The Mille Lacs County Times » Sports http://millelacscountytimes.com The Mille Lacs County Times cover community news, sports, current events and provides advertising and information for Milaca, Minnesota and it's surrounding areas. Mon, 20 Oct 2014 18:23:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Hall sets new course for local Mega Meet runners http://millelacscountytimes.com/2014/10/09/hall-sets-new-course-for-local-mega-meet-runners/ http://millelacscountytimes.com/2014/10/09/hall-sets-new-course-for-local-mega-meet-runners/#comments Thu, 09 Oct 2014 17:47:28 +0000 http://millelacscountytimes.com/?p=108077 Jon Hall might only be a ninth-grader at Milaca High School, but he has some lofty goals.
As a member of the Milaca High School cross-country team, his most pressing goal these days is to win at sections and earn a berth in the state cross-country tournament.
But he had a greater goal three weeks ago at the Milaca Mega Meet, an event billed as the world’s largest high school cross-country meet that attracted 5,000 runners and thousands of spectators to Milaca’s Stone’s Throw Golf Course.SCAN0001
“I wanted to win it,” Hall said with his trademark smile.
In the days leading to the meet, Hall took to the Internet and looked at times of ninth-graders who crossed the finish line in Mega Meets past and came up with the following conclusion: “I thought I had a good chance.”
On Saturday, Sept. 20, he woke up feeling ready to run, Hall said.
“I thought I’d have a pretty good day,” he said.
The first mile Hall ran in five minutes flat, he said.
“I thought I was going to die. I started out too fast for my own liking. I thought I was going to crash,” Hall said.
Hall was helped out mentally, he said, when former teammate Cameron Sundberg at the first checkpoint gave him his time and some appreciated words of encouragement.
Hall said after that first mile of the 3.1 mile race (5K) that he decided to go forward and not slow down.
“I took the hills hard,” he said of the Stone’s Throw terrain.
When Hall reached the last 800 meters, he broke into a sprint and ran as fast as he could toward the finish line.
“I really kicked it in the last 200 meters,” he said. “And I never looked back.”
All Hall saw was people to the left and people to the right.
“All I could hear was music in the background,” Hall said. He couldn’t hear all the people cheering him on over the music, he noted.
And when he crossed the finish line, all he could think of is that he was glad to be done.
He didn’t know how he fared in his Mega Meet run, but he did know this — no runner ever passed his while he was on the course.
Seconds after crossing the finish line, spectators were patting him on the back, letting him know he had run a good race.
Milaca head cross-country coach Dave Dillan met up with Hall to let him know he did a good job, he recalls.
And when the results were tabulated, Hall was in first place and the first Milaca runner to ever hold the top spot in any division of the Milaca Mega Meet in the 44-year history of the event.
To sweeten the accomplishment even more, Hall ran the race in record time for a Milaca runner, coming across the finish line in 16:31.20. That was 48.1 seconds better than second-place finisher Ryan Fernholz of Sartell. There were 367 runners in the ninth grade race.
Hall’s big day didn’t come without a lot of hard work. It’s a journey that began about three years ago.
After sixth grade, heading into seventh grade, Hall was encouraged by his father, Travis Hall, to run as a means of preparing for an upcoming wrestling season. Hall, one of Milaca’s top young wrestlers, agreed that running would be a good way to get in shape.
A year ago, during his eighth-grade year, Hall joined the cross-country and track teams for the first time.
As an eighth-grader, Hall ran varsity. At the section meet, he defeated the No. 1 senior at Milaca for the school’s fastest time at the meet. He was two places shy of qualifying for the state meet, he said.
Last spring in track, Hall ran the 1600- and 3200-meter races.
This past summer, Hall made a commitment to not just running to prepare for the wrestling season, but to be the best runner he could possibly be. He also wanted to be the best runner he could for his team, he said.
He ran nearly every day during the summer, 7 to 10 miles a day.
“I just ran down the dirt roads by our house. I ran, looked around and would see what I would see,” Hall said.
He ran near Lake Michigan on a family vacation this summer, too, and was glad to have an opportunity to take in some new sights.
A freak accident in August didn’t keep Hall from achieving his first place fete at the Mega Meet, either.
He broke a toe while four-wheeling.
“I stopped running for about a week,” Hall said. After that, he ran through the pain.
When Sept. 20 and the Milaca Mega Meet rolled around, the toe was healed and Hall was ready to run.
And while he regularly runs varsity on the Wolves cross-country team, he made a calculated decision to run the ninth grade race as opposed to the varsity race – in which his time would have placed him at second or third place.
“As winner of the ninth grade race, it says you’re the best,” Hall said.
In the weeks to come Hall hopes a winning attitude can carry over to another big accomplishment of his young cross-country career in the weeks to come.
“I want to go to state,” Hall said.

