de Terre reservoir" to take over? Ugh.
The park was once a state park but didn't meet the true specifications for such an entity. The recreation area was limited and we didn't see the desired "wilderness" complexion in the truest sense. Still the park had its attractive attributes, but more as a county or city park.
"Pomme de Terre City Park" was born and it's a valued asset of the area. I'd just like to see a little tweaking of the cosmetics, by re-instituting the "Lake Crissey" and "Riverside Park" names.
"Riverside" would clearly differentiate the place from other places - too many - that have the "Pomme de Terre" name (like the lakes to the north).
"Pomme de Terre" is French and means "apple of the earth." The reference is taken to mean potatoes. Early French explorers gave us this name and were actually thinking of the "prairie turnip" which is potato-like. This was common fare for the Sioux Indians.
I remember the Morris Centennial in 1971 - a terrific celebration - and how the program (at the fairgrounds) began with a Native American character standing on top of a pole. Presumably there were safety safeguards. Was it Peter Kron who played that role?
A friend expressed consternation, saying this program followed an established script and wasn't tailored to Morris.
"There weren't any Indians in Morris," my friend sniffed.
I have the impression there were not established Indian settlements in this area, even though most certainly there was transient or sporadic activity. Travelers along the Wadsworth Trail had to watch out for hostiles.
I played in the "German band" for the Morris Centennial. John Woell threw that group together. We played in the Met Lounge which was the first time I'd ever been in a bar.
The WCROC Horticulture Garden overlook is a great place from which to appreciate our "Old Man River," the Pomme de Terre. Les Lindor was instrumental in making the overlook a reality. It's a terrific place and convenient for people appreciating the garden, but to be honest I think there's a slightly superior view afforded by a "lover's lane" type of place immediately to the north of Pomme de Terre Park, at the top of a hill of course. It's just a little flattened ground.
Maybe a little interpretive sign could be placed there someday.
We take the Pomme de Terre River for granted, perhaps, maybe because it's such a constant. It has graced the area "from time immemorial," as Delmar Holdgrafer would note.
A river has the power of God behind it. Only an earthquake, which also reflects our maker's power, can supersede, as it did with the New Madrid earthquake which changed the course of the Mississippi River in places.
The Pomme de Terrre River isn't a famous river but it's our river. This tributary of the Minnesota River has given our area character since we took root out here.
I'm reminded of the lead character in the movie "Swamp Thing" who said "much beauty in swamp - all you have to do is look." Same with the prairie.
Wildflowers flourish amid the foliage. Butterflies flutter about. Deer race in bounds. The raccoons slink around.
From time immemorial.
We're just renting the area for a while. The Pomme de Terre is an essential backdrop for our lifestyle. It helps give us character and definition. Take a stroll along the bike trail this spring and appreciate it.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A night to shine for MACA hoops teams

Girls hoops: Tigers 59, Ortonville 42
Morris Area Chokio Alberta showed a rejuvenated offense on the court Tuesday night.
Point totals were unacceptably low in some recent games. The Tigers worked to put that drought behind them Tuesday (2/21). Led by Beth Holland's 22 points, the Tigers defeated the Ortonville Trojans 59-42. It was the second-to-last game of the regular season.
The Tigers will play at Minnewaska Area tomorrow (Thursday, 2/23). Fans are hoping for that rejuvenated offense to be the norm now, going into the post-season.
The Tuesday success was in front of an appreciative home crowd. It was the Tigers' seventh win of the season but their loss total is 16 - not the kind of numbers that promise a good seeding position. Ortonville has a 10-13 record.
The home fans cheered with zest in the first half when MACA built a lead of 37-22. The Tigers cruised in the second half, outscoring the Trojans 22-20.
Note from your site host: I have a girls basketball photo album assembled on Flickr. You may view the album by clicking on the link below. The album is also linked from a thumbnail photo in the right-hand column on this site. When the Flickr page comes up, you might want to try the "slideshow" feature. It's neat!

Holland stood out on the scoring list with her 22 points. Katie Holzheimer made her presence felt in scoring along with other categories. Her point total was a modest ten but she collected seven rebounds and also provided eight assists, three steals and three shot blocks.
The rejuvenated offense happened in spite of lackluster long-range shooting. There was just one successful three-point shot, in eight tries, and it was made by MaKenzie Smith. Smith had a point total of ten.
Holzheimer with her seven rebounds led in that department followed by Tracey Meichsner with five.
Holzheimer's eight assists was the team-best figure, and Holland followed that up with four. Holland with her four steals edged four teammates each of whom had three: Meichsner, Holzheimer, Smith and Holly Amundson.
In total field goals the Tigers were 26 of 56. In freethrows: six of ten.
Here's the complete scoring list: Holland 22, Smith 10, Holzheimer 10, Amundson 9, Nicole Strobel 6 and Meichsner 2.
The top Ortonville scorer was Morgan Messner with 19 points. Ortonville made three of nine three-point shot tries.

Boys basketball: Tigers 71, Yellow Medicine East 42
The Tigers were dead on at 50 percent in their field goal shooting Tuesday night on the road. Coach Mark Torgerson's crew was in action in Sting country of YME.
The Tigers made 30 field goals in 60 attempts as they pulled away on the scoreboard. They clearly took care of business in the first half, outscoring the stunned Sting 38-18. They finished things off by outscoring the Sting 33-24 in the second half.
At the final horn the scoreboard bulge was nearly 30, at 71-42.
Coach Torgerson had his squad abstain from the three-point shot. There were only two such attempts by the Tigers. Neither found the mark.
Instead the Tigers played good old conventional basketball by working for the closer-in shots (or getting layups). The scoring load was spread around.
Austin Dierks with his team-leading eleven points was one of 12 Tigers who scored. Riley Arndt and Logan Manska each put in ten.
Here's the remainder of the scoring list: Chandler Erickson 7, Tom Holland 6, Brody Bahr 6, Lincoln Berget 6, Sam Mattson 5, Jake Torgerson 4, Nic Vipond 2, Daniel Nelson 2 and John Tiernan 2.
Arndt was tops in rebounds with five.
It has been a while, but the Willmar newspaper is back to spelling this name "Ahrndt." This is the Benson spelling. Also in Wednesday's paper, Brody Bahr's name was spelled "Brady." I know because I used reading glasses. I still have to get ink on my fingers to do this research.
Erickson led in assists with four and in steals with six.
The Tigers made 15 of 27 freethrow attempts. They came out of Tuesday with a W/L mark of 14-8, helping reverse some recent disappointing fortunes.
The top YME scorer was Adam Savariego with 12 points.
Next for the Tigers: a challenging home game on Friday, 2/24, against Montevideo, the #9 ranked team in Minnesota AA.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Girls fall to Sting, record-setting Baker

The starting five get announced for Morris Area Chokio Alberta. (Photos by B.W.)
Nicole Strobel has the ball for MACA in the game vs. YME.
Cassey Hickman maneuvers in a crowd.

