"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)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Win No. 6 for MACA boys, score of 75-63

I'm posting on the MACA vs. YME boys hoops game on a day when there are apparently new developments with the sexual assault charges vs. our high school principal. A person with a background at the school told me last night (Tuesday) that the charges have been "tossed out."
What? How is that possible? Shouldn't our local law enforcement authorities be pretty darn certain about such charges before announcing them to the public, and having them reported all over the Upper Midwest, like in several of the newspapers owned by the Forum Communications chain? Or, having these charges laid out in a story on the KMRS/KKOK website that warranted a "XXX" rating?
These charges are as serious as you can get. A prosecutor should be very careful in making them. If the charges were thrown out because of "new information gained," that information should have been obtained and weighed before the charges were made and announced.
To the official making these charges: Do you know what you have done to this young man's life? Do you realize there is no way this individual can ever escape the specter of those charges? Do you realize all the cost and resources that went into training Mr. Peterson to be a school administrator?
Will we now learn the name of the accuser in this matter? The person who was referred to in media reports as the "victim?"
It's a sordid mess that has hurt the school district in terms of the distraction that was caused, the loss of the professional services of Mr. Peterson, and the unseemly nature of the subject matter.
We will be waiting for an explanation from the prosecuting authorities, and see if there's some sort of apology, or maybe even charges directed at them, or a civil case.
Stevens County, in my opinion, has had a reputation for overzealous law enforcement for some time. Perhaps a town meeting should be planned. I congratulate Robert Dalager for his apparently exemplary work on behalf of the principal.
Tigers 75, YME 63
On to the real business of our public school: enriching kids' lives. Coach Mark Torgerson's Tigers defeated the Sting of Yellow Medicine East on Tuesday night, Jan. 28 (my birthday) at home. I'm glad my birthday was so inspiring (LOL).
Eric Staebler had a super night, pouring in 32 points and vacuuming the boards for eleven rebounds. Noah Grove was a force helping propel the Tigers to victory too. Noah's point total: 22. Plus he dished out five assists and stole the ball four times. He used 3's to build his point total. Four times Noah sent the ball through the twine from three-point range.
The Tigers were able to overcome the 35 points scored by Sting standout Blake Lindstrom.
The Tigers worked to a 39-29 lead at halftime.
Grove had all but one of MACA's five 3-pointers. Staebler had the other, and the MACA team numbers were five of eleven. In total field goals the stats were 28 of 51. In freethrows: 14 of 23.
Here's the complete scoring list: Staebler (32), Grove (22), Nathan Anderson (7), Bryce Jergenson (6), Jacob Zosel (4) and Andrew Goulet (4).
Staebler's eleven rebounds were followed by Jergenson with seven. Grove and Jergenson each had five assists.
Lindstrom made seven 3-pointers for the visiting Sting. Austin Vikander, a Sting player with family connections to Motown, had a cool night with three points. Chase Richter scored 12 points. Lindstrom had seven rebounds and four assists.
The Tigers came out of my birthday with a 6-11 overall record, 4-6 in conference. Last fall, the YME football team ended a long losing streak by upsetting our Tigers. Fans at the MAHS gym were delighted to see a turnaround in fortunes Tuesday.
Click on the link below to read about the MAHACA wrestling team's recent wins over Paynesville and Benson. This post is on my companion website, "Morris of Course." Thanks for reading. - B.W.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Monday, January 27, 2014

Girls score 85 in downing Ortonville, here

Tigers 85, Ortonville 45
The MACA girls roared onto their home court and took care of business Friday (1/24), seizing control by halftime (up 43-23) and downing Ortonville in the end, 85-45.
The Tigers were coming off a loss to Sauk Centre the night before. On Friday the squad was humming in all categories. They now own a 9-6 overall record.
Rebekah Aanerud made three 3-pointers while Becca Holland and Nicole Strobel each made one. As a team the Tigers were five of eleven in 3's. In total field goals: 33 of 86. In freethrows: 14 of 27.
Coach Dale Henrich spread the playing time around. He and the fans were delighted to see 12 Tigers get into the scoring column - all 12 who played. It was Lauren Reimers leading the scoring list with 15 points. Nicole Strobel put in 12 points and Beth Holland eleven.
Aanerud's three-pointers put her total at nine, then we have three Tigers each scoring six points: Becca Holland, Lacee Maanum and Kaitlin Vogel. Abbie Olson scored five points followed by three Tigers each with four: Kayla Pring, Sam Henrichs and Piper Gibson. Correy Hickman added three points to the mix.
Becca Holland and Strobel co-led in rebounds, each with seven. Becca Holland led in assists with six followed by Reimers with four. In steals it was Becca Holland coming through with five followed by Reimers, Beth Holland and Olson each with three.
This was a non-conference game. Ortonville is having a decent campaign and entered the weekend at 8-6. Ortonville made five 3-pointers Friday led by Rachel Hoernermann with three. Becca Peterson made two 3-pointers. Hoernemann led the Ortonville scoring list with 19 points. Breanna Giese put in 13 points.
Sauk Centre 66, Tigers 49
MACA hosted a powerful Sauk Centre Streeter team on Thursday, Jan. 23. It was the day after a pretty powerful blizzard. Weather grew normal on Thursday and the Streeters made the trip to Motown.
Sauk came here with an 8-0 conference record. The Streeters were seeking their tenth overall win against one loss. They got it. Sauk succeeded often from three-point range - 12 times in fact - and the Streeters humbled the Tigers 66-49. Sauk owned a 31-20 lead at halftime.
Ali Peterson made six of the Sauk three-pointers and topped their scoring list with 24 points. Madison Greenwaldt and Shania Baum each made two 3's. Alea Gerhartz and Kelsey Peschel each made one '3'.
Sauk Centre made 18 total field goals and was 16 of 22 at the freethrow line.
Coach Dale Henrich's Tigers came out of the night still over .500 at 8-6. In conference: 6-2.
The teams had contrasting personalities on the court, with MACA attempting just three 3-pointers and making one. Becca Holland had the one make. They say you can live by the three-pointer and die by it. Sauk Centre summoned lots of "mo" with long-range shooting. Take a look at the numbers: Sauk had those 12 three-pointers compared with just six field goals from inside the 3-point line.
Becca Holland had the lone MACA '3' but it was her sister Beth leading the team in scoring with 19 points. Becca was No. 2 with nine points. Then came Lauren Reimers with six, Kayla Pring and Kaitlin Vogel each with four, Lacee Maanum and Abbie Olson each with three, and Nicole Strobel with one.
Maanum and Vogel co-led in rebounds with eight. Reimers led in assists with five and in steals with three. Beth Holland had three assists. Olson had two steals.
The Tigers made 17 total field goals in 60 attempts, and were 14 of 29 in freethrows.
Boys: Lac qui Parle 66, Tigers 56
The MACA boys made the trip to Eagle country of Lac qui Parle Valley Friday (1/24). This was a non-conference game. Noah Grove got hot in long-range shooting but it wasn't enough. Grove hit five 3-pointers but it was LQPV winning in the end, 66-56.
Lucas Strand was a force for the host Eagles, scoring 18 points, and teammate Kellen Kessler scored nine, all on 3-pointers. Brandon Hill stoked LQPV's cause with eight points, and this total was matched by Garrett Olson and Noah Jensen.
Hill showed a deft touch with six assists. Olson went up to block five shots. Cody Nesvold scored six points for the Eagles, Jon Nielsen had five and Austin Haas four. Nielsen made a three-pointer to complement Kessler's hot touch in that department. Jensen nabbed four rebounds, and Strand had two steals.
Noah Grove had five of the eight MACA three-pointers. Bryce Jergenson, Eric Staebler and Joey Dufault made the others. The Tigers made 22 total field goals and were four of eight in freethrows.
Grove was MACA's top scorer with 19 points, and Jergenson reached double figures too with eleven. Perhaps the LQPV defense took special measures vs. center Staebler, whose point total on this night was a cool seven. Ian Howden scored six, followed by Nathan Anderson (4), Riley Biesterfeld (3), Dufault (3), CJ Nagel (2) and Jacob Zosel (1).
Morris Area Chokio Alberta owns a 5-11 overall record. LQPV fans were most pleased to see their team's win Friday, as wins have been scarce for them (four thus far, against 12 losses).
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Friday, January 24, 2014

