"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)

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Time passes, coaches change, norms change

I saw a "teaser" headline at the top of page 1 of the local newspaper Saturday that read "Kevin Pope named Tiger football coach." The headline made the news seem so routine. "New coached named."
Life does go on and changes do happen. But the naming of a new coach does signal the end of an era. It proved to be a quite lengthy era. Jerry Witt has held the reins as Tiger coach for 30-plus years.
I remember when I first photographed him, he was an assistant under Jeff Arnold. He had facial hair. His "reputation preceded him" because he had an outstanding playing career at UMM.
Those were different times for UMM football. It was a time when football players were "big men on campus." It's just the way our culture was organized then. There were fewer teams and they were male-oriented. Yes, women's athletics were getting established in the 1970s but they had the obvious growing pains.
The old varsity athletic model didn't fizzle overnight.
You can get a feel for that model by watching the movie "Hoosiers" starring Gene Hackman. I don't think the term "student athlete" was much in circulation then. Athletes were more like - pardon the bluntness - gladiators. They represented their towns or institutions in more of a provincial way. And if they won they were heroes in a rather shallow sense.
I say it's shallow because, what really did they prove? What of all the anonymous non-athletically gifted students? What were they to make of all that? Were they to see themselves as inferior? What about all the students at "Hickory High School" who didn't play basketball? What about handicapped students?
The girls were supposed to be cheerleaders in those days - at least the "cute" ones got chosen. It doesn't seem like the most ideal societal model. And yet we watch a movie like "Hoosiers" and feel nostalgic.
In Morris we had our own answer to "Hoosiers" with the 1955 basketball team that made state in the one-class system. They got carved up once they made state. The small schools would always eventually run into a buzz saw. It's just that our 1955 team was able to survive the regions and make it to that prestigious floor of Williams Arena.
We'd get excused from class in those days to watch the state tournament on TV. The dynasty was Edina. Not only did Edina rule in basketball - no need to call it "boys basketball" then - that community was considered the affluent ideal for all of Minnesota.
We all learned that Edina was the "Hornets." We all learned our small outstate communities had no business trying to play basketball against them. It's amazing our educational leaders then allowed such an unfair system.
It's hard to understand sometimes how cultural norms get established for a particular time. It's not that long ago in the scheme of things when we shrugged or yawned about smoking in public. Can you imagine walking into DeToy's Restaurant today and having the air be "blue" with cigarette smoke? But there was a time.
Jerry Witt played football at UMM in a time when the Cougars showed some swagger on campus. Today I think these fellows are just "student athletes" who blend in much more with the overall student population. Of course I find the current model preferable.
We don't just pay "polite" attention to women's athletics like we may have done in the 1970s. We find it every bit as interesting.
We never would have seen that sea change without progressive-leaning politicians. Republicans never push for this kind of change. But once it happens, they're happy to go along and be approving. Just ask a Republican if they would have gone along with Medicare in the 1960s. They'll say "yes" but it's a fabrication. We have progressive-leaning politicians to thank for how women's sports have fully flowered.
I reveal my age in saying I worked with Jerry Witt as a print media person for the first 3/4 of his career. But it gets worse than that. The first Tiger coach I worked with as a print media person was Jim Satter. You'll probably have to dig through the archives to refresh yourself on him. I remember him as a quite sophisticated football guy who couldn't seem to convert all that knowledge to corresponding success in high school football.
I worked with coach Arnold for a year or two and then along came this guy named Witt.
(I remember Arnold criticizing hockey once by saying "it's all luck when they score!" I couldn't have said it better.)
The 1980s had some turbulence for MAHS athletics as there was some community controversy over how the overall program was being managed. That came to a head in 1987 if I remember correctly. It was painful. Finally a steady ship set sail.
Year after year we saw coach Witt "prowl the sidelines" as Tiger coach. He led the Tigers to Prep Bowl one year. I remember going to the Metrodome for that, and making two other trips there for covering the Chokio-Alberta Spartans. Of course the Spartans are no more.
We got to see all three of the Witt sons play quarterback for the Tigers. First there was Zachary and then Forrest and Taylor. All three had uncanny talent. And of course they were surrounded by a pretty capable stable of student athletes.
