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FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

Page 20 — Albert Lea Tribune, Thursday, August 26, 2010

Knights entering rebuilding mode New coach joins young, inexperienced team

By Andrew Dyrdal sports editor

By Jon Theuer staff writer ALDEN — With only five letter winners returning from last year’s squad, the Alden-Conger volleyball team will be fielding a young team this season. Along with the inexperienced players, the Knights also have a new head coach in Sarah Attig. Attig coached ninth grade volleyball at A-C last year and will make the jump to varsity coach this fall. The Knights finished 5-12 overall last season and will look to improve on a record that saw them go 1-10 overall in the conference. The returnees from last years team are Emily Bremseth, middle hitter, Hayley Knutson, middle hitter/back row, Jessica Anderson, left side hitter, Ariel Keller, left side hitter and Allison Songstad, setter. With all the the inexperience on this season’s team, Attig says that she will be experimenting and will move people around until she finds a solid combination. “We are young so this is somewhat of a building year,” Attig said. “We will be trying different lineups and moving girls around until we find a solid combination.” Attig said that one of the youngest players on the team figures to be a big part of the team this season. “We have a young setter, Alli

Tribune file photo

The Alden-Conger volleyball team takes on Blooming Prarie last season. Songstad, who lettered as a freshman and returns this year looking even better.” Attig said. Attig mentioned two things that will be key to the success of the Alden-Conger volleyball this season. “Passing and serve receive,” Attig said. “We need to get the ball to our setter so we can utilize all our hitters in the front row.” Alden-Conger opens the season on Aug. 31 against Randolph in Alden.

2010 schedule Aug. 31 vs. Randolph Sept. 7 vs. Medford Tigers Sept. 9 at Le Center Sept. 13 vs. Madelia Sept. 16 vs. Maple River Sept. 18 at Southland Sept. 20 at Glenville-Emmons Sept. 21 at Nicollet Sept. 28 at Truman Sept. 30 vs. Cleveland Oct. 2 at Leroy Ostrander Invite Oct. 4 at United South Central Oct. 5 at LC-W-M Oct. 7 vs. Saint Clair Oct. 11 vs. Blooming Prairie Oct. 12 at Martin County West Oct. 19 vs. Martin Luther

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ALDEN — On the brink of a new season, the Alden-Conger Knights welcome a new football coach, Nick Willaert. Willaert’s team will be led by four seniors: 6-foot-1-inch quarterback Michael Reyerson, running back Michael Bernal, lineman Jim Hanson and 6-footfour-inch defensive lineman Derek Fisher. During his first season, Willaert expects his team to play hard and let the wins and losses take care of themselves. “I expect to improve as a team every week,” he said. “For us to compete in every game from the first whistle to the last.” Willaert will be joined by assistant coaches Paul Reyerson and Mitch Klienschrodt, all who expect the team to succeed in all facets of the game. Willaert describes the Knights’ keys to success as, “execution of the offense, defense and special teams.” According to Willaert, the team’s strengths are toughness and flexibility, while the team’s weakness is lack in numbers. 2010 schedule Sept. 2 at Edgerton/Ellsworth Sept. 10 at W-W-G Sept. 17 vs. Truman Sept. 24 at Hills-Beaver Creek Oct. 8 at J-W-P Oct. 15 vs. Cleveland Oct. 20 vs. Nicollet

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Tigers’ offensive line looks to protect Kriewall - 2 Lake Mills volleyball goes for 7th consecutive NIC title - 10 Albert Lea girls’ soccer tries to continue winning ways - 6


FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

Page 2 — Albert Lea Tribune, Thursday, August 26, 2010

Jamie A. Kyllo Attorney at Law

Tigers return strongest on the lines Also return starting QB from last season

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Kyle Kriewall sets up behind center last season at Hammer Field. Kriewall returns to the Tigers this season along with much of the offensive line.

Football games are won at the line of scrimmage, and that’s exactly where the Albert Lea Tigers enter the season as the strongest. The Tigers are returning three starters on the offensive line, including guard Caleb Gaudian, a 2009 Big Nine all-conference lineman, who was also fourth on the team in tackles last season at defensive tackle. Joining Gaudian is Alex Nielson, a 6-foot-3-inch 235-pound offensive tackle, who is strong, determined and very smart according to head coach Clay Anderson. The defensive line returns four starters from last season, notably junior Bryce DeBoer, who has

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Sports Editor: Andrew Dyrdal Staff writers: Jon Theuer and Adam Harringa Cover/photo design: Andrew Dyrdal Fall Sports Preview Index Page 12: N-K volleyball Page 2: Albert Lea football Page 13: USC football, girls’ tennis Page 4: Albert Lea girls’ tennis Page 14: USC volleyball Page 5: Albert Lea cross country Page 15: NRHEG football Page 6: Albert Lea girls’ soccer, girls’ Page 16: NRHEG volleyball swimming Page 17: NRHEG cross country Page 7: Albert Lea boys’ soccer Page 18: G-E football Page 8: Albert Lea, volleyball Page 19: G-E volleyball Page 9: Lake Mills football Page 20: Alden-Conger football, Page 10: Lake Mills volleyball, CC volleyball Page 11: N-K football, USC CC Front cover

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From left, front row: Alex Nielsen and Kyle Kriewall. Middle row: Caleb Gaudian and Tayler Blake. Back row: Derik Deveries and Marc Kruger

Albert Lea Tribune, Thursday, August 26, 2010 — Page 19

Davis, Wolverines look to turn things around GLENVILLE — After a finishing last year with a 9-14 record and 3-8 in the Southeast Conference, the Glenville-Emmons volleyball team will rely on seven returning varsity letter winners to help turn things around this season. Lisa Ziebell returns for her eighth season as head volleyball coach at GlenvilleEmmons. She is assisted by Craig Rayman and Molly Reiffenberger. Among the returners for the Wolverines is senior Kailey Davis. Davis, who was all conference for a second straight year, was the team’s MVP last season and led the Wolverines in digs. Another senior who will make an impact at the net this year is Kalli VanRyswyk. VanRyswyk led GlenvilleEmmons in blocks and kills last season. Returning senior letter winners Alayna Hall, Emily Belshan, Devin Cooper, Nisha Davis and Robyn Roe all figure to play an important role on this years team. Other returners for the Wolverines that Ziebell figures to have an impact is Jennaca Haines (Jr.), Heather Davies (So.), Jamie Williamson (So.) and Madisen Ziebell (Eighth). While Glenville-Emmons will return seven returning letter winners from last sea-

son, the Wolverines did lose two important seniors from last years squad. Setter April Davies, who was honorable mention all conference last season, and right side hitter Reina Saltou both graduated from last year’s squad. Davies, in particular, will be tough to replace. “April was our setter who was everywhere,” Ziebell said. “She will be hard to replace.” That will leave the Wolverines with a void and a search to find a setter who can fit into coach Ziebell’s system and replace Davies. Among the strengths to this year’s squad will be the return of seven letterwinners, which provides a lot of varsity experience for Glenville-Emmons going forward this season. Among the expectations for this year’s squad, Ziebell said she hopes that her team will be a tough defensive team and also be where they are supposed to be on the court. “We want to come out being a defensive team,” Ziebell said. “We will rely on defense and a very strong emphasis on where you should be on the court.” Ziebell also says that for the Wolverines to be successful this season, they will need to build team unity and find a system that will best suit the team going forward this season. Ziebell sees Mabel-Canton as the conference favorites, while Faribault B.A. figures to be the section favorite.

♦ G-E football

all they can handle, though," Kelly said.

By Jon Theuer staff writer

Continued from page 18

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FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

should be ok." As far as conference and sections favorites, Kelly says its hard not to like the Houstons, Grand Meadows and Lanesboros of the world. Although, Kelly says he's not going to roll over for them either. "We'll work to give them

2010 schedule Sept. 2 vs. Grand Meadow Sept. 10 at Lyle-Pacelli Sept. 17 vs. LeRoy-Ostrander Sept. 24 at Lanesboro Oct. 1 vs. Spring Grove Oct. 8 at Mabel-Canton Oct. 15 at Houston Oct. 20 at Grand Meadow

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Tribune file photo

Members of the Glenville-Emmons volleyball team set up a spike against Medford last season. The Wolverines return six varisty letter winners in 2010 and hope to build off a 9-14 record with tough defense. 2010 schedule Aug. 31 vs. Spring Grove Sept. 7 vs. Lyle-Pacelli Sept. 13 vs. Southland Sept. 16 at Lanesboro

Sept. 18 at Waterville Sept. 20 v s. Alden-Conger Sept. 23 at Grand Meadow Sept. 27 v s. Hope Lutheran Sept. 28 v s. LeRoy-Ostrander Sept. 30 at Lyle-Pacelli

Second Thoughts Read Andrew Dyrdal’s column every Tuesday in the Albert Lea Tribune

Oct. 2 at LeRoy-Ostrander Oct. 7 vs. Houston Oct. 11 at Mabel-Canton Oct. 14 at Grand Meadow Oct. 18 vs. Mabel-Canton Oct. 19 at LeRoy-Ostrander

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FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

Page 18 — Albert Lea Tribune, Thursday, August 26, 2010

FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

Albert Lea Tribune, Thursday, August 26, 2010 — Page 3

First-year coach Ryan Kelly expects toughness Hardwork will be key for Wolverines By Jon Theuer staff writer

Tribune file photo

Wolverines players celebrate in the endzone after scoring a touchdown last season. This is an example of the toughness that coach Kelly expects.

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GLENVILLE — After finishing with a 4-5 record a year ago, the GlenvilleEmmons football team will look to make even bigger strides this season with first-year coach Ryan Kelly. Kelly and the Wolverines welcome back 13 letter winners from last year’s team and have high hopes. “We have high expectations for the season,” Kelly said. “We have a good group of hardworking kids who had a bit of success last year and are hoping to build on that success.” Among the returnees who will help the Wolverines this season is quarterback Zach Williamson, Landon Hall and Mike Pollinder. The Wolverines like any other team will have holes to fills for the upcoming season. Glenville-Emmons lost two important players from last season’s team to graduation. The Wolverines will have to replace running back Michael Thofson and defensive end Derek Sanderson. Both players played key roles on the team last season.

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Thofson led the Wolverines in rushing yards with 1,187 yards and eight touchdowns last season. Sanderson was a key member of Glenville-Emmons defense as he led the team in tackles with 143. For strengths this season, Kelly points to the toughness of his team as a thing that will help the Wolverines throughout this season. “Our strength will be our toughness,” Kelly said. “We have a bunch of tough kids who have played together and refuse to back down from a challenge.” Among the weaknesses, as any team with a new coach can tell you, will be just how fast the Wolverines are able to pick up the new systems that Kelly will be asking them to run this season. “Our weakness will depend on how well the kids are able to absorb the new systems they are being asked to run,” Kelly said. Kelly also points to his team staying healthy, which will be the key to success for this year’s team. “Like any team, our biggest key for success will be health,” Kelly said. “If we can stay healthy, we

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FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

Page 4 — Albert Lea Tribune, Thursday, August 26, 2010

♦ Tigers football Continued from page 2

started at nose guard since his freshman year. “(DeBoer has) great feet for a big man,” Anderson said. “He’s getting better by leaps and bounds.” Other returning starters on the defensive line include ends Dillon Stolt and Cory Hansen and defensive Kyle tackles Gaudian and Kriewall Nielson. Key returners at skill positions include quarterback Kyle Kreiwall. Standing 6-foot tall, Kreiwall is quick with a strong arm and started every game for the Tigers last season. “The experience he got last year should help a lot this year,” Bryce Anderson said. DeBoer Kreiwall will have a big target to throw to in 6-foot-5-inch wide receiver Aaron Klatt. Klatt led the team in receptions last year as the two connected 16 times for 327 yards and two touchdowns. Klatt, who was an all-conference honorable mention in ‘09, also started in the secondary last season, notching 49 tackles and grabbing two interceptions. The Tigers also return their leading tackler from last season, Jake Jensen. Jensen, a linebacker last season, had 92 tackles and earned Big Nine honorable mention. 2010 schedule Sept. 2 vs. Waseca Sept. 10 at Winona Sept. 17 vs. Owatonna Sept. 24 at Faribault Oct. 1 at Rochester Century Oct. 8 vs. Mankato West Oct. 15 at Rochester Mayo Oct. 20 vs. Austin

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Michelle Hartmann hits a backhand shot back towads her opponent this spring. Lea does return seven letter winchallenges of this year’s squad, Gilners from last year. liam says the same answer for both Among the letter winners return- is inexperience. ing are juniors Michelle Hartmann, “Our inexperience will be our Chelsea Petersen and Rachel greatest challenge and our greatJensen and seniors Alissa Allison, est strength all in one,” Gilliam Ashley Gilbertson, Kayla Swee and said. “We will make our mistakes, Ashley Petersen. but we also will have a high ceilAlong with the letter winners, ing as far as learning potential other that are expected to fill spots and improvement, which is very and contribute are seniors Courtexciting.” ney Stewart and Luci Villagomez Along with gaining experience, and juniors Kelsey Lenhart, Collen another key to success for the TiThompson, Kelsey Thomas, Shelby gers this season will be attitude. IIg, Samantha Klapperick and “Attitude is everything in the Samantha Heilman. mental game of tennis,” Gilliam For the greatest strength and See A.L. tennis on Page 6 ➧

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Albert Lea Tribune, Thursday, August 26, 2010 — Page 17

Freshman, sophomore lead NRHEG cross country Youth to play role this season By Jon Theuer staff writer