Youth sports: significant strides, change

I am delighted to still be writing about youth sports in Morris. In this winter that must be challenging for those with seasonal affective disorder, sports gives spice.
The most recent blast of (lousy) weather peaked on Wednesday, a day when no games are scheduled anyway. The schedule has proceeded. Our MACA girls hosted Sauk Centre last night (Thursday). Unfortunately that was a loss, 64-49. I will be posting about the Thursday and Friday games on Monday.
Wednesday's conditions seemed like a blizzard. I hadn't expected such severity, based on the forecasts. Forecasts can be maddeningly vague with words like "snow flurries" and "snow showers."
Wednesday's wind made the word "blizzard" seem appropriate. But strangely, on the morning after, I found I could back out through the driveway without having to shovel. Minnesota weather has lots of vagaries.
The Weather Channel is using both "flurries" and "showers" in connection to today (Friday). In other words, get set for something bad again.
Before this post starts coming across like Andy Rooney, let me get back on topic: youth sports. I don't know if you parents of today realize or appreciate it, but prep sports is wholly healthy and vital today. "What do you mean," you might be asking.
Keep in mind my long background and perspective. I have a black & white photo that shows yours truly along the football sideline in Alexandria, in my role as stringer for the Morris Sun Tribune, in 1972. This was when Watergate was just getting going. Chris Christie was ten years old (and portly?). I'm catching a pass that must have been lobbed to me by a buddy before the game started. I'm wearing a gaudy fishing hat. This was over 40 years ago! I have observed a lot over that time.
I was promoted to the high school pep band before I was really ready or qualified. We played tunes that today would be called "oldies." They were current hits then, like "Do You Know the Way to San Jose?" I was in the high school marching band when its show tune was "Marcho Vivo." I can still do the fingering for the trumpet from that tune's signature line.
Boys tended to play brass, girls were attracted to flute and clarinet. If you were a girl who wanted to play the trumpet, you risked being labeled a "tomboy." Once girls sports came into being, there was a much straighter path to being a tomboy. Don that uniform, and go out there and see if you and your teammates can advance the length of the basketball court without being called for traveling.
Does anyone have a list of the original girls volleyball and basketball players for Morris High School? It would be neat having them get together in some type of program and have them share reflections on what it was like being "pioneers." I know Paula Fevold of my MHS Class of 1973 was a pioneer player.
Sports goes through eras and transitions just like all important institutions in our society. Up until the '70s, roughly speaking, we had a sports model that I would define in connection to the movie "Hoosiers." Sports wasn't just healthy participation. The players, male, were like gladiators representing the town in a parochial sort of way. (I'm still mystified why the Barbara Hershey character even attended the games in that movie - she was so sullen.)
Sports was like the lifeblood of the community, its reason for being. When the Morris High School basketball team of 1955 - no need to specify boys - made state in the one-class system, I'm sure many elements of that "Hoosiers" model were in place. The cheerleaders became celebrities. I'm puzzled that in "Hoosiers," we never got to meet them. But maybe that was an extension of the model: the idea that these "cute girls" were just off to the side as an inconsequential trapping, like the band.
I attended a couple MHS Tiger games when the old elementary gym, now razed, was in use. Until 1968 it was not the "elementary gym." (This was one of those gyms that doubled as an auditorium.)
There are no cheerleaders today. Once girls sports got going, band directors everywhere realized they couldn't have the band play at every game anymore. There were too many of them. The very tiny schools, like what we saw in "Hoosiers," slowly went out of existence like a series of dominoes.
So today, "Morris High School" has had the word "Area" wedged into it, which forced a change in the school song. We could no longer chant "M-H-S" in the early part, we had to wedge an "A" in there, which is not at all what composer Bob Schaefer would have intended. I'm bothered, coming from a musical family as I do, that this is even being done.
The solution might come someday when we may go back to the "Morris High School" name. I mean, why not? It's understood that we cover an "area" just like any comparable-size school.
Girls sports ended up being part of a broad evolution in sports offerings. Little by little, the "gladiatorial model" with its Gene Hackman coach, arguing with the local barber, was phased out and we got a far more participatory and egalitarian model. Along with that, that horrible one-class system for basketball with its inherent unfairness, was given the ax.
First we had the two-class system for a number of years. There was still lots of unfairness. The triumph of the new thinking came with the multi-layered class system - even more classes for football than for basketball.
Ten years from now, I might be writing about the death of football. That's still speculative. Any parent who honestly confronts the risks associated with football would have to pull their kid out. The old ingrained thinking remains too strong. These things always take time, just as with taking girls basketball and volleyball every bit as seriously as the boys teams for those seasons.
There used to be a strain within academia that looked down on sports for kids. There was some merit to this thinking, actually, when participation at the varsity level was so limited, when it was viewed as a badge of masculinity and popularity and when wins seemed to equate to glory for your town.