Yellow Medicine East 46, Tigers 27
The color pink prevailed at the MAHS gym, home of the Tigers, Friday. Orange and black had to give way to this special cause-related color.
The Tigers took the court hoping to turn back the Sting of Yellow Medicine East.
The Tigers have been a bit offense-deprived lately. They could use a hot streak in 3's. There was no such good fortune for the orange and black crew Friday.
The Tigers succumbed to YME and their premier rebounder, Emily Baker. Baker is a Sting senior who vacuums the boards. She broke the YME school record for rebounds Friday at the expense of our Tigers.
Baker blended in with an efficient YME attack. Her contributions on this night included eleven points and 13 rebounds. With those rebounds this student-athlete of distinction passed Jenny Kuehn's career mark of 716 boards. Baker came out of Friday with 723.
Kylie Jans put in ten points for the Sting, who crafted their 14th win of the season against nine losses. The Sting came out of Friday with a sparkling 8-4 conference mark.
The Sting's Courtney Hinz put in nine points and collected nine rebounds.
The Tigers' offensive woes with the anemic point total of 27 was a carryover from the Sauk Centre game. Against Sauk Centre on Tuesday, the offensive output was 33 points - suggesting room for improvement. Sauk Centre scored 67.
Coach Dale Henrich is striving to get the fortunes reversed with the post-season getting near.
The Tigers fell to the Sting in the 46-27 scoreboard final Friday. The game wasn't out of reach at halftime as MACA trailed by five, 19-14.
Katie Holzheimer scored eleven points to top that list. Courtney Gades scored seven, MaKenzie Smith six, Cassey Hickman two and Nicole Strobel one.
The offense needs a jump start.
Click on the link below to reach the MACA girls basketball page on Maxpreps:
Click on the link below to reach the MACA girls basketball schedule page on Pheasant Country Sports:
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Friday, February 17, 2012

MACA boys hit dry spell, dropping three of four

Minnewaska Area 57, Tigers 43
The MACA boys have fallen into a bit of a slump and aim to make the adjustments to rebound.
It's hard to find the winning formula when you're up against the likes of an "in the zone" Austin Giese. Giese and his Minnewaska Area mates treated their fans in Laker country to a win Thursday at the expense of our Tigers.
Giese poured in 18 points in the first half. The MACA point total in the first half was 19.
Giese would finish the night with 29 points, the high for both teams.
The Tigers trailed 35-19 at halftime and ended up losing 57-43. They entered the weekend still comfortably over .500 at 13-8. But they dropped three of their last four games. Let's hope it's out of their system.
Minnewaska Area has hardly been a world-beater this season. But when someone like Giese gets hot, well. . .
The Lakers owned 7-13 W/L numbers coming out of the night.
The Tigers made five of 22 tries from three-point range. Chandler Erickson and Logan Manska each made two of the long-rangers, and Jacob Torgerson had the other. In total field goals the Tigers were 14 of 50. In freethrows: 10 of 15.
Erickson collected the most rebounds: 7. Manska and Brody Bahr were the assist leaders with four and three respectively. Riley Arndt and Austin Dierks each had three steals.
Dierks was the top scoring Tiger with 14 points and none of his mates cracked double figures. Manska scored nine. Continuing with the list we have Erickson (8), Torgerson (5), Bahr (4) and Arndt (3).
Minnewaska's Giese made four 3-pointers in building his impressive point total. Yes, "in the zone. . ."
Andrew Ostrander and Jaydeen Beecher each made a "3" also for the Lakers.

Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City 52, Tigers 48
The Tigers' recent funk included a 52-48 loss to the ACGC Falcons on Friday, Feb. 10.
ACGC is a quality unit with a record comfortably above .500, and the Falcons had the home court on their side.
Coach Mark Torgerson's Tigers with their still-fine record couldn't keep pace with the Falcons and Dylan Hoerchler. Hoerchler scored 18 points to help lead ACGC to its 12th win of the season.
Hoerchler connected three times from three-point range. He also added four assists to the winning mix.
Falcon Jacob Belgum scored 16 points and stole the ball four times.
The Tigers entered the night second in the WCC-South. But their first half offense was not what you'd expect of a team with that credential.
Was it a case of the ACGC defense being especially resolved? Whatever the explanation, the Tigers' anemic first half offense produced just 14 points. The Falcons scored 25 in the first half.
The Tigers revved up their engines for the second half and outscored ACGC 34-27. But the first half hole was too deep.
MACA faltered in three-point shooting, posting three of 18 numbers here. Logan Manska had two of the makes and Riley Arndt had the other.
Austin Dierks snared ten rebounds and Arndt had five. Brody Bahr dished out three assists. The steal leaders were Bahr and Chandler Erickson each with three.
Let's roll up our sleeves for the scoring list: Arndt 14, Dierks 11, Manska 10, Bahr 4, Erickson 4, Jacob Torgerson 2, Lincoln Berget 2 and Tyler Henrichs 1.

Tigers 60, Breckenridge 51
The bright spot in the Tigers' recent play was the February 14 game against the Cowboys of Breckenridge.
When I was a kid, the Cowboys were a dynasty at the old "district" level. We learned to dislike the color green. Breckenridge could be a nemesis for our orange and black crew. That was a long time ago.
On February 14 the Cowboys looked quite normal - you could joke their 6-shooters were empty, heh heh - as they succumbed to the Tigers in the 60-51 final.
The Tigers charged out to a 27-20 lead at halftime. The Tigers in fact led the whole way. They're striving to re-discover that formula now.
Austin Dierks was a cog in that formula as he achieved a double-double. This rangy Tiger put in 22 points and grabbed eleven rebounds.
Logan Manska was a cog as this Tiger made all three of the team's 3-pointers. But the team numbers in 3's were three of 14. In total field goals the squad made 21 of 49 attempts. The Tigers made 15 of 28 freethrow tries.
Chandler Erickson and Jacob Torgerson led in assists, each with four. Brody Bahr stole the ball three times.
Here's the scoring list from the Tigers' 13th win of the season: Dierks 22, Manska 15, Riley Arndt 6, Bahr 6, Erickson 4, Lincoln Berget 4, Torgerson 2 and Tom Holland 1.
Nate Lorenz scored 13 points for Breckenridge which came out of the night at 8-11.
Morris Area Chokio Alberta boys basketball will visit YME on Tuesday, 2/21. Then comes a home assignment vs. Montevideo, ranked #9 in MN 2AA, on Friday, 2/24.