By Jon Theuer staff writer The Albert Lea girls’ tennis team will look to reload a team that finished 11-10 last season, the best record for the girls in the past five seasons. For Albert Lea coach Sean Gilliam, who enters his ninth year as head coach of the Tigers girls’ tennis team, it won’t be easy. Albert Lea lost 21 seniors to graduation from last years squad including Taylor Nelson. Nelson was an all-conference selection last year and was the team’s No. 1 singles player. The Tigers other losses to graduation include: Kellsie Dieser, Sarah Wenum, Erika Blickenderfer, Mikaela Pierson, Jenna Sager, Amy Bohlen, Zoe Hill and Kayla Hartmann. With the inexperience in this year’s team, the Tigers will rely heavily on its returning players and are hoping some junior varsity members are ready to claim a spot on the varsity squad. “This season we’ll be playing a lot of last year’s JV girls at high varsity spots,” Albert Lea girls’ tennis coach Sean Gilliam said. “I know that our seniors and juniors have put in a lot of time in getting their games ready to play in these spots and that we have great character kids who will give maximum effort in every match.” Aside from all the losses, Albert

FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

NEW RICHLAND — Just like last season, the New Richland-HartlandEllendale-Geneva boys’ cross country team will be a young team. The Panthers, coached by Mike Weber and assistant Lori Tomsche, return four letter winners from last year, all of which are in 10th grade and under. “We will once again have a very young team on the boys' side,” Weber said. “The boys will add onto the improvements they made last year.” But the Panthers will miss their No. 1 runner from last season, Josh Schroeder, who graduated. “We will certainly miss Schroeder from last year,” Weber said. “Josh was our

and Dustin Burshem and freshman, Raece Johnson. “Tyler, Dustin and Raece top runner throughout the ran varsity last year and will season.” likely be contributing even While NRHEG lost their number one runner, the Pan- more this season,” Weber said. “Dustin Burshem was thers will look to freshman maybe our most consistent TJ Schiltz, who has been in runner from competitions last year and, this summer we will be to help precounting upon pare for the him again.” season. Weber says “TJ has MCW and put in a lot of Loyola are the summer runconference faning and has vorites, while been doing the top teams TJ Mike well in sumin the section Weber mer competi- Schiltz are Waseca tions,” Weber and Fairmont. said. “Coach Tomsche and I see TJ's success continuing Girls hope to improve on 12th into our fall season, even place finish though he is still a very The NRHEG girls’ cross young athlete.” country team will look to Along with Schiltz, improve on an eighth-place NRHEG will also depend finish in the Gopher Conferon returning letter winning ence and a 12th place finish sophomores Tyler Martin

in sections. The Panthers lost senior captain Alex Hale to graduation, but NRHEG does have the luxury of having five returning letter winners from last year’s squad. Leading the charge for the Panthers will be sophmore Abby Crabtree. Crabtree earned all-conference honors last year and will look to have another allconference season this year. “Crabtree will potentially be our strongest runner,” Weber said. “She has several years of experience.” Along with Crabtree, Weber says that Emily Habeck and Destinee Meyer are two runners who were consistent last year and could be even better this season. “Emily Habeck and Destinee Meyer were unbelievably consistent last season for us in every meet,” Weber said. “Those two could could have an even better

♦ NRHEG football

♦ LM CC

♦ USC volleyball

Continued from page 15

Continued from page 10

Continued from page 14

by sending his team/athletes to state. “Training smart and racing our best.” Mittman said.

are excited about their hitting, blocking abilities and getting varsity experience.” Bute believes that team unity and the girls’ ability to be exceptional student-athletes are the team’s strength. The team’s weakness: “Producing and being confident in their abilities,” Bute said. Bute feels the team will need to work together to compete with Go-

the only returning starter on the offensive or defensive line. Crabtree, a center/defensive end, was also an honorable mention all-conference pick last season. Helping Crabtree on the line will be returning letter winners and seniors Cory Kaupa, Travis Ripka, Cody Root and Matt Young. The Panther’s other returning letter winners, all seniors, are Evan Ferber (receiver/defensive back), Brian Billing (running back/ defensive back), Kyle Bayerkohler (running back/defensive back), Josh Papinski (fullback/linebacker) and Chandler Winkels (tight end/defensive end). 2010 Schedule Sept. 3 at Blooming Prairie Sept. 10 at United South Central Sept. 17 vs. MCW Sept. 24 at LC-W-M Oct. 1 vs. W-E-M Oct. 8 vs. Maple River Oct. 15 vs. Minnesota Valley Lutheran Oct. 20 a t G-F-W

2010 schedule Aug. 31 at Newman Catholic Sept. 7 at Belmond-Klemme Sept. 14 at Osage Sept. 23 at Central Springs Oct. 11 at Forest City

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season this year with their dedication.” Shanteya Olson and Ashlee Conley round out the rest of the returning letter winners who are expected to contribute to this year’s team. Weber also points out that Melissa Malakowski and Sam Kohnert are two runners who could also really help NRHEG out this season. Weber expects the top conference teams to be Loyola, United South Central/Alden-Conger and Madelia-Truman, and expects Waseca, Fairmont and USC/A-C to contend for the section crown.

2010 Schedule Sept. 2 at Stewartville Invite Sept. 9 at MontgomeryLonsdale Invite Sept.16 at Maple River Invite Sept. 21 at NRHEG Invite Sept. 28 at Blooming Prairie Invitational Sept. 30 at WEM/JWP Oct. 7 at Waseca Invite Oct. 12 at USC-AC Oct. 19 at Maple River Oct. 28 at Blue Earth Area

pher Conference favorite Faribault B.A. and section favorite Martin County West. The Rebels, who finished 14-10-1 last season and 6-5 in the conference, should be able to get the job done with strong leadership. 2010 schedule Sept. 2 at Maple River Sept. 7 vs. LC-W-M Sept. 9 vs. W-E-M Sept. 11 at Mankato West Invite Sept. 16 at Medford Sept. 20 at Albert Lea Sept. 21 vs. Fairbault B.A. Sept. 25 at Truman Tourney Sept. 27 at Saint Clair Sept. 30 at NRHEG Oct. 4 vs. Alden-Conger Oct. 7 at Blooming Prairie Oct. 14 vs. J-W-P


FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

Page 16 — Albert Lea Tribune, Thursday, August 26, 2010

FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

Albert Lea Tribune, Thursday, August 26, 2010 — Page 5

Panthers primed for another title run in 2010 Return 6 letter winners from 21-7 team By Jon Theuer staff writer

Tribune file photo

NRHEG volleyball players watch from the bench as the ball is spiked at a home game last season. This year, Joe Kuechenmeister is taking over as head coach of the team and is hoping to continue the program’s success.

♦ LM volleyball Continued from page 10

freshman team combined for a 64-5 record and Boehmer some of those players can contribute on varsity this season. “Traditionally, we are senior lead, so each year we have to replace starters with kids who have little varsity experience,” he said. “We expect our JV and freshman team members to be able to make that jump quickly.” Newcomers to watch include senior defensive specialists Haley Matthews and Micah Peters. Joining them are juniors Catherine Adams

and Shelby Kuper, and sophomore Carlie Christianson. While the Bulldogs have dominated the NIC, losing only once in 75 games from 2003 to 2008, Bohemer thinks Forest City is the conference favorite. “Forest City returns their entire core group from last year’s runnerup finish,” he said. “(We) have to replace all-stater and NIC Player of the Year, Darcy Nelson. Forest City has the most all-conference players returning and the most experience.” While the NIC will be competitive at the top, with traditional powers Osage and Newman Catholic vying for first as well, competition will also be alive within the Lake Mills squad. “Our big key will be how quickly

NEW RICHLAND — After finishing with a 21-7 record last season and a 10-1 conference record, the Panthers will look to take a step forward this season with six returning letter-winners returning from last year’s squad. The Panthers were defeated last season in the semi-finals last season by LeSeuer-Henderson, who won the section last season. Among the returnees for NRHEG this season is junior outside hitter Anna Schlaak. Schlaak, who earned Albert Lea Tribune player of the year last season and all area accolades, led the Panthers in many statistical categories last season. “She's a tremendous and versatile athlete,” NRHEG volleyball coach Joe Kuechenmeister said, who enters his first year taking over for Jackie Schultz. “She hits for power, jumps out of the gym and passes very well.” Along with Schlaak, senior setter Kacie Phillips also returned for the Panthers. Phillips received all area accolades last season and led NRHEG in assists last season. Other returning letter-winners who will have an impact for the Panthers this season include senior hitter Kristina Cole, outside hitter Kaylee Maxon, middlehitter Jill Kalis and junior libero Harlee Vokoun. With the returning experience, Kuchenmeister says that it will be

we can come together,” Boehmer said. “With 41 players, I am hopeful that this will create some competition for spots. That should make us better in the long run.” Still, Boehmer is hopeful that the six returning letter winners can step up and lead the offense. “Lampman and Brackey were allconference players in 2009 and we will look to them to continue to improve,” he said. “Lindy Pins is a versatile player who can do a lot for our offense. “Honsey was injured for much of (last season), but came back at the end of the year and played exceptionally well. Add Manning and Kuper to that mix and we have six varsity hitters fighting for the ball.”

one of the strengths of this year’s team going forward. “We have many girls back with quality varsity experience,” Kuchenmeister said. “Including three hitters, a setter, and a defensive specialist. Great leadership and great work ethic are the real foundation of this team.” With many returning players coming back, NRHEG did lose two all conference players in Alyssa Hagen and Alyssa Kerkoff, who reportedly moved during the off season. For success this season, Kuchenmeister says that the fundamentals and taking advantage of their hitters will play a big part in the equation. “Solid serve, receive and attacking from every angle at the net with our experienced hitters,” Kuchenmeister said. As far as conference favorite, Kuchenmeister points to Faribault Bethlehem Academy as the favorite, while he says LeSeuer-Henderson, who is the defending section champ, is considered the section favorite this year. 2010 schedule Aug. 31 vs. Albert Lea Sept. 7 vs. W-E-M Sept. 9 vs. Blooming Prairie Sept. 11 at Mankato West Invite Sept. 13 vs. Le Sueur-Henderson Sept. 16 vs. Randolph Sept. 21 vs. Mankato Loyola Sept. 23 at Medford Tigers Sept. 30 vs. United South Central Oct. 2 at Blue Earth Invite Oct. 5 at Bethlehem Academy Oct. 7 at J-W-P Oct. 11 at Maple River Oct. 12 at Blooming Prairie Oct. 14 vs. Martin County West Oct. 16 at Faribault Tournament Oct. 19 at W-E-M

Fjelstad, the Bulldogs’ setter, returns to run the offense. “Morgan has worked to improve the speed of our offense and if we can pick up our pace, we should be a better team in 2010,” Boehmer said. “She is very aggressive and loves to play the game.” 2010 schedule Aug. 26 at Riceville Aug. 31 at Forest City Sept. 4 at Algona Tournament Sept. 7 vs. Newman Catholic Sept. 9 at Belmond-Klemme Sept. 11 at Central Springs Tournament Sept. 14 vs. Osage Sept. 16 at North Iowa Sept. 18 at Forest City Tournament Sept. 21 vs. West Hancock Sept. 25 at Bishop Garrigan Tournament Sept. 28 at Garner-Hayfield Oct. 2 at NIC Tournament Pool Play Oct. 4 at NIC Tournament Finals

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Shelby Lageson, left, runs with a group of girls during the second week of practice this year. Coach Jim Haney hopes the girls finish fifth or better in the Big Nine Conference this season.

Tigers CC coach sets high standards

Haney hopes for team and individual success in conf., at state By Andrew Dyrdal sports editor After already accumulating awards and titles, Albert Lea cross country runners Chrissy Monson and Steve Kreun still have work to do. Monson was last season’s Big Nine champion, finished second in the section and 12th at state. After a successful spring track season, in which she finished third in the state 3200-meSteven ter and sixth in the Kruen 1600-meter, Monson is looking for a top-10 finish in this year’s state cross country meet. Kreun, who was an all-conference honorable mention last season, wants to qualify for the state meet. “He has put in a great deal of

summer training to reach his goal,” head coach Jim Haney said Last season, the Tigers boys finished 10th and the girls ninth. Both teams’ best finish over the past five years has been seventh, but Haney always has higher expectations. “Since I took over the program the goal has been the same,” he said. “Fifth or better in the conference and seventh or better in the section.” To do so, the team will need to stay healthy and run to their potential, according to Haney. Chrissy “Many runners are Monson coming back from last year,” Haney said, in his ninth season as head coach. “And many have run many miles over the summer.” Haney looks to Owatonna as the conference favorites for boys, and

Rochester Mayo for girls. . To compete with them, Haney will need everyone running at a high level. Returning letter winners on the boys side include: Steve Kreun, Dyllan Engebresten, Joe Daniels, Stuart Behling, Luc Malimanek, Eli Malimanek, Andy Christian, Blair Bonnerup and Conner Larson. Returning letter winners for the girls team include: Shelby Lageson, Ashley Tewes, Sam Stanley, Annabelle Randall, Chrissy Monson, Carol Lein, Natalie Peek, Rachel Kenis, Morgan Haney, Emma Behling, Riley Schulz, Chloe Kleinschrodt and Breanna Himmerich. 2010 schedule Aug. 31 at Austin Sept. 10 at Faribault Sept. 16 at Rochester Mayo Sept. 20 at Fairmont Sept. 25 at Winona Sept. 30 at Burnsville Oct. 7 at Owatonna Oct. 12 at Austin Oct. 19 at Owatonna

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FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

Page 6 — Albert Lea Tribune, Thursday, August 26, 2010

A.L. girls’ soccer young but determined

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Tigers make strides By Andrew Dyrdal sports editor The Albert Lea girls’ swimming and diving team returns four state qualifiers from last season, and looks to be an improved team in both the section and conference. “We’re a strong, talented team with a lot of quality youth,” head coach Jon Schmitz, now in his ninth year with the team, said. “We have a lot of potential for improvement.” Returning letter winners include senior Amy Horejsi, juniors Galen Shulz and Morgan Field, and sophomores Kemma Bergland and Karli Kriewall. Horejsi was a state qualifier in relay one and one of the top returning butterflyers. Shulz and Field were also state qualifiers last year, with Field making the cut in the 100 breaststroke. Bergland was a state qualifier in

♦ A.L. tennis Continued from page 4

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said. “With our schedule, which is challenging, we will need to learn on the run and keep our heads up when playing teams with a top 10 ranking.” As far as section and confer-

the medley relay and Kriewall was a diving finalist in both the section and conference last season. Those five and the newcomers, many of whom come from The Family Y program, will help Schmitz make a run at Big Nine favorite Rochester John Marshall this season. “New talented swimmers added to the squad will make a big impact in the quality of this team,” Schmitz said. “Returning state qualifiers will lead this team in the right direction.” 2010 schedule Aug. 31 at Rochester Century Sept. 9 vs. Winona Sept. 13 vs. Saint Peter Sept. 16 at Rochester Mayo Sept. 18 at Lakeville South Sept. 23 vs. Mankato West Sept. 28 at Owatonna Oct. 2 at Austin Oct. 5 vs. Faribault Oct. 12 at Rochester JM Oct. 14 vs. Austin High School Oct. 19 vs. Mankato East/Loyola Oct. 28 at Owatonna Oct. 30 at Rochester Century

ence favorites, Gilliam points to Rochester Mayo and Rochester Century. This season, Gilliam says it will be exciting to see how everything turns out. “We are all excited to see how and where things go this season with this new group,” Gilliam said. “It’s like getting a brand new sports car and putting it out on the open road.”

