"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, October 17, 2013

Tigers and their fans stunned at YME

YME 14, Tigers 7
MACA made the trip to Granite Falls Wednesday to end 2013 regular season play. This was the annual mid-week game which in the old days we called the "MEA week game."
When I was in high school there were no playoffs. I remember interviewing former Morris head coach Stan Kent and him saying he didn't believe in the playoffs, because it diminishes conference-level accomplishments. In other words, if you win your conference, a subsequent loss in the playoffs takes some luster from that.
The Tigers of 2013 don't have to worry about winning their conference. They have a lot on their plate now trying to determine what went so awfully wrong.
This is a season with a new head coach. Could it be the "new guy" or "young guy" wasn't completely ready? Or that he ended up overmatched? Is there long-term damage done to the program? Whatever, the trip to Granite Falls Wednesday ended in supreme disappointment.
Be honest, all you fans had this game penciled in as a "win" from the get-go. The game itself would be a formality, right? We'd actually be concentrating on preparing for the post-season, as surely YME would be no obstacle.
Back when the Tigers were 1-4, conventional wisdom had it that we'd likely finish 4-4. In other words, we'd run the table. We actually ended up like a pool player who has had too many drinks. Let history show that on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, the Tigers lost to a team that had lost 26 straight.
We should all be very happy for the YME kids including Austin Vikander who has family connections to Motown. I remember photographing Austin's mother Anna (Carrington) when she ran in state track. Anna was a premier 400m runner. I have prodded her on how she should resume her running, as she continues to look very trim and fit.
The Sting of Yellow Medicine East defeated our Tigers 14-7 Wednesday night.
The Tigers are on the ropes, having sunk to a 2-6 record. They seemed ungainly with their execution toward the end of the game. Does this reflect coaching?
Might we hear calls to get Jerry Witt and Lyle Rambow back in the coaching fold, with Witt ready to apply a stabilizing effect? I'd like to toss my hat in this circle, of getting the old veteran hands involved again.
Maybe I'm biased because these guys are my age. Whatever, I'm ready to see Witt's savvy as a head coach re-implemented. I'm ready to see that occasional "hook and ladder" play as a dagger toward the opposing team. Boomers like us aren't ready to step into obscurity.
The YME Sting had not won since October 26, 2010, when they beat Lac qui Parle in the 5AA playoffs.
The Tigers certainly have some talented players. Isaac Wente had another good rushing night Wednesday. Isaac carried the football 26 times for 126 yards. Trent Wulf had seven carries for 37 yards, and Jordan Thooft plunged forward for 30 yards in seven carries.
Bryce Jergenson threw the football in a conservative passing game. He attempted just eleven passes, completing four for 38 yards. He was not picked off.
Wulf had two of the catches for 22 yards. Corey Storck had one catch for ten yards, and Bo Olson one catch for six.
The Sting strike first
YME was the first team to score on Wednesday. Vikander carried the ball into the end zone from 16 yards out. Grant Lalim kicked the point-after.
Halftime arrived with the score 7-0. It was exasperating. MACA fans at season's start didn't anticipate any special challenge with this game.
Finally the Tigers scored in the third quarter. Wente carried the ball in from the six. Noah Grove kicked the point-after.
The backbreaker for the Tigers was when YME's Blake Lindstrom completed an 83-yard touchdown pass to Chase Richter in the fourth quarter. Lalim's toe was true on the point-after, and the score is now 14-7 with the Tigers unable to summon any comeback momentum.
Vikander finished with 105 rushing yards on 16 carries. Lindstrom completed four passes in 14 attempts for 141 yards and had two interceptions. Richter had two catches for 91 yards, while teammates Landon Evans and Lalim each had one catch.
Turnovers were a tale of woe for the Tigers. There were five lost fumbles! Three individuals were credited with fumble recoveries for the Sting: John Espinosa, Cody Mathiowitz and Josh Hoernemann. Mathiowitz had a QB sack.
YME standouts on the tackle chart were Ted Sjurseth, Cole Hatch, Landon Evans, Mathiowitz and Hoernemann. Lalim did the YME punting.
A 14-7 loss to YME! Fans couldn't have envisioned this in their dreams. Might we be on the verge of a drought on the gridiron much like what YME has been though? You never know when something like this might set in. Do not underestimate the role of coaching.
I remember when Granite Falls, before it was part of YME, was a tremendous football power on its own. One of the most historic wins in the history of Tiger football was at Granite Falls in the late 1980s. Coach Witt used a gimmick play at the end.
Coach Lou Holtz once separated two of his fingers by about an inch and said to his players: "The difference between winning and losing is that much!" Well-spoken.
It appeared the Tigers were not playing the percentages as well as they could have, in the closing stages Wednesday. The apparent ineptness even seemed to creep into the broadcast booth, where Mark Torgerson initially called a YME field goal attempt as "good" and then had to say "no, it's wide right." Have an extra cup of coffee, guys.
Anyone who wishes to see coaches Witt and Rambow back into the picture, please call or email Athletic Director Mark Ekren.
In other Wednesday action, BOLD crushed Benson 36-0, Melrose beat Montevideo 47-27, Underwood beat Hancock 43-6, Canby beat Lac qui Parle 27-13, and ACGC toppled Sauk Centre 31-6.
Volleyball update: The MACA volleyball Tigers will debut for post-season play on Friday, Oct. 25, at home against Montevideo. Match time is 7 p.m. for this Section 3, Class AA match.
Cross country: the conference meet
West Central Conference runners gathered at Granite Falls Wednesday, a day later than originally planed, for the big conference meet. Weather is what caused the delay.
Aaron Goulet led the MACA boys with his third place finish achieved with a time of 17:42. Kurt TeBeest of Monte was first into the finish chute in the boys race, clocked at 17:17 on the 5K route. YME's Jacob Carroll finished second at 17:24.
Goulet was joined in the top ten by teammate Ryan Gray who was seventh with his time of 18:37.
The three other Tiger runners were Jonathan Jerke (16th place, 19:06), Eric Staebler (27th, 20:03) and Travis Ostby (30th, 20:14). Monte had the top boys team and MACA was No. 3.
Savannah Aanerud led the Morris Area Chokio Alberta girls' effort, finishing fifth with her time of 16:29 on the 4K route. Claire Sulflow of Monte won the girls race with her 15:21 clocking.
Lauren Reimers of the Tigers placed 21st with her time of 18:14. Becca Holland was 23rd (18:32), Kali Berlinger 26th (19:01) and Kindra Cannon 30th (19:16).
Benson-KMS had the top girls team while MACA finished fourth. Dale Henrich coaches the running Tigers.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

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