Wrestling: home invite memorable
I have coverage on my companion website ("Morris of course") of the Tigers' performance in their home wrestling invitational. The Tigers placed third among eight teams. They had four individual champions.
I invite you to read the review by clicking on the permalink below:

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

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Hancock girls stretch exciting win skein to six

Owls 57, CMCS 42
The HHS girls stayed on a roll Tuesday (2/14) with a 57-42 win over the Bluejays of Central Minnesota Christian (CMCS, Prinsburg).
HHS now has a win streak of six with all of these games reviewed in this post. It's a pleasure for yours truly to keep his familiarity with the Owls and their veteran coach, Jodi Holleman. (I first started working with her when she was "green.")
On Tuesday the Owls showed resilience to apply the clamps defensively in second half play. At halftime the Owls were down by three, 27-24. Coach Holleman's squad showed resilience offensively the rest of the way too. The game took on a different complexion in the second half as HHS outscored CMCS 33-15.
CMCS is having a .500 type of season. Meanwhile the Owls are building won-lost numbers that suggest a possible state berth. They came out of Tuesday at 18-3.
This was a non-conference game played in Prinsburg.
The Bluejays stumbled with turnovers early in the second half, helping allow the Owls to seize the decisive momentum.
The Owls were somewhat cool in three-point shooting, making three of 13 tries. Kendra Schmidgall had two of the makes and Serandon Bigalke had the other.
In total field goals the Owls were 21 of 46. They made 12 of 17 freethrow tries.
Courtney Greiner topped the scoring list with 23 points while Schmidgall was right behind with 22. Only two other Owls scored: Olivia Koehl and Bigalke each with six.
Greiner attacked the boards for 12 rebounds while Schmidgall collected eight. Schmidgall was the top assist producer with five while Greiner and Bigalke each had four. Schmidgall set the pace in steals with four followed by Koehl and Greiner each with three.
The top CMCS scorer was Jessica DeGroot who made three 3-pointers and posted eleven points.

Owls 51, Minnewaska Area 42
The Owls took the court at a familiar place, the U of M-Morris, for a weekend feature vs. Minnewaska Area. The Lakers have struggled this winter and found no relief vs. the Owls. It was a Saturday afternoon to shine for the HHS crew, with a 51-42 triumph.
It was Hancock's 17th win against three losses. The 'Waska record: 2-19.
UMM seems almost a second home for the Owls of Stevens County. They were totally comfortable on the court right from the outset, assuming a 30-16 lead by halftime. That was basically the story of the game. Minnewaska had a slight scoring edge in the second half.
Serandon Bigalke and Courtney Greiner each made a 3-pointer. It was Greiner topping the team scoring list with output of 23 points. Kendra Schmidgall was the other double figures scorer, putting in 13 points.
Karol Algarate scored eight points, Bigalke five and Olivia Koehl two.
The Owls made 19 of 41 field goal attempts. In freethrows they were nine of 15.
Greiner snared eight rebounds followed by Algarate and Schmidgall each with six. Greiner made her presence felt in assists too, performing six. Schmidgall added five assists to the mix. Schmidgall and Algarate each stole the ball three times.
The Minnewaska scoring was led by Sydney Joos with 17 points.

Owls 67, Ortonville 48
The conference crown was the reward for the Hancock girls basketball team when it downed Ortonville on Thursday, 2/9. The Owls kept their conference record unblemished with a commanding win on the road.
Coach Jodi Holleman's hooting crew punched down on the accelerator in the second half. After the relatively close first half, in which the Owls eked out a mere two-point margin (26-24), the Owls outscored host Ortonville 41-24 in the second. So the final scoreboard story was a 67-48 triumph.
The Pheasant Conference title is the sixth straight for this storied program. The Owls came out of Thursday at 6-0 in conference and 16-3 overall.
Ortonville is a team hovering around .500.
The Owls haven't been dealt a single conference loss in their skein of conference championships.
The Owls were efficient and effective in three-point shooting Saturday. They put up seven attempts and made four. Kendra Schmidgall, who scored a team-best 28 points - quite the harvest - made three 3-pointers. Courtney Greiner made the other "3" and had a fine point harvest of her own: 20.
Olivia Koehl scored eight points, Serandon Bigalke seven and Karol Algarate 4.
The Owls were 25 of 64 in total field goals. In freethrows the numbers were 13 of 19.
The rebound leaders were Greiner (12), Schmidgall (11) and Bigalke (10). Schmidgall and Bigalke each dished out five assists.
Greiner and Schmidgall each had five steals while Koehl had four.
Ortonville's leading scorer was Michaela Rademacher with eleven points.

Owls 70, Hillcrest Academy 55
Kendra Schmidgall scored 21 points in the Hancock girls' February 4 win over the Comets of Hillcrest. Two other Owls scored in double figures in this 15th win for the team: Courtney Greiner with 15 points and Serandon Bigalke with 14.
Olivia Koehl and Karol Algarate each contributed nine points, and Lexi Steege put in two. Koehl and Bigalke each made a shot beyond the three-point stripe.
The Owls and Comets vied on the "big floor" of the University of Minnesota-Morris.
Greiner led in rebounds with eight followed by Schmidgall with five. Bigalke dished out eight assists while Greiner had four. Bigalke stole the ball four times.
In total field goals the Owls were 29 of 55. Freethrows were a minimal department where the numbers were three of six.
The Owls showed clear superiority in the first half, assuming a 42-27 lead. The final score was 70-55.

Owls 52, Underwood 26
The HHS girls squared off vs. the Rockets of Underwood on Friday, Feb. 3. It was a home game and had lots of highlights for the home fans to savor.
Basketball was a joy to watch as the Owls, led by the sharp shooting Kendra Schmidgall, downed the Rockets 52-26.
Schmidgall made 3-pointers to account for 12 of her team-leading 20 points. Schmidgall made four 3-pointers and Serandon Bigalke made one. The team numbers in 3's were five of nine.
In total field goals the Owls succeeded on 22 of 43 attempts. The freethrow stats were three of ten.
Schmidgall was joined in double figures scoring by Courtney Greiner with ten. Three Owls each put in five points: Bigalke, Karol Algarate and Lexi Steege. Three Owls each scored two points: Gabbi Nienhaus, Sami Schmidgall and Olivia Koehl.
Schmidgall and Greiner each cleaned the boards for nine rebounds. Bigalke collected seven rebounds.
Greiner contributed six assists and Kendra Schmidgall had four. The steal leaders were Greiner with five and K. Schmidgall with four.
The Underwood scoring was led by Carly Masloski with eleven points.
The Owls led 31-11 at halftime. This was win No. 14 for the Owls.

Owls 73, C-G-B 45
The exciting HHS crew raced to a point total over 70 in their final game of January. Win No. 13 was garnered on the strength of the 73-45 final score. The site was Hancock and the opponent was Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley.
The Owls looked absolutely buoyed on their home court, racing to a 40-15 lead in the first half. They cruised in the second, outscoring the Wolverines 33-30.
It was a night for Courtney Greiner to shine. This Owl was on her game to the tune of scoring 21 points and collecting 19 rebounds.
Greiner didn't monopolize the spotlight as teammate Kendra Schmidgall was smooth and aggressive on the court, making her presence felt with eight shot blocks along with other attributes.
The Owls' 3-point shooting was decent. Schmidgall made three 3-pointers while Karol Algarate, Sami Schmidgall and Serandon Bigalke each made one.
The team stats in 3's were six of 14. In total field goals: 27 of 56. From the freethrow line: 13 of 19.
Greiner and Kendra Schmidgall led in scoring with 21 and 20 points respectively, and they were joined in double figures by Bigalke with 13. Algarate and Olivia Koehl each scored seven points. Sami Schmidgall put in three points and Lexi Steege two.
Greiner and Kendra Schmidgall were prime forces on the boards with 19 and 10 rebounds respectively. Koehl topped the assist list with eight followed by K. Schmidgall (6) and Bigalke (5).
Koehl had four steals followed by three of her teammates each with three: Greiner, Bigalke and K. Schmidgall.
The top-scoring Wolverines were Alissa Stueve and Molly Montonye each with eleven points. Montonye made three 3-pointers.
Can the win skein continue? The Owls will play at Canby on Saturday, Feb. 18, and host Parkers Prairie on 2/23.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Let's remember Del Holdgrafer, everyman

The drawing seen here is instantly recognizable as a "Holdgrafer." It's one of several on the "Purple martin society" website.