Kip Keiso was the unforgettable quarterback for when the Tigers made Prep Bowl. Given the talent on that team, I'm surprised they could have lost to anyone. But they did lose to Breckenridge in Prep Bowl.
Witt is a contemporary of mine as is Lyle Rambow, his long-time assistant. If this is really a "passing of the torch," generation-wise, I'm wondering if I should make any trips back to Big Cat Stadium to cover MACA in my online-based role. I have been doing this for the last three years.
If I cease it won't be because of any coaching transition, it will be because I have now come to view football in a highly negative way. Oh, go ahead and be ticked off at me. But you see, I'm kind of a bum these days and so I have time to read. And because I have time to read, I'm fully aware of all the horrifying revelations coming out about football - its health consequences.
We have always known that football players can end up with things like "bum knees." The players themselves knew this and were willing to take the risk, although I find even that judgment to be questionable. Today the rapidly mounting revelations are about what football does to the brain.
This is different. Players recognize that too. In order to discourage boys from playing this sport, we as a society must quit glorifying it. We reinforce the sport by allowing the lights to be turned on at a glorious facility each Friday night and then turning out en masse to cheer. We are parties to this unacceptable danger. And it has got to stop, and soon.
Coach Witt and members of his generation are blameless. They didn't know.
Today if you do a Google web search or news search with terms like "football, head injuries, concussions" etc., you will find fresh and disturbing new items to read constantly. Occasionally you'll read about a school board member somewhere proposing that football be dropped. These people get "15 minutes of fame" because there aren't that many of them yet. I'd like to see a Morris Area school board member join the group.
It's a tough transition because football has gotten so interwoven in our culture. But shame on you if you support football only because you've always enjoyed watching it. Those are human beings out there.
I'm happy for coach Witt that he's getting out now. It's the perfect time. The crescendo against football will grow. Eventually we'll see it as being like the "air being blue" with smoke at the local diner.
Witt coached before all the dangers became known. He deserves a hearty congratulations for all his success. I don't know anything about the new "young" guy. Sigh.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Monday, February 25, 2013

Boys get win No. 17 by margin of two

Boys hoops: Tigers 48, Monte 46
MACA boys basketball vied at the home of the Thunder Hawks, Montevideo, Friday night (2/22).
Tiger fans are hoping this action was a prelude to what lies ahead in the post-season. The Tigers won by showing superiority in the second half.
The first half went to Montevideo with a 23-21 advantage. Morris Area Chokio Alberta made adjustments for the rest of the way. Coach Mark Torgerson's squad outscored the T-Hawks 27-23 in the second half. So the final horn saw the Tigers up by two, 48-46.
The Tigers ascended to 17 wins on the season. Monte is having a below-.500 campaign.
Logan Manska made a pair of 3's in helping lead MACA to the win. There were two other successful 3's and they were by Chandler Erickson and Jacob Torgerson. The team numbers in this department were four of 15. The numbers in total field goals were 20 of 46. And in freethrows, four of eight.
Nic Vipond swept the boards for five rebounds. Erickson produced five assists. Manska led the way in steals with four. 
Manska's three-pointers helped lift him to a team-best 13 points scored. Austin Dierks came through with 12 points. Lincoln Berget put in six points, and there were three Tigers each with five points: Torgerson, Erickson and Vipond. John Tiernan added two to the mix.
Jordan Thompson made a pair of 3's for the host T-Hawks, and he topped Monte's scoring with 15 points. Ryan Maroney and Troy Diggins each made a '3'.
The Tigers entered the weekend with a 17-6 record, fueling considerable optimism.
Girls basketball: Melrose 53, Tigers 51
The MACA girls unraveled some in the late-going against Melrose. Katie Holzheimer continued her strides with three-pointers but it wasn't enough in the end.
The Tigers relinquished a promising lead and fell on the road to Melrose, 53-51. Still, the won-lost numbers owned by Morris Area Chokio Alberta were quite upbeat with the weekend nearing. Coach Dale Henrich's crew sat at 16-8 (12-3 in league).
The contest vs. Melrose was played on Thursday, Feb. 21. Holzheimer had all of the successful MACA 3's. The team stats were four of 13. In total field goals the Tigers made 22 of 66 attempts. Freethrows were scant: three of four stats.
Becca Holland collected ten rebounds and she led in both this department and in assists where her total was four.