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Dorr: Larson would be happy with Twins’ move http://millelacscountytimes.com/2014/10/09/dorr-larson-would-be-happy-with-twins-move/ http://millelacscountytimes.com/2014/10/09/dorr-larson-would-be-happy-with-twins-move/#comments Thu, 09 Oct 2014 16:40:44 +0000 http://millelacscountytimes.com/?p=108051 Somewhere my friend Gary Larson is rejoicing after last week’s announcement by the Minnesota Twins that they were replacing their manager, Ron Gardenhire.
Larson, who died unexpectedly last March, was editor and a sportswriter for the Mille Lacs County Times for about 25 years.
Gary just wasn’t a fan of Gardenhire and in our Monday morning talks that went on for a few years, he made that very clear.
Last October, in the Ask The Sportswriters feature that ran every week, Gary wrote: “At times old Gardy looked disinterested this season.” Gary did mention that all-time great managers couldn’t have won with the roster Gardenhire was provided.
In answering another question last October, Gary wrote that “any Twins fans who didn’t see this train wreck of a season coming just weren’t paying attention.”
In that same issue the writer of this column made the prediction that, contract or no contract, Gardenhire would not be back for 2015 if the Twins faltered again.
I remember Gary disagreeing with me on that, although he wanted Gardenhire to be gone after the 2013 season.
We had our weekly philosophical discussions about the Twins, about Gardenhire, about Jerry Kill and about the quarterback situation for the Vikings.
But the biggest item for discussion each week in the summer and early fall for Gary was the status of Gardenhire.
Earlier, in July 2013, Gary said Gardenhire should be tougher on the players and opined that both Gardy and pitching coach Rick Anderson “looked clueless in the dugout.”
Even though I would classify myself as not a Gardenhire fan, I would stick up for Gardenhire a bit, saying he just didn’t have the players to do much better.
I wish Gary had been around this past summer to see some of the improvement and the unveiling of some promising young players such as Santana, Escobar and Vargas. And there appears to be some promise with some minor leaguers.
My guess is that Gary would approve if Paul Molitor is chosen as the new manager. He often brought up his name in the summer of 2013 when he talked about who might be next in line to manage.
Gary also wasn’t a big fan of the Pohlad family, the owners of the Twins. He thought they should spend more money. Trouble is, I argued, money doesn’t always solve problems. The Twins had their biggest payroll ever in 2011, $113 million, and they lost 99 games that year.
Sid Hartman, sometimes not Gary’s favorite columnist and radio personality, is pushing hard now for Molitor to get the job, so I think Gary and Sid would be in lock step on this one.
We also had a lot of discussions about U of M football coach Jerry Kill.
I’ve been a Kill booster since he got here, while Gary had some reservations. After last year’s one-sided loss to Michigan, Gary wrote that it would be a long time before that trend would be reversed. So I wish he’d been here for the win over Michigan two weeks ago. He was a big fan of Minnesota football and, like myself, grew up when things were a little better. We both longed for better times.
He was kinder to Kill after the Gophers won four in a row in the Big Ten last year and I’m sure he’d be praising the coach today.
We also had many, many discussions about the quarterback situation for the Vikings, me sticking up for Christian Ponder and Gary saying that Ponder should not be the starter.
The Vikings averaged 27 points a game in their first three games of 2013 with Ponder as the starter, losing twice in the last few seconds when the defense caved in, and Ponder lost his starting job for a couple weeks after losses in those three games.
I reminded Gary that the Vikings won the division the previous year with Ponder as the quarterback in a 10-6 season during which he played very well against playoff teams. The stats from those four games were very good for Ponder and Gary admitted he was surprised at the stats.
But he was adamant that Ponder should not have the job and I think he’d be happy now to see that Ponder was relegated to third string when everyone was healthy.
We had lots of enjoyable discussions, and sometimes disagreements, about the Minnesota sports scene. We had a combined 80 years of experience of covering high school sports and following college and professional teams in Minnesota. And we both had our biases.
I miss those weekly conversations and wish they could have gone on for a couple more decades.
But, since they can’t, I’m glad Gary got his wish about the manager job for the Twins.
Last week he’d probably have been telling me, “I told you he had to go.” And I would have agreed.

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Wolves swimmers sink Ogilvie, Cathedral to extend home streak http://millelacscountytimes.com/2014/10/09/wolves-swimmers-sink-ogilvie-cathedral-to-extend-home-streak/ http://millelacscountytimes.com/2014/10/09/wolves-swimmers-sink-ogilvie-cathedral-to-extend-home-streak/#comments Thu, 09 Oct 2014 16:39:54 +0000 http://millelacscountytimes.com/?p=108049 The Milaca swimming and diving team continues to find success in its home pool, remaining undefeated at home after a 98-83 win over Granite Ridge Conference rival St. Cloud Cathedral on Thursday, Oct. 3. The win came two days after the Wolves defeated Ogilvie-Mora 97-73 on the road at Ogilvie on Tuesday, Sept. 30.
At Ogilvie, the Wolves won eight of 10 scored events and saw Chloe Hendrickson and Ashley Cassens each win multiple events to lead the Wolves to the first of two victories of the week.
Cassens won the 50 freestyle (30.84) and 100 butterfly (1:25.29) and was part of the first-place 200 freestyle relay team (2:05.98).
Hendrickson finished first in the 200 individual relay (2:48.59) and 100 backstroke (1:17.54).
Milaca’s Rachel Airhart won the 200 freestyle and was part of the first-place 200 freestyle relay team. Her sister Tara Airhart was part of the same first-place 200 freestyle relay team and took first place honors in diving (180.6). The Wolves’ Breanna Mehrwerth was first in the 100 freestyle (1:09.68).