I doubt Delmar Holdgrafer would understand "multitasking."
I doubt he would understand or appreciate "data overload."
These are compliments.
Del would think the "rat race" is more trouble than it's worth. He was the perfect person to encounter if you felt stressed.
Mind you, he was responsible. It's just that he appreciated the basic things in life and didn't feel he needed to do cartwheels to gain more material possessions. He remembered when "a trip to Morris was a major excursion, going 35 miles an hour in our 1928 green Chrysler."
This he wrote in the book "the '40s - a time for war and a time for peace."
The book is a compilation of stories by Stevens County residents who remembered the WWII experience both abroad and here.
Delmar was the Donnelly correspondent for a time when I was still active in the print media. He wasn't the traditional correspondent. That should surprise us? He weaved together those little mundane vignettes with his touch of humor.
Humor was a staple of his. Cartooning was his main claim to fame. It was an innate gift. The humor was part of an outlook on life that suggested nothing be taken too seriously.
He had a knowing smile. It was a smile that suggested maybe some of your perceived problems were amplified beyond reason.
There was a time we could be thankful for vehicles that transported us at 35 MPH. Regarding that 1928 green Chrysler, he added: "Most cars did not exhibit such bold colors."
And more: "Our next car was a secondhand 1939 Plymouth bought from a cream station manager in Morris by the name of Mosey. Under the back seat, I discovered a piece of leather with the message inscribed, 'Through life just freely roam. The world belongs to all of us, so make yourself at home.' I still live by this philosophy."
If you wanted Del to do a special artistic project for you, all the compensation he'd ask is "enough to fill my gas tank."
The last time he drew caricatures of newspaper staff members, I pulled $20 out of my own pocket for him. I wasn't going to bother the company for the 20 bucks. The artist and I made arrangements for this in a meeting at Sax's Cafe in Donnelly. He was surely a Donnelly-ite.
I always had the perception Donnelly had more interesting personalities per capita than any other place I knew. The town otherwise seemed quite plain. It's the sort of town that is ubiquitous when you travel in outstate Minnesota. The only problem is, we don't take time to appreciate them. Of course they aren't clones of each other.
Sociologists today say rural communities in the Midwest are depressed. Del would wrinkle his forehead. Here was a man who appreciated a car going 35 MPH. He had a sense of perspective about life. He could be selfless, as shown when he made a cause of seeing that a WWI vet whose grave wasn't properly marked got his due.
Del's cartoons sort of nagged us about how we could get preoccupied with material things. He presented the "everyman." His captions would sometimes begin with "This citizen. . ." The panel would show someone perplexed or mildly annoyed by some new wrinkle in life.
I'm proud to have given him some cartoon suggestions. These suggestions were merely concepts or springboards. Del came up with the "gag" or the philosophical nugget.
I told him he should do something on the O.J. Simpson trial. It was a phenomenon because it showed us how the media of the future were going to behave. We were perplexed at the sledgehammer type of attention. Del drew a cartoon showing "this citizen. . ." walking away from a TV set that had O.J.'s picture. I think I can remember the caption word for word: "This citizen has decided to get on with his own affairs and let God be the judge."
Remember when the "coffee videos" were in the news? I can't remember what the fuss was about but it had something to do with money and politics. I ran this subject past Del. He responded by drawing Bill Clinton entering Sax's Cafe on a routine day. There was a boy playing "Pac Man."
The gag was that although the visit was surely of note, "no one can recall anyone giving (the president) any money."
You were left with the impression that Clinton might be better served meeting with the cafe's patrons than the usual D.C. bigshots. Del even drew the little sign next to the door that had "open" on one side and "closed" on the other." Because it was an inside scene we saw the "closed" side.
Drawings of Sax's are dated now because Donnelly, like Cyrus, no longer has its traditional main street cafe. Little bits of Americana are leaving us. Sociologists are right in saying there's decline out here. They are wrong in suggesting that those who are left out here are somehow "left behind."
The economy is stressed. The people are largely resilient.
My defensiveness comes from having read a book by sociologists on the declining aspects of the rural Midwest. I have already written about that book in a disparaging way and won't repeat all that. Holdgrafer would have been bemused by such sociologists. The empty prairie isn't really so empty.
I once gave Del a heads-up about a revival of interest in the Beatles. This was when those "lost recordings" by John Lennon were discovered, remember?
Del drew his "everyman" couple who had heard "the Beatles are coming back" only they took this to mean "beetles" (the insects). They were ready with spray etc.
Del did a drawing to promote the Donnelly Rod and Gun Club annual picnic, and he had a number of world leaders there, like Leonid Brezhnev and Ayatollah Khomeini. Maybe Moammar Khadafy too. The caption was "join your friends" at the annual picnic. It prompted a laugh of course.
But it also made you think how world leaders might benefit being in such a setting, away from the awful tremors of their political existence. If only the whole world could be like Donnelly.
When I was a kid, Donnelly had its own elementary basketball team. We got to play "away games" in Donnelly! The Donnelly team even had cheerleaders, which we didn't have. I remember the cheerleaders well because of one particular member, whose name I won't type here.
Donnelly played its "home games" at the Donnelly town hall. Wasn't that a WPA project? It certainly exudes age but it has been the subject of tender loving care in Donnelly. We in Morris should be ashamed we have allowed our 1930 art deco auditorium go to ashes.
The Donnelly town hall is still the site for lively occasions like springtime fish fries. I can still visualize the cheerleaders there. OK let's get off that subject.
You might get the impression Del was always pure (like the driven snow) and innocent in his thoughts. He was capable of taking digs. He did a parody of the Morris medical practice once. He had great fun with names of the Morris doctors.
That drawing showed a bent-over man with the doctor saying to him: "Your problem is that you have to quit carrying the problems of the world on your shoulders."
The "doctored" names of the doctors were in the background. I'd better not repeat any. Word is, the cartoon wasn't received in a spirit of levity.
There was a sub-gag in the cartoon that said as much as the main one. The little "Holdgrafer" character down in the corner advised the patient: "Be sure and straighten up at the desk when you leave." In other words, when you pay your bill!
What I would have said to the doctors is this: Holdgrafer is a throwback. Please remember this. He cherishes the time when doctors made "house calls" and when their fees were often nominal.
Del couldn't fathom the maze of insurance paperwork and bureaucracy that characterize health care today. He longed for that simpler time. He felt trepidation at the new model. He made a statement with his artwork. I wouldn't take it personally.
A footnote: This cartoon wasn't supposed to run in the Morris newspaper, as I recall. We had a system then where we placed a "red label" where the cartoon was to go, and the cartoon originated from elsewhere (Herman, I think). Somehow we had an advance heads-up about this cartoon. Despite our best-laid plans, it ran, to absolute amusement of most of us, who saw it simply as great humor.
People in ownership positions saw it differently. Chalk one up for the "everyman."
I remember when I first met Delmar. It was at the Donnelly Threshing Bee. He was already familiar with some of my work.
"I think maybe you have a little too much education for us," he remarked.
But Holdgrafer himself showed a breadth of knowledge that he might not have wanted to own up to. You see, he was a constant observer. It was his nature.
He once wrote in his "Donnelly news" that "(a certain couple) have been busy leading lives of quiet desperation, so they don't have anything to report."
Del was using a famous quotation, of course. He soaked in a lot.
He treasured the things that really mattered in life. He appreciated the trip to Morris in that "1928 green Chrysler," proceeding lazily along. He left us too soon.
But he left us with a treasure of drawings and wisdom.
Delmar Holdgrafer, RIP.
- Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Saturday, February 11, 2012