It was MaKenzie Smith topping the scoring list. She put in 19 points and was joined in double figures by Holzheimer who had 12 and Beth Holland who had ten. Holzheimer's points reflected her four 3-pointers.
Becca Holland's point total was six. Nicole Strobel and Abbie Olson each scored two points.
Suspense was high with under a minute left to play in "Dutch" country of Melrose. The score was a deadlock at 51-all. Taylor Reller deftly passed the ball to Emily Goerdt who put in a layup. Just 15 seconds were left. The Tigers made a bid to tie but the shots didn't fall.
The horn sounded and MACA had to accept defeat after having carved out a promising lead.
Reller topped the Melrose scoring list with 15 points. Goerdt was right behind with 14 and she had those two very clutch points at the end. Goerdt also collected eleven rebounds to lead Melrose there.
Boys hockey: Little Falls 5, Storm 1
The Storm hockey skaters can feel satisfaction about their 16-10 campaign of 2012-13. The end came in Section 6A competition on Tuesday, Feb. 19, in Little Falls.
The score was 5-1 as the MBA crew fell to the top seed: the Flyers of Little Falls. The Flyers achieved their 20th victory of the season and earned the right for further conquests. They scored one goal in the first period and two each in the second and third.
Luke Majerle scored the Little Falls goal in period No. 1. He also got the Little Falls scoring going in the second period with assists from Thomas Miller and Ben Newman. Then it was Corey Storck scoring the lone goal of the night for MBA. Storck's goal came at 3:52 of the second and it included assists from Riley Blake and Chad Schwarz.
Nathan Adamietz scored for Little Falls at 14:25 of the second with assists by Majerle and Newman.
The two Little Falls goals in the third period were scored by Austin Bjorge and Newman. August Maciej and Mark Anez assisted on the Bjorge goal. Majerle and Taylor Kottschade picked up assists on the Newman goal.
Kyle Kennedy was the MBA goalie and he accumulated 19 saves. Michael Stumpf worked in goal for Little Falls and his save total was 18.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Bouquets (of thoughts) since Dad's passing

Ralph E. Williams
We are happy and humble, my mother and I, to have received so many (!) messages of sympathy and gratitude in the wake of my father Ralph's death. I am sharing some samples here that I think are worthy of public notice, with names of senders withheld. God bless you all.
I'll repeat what was written on a card with some flowers sent to the funeral by Sarlettes Music: "May the music be with you!"
"I know Ralph will be missed, but look at what a legacy he leaves with his music - it will last forever! Not many people can claim that. He had a long, full life, and I wonder if he's been silently composing more great works these last few years."
 "I'm so sorry about Ralph's death. I know things were becoming more difficult for him, but it's hard for those left behind. I really enjoyed the UMM choir concerts Ralph directed and also the impromptu sing-alongs he'd lead us in at the senior (community) center."
"We were so fortunate to get to know all of you through our Heart to Heart support group. Was so much fun at the Christmas parties when Ralph would lead us in Christmas carols. He led a long life and accomplished so many things."
"I want to express my sympathy to you, and my gratitude for the mentoring (by) Ralph Williams. He was my advocate at the St. Paul campus and at UMM, both in academics and in music. I appreciate the influence he has had on my life."
"Be at peace that Ralph is in God's hands and probably happily directing a choir in heaven. I will always remember Ralph as 'the music man of Stevens County,' just like that exhibit we built about him a few years ago at the museum. God bless."
"We have so many special memories of Ralph when we worked at UMM. Ralph joined us at Louie's Lower Level many times during coffee break/birthday treats and celebrations. His gifts to UMM were outstanding and will always be remembered. Our sincere sympathy, but what a joy to celebrate 96 years of life."
"You can be very proud of his accomplishments as a U.S. Navy man and music man at UMM. He was important at making the college what it is today."
"I was always glad when we sang the UMM Hymn because it brought the community of the campus closer in its aspiration toward 'the Northern Star.' "
"It's sad to have Ralph gone. Even though it was inevitable, it is always difficult to lose someone so special - the end of an era. Such a long, full life must leave so many memories. Our fond memories of Ralph go back to the '60s. He was a very special person."
