"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)

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Great start in football, volleyball for Tigers

Football: win vs. Benson
The Tigers prevailed in a back and forth football battle Friday (9/4) at Big Cat Stadium. No more West Central Conference. This was a Mid State District game, pitting our Tigers against the Braves of Benson.
The Tigers prevailed 47-39 in overtime. This was game #3 of the newly moved-up schedule: three games before school even starts! Now we're into September, temperatures ought to drift down to become more typical of football.
The final score was the kind I remember from covering nine-man football. In that bygone time, I remember West Central Conference scores being much lower. I'm sure fans enjoy scores coming regularly. The Tigers outscored Benson 8-0 in the overtime extension to carve out victory. It was Conner Koebernick running the ball in from the ten. Koebernick was also handed the ball on the conversion play, and again he succeeded.
As this game unfolded, neither team took charge: the first quarter ended with the score 7-7. The MACA touchdown came first: Trent Marty, the quarterback, ran the ball in from the one. Ricky Hernandez kicked the PAT. Benson's score came on a nine-yard pass from Layton Connelly to Adam Lindahl.
The Tigers owned the second quarter. Jacob Zosel clutched the football on a six-yard scoring scamper. Hernandez booted the PAT. Zosel followed that up with a big play run: 30 yards for six. Hernandez kicked the PAT. The halftime score is 21-7.
Can the Tigers cruise? It turned out the Braves had the tools to rebound from their deficit. Connelly scored a TD from the one. MACA answered with a one-yard scoring run by Marty, and the PAT was good. Benson's Brett Sulier found the end zone on a run from the three. Connelly passed to Max Peterson for two on the conversion.
Connelly passed to Lindahl on a thrilling 68-yarder, assuring that Benson was staying in this game until the end. That message was extended when Josh Manzke caught a three-yard TD pass from Connelly. It was extended further when Manzke thrilled Benson fans again, catching a 50-yard touchdown pass from Connelly.
Benson was having trouble with its conversion plays at this stage of the game. Truly that would haunt them.
Conner Koebernick scored for Morris Area Chokio Alberta on a two-yard run. Marty tossed a 15-yard touchdown pass to Eric Staebler. The Tigers too were sputtering on conversion plays now. Finally Koebernick plunged into the end zone in overtime, twice in fact (for the TD and conversion), and MACA could close this one out with a 'W'. Whew!
Zosel covered a whopping 191 yards on the ground in 22 carries. Relax this week, Jacob. Koebernick finished with 78 rushing yards on eight carries. Quarterback Marty had 27 rushing yards. Chase Metzger had 17, Toby Sayles ten and Ryan Dietz six.
Marty completed seven passes in 16 attempts for 153 yards and wasn't picked off. His stats through the three games have been stellar. Sayles completed a pass. Sean Amundson gathered in the pigskin three times on receptions good for 70 yards. Staebler had three catches for 68 yards, and Metzger made two catches for 32.
Staeber did the Tigers' punting. Philip Messner and Metzger each intercepted a pass. Sayles had eight solo tackles and four assists. The tackle list continues with Dietz (5-3), Messner (4-4), Metzger (5-0), Marty (4-1), Amundson (4-0) and Brady Jergenson (0-6).
Connelly was a prolific passer for the visitor: he completed 19 passes in 34 attempts for 313 yards. He also topped Benson's rushing list with 64 yards in 21 carries - quite the athlete. Brett Sulier rushed for 60 yards.
Lindahl was a favorite target of Connelly's - he caught nine passes for 176 yards. Manzke had four catches for 85 yards. Other pass catchers were Peterson, Zach Sonnabend, Sulier and Connor Staton. It's a nice sign that life is going on as it should, when a journalist like me can keep typing "Staton" in connection with Benson!
Next for MACA: a road game vs. rival Minnewaska Area, Friday.
Volleyball: Tigers 3, Melrose 1
Excuse me but I'm a little confused. The MAHS school calendar informs us that the Tigers played at ACGC on Thursday night (Sept. 3). I don't think I'm dreaming, but I'm looking at the Friday edition of the Willmar newspaper and I see we played Melrose.
I remember back when working for the Morris newspaper, I didn't put complete stock in the school calendar. Mark Ekren advised me one fall that the dates for JV football games were off. I heard kids were involved in putting together the school calendar. That was several years ago.
Today, I'm assuming some sort of schedule change was made - I don't know why. So, the Tigers went on the Interstate to Melrose Thursday, rather than going to ACGC. Our team won in four games. Scores: 25-17, 25-17, 22-25 and 25-17. Yes, the 25-17 score appears three times. The match was Melrose's season opener.
Karly Fehr was all over the court to produce 37 set assists. Carly Maanum had three assists. Lindsey Dierks was aggressive and precise at the serving line, coming through with three serve aces. Brooke Gillespie, Fehr and Riley Decker each batted one ace.
Ashley Solvie went up to deliver three ace blocks. Gillespie, Fehr and Jenna Howden each had one ace block. Decker produced 22 digs. She was followed in that department by Gillespie (19), Dierks (16), Fehr (7) and Koral Tolifson (6).
Let's wrap up this stat report with hitting. Here it was Howden pounding down 12 kills and Gillespie getting eleven. These names follow: Solvie (8), Dierks (7), Maanum (6) and Fehr (5).
Tigers 3, New London-Spicer 0
New London-Spicer has projected a mystique in girls athletics for a long time. These things are known to end. Teams don't win because of their uniform. NL-Spicer has been blessed by some pretty hard-charging programs. NL-Spicer in overall athletics has cast rather a spell on MACA athletics, or curse.
Maybe those roles can be reversed sometime soon. Like maybe now?
No that's not a typo: the Tigers beat the Wildcats 3-0. This was the season opener for our Tigers, played on Tuesday (9/1) at home. It was a memorable opener. The Tigers won 25-22, 25-23 and 26-24. It's a real plum to get this kind of win over the dynastic Wildcats. A prelude of things to come? We'll see.
Karly Fehr was proficient with her 33 set assists, and Carly Maanum was handy to produce her two. (I wrote about Carly's mom Jeanne when she played softball with Hancock, not Benson-Hancock but Hancock.)
Riley Decker produced two aces from the serving line, and had perfect 21-for-21 in good/attempts. Brooke Gillespie had one serving ace on 9/10 in G/A. Koral Tolifson had 11/11 serving stats in good/attempts.
Jenna Howden went up to execute two ace blocks. (I'm assuming Jenna is Thom's daughter and I'd like to advise Thom to lose some weight.) Fehr, Ashley Solvie and Maanum each had one ace block.
Gillespie and Riley Decker each had 19 digs. The digs list continues with Lindsey Dierks (14), Fehr (12) and Tolifson (7).
On to the crowd-pleasing hitting department. Here it was Gillespie putting on a show with her 16 kills. Howden pounded down nine kills, then it was Solvie with five, Maanum with three, Dierks with two and Fehr with one.
Kabrie Weber led NL-Spicer in kills with 13. Erin Tebben had four ace blocks. Carly Cronen had 15 digs while Alyssa Fredrick had 14.
MACA volleyball fans are anticipating a truly excitement-filled season of 2015. Viva Morris Area Chokio Alberta athletics!
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

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