AREA NOTEBOOK: Grand Forks Central offensive on the soccer field
Grand Forks Central has become offensive on the soccer field.
That’s offensive in a good way for the Knights. They’ve started the season showing some scoring punch, an area in which they struggled last season. “It’s a change of pace,” GFC coach George DuBois said.
Central is 1-2-1, scoring a total of seven goals. Last season, the Knights finished 1-8-0, totaling six goals in their nine games. Most of those came in a 4-1 win against Devils Lake; otherwise it was single goals in two games and six shutout losses.
“The big thing this year has been our ability to possess the ball,” DuBois said. “That allows you to generate more scoring opportunities. The girls have developed more skills. They can do more with the ball.
“And we’re still not at a practice site with nets. We’re still raw as far as our finishing. That will come with practice. I think we’ll be able to capitalize more on opportunities.”
Haylee Novak paces Central with four goals, while Nikki Dogan has a goal to go with four assists. Other goals have been scored by Grace Roehl and Carolyn Smith.
“It was definitely frustrating last year when, if a team scored, you didn’t have the confidence that you could get that one goal back,” DuBois said. “Now we have that confidence. I think we’re good enough to score a couple goals in most games. And that will keep us in a lot of games.”
Wave win first
East Grand Forks Senior High recorded a first in its baseball program last weekend.
The Green Wave went 3-0 to win the Park Rapids tournament. That marked the first time in the program’s five-season existence that it has won a tournament. But, co-coach Garret Hjelle said, it also marked the first time the Green Wave have played in a regular-season tournament.
Getting into an invitational tournament “just never worked out with our schedules,” Hjelle said. “We’ve always just scheduled games. We tried to do the Park Rapids tournament last year, but it got canceled because of the weather.
“We wanted to get in a three-game weekend to see where we’re at. You see a lot of different kids. Early in the season, we limit kids to 35-40 pitches. You have to use a lot of pitchers.”
Micah Friez was pitching a no-hitter through three innings in one game, but was lifted because of the coaches-imposed pitch limit. “He was fine with it. Everybody knew going into the weekend what the plan was,” Hjelle said.
Senior High totaled 33 runs and 36 hits in its three games. Taylor Brierley and Trevor Selk each had five hits in the tournament and Cooper Jerome, Ethan Mushitz and Clarke Peterson had four apiece.
“It was nice to do well. But the big tournament is the one at the end of the season and that hasn’t gone so well for us yet,” said Hjelle, whose team has never gotten past the second round of the Minnesota Section 8AA tournament.
Senior High meets Sacred Heart in an intracity game at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Red River coach hobbling
Merle Mikkelsen can talk a good game of golf. As far as demonstrating it to his Grand Forks Red River players, however, that task currently falls on assistant coach Mike Slominski.
Mikkelsen had surgery on his left foot on March 17. He gets around with his left foot propped up and his left knee resting on a four-wheel, scooter-type device. Mikkelsen said he won’t be able to put any weight on his left foot for at least another three weeks.
The left leg “is the one you do all your turning on when you swing,” Mikkelsen said. “I’m hoping I can hit farther when I play this summer. It makes it a little difficult now, though. It’s hard to get around and help kids. I can tell them what to do, but I can’t show them.
“It would be nice if I could walk around. I can show kids how to grip the club, but I can’t show them how to swing it right now. But that’s what my assistant is for right now. Mike was a very good golfer at UND. He’s very good with the kids.”
Grand Forks Central senior Kyle Terrill finished his wrestling career with 110 wins. His name was inadvertently left off a recent list of career 100-win wrestlers in the Herald. . . . Central senior Kaden Monette has signed a letter of intent to play baseball at Mayville State University. . . . East Grand Forks Senior High senior Kelsey Schlenk has signed a letter of intent to play basketball at Lake Region State College in Devils Lake. . . . Red River senior Jake Olson has signed a letter of intent to play football at University of Jamestown. . . . Red River’s Chad Bartosh and Jake Robson have been selected to play in the annual Badlands Bowl. The game, which matches outstanding North Dakota seniors from the 2013 football season against their counterparts from Montana, will be played June 21 in Dickinson. . . . Former Grand Forks Central wrestler Kyle Williams recently earned All-America honors at the NCAA Division II tournament. Wrestling for McKendree College of Illinois, Williams was a seventh-place finisher at nationals.