"I have such precious vivid memories of your dad. I came to UMM in 1975, a shy, timid freshman. Your dad saw me in the hall outside the music office with my bass clarinet in hand, and asked me to join the orchestra. I told him I was going to join the band and didn't believe I could handle being in both groups. He said 'Of course you can!' And so I did. He told me I could read the baritone part or transpose from other keys since there wasn't a bass clarinet part for the orchestra. I told him 'I can't transpose music.' He said 'Of course you can!' And so I did. With his encouragement, I became a music major and enjoyed working directly with your dad in the music library as his teaching assistant. I was sad to see him retire when I was still a student."
"What a pillar in our community and at UMM! He will be missed."
"My thoughts and prayers are with you. I have so many fond memories."
"What an accomplished man. He has blessed you with his legacy. May all your memories sustain you during this difficult time."
"A long, good and productive life. I sent $10 for two Bibles given to Gideons International Ministries."
"He was a very kind and special person! I can still hear his fun laugh."
"The obituary said he died suddenly - so comforting to know he didn't suffer. Ralph lived a very full life with lots of accomplishments and experiences. He was so lucky to be able to spend his late years in the comfort of his home and with his beloved family and 'pup.' "
"He's with the Lord. He was very well liked by everyone."
"Ralph was a kind, gentle man with a smile. I'm proud to say I accompanied his men's choir back in the early '70s, and he will be missed by many!"
"I was fortunate to sing in men's chorus under Ralph my junior and senior years at UMM, 1966-68. It has also been a privilege being a fellow member of the UMM Retirees Association these past few years."
"What a wonderful long life filled with so many accomplishments! Just this summer our church choir sang one of his anthems conducted by Jenny Tanner Seaton (Jim and Pat's daughter and a UMM graduate). I told the choir a little about Ralph and all that he had done in developing a music program at Morris."
"Ralph was a remarkable person and a major influence on UMM. I remember the days of the traveling men's choirs. I was also in his orchestra for a while in my college days a long, long time ago!"
"I know he loved Jesus and is enjoying the heavenly choirs. Life here is so short but we will all be together for eternity. May the Holy spirit comfort you."
"We will remember Ralph for his musical talents and all he gave to the University and the community."
"Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Ralph is a big reason UMM is here. His music will live on and continue to bring joy to many."
"We are sorry to hear of Ralph's passing. He was a true gentleman, kind, and a great inspiration to students at UMM."
"Ralph was a great man. Our family will remember him often."
"Ralph was a great guy and left a legacy of music for all to remember. He was very friendly and will be remembered by many. We are giving money for 'Missionary for a Day' in his memory."

Monday, February 18, 2013

Hoopsters and skaters shine on a Saturday

Saturday, Feb. 16, was a day for Morris Area Chokio Alberta basketball and Morris Benson Area hockey to shine. Prep sports were most vibrant on this mid-winter Saturday, with the weather dreary outside. Can we hope for signs of milder weather soon?
The assignment for MACA boys and girls basketball was to visit Cowboy country of Breckenridge. When I was young, Breckenridge was a prime district-level rival for our Tigers. The Breck boys were in fact a nemesis for our Tigers.
Boys: Tigers 55, Breckenridge 54
The score suggests suspense all the way. Yes, this was truly a hard-fought game up to the very end.
A decisive freethrow by Jacob Torgerson lifted MACA to victory. He made the shot with under five seconds left. It was the back end of a one-and-one.
You might think this shot yielded the final score. But, Breck actually managed to make a half-court shot in the sliver of time that was left. The problem for Breck is that they were four points down. In a situation like this, they'd have to hope for a foul on the shot.
The desperation '3' was really no consolation for the green-clad host, who had to accept defeat in the 55-54 final.
The Tigers outscored Breck 29-25 in the first half and got outscored 29-26 in the second.
Success was scant for the Tigers in 3's. The team numbers were two of eleven with Jake Torgerson and Tyler Henrichs having the successes. In total field goals the Tigers were 18 of 49, and in freethrows the stats were 17 of 36.
Austin Dierks was the top Tiger scorer with 14 points. He was joined in double figures by Chandler Erickson with ten. Lincoln Berget put in eight points followed by Torgerson and Nic Vipond each with seven. Henrichs' point total was five, and Logan Manska and John Tiernan each scored two.
Dierks topped the rebound list with nine followed by Berget with six. Erickson was the top assist producer with five. Torgerson supplied three assists. Erickson stole the ball twice.