Now two years removed from consecutive state tournament appearences, the Albert Lea girls’ soccer team is looking rebuild. The team will be led by Ariel Christensen, a senior captain on a very young Tigers team. Christensen is a “proven scorer with big game experience,” according to head coach Rick Barnhill. Christensen scored the game winning goal in the section semifinal game in 2007 and again in a shootout in the section final game in ‘08. Christensen will be joined by senior Taylor Friehl to help lead the Tigers. “Friehl has good speed and is a crafty forward who can score in opportunitstic ways,” Barnhill said. “She has the ability to impact the game.” With a tough scheedule this season, Barnhill expects his players to have a strong mentality. “We will try to immerse ourselves into a mindset that allows us to play with ultimate freedom,” he said. “To play without anxiety or fear. We want to challenge ourselves in competetitive cauldrons and tough environments and try to play within ourselves.” Barnhill calls this season a new era, with new players but still he expects his team to achieve. This year’s team will feature a new goalkeeper and newcomers on defense. Barnhill also says that the

See Girls’ soccer on Page 13 ➧

2010 schedule Aug. 24 vs. Austin Pacelli Aug. 24 vs. Worthington Aug. 24 vs. Worthington Aug. 26 vs. United South Central Aug. 30 at New Ulm Eagles Aug. 30 at Marshall Aug. 31 vs. Rochester Century Sept. 2 at Winona Sept. 7 vs. Rochester Mayo Sept. 9 at Mankato West Sept. 11 at Waseca Sept. 13 vs. Blue Earth Area Sept. 14 vs. Owatonna Sept. 16 at Faribault Sept. 21 vs. Rochester John Marshall

FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

Albert Lea Tribune, Thursday, August 26, 2010 — Page 15

NRHEG looks to get back into winning form Coach: ‘We will be competitive this year’ ing tackler, David Lindell, and the team’s second-leading tackler last year, Kevin Klocek, both all-conferNEW RICHLAND – Two years ence performers and seniors in 2009. removed from its second-straight At 5-foot-9, Lundberg will get eight-win season, the New Richland- the nod at quarterback, and for the Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva fourth straight season the football team is ready to get Panthers will start someone back on track. new under center. Stork is The NRHEG Panthers finconfident though, saying Lunished the 2009 regular seadberg has worked extremely son 5-3 and were ousted by hard during the offseason and Triton 32-8 in the first round is looking great. of the Section 2AA playoffs, Schlaak, a 2009 honorable but head coach Dan Stork mention all-conference selecwill look to 12 returning lettion and returning starter at ter winners – including 11 cornerback, will also be a conChad seniors – to put the Panthers Schlaak tributor on offense as one of back in contention in the Gothe top receivers and a 2010 pher Valley AA Conference captain, Stork said. and the 2010 playoffs. “[Schlaak] has worked very “We will be competitive hard this off-season and is this year,” Stork said. “Our a leader of our team,” Stork numbers are down slightly said. but the kids we do have are Ramaker, another honorhard-nosed and love to hit. able mention all-conference We should finish towards the selection, is a returning top of the conference.” starter at linebacker and will Stork said he will look to contend for running back seniors Chad Schlaak and duties. He was fourth on the Tyler Tyler Crabtree and juniors team in tackles last season. Crabtree Geoff Ramaker and Sam NRHEG’s success this Lundberg as the Panthers and season hinges on controlling the line the rest of the conference try to of scrimmage, Stork said, and ankeep pace with Waterville Elysianchoring both lines will be Crabtree, Morristown, which claimed the AA the only returning starter on the state championship last season. But offensive or defensive line. Crabtree, NRHEG will have to do that without team MVP and all-time leadSee NRHEG football on Page 17 ➧ By Adam Harringa staff writer

New Richland-HartlandEllendale-Geneva

♦ USC/A-C CC Continued from page 11 student from Germany, was the only starter lost from last season. Expected to lead the team is Daniel Elmer, an all-section selection in 2009, along with returning starters Brett Stevermer, Seth Treptow and Thane O’ Tourke. Eric Redman looks to be much stronger next year, according to Viesselman, and newcomers Dylan Bauman and Javier Rodriguez. 2010 schedule Aug. 27 at Fairmont Sept. 1 at Mt. Lake Invitational Sept. 9 at Red Bird Invitational Sept. 16 at Maple River Invitational Sept. 23 at Pine Island Invitational Sept. 28 at Kingsland Invitational Oct. 7 at Waseca Invitational Oct. 19 at Gopher/Valley Conference Meet

Jon Theuer/Albert Lea Tribune

Panthers’ quarterback Sam Lundberg takes a snap at practice this fall while a man is in motion behind him. Lundberg is the fourth NRHEG quaterback to start the season in four years.

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FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

Page 14 — Albert Lea Tribune, Thursday, August 26, 2010

FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

Albert Lea Tribune, Thursday, August 26, 2010 — Page 7

Rebels volleyball expects to surprise opponents

Good Luck Athletes

USC hopes to be be near the top of the conference

♦ USC tennis Continued from page 13

Christan and Schroeder both placed first in the Gopher Valley Conference last season, while Mattick, Roberts and Wood claimed second place in conference. Among the team’s strengths this season will be the wealth of experi-

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By Andrew Dyrdal sports editor WELLS — Jolene Bute and the United South Central volleyball team want to surprise some people. The head coach thinks that with hard work nothing is impossible. “We're hoping to be one of the top teams in the conference,” Bute, now in her third year as head coach, said. “We would also like to see the section championship game.” To do so, the Rebels will need excellent seasons from their five seniors, especially all-conference hitter Kayla Kayla Stenzel. Stenzel “She's our horse,” Bute said. “She's our leader and just one of those kids you want on your team every year.” Stenzel will be joined by fellow senior captains Marrielle Schultz and Danielle Koestler. According to Bute, Marielle Schultz is the “quarSchultz

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A United South Central setter puts the ball in the air for a spike in Wells last season. Jolene Bute hopes that the Rebels are in contention in their conference and section. terback” of the team, a playmaker and great leader. Likewise, Koestler is a great leader and a hard worker. “She just gets the job done,” said Bute of Koestler. Other seniors include Val Sahr, one of the more athletic girls on the team and a potential weapon if she hits in games like she hits in practice, according to Bute.

ence the Rebels return from last season. “Our strength is that we are returning 10 of the 12 top players,” Stevermer said. “And have strong players willing to fill the vacated spots.” Stevermer also said that the key for her team to be successful this season will be to find the right combi-

Ali Ramsley

Katie Ovrebo, a setter, is the only junior on the team with varsity experience and Bute is excited to have her for two more years. Cassidy Latusek and Allie Voigt are two more juniors who will be joining the varsity team this season. “They will both be playing middle hitters,” Bute said of the pair. “We See USC volleyball on Page 17 ➧

nations and the right fits for her players. Stevermer points to Waseca as the section favorite while saying the she hopes they can bring a conference title back to Wells. “We are hoping to get the conference title back this year from Maple River, who has won it the last two years,” she said.

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Callen Pirsig fights for the ball during a match last season at Hammer Field.

Tiger have stars at both ends of the field in 2010 Rebels slap hands after a win.

2010 schedule Aug. 21 vs. Luverne Aug. 24 vs. Saint Peter Aug. 26 vs. Albert Lea Aug. 28 at New Prague Tournament Sept. 7 vs. Maple River Sept. 9 at LeCenter Sept. 13 at Martin County West Sept. 18 at Mankato West Tournament Sept. 20 at Le Sueur-Henderson Sept. 21 vs. Blue Earth Area Sept. 23 at River Valley Sept. 27 vs. Waseca Sept. 28 vs. Fairmont Sept. 30 at New Ulm Oct. 2 vs. Martin County West Oct. 4 vs. Belle Plaine

By Andrew Dyrdal sports editor Tigers head coach Elia Romano expects a steep learning curve this season, with many new faces on the varsity soccer team, but once the season gets going, Romano says, the Tigers could be dangerous. “Once at full speed, we should be a very strong team in our section and be able to compete with the best Cameron Hove teams in our conference,” he said. “I am hoping to be above .500 at the end of the regular season and get a topfour seed in our section.” Albert Lea does return its leading scorer from last season, Callen Pirsig, who was also named the team’s offensive MVP.

On the other end of the field returns Cameron Hove, the team’s goalkeeper, who is in his third season in front of the net. Despite Pirsig and Hove’s return, the Tigers are without four key players this season after losing three-time team MVP Lars Gjersvik and 2009 team defensive MVP Jordan Mondeel. The team also lost 2009 allconference honorable mention Jack Sturtz Callen and four-year varsity Pirsig starter Jairo Campos. The key to every team’s success is one of the Tigers’ biggest questions marks this season: the midfield. “We have no returning starters in the midfield,” Romano said. “We do have a solid group of young talented

See Boys’ soccer on Page 8 ➧


FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

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Fundamentals key for Tigers’ success Sekora, Ladwig will play big roles

Albert Lea Tribune, Thursday, August 26, 2010 — Page 13

USC girls’ tennis Rebels hope health holds up in rebuilding year loaded for 2010 Lackey to start season as USC’s quarterback

By Jon Theuer staff writer After finishing 8-23 last season and graduating seven seniors, the Albert Lea Volleyball team will rely on handwork and the fundamentals to be successful this season. The Tigers return only two letterwinners from last year’s squad in senior Bethany Sekora and freshman Annie Ladwig. Both figure to play big roles on this year’s team. “Both girls are key athletes,” Albert Lea Volleyball coach Jaime Mauseth said. “They are very great hitters and servers and have great leadership that they will bring to the team this year. They also have the most varsity experience and are comfortable playing at that intensity.” Bethany While those two Sekora return, the Tigers did lose several experienced members of last year’s team to graduation. Of those seven, Caylee Tennis, Kristine Kelly both had two or more years of varsity experience, while Courtney Schnaith also played a key role last season. “All the seniors were highly important assets to the team last season and will be missed.” Mauseth said. Mauseth says she expects this team to focus on its strengths and be a hard-working group. “I expect to work really hard and from that hard work I think that we will have a successful team,” Mauseth said. “We have a lot of great athletes that all bring something different to the program. If we work as a team and really focus on our strengths and what we can do, I expect we will continue to have progress and be successful on the court.” Mauseth expects hard work and chemistry to be the strengths of this years team. “I have a bunch of really great girls that want to get better and want to work hard,” Mauseth said. “I think we have a good team togetherness and therefore will work really well as a team.” As far as success this season, Mauseth says that hard work and

FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

By Andrew Dyrdal sports editor

Tribune file photo

The Tigers prepare the ball for a spike last season against the USC Rebels. fundamentals are going to be a big part of achieving it. “By working real hard and focusing on defense, making fewer mistakes and focusing on what we know we can do and what are limitations are,” she said. “Also focusing on consistency at the serving line and being scrappy volleyball players.”