St. Cloud Cathedral
Milaca improved its record to 3-0 at home this season against the Crusaders by a 15-point margin.
The Wolves won nine of 12 events on their way to the 98-93 victory.
Cassens helped lead the girls to victory with two individual first-place finishes and the first heat on two winning relay teams.
Cassens was first in the 50 freestyle (27.62), trimming more than three seconds off her time at Ogilvie. She was also first in the 100 butterfly (1:14.28), cutting nine seconds from her time two days earlier. Cassens was also on the winning 200 medley relay team (2:07.49) and the 200 freestyle relay (1:51.08).
Hendrickson won two events, the 100 backstroke (1:09.15) and the 200 freestyle (2:13.81). Her time in the backstroke was about nine seconds better than at Ogilvie. Hendrickson also swam on the first-place 200 medley relay team with Cassens and the Airhart sisters.
Tara Airhart was the top diver for the second consecutive meet, earning a score of 184.55, besting Cathedral’s second-place diver by about 51 points. Rachel Airhart was first in the 500 freestyle (6:20.60). The Airharts were on the winning 200 freestyle relay team with Cassens and Mehrwerth.
Mehrwerth also turned in a first-place finish in the 100 freestyle. (1:00.45). She also trimmed about nine seconds from her Sept. 30 time.

Up next
The Wolves had a week off but return to action tonight, Oct. 9, against Granite Ridge Conference rival Albany at home. Meet time is at 6 p.m. On Monday, Oct. 13, the Wolves will host the junior varsity/junior high conference meet. Meet time is at 5 p.m. at the Milaca pool.

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Wolves get volleyball win at Mora tournament http://millelacscountytimes.com/2014/10/09/wolves-get-volleyball-win-at-mora-tournament/ http://millelacscountytimes.com/2014/10/09/wolves-get-volleyball-win-at-mora-tournament/#comments Thu, 09 Oct 2014 16:39:12 +0000 http://millelacscountytimes.com/?p=108047 The Milaca volleyball team is in a battle for wins as it tries to secure a home playoff spot. But the girls made that more of a challenge last week with Granite Ridge Conference losses at home to Foley and St. Cloud Cathedral. The Wolves also went into the heat of battle at the Mora tournament on Saturday, getting a much needed win in the tourney playoffs but ended up with a 1-3 record to close the day.
Sept. 30 against Foley, the girls couldn’t avenge an early season loss and fell to the Falcons 3-0. Molly Banks led Milaca with seven kills. Kristina Loegering had 16 digs for the Wolves.
It was another 3-0 Thursday, Oct. 2 against Cathedral.
The Crusader middles were outstanding,” head coach Jamie Taylor said.
“We thought maybe we could triple block and mess with them, but they have obviously seen it before and it didn’t slow them down at all,” Taylor said.
The Wolves hit better against Cathedral than they did two days earlier against Mora, Taylor said. Paige Quaintance had her best hitting night of the season with nine kills on 19 swings. Malayna Sikkink had 12 set assists.
At the Mora Tournament, the Wolves lost 2-0 to Carlton and 2-0 to Hudson, Wisconsin in pool play.
In the playoff round, Milaca earned a 2-0 win over Crosby-Ironton.
“Nadesha Dohm had a great match starting us off with her serving.” Taylor said. Dohm had no aces but gave C-I tough serves that they couldn’t return very well. That helped Milaca set up its offense. Dohm also finished with four kills on 12 swings and three digs.
In its final match of the tournament, Milaca fell 2-0 to Unity Christian.
“Inconssitent play really hurt us here,” Taylor said.
Milaca had opportunities for wins at home this week against Pine City, Becker on Monday and Tuesday. The Wolves travel to Zimmerman Thursday as they seek that home playoff seeding.

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Cross Country: Hall, Ploeger Wolves top harriers at Becker http://millelacscountytimes.com/2014/10/09/cross-country-hall-ploeger-wolves-top-harriers-at-becker/ http://millelacscountytimes.com/2014/10/09/cross-country-hall-ploeger-wolves-top-harriers-at-becker/#comments Thu, 09 Oct 2014 16:37:56 +0000 http://millelacscountytimes.com/?p=108044 A week after claiming the top time in a Granite Ridge Conference cross country meet at Foley, Milaca’s Jon Hall cracked the top three at the Becker Invitational on Tuesday, Sept. 30.

Milaca 8th grader Jerrica Ploeger runs the girls junior high race at Becker on Tuesday, Sept. 30. Ploeger took first place with a time of 14:00.00. It’s the second consecutive meet in which Ploeger posted a first-place finish. Photo by Melissa Terpstra

Milaca 8th grader Jerrica Ploeger runs the girls junior high race at Becker on Tuesday, Sept. 30. Ploeger took first place with a time of 14:00.00. It’s the second consecutive meet in which Ploeger posted a first-place finish.
Photo by Melissa Terpstra