The Cowboys were led in scoring by Nate Lorenz with 17 points. He made two 3's, and he also led Breck in rebounds with 13 and steals with two.
The Tigers under coach Mark Torgerson came out of the weekend with a 16-5 season record. Breck's record: 6-13.
Girls basketball: Tigers 48, Breck 43
We knew it was coming: Katie Holzheimer setting the new standard, by herself, in career three-pointers for MACA. She entered Saturday tied for that distinction. She shared the mark with former Tiger Allison Donovan (2000).
Holzheimer entered Saturday with the career stat of 109 3's. She took care of business to not only climb past that, but to help the Tigers to a 48-43 victory at Breckenridge. She made three of the Tigers' four 3-pointers. Beth Holland made the other.
The win was No. 16 on the season for coach Dale Henrich's high-flying crew. It was a pretty hard-earned win. The Tigers trailed 27-25 at halftime. They were against a foe that entered the day with a record over .500. But MACA had what it took to establish the edge in the second half.
Henrich coaxed his orange and black crew to a 23-16 scoring advantage in the second half.
The Tigers' team stats in 3-pointers were four of 15. In total field goals the numbers were 18 of 49. In freethrows: eight of 14.
Kaitlin Vogel attacked the boards for eight rebounds. MaKenzie Smith collected five rebounds. Vogel and Smith each had four assists. In steals it was Beth Holland leading the way with six followed by Becca Holland and Vogel each with three.
Let's roll up our sleeves for the scoring list. Holzheimer's success with 3's didn't quite put her on top. It was Beth Holland topping the scoring list with 13 points followed by Holzheimer with eleven. Smith put in nine points followed by Becca Holland with eight, Vogel with five, and Nicole Strobel and Abby Olson each with one.
The top Breck scorer was Alyse Engen with 12 points and she was sharp from long range, producing all of those points via 3-pointers (four of them).
MACA began this week with a 16-7 record. The post-season is drawing near.
Boys hockey: Storm 5, Breckenridge 2
The curtain came up for Section 6A tournament skating Saturday at Lee Center here. The atmosphere was abuzz with post-season excitement.
This game might have been more one-sided than it was. The Storm outshot the Blades of Breckenridge 36-9 over the first two periods. But the game had a close complexion. The score after two periods was 2-0.
The Storm, seeded No. 8, needed a push in the third period to create the kind of breathing room they wanted. In the end, the scoreboard story was a 5-2 Storm triumph. Now it's on to more conquests.
The win was No. 16 on the season overall for MBA.
Tanner Picht scored the first MBA goal which was the only goal scored in the first period. He got assists from Mac Beyer and Jordan Staples. The goal came at 9:45 of the first.
It was Riley Blake scoring the second Storm goal. This came unassisted at 10:09 of the second period. MBA led 2-0 entering the third. Breckenridge made a comeback bid with an Austin Hagstrom goal assisted by Aaron Neppl, at 3:58. But Brody Gimberlin answered for the Storm. Brody scored with assists from Picht and Andrew Rentz at 12:04.
Breckenridge's Austin Berger scored at 12:18. The Storm owned the rest of this period and the game.
Corey Goff scored with a Taner Gimberlin assist at 14:58. Brody Gimberlin scored with a Picht assist at 16:48.
Kyle Kennedy was the Storm goalie and he accumulated 13 saves. Michael Withuski was the Breck goalie and his save total was 51.
Happy Presidents Day! If it weren't for Presidents Day, we wouldn't know what to name our mattress sales after.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Saturday, February 16, 2013

MACA girls take charge vs. Montevideo

MACA asserted itself early and kept on with this tone in the Friday home success. The opponent was Montevideo for this February 15 GBB action.
The Tigers assumed a 27-17 lead in the first half. They wrapped things up with a 24-11 scoring advantage in the second half. So the final score was 51-28.
It was win No. 15 for the MACA crew against seven losses.
The team is adjusting to the unfortunate loss of Tracy Meichsner who experienced a practice injury. She's no-go for the rest of the season. It's an ACL (knee) problem.
Katie Holzheimer is ascending in Morris Area Chokio Alberta career annals. She's having special impact with her long-range shooting. On Friday she was in the kind of groove that is typical for her, making three 3-pointers. Courtney Gades made a '3' also.