♦ Boys’ soccer Continued from page 7 players that I am hoping will step up this year and usher in a new era of quality.” A key that the team isn’t lacking is leadership. “We have nine seniors out for soccer and nine seniors on the varsity roster,” Romano said. “What this class lacks in size should be more than made up for in quality. They will set the tone for this team and I am hoping the tone they set will be one of unwavering commitment to hard work and team unity.” The Tigers finished 7-11 last season and 2-7 in the Big Nine Conference. They have ended

2010 schedule Aug. 30 vs. Southland Aug. 31 at NRHEG Sept. 7 vs. Waseca Sept. 11 at Hayfield Invite Sept. 13 at Farmington Sept. 16 vs. Rochester Mayo Sept. 20 vs. United South Central Sept. 23 vs. Mankato West Sept. 25 at Rochester John Marshall Sept. 28 at Rochester Century Sept. 30 vs. Owatonna Oct. 2 at Blue Earth Invite Oct. 5 vs. Faribault Oct. 7 at Winona Oct. 14 at Mankato East Oct. 19 at Austin

with similar records each of the past five years, with 7-10-1 as the team’s best finish in the last half decade. According to Romano, the conference favorites this year as Rochester Mayo and Century, with Mankato East also being dangerous. Rochester Lourdes is the section favorite. 2010 schedule Aug. 31 at Rochester Century Sept. 3 at Waseca Bluejays Sept. 7 vs. Winona Sept. 9 vs. Mankato East Sept. 11 vs. Red Wing Sept. 11 vs. Fairmont Area Schools Sept. 16 at Austin High School Sept. 18 at Kasson-Mantorville Sept. 18 at Rochester Mayo Sept. 21 vs. Mankato West Sept. 23 at Owatonna Sept. 28 vs. Faribault H.S. Sept. 30 at Rochester John Marshall Oct. 2 at Byron Oct. 7 vs. Austin High School

WELLS — The United South Central Rebels football team’s expectations this year are not as high as years past after the loss of quarterback Riley Swearingen and lineman Alex Dryer, but head coach Brad Huse hopes the Rebels can finish about .500 by staying healthy. Eric Last season, USC finished Lackey 8-2 and 7-1 in the Gopher Conference, their best finish over the last five years. The biggest loss from that team was Swearingen, who broke many school records behind center. This season, senior quarterback Eric Lackey will have to fill the shoes left by the USC grad. Lackey’s job will be easier with the return of Kyle Bauman, a 6-foot-8-inch wide

♦ Girls’ soccer Continued from page 6 team could always use more technical ability on the ball and size. 2010 schedule Aug. 27 vs. Waseca Aug. 28 at Bloomington Jefferson

receiver, who earned all-conference honors last season. Bauman, who stands over a foot taller than Lackey, is a big target who should lead the Rebels offense. Lackey will be protected by returning letter winning lineman Jordan Beyer, Cole Wenzel and Tony Willette. Other returning letter winners include running back/linebacker Tyson Morton and running back/ Kyle cornerback Chris Melby. Bauman Huse sees the team’s strength as its speed with lack of depth and inexperience at the quarterback positions as its shortcomings. 2010 schedule Sept. 3 at Blue Earth Area Sept. 10 vs. NRHEG Sept. 17 vs. G-F-W Sept. 24 at Martin County West Oct. 1 vs. L-C-W-M Oct. 8 at W-E-M Oct. 15 vs. Maple River Oct. 20 at Minnesota Valley Lutheran

Aug. 31 vs. Rochester Century Sept. 7 at Worthington Sept. 9 at Winona Sept. 13 vs. Rochester Mayo Sept. 16 vs. Austin Sept. 18 vs. Fairmont Sept. 18 vs. New Ulm Sept. 21 at Mankato West Sept. 23 vs. Owatonna Sept. 25 at Mankato Loyola Sept. 28 at Faribault Sept. 30 vs. Rochester JM Oct. 5 at Mankato East Oct. 7 at Austin

By Jon Theuer staff writer WELLS — After finishing with a 4-4 overall record last season and conference runner-up, the United South Central girls’ tennis team is looking to take a step forward in 2010. Having lost two seniors from last year’s squad, the Rebels will rely on eight returning varsity letter winners to lead them this season. “We expect to be strong in our conference and section,” coach Kim Stevermer

said, who enters her fourth year as head tennis coach at USC. “A lot of teams lost a lot of key players and we only lost two of the 12 varsity players.” Of the eight returning letter-winners, Ali Ramsley, Rachel Mattick, Danielle Roberts, Cami Christian, Brianna Schroeder and Megan Chicos are all seniors and will prove to be key athletes for Rebels. “All the seniors are key athletes for our team this year,” Stevermer said. “They all have varsity experience and have played a lot over the summer to better their game.” The two other returning letter winners returning for the Rebels are junior Robin Staloch and sophomore Ali Wood. See USC tennis on Page 14

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FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

Page 12 — Albert Lea Tribune, Thursday, August 26, 2010

FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

Albert Lea Tribune, Thursday, August 26. 2010 — Page 9

Lake Mills looks for experience to fuel season

A game of numbers

Bulldogs need linebackers to fill holes

Among the returnees that figure to be key to this season are: Quarterback Royce Byrnes (Sr.), FB/ LAKE MILLS, Iowa — The Lake LB Levi Dahle (Sr.), RB/LB Alex Mills football team has high Grunhovd (Sr.), OL/DL Josh expectations coming into the Zabel(Sr.), TB/DB Tyler Rice 2010 season. (Sr.), OL/DL Zach Ringham The Bulldogs return 19 (Sr.), OL/DL Jed Johnson letter-winners from last years (Sr.), LB/OL Josh Olson (Sr.), squad that went 5-5 overall OL/DL Curtis Fell (Sr.) all and 5-2 in the conference. are returning starters from However, the Bulldogs did last years squad. lose six seniors to graduation, Of those starters, Royce including three that were Byrnes, Alex Grunhovd, Jed staples of last years team. Johnson, Levi Dahle and Royce Jake Brekken, Chuck Tyler Rice were all-district Byrnes Thorson and Logan Stursz players, while Byrnes earned all graduated last season and all-state as a punter and Jed left some huge shoes to fill Johnson earned all state as a for Lake Mills head football lineman. coach Bill Byrnes and his With the wealth of experisquad. ence coming back, Byrnes Brekken, who was an allsays his team’s hopes are state linebacker last season, high this season. rushed for 1,139 yards and 15 “Our expectations are touchdowns last season and high,” Byrnes said. “We led the Bulldogs on defense have a large senior class with 134 tackles. that is a very experienced Jed Thorson was second in group, and we look for a Johnson tackles with 74 tackles. strong year.” The Bulldogs will count on seniors Among the strengths for this year’s Tyler Rice, Alex Grunhovd and Levi team, Byrnes says experience and Dahle and others to fill the shoes of Brekken and Thorson this season. See LM football on Page 10 ➧ By Jon Theuer staff writer

Northwood-Kensett football players walk onto the field before their opening game against Newman Catholic this season.

♦ N-K football Continued from page 11 district. “We hope to compete for a topthree finish and a playoff spot,” Capitani said. The Vikings have already opened their season, losing 35-20 Aug. 20 at home againt Newman Catholic. They play again Friday at Lake Mills at 7 p.m. 2010 Schedule Aug. 27 vs. Northwood-Kensett Sep. 3 vs. Rockford Sep. 10 at Everly Sep. 24 at Bishop Garrigan Oct. 1 vs. West Hancock Oct. 8 at North Iowa Oct. 15 at Southeast Webster Oct. 22 vs. Belmond-Klemme

Have a story idea? A Vikings coach talks to his players after a series in N-K’s opening game against Newman Catholic. The Vikings lost 35-20.

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Eilertson back in Northwood NORTHWOOD, Iowa — For the first time in four years, the Northwood-Kensett volleyball team has a coach returning for a consecutive season. That should have helped the Vikings prepare for the season, as they adopted the coach’s style last year. Eilertson’s daughter, Courtney, is a junior this season and will be a contributer on team that went 10-10 the year before Eilertson joined. 2010 schedule Sep. 2 at North Iowa Sep. 4 at Ventura Tournament Sep. 7 at West Fork Sep. 9 vs. Rockford Sep. 14 vs. Nashua-Plainfield Sep. 20 at West Hancock Sep. 21 at North Butler Sep. 28 at St. Ansgar Oct. 5 vs. Riceville Oct. 7 vs. Central Springs Oct. 9 at Hampton-Dumont Oct. 11 at Newman Catholic Oct. 12 vs. CAL Oct. 14 vs. W-CL-T

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FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

Page 10 — Albert Lea Tribune, Thursday, August 26, 2010

Bulldogs volleyball goes for 7 in a row this year Lake Mills has won 6 straight NIC titles

seniors Amanda Lampman, Lindy Pins, Jordan Manning and Abbey Honsey, and juniors Josie Brackey LAKE MILLS, Iowa — Lake Mills and Morgan Fjelstad. These six volleyball coach Jim Boehmer is players will provide Boehmer with confident. the depth he feels can bring another He is returning six NIC championship to starters from last northeast Iowa.  year’s North Iowa “This could be as Conference championdeep as my roster has ship team, who went been in a number of 37-4, and finished years,” he said, “if not with the second winthe deepest in my 19 ningest season in seasons.”  school history. Pins was a 2009 “This is a solid NIC honorable mengroup of players,” tion, Lampman and Amanda Josie Boehmer said, “who Brackey were NIC Lampman Brackey will be expected to second team members grow as leaders if we and Fjelstad was NIC want to continue the program’s solid first team. tradition.” The will be joined by newcomers The Bulldogs have strung together who are no strangers to success, six straight undefeated, conference either.  championship seasons and were In 2009, the junior varsity and class 2A regional finalists the past two seasons and five of the last nine. See LM volleyball on Page 16 ➧ Returning letter winners are

FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

Albert Lea Tribune, Thursday, August 26, 2010 — Page 11

Run-first Vikings must replace lost rushing yards Go forth without 3 all-district backs

By Andrew Dyrdal sports editor

Andrew Dyrdal/Albert Lea Tribune

The ball is served at Lake Mills volleyball practice this fall. The team is preparing to win its seventh consecutive conference title.

Bulldogs CC has mix of youth and experience By Jon Theuer staff writer LAKE MILLS, Iowa — The Lake Mills boys’ cross country team will be fielding an experienced line-up this fall. The Bulldogs welcome back five returning letter winners for this year’s team. They are: Cory Aamodt, Tim Brandt, Tyler Dahle, Zach Marpe and Jacob Sorenson. While Lake Mills will be experienced on the track, there is a new face that will be coaching the team this year. Eric Mittman enters his first season as the Bulldogs head cross country coach, as he replaces Mark VanGorkam. While the boys’ team returns experienced runners this season, the girls’ team again will be a young team. The only returnee from last sea-

sons team is Anna Rogers. Mittman expects that all runners will be expected to contribute this season and will all be key going forward. With the mix of youth and experience on both teams this season, Mittman says that he expects his teams to run their best races and hopefully will send the team/athletes to state this season. “Our motivated group will train strategically and focus our efforts on running our best races,” Mittman said. “We hope to send our team/athletes to the state meet.” Mittman noted that a strength for his team this season is that most of the team trained hard over that summer and is game for any competition. Among the keys for success for the Bulldogs this season, Mittman says two things will determine if they ultimately achieve their goal this

See LM CC on Page 17 ➧

Andrew Dyrdal/Albert Lea Tribune

Spencer Capitani carries the ball against Newman Catholic in their opening game this sesason. The Vikings lost the game 35-20.

USC/A-C cross country kicks off By Andrew Dyrdal sports editor

♦ LM football Continued from page 9 being athletic are the main features of this years team. “We are athletic, experienced and good leadership along with many two year varsity letter winners.” Byrnes said. Depth figures to be a weakness of this year’s team, which Byrnes says makes it important that his team stay injury free.

The key for success this season for Lake Mills Byrnes says will be to start the non-district schedule positively and staying healthy. 2010 schedule Aug. 27 v s. Northwood-Kensett Sept. 3 at West Hancock Sept. 10 at Garner-Hayfield Sept. 17 vs. AGWSR Sept. 24 vs. Dike-New-Hartford Oct. 1 at St.Ansgar Oct. 8 vs. Nashua-Plainfield Oct. 5 at West Fork Oct. 22 vs. Aplington-Parkersburg

after losing nearly 75 percent of their rushing to graduation. If that’s the case, the biggest beneNORTHWOOD, Iowa — The ficiary should be junior Nik Werner, Northwood-Kensett Vikings football who led the team in receiving last team will have its work cut season with three receptions out for them this season, for 40 yards. replacing three all-district The Vikings should be running backs who combined solid on the offensive line, to average 187 rushing yards according to head coach Dave per game last season. Capitani, who begins his 22nd The rebuilding process will year as head coach, after begin with senior quarterreturning starters Zach Staback Spencer Capitani, who plekamp and Hayden Olson. was fourth on the team in In addition to taking the rushing last season, gaining receiving load, Werner will Dave 503 yards on 78 attempts. also be asked to solidify the Capitani Capitani was second team Vikings’ linebacker corps, all-state last season and which lost three all-district the only returning all-conference tacklers to graduation. performer on the rush first Vikings Werner, the only starting linesquad. backer returning from last season, Last season, Capitani rushed will likely be joined by juniors Dilfor more than twice the amount of lon Nitcher and Tanner Haberman. yards he threw for, completing 14 The Vikings, who were 6-4 last passes on 32 attempts for 215 yards. season, will look to compete with Capitani also threw for two touchWest Hancock and Algona Bishop downs and one interception. Garrigan for the top spots in the This season, the Vikings may have See N-K football on Page 11 ➧ to rely more on the passing game, By Andrew Dyrdal sports editor

WELLS — The United South Central/AldenConger cross country team has 28 runners this fall, 17 on the boys’ side and 11 on the girls’, including no seniors. The girls have six letter winners returning from a team that finished third in Section 2A last season. The Rebels lost three members of that team, Taylor Allis, Amber Erickson and Kelsey Munson to graduation. Returning to the team is sophomore Hannah Goemann, a state meet participant last year, and juniors Andree Escherich

and Abby Trio who have been varsity starters for four years. The Rebels will also look for Amber Klein and Emily Mantor, who are both much stronger than a year ago, according to head coach Ken Viesselman, to move to varsity this season. “We lost three pretty good runners from last year’s team,” Viesselman said. “But these five runners plus some promising newcomers look like they’ll give us a pretty good nucleus to build around.” The boys’ team returns four of their five top runners from last season, as their number four runner, Josh Meine, a foreign See USC/A-C CC on Page 15 ➧

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FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

Page 10 — Albert Lea Tribune, Thursday, August 26, 2010

Bulldogs volleyball goes for 7 in a row this year Lake Mills has won 6 straight NIC titles

seniors Amanda Lampman, Lindy Pins, Jordan Manning and Abbey Honsey, and juniors Josie Brackey LAKE MILLS, Iowa — Lake Mills and Morgan Fjelstad. These six volleyball coach Jim Boehmer is players will provide Boehmer with confident. the depth he feels can bring another He is returning six NIC championship to starters from last northeast Iowa.  year’s North Iowa “This could be as Conference championdeep as my roster has ship team, who went been in a number of 37-4, and finished years,” he said, “if not with the second winthe deepest in my 19 ningest season in seasons.”  school history. Pins was a 2009 “This is a solid NIC honorable mengroup of players,” tion, Lampman and Amanda Josie Boehmer said, “who Brackey were NIC Lampman Brackey will be expected to second team members grow as leaders if we and Fjelstad was NIC want to continue the program’s solid first team. tradition.” The will be joined by newcomers The Bulldogs have strung together who are no strangers to success, six straight undefeated, conference either.  championship seasons and were In 2009, the junior varsity and class 2A regional finalists the past two seasons and five of the last nine. See LM volleyball on Page 16 ➧ Returning letter winners are

FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

Albert Lea Tribune, Thursday, August 26, 2010 — Page 11

Run-first Vikings must replace lost rushing yards Go forth without 3 all-district backs

By Andrew Dyrdal sports editor

Andrew Dyrdal/Albert Lea Tribune

The ball is served at Lake Mills volleyball practice this fall. The team is preparing to win its seventh consecutive conference title.

