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AREA NOTEBOOK: Walker selected to host Minnesota Section 8A track meet

Crookston was selected to host the Minnesota Section 8A track meet for four consecutive seasons beginning this spring. But the 8A meet instead will be held this season at Walker on May 31.

Crookston won’t be able to host because of issues with its track, located on the Minnesota Crookston football facility. According to athletic director Don Donarski, there are three spots on the track where the surface peeled back or buckled.

“The winter wasn’t kind to our track,’’ Donarski said. “It needs some cosmetic work that can’t be done at this time because of the weather.’’

The unanticipated problems also forced Crookston to cancel its annual Pirate Boosters meet and move its annual VFW meet to Warren.

“We’ve already coordinated with UMC about getting it repaired over the summer,’’ Donarski said. “To host a section event brings a lot of people into town. Those are people who buy gas and go to restaurants. They’re bound to spend money in the community. That’s one of the benefits of hosting a section event.’’

Section 8A secretary Jim Weinzierl said the meet will be at Crookston again if the repairs are made on the track.

“The coaches wanted the meet to go to Crookston,’’ Weinzierl said. “It is more of a central location, and by having it there (in consecutive seasons) the kids would be familiar with the track. The coaches like the consistency of running on a familiar track. If Crookston gets things fixed, and I’m sure they will, the meet will be back at Crookston.’’

The track meet is one of several site changes in Section 8A this spring, Weinzierl said. Others include:

  •  Track: The subsection 29A meet will move from Walker to Baudette, while the subsection 30 meet is going from Hawley to Ada. Both will be on May 22.
  •  Softball: The 8A tournament has been moved from Fosston to Twin Valley. When Fosston and Win-E-Mac recently joined in a softball co-op, that switched them to Section 8AA.
  •  Baseball: The West subsection tournament site has been moved from Greenbush to Win-E-Mac High School.
  •  Boys tennis: The Section 8A tournament has been moved from Park Rapids to East Grand Forks.

Sunday date for Shrine Bowl

It took Sir Paul McCartney to bump the annual North Dakota Shrine Bowl to a Sunday date.

The Shrine Bowl, which matches outstanding seniors from the 2013 football season in 9- and 11-man from eastern North Dakota against their western counterparts, will be played July 13 at the Fargodome. Some northwestern Minnesota players also participate.

The Shrine games traditionally are played on a Saturday. But it was announced Monday that music legend McCartney will hold a concert at the Fargodome on Saturday, July 12.

Originally, (the Shrine Bowl) was scheduled for Saturday the 12th,’’ said Grand Forks Central football coach Bill Lorenz, who is the North Dakota High School Coaches Association representative with the Shrine Bowl committee. “But a couple of months ago, the Fargodome indicated they thought there was a concert coming in. Obviously, they make more money on a concert.

“And when we found out Monday who it was, you could kind of see why the change was made.’’

Lorenz said a few options were considered. One was to play outdoors on July 12, but there was concern over weather variables. And there was a scheduling conflict at Grand Forks’ Alerus Center.

Lorenz said forms were sent to coaches and players about playing on Sunday and no negative feedback was received. He anticipates the Shrine games will return to Saturday dates in the future.

“You don’t usually see a lot of activities on Sundays,’’ Lorenz said. “But they play Legion baseball, tennis tournaments, soccer tournaments on Sundays during the summer. Why not football? It is out of the norm. But circumstances didn’t allow for it, so we decided to bump it back a day.’’

Here is a list of area players selected to play in the Shrine Bowl. A complete list is in today’s scoreboard.

11-man East

GF Red River — Jake Robson; EGF Senior High — Brock Scheving; Devils Lake — Austin Erickson, Blake Prozinski; Larimore — Brayden Hofer; North Border — Kyle Wieler; Hillsboro-Central Valley — Gust Riemer; Northern Freeze — Steele Spilde; Mayville-Portland-C-G — Bennie Bradner; North Prairie — Trenton McCloud, Grayson Marty; Mahnomen — Trevor Haugo.

9-man East

Cavalier — Ryan Chrest, Chase Walton, Justin Gibson; Thompson — Ty Myron; Hatton-Northwood — Cody Ellis, Riley Korsmo, Tyler Holden; Warren-Alvarado-Oslo — Jesse Pineda; Clearbrook-Gonvick — Nick Bodensteiner; Finley-Sharon/Hope-Page — Clay Montag, Joseph Ihry, Nick Gullicks.

9-man West

Kittson County Central — Fernando Blanco; Win-E-Mac — Luke Syverson; St. John — Nick Martin, Tanner Langan, Keifer Langan.

Olson on a roll

Red Lake Falls’ starting softball lineup totaled four home runs last season, led by the two hit by Alexia Olson.

Just four games into this season, the junior already has hit three home runs. “And she just missed a few more when she hit the fence,’’ Eagles coach Ben Hanson said.

“She’s always had good power. But this is kind of hard to explain. She’s just seeing the ball really well and making good contact.’’

While it would be unrealistic to expect Olson to maintain this home-run pace, neither has the power surge to start the season been unexpected.

“It really isn’t a surprise,’’ Hanson said. “I thought she’d really get on a roll this year. She’s a good athlete. But you typically don’t see a lot of high home run totals in fastpitch.’’


Heath Horpedahl has been named head football coach at Mayville-Portland-CG High School. He replaces Mike Bradner, who resigned after the 2013 season. . . . Rolette-Wolford senior Rae Beaver has signed a letter of intent to play basketball at Valley City State.