The Tigers did a reversal after an 0-2 season start, putting together back-to-back wins, both achieved in the most pleasing way possible: sweeps!
The volleyball Tigers swept Minnewaska Area and then Paynesville. Thus they enter the new week 2-2. All four of these matches have been played on the road!
Fans will be relieved and happy to get a dose of home cooking. Finally that time arrives this week. Coach Kristi Fehr's Tigers will host Sauk Centre on Tuesday, Sept. 10, then they'll host Montevideo on Thursday.
Playing at the Paynesville court this past Thursday (9/5), the Tigers won in three with scores of 25-10, 25-19 and 25-21. It was a West Central Conference success. It came during a week when the conditions outside seemed to spell midsummer.
I could have sworn that on Friday night, the football game was going to be delayed an hour again, just like for the previous week's season opener. But the game's kickoff was on schedule.
Volleyball: Tigers 3, Paynesville 0
Two Tigers were in double figures in kills in the Thursday volleyball win. Sydney Engebretson came at the Bulldogs with 12 kills. She had 28 good in 31 attempts. Terianne Itzen was proficient at the net with ten kills and 25 of 29 good/attempts numbers.
Paige Schieler was 23-for-26 with nine kills. Lacee Maanum had 16 good, 20 attempts and six kills. Haley Erdahl's numbers: 10-for-12, two kills. And Nicole Strobel produced a kill with her six-of-seven stats.
In serving, Engebretson had two aces to go with her perfect 11-for-11 good/attempts stats. Also to be acknowledged in serving are: Beth Holland (10-for-11 and one ace), Erdahl (15-for-16 and one ace), Chelsey Ehleringer (a flawless 19 of 19 with one ace) and Hunter Mundal (7-8-0).
Erdahl and Ehleringer were the cogs in setting, each posting 12 set assists.
Engebretson was poised at the net, not only attacking the ball but ready for blocks, a department where she had four aces. Erdahl had two blocking aces and Itzen and Schieler one each.
Let's wrap up this stat report with digs. Holland was poised to perform digs, accumulating a team-best 21. Itzen and Mundal accumulated 13 each. Erdahl and Ehleringer each had 11 digs.
I hear that everyone is encouraged to wear orange at the MACA gym on Thursday. Of course, it's the quite natural color to wear at all MACA sports events.
Football: Paynesville 38, Tigers 14
Such was the heat on Friday, you could detect a haze in the air. The Tigers bounded onto the turf at our Big Cat Stadium, ready to take on the green-clad Bulldogs of Paynesville. It was going to be a tough challenge.
Fans could see as this game progressed that Paynesville had a quite smoothly-executing quarterback, looking like a good college prospect (in my view anyway). This individual: Matthew Quade.
Quade certainly had chemistry with Nick Dingmann, a pass-catcher. MACA fans looked on in a downcast way as Quade and Dingmann worked together on four touchdown passes. It was an attack that coach Kevin Pope's Tigers could not surmount.
The Tigers did manage to lead twice in the first half. But the Bulldog passing machine was too much, underscored by 28 of 38 passing stats for Quade and 232 yards. Dingmann had seven total catches for 169 yards. His touchdown catches covered 16, 7, 79 and 17 yards.
Isaac Wente was a stat leader for Motown with 162 rushing yards in 29 carries. Wente crossed the end zone stripe for both of the MACA scores in the first half. Wente had the game's first score: a run from the three. Noah Grove kicked the point-after.
Quade and Dingmann worked their magic for Paynesville's first score. Quade passed to Bryce Savage for two on the conversion. So Paynesville leads. Wente scored from the nine to give Morris Area Chokio Alberta the lead again. Grove's toe was true for the conversion.
Quade and Dingmann hooked up for the game's next two scores - passes of seven and 79 yards. Paynesville did the rest of the night's scoring. Quade ran three yards for a touchdown and passed to Dingmann for 17 yards. The game's final score: 38-14.
The Tigers failed to score in the second half. They now own a 0-2 record.
Wente dominated the Tigers' running game. Jordan Thooft also got some handoffs and this Tiger picked up 35 yards in ten carries.
Quarterback Bryce Jergenson had trouble finding his rhythm as he completed four passes in 12 attempts for 36 yards. He was not picked off.
Coach Pope's crew will play the second of three straight home games this Friday, Sept. 13 (yes, Friday the 13th), when the opponent will be Sauk Centre. Will we hear the band again? Will the heat subside?
Should "visitors' comments" be re-visited?
I'm starting to get the notion that our Morris Area school board will rue the day it began the "visitors' comments."
The public has historically not made a big deal of this, or at least that's my impression. Lately, though, I get the impression that "visitors' comments" might be becoming a forum in which parents with a variety of beefs are going to show up and hang them out to dry.
Free speech? Of course we have free speech. The question is process. Should anyone just be allowed to show up and squawk about something? This perhaps isn't even the crux of the problem.
The crux may be the inclination of a certain media business in Morris to highlight a "squawk" in its subsequent coverage, as if that item had the most gravity on that night. A parent will come and vent and then see that subject get headline treatment. The public observes and realizes this is a platform for getting grievances aired.
Which is fine, but grievances could get disproportionate attention in the scheme of things. We all know it's tremendously easy for school parents to develop their little gripes, not that they are all to be dismissed, of course, but it's impossible running a school to please everyone all the time.
Here's the danger I see now: A pattern of complaints getting disproportionate attention in the press, could get administrators discouraged, feeling under siege as it were. They might become jaded and cynical before their time. And we don't want them to have that kind of outlook. We want them to be cheery and idealistic as long as possible.
I have seen certain school administrators get worn down in my life. It's a daunting job they have. And I'm not sure school board members should have to sit there listening to comments on subjects that may not be under their direct purview. Many such comments ought to go directly to an administrator, perhaps via email, and get a response on those terms with no newspaper headline involved.
It is ridiculous that the school's most reasonable no-hat (in classroom) policy became a tempest in a teapot recently. A certain media manager in Morris greased the skids on that, crossing a line in terms of propriety, in my view. I don't think this community has been torn apart at all on the hat policy.
This pass-fail hubbub of late could probably be adjudicated without the public demonstration at the school board meeting. Parents who wish to speak for "visitors' comments" should perhaps at least be screened beforehand, to see if the subject is really proper for the board to listen to in such a formal setting.
Other than that, let's have a happy and successful new school year at MAHS!
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - firstname.lastname@example.org