Bulldogs CC has mix of youth and experience By Jon Theuer staff writer LAKE MILLS, Iowa — The Lake Mills boys’ cross country team will be fielding an experienced line-up this fall. The Bulldogs welcome back five returning letter winners for this year’s team. They are: Cory Aamodt, Tim Brandt, Tyler Dahle, Zach Marpe and Jacob Sorenson. While Lake Mills will be experienced on the track, there is a new face that will be coaching the team this year. Eric Mittman enters his first season as the Bulldogs head cross country coach, as he replaces Mark VanGorkam. While the boys’ team returns experienced runners this season, the girls’ team again will be a young team. The only returnee from last sea-

sons team is Anna Rogers. Mittman expects that all runners will be expected to contribute this season and will all be key going forward. With the mix of youth and experience on both teams this season, Mittman says that he expects his teams to run their best races and hopefully will send the team/athletes to state this season. “Our motivated group will train strategically and focus our efforts on running our best races,” Mittman said. “We hope to send our team/athletes to the state meet.” Mittman noted that a strength for his team this season is that most of the team trained hard over that summer and is game for any competition. Among the keys for success for the Bulldogs this season, Mittman says two things will determine if they ultimately achieve their goal this

See LM CC on Page 17 ➧

Andrew Dyrdal/Albert Lea Tribune

Spencer Capitani carries the ball against Newman Catholic in their opening game this sesason. The Vikings lost the game 35-20.

USC/A-C cross country kicks off By Andrew Dyrdal sports editor

♦ LM football Continued from page 9 being athletic are the main features of this years team. “We are athletic, experienced and good leadership along with many two year varsity letter winners.” Byrnes said. Depth figures to be a weakness of this year’s team, which Byrnes says makes it important that his team stay injury free.

The key for success this season for Lake Mills Byrnes says will be to start the non-district schedule positively and staying healthy. 2010 schedule Aug. 27 v s. Northwood-Kensett Sept. 3 at West Hancock Sept. 10 at Garner-Hayfield Sept. 17 vs. AGWSR Sept. 24 vs. Dike-New-Hartford Oct. 1 at St.Ansgar Oct. 8 vs. Nashua-Plainfield Oct. 5 at West Fork Oct. 22 vs. Aplington-Parkersburg

after losing nearly 75 percent of their rushing to graduation. If that’s the case, the biggest beneNORTHWOOD, Iowa — The ficiary should be junior Nik Werner, Northwood-Kensett Vikings football who led the team in receiving last team will have its work cut season with three receptions out for them this season, for 40 yards. replacing three all-district The Vikings should be running backs who combined solid on the offensive line, to average 187 rushing yards according to head coach Dave per game last season. Capitani, who begins his 22nd The rebuilding process will year as head coach, after begin with senior quarterreturning starters Zach Staback Spencer Capitani, who plekamp and Hayden Olson. was fourth on the team in In addition to taking the rushing last season, gaining receiving load, Werner will Dave 503 yards on 78 attempts. also be asked to solidify the Capitani Capitani was second team Vikings’ linebacker corps, all-state last season and which lost three all-district the only returning all-conference tacklers to graduation. performer on the rush first Vikings Werner, the only starting linesquad. backer returning from last season, Last season, Capitani rushed will likely be joined by juniors Dilfor more than twice the amount of lon Nitcher and Tanner Haberman. yards he threw for, completing 14 The Vikings, who were 6-4 last passes on 32 attempts for 215 yards. season, will look to compete with Capitani also threw for two touchWest Hancock and Algona Bishop downs and one interception. Garrigan for the top spots in the This season, the Vikings may have See N-K football on Page 11 ➧ to rely more on the passing game, By Andrew Dyrdal sports editor

WELLS — The United South Central/AldenConger cross country team has 28 runners this fall, 17 on the boys’ side and 11 on the girls’, including no seniors. The girls have six letter winners returning from a team that finished third in Section 2A last season. The Rebels lost three members of that team, Taylor Allis, Amber Erickson and Kelsey Munson to graduation. Returning to the team is sophomore Hannah Goemann, a state meet participant last year, and juniors Andree Escherich

and Abby Trio who have been varsity starters for four years. The Rebels will also look for Amber Klein and Emily Mantor, who are both much stronger than a year ago, according to head coach Ken Viesselman, to move to varsity this season. “We lost three pretty good runners from last year’s team,” Viesselman said. “But these five runners plus some promising newcomers look like they’ll give us a pretty good nucleus to build around.” The boys’ team returns four of their five top runners from last season, as their number four runner, Josh Meine, a foreign See USC/A-C CC on Page 15 ➧

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If we don't have it – we'll find it! Northwood, IA

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FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

Page 12 — Albert Lea Tribune, Thursday, August 26, 2010

FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

Albert Lea Tribune, Thursday, August 26. 2010 — Page 9

Lake Mills looks for experience to fuel season

A game of numbers

Bulldogs need linebackers to fill holes

Among the returnees that figure to be key to this season are: Quarterback Royce Byrnes (Sr.), FB/ LAKE MILLS, Iowa — The Lake LB Levi Dahle (Sr.), RB/LB Alex Mills football team has high Grunhovd (Sr.), OL/DL Josh expectations coming into the Zabel(Sr.), TB/DB Tyler Rice 2010 season. (Sr.), OL/DL Zach Ringham The Bulldogs return 19 (Sr.), OL/DL Jed Johnson letter-winners from last years (Sr.), LB/OL Josh Olson (Sr.), squad that went 5-5 overall OL/DL Curtis Fell (Sr.) all and 5-2 in the conference. are returning starters from However, the Bulldogs did last years squad. lose six seniors to graduation, Of those starters, Royce including three that were Byrnes, Alex Grunhovd, Jed staples of last years team. Johnson, Levi Dahle and Royce Jake Brekken, Chuck Tyler Rice were all-district Byrnes Thorson and Logan Stursz players, while Byrnes earned all graduated last season and all-state as a punter and Jed left some huge shoes to fill Johnson earned all state as a for Lake Mills head football lineman. coach Bill Byrnes and his With the wealth of experisquad. ence coming back, Byrnes Brekken, who was an allsays his team’s hopes are state linebacker last season, high this season. rushed for 1,139 yards and 15 “Our expectations are touchdowns last season and high,” Byrnes said. “We led the Bulldogs on defense have a large senior class with 134 tackles. that is a very experienced Jed Thorson was second in group, and we look for a Johnson tackles with 74 tackles. strong year.” The Bulldogs will count on seniors Among the strengths for this year’s Tyler Rice, Alex Grunhovd and Levi team, Byrnes says experience and Dahle and others to fill the shoes of Brekken and Thorson this season. See LM football on Page 10 ➧ By Jon Theuer staff writer

Northwood-Kensett football players walk onto the field before their opening game against Newman Catholic this season.

♦ N-K football Continued from page 11 district. “We hope to compete for a topthree finish and a playoff spot,” Capitani said. The Vikings have already opened their season, losing 35-20 Aug. 20 at home againt Newman Catholic. They play again Friday at Lake Mills at 7 p.m. 2010 Schedule Aug. 27 vs. Northwood-Kensett Sep. 3 vs. Rockford Sep. 10 at Everly Sep. 24 at Bishop Garrigan Oct. 1 vs. West Hancock Oct. 8 at North Iowa Oct. 15 at Southeast Webster Oct. 22 vs. Belmond-Klemme

Have a story idea? A Vikings coach talks to his players after a series in N-K’s opening game against Newman Catholic. The Vikings lost 35-20.

Call Andrew at 379-3437

Andrew Dyrdal/Albert Lea Tribune

Eilertson back in Northwood NORTHWOOD, Iowa — For the first time in four years, the Northwood-Kensett volleyball team has a coach returning for a consecutive season. That should have helped the Vikings prepare for the season, as they adopted the coach’s style last year. Eilertson’s daughter, Courtney, is a junior this season and will be a contributer on team that went 10-10 the year before Eilertson joined. 2010 schedule Sep. 2 at North Iowa Sep. 4 at Ventura Tournament Sep. 7 at West Fork Sep. 9 vs. Rockford Sep. 14 vs. Nashua-Plainfield Sep. 20 at West Hancock Sep. 21 at North Butler Sep. 28 at St. Ansgar Oct. 5 vs. Riceville Oct. 7 vs. Central Springs Oct. 9 at Hampton-Dumont Oct. 11 at Newman Catholic Oct. 12 vs. CAL Oct. 14 vs. W-CL-T

Tribune file photo

Quarterback Royce Byrnes runs with the ball against St. Edmond’s last season in Lake Mills. Byrnes will be returning behind center this season.

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FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

Page 8 — Albert Lea Tribune, Thursday, August 26, 2010 The Parts You Want, The Value You Expect

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Fundamentals key for Tigers’ success Sekora, Ladwig will play big roles

Albert Lea Tribune, Thursday, August 26, 2010 — Page 13

USC girls’ tennis Rebels hope health holds up in rebuilding year loaded for 2010 Lackey to start season as USC’s quarterback

By Jon Theuer staff writer After finishing 8-23 last season and graduating seven seniors, the Albert Lea Volleyball team will rely on handwork and the fundamentals to be successful this season. The Tigers return only two letterwinners from last year’s squad in senior Bethany Sekora and freshman Annie Ladwig. Both figure to play big roles on this year’s team. “Both girls are key athletes,” Albert Lea Volleyball coach Jaime Mauseth said. “They are very great hitters and servers and have great leadership that they will bring to the team this year. They also have the most varsity experience and are comfortable playing at that intensity.” Bethany While those two Sekora return, the Tigers did lose several experienced members of last year’s team to graduation. Of those seven, Caylee Tennis, Kristine Kelly both had two or more years of varsity experience, while Courtney Schnaith also played a key role last season. “All the seniors were highly important assets to the team last season and will be missed.” Mauseth said. Mauseth says she expects this team to focus on its strengths and be a hard-working group. “I expect to work really hard and from that hard work I think that we will have a successful team,” Mauseth said. “We have a lot of great athletes that all bring something different to the program. If we work as a team and really focus on our strengths and what we can do, I expect we will continue to have progress and be successful on the court.” Mauseth expects hard work and chemistry to be the strengths of this years team. “I have a bunch of really great girls that want to get better and want to work hard,” Mauseth said. “I think we have a good team togetherness and therefore will work really well as a team.” As far as success this season, Mauseth says that hard work and

FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

By Andrew Dyrdal sports editor

Tribune file photo

The Tigers prepare the ball for a spike last season against the USC Rebels. fundamentals are going to be a big part of achieving it. “By working real hard and focusing on defense, making fewer mistakes and focusing on what we know we can do and what are limitations are,” she said. “Also focusing on consistency at the serving line and being scrappy volleyball players.”