MACA girls drop two games in homestand

Katie Holzheimer drives for the Tigers against Melrose. (B.W. photos)
Coach Dale Henrich addresses his squad during the 2/10 game at MAHS.
MaKenzie Smith shoots for the Tigers.
Tracey Meichsner wears No. 34 for MACA. She's a freshman.

There was a wealth of home action for the MACA girls basketball team as the week wound down. Fans flocked to our spacious Morris Area facilities for games on Thursday and Friday.
They enjoyed the lively and competitive basketball even if they didn't enjoy the outcomes. Victory was elusive for Morris Area Chokio Alberta on these nights.
On Thursday (2/9) the scoreboard difference was a modest three points vs. the BOLD Warriors.
On Friday the visitor carved out a little more of an advantage, ten points. That visitor was Melrose.
Coach Dale Henrich aims to tweak the Tigers' attack with tournament-time getting ever nearer, so as to hopefully reverse these outcomes. The post-season creeps ever closer on the calendar.

BOLD 47, Tigers 44
BOLD came here especially hungry for a win Thursday as they were eyeing first place in conference. The Warriors bore down in crunch time to escape with the narrow win.
Crunch time unfolded with the Tigers having fought to get the score tied at 44-all. The clock showed less than a minute left.
BOLD led at halftime 26-17.
Coach Henrich tweaked things well enough that MACA outscored the Warriors 24-21 in the second half. The Tigers surged to get the score tied but couldn't neutralize the Warriors after that.
A two-point field goal and a freethrow spelled the difference for BOLD at the end.
The Tigers came out of the night at 4-7 in the conference. BOLD owned a 7-3 record in the WCC-South at night's end. The door was opened for BOLD to seize the lead in conference when ACGC lost to Yellow Medicine East Thursday.
The Tigers connected on four of 19 shots from three-point range. Katie Holzheimer had three of those long-range successes which helped lift her to a team-best 14 points. Courtney Gades made the other 3-pointer.
In total field goals the Tigers were 17 of 52. In freethrows: six of ten.
Holzheimer with her smooth shooting set the pace in a balanced scoring attack. MaKenzie Smith scored nine points and also grabbed nine rebounds. Tracey Meichsner topped the rebound list with her eleven. Nicole Strobel collected seven rebounds and Beth Holland had five.
Holland was the top assist producer with four. Meichsner scurried around to get three steals.
Holzheimer with her 14 points and Smith with nine were followed in scoring by Meichsner (6), Strobel (6), Holland (4), Gades (3) and Holly Amundson (2).
Carly Sigurdson topped the BOLD scoring list with 19 points.

Melrose 57, Tigers 47
The Melrose nickname is "Dutchmen" and I'm not sure if this is modified for girls/women's sports. Probably not. Perhaps the name can be explained as "unisex" in the same way as "mankind" denotes everyone.
Well, enough mulling over on that.
When I was in high school, Melrose had one of the greatest players in Minnesota hoops history: Mark Olberding. He became a pro.
As I recall, Olberding played during the transition from one-class to multi-class prep tournament basketball. "Multi" meant two (classes) at the start. It was a little controversial.
But today, we take for granted we need somewhat of a maze (four classes) for tournament hoops. It certainly is fair. The trade-off is that these events no longer rivet the state's attention as much.
Is the new way better? I think so.
The Morris Area Chokio Alberta girls bowed by ten points vs. Melrose Friday (2/10). Jenna Orth was an Olberding-like force for the visitor. MACA couldn't come up with a defense to neutralize this Dutchman, who scored 27 points.
Orth and her mates carved out a four-point halftime lead (24-20) and outscored the Tigers 33-27 in the second half.
It was an awful night for the Tigers in 3's. The Tigers posted a goose egg there in 14 attempts. The Dutchmen were six of ten in 3-pointers with Orth making five and Gabi Sawyer the other.
The Tigers were 22 of 59 in total field goals. Freethrows bring a frown with the three of 12 stats.
MaKenzie Smith was a bright spot with 17 points scored. Smith also led MACA in rebounds with seven. Katie Holzheimer and Tracey Meichsner each snared five rebounds. Beth Holland set the pace in assists with five and in steals with four.
Nicole Strobel joined Smith in double figures scoring with ten points. Holland and Holzheimer each put in six points. Meichsner added four, Cassey Hickman two, and Holly Amundson and Courtney Gades one each.
Melrose gained its 12th win Friday against eight losses. The Tigers' W/L numbers coming out: 6-14.

Invitation to companion site
My newly launched companion website is called "Morris of course" and my current post is on the neverending UND team nickname controversy.
Below is a permalink to that post. I invite you to check it out.
- Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Boys on short end by one vs. Sauk Centre

Boys basketball: Sauk Centre 55, Tigers 54
The Streeters of Sauk Centre came to Morris Area Monday (2/6) for boys hoops action. (Are they still called the "Mainstreeters?")
The team with the Sinclair Lewis-inspired nickname escaped with the win. It was the narrowest escape possible. Sauk Centre turned back the Tigers by a mere one point, 55-54.
Sauk Centre kept its record above .500, coming out of this night with a 10-8 record. The Tigers' W/L numbers weren't tarnished much. Coach Mark Torgerson's crew owns a 12-8 record entering midweek.
Fans held their breath within the last minute as MACA had its chances to climb on top. On this night anyway, the clutch shots didn't fall.
The Streeters established a solid game in the first half, assuming a 31-28 lead for the break. Coach Torgerson coaxed his Tigers to a two-point scoring advantage in the second half, 26-24. A little bigger burst was needed, though.
The Tigers were pretty solid in freethrows, making 12 of 17 attempts. They needed a little sharper eye in 3-point shooting. One additional make in this department would have made the difference.
Jacob Torgerson made two 3-pointers. But that was the extent of the Tigers' success in that department. The Tigers languished with two of eleven stats in 3's.
In total field goals the MACA numbers were 20 of 54.
Austin Dierks was smooth in his game, leading the Tigers in scoring and rebounds. His point total: 18. His rebound total: 9. Brody Bahr and Riley Arndt each collected six rebounds.
Logan Manska dished out three assists. Manska and Chandler Erickson led in steals, each with three.
Dierks with his 18 points was followed in scoring by: Arndt 12, Manska 7, Torgerson 6, Lincoln Berget 5, John Tiernan 4 and Bahr 2.
The Sauk Centre scoring list was topped by Patrick Knoblauch with his 18 points. Knoblauch connected three times from 3-point range. Nick Adams put in 14 points.

