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Wednesday, August 27th, 2014
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A year not soon forgotten


Fri, Jun 27th, 2014
Posted in All Sports

The 2013-2014 high school sports year is finally over. For many involved with it, we wished it wasn’t. One could say it was a banner year for county sports teams, but that really doesn’t do the season justice. Numbers best detail the collective athletic efforts. The seven Journal covered schools (Houston now included) combined to win eight major conference titles (none shared) and one minor championship. They won six sub-section titles. Ten teams made the section title game with six punching thru to state. Four of the six competed for a state title. Two were crowned state champs. Two other squads finished third. Teams collected 38 total trophies! In 2012-2013, the six county schools combined to win four conference titles (one shared), one sub-section title, and two section titles. Only two teams went to state, both finishing third. Teams grabbed 16 pieces of hardware (unofficially). This season more than doubled the last. It won’t soon be forgotten.

If going out on top meant everything, Chatfield is retiring their athletics programs! It will be incredibly tough for future Gopher teams to duplicate the combined 2013-2014 success. Chatfield (for a third time) is again receivers of the Fillmore County Cup for most heralded collective sports program. The guys and gals of the Chosen Valley combined to bring home 15 pieces of team hardware, an average of five each season. The booty; three TRC championships (wrestling, girls basketball, baseball), three sub-section runner-ups (GBB, BB, softball), one sub-section champ (volleyball), two section runner-ups (VB, SB), three section champs (FB, WR, BB), a third place state trophy in baseball, and state titles in football and wrestling. Activities Director Dan Schindler and the Chatfield School Board met in an emergency session. They are proposing a $10,000 referendum to expand the school’s trophy case (kidding)! From A.J. Riley’s interception versus Caledonia in the football section title game, all the Jake Neis runs, to Nate Skare’s game-clinching TD versus Minneota that ensured a fourth football title, to the wrestling team’s dominant run at state, its first ever title, to the baseball team’s two-game sweep of Wabasha-Kellogg in the section final to clinch another birth at state, a best ever third place finish; it was a year of constant highlights for male sports in the Chosen Valley. Jayme LaPlante (FB, discus, shot put) and Hank Friederichs (FB, team and individual wrestling) were triple state champions. Eight guys (Hank F., Riley, Ryan Meeker, Alex Haffner, Cody Bly, Logan Karver, Ian Morrison, and Ethan Wright) were dual state team champions (FB, WR). Twelve more (Neis, Skare, Sawyer Prinsen, Ethan Woltz, Drew Hurley, Tommy Jech, Ben Pierce, Carter Duxbury, T.J. Moechnig, Aaron Paulson, Riley Ahern, and Connor Demorest) made two separate state appearances (FB, BB). Five girls (Kirsten Keefe, Maddy Kammer, Maddie Talamantes, Brook Irish, and Megan LaPlante) took home medals in three sports. The girls basketball team started 24-0. Christian Bance and Karen Gomez-Ruiz went to state in cross country. Riley, Meeker, Bly, Harvey Friederichs, Jared Goldsmith, and Ty Van Sickle each also qualified individually for state in wrestling. Goldsmith was state runner-up. Harvey F. was state runner-up and graduated as Chatfield’s all time wins leader. The girls 4x200 (Kammer, Talamantes, Ashley Baker, Autum Erickson) were state runner-ups. One would be hard pressed to find a better triad of like-aged three-sport athletes than LaPlante, Skare, and Neis. Alex Duxbury capped her All-State volleyball career. Brian Baum was 47-5 coaching (.904 winning percentage). Jeff Johnson was 31-9 (.775 winning percentage). A town that loves it sports, got more than their fair share of joy. With Chatfield’s upcoming senior class of girls, maybe 2014-2015 will be the year of the Lady Gophers.