When I was in high school, only the "starting five" of the basketball team really seemed to be special, and we'd joke about the backups and "scrubs" only getting in the games when the outcome was determined. A coach would speak in a condescending way at sports banquets about those backups, saying these individuals "sure helped us in practice" (as if they could have no more value).
Well, we eventually saw the creation of full-fledged hockey, swimming and gymnastics to broaden opportunity. Perhaps we take the Lee Community Center for granted today. There was no such thing when I was young. Oh, and there was no FFA chapter when I was in high school: unbelievable.
Wrestling? Prior to girls basketball, it was the "other" sport, one that self-consciously flailed to try to get some attention and a sense of legitimacy. When the pep band showed up for a wrestling match, we realized it was political. Why would anyone want to come and watch this? It was boring and rather depressing - depressing to see how the losing kids got beat around. The incentive to lose weight in that sport has no positive justification.
When I channel-surf on Mediacom and discover a wrestling match on Channel 22 (from Iowa, most likely), I can't click away fast enough. Today Morris hosts a wrestling program with other towns which in the past had their own programs. The old District 21 wrestling tournament included teams from a number of small towns. That model is gone with the wind. I felt there were too many emotional rivalries in those days, or to be blunt: small town parochialism.
Those poor kids would be perfectly happy being friends with each other if they didn't wear different-colored uniforms and weren't forced to do battle. I remember a Morris wrestler who had to wrestle at a heavier weight class than he would have liked in the tournament - a really fine wrestler - and he just got killed (figuratively speaking) by a wrestler from Hancock. It was so unnecessary to see that.
The values surrounding sports seem much healthier today. Today when a Morris team loses in the first round of the post-season, the parents don't go home crying. They just figure their kids had been through a healthy experience, part of growing up. The parochialism of "Hoosiers" seems to be gone. At least that's how I view it.
Academic people seem far less inclined to pooh-pooh athletics as being regressive, primitive or whatever other such words you want to come up with. I remember an art teacher at St. Cloud State University, last name of Sykora, who went into an absolute rant about sports once. I'll bet you wouldn't hear this today, or if you did, this teacher might be reprimanded from above.
We can't predict what the future might bring. But at some point, I hope it doesn't include football.
Let's be futurists
What if the numbers drop off dramatically for football at the younger ages? We have heard about proposed legislation that would prohibit football for boys under the age of 14. There is no way you can make a rational argument against this.
Some have said such rules will "kill off football." Well, here's my little violin.
Football isn't likely to die a quick death, rather we might see the creation of regional "club" teams to replace our current model of a team for every high school. Costs might not have to be borne by school district budgets. Already we see some hockey players willing to commute long distances to be on a team. I don't understand it, but the rabid embrace of hockey is something I have never understood. There is too much intense contact in the sport. And it's cold.
Let's deconstruct a little
I can remember being present at many post-season athletic contests that had an atmosphere of pandemonium. I went along with it, except at my subconscious level, where I had reservations. What does all this prove? A group of five kids - the starting lineup for basketball - goes out there and outperforms a group of five kids from another town, using skills honed over countless hours of practice, and toward what end, really?
These skills will be of practically no value to these kids once they graduate. Also, much of these accomplishments can be attributed to innate skills or talent - we all know that. Some kids are born with greater strength and coordination than others. Why do we allow these kids to become gladiators, in effect?
Might the experience even be bad for them psychologically? Do they end up feeling used? Maybe they feel they aren't being rewarded well enough, considering all the "glory" they're bringing for their town.
I'll be more radical in my suggestions: Might prep sports be a relic of an earlier time, when the outlets for constructive youth energy were much fewer than today? Are we, in effect, viewing a fossil?
The regular season games aren't so bad. I remember Stan Kent, MHS football coach in the 1960s, saying he didn't approve of post-season playoffs for football. He said it devalued regular season accomplishments. He said winning the conference was a good enough goal.
I can remember the Hancock and Wheaton girls basketball teams filling our UMM P.E. Center for the post-season. The sound could be deafening. The pep bands challenged your eardrums. Morris girls basketball never had to worry about being any part of that.
Wheaton and Hancock reached incredible heights. I could see that running and pressing were major ingredients in GBB success then. No fooling with passing the ball around the perimeter and "looking for an open shot." This wasn't textbook basketball, it was hand-to-hand combat.
Thousands filled the P.E. Center and ate it all up. I covered a lot of it for the media. I figured that if this is what our school systems want, I should just shrug and accept it.
Hancock Principal Roger Clarke's (RIP) son played the "Batman" theme on electric guitar.
I think because of the four-class system in basketball today, emotions are more subdued and controlled. My, do I welcome that. We don't have a sense of towns being at war with each other anymore. Leave that to "Hoosiers."
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Veil of bad weather doesn't hinder MACA boys

