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Page 20 • WINTER SPORTS PREVIEW 2010 • Albert Lea Tribune • Friday, December 10, 2010

Knights enter season young, talented By Jon Theuer and Andrew Dyrdal

tribsports@albertleatribune.com

ALDEN — With the loss of three starters from last year’s team, the Alden-Conger Knights girls’ basketball team will field a young team this season. The Knights lost Kenzie Martin, Allyssa Mareas and team Most Valuable Player and All-Conference performer Katie Hallman to graduation. Alden-Conger does return two letterwinners from last season in senior Emily Bremseth and sophomore Ariel Keller. Alden-Conger coach Gary Newman says the expectations for this season are simple: improve. “We want to improve in all areas of the game,” Newman said. Newman also said that he has a lot of girls out for the team this season, but that this year’s team will be very young. Newman points to his team’s defense as a key for the Knights to have success this season. Newman expects Lake CrystalWellcome Memorial and Nicollet to be among the conference favorites this season. The Knights have already gotten off to a fast start this season, opening the year 2-0 with wins over Le Center and Grand Meadow. Ninth-grader Karina Skov has been one of the team’s early surprises. Skov finished with a team-high 19 points with six rebounds and eight steals in the Knights’ season-opening win over Le Center. Keller has averaged 17 points in the Knights first two games.

Knights look for better finish this season By Andrew Dyrdal

tribsports@albertleatribune.com

ALDEN — Hoping to build off of last season’s 8-18 record, the AldenConger Knights boys’ basketball team will rely on its six seniors to help lead the team to a better finish down the stretch. The Knights return seniors Michael Bernal, Michael Reyerson, Juan Martinez, Derek Nelson, Tyler Adix and Nathaniel Back. The team lost, however, 2010 Tribune second team All-Area player Travis Marth, who led the team 11.4 points per game last season and was the Knights’ go-to scorer. 2010-11 schedule

Submitted photo

Alden-Conger’s Ariel Keller (23) shoots a layup against Le Center on Nov. 30. Keller is averaging 17 points per game this season. 010-11 schedule Nov. 30 Alden-Conger 56, Le Center 54 Dec. 2 Alden-Conger 51, Grand Meadow 36 Dec. 7 at Cleveland, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 10 vs. G-H-EC, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16 at Truman, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 21 vs. LeRoy-Ostrander, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 27 at J-W-P, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 6 vs. Medford Jan. 7 vs. Saint Clair, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 10 at Nicollet, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 13 vs. Martin Luther, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 17 at J-W-P, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 20 vs. Martin County West, 6 p.m. Jan. 21 vs. United South Central Jan. 24 at Blooming Prairie, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 25 vs. Maple River, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 28 vs. LCWM, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 31 at Glenville-Emmons, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 1 at Madelia, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 3 vs. G-H-EC, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 7 vs. Lyle/Pacelli, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9 at Le Center, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14 vs. Cleveland, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 17 at G-H-EC, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 28 at Grand Meadow, TBA Jan. 3 vs. Glenville-Emmons, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 4 vs. Grand Meadow, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 11 vs. Truman, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 14 at Saint Clair, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 18 vs. Nicollet, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 20 vs. MCW, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 21 at Martin Luther, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 24 vs. J-W-P, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 25 at Blooming Prairie, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 27 at Maple River, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 4 at LCWM, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 8 vs. Madelia, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11 vs. Medford, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 14 at Valley Conference Tournament, TBA Feb. 21 at LeRoy-Ostrander, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 25 at United South Central, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 28 vs. Mankato Loyola, 7:30 p.m.