Squaring off against runners from Mora, Big Lake, Becker, Pine City, and North Branch, the boys had two runners in the top 15 and a fifth-place team finish with 99 points, just four behind fourth-place Pine City.
For the girls, senior Alex Ploeger continued her run as the team’s top harrier, coming in about two seconds shy of a top 10 finish.
The girls didn’t fill the full field of seven runners, which hurt them in team competition. They finished last in the 9-team field that included Becker, Princeton, Big Lake St. Cloud Cathedral, Mora, North Branch, Pine City and Zimmerman. The girls finished with 193 points on the day.
Hall led the charge for the Wolves boys, timing in at 17 minutes, 4.99 seconds. Big Lake’s Nathan Souther (16:38.08) and Luke Lahr (17:00.98) took the top two spots.
Milaca’s Sam Berg came in 15th place (18:18.92). Senior Jacob Riebel (27th, 19.22.66), Dray Thomas-Ferry (29th, 19:29.25), Gabe Petty (32th, 19:34.01), Bennet Lerud (43rd, 20:48.01) and Cole Patten (45th, 20:58.03) rounded out the field for the Wolves.
For the girls, Ploeger’s 13th-place time of 16:54.72 came 10 time slots ahead of sophomore Emma Bolt’s 23rd-place time of 17:07.48. Milaca’s Lizzy Fordyce (42nd, 18:13.42), Sara Demesova (57th, 20.38.45) and Allie Terpstra (58th, 21:03.80) rounded out the field.
The Wolves ran Tuesday in a Granite Ridge Conference meet at Albany and are running hard at practice this week preparing for the Granite Ridge Conference Meet, scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 14 at Becker.

Other CC highlights
• For the second consecutive meet, Milaca eighth-grader Jerica Ploeger took first place in the junior high race. Her time of 14:00.00 was almost 25 seconds better than second-place finisher Ava Soucy of Monticello. Cherramae Erickson and Brooklyn Eggen combined with Ploeger to give the Wolves three finishers in the top 25 of the junior high race.
• Sam Petty’s time of 19:48.47 was the best among the Wolves boys in the JV race and good for 9th place.
• Runners Dominick Smith, Sam Bolt and Alec James gave Milaca three finishers in the top 25 of the boys junior high race.

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Football: Down 2 at halftime, Milaca gives up 53 unanswered points to Becker Bulldogs. http://millelacscountytimes.com/2014/10/09/football-down-2-at-halftime-milaca-gives-up-53-unanswered-points-to-becker-bulldogs/ http://millelacscountytimes.com/2014/10/09/football-down-2-at-halftime-milaca-gives-up-53-unanswered-points-to-becker-bulldogs/#comments Thu, 09 Oct 2014 16:35:53 +0000 http://millelacscountytimes.com/?p=108041 Milaca receiver Levi Hunt pulls in a reception from quarterback Nathan Hass. He eluded the Becker defense and ran 20 yards after the catch into the end zone. It was a 51-yard touchdown play. Times photo by Jeffrey Hage

Milaca receiver Levi Hunt pulls in a reception from quarterback Nathan Hass. He eluded the Becker defense and ran 20 yards after the catch into the end zone. It was a 51-yard touchdown play.
Times photo by Jeffrey Hage