Tigers 67, P-ville 53
MACA was able to play at Paynesville Tuesday night despite what seemed to be a worsening weather situation. I wasn't sure if games were going to be played that night. It appears they all got played. And that was good news for the MACA boys, because they downed the Bulldogs.
Eric Staebler and Noah Grove again made special contributions. Staebler was a force with his 17 points and 14 rebounds. And Grove came through with 13 points that included three 3-pointers.
The Tigers achieved their fifth win of the season, score of 67-53. Coach Mark Torgerson's squad was up 33-27 at halftime.
Grove had all but one of the team's three-pointers. Staebler had the other, as MACA put up team numbers of four-for-ten. In total field goals the Tigers made 27 of 53. And from the freethrow line: nine of 15.
Staebler's 14 rebounds were followed by three Tigers each with four: Bryce Jergenson, CJ Nagel and Nathan Anderson. In scoring, Staebler with his 17 points and Grove with 13 were followed by: Anderson (10), Jergenson (9), Jacob Zosel (7), Riley Biesterfeld (6), Andrew Goulet (2), Nagel (2) and Jordan Arbach (1).
The Tigers outscored Paynesville 34-26 in the second half.
Paynesville tried lots of three-pointers with limited success: six makes in 23 tries. Mitchell Weidner made four of those. Andrew Topp made the other two, and this Bulldog led in rebounds with ten.
Topp was the top Bulldog scorer with 16 points, followed by Weidner with 14. Jordan Roos dished out four assists.
If there was any doubt about the direction the weather was taking, it was clear on Wednesday when the word "blizzard" would have applied. The Tigers got home Tuesday night before the turn for the worst. I felt it was prudent for everyone to just stay home Tuesday night. But I'm old and cautious.
Right now as I'm typing this - early afternoon on Thursday - it's colder than all get-out.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Monday, January 20, 2014

Hoops: boys & girls impress in Friday play

Boys: 69-63 win
MACA prevailed in an overtime thriller at home Friday (1/17). The opponent was Melrose.
Regulation time ended with the score 58-all. Fans at the MAHS gym were on the edge of seats for the OT extension. Jordan Arbach was a standout. This Tiger put in six points during OT. Noah Grove went to the freethrow line and showed poise. Grove made a pair of freethrows with 30 seconds left, helping seal the win for MACA.
The final score: 69-63. It was MACA's fourth win of the season against ten losses. Coach Mark Torgerson's crew outscored the Dutchmen 36-28 in the first half. 
The orange and black faithful are now looking for another little win skein to start.
According to the Willmar newspaper, the Tigers' next game is tomorrow (Tuesday). But in the MAHS school calendar, it says the Tigers will play tonight (Monday) at Eden Valley-Watkins. I'm surprised at the school calendar, because isn't today a holiday? Isn't it Martin Luther King Day? Whatever, maybe the Willmar newspaper is right, and the next game is Tuesday at Paynesville. We'll see.
In beating Melrose, the Tigers were sharp and efficient in three-point shooting. They made five of nine attempts from beyond the 3-point stripe. Grove was a leader with three of the makes. Eric Staebler made the other two.
In total field goals the Tigers were 23 of 49. In freethrows: 18 of 28.
Staebler and Grove were characteristically at the fore of the Tigers' scoring. Staebler put in 25 points and Grove 15. Bryce Jergenson scored eight points followed by Arbach and Nathan Anderson each with six.
Jacob Zosel added five points to the mix and Andrew Goulet four.
Staebler topped the rebounding with seven. Zosel led in assists with five followed by Jergenson and Staebler each with four. Goulet was tops in steals with five.
Melrose wasn't at all bashful about shooting from three-point range. Melrose had fair success with this weapon too, making 13 of 29 attempts. Seth Noll, a familiar rival for MACA sports teams, was sharp with his shooting eye Friday, making eight long-rangers. Cole Van Beck and Ben Klaphake each made two 3-pointers, and Cesar Cervantes made one.
Noll scored a team-best 24 points. Tyler Braegelman pulled down 12 rebounds for Melrose. Noll led the Dutchmen in assists with five and in steals with four.
Girls: Tigers 68, Benson 39
The MACA girls took care of business Friday (1/17) with a 68-39 win. The Tigers were on the road playing Benson. This was a suspense-free game in contrast with the MACA boys game at home, an OT affair.
Coach Dale Henrich's girls team worked to a 33-22 halftime lead. MACA picked up steam in the second half, outscoring the maroon-clad Braves 35-17.
This was victory No. 8 on the season for our orange and black crew, against five losses. In conference the Tigers have the quite robust 6-1 numbers. They made 28 of 85 field goal attempts Friday. In 3's they had only four attempts, making two, with Beth Holland and Liz Tiernan having the two makes.
In freethrows the Tigers posted 10-for-21 numbers.
Becca Holland topped the scoring list with 14 points. She was joined in double figures by Beth Holland with eleven and Lauren Reimers with ten. Kayla Pring scored eight points and Lacee Maanum six. Liz Tiernan scored five, followed by these three Tigers each with four: Sam Henrichs, Nicole Strobel and Abbie Olson. Piper Gibson contributed two points.
Becca Holland led in rebounds with 12, followed by Pring with eight. Reimers was the assist leader with seven followed by Beth Holland with five. Olson had four steals and Reimers three.
Kaitlin Vogel had six shot blocks.
Hannah Ricard led the host Braves with her 17 points. Taylor Laumeyer made two 3-pointers for Benson. Ricard pulled down six rebounds while Cyra Carlson had five. Krista Motzko dished out three assists.
Benson has had a winless season.
Viva Morris Area Chokio Alberta boys and girls basketball for 2014!
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Friday, January 17, 2014