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Tigers, Huskies battle for Big 9 title, Page 2 Carlson leads Tigers boys’ hockey, Page 4 Wolverines have high expectations, Page 18

2010

Friday, December 10, 2010


Page 2 • WINTER SPORTS PREVIEW 2010 • Albert Lea Tribune • Friday, December 10, 2010

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Tigers (again) challenge Huskies for titles

By Jon Theuer

Dalton Westerlund is No. 4 at 152, senior Corey Hansen is No. 3 at 160, senior Carter Kortan is No. 6 at 171 and senior Conner Kortan is No. The Albert Lea Tigers and 8 at 189. Owatonna Huskies wrestling Owatonna has five wrestlers teams are, once again, the in the top 10 and four in the top frontrunners in the Big Nine five. Conference and Section 1AAA Entering the season unranked this season. but making a name for themThe Huskies enter the season selves around the state is Albert ranked No. 3 in the state while Carter Lea’s Caleb Gaudian and Alex the Tigers are No. 6, and both Kortan Nielsen. teams have a number of indiIn the Tigers first match of viduals ranked in the state’s top the season at 215, Gaudian 10. pinned all three of his oppoAmong them is Albert Lea nents in the first period. sophomore Lucas Hansen, a At heavyweight, Nielsen upset sixth-place state finisher last Centennial’s Zach Vine, the No. season, and currently ranked 4 ranked wrestler in the class, No. 3 at 112 pounds behind the and will likely give Century’s Huskies’ Nick Scheffert, who’s Cory Sam Gaul a run for the Big Nine arguably the top wrestler in the Hansen championship. Big Nine. With less depth than other Tigers’ sophomore Garrett Wangsness ranks No. 10 in 119, junior seasons, the Tigers wrestling program Trey Hable is No. 7 at 145, junior 4Challenge, Page 19

After being defeated in the second round of the Section 1A playoffs last season, expectations for this year’s Glenville-Emmons Wolverines girls’ basketball team are high. The Wolverines have eight seniors this season and return a majority of their players from a year ago. Among the returning seniors are Kalli Van Ryswyk, Kailey Davis, Emily Belshan, Alayna Hall, Devin Cooper, Robyn Roe and Tam Wallin. Van Ryswyk, who provided an intimidating post presence a year ago, will be relied upon to do the same this season. Van Ryswyk is 50 points away from her 1,000th career point. Also returning is Davis, the team’s MVP last season. “I have huge expectations for these seniors,” G-E coach Lisa Ziebell said. “They know they have skills and they believe in themselves and their teammates.” Ziebell also expects contributions

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Senior-rich Wolverines have high expectations

Owatonna ranked No. 3, Albert Lea No. 6 entering season

Index

904 E. Plaza St Albert Lea, MN

Albert Lea Tribune • Friday, December 10, 2010 • WINTER SPORTS PREVIEW 2010 • Page 19

Dr. John Enger Podiatrist

Page 2: Albert Lea wrestling Page 4: Albert Lea boys’ hockey Page 5: Albert Lea girls’ hockey Page 6: Albert Lea boys’ basketball Page 7: Albert Lea girls’ basketball Page 8: Albert Lea boys’ swimming Page 9: Lake Mills/N-K wrestling Page 10: Lake Mills boys’, girls’ basketball Page 11: Northwood-Kensett boys’ basketball Page 12: Northwood-Kensett girls’ basketball Page 13: USC boys’ basketball Page 14: USC wrestling, girls’ basketball Page 15: NRHEG boys’ basketball Page 16: NRHEG girls’ basketball Page 17: NRHEG wrestling Page 18: Glenville-Emmons boys’ basketball Page 19: Glenville-Emmons girls’ basketball Page 20: Alden-Conger boys’, girls’ basketball

Derek Sullivan/Owatonna People’s Press

Owatonna’s Nick Scheffert, above, will compete with Albert Lea’s Lucas Hansen for a Big Nine title this season.