What's it about? "Morris" of course
I have begun a second website (or blog) - no big deal 'cause it costs nothing - because sometimes the amount of sports I'd like to write in certain weeks is more than I could comfortably accommodate here.
The new site is called "Morris of course."
I put up a post last night (Monday) that touches on both the Super Bowl and Groundhog Day, both events being symbols of winter's apex.
I'd enjoy having you take a look at the new site. Here's a permalink to the Super Bowl/Groundhog Day post:

Wrestling: Big Ole Tournament
The Big Ole Invitational is a signal we're coming down the home stretch of the regular season.
Held on the same weekend as the Super Bowl, it attracted the usual wealth of talent for the 2012 edition.
The Tigers of MAHACA had their cut of that wealth to be sure. The Tiger matmen placed third among the eight teams that gathered in Alexandria on Saturday, Feb. 4.
The KMS Saints garnered top honors with an attack that produced four champs and three runners-up. Frazee was the No. 2 team.
Tim Ostby was a champion for the Tigers at 145 pounds, winning three bouts and dropping none. Zach Gibson likewise carved out champion honors, vying as the 285-pounder. Gibson succeeded with a 2-0 showing to garner No. 1.
Myles Smith at 132 pounds had a 1-1 day which was good for second. Connor Metzger got the nod at 170 pounds and this Tiger took third on the strength of two wins and one loss.
Evan Nelson carved out a fourth place showing at 120 pounds, going 1-2. Dillon Johnson won two bouts and dropped two to place fourth at 126 pounds.
Wade Ehlers at 182 placed fifth with his 1-2 showing. Tyler Moser placed fifth at 195 pounds, going 1-2.
Mitch Ascheman, the Tigers' 106-pounder, went 1-3 for sixth place. Matt Munsterman at 113 pounds placed sixth, going 1-3.
Other Tigers seeing action were: Jerid Berning (138 pounds, 0-3), Seth Nelson (152 pounds, 0-3) and Aaron Nelson (160 pounds, 0-3).
Only one weight slot was unfilled: 220. Having competitors across the weight spectrum has helped the Tigers this season.

Girls basketball: win vs. conference leader
The MACA girls came out of a funk (losing spell) to treat home fans to winning form on Friday, Feb. 3. This was a very hard-fought game that had ACGC as the opponent.
It was an entertaining night of West Central-South Conference basketball. It was anybody's ballgame in the first half as the horn sounded for the break with MACA leading by one, 30-29.
The game's complexion changed not a bit in the second half. The Tigers scored 22 points in the second half, to 21 by the visiting Falcons. Do a little math and you end up with a 52-50 final score with the orange and black cause on top.
Coach Dale Henrich's Tigers could savor this sixth win of the season for them, and fourth in conference. Unfortunately the losses have outnumbered the wins.
The best reversal would be when tournament time comes. All teams start out 0-0 then.
Friday's win was extra meaningful because Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City came here with good credentials. This is an above-.500 team in conference and overall. They owned ten wins total coming into the night. They had to settle for leaving Morris with ten wins.
A dance group provided the halftime entertainment.
Three-point shooting was pretty solid for Henrich's crew. Six of 17 attempts from that range found the mark. Katie Holzheimer had four of the makes and Beth Holland had the other two.
In total field goals the Tigers were 21 of 52. In freethrows: four of eleven.
MaKenzie Smith collected seven rebounds off the boards. Nicole Strobel had five rebounds.
Tracy Meischner had three assists followed by four of her mates each with two: Strobel, Holzheimer, Holland and Smith. Holzheimer's overall aggressive brand of play was reflected in her six steals. Strobel and Smith each had two steals.
Holzheimer was a major offensive force with her 27 points. Holland put in eleven points, Smith ten, Strobel three and Brooke Wente one.
ACGC's top point producers were Chelsea Jans and Sydney Larson each with 12 points and Katie Knisley with eleven. Knisley collected 15 rebounds.
ACGC came here as the conference leader. Beating a team with that status is heartening for the orange and black fans.

Reminder on my BBB Flickr album
Here again is a link to the Tiger boys basketball Flickr photo album I assembled recently. Thanks for checking it out.

Does anyone else locally do online photo albums on Tiger sports? Does the newspaper even do this on its website?
When I left the paper, I had the impression they were going to be doing this type of thing regularly. We had a teleconference one day (telephone w/ speaker, listening to some guy in the Fargo Forum chain of command speak as if he were "The great and powerful Oz").
This guy talked about how a newspaper photographer usually can get only 2-4 photos published (of a given game) in the regular print newspaper. But, there's the website! Wow!
"The other 15 or so photos can be put there," I recall this guy saying.
I was scared and discouraged - discouraged about all the additional time and demands that were going to be spelled. I wasn't all that young anymore. I envisioned becoming sort of a zombie, building virtually my whole life around trying to keep up with all these journalistic demands.
I wasn't going to be Superman. It wasn't worth it. Besides, trying to be prescient, I figured that in the future all this (endless) sports coverage could go online supervised not by just "one guy at the newspaper," but by people involved in the programs themselves!
The old newspaper model wasn't going to transfer well to the new communications model, I felt. We are still seeing the new model sprout. It isn't happening as fast as I had expected. People are too stuck in their old ways.
If you have noticed the frequent errors in the Willmar newspaper, you might figure "well, that's the system, and they have deadlines they have to struggle to meet."
The reason they have deadlines is that so much time has to be allowed for the printing and distribution of the paper - processes that have nothing to do with good journalism. Hey gang, the ink and the paper aren't necessary!
That brings us to the subject of the school calendar again. I have now noticed a second error with a game being specified on the calendar that wasn't played. Look at Friday, Feb. 3: "BBB-Benson-A-6 p.m."
I have found no evidence that the Tigers played in Benson on Friday.
The school calendar is printed because people want to use it. If it can't be relied upon - if fans have to "verify" the schedule info with another source - it's kind of ridiculous. We could just rely on that "other source."
There's no point having the school calendar on the refrigerator door with a magnet if it's not a reliable resource. So my point is this (repeated from before): The school calendar should be online in a totally user-friendly way.
Yes, it is online, in a form that looks like PDF to me, but it's not as user friendly as it should be. To go online-only it must be as simple for anyone to use as possible. At present in its (apparent) PDF form, I don't think the school can even go in and make changes and corrections.
Again I'll implore Supt. Monson: Please utilize the world wide web on behalf of the school in a way that totally demonstrates you "get it."
On all other matters, you seem to be doing great with the school. We just needed two more points vs. Sauk Centre!
- Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Chris Dodd a throwback after SOPA & PIPA

Chris Dodd is chairman of MPAA - Motion Picture Association of America. He's best known as a plain ol' politico, though.