MACA girls show balance to beat Sigurdson

Tigers 57, BOLD 51
Carly Sigurdson of the visiting BOLD Warriors was sensational on Tuesday, Jan. 14. But it was the host Morris Area Chokio Alberta Tigers who won the game.
MACA fans were happy at game's end, having seen their team up its conference record to 5-1, and also with the opportunity to see someone with Sigurdson's offensive prowess. Sigurdson made six 3-pointers. Wow! Her point total was a most lofty 39. She simply needed more complementary elements around her. Maybe she's too much of a one-person team.
Whatever, it was the orange and black Tigers showing the winning chemistry. Coach Dale Henrich's Tigers upped their overall season record to 7-5.
The game was tight at halftime with MACA owning an edge of one, 23-22. The Tigers then turned on the jets the rest of the way, outscoring Sigurdson and her BOLD mates 34-29. The Tigers won 57-51.
BOLD came out of the night with a 6-4 overall record, 4-2 in conference.
Sigurdson made all but one of her team's three-pointers. Baylay Kubesh made the other. Sigurdson also led BOLD in rebounds with six, and shared the lead in steals with three, with Kubesh and Mallory Steffel.
The Tigers were two of nine in three-point shooting with Becca Holland having both of the makes. Becca topped the MACA scoring list with her 18 points.
The stats show MACA with a balanced scoring attack in contrast to BOLD, as four Tigers scored in double figures. Becca was joined in that category by Lauren Reimers with eleven points, and Beth Holland and Lacee Maanum both with ten. Kaitlin Vogel put in four points, while Nicole Strobel and Moira McNally each had two.
Maanum attacked the boards to accumulate 12 rebounds. Becca pulled down nine rebounds.
Becca had the team-best assist total of four, and she was also tops in steals with four. Abbie Olson came through with three steals.
In total field goals the Tigers were 23 of 75. In freethrows: nine of 18.
How dominant was Sigurdson in BOLD's scoring? No other Warrior had more than three points! Kubesh had three - she had to, because she made a 3-pointer - and after that it's a series of 2's on the scoring list, and then one Warrior with one point.
Boys hockey: Storm 5, Windom 2
Five different MBA Storm skaters put in goals in the recent Saturday triumph over Windom. The Storm prevailed 5-2.
These five skaters got the goals: Nate Vipond, Ethan Stahman, Matt Hoffman, Bo Olson and Lincoln Pahl.
MBA owned this game through the first two periods. The Storm scored two goals in each of the first two periods, while blanking Windom.
Vipond got the game's first goal, coming at 9:16 of the first period, unassisted. Then it was Ethan Stahman putting the puck in the net at 15:59, assisted by Kevin Meixel and Taylor Staples.
On to the second period: Matt Hoffman scored at 7:38 with an assist from Taner Gimberlin. Bo Olson got his goal at 15:07 with assists from Corey Storck and Chad Schwarz.
Ryley Espenson scored on the power play to get Windom's first goal at 2:01 of the third period, with an assist from Jack Mellstrom. Windom struck again when Mitchell Macek got a power play goal at 3:28, with assists from Devin Nielsen and Mellstrom. MBA got the final goal of the game: Lincoln Pahl got the puck in the net, power play style, at 9:24 with an assist from Matt Hoffman.
Tony Bruns worked in goal for Morris Benson Area, opposed by Nate Monson.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Girls roll over LQPV, boys fall at ACGC

Tigers 68, LQPV 25
Cheers were frequent at our MAHS gym on Monday (1/13) as the Tigers made basket after basket. The MACA girls were totally in command against the Eagles of Lac qui Parle Valley. Coach Dale Henrich's squad prevailed in the 68-25 final.
The Tigers raced to a 27-11 lead by halftime.
The decisive edge was especially impressive when you consider LQPV entered with a good won-lost record. Even after Monday, the Eagles owned one more win on the season than MACA (7 to 6). The MACA record: 6-5.
Morris Area Chokio Alberta outscored the Eagles 41-14 in the second half. The MACA scoring had a balanced flavor. Eleven Tigers were in the scoring list. This list is topped by Beth Holland who put in 14 points. Lauren Reimers scored nine, followed by Liz Tiernan and Becca Holland who each had seven.
The list continues with Nicole Strobel and Abbie Olson each with six points, and then three Tigers each with four: Kayla Pring, Kaitlin Vogel and Sam Henrichs. Rebekah Aanerud contributed three points and Piper Gibson two.
These numbers add up to 66 points, not 68, but that's how it was reported in the Willmar newspaper.
The Tigers made four of eight 3-point shots and were 29 of 62 in total field goals. These Tigers made the 3's: Aanerud, Reimers, Beth Holland and Tiernan. In freethrows the Tigers were six of ten.
It was Becca Holland topping the rebound list with seven, followed by Reimers with six. Vogel led in assists with four followed by Pring and Beth Holland each with three. Beth Holland stole the ball four times, and Olson had two steals.
It's hard to keep track of these things, but Lac qui Parle is a non-conference opponent.
None of the Eagles scored in double figures. Kelsea Lund and Alaysia Freetly each scored seven points. Kaitlin Connor and Sarah Halldorson each had four, and Aundrea DuFrane three. Lund made a three-pointer.
The MACA defense limited the Eagles to eight made field goals.
Lac qui Parle came out of the night with a 7-3 record.
Boys basketball: ACGC 85, Tigers 77
One of the better football photos I have taken in recent years is of Taylor Larson catching a touchdown. But, Larson is not an MACA Tiger. He's with the Falcons of ACGC. I was in position for that photo anticipating an MACA defensive play. Instead Larson got the advantage. He has made noise in ACGC athletics ever since.
On Monday, Jan. 13, Larson scored 35 points at the expense of our MACA Tigers. The ACGC boys turned back the Tigers in an 85-77 final at ACGC.
The Tigers stayed close much of the way. Finally, with about seven minutes left, Larson and his Falcon mates began taking charge. The Falcons went on a 10-2 run to assume a 12-point lead.
The Tigers were able to stay close as long as they did, largely because of contributions from Eric Staebler and Noah Grove. Look for these two to have special statistical impact in any given game. Staebler had a harvest of 30 points Monday. And Grove's total: 23.
Other Tigers have their moments as well, like Jacob Zosel who scored nine points against the Falcons. Riley Biesterfeld put in six points, Bryce Jergenson four, Andrew Goulet three and Jordan Arbach two.
Grove was poised and effective from three-point range, making five long-rangers. Zosel and Staebler each made one '3' as MACA put up team numbers of seven of 17.
In total field goals the Tigers were 27 of 57. In freethrows the Tigers had a sharp eye with 16 of 20 stats.
Staebler, the sophomore center, vacuumed the boards for 15 rebounds. Jergenson came through with five rebounds, and he topped the assist list with six. Zosel stole the ball three times.
Larson shot with a "bombs away" approach as he made six 3-pointers for the victor. David Kinzler made two 3-pointers and finished with 22 points. Brody Larson connected once from three-point range. Brody's point total was twelve, while Colton Minnick put in ten and Adam Johnson six.
The Falcons were nine of 22 in three-pointers and 28 of 62 in total field goals. In freethrows the Falcons were even sharper than MACA, making 20 of 23.
Adam Johnson led ACGC in rebounds with seven. Brody Larson had seven assists, and Taylor Larson had five steals. Overall it was Taylor Larson's night in front of the friendly Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City crowd.
MACA came out of the night with a 3-10 record.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Monday, January 13, 2014

