The Mille Lacs County Times » Sports The Mille Lacs County Times cover community news, sports, current events and provides advertising and information for Milaca, Minnesota and it's surrounding areas. Fri, 31 Jul 2015 01:46:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Free sports physical at Fairview Wed, 15 Jul 2015 19:20:46 +0000 Fairview is making it easy for high school athletes to get ready for the school year by offering free physicals at Fairview Clinics. Fairview clinics in the area with openings for free sports physicals are: Fairview Clinics-Princeton and Fairview Clinics-Milaca. A comprehensive medical team of physicians, physician assistants, physical therapists and athletic trainers will perform the physicals. Immunizations are not included.  Advance registration is required. Visit to register online or call 612-672-7272.

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Milaca native makes the calls on oval dirt tracks Thu, 09 Jul 2015 21:39:50 +0000 sports race track sahlstrom w

OGILVIE – In order to make the proper call on the oval, with a number of fast vehicles battling for track positions, you need to concentrate on but only one thing.
“This is something I have a passion for and really enjoy doing it and when people ask what did you think of the races, I tell them I really didn’t see them, as I announced the race,” Randy Sahlstrom said.
Now in his seventh season making the calls behind the microphone at the Ogilvie Raceway, Sahlstrom continues to do what drives him.
“If I start watching, I will have to quit announcing as you can’t do both,” was his response during a recent visit to the “Big O.”
Sahlstrom has been working as the track announcer at the racetrack “since the beginning.”
While he works the Saturday night events at Ogilvie, Sahlstrom actually honed his skills behind the microphone at the Granite City track, as he is now in his 12th season announcing automobile racing action at Sauk Rapids track.
It was his background in dirt track announcing that landed him the job in Ogilvie after, “I found out who the promoter was and contacted him and was hired and have been there ever since.”
Now under new ownership, Sahlstrom looks for the racing program in Ogilvie “to only get stronger.”
Following graduation from Milaca High School in 1981, Sahlstrom first found himself opting to attend the Oak Hills Bible Institute in Bemidji for one year.
It was then off to St. Cloud State University where he earned himself a bachelors degree in engineering.
After working at Milaca High School as a Para-Professional, working in the Special Education Department, Sahlstrom now finds himself in a different occupation during his weekdays, serving as a Personal Care Attendant (PCA).
In his spare time, Sahlstrom does a “lot of homework,” as he keeps current data on the drivers, along with sponsors and any updates at the track facilities.
Sahlstrom, the son of Dorothy and John Sahlstrom of Milaca, credits growing up and going to races with his father at the Princeton Speedway as the hook for his interest in oval dirt track racing.
He recalled first being hired as a story writer for a news publication, dealing with “dirt racing news.”
It was the next season in Sauk Rapids when that track was in need of an announcer, and Sahlstrom asked for “a shot at it and got one.”
His love for racing keeps him more than busy as last year the Granite City track was operated on Sunday evenings, allowing him to announce in Princeton on Friday, settling in Oglivie on Saturday and off to Sauk Rapids on Sunday.
Since the switch in race nights in Sauk Rapids to a Friday show, that now finds Sahlstrom making the call only on two nights.
In describing the art of track announcing, Sahlstrom pointed out, “you have to be very focused on what you are doing or you will get lost, as things happen quickly.”
He looks at his job as being important to not only the racers, but to the sponsors and especially to the track.
While the noise may muffle out his voice during a heated race, his voice can be heard plainly on a highlighted video file of each race that is made available to the public.
In order to make the proper call, Sahlstrom notes he must be, “mentally prepared for the action as nothing is scripted and every race is different.”
He added, “pretty much anybody, on any given night, could be the winner.”
Another part of his homework comes just prior to the races as he spends a great amount of time in the pit areas, working with drivers and other individuals from pit crews.
Sahlstrom has established a database, where he logs personal information on all the drivers, along with car number, sponsors and their hometown.
Most nights can include up to six race classes, with the car count reaching as high as 100, leaving a lot for him to capture in motion.
Joining Sahlstrom in the announcers box area on race nights in Ogilvie is Laurie Hoffman, also from Milaca, who is responsible for the computer scoring system being utilized at the track.
Now with the change of ownership at the Ogilvie Raceway, Sahlstrom stated, “the initial owners did a great job, leaving room for expansion of a good thing.”

