"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)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Super volleyball season ends with 25-5 record

The books are closed on the 2015 MACA volleyball season with the stellar 25-5 record. The Tigers closed out their glittering campaign Saturday (11/14) at the Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul. It was the final day of state play. The Tigers squared off against Hill-Murray in the state AA consolation championship match.
We were dealt defeat at the hands of Hill-Murray, scores of 16-25, 18-25 and 22-25. This year's edition of the volleyball Tigers is the first-ever to reach state. Memories are rich. Congrats to coach Fehr and the student-athletes.
Haley Erdahl and Riley Decker each had a serving ace against Hill-Murray. Karly Fehr put up 23 set assists. Ashley Solvie and Fehr each had an ace block. Decker dug up the ball 13 times, followed by Fehr with six digs and Brooke Gillespie with five.
The kill parade was topped by Gillespie with ten. Solvie pounded down nine kills. Jenna Howden had three kills followed by Lindsey Dierks and Carly Maanum each with two. Moira McNally added one kill to the mix.
Claire Westby had three serving aces for Hill-Murray. Hannah Angeli had 23 set assists. Brooke Zander had three ace blocks. Haley LaValle topped the digs list for the victor, with 15. Ellie Schwartz slammed 12 kills at the Tigers.
Winter sports are soon to get going. Viva Morris Area Chokio Alberta volleyball for 2015!
Holleman coaching for Ridgewater, Willmar
A familiar name is at the coaching helm of the Ridgewater College, Willmar, women's basketball team. It's Jodi Holleman, long a member of the UMM athletic department and also with top-notch credentials from her tenure as Hancock High GBB coach. Holleman entered the picture at Hancock after a rather notorious chapter of Stevens County sports: the departure amidst great scandal of her predecessor. That predecessor ended up getting prison time as a result of his conduct around female student-athletes at the Hancock school.
kept the reputation of success going. She got her Owls to the state tournament. Now her focus is to get some winning momentum started with the Warriors of Ridgewater.
I like how the players have "Ridgewater" on the front of their uniforms and not "Warriors." "Warriors" might suggest some connection to Native Americans, although the title does not per se point in that direction. I dislike "Warriors" because it's a term connected to war. Sports is not war.
had a sputtering start to its 2015-16 campaign. On Saturday (11/14) they fell to 0-2 with a loss to Association Free Lutheran Bible School (AFLBS). Ridgewater was on the short end of the 79-66 score. We have quarters at this level of Minnesota hoops, not just halves.
jumped up on the scoreboard 22-13 at the end of one quarter.
had a more competitive stance in the second half. Ridgewater outscored AFLBS 23-22 in the third quarter, and got edged by just one in the fourth, 22-21. Ridgewater definitely showed talent in the loss, as Erica Melbie scored 27 points, Baylie Kubesh 15 and Kaitlynn Kienholz 14. The list is completed with Jacie Selseth (eight points) and Katelyn Durbin (2).
Melbie found the range to connect on four 3-pointers. Kubesh hit from beyond that stripe twice. Melbie had ten rebounds, Kienholz seven and Kubesh six. Melbie dished out three assists. Paige Berge topped the AFLBS scoring list with 24 points. Amy Pflughaupt made a '3' for the victor, plus she led her squad in rebounds (12) and steals (4). Berge had five assists.
Ridgewater's next challenge will be to play at Bethany Lutheran, in Mankato, at 5:30 p.m. tonight (Tuesday).
First Lutheran gets new pastor
You'll find me in one of the pictures of confirmation classes along the top level hallway at First Lutheran Church. I combed my hair forward on the front of my head then (1970). Don't know what I was thinking.
My confirmation class was at the height of the baby boom, so we were arranged in multiple rows. Today the church generally has just a handful of graduates or whatever they're called. The situation gets cloudy when the kids of First Lutheran and Faith Lutheran are combined.
The combining of First and Faith resources has become, at least in my mind, a sticky wicket. Maybe there should just be one church. If one of the two buildings had to be picked, it would be Faith because it's handicapped or elderly-friendly. First Lutheran is woefully deficient in that category. First has so many structural issues, I wouldn't want to specify them - too embarrassing. A sheet of ice develops in spring leading up to the elevator entrance door. It's a disaster waiting to happen.
There's a long walk from the elevator to the sanctuary. At Assumption Church you step out of the elevator basically right into the sanctuary.
It would be fun for our family to visit Assumption again for the Thanksgiving dinner, but that event hasn't been held for several years. It's a black mark for this community: the cancellation of that event, so helpful for people for whom it isn't practical to prepare a traditional Thanksgiving meal - elderly people, singles, shut-ins etc. If there were problems, they should have just been solved. If people weren't contributing enough money, then a set charge could have been established at the door. If the delivery system got unmanageable, cancel it. The solution wasn't to cancel the whole thing.
Prairie Inn used to have a buffet meal for Thanksgiving. That was discontinued. Is all of this evidence of Morris' general decline as a community? I was told there was one place we could dine out for Thanksgiving: the hospital. That shouldn't be the only choice.
First Lutheran has a row of photos of pastors who have served that church. The pastor's position has been such a revolving door, it might be impractical to continue all those photos. I recently heard a long-time member of First say: "There's no life in this church."
We have a new pastor now who in his first two weeks gave sermons that were depressing beyond any purposes for that content. I don't want to hear a story about a family dog, a beagle, wandering off one night to be dispatched by the neighboring farmer who had complained about the dog. I don't appreciate hearing a story about a kid who gets accidentally shot during some play around guns. I can stay home and be in a happier and more constructive frame of mind.
First and Faith should maybe combine and have a new church built, according to all the contemporary specifications, out along that development strip on the north end of town. How about a nice Wal-Mart style parking lot? No longer would Faith Lutheran be "the church on the other side of the tracks."
First and Faith are both located in the old residential core of Morris that is showing its age. Compare those homes to the new homes built on the east edge of town, out toward the river.
The Wednesday night "burgers and blessings" event at the Old No. 1 got canceled this week. Why? Yes, Faith had its big annual fall supper that night, but First had its supper the previous Wednesday, and "burgers" wasn't cancelled. Does all this tell us that Faith is a more significant church than First? Is First Lutheran just limping along?
I wish we could have kept Chris Richards as pastor. It isn't fair for the synod to disallow this. The synod has its own problems as with embezzling.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com


  1. what the ELCA has said done over the past # of yrs is one reason why I do not support them anymore and have basically "left" my home church (KONG) and joined GSLC in Morris ,one of the advantages is that there is no synod or Bishop over us we can basically do own thing w/out jumping through a lot of hoops. We picked the people we wanted as a candidate for our job and got to meet them and hear them preach b/4 we picked a candidate to call. personally as far as I am concerned most the ELCA leadership is not even Christian even more

  2. I guess there was a proposal at one time to combine faith and first the bishop threw cold water on that idea doubt it would be any better today.