Holzheimer's successes from beyond that stripe tied her with Allison Donovan for career-best. Donovan set the standard in 2000. Coming out of Friday, Holzheimer and Donovan both owned the career stat of 109 in 3's.
Holzheimer is a senior guard and on Friday her 13 points were team-best, edging Beth Holland who had 12. MaKenzie Smith was the other double figures scorer with ten. Abby Olson contributed eight points to the winning cause, while Gades and Kaitlin Vogel each put in four.
The Tigers were four of 16 in three-point shooting, 22 of 52 in total field goals and three of six in freethrows.
Smith led in rebounds with eight followed by Nicole Strobel with seven and Holzheimer with six. Gades and Strobel were tops in assists with four and three respectively. Three Tigers each stole the ball twice: Holzheimer, Beth Holland and Smith.
Monte's top scorers were Tia Diggins and Ashley Hoehne each with nine points. Monte made no 3's.
MACA coach Dale Henrich had to feel mighty pleased with his team's defense. This point gets special accent for the second half in which Monte was limited to eleven points!
Tiger basketball has an upbeat look with the post-season drawing near. (Let's see an elevated temperature outside too.)
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Ralph E. Williams RIP - father, music man

Ralph Williams with "Sandy"
We have been hearing for a long time that "the World War II generation is leaving us." And then I'd think "oh yes, but we still have Dad."
That was going to have to change sometime. We lost my father, Ralph E. Williams, on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013. Destiny had taken its course. We all have to die sometime.
My father Ralph served in the Pacific Theater in World War II. Eventually these veterans will dwindle in number just as we saw with the World War I veterans, to where their presence will be a novelty.
We all wish these wars hadn't been necessary. My generation was scarred by the Viet Nam War. Last year I lost a cousin, Norman Ohlson of Grass Valley, CA, who was a decorated Viet Nam War veteran.
World War II was the so-called "good war." It's an unfortunate term of course. War is the worst of man's failings. The Allies had to straighten out a world seemingly gone mad. Just think of all those servicemen who didn't survive and weren't able to resume normal life back home. Let's think of them and pray often.
Click on the permalink below to read Dad's obituary from Pedersen Funeral Home, Morris.
Click on the permalink below to read a profile of my dad written in 2000 by Liz Morrison.
Click on the permalink below to read about Dad taking the UMM men's chorus to the Seattle World's Fair in 1962.
Click on the permalink below to read about Dad taking the UMM men's chorus to the New York World's Fair in 1964.
My father was fortunate to survive the war and to later survive and thrive after major heart surgery in the Twin Cities. He had a five-vessel heart bypass operation. I remember taking my mom to go get him, and seeing him lying fully clothed on a bed, all set to go and with his usual energy. God bless Dr. John Stock for guiding him through all that.
My father was in pretty urgent need of the procedure. I later learned he was in some fear about not making it to the operation. Not only did he make it, he went on to live nearly 30 years more.
Toward the end he was struggling in many of the ways associated with advanced age. His communication skills became limited. But as someone who was around him a lot, I can say he was aware.
I have felt somewhat lost and disoriented since he left us. A caregiver is aware of a pretty extensive "checklist" each day. By habit I'm accustomed to doing certain things at certain times. There's emptiness now. Tonight (Wednesday, Feb. 6) is the visitation.
My mother and I have stayed pretty composed up until now. I think this is due to our realization that "Dad's time had come." I remember Jesse Ventura once saying that God has a plan for everyone to die at a certain time, and there's nothing you can do about it.
It seems so long ago we first came to Morris. The first thing I remember about UMM is the "circle drive." The campus was phasing out of its WCSA chapter. We were coming on board with the prestigious University of Minnesota, which my father had already been serving on the St. Paul campus. So he was already a University veteran.
He established the music program at the University of Minnesota-Morris. He did more than was technically required of him. He had me hang around rehearsals a lot which maybe wasn't the best thing. I'm not sure how a babysitter would have handled me. I probably had some ADHD issues.
I remember going downstairs at Edson Hall with a stick that had a little magnet attached to the end, and "fishing out" some Coke bottle caps with pictures of Minnesota Vikings players on them, from the pop machine.