♦ Boys’ soccer Continued from page 7 players that I am hoping will step up this year and usher in a new era of quality.” A key that the team isn’t lacking is leadership. “We have nine seniors out for soccer and nine seniors on the varsity roster,” Romano said. “What this class lacks in size should be more than made up for in quality. They will set the tone for this team and I am hoping the tone they set will be one of unwavering commitment to hard work and team unity.” The Tigers finished 7-11 last season and 2-7 in the Big Nine Conference. They have ended

2010 schedule Aug. 30 vs. Southland Aug. 31 at NRHEG Sept. 7 vs. Waseca Sept. 11 at Hayfield Invite Sept. 13 at Farmington Sept. 16 vs. Rochester Mayo Sept. 20 vs. United South Central Sept. 23 vs. Mankato West Sept. 25 at Rochester John Marshall Sept. 28 at Rochester Century Sept. 30 vs. Owatonna Oct. 2 at Blue Earth Invite Oct. 5 vs. Faribault Oct. 7 at Winona Oct. 14 at Mankato East Oct. 19 at Austin

with similar records each of the past five years, with 7-10-1 as the team’s best finish in the last half decade. According to Romano, the conference favorites this year as Rochester Mayo and Century, with Mankato East also being dangerous. Rochester Lourdes is the section favorite. 2010 schedule Aug. 31 at Rochester Century Sept. 3 at Waseca Bluejays Sept. 7 vs. Winona Sept. 9 vs. Mankato East Sept. 11 vs. Red Wing Sept. 11 vs. Fairmont Area Schools Sept. 16 at Austin High School Sept. 18 at Kasson-Mantorville Sept. 18 at Rochester Mayo Sept. 21 vs. Mankato West Sept. 23 at Owatonna Sept. 28 vs. Faribault H.S. Sept. 30 at Rochester John Marshall Oct. 2 at Byron Oct. 7 vs. Austin High School

WELLS — The United South Central Rebels football team’s expectations this year are not as high as years past after the loss of quarterback Riley Swearingen and lineman Alex Dryer, but head coach Brad Huse hopes the Rebels can finish about .500 by staying healthy. Eric Last season, USC finished Lackey 8-2 and 7-1 in the Gopher Conference, their best finish over the last five years. The biggest loss from that team was Swearingen, who broke many school records behind center. This season, senior quarterback Eric Lackey will have to fill the shoes left by the USC grad. Lackey’s job will be easier with the return of Kyle Bauman, a 6-foot-8-inch wide

♦ Girls’ soccer Continued from page 6 team could always use more technical ability on the ball and size. 2010 schedule Aug. 27 vs. Waseca Aug. 28 at Bloomington Jefferson

receiver, who earned all-conference honors last season. Bauman, who stands over a foot taller than Lackey, is a big target who should lead the Rebels offense. Lackey will be protected by returning letter winning lineman Jordan Beyer, Cole Wenzel and Tony Willette. Other returning letter winners include running back/linebacker Tyson Morton and running back/ Kyle cornerback Chris Melby. Bauman Huse sees the team’s strength as its speed with lack of depth and inexperience at the quarterback positions as its shortcomings. 2010 schedule Sept. 3 at Blue Earth Area Sept. 10 vs. NRHEG Sept. 17 vs. G-F-W Sept. 24 at Martin County West Oct. 1 vs. L-C-W-M Oct. 8 at W-E-M Oct. 15 vs. Maple River Oct. 20 at Minnesota Valley Lutheran

Aug. 31 vs. Rochester Century Sept. 7 at Worthington Sept. 9 at Winona Sept. 13 vs. Rochester Mayo Sept. 16 vs. Austin Sept. 18 vs. Fairmont Sept. 18 vs. New Ulm Sept. 21 at Mankato West Sept. 23 vs. Owatonna Sept. 25 at Mankato Loyola Sept. 28 at Faribault Sept. 30 vs. Rochester JM Oct. 5 at Mankato East Oct. 7 at Austin

By Jon Theuer staff writer WELLS — After finishing with a 4-4 overall record last season and conference runner-up, the United South Central girls’ tennis team is looking to take a step forward in 2010. Having lost two seniors from last year’s squad, the Rebels will rely on eight returning varsity letter winners to lead them this season. “We expect to be strong in our conference and section,” coach Kim Stevermer

said, who enters her fourth year as head tennis coach at USC. “A lot of teams lost a lot of key players and we only lost two of the 12 varsity players.” Of the eight returning letter-winners, Ali Ramsley, Rachel Mattick, Danielle Roberts, Cami Christian, Brianna Schroeder and Megan Chicos are all seniors and will prove to be key athletes for Rebels. “All the seniors are key athletes for our team this year,” Stevermer said. “They all have varsity experience and have played a lot over the summer to better their game.” The two other returning letter winners returning for the Rebels are junior Robin Staloch and sophomore Ali Wood. See USC tennis on Page 14

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FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

Page 14 — Albert Lea Tribune, Thursday, August 26, 2010

FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

Albert Lea Tribune, Thursday, August 26, 2010 — Page 7

Rebels volleyball expects to surprise opponents

Good Luck Athletes

USC hopes to be be near the top of the conference

♦ USC tennis Continued from page 13

Christan and Schroeder both placed first in the Gopher Valley Conference last season, while Mattick, Roberts and Wood claimed second place in conference. Among the team’s strengths this season will be the wealth of experi-

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By Andrew Dyrdal sports editor WELLS — Jolene Bute and the United South Central volleyball team want to surprise some people. The head coach thinks that with hard work nothing is impossible. “We're hoping to be one of the top teams in the conference,” Bute, now in her third year as head coach, said. “We would also like to see the section championship game.” To do so, the Rebels will need excellent seasons from their five seniors, especially all-conference hitter Kayla Kayla Stenzel. Stenzel “She's our horse,” Bute said. “She's our leader and just one of those kids you want on your team every year.” Stenzel will be joined by fellow senior captains Marrielle Schultz and Danielle Koestler. According to Bute, Marielle Schultz is the “quarSchultz

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Tribune file photo

A United South Central setter puts the ball in the air for a spike in Wells last season. Jolene Bute hopes that the Rebels are in contention in their conference and section. terback” of the team, a playmaker and great leader. Likewise, Koestler is a great leader and a hard worker. “She just gets the job done,” said Bute of Koestler. Other seniors include Val Sahr, one of the more athletic girls on the team and a potential weapon if she hits in games like she hits in practice, according to Bute.

ence the Rebels return from last season. “Our strength is that we are returning 10 of the 12 top players,” Stevermer said. “And have strong players willing to fill the vacated spots.” Stevermer also said that the key for her team to be successful this season will be to find the right combi-

Ali Ramsley

Katie Ovrebo, a setter, is the only junior on the team with varsity experience and Bute is excited to have her for two more years. Cassidy Latusek and Allie Voigt are two more juniors who will be joining the varsity team this season. “They will both be playing middle hitters,” Bute said of the pair. “We See USC volleyball on Page 17 ➧

nations and the right fits for her players. Stevermer points to Waseca as the section favorite while saying the she hopes they can bring a conference title back to Wells. “We are hoping to get the conference title back this year from Maple River, who has won it the last two years,” she said.

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Tribune file photo

Callen Pirsig fights for the ball during a match last season at Hammer Field.

Tiger have stars at both ends of the field in 2010 Rebels slap hands after a win.

2010 schedule Aug. 21 vs. Luverne Aug. 24 vs. Saint Peter Aug. 26 vs. Albert Lea Aug. 28 at New Prague Tournament Sept. 7 vs. Maple River Sept. 9 at LeCenter Sept. 13 at Martin County West Sept. 18 at Mankato West Tournament Sept. 20 at Le Sueur-Henderson Sept. 21 vs. Blue Earth Area Sept. 23 at River Valley Sept. 27 vs. Waseca Sept. 28 vs. Fairmont Sept. 30 at New Ulm Oct. 2 vs. Martin County West Oct. 4 vs. Belle Plaine

By Andrew Dyrdal sports editor Tigers head coach Elia Romano expects a steep learning curve this season, with many new faces on the varsity soccer team, but once the season gets going, Romano says, the Tigers could be dangerous. “Once at full speed, we should be a very strong team in our section and be able to compete with the best Cameron Hove teams in our conference,” he said. “I am hoping to be above .500 at the end of the regular season and get a topfour seed in our section.” Albert Lea does return its leading scorer from last season, Callen Pirsig, who was also named the team’s offensive MVP.

On the other end of the field returns Cameron Hove, the team’s goalkeeper, who is in his third season in front of the net. Despite Pirsig and Hove’s return, the Tigers are without four key players this season after losing three-time team MVP Lars Gjersvik and 2009 team defensive MVP Jordan Mondeel. The team also lost 2009 allconference honorable mention Jack Sturtz Callen and four-year varsity Pirsig starter Jairo Campos. The key to every team’s success is one of the Tigers’ biggest questions marks this season: the midfield. “We have no returning starters in the midfield,” Romano said. “We do have a solid group of young talented

See Boys’ soccer on Page 8 ➧


FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

Page 6 — Albert Lea Tribune, Thursday, August 26, 2010

A.L. girls’ soccer young but determined

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An Albert Lea Tigers butterflyer carves through the water last season.

Tigers make strides By Andrew Dyrdal sports editor The Albert Lea girls’ swimming and diving team returns four state qualifiers from last season, and looks to be an improved team in both the section and conference. “We’re a strong, talented team with a lot of quality youth,” head coach Jon Schmitz, now in his ninth year with the team, said. “We have a lot of potential for improvement.” Returning letter winners include senior Amy Horejsi, juniors Galen Shulz and Morgan Field, and sophomores Kemma Bergland and Karli Kriewall. Horejsi was a state qualifier in relay one and one of the top returning butterflyers. Shulz and Field were also state qualifiers last year, with Field making the cut in the 100 breaststroke. Bergland was a state qualifier in

♦ A.L. tennis Continued from page 4

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said. “With our schedule, which is challenging, we will need to learn on the run and keep our heads up when playing teams with a top 10 ranking.” As far as section and confer-

the medley relay and Kriewall was a diving finalist in both the section and conference last season. Those five and the newcomers, many of whom come from The Family Y program, will help Schmitz make a run at Big Nine favorite Rochester John Marshall this season. “New talented swimmers added to the squad will make a big impact in the quality of this team,” Schmitz said. “Returning state qualifiers will lead this team in the right direction.” 2010 schedule Aug. 31 at Rochester Century Sept. 9 vs. Winona Sept. 13 vs. Saint Peter Sept. 16 at Rochester Mayo Sept. 18 at Lakeville South Sept. 23 vs. Mankato West Sept. 28 at Owatonna Oct. 2 at Austin Oct. 5 vs. Faribault Oct. 12 at Rochester JM Oct. 14 vs. Austin High School Oct. 19 vs. Mankato East/Loyola Oct. 28 at Owatonna Oct. 30 at Rochester Century

ence favorites, Gilliam points to Rochester Mayo and Rochester Century. This season, Gilliam says it will be exciting to see how everything turns out. “We are all excited to see how and where things go this season with this new group,” Gilliam said. “It’s like getting a brand new sports car and putting it out on the open road.”

Now two years removed from consecutive state tournament appearences, the Albert Lea girls’ soccer team is looking rebuild. The team will be led by Ariel Christensen, a senior captain on a very young Tigers team. Christensen is a “proven scorer with big game experience,” according to head coach Rick Barnhill. Christensen scored the game winning goal in the section semifinal game in 2007 and again in a shootout in the section final game in ‘08. Christensen will be joined by senior Taylor Friehl to help lead the Tigers. “Friehl has good speed and is a crafty forward who can score in opportunitstic ways,” Barnhill said. “She has the ability to impact the game.” With a tough scheedule this season, Barnhill expects his players to have a strong mentality. “We will try to immerse ourselves into a mindset that allows us to play with ultimate freedom,” he said. “To play without anxiety or fear. We want to challenge ourselves in competetitive cauldrons and tough environments and try to play within ourselves.” Barnhill calls this season a new era, with new players but still he expects his team to achieve. This year’s team will feature a new goalkeeper and newcomers on defense. Barnhill also says that the

See Girls’ soccer on Page 13 ➧

2010 schedule Aug. 24 vs. Austin Pacelli Aug. 24 vs. Worthington Aug. 24 vs. Worthington Aug. 26 vs. United South Central Aug. 30 at New Ulm Eagles Aug. 30 at Marshall Aug. 31 vs. Rochester Century Sept. 2 at Winona Sept. 7 vs. Rochester Mayo Sept. 9 at Mankato West Sept. 11 at Waseca Sept. 13 vs. Blue Earth Area Sept. 14 vs. Owatonna Sept. 16 at Faribault Sept. 21 vs. Rochester John Marshall

FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

Albert Lea Tribune, Thursday, August 26, 2010 — Page 15

NRHEG looks to get back into winning form Coach: ‘We will be competitive this year’ ing tackler, David Lindell, and the team’s second-leading tackler last year, Kevin Klocek, both all-conferNEW RICHLAND – Two years ence performers and seniors in 2009. removed from its second-straight At 5-foot-9, Lundberg will get eight-win season, the New Richland- the nod at quarterback, and for the Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva fourth straight season the football team is ready to get Panthers will start someone back on track. new under center. Stork is The NRHEG Panthers finconfident though, saying Lunished the 2009 regular seadberg has worked extremely son 5-3 and were ousted by hard during the offseason and Triton 32-8 in the first round is looking great. of the Section 2AA playoffs, Schlaak, a 2009 honorable but head coach Dan Stork mention all-conference selecwill look to 12 returning lettion and returning starter at ter winners – including 11 cornerback, will also be a conChad seniors – to put the Panthers Schlaak tributor on offense as one of back in contention in the Gothe top receivers and a 2010 pher Valley AA Conference captain, Stork said. and the 2010 playoffs. “[Schlaak] has worked very “We will be competitive hard this off-season and is this year,” Stork said. “Our a leader of our team,” Stork numbers are down slightly said. but the kids we do have are Ramaker, another honorhard-nosed and love to hit. able mention all-conference We should finish towards the selection, is a returning top of the conference.” starter at linebacker and will Stork said he will look to contend for running back seniors Chad Schlaak and duties. He was fourth on the Tyler Tyler Crabtree and juniors team in tackles last season. Crabtree Geoff Ramaker and Sam NRHEG’s success this Lundberg as the Panthers and season hinges on controlling the line the rest of the conference try to of scrimmage, Stork said, and ankeep pace with Waterville Elysianchoring both lines will be Crabtree, Morristown, which claimed the AA the only returning starter on the state championship last season. But offensive or defensive line. Crabtree, NRHEG will have to do that without team MVP and all-time leadSee NRHEG football on Page 17 ➧ By Adam Harringa staff writer

New Richland-HartlandEllendale-Geneva

♦ USC/A-C CC Continued from page 11 student from Germany, was the only starter lost from last season. Expected to lead the team is Daniel Elmer, an all-section selection in 2009, along with returning starters Brett Stevermer, Seth Treptow and Thane O’ Tourke. Eric Redman looks to be much stronger next year, according to Viesselman, and newcomers Dylan Bauman and Javier Rodriguez. 2010 schedule Aug. 27 at Fairmont Sept. 1 at Mt. Lake Invitational Sept. 9 at Red Bird Invitational Sept. 16 at Maple River Invitational Sept. 23 at Pine Island Invitational Sept. 28 at Kingsland Invitational Oct. 7 at Waseca Invitational Oct. 19 at Gopher/Valley Conference Meet

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Panthers’ quarterback Sam Lundberg takes a snap at practice this fall while a man is in motion behind him. Lundberg is the fourth NRHEG quaterback to start the season in four years.

