"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, May 1, 2014

Coach Holmberg enters exclusive circle w/ wins

I was a student at Morris High School when softball wasn't even offered in spring. What a different world we have today! Mary Holmberg was a pioneer establishing softball as a sport on completely even terms with baseball.
Softball is so well-established now, we might well forget the early days of girls sports as it climbed the ladder to full legitimacy. We take it for granted today? It should not be taken for granted.
I look back to my high school class (1973) and wonder which girls might have been the softball stars. They had no such opportunity. Girls basketball was underway but not softball.
Girls basketball was on wobbly legs in those early days. It had to be. Our whole sports culture was gradually changing to where girls would have total acceptance, graduating from "novelty" or "neophyte" status. Girls had to discipline themselves to advance the basketball without traveling. The time and patience were rewarded.
I was naive enough once to think that girls might have trouble making three-point shots. Sheesh!
Well, the full establishment of girls sports was impressed on us on Friday, April 25, when coach Mary Holmberg got her 500th softball win. It's a super milestone. I worked with Mary for many years when I was with the Morris newspaper. I made trips to St. Cloud when the Tigers vied in the state tournament in the mid-1980s. St. Cloud was a nice place for that tournament (Whitney Field).
I remember the McRoberts girls playing. I remember when we all piled into the Ground Round Restaurant in St. Cloud, and I believe Willie Martin picked up the tab! The Martin sisters supplied talent and enthusiasm for the program. I remember making trips with the Rick Lucken gang and facing the challenge of figuring out if games were in Brooten or Belgrade! Rick left us too soon.
The Tigers handed coach Holmberg her 500th career win with a 12-9 victory. It was a conference game vs. Yellow Medicine East, in Chokio - yes Chokio. I remember back when sometimes the team would play at Wells Park if wet grounds were a problem at Eagles. You had to scout around. The current spring has been a nightmare from a weather standpoint.
I'm writing this on Thursday morning, May 1. The weather outside is ungodly. It's good for nothing. In the fall it might be good for duck hunting. I walked to McDonald's this morning and felt like cussing. Then, I felt like cussing again when I went to the counter and found that my usual breakfast had gone from $3.78 to $3.90.
Coach Holmberg is in her 34th season. I first covered her program in the spring of 1979. I think they played all their games at Wells then.
Holmberg is only the sixth Minnesota coach to reach 500 wins.
The Tigers assumed a 2-0 lead in the second inning. Each team plated a run in the third. The Tigers punched through three more runs in the fourth while YME scored one. The game turned wild in the fifth when MACA scored four runs and YME five. The Tigers scored two runs in the sixth, and YME answered with three in the seventh, but YME needed a little more.
Morris Area Chokio Alberta had a line score of 12 runs, 16 hits and two errors. The Yellow Medicine East line score was 9-15-2.
Nicole Strobel went three-for-four and drove in three runs. Becca Holland also went three-for-four and she had a triple. Lauren Reimers was a perfect two-for-two. Brianna Abril had a double as part of going two-for-four. It was ditto for Abbie Olson: a double and two-for-four numbers. Brooke Johnson socked a double and went two-for-three. Abby Daly went one-for-one and Kayla Pring one-for-two.
Three of the YME Sting batters had three hits: Marissa Sneller, Megan Odegard and Allie Zieske. Halley Enstad had two hits for the Sting.
Brianna Abril was the winning pitcher and fanned three batters. She pitched nearly the entire game, getting relieved at the end by Lacee Maanum. Mariah Norell was the losing pitcher. She shared YME's pitching with Jordan Glad.
I assume that the game postponements have been piling up. I really think the state High School League needs to consider gymnasium sports in the spring months. The weather is too much of a distraction now. And yet we have climate change deniers out there. They are nearly all Republicans. Republicans refuse to accept climate change theory because they don't like government, and climate change is the kind of problem that requires big government to solve.
A Republican officeholder recently said "God controls the weather." We need to stop blaming these Republicans. We need to blame ourselves, the voters, for electing them. It's the Republicans who preach about how we need the death penalty, even though the Bible tells us we should be kind to prisoners. How ironic if "Christian conservatives" end up being denied the Kingdom of Heaven.
Today is May 1 which means it's May Day. I remember greeting the St. Mary's kids (with Barb Spaulding) as they went around town, including to the Sun Tribune office, to share their May baskets. You had to brush your teeth after consuming that stuff! I mentioned one year after they left that May Day is a Communist holiday. I was swiftly informed that this was not the context in which the St. Mary's kids were celebrating!
Congratulations to coach Mary Holmberg.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

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