I was imbued with the idea that the liberal arts, UMM's stock in trade, were the most special academic calling. Unfortunately I never really had the tools to go through that kind of academic program. My talents were "spotty." Because of my own limitations I developed conflicted feelings about UMM. That's unfortunate.
I have decided that the best way to get along with the UMM community is to just "do your own thing" well, and they'll respect you. You needn't try to show you can function on their turf or speak their language. Just be yourself.
It seems long ago that my father retired. Everyone should have such a long and rich retirement.
Little by little he had to make concessions to age. He finally had to stop driving. But we kept his beloved Lincoln Town Car. Kudos to the gang at Heartland Motor Company in Morris. My father enjoyed having morning coffee there and chatting with friends such as Jack Brown.
We can all chuckle as we recall when a certain family member began requiring Depend underwear. With Dad, it was after the memorial program for Ray Lammers at the UMM HFA. He had difficulty making it all the way through. We all probably feel a little self-conscious when first purchasing a package of Depends. But we get over that quickly.
One by one we make these adjustments as age advances. Some we fail to make quite as soon as we should. There is no clear line to be drawn on some of these matters.
I remember when we first purchased a walker and later a "transport" (a wheelchair with small wheels). We're thankful our transport was handy at church one Sunday when Tommy Tomlin had to be escorted out on an emergency basis. Tommy later told us he was in need of a pacemaker. It's nice to see him looking so stable now.
My father remained stable for a very long time. I guess my mom and I felt that if we just took one day at a time, maybe our status quo would just go on forever. Of course it never does.
The funeral is tomorrow (Thursday). Then we'll embark on that flurry of affairs closing out my father's mortal life.
My father will be in heaven having coffee, I suspect, with old neighbor Les Lindor with whom he'd go to Willie's with their official Willie's coffee cups.
Les died just a few months ago. We visited him regularly when he was at Skyview, then the Courage Cottage and finally West Wind Village. I remember Les talking about WWV like he would dread going there, which is understandable, but there always seems to be acceptance when the time comes. Les ended up liking his home at WWV.
My father and Les struggled with limitations of advancing age. As my mother would say, they're "in a better place" now.
My mom and I attended church the morning after Dad died. Pastor Paul Erdal was a little surprised seeing us there because I'm sure he felt we'd be exhausted and drained. But we couldn't just sit at home alone. It was nice having the company of our church brethren at the service and at coffee hour.
Perhaps my father Ralph is in heaven waving his musical baton and with an assemblage of talented musicians in front of him. That was his second favorite "home." His favorite was "home" home. God bless his memory. Thanks Dad.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Holzheimer knocks down six 3's in victory

Girls basketball: Tigers 53, 'Waska 37
It was showtime with Katie Holzheimer making 3's in the MACA hoops win over Minnewaska Area Friday (2/1).
The 'Waska gym provided comfortable surroundings for the sharpshooting Holzheimer. Coach Dale Henrich's Tigers picked up their 12th win partly on the strength of Holzheimer's six successful 3's in ten attempts.
Another strong suit was freethrows. Coach Henrich had to smile as his team made 13 of 17 tries at the line. Comfortable surroundings indeed!
The scoreboard showed a 53-37 winning outcome for Morris Area Chokio Alberta at game's end.
Holzheimer had all of the team's three-point makes. The team had 14 tries total. In total field goals the Tigers made 17 of 46 attempts.
Nicole Strobel grabbed four rebounds followed by Abbie Olson, Kaitlin Vogel and MaKenzie Smith each with three.
Holzheimer's long-range shooting sharpness lifted her to 24 total points scored. Beth Holland put in seven points followed by Smith and Vogel each with six. Strobel and Becca Holland each added four points to the mix, and Courtney Gades added two.
The Tigers worked to a 28-20 lead at halftime. They entered the weekend with a 10-2 mark in conference play.
Minnewaska came out of the night at 5-15 in overall, 3-9 in conference. Their top scorer was Sydney Joos with 14 points, and Bayley Pooler added ten. Pooler made two 3-point shots. Joos was the top Laker rebounder with seven.
Girls: Tigers 53, Lac qui Parle 33
The MACA girls took charge in their road game vs. Lac qui Parle on Tuesday, Jan. 29.