Big Nine Preview Projected champion:

Albert Lea Tigers Projected standings: Team

2009-10

1. Albert Lea 2. Owatonna 3. Mankato West 4. Faribault 5. Austin 6. Rochester Mayo 7. Roch. John Marshall 8. Rochester Century 9. Mankato East 10. Winona

18-11 52-5 15-18 10-10 8-12 7-8 7-18 2-18 1-21 1-13

from juniors Jennaca Haines and Morgan Schumaker along with freshman Kayla Woodside. Although the Wolverines return experience, they did lose two key players from last season. Reina Saltou and Megan Rasmusson both graduated from last year’s squad. Saltou provided three point shooting and was a pressure player for Glenville-Emmons last season, while Megan Rasmusson was first off the bench and provided great leadership. Among the strengths of this years team, Ziebell points to a great understanding of the offense and the ability to rely on each other. For weaknesses, Ziebell says that the lack of experience on the bench early on in the season could give the Wolverines troubles. 2010-11 schedule Nov. 30 Glenville-Emmons 65, Lyle/Pacelli 62 Dec. 2 Spring Grove 59, Glenville-Emmons 18 Dec. 10 vs. Hope Lutheran, 7:15 p.m. Dec. 14 at Mabel-Canton, 7:15 p.m. Dec. 16 vs. Immanuel Lutheran, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 20 at Rochester Home School, 7:30 p.m.

Jon Theuer/Albert Lea Tribune

Glenville-Emmons’ Kailey Davis (3) is one of eight seniors returning to the Wolverines girls’ basketball team. She is also the team’s reigning Most Valuable Player. Jan. 4 vs. Grand Meadow, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 6 at LeRoy-Ostrander, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 7 vs. Mabel-Canton, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 10 vs. Lyle/Pacelli, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 11 vs. Immanuel Lutheran, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 14 vs. Lanesboro, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 18 at Schaeffer Academy, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 21 at Houston, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 27 at Northwood-Kensett, 6 p.m.

Jan. 28 at Hope Lutheran, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 31 vs. Alden-Conger, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 1 at Grand Meadow, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 4 vs. Spring Grove, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 8 at Lake Mills, 6 p.m. Feb. 11 at Lanesboro, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 15 vs. Le Roy-Ostrander, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 18 vs. Houston, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 19 vs. Norwood-Young America, 2 p.m.

Challenge: Tigers will rely on seniors

Wrestler of the Year

Continued from Page 2

Chad Zastrow, Century Top of the class Projected Big Nine champions 103 — Dakota Wangsness (AL) 112 — Nick Scheffert (OHS) 119 — Evan Green (OHS) 125 — Ben Anderson (OHS) 130 — Scott Summer (OHS) 135 — Jake Hanson (Mayo) 140 — Dalton Westerlund (AL) 145 — Trey Hable (AL) 152 — Dalton Westerlund (AL) 160 — Chad Zastrow (Century) 171 — Carter Kortan (AL) 189 — Coyte Kuefner (OHS) 215 — Logan Barrett (OHS) HWT — Sam Gaul (Century)

Brie Cohen/Albert Lea Tribune

Albert Lea’s Cory Hansen wrestles an opponent at last year’s Class AAA state tournament at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

will rely on its seniors who collectively won 17 of 18 individual matches at the team’s first tournament on Dec. 4. The Tigers’ biggest loss from last season is the departure of Trevor Rasmussen, three-time state tournament place winner. The Tigers do return six All-Conference performers from last season, though, and will challenge for a state tournament berth if they stay healthy. Albert Lea could face Owatonna as early as Jan. 7 at The Clash National High School Wrestling Duels in Rochester. Otherwise, the Tigers and Huskies are set to square off on Jan. 13 at Albert Lea High School. The Tigers will also face some of the top teams in Class AA this season as they host the No.3-ranked KassonMantorville Komets on Dec. 11 and No. 6 Adrian Area on Feb. 5. The Tigers have already faced top 10 talent this season as they knocked off Prior Lake, the No. 8-ranked team in Class AAA, in their first match of the season. As a team, the Tigers look to get

back to the state tournament for the first time since the 2008-09 season. Albert Lea has fallen to Apple Valley in the state finals in their last two appearances. Apple Valley entered this season ranked No. 1 and has nine individual wrestlers ranked No. 1 in the state. For another chance at topping Apple Valley, the Tigers’ seniors will have to continue winning most of their matches. 2010-11 schedule