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FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

Page 16 — Albert Lea Tribune, Thursday, August 26, 2010

FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

Albert Lea Tribune, Thursday, August 26, 2010 — Page 5

Panthers primed for another title run in 2010 Return 6 letter winners from 21-7 team By Jon Theuer staff writer

Tribune file photo

NRHEG volleyball players watch from the bench as the ball is spiked at a home game last season. This year, Joe Kuechenmeister is taking over as head coach of the team and is hoping to continue the program’s success.

♦ LM volleyball Continued from page 10

freshman team combined for a 64-5 record and Boehmer some of those players can contribute on varsity this season. “Traditionally, we are senior lead, so each year we have to replace starters with kids who have little varsity experience,” he said. “We expect our JV and freshman team members to be able to make that jump quickly.” Newcomers to watch include senior defensive specialists Haley Matthews and Micah Peters. Joining them are juniors Catherine Adams

and Shelby Kuper, and sophomore Carlie Christianson. While the Bulldogs have dominated the NIC, losing only once in 75 games from 2003 to 2008, Bohemer thinks Forest City is the conference favorite. “Forest City returns their entire core group from last year’s runnerup finish,” he said. “(We) have to replace all-stater and NIC Player of the Year, Darcy Nelson. Forest City has the most all-conference players returning and the most experience.” While the NIC will be competitive at the top, with traditional powers Osage and Newman Catholic vying for first as well, competition will also be alive within the Lake Mills squad. “Our big key will be how quickly

NEW RICHLAND — After finishing with a 21-7 record last season and a 10-1 conference record, the Panthers will look to take a step forward this season with six returning letter-winners returning from last year’s squad. The Panthers were defeated last season in the semi-finals last season by LeSeuer-Henderson, who won the section last season. Among the returnees for NRHEG this season is junior outside hitter Anna Schlaak. Schlaak, who earned Albert Lea Tribune player of the year last season and all area accolades, led the Panthers in many statistical categories last season. “She's a tremendous and versatile athlete,” NRHEG volleyball coach Joe Kuechenmeister said, who enters his first year taking over for Jackie Schultz. “She hits for power, jumps out of the gym and passes very well.” Along with Schlaak, senior setter Kacie Phillips also returned for the Panthers. Phillips received all area accolades last season and led NRHEG in assists last season. Other returning letter-winners who will have an impact for the Panthers this season include senior hitter Kristina Cole, outside hitter Kaylee Maxon, middlehitter Jill Kalis and junior libero Harlee Vokoun. With the returning experience, Kuchenmeister says that it will be

we can come together,” Boehmer said. “With 41 players, I am hopeful that this will create some competition for spots. That should make us better in the long run.” Still, Boehmer is hopeful that the six returning letter winners can step up and lead the offense. “Lampman and Brackey were allconference players in 2009 and we will look to them to continue to improve,” he said. “Lindy Pins is a versatile player who can do a lot for our offense. “Honsey was injured for much of (last season), but came back at the end of the year and played exceptionally well. Add Manning and Kuper to that mix and we have six varsity hitters fighting for the ball.”

one of the strengths of this year’s team going forward. “We have many girls back with quality varsity experience,” Kuchenmeister said. “Including three hitters, a setter, and a defensive specialist. Great leadership and great work ethic are the real foundation of this team.” With many returning players coming back, NRHEG did lose two all conference players in Alyssa Hagen and Alyssa Kerkoff, who reportedly moved during the off season. For success this season, Kuchenmeister says that the fundamentals and taking advantage of their hitters will play a big part in the equation. “Solid serve, receive and attacking from every angle at the net with our experienced hitters,” Kuchenmeister said. As far as conference favorite, Kuchenmeister points to Faribault Bethlehem Academy as the favorite, while he says LeSeuer-Henderson, who is the defending section champ, is considered the section favorite this year. 2010 schedule Aug. 31 vs. Albert Lea Sept. 7 vs. W-E-M Sept. 9 vs. Blooming Prairie Sept. 11 at Mankato West Invite Sept. 13 vs. Le Sueur-Henderson Sept. 16 vs. Randolph Sept. 21 vs. Mankato Loyola Sept. 23 at Medford Tigers Sept. 30 vs. United South Central Oct. 2 at Blue Earth Invite Oct. 5 at Bethlehem Academy Oct. 7 at J-W-P Oct. 11 at Maple River Oct. 12 at Blooming Prairie Oct. 14 vs. Martin County West Oct. 16 at Faribault Tournament Oct. 19 at W-E-M

Fjelstad, the Bulldogs’ setter, returns to run the offense. “Morgan has worked to improve the speed of our offense and if we can pick up our pace, we should be a better team in 2010,” Boehmer said. “She is very aggressive and loves to play the game.” 2010 schedule Aug. 26 at Riceville Aug. 31 at Forest City Sept. 4 at Algona Tournament Sept. 7 vs. Newman Catholic Sept. 9 at Belmond-Klemme Sept. 11 at Central Springs Tournament Sept. 14 vs. Osage Sept. 16 at North Iowa Sept. 18 at Forest City Tournament Sept. 21 vs. West Hancock Sept. 25 at Bishop Garrigan Tournament Sept. 28 at Garner-Hayfield Oct. 2 at NIC Tournament Pool Play Oct. 4 at NIC Tournament Finals

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Shelby Lageson, left, runs with a group of girls during the second week of practice this year. Coach Jim Haney hopes the girls finish fifth or better in the Big Nine Conference this season.

Tigers CC coach sets high standards

Haney hopes for team and individual success in conf., at state By Andrew Dyrdal sports editor After already accumulating awards and titles, Albert Lea cross country runners Chrissy Monson and Steve Kreun still have work to do. Monson was last season’s Big Nine champion, finished second in the section and 12th at state. After a successful spring track season, in which she finished third in the state 3200-meSteven ter and sixth in the Kruen 1600-meter, Monson is looking for a top-10 finish in this year’s state cross country meet. Kreun, who was an all-conference honorable mention last season, wants to qualify for the state meet. “He has put in a great deal of

summer training to reach his goal,” head coach Jim Haney said Last season, the Tigers boys finished 10th and the girls ninth. Both teams’ best finish over the past five years has been seventh, but Haney always has higher expectations. “Since I took over the program the goal has been the same,” he said. “Fifth or better in the conference and seventh or better in the section.” To do so, the team will need to stay healthy and run to their potential, according to Haney. Chrissy “Many runners are Monson coming back from last year,” Haney said, in his ninth season as head coach. “And many have run many miles over the summer.” Haney looks to Owatonna as the conference favorites for boys, and

Rochester Mayo for girls. . To compete with them, Haney will need everyone running at a high level. Returning letter winners on the boys side include: Steve Kreun, Dyllan Engebresten, Joe Daniels, Stuart Behling, Luc Malimanek, Eli Malimanek, Andy Christian, Blair Bonnerup and Conner Larson. Returning letter winners for the girls team include: Shelby Lageson, Ashley Tewes, Sam Stanley, Annabelle Randall, Chrissy Monson, Carol Lein, Natalie Peek, Rachel Kenis, Morgan Haney, Emma Behling, Riley Schulz, Chloe Kleinschrodt and Breanna Himmerich. 2010 schedule Aug. 31 at Austin Sept. 10 at Faribault Sept. 16 at Rochester Mayo Sept. 20 at Fairmont Sept. 25 at Winona Sept. 30 at Burnsville Oct. 7 at Owatonna Oct. 12 at Austin Oct. 19 at Owatonna

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FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

Page 4 — Albert Lea Tribune, Thursday, August 26, 2010

♦ Tigers football Continued from page 2

started at nose guard since his freshman year. “(DeBoer has) great feet for a big man,” Anderson said. “He’s getting better by leaps and bounds.” Other returning starters on the defensive line include ends Dillon Stolt and Cory Hansen and defensive Kyle tackles Gaudian and Kriewall Nielson. Key returners at skill positions include quarterback Kyle Kreiwall. Standing 6-foot tall, Kreiwall is quick with a strong arm and started every game for the Tigers last season. “The experience he got last year should help a lot this year,” Bryce Anderson said. DeBoer Kreiwall will have a big target to throw to in 6-foot-5-inch wide receiver Aaron Klatt. Klatt led the team in receptions last year as the two connected 16 times for 327 yards and two touchdowns. Klatt, who was an all-conference honorable mention in ‘09, also started in the secondary last season, notching 49 tackles and grabbing two interceptions. The Tigers also return their leading tackler from last season, Jake Jensen. Jensen, a linebacker last season, had 92 tackles and earned Big Nine honorable mention. 2010 schedule Sept. 2 vs. Waseca Sept. 10 at Winona Sept. 17 vs. Owatonna Sept. 24 at Faribault Oct. 1 at Rochester Century Oct. 8 vs. Mankato West Oct. 15 at Rochester Mayo Oct. 20 vs. Austin

Tigers girls’ tennis looks to reload Albert Lea lost 21 seniors to graduation

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Michelle Hartmann hits a backhand shot back towads her opponent this spring. Lea does return seven letter winchallenges of this year’s squad, Gilners from last year. liam says the same answer for both Among the letter winners return- is inexperience. ing are juniors Michelle Hartmann, “Our inexperience will be our Chelsea Petersen and Rachel greatest challenge and our greatJensen and seniors Alissa Allison, est strength all in one,” Gilliam Ashley Gilbertson, Kayla Swee and said. “We will make our mistakes, Ashley Petersen. but we also will have a high ceilAlong with the letter winners, ing as far as learning potential other that are expected to fill spots and improvement, which is very and contribute are seniors Courtexciting.” ney Stewart and Luci Villagomez Along with gaining experience, and juniors Kelsey Lenhart, Collen another key to success for the TiThompson, Kelsey Thomas, Shelby gers this season will be attitude. IIg, Samantha Klapperick and “Attitude is everything in the Samantha Heilman. mental game of tennis,” Gilliam For the greatest strength and See A.L. tennis on Page 6 ➧

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Albert Lea Tribune, Thursday, August 26, 2010 — Page 17

Freshman, sophomore lead NRHEG cross country Youth to play role this season By Jon Theuer staff writer

By Jon Theuer staff writer The Albert Lea girls’ tennis team will look to reload a team that finished 11-10 last season, the best record for the girls in the past five seasons. For Albert Lea coach Sean Gilliam, who enters his ninth year as head coach of the Tigers girls’ tennis team, it won’t be easy. Albert Lea lost 21 seniors to graduation from last years squad including Taylor Nelson. Nelson was an all-conference selection last year and was the team’s No. 1 singles player. The Tigers other losses to graduation include: Kellsie Dieser, Sarah Wenum, Erika Blickenderfer, Mikaela Pierson, Jenna Sager, Amy Bohlen, Zoe Hill and Kayla Hartmann. With the inexperience in this year’s team, the Tigers will rely heavily on its returning players and are hoping some junior varsity members are ready to claim a spot on the varsity squad. “This season we’ll be playing a lot of last year’s JV girls at high varsity spots,” Albert Lea girls’ tennis coach Sean Gilliam said. “I know that our seniors and juniors have put in a lot of time in getting their games ready to play in these spots and that we have great character kids who will give maximum effort in every match.” Aside from all the losses, Albert

FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

NEW RICHLAND — Just like last season, the New Richland-HartlandEllendale-Geneva boys’ cross country team will be a young team. The Panthers, coached by Mike Weber and assistant Lori Tomsche, return four letter winners from last year, all of which are in 10th grade and under. “We will once again have a very young team on the boys' side,” Weber said. “The boys will add onto the improvements they made last year.” But the Panthers will miss their No. 1 runner from last season, Josh Schroeder, who graduated. “We will certainly miss Schroeder from last year,” Weber said. “Josh was our

and Dustin Burshem and freshman, Raece Johnson. “Tyler, Dustin and Raece top runner throughout the ran varsity last year and will season.” likely be contributing even While NRHEG lost their number one runner, the Pan- more this season,” Weber said. “Dustin Burshem was thers will look to freshman maybe our most consistent TJ Schiltz, who has been in runner from competitions last year and, this summer we will be to help precounting upon pare for the him again.” season. Weber says “TJ has MCW and put in a lot of Loyola are the summer runconference faning and has vorites, while been doing the top teams TJ Mike well in sumin the section Weber mer competi- Schiltz are Waseca tions,” Weber and Fairmont. said. “Coach Tomsche and I see TJ's success continuing Girls hope to improve on 12th into our fall season, even place finish though he is still a very The NRHEG girls’ cross young athlete.” country team will look to Along with Schiltz, improve on an eighth-place NRHEG will also depend finish in the Gopher Conferon returning letter winning ence and a 12th place finish sophomores Tyler Martin

in sections. The Panthers lost senior captain Alex Hale to graduation, but NRHEG does have the luxury of having five returning letter winners from last year’s squad. Leading the charge for the Panthers will be sophmore Abby Crabtree. Crabtree earned all-conference honors last year and will look to have another allconference season this year. “Crabtree will potentially be our strongest runner,” Weber said. “She has several years of experience.” Along with Crabtree, Weber says that Emily Habeck and Destinee Meyer are two runners who were consistent last year and could be even better this season. “Emily Habeck and Destinee Meyer were unbelievably consistent last season for us in every meet,” Weber said. “Those two could could have an even better

♦ NRHEG football

♦ LM CC

♦ USC volleyball

Continued from page 15

Continued from page 10

Continued from page 14

by sending his team/athletes to state. “Training smart and racing our best.” Mittman said.

are excited about their hitting, blocking abilities and getting varsity experience.” Bute believes that team unity and the girls’ ability to be exceptional student-athletes are the team’s strength. The team’s weakness: “Producing and being confident in their abilities,” Bute said. Bute feels the team will need to work together to compete with Go-

the only returning starter on the offensive or defensive line. Crabtree, a center/defensive end, was also an honorable mention all-conference pick last season. Helping Crabtree on the line will be returning letter winners and seniors Cory Kaupa, Travis Ripka, Cody Root and Matt Young. The Panther’s other returning letter winners, all seniors, are Evan Ferber (receiver/defensive back), Brian Billing (running back/ defensive back), Kyle Bayerkohler (running back/defensive back), Josh Papinski (fullback/linebacker) and Chandler Winkels (tight end/defensive end). 2010 Schedule Sept. 3 at Blooming Prairie Sept. 10 at United South Central Sept. 17 vs. MCW Sept. 24 at LC-W-M Oct. 1 vs. W-E-M Oct. 8 vs. Maple River Oct. 15 vs. Minnesota Valley Lutheran Oct. 20 a t G-F-W

2010 schedule Aug. 31 at Newman Catholic Sept. 7 at Belmond-Klemme Sept. 14 at Osage Sept. 23 at Central Springs Oct. 11 at Forest City

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season this year with their dedication.” Shanteya Olson and Ashlee Conley round out the rest of the returning letter winners who are expected to contribute to this year’s team. Weber also points out that Melissa Malakowski and Sam Kohnert are two runners who could also really help NRHEG out this season. Weber expects the top conference teams to be Loyola, United South Central/Alden-Conger and Madelia-Truman, and expects Waseca, Fairmont and USC/A-C to contend for the section crown.