For the first 24 minutes Friday, Oct. 3, the Milaca Wolves held their own against one of the top football programs in the state of Minnesota.
During the second 24 minutes, not so much.
On the last home game of the 2014 season — a night known as parents night and seniors night — Milaca took advantage of fumbles, a blocked punt and lapses in strong defensive schemes to jump out to a 16-6 lead over sixth-ranked Becker in a memorable first half in Granite Ridge Conference football action at home at Claffy Field.
By the end of Milaca’s final home game of 2014 against Becker, the game became one most Milaca fans might choose not to remember.
After jumping out to a 16-6 lead on an 11-yard touchdown strike from Nathan Hass to Mike Garber at the 4:50 mark of the second quarter, the Wolves gave up 53 consecutive points to the Granite Ridge Conference’s first-place Bulldogs. The Wolves never saw the bright lights of the end zone again until they gathered at the end of the game with the coaching staff for a post-game pep talk.
Still, Milaca had a big night offensively, racking up 280 yards and a dramatic 51-yard touchdown pass from Hass to receiver Levi Hunt down the left side of the field.
Hass connected with receivers on 10 of 15 passes for 184 yards. Garber had 114 yards receiving, followed by Hunt, with 61 yards through the air.
Milaca had success with its ground game, too, with Hunter Daluge rushing for 38 hard-earned yards against a stout Becker defense and Nick Reibel rushing for 24 yards. Hass picked up 17 yards on eight carries. Hunt and Bryce Kohlgraf each had 20-yard kickoff returns.
On defense, the Wolves’ Hunt had a big fumble recovery in the first quarter to kill a drive after defender Brad Bekius brought down Becker’s Eric Blomgren after a 20-yard catch and run that gave Milaca the ball at its own 34 yard line.
The defense came up even bigger three minutes into the second quarter with a block of a Michael Veldman punt that resulted in a safety.
How did the Wolves contain Becker in the first half?
“Our defense was sound,” head coach Cory Anderson said. “We lined up right every time.”
Milaca was aided by the fact that Becker offensive coordinator Mike Lundeen was the one-time head coach of the Wolves and the coaching staff had some familiarity with his offense.
“We kind of know their team,” Anderson said.
On offense, Milaca made plays in the first half and made Becker work, Anderson said.
But in the second half, Becker took over the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, Anderson noted.
“They outplayed us on many levels and proved they are a complete team,” Anderson said. “They’re one of the best teams in the state.”
The Bulldogs got on the scoreboard first after taking the opening kickoff and capping a 14-play, five-minute drive with a 5-yard run by Milan Hunt. After a failed two-point conversion, Becker had a 6-0 lead. Milaca punted on its first series.
On Becker’s second series, running back C.J. Schwintek took the ball from receiver Austin Rassmussen 3 yards in the backfield, ran for 10 yards and fumbled. The Wolves’Mike Garber recovered the ball. The drive featured a nice 14-yard pass play from Hass to Garber, but ended in a punt.
But the Wolves got the ball back one play later when Becker’s Veldman dropped back and hit Eric Blomgren 8 yards up field. Blomgren ran 13 yards after the catch with Milaca defender Brad Bekius wrapped around him. Bekius knocked the ball out of Blomgren’s hands. Hunt then jumped on the ball for the fumble recovery on the Wolves 34-yard line. The drive ended again with a Levi Hunt punt.
With 22 seconds remaining in the first quarter, the Wolves took possession of the ball at their own 23-yard line. Sixty-two seconds later, they were in the end zone celebrating a touchdown. On the first play of the series, Daluge ran the ball 28 yards to the Milaca 48. Three plays later, Hunt got a step ahead of defender Andrew Stanger and beat him on a pass from Hass. Hunt outran Stanger in a race to the end zone for a 51-yard touchdown reception. Joshiah Forker ran 2 yards into the end zone after a 4-yard pass from Hassfor the two-point conversion and an 8-6 Milaca lead at the 11:18 mark of the second quarter.
The Milaca defense came up big on Becker’s next drive. The Wolves held the Bulldogs to just 3 yards, forcing a three-and-out. On the ensuing punt, Zach Petersen got a hand on the ball, sending it backwards into the end zone. The Wolves nearly scored a touchdown on the play. As Milaca was falling on the ball, a Becker player kicked it out of the end zone for a safety. The Wolves took a 10-6 lead.
Milaca got the ball back with 6:21 remaining in the half after a Becker punt to the Milaca 48-yard line.
On first down, Hass hit Garber for a 39-yard pass. Garber was taken down at the 14-yard line. Three plays later, Hass hit Garber on an 8-yard touchdown pass to give the Wolves a 16-6 lead. Hass threw an incomplete pass on the conversion attempt.
Becker got the ball and marched 67 yards in three plays and scored on a 37-yard touchdown pass from Veldman to Beau Pauley and cut Milaca’s lead to 16-12. The two-point conversion failed. Becker turned around on its next possession and marched 62 yards in three plays, capped by a 20-yard touchdown pass from Veldman to Dawson Brown. Veldman hit Pauley on a 3-yard pass on the conversion to take a 20-16 halftime lead.
The Wolves couldn’t hold the Bulldogs in the second half, giving up 39 unanswered points.
In the third quarter Becker got the following touchdowns:
• Milan Kent scored on a 17-yard run. Veldman hit Matt Conzemius on a 13-yard pass for the conversion. Score: Becker 28, Milaca 16.
• Veldman connected with Blomgren on a 42-yard touchdown pass. Kent ran the ball 3 yards for the conversion. Score: Becker 36, Milaca 16.
• Veldman hit Conzemius for a 20-yard touchdown pass. The Rassmussen kick was good. Score: Becker 43, Milaca 16.
• Alex Meidt scored on an 8-yard run. The Rassmussen kick was good. Score: Becker 50, Milaca 16.
In the fourth quarter Becker got another touchdown:
• Stanger threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to Jake Fobbe. The Rassmussen kick was good. Score: Becker 57, Milaca 16.
With 2:27 remaining in the game, Milaca quarterback Blake Kiel was sacked in the end zone for a safety. The two points set the final score at 59-16.

Game notes: Levi Hunt and Ted Blenkush left the game with knee injuries and spent the second half on the bench. “They tweaked their knees, both of them,” Anderson said. “It looks like they both have slight sprains.”

Becker 59, Milaca 16
Becker          6  14   23   16   – 59
Milaca            0   16     0     0   – 16

Individual Statistics
Rushing: Milaca – Hunter Daluge 11-28, Nick Reibel 4-22, Austin Weidner 2-2, Luke Manoleff 2-2, Nathan Hass 13-0, Mike Garber 2, -1, Ryan Allen 1, -1, Teddy Blenkush 1, -2, Levi Hunt 2, -6, Blake Kiel 1, -10. Becker –  C.J. Schwintek 10-52, Milan Kent 4-20, Andrew Stanger 3-24, Alex Meidt 2-14, Austin Rassmussen 1-13,  Beau Pauley 2-10, Tanner Kiffmeyer 3-6, Blake Angell 1-1, Michael Veldman 1-12.
Passing: Milaca – Nathan Hass 10-15-174, Levi Hunt 1-1-8, Mike Garber 1-1-6. Becker – Michael Veldman 13-21-222, Andrew Stanger 1-1-25.
Receiving: Milaca – Mike Garber 8-108, Levi Hunt 2-61, Dylan Hakes 1-13, Tony Kruse 1-6. Becker – Eric Blomgren 5-97, Matt Conzemius 2-43, Dawson Brown 3-40, Beau Pauley 2-38, Jake Fobbe 1-25, Austin Rassmussen 1-4.