A Democrat should know better. A Democrat shouldn't align himself with fat cat interests against a groundswell of popular will.
Chris Dodd looks like William Jennings Bryan in the Scopes trial. He comes off like Bowie Kuhn of baseball in the 1970s.
Reading Kuhn's memoirs, you can see he knew what happened. Kuhn wrote about the legal setbacks of baseball owners in the same light as the South losing the Civil War. It's not often a political setback reveals such a clear dichotomy of winner/loser.
We have a fresh example in the loss (at least for now) of SOPA and PIPA. Their pathetic intrusions on the people's will can join the Confederacy. They were tabled by political leaders in Washington D.C.
Well-placed advocates on their behalf, like Dodd, may be walking around mumbling now, disoriented by a changing world.
Dodd unlike the late Kuhn seems a little dazed. He'll be mumbling a while longer, unsure why the self-fashioned entitled folks like the Hollywood interests can't simply shove through legislation favorable to them.
I thought Dodd was an odd choice to head the Hollywood advocacy group. He's a politician with no ties or special insights with the moviemaking folks to my knowledge. He was just a white-haired politician.
It makes sense to me now, his selection as head of MPAA. He was the "hired gun" to pull strings in the Beltway with his fellow heavy-hitters. He probably knows as much about moviemaking as I do.
He knows the slimy world of power plays in D.C. He knows the levers.
But in the recent celebrated power move, this Democrat who should know better got his lunch handed to him. Just as bad as his failed lobbying was his reaction in the immediate aftermath. Was it denial or ignorance?
Much has been written of Dodd's flailing in recent days, but I think I have something fresh to offer. Dodd was clueless enough to go on the O'Reilly Factor (Bill O'Reilly, Fox News) and think he could embarrass the host with a quote. You simply don't win a jousting match with O'Reilly. Or if you do, it won't see the light of day on this taped program.
Dodd confronted O'Reilly with an O'Reilly quote that I'm quite sure was accurate. O'Reilly has techniques not to get cornered. He shouted down Dodd at the end. One technique is to ask the accuser questions until the accuser finally can't be certain (or sits mute).
"Where did I say it?" O'Reilly said with bluster.
"I believe it was on your show," Dodd sputtered.
"Wrong!" O'Reilly shouted triumphantly, as if he had shown Dodd to be totally wrong.
The tenor of this exchange was what you'd expect when a confrontational Democrat goes on Fox News. Beware, or simply stay off that network. Dodd didn't know any better.
He came away from the SOPA/PIPA debacle just as clueless.
The white-haired denizen of D.C. became head of the Hollywood lobby weeks after "retiring" from his elected role. He was a five-term U.S. Senator from Connecticut. He was a presidential hopeful for a while in 2008. He seemed pretty harmless to me then.
I didn't lose any sleep over his seeming involvement in the subprime mortgage crisis, though maybe I should have.
With MPAA his intrusion into our lives seemed more direct or at least more personal. He was a hired gun for Hollywood to protect its interests at the expense of a free and open Internet.
A war of sorts had to be declared. At least for now, the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) looks like the Confederacy.
General Lee was a white-haired old man too.
Dodd talked like he was concerned about piracy but this has nothing to do with "talk like a pirate day." Like much questionable legislation it was a wolf in sheep's clothing.
No one likes piracy. Sometimes interests conflict in a way that demands close analysis beyond the inflections of a word like "piracy." Often the perfect is the enemy of the good.
Intellectual property isn't like real property. The word "property" suggests something essential to our well-being. But we can live without movies and songs, unlike food and shelter. My life isn't better for Hollywood having released such tripe in the '70s as "Looking for Mr. Goodbar" and "The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea."
Songs like "Elvira" drag down our IQ.
We all know artists deserve a certain level of protection. But my concern is for the actual artists, the people often at the bottom of the food chain, and not the business interests that end up gobbling up those rights.
It's the business interests that enlist the likes of Dodd. And we who are enriched immeasurably by the Internet don't care much about them.
In the past, the masses might not have been able to confront a well-oiled (with money) lobbying effort rammed through by the chest-thumping Dodd. But now we're living in a new world.
Dodd is left dazed along with perhaps many of his Beltway cronies. He gave stunningly inartful quotes in a Fox News interview - not O'Reilly this time. He basically came right out and said. . .well, I'll quote him: "Don't ask me to write out a check for you when you think your job is at risk, and then don't pay any attention to me when my job is at stake."
And more: "Those who count on Hollywood for support need to understand that this industry is watching very carefully who's going to stand up for them."
One critic dismissed such statements as "general sliminess and hypocrisy."
So, let's move on? No so fast. A petition quickly sprouted, using the power of the web of course, to get Dodd investigated for bribery. If the words he chose don't smack of bribery, or aren't bribery per se, there's no such thing.
In a span of 48 hours, 17,000 signatures were garnered. The effort swelled on the White House "We the People" website. The petition suggests an "open admission of bribery."
I knew I needn't hold my breath on the outcome of this. It's a very effective shot across the bow, to be sure, kicking a guy when he's down also, but don't expect formal action to be taken against the beleaguered old Senator from Connecticut.
The inside players in D.C. are running scared the way it is. "The old ways are fading."
We can just feel amused when the politicians play their partisan games, sniping at each other and looking for photo-ops, but please leave our Internet alone.
It was a Republican who sponsored SOPA: Lamar Smith. I might expect a devious move to be made by a Republican. That's my bias.
But SOPA and PIPA broke down as non-partisan, or as more of a conflict between old and new, entitled and non-entitled, moneyed and modest - not as Democrat and Republican, progressive or tea party.
Normally we see political grandstanding as a mild irritation. We proceed with our lives. We often don't care much about these hamsters running in their treadmills. But don't touch our quality of life please.
SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect Intellectual Property Act) were going to be monumental intrusions into our trailblazing world of the Internet. What's scary is how close they came to being ramrodded through.
The power players were banking on the usual public inattention.
But the world is changing. The Internet functions in a bottom-up way, not top-down. It is the most uplifting grassroots phenomenon you can imagine. And Washington D.C. isn't sure it should feel comfortable with it.
Washington is populated by up-in-years men not so different from the baseball owners of the '70s who had their lunch handed to them.
I read Kuhn's memoirs and came away with a better opinion of the man than I had previously. He was a lawyer basically who represented the owners. He did his job. He made the "Confederacy" analogy.
I wonder if Dodd will ever wake up and smell the coffee. He's in a daze now. I wonder if the cigar-chewing fat cats of Hollywood want to fire him. He's wandering in his thoughts like he's just been hit in the head with a frying pan (like in a Hollywood slapstick short).
He said the groundswell of web-based opposition to SOPA and PIPA was "an abuse of power." It's the power of the people, Chris, which you should recognize as a Democrat.
He so openly spoke of trying to buy legislation. I suspect he's disoriented because he knows he lost so completely. You may join General Lee, you annoying anachronism of a politico.
The Internet groundswell shocked politicians and caused some to switch sides, including PIPA co-sponsor Senator Marco Rubio, with tail between legs I presume.
Rubio is a darling of Fox News. How can Fox now explain Rubio's "finger to the wind" behavior, suggesting spinelessness?
Well, Rubio is actually doing what we want politicians to do. We don't elect them to be geniuses, we elect them to reflect the will of the people.
The masses got on board with the Internet and made sure the Internet wasn't going to be compromised by the big and amorphous interests of the likes of MPAA or RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America). These are many-headed hydras that don't promote copyright in an organic way.
We've seen for a long time that such interests use copyright as a means to block, censor and regulate our civil liberties. These interests didn't even approve of the player piano.
President Obama showed wisdom about all this. He expressed skepticism about the two measures in question. Is that why some Republicans supported them? Lamar Smith is a Republican. And Marco Rubio.
But in the end, this wasn't Fox News vs. MSNBC or the tea party vs. George Soros, or Glenn Beck vs. a whole lot of people. All that stuff is a circus. We can be amused by it.
SOPA and PIPA would have impacted our lives onerously. So we collectively said to the likes of Dodd, "Back off." It worked.
But let's keep watching our backs.
- Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Share-the-wealth scoring spells hoops win