Overshadowed by Chatfield’s success, highway 52 rival Fillmore Central also had a banner year. Led by their female contingent, the Falcons snagged 11 team trophies. Quietly, Lady Falcons grabbed hardware in four sports, at least once every season. After not sending one exclusively Fillmore Central team to state in 20 years of the school, FC sent two in 2013-2014. The Taylor Case, Tori Peterson led volleyball team had an epic season, signifying their appearance on the state scene with a Class A Showcase Tourney win, then following thru, courtesy of wins over perennial powers Mabel-Canton and B.A., all the way to the state title game, a runner-up finish. They won four trophies (TRC, sub-section, and section champs, state runner-up). Case was All-State. The girls basketball team used defense to grab the sub-section runner-up trophy. Softball (with Lanesboro), behind All-State pitcher Morgan Malley, was sub-section champion. The girls golf team, headed by senior Keeley Todd, then recreated the volleyball team’s magic (TRC, sub-section, section champs). They finished third at state. The boys golf team, behind state entrant Jordan Miller, won the TRC championship. Falcon Monty Holm made state in wrestling, losing only once (his state level match). Burro Niko Anderson won the 195-pound state title for FC/L/M-C wrestling, losing just once. The L/FC/M-C boys track team was SEC champs and Section 1 True Team runner-up. Holm and Andy Love stood out as a senior three-sport athletes. Malley was All-Conference in three sports as a junior. Given FC’s gal teams had just three seniors total (for the four activities combined), it would appear the Lady Falcons again will lead the FC charge in 2014-2015.

Rushford-Peterson continued to be Basketball High. The boys started the season 16-0. After a loss, they then won 15 more straight enroot to finally pushing through the state semifinals to the championship game. There they fell to end the season with a program best win total (31-2). The Trojan b-ball guys grabbed four trophies (TRC, sub-section, and section champs, state runner-up) with seniors Jorli Hauge, Austin O’Hare, and Seth Thompson ending their illustrious sophomore thru senior careers with an 85-12 record. The girls, meanwhile, started 10-0. They rode a senior crew, led by 1,000-point scorer Kendra Crawford, all the way to a section title game, grabbing two trophies (sub-section champs, section runner-up). R-P’s basketball teams went a combined 54-7. The boys golf team, with their sub-section and section runner-up finishes, brought the Trojan trophy tally to eight for the year. Individually, Mr. O’Hare sandwiched a state cross country birth in the fall, and a state track and field birth in the spring, around his contributions on the b-ball team, making him the only county athlete to qualify for state all three seasons. McCoy Tekautz individually qualified for state in wrestling. Charlie Krambeer and Hudson Stensgard qualified individually in golf. Jordan Honken, Noah Carlson, and Matt Culhane, plus Houston-native Anna Sweet, all made the state medal stand for R-P/H track (in addition to O’Hare). Keela Brand and Cale Stensgard joined O’Hare and Crawford as having put together fine three-sport senior seasons. With the likes of Cole Kingsley, Alex Vix, Carlson, Krambeer, Ashley Agrimson, Brianna Koop, R-P’s 2014-2015 future should include more success.

Mabel-Canton’s volleyball team collected some more hardware (SEC champs, sub-section runner-up). The Cougars graduated five fine seniors in Belle Sand, Lydia Geving, Carly McCabe, Sara Lind, and Christine Lee. Sand was All-State. Hunter Johnson was a major force on the football field. M-C’s basketball teams each were solid. Both made it to Rochester. Geving topped 1,000 points for her career. She would’ve been a three-sport senior standout had an injury not curtailed her softball season. That injury made Lind M-C’s best senior three-sport gal athlete. Noah Manning was a stand-out three-sport senior on the guy’s side of things. Freshman Coranda Vickerman was the county’s youngest three-sport varsity standout.