2010 Schedule Sept. 2 at Stewartville Invite Sept. 9 at MontgomeryLonsdale Invite Sept.16 at Maple River Invite Sept. 21 at NRHEG Invite Sept. 28 at Blooming Prairie Invitational Sept. 30 at WEM/JWP Oct. 7 at Waseca Invite Oct. 12 at USC-AC Oct. 19 at Maple River Oct. 28 at Blue Earth Area

pher Conference favorite Faribault B.A. and section favorite Martin County West. The Rebels, who finished 14-10-1 last season and 6-5 in the conference, should be able to get the job done with strong leadership. 2010 schedule Sept. 2 at Maple River Sept. 7 vs. LC-W-M Sept. 9 vs. W-E-M Sept. 11 at Mankato West Invite Sept. 16 at Medford Sept. 20 at Albert Lea Sept. 21 vs. Fairbault B.A. Sept. 25 at Truman Tourney Sept. 27 at Saint Clair Sept. 30 at NRHEG Oct. 4 vs. Alden-Conger Oct. 7 at Blooming Prairie Oct. 14 vs. J-W-P


FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

Page 18 — Albert Lea Tribune, Thursday, August 26, 2010

FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

Albert Lea Tribune, Thursday, August 26, 2010 — Page 3

First-year coach Ryan Kelly expects toughness Hardwork will be key for Wolverines By Jon Theuer staff writer

Tribune file photo

Wolverines players celebrate in the endzone after scoring a touchdown last season. This is an example of the toughness that coach Kelly expects.

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GLENVILLE — After finishing with a 4-5 record a year ago, the GlenvilleEmmons football team will look to make even bigger strides this season with first-year coach Ryan Kelly. Kelly and the Wolverines welcome back 13 letter winners from last year’s team and have high hopes. “We have high expectations for the season,” Kelly said. “We have a good group of hardworking kids who had a bit of success last year and are hoping to build on that success.” Among the returnees who will help the Wolverines this season is quarterback Zach Williamson, Landon Hall and Mike Pollinder. The Wolverines like any other team will have holes to fills for the upcoming season. Glenville-Emmons lost two important players from last season’s team to graduation. The Wolverines will have to replace running back Michael Thofson and defensive end Derek Sanderson. Both players played key roles on the team last season.

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Thofson led the Wolverines in rushing yards with 1,187 yards and eight touchdowns last season. Sanderson was a key member of Glenville-Emmons defense as he led the team in tackles with 143. For strengths this season, Kelly points to the toughness of his team as a thing that will help the Wolverines throughout this season. “Our strength will be our toughness,” Kelly said. “We have a bunch of tough kids who have played together and refuse to back down from a challenge.” Among the weaknesses, as any team with a new coach can tell you, will be just how fast the Wolverines are able to pick up the new systems that Kelly will be asking them to run this season. “Our weakness will depend on how well the kids are able to absorb the new systems they are being asked to run,” Kelly said. Kelly also points to his team staying healthy, which will be the key to success for this year’s team. “Like any team, our biggest key for success will be health,” Kelly said. “If we can stay healthy, we

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FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

Page 2 — Albert Lea Tribune, Thursday, August 26, 2010

Jamie A. Kyllo Attorney at Law

Tigers return strongest on the lines Also return starting QB from last season

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Kyle Kriewall sets up behind center last season at Hammer Field. Kriewall returns to the Tigers this season along with much of the offensive line.

Football games are won at the line of scrimmage, and that’s exactly where the Albert Lea Tigers enter the season as the strongest. The Tigers are returning three starters on the offensive line, including guard Caleb Gaudian, a 2009 Big Nine all-conference lineman, who was also fourth on the team in tackles last season at defensive tackle. Joining Gaudian is Alex Nielson, a 6-foot-3-inch 235-pound offensive tackle, who is strong, determined and very smart according to head coach Clay Anderson. The defensive line returns four starters from last season, notably junior Bryce DeBoer, who has

See A.L. football on Page 4 ➧

2010 Fall Sports Preview

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Sports Editor: Andrew Dyrdal Staff writers: Jon Theuer and Adam Harringa Cover/photo design: Andrew Dyrdal Fall Sports Preview Index Page 12: N-K volleyball Page 2: Albert Lea football Page 13: USC football, girls’ tennis Page 4: Albert Lea girls’ tennis Page 14: USC volleyball Page 5: Albert Lea cross country Page 15: NRHEG football Page 6: Albert Lea girls’ soccer, girls’ Page 16: NRHEG volleyball swimming Page 17: NRHEG cross country Page 7: Albert Lea boys’ soccer Page 18: G-E football Page 8: Albert Lea, volleyball Page 19: G-E volleyball Page 9: Lake Mills football Page 20: Alden-Conger football, Page 10: Lake Mills volleyball, CC volleyball Page 11: N-K football, USC CC Front cover

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From left, front row: Alex Nielsen and Kyle Kriewall. Middle row: Caleb Gaudian and Tayler Blake. Back row: Derik Deveries and Marc Kruger

Albert Lea Tribune, Thursday, August 26, 2010 — Page 19

Davis, Wolverines look to turn things around GLENVILLE — After a finishing last year with a 9-14 record and 3-8 in the Southeast Conference, the Glenville-Emmons volleyball team will rely on seven returning varsity letter winners to help turn things around this season. Lisa Ziebell returns for her eighth season as head volleyball coach at GlenvilleEmmons. She is assisted by Craig Rayman and Molly Reiffenberger. Among the returners for the Wolverines is senior Kailey Davis. Davis, who was all conference for a second straight year, was the team’s MVP last season and led the Wolverines in digs. Another senior who will make an impact at the net this year is Kalli VanRyswyk. VanRyswyk led GlenvilleEmmons in blocks and kills last season. Returning senior letter winners Alayna Hall, Emily Belshan, Devin Cooper, Nisha Davis and Robyn Roe all figure to play an important role on this years team. Other returners for the Wolverines that Ziebell figures to have an impact is Jennaca Haines (Jr.), Heather Davies (So.), Jamie Williamson (So.) and Madisen Ziebell (Eighth). While Glenville-Emmons will return seven returning letter winners from last sea-

son, the Wolverines did lose two important seniors from last years squad. Setter April Davies, who was honorable mention all conference last season, and right side hitter Reina Saltou both graduated from last year’s squad. Davies, in particular, will be tough to replace. “April was our setter who was everywhere,” Ziebell said. “She will be hard to replace.” That will leave the Wolverines with a void and a search to find a setter who can fit into coach Ziebell’s system and replace Davies. Among the strengths to this year’s squad will be the return of seven letterwinners, which provides a lot of varsity experience for Glenville-Emmons going forward this season. Among the expectations for this year’s squad, Ziebell said she hopes that her team will be a tough defensive team and also be where they are supposed to be on the court. “We want to come out being a defensive team,” Ziebell said. “We will rely on defense and a very strong emphasis on where you should be on the court.” Ziebell also says that for the Wolverines to be successful this season, they will need to build team unity and find a system that will best suit the team going forward this season. Ziebell sees Mabel-Canton as the conference favorites, while Faribault B.A. figures to be the section favorite.

♦ G-E football

all they can handle, though," Kelly said.

By Jon Theuer staff writer

Continued from page 18

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FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

should be ok." As far as conference and sections favorites, Kelly says its hard not to like the Houstons, Grand Meadows and Lanesboros of the world. Although, Kelly says he's not going to roll over for them either. "We'll work to give them

2010 schedule Sept. 2 vs. Grand Meadow Sept. 10 at Lyle-Pacelli Sept. 17 vs. LeRoy-Ostrander Sept. 24 at Lanesboro Oct. 1 vs. Spring Grove Oct. 8 at Mabel-Canton Oct. 15 at Houston Oct. 20 at Grand Meadow

Love the Wolverines? Follow them all season long

Tribune file photo

Members of the Glenville-Emmons volleyball team set up a spike against Medford last season. The Wolverines return six varisty letter winners in 2010 and hope to build off a 9-14 record with tough defense. 2010 schedule Aug. 31 vs. Spring Grove Sept. 7 vs. Lyle-Pacelli Sept. 13 vs. Southland Sept. 16 at Lanesboro

Sept. 18 at Waterville Sept. 20 v s. Alden-Conger Sept. 23 at Grand Meadow Sept. 27 v s. Hope Lutheran Sept. 28 v s. LeRoy-Ostrander Sept. 30 at Lyle-Pacelli

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Oct. 2 at LeRoy-Ostrander Oct. 7 vs. Houston Oct. 11 at Mabel-Canton Oct. 14 at Grand Meadow Oct. 18 vs. Mabel-Canton Oct. 19 at LeRoy-Ostrander

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Page 20 — Albert Lea Tribune, Thursday, August 26, 2010

Knights entering rebuilding mode New coach joins young, inexperienced team

By Andrew Dyrdal sports editor

By Jon Theuer staff writer ALDEN — With only five letter winners returning from last year’s squad, the Alden-Conger volleyball team will be fielding a young team this season. Along with the inexperienced players, the Knights also have a new head coach in Sarah Attig. Attig coached ninth grade volleyball at A-C last year and will make the jump to varsity coach this fall. The Knights finished 5-12 overall last season and will look to improve on a record that saw them go 1-10 overall in the conference. The returnees from last years team are Emily Bremseth, middle hitter, Hayley Knutson, middle hitter/back row, Jessica Anderson, left side hitter, Ariel Keller, left side hitter and Allison Songstad, setter. With all the the inexperience on this season’s team, Attig says that she will be experimenting and will move people around until she finds a solid combination. “We are young so this is somewhat of a building year,” Attig said. “We will be trying different lineups and moving girls around until we find a solid combination.” Attig said that one of the youngest players on the team figures to be a big part of the team this season. “We have a young setter, Alli

Tribune file photo

The Alden-Conger volleyball team takes on Blooming Prarie last season. Songstad, who lettered as a freshman and returns this year looking even better.” Attig said. Attig mentioned two things that will be key to the success of the Alden-Conger volleyball this season. “Passing and serve receive,” Attig said. “We need to get the ball to our setter so we can utilize all our hitters in the front row.” Alden-Conger opens the season on Aug. 31 against Randolph in Alden.

2010 schedule Aug. 31 vs. Randolph Sept. 7 vs. Medford Tigers Sept. 9 at Le Center Sept. 13 vs. Madelia Sept. 16 vs. Maple River Sept. 18 at Southland Sept. 20 at Glenville-Emmons Sept. 21 at Nicollet Sept. 28 at Truman Sept. 30 vs. Cleveland Oct. 2 at Leroy Ostrander Invite Oct. 4 at United South Central Oct. 5 at LC-W-M Oct. 7 vs. Saint Clair Oct. 11 vs. Blooming Prairie Oct. 12 at Martin County West Oct. 19 vs. Martin Luther

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ALDEN — On the brink of a new season, the Alden-Conger Knights welcome a new football coach, Nick Willaert. Willaert’s team will be led by four seniors: 6-foot-1-inch quarterback Michael Reyerson, running back Michael Bernal, lineman Jim Hanson and 6-footfour-inch defensive lineman Derek Fisher. During his first season, Willaert expects his team to play hard and let the wins and losses take care of themselves. “I expect to improve as a team every week,” he said. “For us to compete in every game from the first whistle to the last.” Willaert will be joined by assistant coaches Paul Reyerson and Mitch Klienschrodt, all who expect the team to succeed in all facets of the game. Willaert describes the Knights’ keys to success as, “execution of the offense, defense and special teams.” According to Willaert, the team’s strengths are toughness and flexibility, while the team’s weakness is lack in numbers. 2010 schedule Sept. 2 at Edgerton/Ellsworth Sept. 10 at W-W-G Sept. 17 vs. Truman Sept. 24 at Hills-Beaver Creek Oct. 8 at J-W-P Oct. 15 vs. Cleveland Oct. 20 vs. Nicollet

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