Girls thump YME, boys fall to Montevideo

Tigers 80, YME 60
The MACA girls picked up steam to gain victory in Sting country of Yellow Medicine East.
The teams arrived at the halfway mark with the score tied 40-40. The critical stretch immediately followed. Coach Dale Henrich's Tigers took charge to start the second half. The Tigers went on an 8-0 run.
MACA would outscore the Sting 40-20 in the second half. So, the final was 80-60 with MACA getting its fifth win of the season. MACA came out of the night at 5-5 in won-lost.
The win over YME was on Thursday (1/9) at the YME court.
MACA looks quite good in conference, owning a 4-1 record entering the weekend. YME is below .500 in its fortunes thus far.
Five three-pointers fueled the MACA winning cause. Becca Holland sank two of those and finished with a team-best 18 points. Beth Holland was right behind with her 17 points and she sank one long-ranger. Nicole Strobel and Lauren Reimers each made a 3-pointer.
The Tigers had 33 total field goals and were nine of 19 at the freethrow line.
The Holland sisters were joined on the double figures scoring list by Reimers (15) and Lacee Maanum (10). Strobel was a hair's breadth from double figures with her nine points. Kayla Pring scored six points, Rebekah Aanerud three and Kaitlin Vogel two.
Becca Holland and Maanum each collected five rebounds while Reimers had four. Strobel dished out five assists to lead there. Becca Holland had nine steals, followed by Reimers and Beth Holland each with four.
Yellow Medicine East made two 3-pointers thanks to Jordan Hinz and Alexis Peters. Chyanne Sand led the YME scoring with 18 points. Sand had five steals.
Boys hoops: Monte 68, Tigers 44
The Tigers' bubble burst on Friday (1/10), here, as Montevideo showed the upper hand. The MACA boys were brought back down to earth by the Thunder Hawks.
The Tigers had won three straight. They lost 68-44 Friday. Montevideo came out of the night at 8-4 in overall, 5-1 in conference.
The Thunder Hawks made their big push in the second half. Morris Area Chokio Alberta actually led at halftime, 29-28. Monte must have drawn up some adjustments for the second half. They came out with the clear upper hand and outscored the orange and black crew, 40-15.
The tone was set at the start of second half play, as Montevideo made a couple 3-pointers. Jordan Thompson had the hot hand for Monte. Jordan made five total 3's among the team total eight. Monte was eight of 17 in 3-pointers and 28 of 47 in total field goals.
Troy Diggins made two 3-pointers and Jimmy Haff one. Thompson and Diggins each scored 21 points to pace Monte. Dazhown Coleman had four assists and eight steals to lead in those categories. Spencer Hildahl was the top Monte rebounder with four.
The Tigers were sharp in three-point shooting, making five of nine. Noah Grove was sharp with his four 3-point makes. Eric Staebler had the other '3'. Staebler's 14 rebounds put him atop that list, and his two steals led also. Grove dished out four assists.
The Tigers were 15 of 39 in total field goals and nine of 13 in freethrows. Grove's 3-pointers lifted him to the top of MACA's scoring with 19 points. Staebler put in 16 points.
Jordan Arbach scored three points followed by these Tigers with two each: Trent Wulf, Riley Biesterfeld and C.J. Nagel.
The MACA boys enter this week with a 3-9 overall record, 1-5 conference.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Friday, January 10, 2014