Lanesboro had excellent athletes to watch each season. Niko Anderson was a one-man-machine, on the football field, breaking the all-time state TD record, then on the wrestling mat, winning the 195-pound state championship. His place in Lanesboro/area prep lore is cemented. Kole Ruud and Luke Rogers’ places are etched too. They added their names to the Lanesboro boys basketball history sheet. Ruud is the school’s all-time leading scorer. Rogers also topped 1,000 career points. Garrett Boggs was a steady senior three-sport contributor. Olivia Haug was a rebounding machine in basketball, then flexed her girl muscles at the state track and field meet, reaching the medal stand in discus. A handful of Burro girls were a part of the FC/L softball sub-section title team. The L/FC/M-C boys track team was SEC champs and Section 1A True Team runner-ups.

In Houston, Abbey Loken finished her excellent three-sport, double-digit letter career. She became her school’s all-time leading attacker in volleyball, and her school’s all-time leading scorer in basketball, topping 1,000 points, before carrying Hurricane softball. Sprinter Anna Sweet, with the R-P/H squad, was the lone Cane to qualify for state. Christian Sires and Dylan Lee were three-sport seniors who led the Hurricane guys’ brigade. Kelly Jerviss had an excellent sophomore three-sport varsity season.

Last but not least was Kingsland. Golfer Karli Bly’s state appearance was the biggest bright spot. Haley Colton and Kailynn Hamersma were three sport senior standouts. Jacob Rindels had an excellent three-sport junior year. Grand Meadow native Wyatt Richardson took third at state at 195-pounds for GMLOK wrestling. Fellow Lark Jamie Stevens was an RBI machine in softball. Here’s to the Knights having a few more highlights next season.

Spring All-Conference

•TRC Baseball > Chatfield: Jake Neis (Sr. SS/P), Zach Eggers (Sr. IF), Ethan Woltz (Jr. OF), Tommy Jech (Jr. P/IF), & Drew Hurley (Jr. P/IF). FC/L: Andy Love (Sr. IF), Nick Powell (Sr. OF). R-P: Cale Stensgard (Sr. P/IF). GMLOK: Jake Rindels (Jr. OF).

•TRC Softball > Chatfield: Sidney Irish (Sr. SS), Brook Irish (Jr. P/1B), Shelby Bernard (Jr. C), & Janessa Erding (Jr. OF). FC/L: Morgan Malley (Jr. P), Taylor Pierce-Sprenger (So. OF), Shelby Ebner (So. C), & Megan Hendrickson (So. 2B). GMLOK: Haley Colton (Sr. IF) & Jamie Stevens (Jr. P/1B). R-P: Keela Brand (Sr. C). Honorable Mention > Chatfield: Sydney Gould (So. OF), Maddy Larrabee (Jr. IF), Jennifer Hanson (Sr. P), & Megan LaPlante (So. 3B). FC/L: Steph Erickson (Jr. P/SS). GMLOK: Kailynn Hamersma (Sr. IF) & Courtney Schmidt (Fr. IF). R-P: Lauren Hadley (So. OF) & Savannah Skalet (Fr. OF/P).

> TRC Boys Golf > FC: Jordan Miller (Jr.), Trevor Barnes (Sr.), Alex Lange (So.), Connor Morem (Fr.), Matson Kiehne (So.). R-P: Charlie Krambeer (Jr.), Hudson Stensgard (Sr.), Chad Christian (Sr.), Alex Vix (Jr.). Kingsland: Simon Broadwater (8th).

•TRC Girls Golf > FC: Keeley Todd (Sr.), Katie Tammel (Jr.), Grace Miller (8th), Madison Scheevel (7th), Elayna Kiehne (Fr.), Laura Donney (So.). Chatfield: Paige Isensee (So.). Kingsland: Karli Bly (Sr.).

•SEC Boys Golf > Lanesboro: Liam Dorn (Jr.), Isaac Bierman (So.), Tristen Chiglo (Sr.), and Jonathan Bierman (Jr.). Houston: Sam Ross (Sr.)

•SEC Girls Golf > Houston: Kelly Jerviss (So.). Lanesboro: Hope Knepper (Fr.).

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