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Cross Country: Boys, girls take third at Foley http://millelacscountytimes.com/2014/10/09/cross-country-boys-girls-take-third-at-foley/ http://millelacscountytimes.com/2014/10/09/cross-country-boys-girls-take-third-at-foley/#comments Thu, 09 Oct 2014 15:33:42 +0000 http://millelacscountytimes.com/?p=107999 sports cc ploeger v

Alex Ploeger, pictured here at Foley’s Stone Creek Golf Club, was the top Milaca girls runner with a third-place finish. Times photo by Jeff Hage

Just one thing stood in the way of the Mora boy’scross country team taking the first four slots in the Sept. 25 cross country meet at Foley.
Milaca’s Jon Hall.
Hall, Milaca’s ninth grade runner who a week earlier became the first Milaca runner to ever claim a first place title at the Milaca Mega Meet, came in 5 seconds ahead of Mora’s Alec Sanbeck to claim first place for the boys at Foley’s Stone Creek Golf Course.
Hall crossed the finish line at 16:54. On his heels were Mora’s Sanbeck (16:59), Noah Moravec (17:01), Michael Schwinghammer (17:07) and John Schwinghammer (17:19).
The Mora runners paced the Mustangs to a first place team finish with 22 points. Foley was second with 66 points, while Milaca turned in a third-place finish with 96 points. Pierz and Zimmerman also competed in the meet.
Following Hall for the Wolves was sophomore Sam Berg, who finished 15th with a time of 18:42. His teammate Jacob Riebel followed him with a time of 18:48 for 16th place. Filling out the field for Milaca were Gabe Petty, 20th, 19:29), Sam Petty (24th, 20:05), Zack Korvela (26th, 20:19) and Cole Patten (28th, 20:26).
In girls competition, three Milaca runners claimed top-10 finishes to help pace the Wolves to their own third-place finish.
Alex Ploeger was third behind Zimmerman’s Cheresa Bouley and Nikki Jurik with a time of 16:36. Coming in 6th for the Wolves was Lizy Fordyce with a time of 17:10 and Emma Bolt in 9th, crossing the finish line with a run of 17:21, just three-tenths of a second from earning a sixth-place finish.
Rounding out the field for the Milaca girls were Sara Demesova (26th, 20:01) and Allie Terpstra (27th, 20:33).
In other cross country highlights, the Wolve’s Joe Baker finished third in the JV boys race with a time of 18:50. Brent Hussman also finished in the top 10 with an 8th-place time of 19:58. Milaca finished second in team competition.
In junior high boys competition, Sam Bolt and Dominick Smith finished in the top 10 at 6th and 8th place, respectively.
In the junior high girls race, it was Milaca’s Jerica Ploeger taking first place honors with a time of 13:32. The Wolves Cherramae Erickson (3rd, 14:35), and Brooklyn Eggen (5th, 16:33) finished in the top 10, helping lead Milaca to a second-place finish behind host Foley.
The Milaca runners were in action Tuesday at Becker (meet was after Tuesday press deadline) and close out the regular season Oct. 7 at Albany.

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Swimmers: Wolves sink Princeton http://millelacscountytimes.com/2014/10/09/swimmers-wolves-sink-princeton/ http://millelacscountytimes.com/2014/10/09/swimmers-wolves-sink-princeton/#comments Thu, 09 Oct 2014 15:28:57 +0000 http://millelacscountytimes.com/?p=107995 The Milaca Wolves swimmers are finding their home pool to be a friendly place.
The Wolves earned their second win of the season with a 105-79 victory over the Princeton Tigers on Sept. 23 to improve to 2-2 on the season. Both Wolves victories have come at home, with Milaca earning a 105-81 win over Becker in its home pool on Sept. 4.
Milaca also found success in its home pool Saturday, Sept. 20, earning second-place honors at the Milaca Invitation, trailing only rival Foley.
Against Princeton, The Wolves opened with first and second place finishes in the 200 medley relay. The team of Ashley Cassens, Erica Maalis, Chloe Henderson and Tara Airhart finished first with a time of 2:16.16. Six seconds behind the girls were the team of Abby Forker, Ellie Hartung, Vanessa Deerberg and Kate Manoleff with a time of 2:22.15.
Rachel Airhart finished first in the 200 yard freestyle with a 2:14.76. Teammate Ellie Hartung was second with a time of 2:18.36. Finishing in 5th for the Wolves was Madison Shores with her time of 2:34.07.
Milaca took top honors in its third consecutive event when Chloe Hendrickson was the first to finish in the 200 IM with a time of 2:31.52. Abby Forker was fourth with a 2:50.41, followed by Vanessa Deerberg’s 2:59.76 fifth-place finish.
Princeton’s Montana Lawrence took the 50 freestyle with a 27.18. But it was Milaca coming in next to fill the next three slots at the finishline. Ashley Cassens claimed second with a 27.58, followed by Breanna Mehrerth’s 28.01 and Alexis Tesch’s 29.24.
Tara Airhart took second in 1 meter diving with a 195.40. Princeton’s Megan Gourley took top honors with a 197.40.
In the girls 100 butterfly, Michelle Crandall and Vanessa Deerberg took second and third behind Princeton’s Emma Carlberg. Princeton’s Lawrence took the top spot in the 100 freestyle, with Milaca’s Rachel Airhart, Breaana Mehrwerth and Alexis Tesch finishing second, third and fourth.
In the longer 500 yard freestyle, it was Princeton’s Zoe Thorson coming in first with a 6:40.73., about 20 seconds ahead of the 7:02.09 posted by Milaca’s Kayla Trigg. Emma Eidsvold and Erin Hackenmueller turned in times of 7:21.10 and 7:33.87.
In the 200 freestyle relay, Ashley Cassens, Tara Airhart, Rachel Airhart and Breanna Mehrweth held down the top post with a time of 1:50.63. That was five seconds better than Princeton’s top team.
Next up were the individual events of the 100 backstroke and the 100 yard breaststroke, both won by Milaca swimmers.
It was Chloe Hendrickson with the top time in the backstroke. Her 1:09.34 topped Princeton’s Sophie Hoffer by more than four seconds. Ashley Cassens was third and Abby Forker fourth for the Wolves. In the breaststroke, Ellie Hartung was the first to finish with a time of 1:22.83. Princeton’s Megan Carlberg was second with a time of 1:25.64. Finishing third and fourth were the Wolves’ Erica Maalis and Emma Johnson.
Milaca did not place in the 400 freestyle relay.
The Wolves swam against Ogilve-Mora on Tuesday and face St. Cloud Cathedral tonight (Thursday, Oct. 2) at their home pool where they will look to keep their streak of home successes alive.