Movie "42" dusts off era of shame in America

We were recently reminded of the Jim Crow days with those comments from the "Duck Dynasty" guy. The power of celebrity brings lots of attention.
This bearded fellow asserted that black people in the South seemed happier in the pre-civil rights (movement) days. Such days were when we had Jim Crow principles in the Deep South. Stephen Colbert got some humor from this, saying blacks had it good "when they had their own water fountains." The audience laughed.
Back when the boomer population was coming of age, such indifference about race relations - getting humor from Jim Crow - would have been unthinkable. We almost got weary being told about the history of race relations.
Much of this was preaching to the choir. Northern kids never had insidious racism instilled in them. We soaked in the history and realized racism was on a level with the worst in human behavior. We were steered toward liberalism. This philosophy seemed most in line with crushing barriers caused by race.
"Duck Dynasty" is different, as is much of the political culture today. Today, addressing Jim Crow (i.e. pre-civil rights) with a shrug, as if we might find some merit in those old values, might cause a flurry but it doesn't finish you off as an entertainer.
The "Duck Dynasty" matter comes along as the movie "42" is still fresh. Black men were entering big league baseball. "42" tells the celebrated story of the first black player in the bigs: Jackie Robinson, "number 42."
Writing about this is a little like writing about the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. I have written that this history is a little troubling to focus on. I have written that such topics should maybe be buried in textbooks.
It's fine to have a record on it. It's fine for young people in their studies to know it happened. High-profile gestures today seem questionable. We're celebrating the bestowing of fundamental rights to a class of people who should have had them all along.
Branch Rickey is a hero for opening the door for Jackie Robinson. Why thank you, Mr. Rickey. Thank you for realizing blacks should have the "right" to play major league baseball? Thank you to Martin Luther King Jr. for giving the political push for blacks to get assorted other fundamental rights?
Who were we, as white people, to even be adjudicating these matters? Who were we to decide when doors should be opened, when the welcome mat should be put out for minorities?
I'm suggesting that it's embarrassing. It's embarrassing to expose all this to the young people of today, who to a large extent are color-blind.
How do you even categorize "non-whites?" Gone is the American society that had the dichotomy of "whites" and "Negroes." Today we have the so-called African-Americans (even though most have never been to Africa), but there's a wide assortment of non-whites who are categorized differently.
Vic Power was an early black-skinned Minnesota Twins player. He was not African-American. He was from Puerto Rico. He said that in his native country, people lived by color-blind attitudes. He had to adjust when coming to America. Power was the flashy-fielding first baseman who I wish had still been with the Twins when we won the pennant in 1965.
The dichotomy of whites and Negroes is long gone.
There is a long historical background associated with the intense racial bigotry in the Deep South. It goes back to slavery. Deep South whites had to find justification for their antebellum lifestyle. They learned to talk about slavery on the basis of racial inferiority. This became embedded in their minds, to the extent it remained very much alive many years after the Union wiped out the Confederacy, wiped out the planter-aristocrat class, and left the old South "gone with the wind" - no exaggeration.
Thus we ended up with the likes of Ben Chapman in the movie "42." Chapman is masterfully played by Alan Tudyk. We of course should resent Chapman in the most intense way. He's the bad guy Philadelphia Phillies manager who taunts Robinson with classic Deep South racism.
I'm not sure I view the likes of Chapman as such a threat. His racism is so obvious, we can deal with it. I'm more intrigued how the human mind can even bend to such a level where such hatred stews and seems to consume you, making you want to compose the most insulting epithets and shout them across a baseball field.
I'm curious why Major League Baseball didn't have some rules against this kind of taunting. We also see in "42" that Robinson seemed to lack basic security around him, at times, as he makes his rise. Threats cause him to leave a house. He's in a car in one scene that has to speed out of a congested situation as bigots come forward. What if the driver could not have extricated them?
We all know the Jackie Robinson story ends happily. Not only did Robinson keep his personal safety intact, he was able to emerge as a star player. I guess the first one had to be superbly gifted, not some marginal type.
Even in the 1960s, as Jim Bouton wrote in "Ball Four," blacks more than whites had to show they could be stars, not ordinary players. Bouton had numbers. Bouton's book itself was part of the cultural renaissance about baseball. It revealed players as humans with human faults and human struggles.
It is often written that baseball is timeless. Only certain limited aspects are. Baseball in fact morphs from one era into a new one, as seen with the "steroid chapter" and the incessant demands for new stadiums to be built.
Vic Power played in old Metropolitan Stadium. The Twins later played in the profoundly different Metrodome, which we were all told was necessary, before going back outside.
African-Americans have actually seemed to lose some interest in baseball. They are gravitating to other sports. Meanwhile baseball has grown into an ethnic rainbow in which skin color would seem an odd and irrelevant topic. It's a throwback topic.
"42" is a period movie that can make us ashamed of our own country. Actually we should feel ashamed that the Deep South white values persisted as long as they did. Oh, and they're not gone. Much of it has just become "coded" as with the comments by that "Duck Dynasty" star.
Alan Tudyk plans Ben Chapman who was actually a quite superb baseball player. He's not well-remembered as a player. From 1926 to 1943 he had more stolen bases than anyone. He's obscure even though he played with the New York Yankees. Over 12 seasons he batted .302. He bounced down to the minors but would come back, amazingly, as a pitcher. He pitched for three seasons in the National League.
Chapman's venom was hardly confined to African-Americans. In 1933 he intentionally spiked the Jewish second baseman of the Washington Senators, Buddy Meyer. This caused a 20-minute brawl that included 300 fans! He actually taunted Jewish fans at Yankee Stadium with Nazi salutes and epithets.
The year is 1947 where we see Chapman as manager of the Philadelphia Phillies, giving us a textbook sampling of the pathetic white southern bigot.
Chadwick Boseman capably plays Jackie Robinson in the movie. I didn't know until after seeing the movie that Harrison Ford played Branch Rickey. Rickey was the baseball executive who gave Robinson his opportunity. I guess Harrison Ford is aging like the rest of us. He assumes the "old man" role genuinely, with curmudgeonly charm in fact.
"42" seems much the typical biopic. It tells a story that was already well-known. It reveals the obvious good vs. evil story connected with racial divides in the U.S. The Deep South continued its spasms of denial about its defeat for a long time. The civil rights movement and Federal intervention began closing like a vise.
Much residue of the bad stuff continued for a long time.
Young people of today are puzzled about the kind of society that could break down along such firm racial lines. I have argued before that it might be best to "move on" and leave the disturbing stuff in history books. The movie "42" puts the bad stuff in the forefront. So does the MLK holiday.
Maybe today's young people view these gestures as curiosities. They are a reminder of times that for today's youth, perhaps belong on a museum shelf. We are blessed that much of the work has been done to make us all brothers. Now let's move into the future. Beyond steroids too!
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Boys come together again to notch victory

