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

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

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

Monday, September 2, 2013

MACA boys drop opener on hot evening

Football: Minnewaska 31, Tigers 14
How long will the honeymoon last for the new MACA football coach? OK I'm just kidding.
Kevin Pope is this young man, too young for me to be acquainted with, and he reportedly seeks a productive ground game as a priority. On Friday, Aug. 30, that game wasn't productive enough to keep pace with the host Minnewaska Area Lakers.
The dateline in the Willmar newspaper reads "Glenwood" but of course the 'Waska school is right in between Glenwood and Starbuck. It was planned (painstakingly) that way. I'm old enough to remember.
The Tigers and Lakers vied on a torrid season opener night, on that football field next to the "cornfield school" of Minnewaska. The game's start was delayed due to heat. A more prudent move might have been to suspend or cancel.
"How hot was it?" Johnny Carson might ask. "It was so hot. . ."
The Lakers overcame the heat and the Tigers. The score was 31-14 as MACA got humbled in Pope's head coaching debut.
It sure seems different not having Jerry Witt along the sidelines as the MACA head man. The passage of time brings change. I'm glad to still be writing about the Tigers. I pre-date coach Witt, going back so far as to a gentleman named Jim Satter (in the disco '70s).
The Tigers made a bid to close the gap Friday. They got to within ten, 24-14, during the fourth quarter. But 'Waska would get breathing room with the game's last touchdown.
If it's any consolation, the total yardage stats for the two teams were pretty even, around 240 yards.
Let's go through the game's scoring. We had Laker Matt Paulson scoring the game's first touchdown on a 39-yard pass reception from Austin Ostrander. The PAT try was no good. The first quarter ended with Minnewaska holding that 6-0 lead.
The Tigers scored their first touchdown of the season when Corey Storck hauled in a pass from Bryce Jergenson. It was a seven-yard aerial hookup and it was followed by a failed kick, so we have a 6-6 tie. The Lakers regained the lead when Greg Helander ran the ball in from the three. Conversion woes continued.
Then it was Ostrander crossing the end zone stripe for Minnewaska on a run from the five. 'Waska tried a pass on the conversion and it fell incomplete.
Halftime arrived with the Lakers up 18-6.
Things got worse before they got better for the visiting Tigers. Ostrander scored on a one-yard run as the second half unfolded. The PAT kick try went awry, so now the score is 24-6.
The Tigers' Jergenson scored on a one-yard run and he also carried successfully on the conversion play. The score breathed new life into the Tigers' cause. But the hopes were snuffed out as Jack Schultenover turned on the jets on a kickoff return. Jack covered 82 yards to score the evening's final touchdown. Ethan Anderson kicked the point-after.
The game's final score: 31-14.
The Tigers had 16 first downs on the night, actually outdoing 'Waska whose total was 13. Jergenson passed for 58 yards but was hurt by two interceptions, one of which had a long return and set up a 'Waska touchdown. Bryce completed eight of 17 pass attempts. His receiving targets were Bo Olson (four catches, 34 yards) and Storck (three catches, 23 yards).
The Willmar newspaper once spelled Bo's name "Beau."
Coach Pope's accented running game had Isaac Wente doing quite well carrying the football: 23 carries for 94 yards. Jordan Thooft had 13 carries for 59 yards. The Tigers were penalized three times for 25 yards. Noah Grove punted the football three times for an average of 34 yards.
Schultenover was "Waska's leading ballcarrier with 56 yards on just two carries. Ostrander completed eight passes in eleven attempts for 86 yards and had one interception. Jayden Beecher was 'Waska's top pass catcher: four, for 50 yards.
Lakers J.R. Formo and Ryan Stottler had quarterback sacks.
Our coach Pope aims to get Motown pointed in a winning direction. If this isn't achieved, might coach Witt be brought back the way the Minnesota Vikings once brought Bud Grant back? It makes me nervous seeing those "young guys" take over!
The Tigers' home debut is set for this Friday, Sept. 6, when the foe will be Paynesville at our Big Cat Stadium. Pheasant Country Sports identifies home games as being at "UM-Morris" but of course Big Cat is a cooperative arrangement, right? It's 50/50.
Kickoff time Friday is 7 p.m. The next three games are all at home!
Volleyball: BBE 3, Tigers 1
The Monday (8/26) match started out on an encouraging note for Morris Area Chokio Alberta volleyball. It was season opener night for the MACA girls. The site: Brooten.
On the other side of the net: the Jaguars of Brooten-Belgrade-Elrosa.
MACA knew a tough challenge awaited. Last year's BBE squad fashioned a 25-8 record. The 2012 Jaguars were close to qualifying for state, coming just one win shy. Last year's data don't necessarily suggest qualities about this year's team. Personnel can change over.
The Tigers and Jaguars bounded onto the court, with temperatures outside sizzling, with 0-0 records. Both were striving for optimism. Only one could win.
Initially the tone of this match looked most encouraging for coach Kristi Fehr's Tigers. (Yours truly worked with Kristi for a number of years when she was at the helm of the Hancock Owls.)
The Tigers turned back the Jags in game #1: score of 28-26. But the Jaguars bore down, employing a balanced attack that steadily overcame the Tigers.
Jaguar Becca Gruber was a force at the net. For the night she'd have 17 kills. Her efforts were complemented nicely by Megan Weller and Kinlee Swanson who turned in 14 and 11 kills respectively. Helping oil that proficient BBE attack was setter Hailey Braegelman whose assist total was 44.
BBE's strong suits yielded winning scores in games #2 through #4. Those scores were 25-15, 26-24 and 25-14.
The game #3 standoff was obviously pivotal. BBE had seized the momentum going into game #4.
The Tigers had to be consoled just being competitive on the night. Highly competitive they were. (I have been waiting for years to see MACA "raid" Hancock for coaches.)
Gruber added to BBE's assets with four ace blocks - team-high. Randi Gafkjen came at the Tigers with four ace serves. Karlee Kern added eleven digs to the mix, plus this Jaguar had three serving aces.
Let's move on to the MACA individual performances. Terianne Itzen stood out in kills with 16. Sydney Engebretson had five and Paige Schieler four. Hunter Mundal was busy in digs, finishing with 27. Beth Holland had 14 digs. Holland had two serving aces.
Chelsey Ehleringer led in set assists with 12 followed by Haley Erdahl with ten.
Last year's Tigers finished 16-9. Look for lots of volleyball thrills on the court over this coming fall!
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com


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