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Milaca pounds Mora in Legion action Thu, 09 Jul 2015 20:27:04 +0000 july 6 milaca legion baseball 458

Brian Kiel did it all against Mora in Legion baseball action on Monday, July 6.
On the mound, the right-hander completely shut down Mora, going seven complete innings while giving up just two hits and four walks in an impressive 7-0 road win. He also struck out 12 for the second consecutive game.july 6 milaca legion baseball 009
Kiel did a very good job throwing strikes and his slider was extremely effective in the win.
“(His slider) is his bread and butter pitch,” said Milaca head coach Bart Naumann. “He can throw that slider pretty much any time in the count. He has a curveball and a slider, but the slider is really tight and it breaks when it gets right in the zone.”
At the plate, Kiel helped his cause by blasting a two-run homer that sparked a five-run, fourth inning. Earlier in the game, Kiel narrowly missed hitting two dingers that had the distance but just went to the wrong side of the left-field foul pole.
“He’s kind of textbook when it comes to hitting,” Naumann said. “When he gets his timing down, he hits really well.”july 6 milaca legion baseball 354
Milaca led 1-0 after three innings and then broke the game wide open with that huge fourth inning. Nick Wolbert and Matt VanSomeren also had big blasts in that inning that resulted in runs for Milaca.
“When we first started out everybody was tight and kind of antsy, getting ahead of themselves at the plate,” Naumann said. “But once we got a couple (of runs) on the board, then everybody got relaxed. (The big inning) also lets Brian throw strikes and work on getting hitters (out).”
Monday’s victory improved Milaca’s record to 5-5 heading into this past Tuesday’s home game.
“It’s always (good) when you can win on the road,” Naumann said Monday evening. “We really needed that (win). It puts us back up to .500 with Pine City-Hinckley coming to town Tuesday.”july 6 milaca legion baseball 318july 6 milaca legion baseball 107

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Milaca VFW squad splits at Paynesville tourney Wed, 01 Jul 2015 20:29:33 +0000 The Milaca VFW baseball team finished with a 1-1 record at a Paynesville tournament last weekend.

sports VFW moos
Brian Bowman / Mille Lacs County Times Milaca VFW’s Riley Moos is out on a close play at second base.

Milaca was defeated 10-0 by Minnewaska in six innings but rebounded nicely to trounce Paynesville 13-3 in its second game.

“We had just one hit (against Minnewaska),” said Milaca head coach Craig Talberg. “We hit the ball but we hit the ball right at people and they made a couple of good plays. They turned two or three double plays against us. It was one of those games where everything bounced their way.”

In their second game of the tournament, Milaca came out and hit the ball well all over the field. Milaca banged out 10 hits in the lopsided 10-run win over Paynesville.

“It was really good to see my guys bounce back after getting beat by 10 the game before,” Talberg said, noting Paynseville scored all of its runs in one inning.

Jimmy Kragt was very effective on the mound for Milaca, pitching all five innings. He gave up just two hits while striking out six.

“He had one inning where he got in trouble in the third,” Talberg noted. “But, other than that, he had total control the whole game.”

On Thursday, June 25, Milaca doubled Paynesville 4-2 at home. Milaca scored a pair of runs in both the first and second innings and held on for the win behind a strong pitching performance from right-hander Matt Fransen.

Fransen gave up just three hits while striking out nine. He walked just one hitter.

“We played pretty well and Matt pitched a good game,” said Talberg. “It wasn’t great, but he pitched a good enough game to keep us in the game. We got some hits when we needed them and we played alright.”

Fransen had a single and two RBI while Kragt and Raleigh Millar also drove in runs.

Defensively, Milaca did a good job limiting Paynesville to just the two runs – one of which was earned.

Milaca (3-1) hosted Crosby-Ironton Wednesday, July 1 but no score was available at press time. They then will play Aitkin Thursday, July 2, although the location had not been determined at press time.


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Milaca’s offense dries up against Princeton Wed, 01 Jul 2015 20:28:55 +0000 It wasn’t too long ago that the Milaca Legion baseball team was scoring runs in bunches.

But Milaca has suddenly hit an offensive dry spell as the local club lost 6-1 on the road to Princeton on Monday, June 29.

Brian Bowman / Mille Lacs County Times New Life III shortstop Nick Wolbert tracks down a ground ball during Church League softball action Thursday, June 25 in Milaca.
Brian Bowman / Mille Lacs County Times
New Life III shortstop Nick Wolbert tracks down a ground ball during Church League softball action Thursday, June 25 in Milaca.

“We had one inning where we had a couple of errors,” lamented Milaca head coach Bart Naumann. “That cost us three or four runs right there. If we would have cut that down, it would have been a 2-1 ballgame.”

Mike Garber scored Milaca’s lone run in the top of the fifth inning on a sacrifice fly. Garber reached base on a walk and later advanced to third.

But that was all of the offense that Milaca could muster on this night.