Tigers 50, 'Waska 48
The MACA Tigers look like a different team in the 2014 calendar year. They have recovered in a robust way from their sputtering start.
Coach Mark Torgerson must be pulling the right levers. More importantly, the Tigers are coming together as a well-oiled unit. Their loss streak to start the season seems put behind them, at least for now. We're in mid-winter and lots of hoops lie ahead for fans to enjoy.
Perhaps this season needn't be labeled a rebuilding one. On Tuesday night (1/7), at home, the future most certainly appeared to be now. MACA gained win No. 3 in a row. Success was vs. traditional rival Minnewaska Area. It was hard-earned, coming by the slim margin of two: 50-48.
The young center of the Tigers, Eric Staebler, again put smiles on fans' faces with his play. Sophomore Staebler produced a double-double with 23 points and 18 rebounds.
Noah Grove again made his presence felt with a solid offensive touch, scoring 14 points. Jacob Zosel scored five points followed by Riley Biesterfeld and Andrew Goulet each with four.
Staebler did what centers don't often do, connecting from three-point range. He and Grove each made one long-ranger. MACA was conservative in that department, making two of five tries. In total field goals their numbers were 20 of 42. In freethrows: eight of 14.
Goulet dished out six assists. Grove swatted aside three shots. Zosel made a steal late in the game that was essential in getting the winning margin. Grove and Goulet each had two steals.
MACA overcame a five-point halftime deficit (29-24). The win puts them at 3-8 overall and 1-4 in conference.
Staebler's development as a sophomore has been terrific. His Tuesday double-double was his seventh such feat this season. He's flirting with 20 points as a per-game average, and look for him to snag 13 rebounds on a typical night. Opposing scouts are going to work on this guy, right?
The Tigers are showing they have other weapons such as Grove.
The Tigers' second half advantage was by 26 to 19. 'Waska had a mere six field goals in the second half.
Once MACA seized the momentum, it looked like they actually might erase any suspense. MACA raced out to a decent advantage but couldn't make the game a rout, as 'Waska showed its own weapons like Jayden Beecher who finished with 16 points, Austin Ver Steeg who put in 12 and Matt McIver with ten. Laker Austin Ostrander put in five points on the night, Thor Erickson had three and Riley Thompson two.
Cold three-point shooting by 'Waska appeared to save the Tigers. 'Waska's stats in long-rangers were three of 15 with McIver making two and Beecher the other.
Zosel of the Tigers had that late steal that spelled victory, as not only did it deny 'Waska an offensive opportunity, Zosel went to the freethrow line and made the front end, making the score 50-48 which stood as the final.
All that was left was for Minnewaska to try a "hail Mary" half-court heave: unsucccessful.
Total field goals saw the Lakers make 19 of 57 shots. In freethrows the Lakers were seven of 14.
Ver Steeg collected eight rebounds. McIver and Beecher each had three assists. Ver Steeg had four steals and McIver three. Ostrander went up to block three shots.
'Waska came out of Tuesday with a 4-7 overall record, 2-5 in conference.
Can the Tigers make it four wins in a row? Fans will have another opportunity to enjoy the team at home on Friday, Jan. 10, when the opponent will be Montevideo. And then on Monday, the assignment will be to visit ACGC. 
Hopefully the harsh winter cold of late will abate. Maybe we could enjoy a "balmy" temperature of ten degrees!
Viva Morris Area Chokio Alberta boys basketball!
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Monday, January 6, 2014

Boys gain 28-15 halftime lead, win again

Tigers 57, Milbank 47
The MACA boys are finding stability after a season-opening skid. The Tigers won their second straight game on Friday, Jan. 3.
The new year is starting out well for coach Mark Torgerson's crew. Success came by a 57-47 score on Friday. the opponent was from "across the border": Milbank SD.
MACA fans could comfortably stay at home to watch this contest at our own gym, and not have to deal with the troublesome weather elements of late. The governor called off school for today (Mon., Jan. 6).
Another home game is slated for Tuesday with Minnewaska Area set to visit.
Against Milbank the Tigers made half of their three-point shot tries: four of eight. Noah Grove had two of the long-range shot successes, while Jordan Arbach and Jacob Zosel each had one.
In total field goals the Tigers were 19 of 45. In freethrows the Tigers were very sharp with 15 of 20 stats.
It was another banner night for Eric Staebler who poured in 20 points for the orange and black. His rebound total of 14 led the team too. C.J. Nagel collected five rebounds.
Grove's two 3-pointers helped him build his total of 17 points. Zosel's point total was ten. Arbach put in seven points, Bryce Jergenson two and Riley Biesterfeld one.
Zosel was sharp passing the ball, finishing with five assists. Andrew Goulet and Staebler each had two steals.
The Tigers executed well from game's start and led 28-15 at halftime.
Milbank struggled shooting, making just three of 15 three-point shot tries, and going 21 of 57 overall. "Cold" describes their freethrow shooting too: just two of 12.
The Milbank scoring was concentrated among five players, led by Brandon Cummings and Dylan Fox each with 11 points. Isaac Snaza put in ten points, Jacob Berg eight and J.P. Lindquist five. Cummings made two 3-pointers and Lindquist one. Fox snared ten rebounds.
The Tigers have a 2-8 record and want to make rapid progress toward .500!
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Friday, January 3, 2014

Grove scores 21 as MACA boys get first win

Big second half = win
The MACA boys stayed busy during the holidays with an appearance in the St. James Invite. The Tigers achieved their first win of the season. This came Saturday (12/28) in the third place game, by a score of 54-42 over Springfield.
On the day before, the Tigers were stopped in an 80-52 final by Rockford. Coach Mark Torgerson's squad aims to spring into the new year with a feeling of momentum.
Noah Grove poured in 21 points in the Saturday success vs. Springfield. Eric Staebler achieved a double-double with 12 points and 18 rebounds.
The big story of this game was the Tigers' second half comeback. They might have been downcast at halftime, trailing 25-14. They were actually quite undaunted. They sprang onto the court to outscore Springfield 40-17 in the second half.
The Tigers made a fourth of their three-point shot tries: four of 16. Grove had three of those successes and Jacob Zosel the other. In total field goals the Tigers made 20 of 62 shots. The freethrow numbers: 10 of 14.
Staebler vacuumed the boards for 18 rebounds. Bryce Jergenson added five rebounds, and he was the assist leader with three. Andrew Goulet performed three steals.
Here's the scoring list: Grove 21, Staebler 12, Zosel 11, Jordan Arbach 4, Goulet 4 and Jergenson 2. Tyler Vogel was Springfield's top scorer with 15 points.
The 12/27 story: loss to Rockford
Eric Staebler's 22 points weren't enough to help the Tigers keep pace on Friday, Dec. 27. Staebler also picked up six rebounds.
The outcome seemed pretty sealed at halftime with the score 44-28. Brock Deering was a major force for Rockford with his 29 points. Jeremiah Bingham scored 13 points and Brandon Schumacher 12.
Rockford made four 3-pointers while MACA had two such successes. Jacob Zosel and Staebler made the MACA long-rangers. The Tigers were 16 of 40 in total field goals. In freethrows: 14 of 23.
Staebler dominated the Tigers' scoring. Noah Grove came through with ten points on this night. Zosel's point total was eight. Jordan Arbach scored four, followed by these Tigers each with two: Trent Wulf, Bryce Jergenson, Andrew Goulet and Joey Dufault.
Staebler and Goulet led in rebounds with six and five, respectively. Grove and Zosel each dished out four assists.
The Morris Area Chokio Alberta boys will play at home on Friday, Dec. 3, vs. Milbank SD.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com