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500th career victory for Mabel-Canton volleyball coach


Fri, Sep 27th, 2013
Posted in Mabel Sports

On September 3 2013, the Mabel-Canton Cougar volleyball team took the court and played SEC foe Houston. The Cougars dispatched with the ‘Canes 3-0 in work-woman-like fashion. But the night was bigger than just competition. With the win, Cougar head coach Lonnie Morken, the maestro of M-C volleyball over the past 20 years, recorded his 500th career victory. He became the 15th volleyball coach in Minnesota history to achieve the milestone. It was an accomplishment for Coach Morken, his family, the Mabel-Canton volleyball program, all the girls who have played in it, and the towns and families that have supported it over the years. And all of that, started so innocently.

In 1993, fresh out of college , 22 year-old got offered a junior varsity volleyball coaching position at Spring Grove High School. Morken had played a little volleyball at Luther College, and line-judged the woman’s matches. At the time he was a substitute teacher at Spring Grove. Figuring coaching would be ‘a great experience’ he took the position. The following summer, the Spring Grove athletic director told him the position wouldn’t be open (the previous coach was coming back from maternity leave), and so he was no longer needed. Then the Mabel-Canton volleyball head coach position opened up. And so Morken said, “You know what, I’ll throw my name in the hat.” Morken’s plan was to substitute teach for one more year, and (thus) coach volleyball for one year. After that, he was going to ‘branch out’, or move and find a full-time teaching position.

“It [coaching volleyball] was going to be a one year deal,” he adamantly declared.

He went to the interview with Mabel-Canton Principal Lowell Hareldson.

“Well, you know, you’re hired,” Hareldson said, “you’re the only applicant, but you’re hired! You’ll most likely be asked back unless you hit a girl, or lose to North Winneshiek!”

Evidently, neither happened.

Morken didn’t inherit a great program, or a program at all. Mabel-Canton volleyball had gone winless (0-20 if Morken remember’s correctly) the year before he arrived. But one more thing had to happen to ensure what would transpire over the next 20 or so years. About a week after school began, an aide in the elementary title position died. So Hareldson called Lonnie and offered him a paraprofessional job. It was a foot in the door to the full-time teaching positio .....
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500th career victory for Mabel-Canton volleyball coach

Fri, Sep 27th, 2013
Posted in Canton Sports

On September 3 2013, the Mabel-Canton Cougar volleyball team took the court and played SEC foe Houston. The Cougars dispatched with the ‘Canes 3-0 in work-woman-like fashion. But the night was bigger than just competition. With the win, Cougar hea ..... 
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Class A Titans

Fri, Sep 27th, 2013
Posted in All Sports

By Paul Trende At the beginning of the season, Fillmore Central volleyball coach Denise Case stated that her talented squad, one that had posted 20-plus victories the past two seasons but hadn’t made it beyond the Sub-Section semifinals, could no ..... 
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Lanesboro Excelsiors

Fri, Sep 27th, 2013
Posted in All Sports

Coming on the heels of an 8-2 victory over the Minneapolis Quicksteps, the Lanesboro Excelsiors would like to “pitch” the following message to area residents: Interested parties wanting to sport vintage 1860 Base Ball in the following communit ..... 
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Holding Serve at Home

Thu, Sep 26th, 2013
Posted in All Sports

It’s pretty rare that three of the county volleyball teams all played just home games during a given week. It’s probably even more rare that all would hold serve at home and rack up a pair of victories. That’s just what Fillmore Central, Cha ..... 
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Triskaidekaphobia Football

Fri, Sep 20th, 2013
Posted in All Sports

By Paul Trende Every high school football player fears losing, but they fear losing badly even more. Friday the 13th is a notoriously (facetiously) feared day. In week three of the 2013 football season, the two came together. It was either a very l ..... 
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Grind, Ground, Gone

Fri, Sep 13th, 2013
Posted in All Sports

By Paul Trende The Mabel-Canton offense wasn’t ripping off yardage. In their SEC 9-man opener versus Houston, the Cougar philosophy throughout was a grinding ‘three yards and a cloud of dust’ ground game. Forty-seven running plays into the c ..... 
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Twelve miles, no fingernails

Fri, Sep 6th, 2013
Posted in All Sports

By Paul Trende The first full week of high school football competition was just that, at least for the four county squads facing off against each other. In Rushford, Fillmore Central took on the Trojans. The game came down to the final thirty seco ..... 
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Football Team Capsules

Tue, Sep 3rd, 2013
Posted in All Sports

Chatfield Gophers Head Coach: Jeff Johnson (2012 Co-Three Rivers South Coach of the Year) 2012 Record: 9-2 (Section 1AA runner-up, lost to Caledonia 29-0 in title game) Class Breakdown: 9 seniors, 18 juniors, 13 sophomores, 1 freshman (41 total) ..... 
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