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Volleyball: Wolves get win at Mora tournament http://millelacscountytimes.com/2014/10/09/volleyball-wolves-get-win-at-mora-tournament/ http://millelacscountytimes.com/2014/10/09/volleyball-wolves-get-win-at-mora-tournament/#comments Thu, 09 Oct 2014 15:25:36 +0000 http://millelacscountytimes.com/?p=107993 The Milaca volleyball team is in a battle for wins as it tries to secure a home playoff spot. But the girls made that more of a challenge last week with Granite Ridge Conference losses at home to Foley and St. Cloud Cathedral. The Wolves also went into the heat of battle at the Mora tournament on Saturday, getting a much needed win in the tourney playoffs but ended up with a 1-3 record to close the day.
Sept. 30 against Foley, the girls couldn’t avenge an early season loss and fell to the Falcons 3-0. Molly Banks led Milaca with seven kills. Kristina Loegering had 16 digs for the Wolves.
It was another 3-0 Thursday, Oct. 2 against Cathedral.
The Crusader middles were outstanding,” head coach Jamie Taylor said.
“We thought maybe we could triple block and mess with them, but they have obviously seen it before and it didn’t slow them down at all,” Taylor said.
The Wolves hit better against Cathedral than they did two days earlier against Mora, Taylor said. Paige Quaintance had her best hitting night of the season with nine kills on 19 swings. Malayna Sikkink had 12 set assists.
At the Mora Tournament, the Wolves lost 2-0 to Carlton and 2-0 to Hudson, Wisconsin in pool play.
In the playoff round, Milaca earned a 2-0 win over Crosby-Ironton.
“Nadesha Dohm had a great match starting us off with her serving.” Taylor said. Dohm had no aces but gave C-I tough serves that they couldn’t return very well. That helped Milaca set up its offense. Dohm also finished with four kills on 12 swings and three digs.
In its final match of the tournament, Milaca fell 2-0 to Unity Christian.
“Inconssitent play really hurt us here,” Taylor said.
Milaca had opportunities for wins at home this week against Pine City, Becker on Monday and Tuesday. The Wolves travel to Zimmerman Thursday as they seek that home playoff seeding.