“We did not string anything together,” Naumann said, noting Milaca was issued six walks in the game. “We never had a hit and it was a pain in the butt. We were getting guys on and we had the bases loaded with two outs. We had the right people up at the plate and it still didn’t happen.”

Matt VanSomeren pitched well for Milaca in the loss, scattering seven hits while striking out three. He walked just two Princeton hitters.

Milaca had scored 31 runs combined in the four previous games leading up to the St. Francis loss.

Brian Bowman / Mille Lacs County Times
Brian Bowman / Mille Lacs County Times

“It was frustrating that we decided not to hit the ball (Monday) night,” Naumann said. “That was kind of a tough deal but it goes in cycles and I think they’ll get back on the horse.”

On Tuesday, June 23, Milaca lost 7-6 on the road to St. Francis. St. Francis scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning for the walk-off victory.

Hunter Johnson had the start on the mound for Milaca as the visitors built a 6-1 lead after four innings. St. Francis got to Johnson, however, and eventually tied the score at 6-6.

Naumann said both teams were fairly evenly matched but Milaca hurt themselves with errors and walks.

Milaca hosted North Branch on Tuesday, June 30 but no score was available at press time. On Monday, July 6, Milaca will hit the road to visit Mora.

First pitch is 6:30 p.m.

Brian Bowman / Mille Lacs County Times Pastor John Patnode from Princeton Free Church tags second for an out and attempts a double play during Church League softball action in Milaca on Thursday, June 25.
Brian Bowman / Mille Lacs County Times
Pastor John Patnode from Princeton Free Church tags second for an out and attempts a double play during Church League softball action in Milaca on Thursday, June 25.
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Stones Throw wins Duffer’s Delight Wed, 01 Jul 2015 19:56:29 +0000 The 22nd-annual Duffers Delight Golf Tournament – sponsored by the Milaca Area Chamber of Commerce – attracted 25 teams on Thursday, June 25.
First place went to the Stones Throw team of Tony Hoeck, Wendy Hoeck and Lacey Fox and Steve Fuchs. The foursome fired a 51.
Second place went to the Insurance Shoppe team of Zac Zillmer, Doug Reetz, Gregg Johnson, and Bryan Moshier. They also combined for a 51 and tie-breaker criteria were used to decide a winner.



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Rox in Milaca Wed, 01 Jul 2015 19:44:58 +0000
Brian Bowman / Mille Lacs County Times St. Cloud Rox pitcher Robbie Petty gave kids some instruction at the youth baseball clinic in Milaca. Brian Bowman / Mille Lacs County Times Brian Bowman / Mille Lacs County Times Jaxsen Hardy, 6, was hard at work taking ground balls during the St. Cloud Rox youth baseball clinic in Milaca on Friday, June 26.
Brian Bowman / Mille Lacs County Times Jaxsen Hardy, 6, was hard at work taking ground balls during the St. Cloud Rox youth baseball clinic in Milaca on Friday, June 26.
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Wolves place third at trapshooting championship Mon, 22 Jun 2015 01:00:16 +0000 Photo provided Milaca’s Ben Totzke is pictured with his varsity high school gun overall trophy and varsity high gun first place plaque at the state trap shooting meet in Alexandria.
Photo provided
Milaca’s Ben Totzke is pictured with his varsity high school gun overall trophy and varsity high gun first place plaque at the state trap shooting meet in Alexandria.

The Milaca Wolves performed very well at the six-day Minnesota State High School Clay Target League Trapshooting Championship in Alexandria last week.
Ben Totzke won the High Gun, Class 1A, varsity division with a score of 98 out of 100.
The Wolves’ varsity team placed third in Class 1A Conference 8, edged out of second place by just one clay target by Brandon-Evansville (a school Milaca beat out during the regular season).
“The competition was stiff,” said Milaca coach Dave Totzke. “We were without our highest shooter and still did very well.”
Milaca’s junior varsity team, meanwhile, placed second in Class 1A Conference 8. Nathan Strombeck led Milaca, connecting on 25 straight clay targets.
“It was a very good finish,” Dave Totzke said. “The junior varsity kids, of course, are a little younger group and less experienced.”
The Wolves did not have enough team members to have a novice team, but the three team members that shot in that division did very well, Dave Totzke noted.
The combined scores of the Wolves’ varsity, junior varsity and novice divisions placed Milaca in second place overall of the 75 schools that were shooting on Thursday, June 11.
That placing earned Milaca the opportunity to attend the State Tournament at the Minneapolis Gun Club in Prior Lake Saturday, June 20 to compete against the top teams in Minnesota.
The Wolves’ Wylie Snyder will also be at Prior Lake to compete at the individual level.

