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That old line about never having enough pitching -- Mike Marek and Heidi Spicer can relate to it. Marek's East Grand Forks Sacred Heart fastpitch team figured to have veteran Tracy Roach back on the mound this season. Likewise, Spicer's East Grand Forks Senior High team was scheduled to return Brandi Wickersham for her second season as the Green Wave's regular pitcher. But injuries have forced both programs into a Plan B. "Tracy was a dominant type of pitcher," Marek said. "Most years, we've had dominant pitchers.
Grafton's first sampling of track without Reilly Mathiason went well. The sprint standout participated in only one open event in last season's Region 2 boys track meet. Grafton still won the meet with 106.5 points.
ROLLA, N.D. -- Willson Hallaway ended his high school wrestling career with 165 wins. For all those victories, however, the three matches he remembers most are losses. In the matches the senior regarded as the biggest in his career, Hallaway was 0-for-3 in state championship matches. "They were everything I dreamed for, getting to the state championship," Hallaway said. "And I lost all three of them. "After I lost the first one, I thought, well, I have two more years to do it. As a junior, I'm thinking I have one more year to do it.
ROSEAU, Minn. -- For Corey Staples, wrestling's loss is basketball's gain. Likewise, Cass Lake-Bena's loss has been Roseau's gain. Staples has made smooth transitions in sports and locale. An electrifying scorer, the junior registered the 1,000th point of his short basketball career late this season. He's currently at 1,021 points -- 1,011 of those in the past two seasons after he transferred from Cass Lake-Bena to Roseau following his freshman season. "Corey's been a huge impact player for us," former Roseau coach Mike Hagel said.
East Grand Forks Senior High is making big jumps in basketball from a size standpoint next winter. Senior High has been one of the biggest schools in Minnesota's Class AA ranks in recent seasons. But next season, the Green Wave will become one of the smallest schools in Minnesota's Class AAA ranks. The switch in classifications was announced recently as Minnesota completed its every-other-year reclassification process. "The numbers are what they are," Senior High athletic director Jim Scanlan said. "The parameters are set.
MAYVILLE, N.D. -- Mike Moore hasn't been inundated with applications for the Mayville State University head football coaching position. To Moore, finding a new coach isn't a numbers game. "It only takes one guy," Moore, the Mayville State athletic director, said. "We just have to find the right one." Moore doesn't consider that a daunting task.
Decision time is over for Analisa Huschle. Now the Bagley-Fosston standout can concentrate just on competing in track. The senior recently signed a letter of intent to compete in track at Division I University of South Dakota. "I think it will make it easier for me," Huschle said. "I don't have to worry about where I'm going now." Huschle is one of Minnesota's premier Class A track athletes. She's won three state titles in the long jump, two in the triple jump and one in the 200.
FOSSTON, Minn. -- The loss to Mahnomen still leaves a bad taste in Drew Viken's mouth. Fosston's bid last fall for a third consecutive Minnesota Section 8A football championship was derailed by a 30-6 semifinal loss to Mahnomen. While missing the state playoffs was a disappointment, Viken didn't look at the loss as an end to the Greyhounds' state tournament aspirations. The senior knew there were other sports and other seasons. "It was a letdown when we lost in football," Viken said. "We felt it was a game we could win. But I don't think any of us thought that was it for the school year.
With the exception of North Star's 63-55 win against Grafton in the North Dakota Class B state championship game, no team came closer than 16 points to the undefeated Bearcats this season. That domination is reflected in the North Dakota Class B boys all-state basketball team. North Star landed two of the five players on the all-state first team, sophomore guard Jake Hagler and senior forward Grant Lindahl.
THIEF RIVER FALLS -- The banners hanging in the Fosston gymnasium have been both a reminder of the past and an incentive for the present. The last banner for a Fosston boys basketball team playing at the state tournament is from 1921. "It's been a long time," Fosston senior Garrett Carlin said. "The banner from that team is staring at us every day in practice. That's definitely been an incentive for us. I couldn't think of anything better than this." That's because, for the first time in 90 years, Fosston is headed to the Minnesota state tournament.