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Football: Wolves lose to Mora with no time remaining on the clock http://millelacscountytimes.com/2014/10/09/football-wolves-lose-to-mora-with-no-time-remaining-on-the-clock/ http://millelacscountytimes.com/2014/10/09/football-wolves-lose-to-mora-with-no-time-remaining-on-the-clock/#comments Thu, 09 Oct 2014 15:22:34 +0000 http://millelacscountytimes.com/?p=107991 The clock ticked down to one minute remaining in Milaca’s homecoming football game against Mora, and the excitement was mounting among the fans dressed in red and black in the packed bleachers.
During the previous 29 minutes of play, the Wolves and Mustangs had engaged in a defensive battle that kept both teams from breaking an 8-8 tie.
But that all changed when Milaca took the ball at the Mora 47 yard line with 3:26 remaining in the game.
Two minutes and 30 seconds later, Wolves quarterback Nathan Hass dropped back and hit Levi Hunt in the end zone for a 9-yard touchdown reception.
Players, coaches and managers exploded with celebration on the sidelines. The cheering from the Milaca fans was deafening.
The Wolves, it appeared, were on their way to a homecoming victory after a failed 2-point conversion put Milaca up 14-8 with 56 seconds remaining in the game.
But as famed baseball player Yogi Berra  once said, “It ain’t over till it’s over.”
During the course of the next 54 seconds, the Wolves would go from jubilant potential game winners to absolutely stunned victims of a last-second pass interference penalty that cost Milaca its homecoming victory.
After the kick-off following Hunt’s go-ahead touchdown reception, Mora effectively moved the ball to the Milaca 29 yard line with 30 seconds left on the clock.
A pair of first downs put Mora inside the 15 with 9.4 seconds on the clock. An incomplete pass on second down left 2.6 seconds on the clock.
On third down with time expiring, Mora quaterback Luke Anderson unsuccessfully targeted a receiver in the end zone as time expired. A linesman right on top of the incomplete pass play signaled that it was a clean play. But the referee came running into the area of play from around midfield and threw a penalty flag, signaling that there was pass interference on the play. Despite time expiring on the clock, Mora was awarded one last play because games can’t end on defensive penalties.
The Mustangs lined up, and quarterback Anderson hit receiver Bryce Norby in the end zone for a 7-yard touchdown to tie the game at 14-14.
It was a fade pass, Milaca head football coach Cory Anderson said.
Mora tailback Justin Mantel ran the ball in on the 2-point conversion to give the Mustangs a dramatic 16-14 win.
The loss was a big disappointment to players and coaches alike.
“It hurt,” Anderson said. “And it’s supposed to hurt when that happens.”
Anderson noted that the game’s outcome hurt the coaches just as much as it hurt the players.
The outcome also gave reminder to why a coaching staff coaches its players to play all 48 minutes of a game, Anderson said.
“Friday night we let someone else determine our fate. It was not us who determined our fate,” Anderson said.
The Wolves came out of the gate with a game plan that picked apart a Mora defense that allowed a Milaca touchdown on the team’s opening drive.
Coach Anderson used a mix of the running game and long and short passes to move down the field.
It looked like the Wolves would score on the fourth play of the game when quarterback Nathan Hass hit receiver Mike Garber on a 39-yard strike for a touchdown, but the play was called back because of an illegal man down field.
Six plays later, senior running back Nick Reibel made a 12-yard catch on fourth down to give the Wolves a first down inside the 10-yard line. On the next play running back Hunter Daluge advanced the ball to the Mora 1 yard line. Junior running back Teddy Blenkush took the ball into the end zone with a 1-yard run on the next play to put Milaca up 6-0. A Nathan Hass run on the conversion gave Milaca an 8-0 lead at the 8:03 mark of the first quarter.
“We had command of the game,” Anderson said. “I felt good due to us both passing and running effectively.”
It was a drive that Anderson and his staff had scripted out in practice.
“We took advantage of their defense and executed very well,” Anderson said.
But some unfortunate turnovers, sloppy play and a Mora defense that made some good adjustments, Anderson said,  kept Milaca off the scoreboard until the final minute of the game.
Midway through the second quarter, Mora reached the end zone for its only touchdown during regulation time of the game on a 2-yard run by running back Justin Mantel. Mora receiver Josh Bohnen caught a Luke Anderson pass for the 2-point conversion.
Milaca quarterback Nathan Hass was 12 of 21 for 156 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Teddy Blenkush led Milaca rushers with 88 yards on 20 attempts and one touchdown. Nick Reibel had 27 yards rushing and 12 yards receiving.
Mike Garber led Milaca receivers with 72 yards on three catches for an average of 24 yards per reception. Levi Hunt had six receptions for 59 yards and Josiah Forker had two catches for 36 yards.
The Milaca defense was led by Colton Sailor’s eight tackles. Austin Weidner had 6.5 tackles while Garber and Josh Otten had five tackles each. Garber and Hunt both intercepted Mora quarterback Luke Anderson.
On special teams, Hunt punted three times for 106 yards — a 325.3 yard average. Garber had one kick-off return for 14 yards. Hunt had a 12-yard kick-off return.
The loss dropped Milaca to 1-3 in the Granite Ridge Conference and 1-4 overall.
The Wolves are in action again this Friday, Oct. 3, in a home matchup against Class 4A powerhouse Becker. The Bulldogs are 4-1 this season, suffering their only loss to Minnetonka in season opener.
“It will be a pretty brutal matchup,” Anderson said.
“They’re probably the second-best team in Class 4A behind Hutchinson,” he said.
Kickoff is at 7 p.m. at Milaca’s Claffy Field.

MORA 16, MILACA 14
Mora              0   8   0   8   – 16
Milaca               8   0   0   6   – 14

Individual Statistics
Rushing: Milaca – Teddy Blenkush 20-88, Nick Reibel 2-27, Nathan Hass 11-15, Hunter Daluge 4-12, Luke Manoleff 2-3, Levi Hunt 1-2. Mora Justin Mantel 28-121, Tyler Tober 3-46, Richard Lafave 7-35, Bryce Norby 2-4.
Passing: Milaca – Nathan Hass 12-21-156, Levi Hunt 1-1-34; Mora – Luke Anderson 6-16-88, Justin Mantel 1-2 29.
Receiving: Milaca – Mike Garber 3-72, Levi Hunt 6-59, Josiah Forker 2-36, Nick Reibel 1-12, Luke Manoleff 1-11. Mora Bryce Nordby 4-87, Justin Mantel 2-18, Richard Lafave 1-12.

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