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Wolves proud of successful athletic season Sun, 21 Jun 2015 01:00:33 +0000 With the school season coming to a close earlier this month, it brought the end to the Milaca Wolves’ athletic season.
And this past season was a very successful one in Milaca.
From Allie Terpstra becoming a state champion in track and field to the Wolves’ softball and wrestling teams also advancing to their respective state tournaments, Milaca enjoyed plenty of success on the athletic fields.
“Obviously, this spring we closed it out with a bang with our girls’ softball team going to state and we had a state champion in girls’ track,” said Milaca activities director Jerry Westphal Monday morning. “And I don’t want to take anything away from our baseball team…our baseball team made great strides and won a playoff game for the first time in a long time.”
Westphal also noted the Wolves had good seasons from their basketball and golf teams, the volleyball squad, and cross country.
“Overall, this was a real good year for us,” he said.
A big part of the Wolves’ successes was the quality of kids on those respective teams. Teams need good athletes with great character to be successful.
“This senior group that just graduated was No. 1, a very big class, and No. 2, they were very good leaders,” Westphal said. “They worked hard and didn’t expect to get anything the easy way. They were very good leaders and showed the younger kids that to get something, you have to work for it. They did a nice job with that.”
The coaches of the Milaca teams also did a real nice job this past season. Coaches were extremely knowledgeable in their respective sports and were great teachers of the game.
“To be very competitive and get that edge, you have to have the athletes to get there but once you get those athletes, you have to have somebody leading them in the right direction,” Westphal stressed. “I know our coaches work hard and put in a lot of hours and do what’s right for the kids.
“I know our coaches do a great job getting everybody involved and teaching good fundamentals.”
Westphal noted that a number of Milaca coaches put in unpaid hours with a weight-training and a cardiovascular program in the summer. There are also summer camps put on for the younger kids.
“There are a number of things that they do outside of the season that people don’t necessarily see,” Westphal said. “In this day and age, that’s what it’s all about. You want to have that edge and if Foley and Princeton and Ogilvie and Mora are doing it, then we better be doing it, too.
“We don’t want to give up that edge. There are a lot of hours outside of our regular season that our coaches put in.”

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Milaca looking to get better during the American Legion season Sun, 21 Jun 2015 01:00:02 +0000  

Brian Bowman / Mille Lacs County Times Milaca third baseman Matt VanSomeren makes the tag on a St. Francis player for an out.
Brian Bowman / Mille Lacs County Times
Milaca third baseman Matt VanSomeren makes the tag on a St. Francis player for an out.

The Milaca Legion baseball team may have started their season 0-3, but head coach Bart Naumann isn’t at all worried.
In fact, he’s optimistic for this season.
“Every year, I don’t panic,” said Naumann. “It takes three or four games to really start clicking together because we have older, veteran kids that have been around.
“I’ve been doing this for 15 years and we’ve started out 0-4 a million times. I’d rather have guys get hot towards playoffs and really start to gel rather than coming out sluggin’ and die at the end.”
Milaca dropped its third straight American Legion game Thursday, June 11 with a 6-1 home loss to the St. Francis Saints.
Nick Wolbert scored Milaca’s lone run in the bottom of the sixth inning. He scored from first base after a double by Matt VanSomeren.
Milaca hit some hard balls during the contest but St. Francis did a good job making the routine plays.
Defensively, Milaca made a couple of errors and did not look very crisp on a few plays. Milaca’s right-handed starter Raleigh Millar pitched well in the loss.
Naumann feels that Milaca’s defense will get much better as the season progresses.
“Some of the guys kicked the ball and that normally doesn’t happen,” he said. “Most of these guys have played for me for a couple of years.”
Milaca started its season with a 6-3 loss to Princeton and then was shut out 3-0 by Mora. Milaca has only scored four runs in those three losses and needs to generate more offense to snap their losing streak.
“A lot of the guys are not used to seeing pitching at this level,” Naumann explained. “Pitching at this level is a little better than in high school, in my opinion. You have returning college players, and we do too, but some teams have more. They see curve balls that do what they’re supposed to do and break when they’re supposed to break.”
Naumann said his club has been working on their hitting and will continue to put the time in to get better. Those line drives will eventually fall in the gaps, he noted.
“That was one of the big low points of the high school season,” Naumann said. “Consistency of the hitting (and) timely hitting, that sort of thing.”
Milaca hosted Chisago Lakes this past Monday and then visited North Branch on Tuesday but no scores were available at press time.
Milaca will then host Cambridge on Thursday, June 18 before playing three consecutive road games. All games have 6:30 p.m. start times.

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