MACA applied a clear winning stamp by halftime, which arrived with the score 31-17. The momentum continued into the second half. The visiting team was in the driver's seat, carving out a 20-point advantage by game's end. The final horn sounded with the Tigers up 53-33.
It's most encouraging to see MACA come on strong with three-point shooting in recent play. On Tuesday the long-range shooting story was five makes in 12 attempts. Katie Holzheimer had four of the makes and MaKenzie Smith the other. This strong suit would continue into the Tigers' Friday win vs. Minnewaska. Holzheimer has been at the fore.
The Tigers made 23 total field goals against LQPV in 54 attempts. The freethrows were scant: two of four.
Two double figures scorers emerge in the stats: Smith with 13 points and Holzheimer with 12. Beth Holland scored nine points, Abbie Olson eight and Kaitlin Vogel 5, followed by three Tigers who each had two points: Courtney Gades, Becca Holland and Moira McNally.
Gades attacked the boards for five rebounds and she was closely followed by Olson and Vogel each with four. Smith had seven assists and Strobel four. The Holland sisters each had two steals as did Vogel and Cassey Hickman.
The Eagles were an anemic one-for-nine in three-pointers. They were much better in freethrows, sinking 14 of 19 attempts, and in total field goals the host Eagles were nine of 44.
Alaysia Freetly was the Eagles' top scorer with 15 points. MaKenzie Clark had the only LQPV three-pointer.
Boys hoops: Tigers 61, Milbank (SD) 49
The Tigers reached lucky number 13 in the win column on Tuesday, Jan. 29, playing across the border in Milbank, SD. The game had a different look because quarters were in effect, not halves. Halves are the standard in Minnesota.
The Tigers charged out in front 16-8 in the first quarter but slowed some in the second, getting outscored 11-6. Some sputtering was evident into the third quarter, in which Milbank outscored MACA 18-13.
It would all come down to the fourth quarter. When it counted most, coach Mark Torgerson's boys truly excelled. They pummeled Milbank with a 26-12 scoring advantage in the fourth. So the final horn sounded with the Tigers of MACA on top 61-49, upping their season mark to 13-3.
The Tigers were three of eight in three-point shooting with Jacob Torgerson having two of the makes and Chandler Erickson the other. In total field goals the Tigers were 23 of 39. The freethrow story was 50 per cent: 12 of 24.
Austin Dierks was the rebound wizard with six. Erickson stood out in assists with seven and he also led in steals with two.
Let's roll up our sleeves for the scoring list. Here it was Dierks leading with 15 points and he was joined in double figures by Logan Manska with 12 and Erickson with ten. Nic Vipond contributed to the attack with nine points. Jacob Torgerson put in six points, John Tiernan five and Lincoln Berget four.
Milbank looked cold shooting 3's on their home floor: one-for-eight stats. Milbank was 20-for-48 in total field goals. Isaac Lindquist was Milbank's top scorer with 19 points.
Boys hockey: Marshall 5, Storm 4
Normally when our athletes play Marshall it's a clash of "Tigers": Morris and Marshall. But in hockey our athletes go by the "Storm" nickname.
The Lee Center was the site for an MBA vs. Marshall boys hockey clash on Tuesday, Jan. 29. It was a heartbreaker for the home team.
Hopes were bright indeed early in the third period. Tanner Picht scored his third goal of the night, giving MBA a most hopeful 4-2 lead. The rest was downhill. The Tigers of Marshall summoned the momentum to catch up and then surpass MBA on the scoreboard. The game's final was 5-4 with Marshall the victor in this Southwest Conference game.
The first period ended with a 1-1 stalemate. Picht scored the MBA goal with an assist from Mac Beyer at 1:47. MBA had the 2-1 scoring advantage in the second period. Picht scored with assists by Brody Gimberlin and Beyer at 3:00. Following a Marshall goal it was Brody Gimberlin getting the puck in the net, assisted by Picht at 8:48. Picht scored the goal that gave MBA that 4-2 lead at :12 of the third, assisted by Beyer and Gimberlin.
The Marshall Tigers roared back with goals by Derek Rasmussen and Quinn Horvath (two by Horvath).
Kyle Kennedy was the MBA goalie and he had 27 saves. Mason Campion guarded the goal for Marshall.
Viva MBA Storm hockey and Morris Area Chokio Alberta basketball for the winter of 2012-13!
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com