Boys basketball: Tigers 68, LQPV 36
Scoring was a truly share-the-wealth proposition for the MACA boys hoops squad Tuesday (1/31).
How much so? All 15 of coach Mark Torgerson's student athletes put in points. Wow! This interesting feature complemented the winning outcome.
The scoreboard showed the Tigers with 68 points, the visiting Lac qui Parle Valley Eagles with 36.
The share-the-wealth "system" kept all the Tigers under double figures in scoring. The team-best total was eight, recorded by two Tigers: Chandler Erickson and Tom Holland.
Note from your site host: I have a Flickr album assembled of MACA boys basketball photos. Click on the link below to view the album. Special note: When the Flickr page comes up, you might want to consider the "sideshow" feature. It's neat!

The game became a blow-out in the first half. The Eagles, having the look of a rebuilding team, managed just 13 points in the half. The MACA total: 39. Again, wow!
For the night, MACA made five of 17 tries from beyond the three-point line. Even this had a "share-the-wealth" look. Brody Bahr made two 3-pointers followed by three of his mates each with one: Holland, Jake Torgerson and Logan Manska.
In total field goals the Morris Area Chokio Alberta numbers were 27 of 66. The freethrow stats were a sharp nine of eleven.
Sam Mattson and Lincoln Berget led in rebounds, each snaring four. Mattson led in assists with three. The steal leaders were Bahr with five and Manska with four.
Here we go with that extended scoring list - a pleasure to report: Holland 8, Erickson 8, Riley Arndt 7, Austin Dierks 6, Bahr 6, Manska 5, Berget 5, Marcus Cannon 4, Mattson 4, Daniel Nelson 4, Torgerson 3, Nic Vipond 2, Tyler Henrichs 2, Dillon McNally 2, John Tiernan 2.
Eric Smith scored eight points to lead the offense-deprived Eagles, who'll need to regroup for another night.
The Tigers obviously experienced no letdown or drain from their weekend that included a Friday home game and a Saturday trip to the Twin Cities to play at Target Center.
Perhaps the Twin Cities experience was an inspiration!

Wrestling: conference tournament
A champion heavyweight or super-heavyweight is an exciting athlete to watch. Zach Gibson occupies the heaviest weight slot for MAHACA. The initials stand for "Morris Area Hancock Chokio Alberta."
Gibson bore down to take top honors in the West Central Conference Tournament. Wrestlers from around the West Central gathered in New London on Saturday, Jan. 28.
Gibson at 285 pounds was super, winning by major decision to put finishing touches on his climb to No. 1 at his weight. His last foe was Tyler Jenson of Benson. Gibson beat Jenson 9-1.
Joel Harrison was the other Tiger making the prestigious championship round. Harrison didn't fare as well at the end so he came away with runner-up honors. Harrison lost by fall to J.D. Struxness of DBL in 1:20.
The Tigers may have had only two in the championship round but they placed in the top half of the teams: fifth among 12. ACGC took first place and the host Wildcats of New London-Spicer took second. ACGC had two more champions than NL-Spicer.
Connor Metzger came on strong to win three matches and lose one - a showing good for third at 170 pounds.
Evan Nelson had a 2-2 showing at 120 pounds and placed fourth. Travis Ostby (113) had a 1-2 day which put this Tiger at No. 5. Dillan Johnson also placed fifth with his 3-2 showing on the mat at 126 pounds.
Here's a list of the other Tigers who gamely stepped onto the mat in the 1/28 conference showcase: Mitch Ascheman (1-2 at 106 pounds), Myles Smith (0-2 at 132), Jerid Berning (0-1 at 138), Seth Nelson (1-2 at 145), Jordan Thooft (1-2 at 152), Aaron Nelson (0-1 at 160), Wade Ehlers (1-2 at 182) and Tyler Moser (0-2 at 195).
Note on all-conference: The matmen earning all-conference are the first through third place winners, while the No. 4 achievers are honorable mention.
Hayden Rouser of ACGC won Most Valuable Wrestler.

Boys basketball: Litchfield 45, Tigers 37
The Tigers had their stamina tested last weekend, playing in Minneapolis on the day after hosting and defeating the YME Sting.
It was a privilege to play at Saturday's (1/28) venue: Target Center, home of the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Tigers vied with Litchfield there.
The Tigers summoned a strong challenge vs. a red-hot Litchfield Dragon unit that had won nine straight.
The Tigers enjoyed the upper hand in the first half. They in fact led throughout that half. The horn sounded for halftime with coach Torgerson's crew up by two, 20-18.
Is it possible some fatigue crept in for the second half? Whatever the explanation, Morris Area Chokio Alberta couldn't parlay their first half advantage.
This was a truly top-notch foe the Tigers were facing. The Dragons own the No. 8 ranking in Minnesota AA. They began showing that state-ranked sheen midway in the second half, led by Zach Whitchurch who made two 3-pointers.
When the final horn sounded, Litch had expanded its win streak to ten at the expense of MACA, 45-37.
The Tigers came out of the night at 11-5. Litchfield emerged with stellar 14-2 W/L numbers.
No one stood out in the scoring column for Litch. Whitchurch supplied pivotal baskets but his point total was a modest eight. Teammate Mitch Wollin scored eleven. Wollin actually had game-high honors with this modest total.
The Tigers' point total of 37 was a season-low.
It would have been better to win, but the orange and black crew can tuck away some nice memories from this experience.
Yours truly wonders if a hamburger costs as much there as when I last attended. I went a couple times with the late Rick Lucken. (We dined at Rudolph's Bar-b-que pregame.)
The Tigers looked at home in the "big city" Saturday despite coming out on the short end. They weren't particularly sharp shooting threes, though, as shown in the three of 15 numbers. Three different Tigers made those long-rangers: Logan Manska, Sam Mattson and Jacob Torgerson.
In total field goals the Tigers were 16 of 40. In freethrows: two of eight.
Austin Dierks led in rebounds with eight and also scored eight points. Riley Arndt led the Tigers in scoring with ten points. Chandler Erickson supplied three assists.
Here's the complete scoring list: Arndt 10, Dierks 8, Manska 5, Mattson 5, Torgerson 3, Erickson 2, Tyler Henrichs 2 and Lincoln Berget 2.
Click on the link below to reach the MACA boys basketball Maxpreps page:
Click on the link below to reach the Tigers' schedule page on Pheasant Country Sports. We must optimize our web resources! It's the wave of the future.


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