Dakota Wangsness

Trey Hable

Dec. 4 Albert Lea 37, Prior Lake 23 Dec. 4 Albert Lea 47, Centennial 13 Dec. 4 Albert Lea 52, Sloughton, Wis. 13 Dec. 9 vs. Rochester Century Dec. 11 vs. Kasson-Mantorville Dec. 23 vs. Rochester Mayo Jan. 6 at Mankato West Jan. 13 vs. Owatonna Jan. 20 at Faribault Jan. 27 vs. Rochester John Marshall Jan. 29 at Northfield Feb. 3 at Mankato East Feb. 4 vs. Coon Rapids Feb. 5 vs. Adrian Area Feb. 10 at Austin


Page 18 • WINTER SPORTS PREVIEW 2010 • Albert Lea Tribune • Friday, December 10, 2010

Albert Lea Tribune • Friday, December 10, 2010 • WINTER SPORTS PREVIEW 2010 • Page 3

Talented Wolverines hope for 1st Southeast title

Coach: ‘I expect us to be playing for something special’ By Jon Theuer

tribsports@albertleatribune.com

GLENVILLE — After graduating his largest class in nine years as a head coach, Glenville-Emmons Wolverines basketball coach Dan Fredrickson thinks his team can take a step forward to something that could be special. With six returning letterwinners from last year’s team and a solid group of players making the jump to the varsity squad this season, Fredrickson says he expects his team to be able to play for the Southeast Conference Championship this season. “I expect us to be able to contend for our first ever Southeast Conference Championship,” Fredrickson said. “It’s a huge goal, but I would like to see us secure a No. 1 seed in our subsection. When the section gets down to its final four — two from the east and two from the west — I fully expect us to be playing for something really special.” Among the reasons that have Fredrickson thinking big is his six returning letterwinners from a year ago. Among the six returning are Peter Hansen, Ryan Dempewolf, Landon Hall, Tyler Woodside, Andrew Lau and Collin Johnson. All six are seniors this season. Hansen was Glenville-Emmons co-Most Valuable Player last season and racked up All-Conference and All-Area honors as well. Woodside also earned honorable mention AllConference last season.

Fredrickson also points to juniors Tyler Belshan, Perry Kirsch, Tommy Kirsch, Trenton Thomas and sophomores Wyatt Madson and Derek Olson as key athletes for the season. “These six players were part of an undefeated B-squad last season,” Fredrickson said. “All six will be counted upon to play quality minutes every night. The depth they provide will be the difference maker on many nights.” All though the Wolverines are ecstatic with all the returning players, Fredrickson did graduate seven seniors from last year’s team. Gone from last year’s team are Derek Sanderson, Michael Thofson, Michael Adams, Jon Mitgate, Kyle Thompson, Patrick Larson and Josh Wallin. Sanderson was a co-MVP of the team last season and was All-Conference and All-Area, while Thofson was an All-Conference honorable mention. “We will miss Sanderson in the post and Mitgate’s offense,” Fredrickson said. “Thofson and Adams were excellent defenders as well as team leaders every night. Those guys will be missed.” Among the strengths of this year’s team, Fredrickson points to experience, defense, offense and the team’s overall shooting. Fredrickson also said that his team needs to focus on one game and one play at a time this season. “When you have such high expectations, it can be difficult to manage them throughout the season,” Fredrickson said. “You can’t buy into your hype. It always need to be one game and one play at a time.” Fredrickson points to Lanesboro, Spring Grove and Glenville-Emmons

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GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR 2010-11 SEASONS!

Jon Theuer/Albert Lea Tribune

Glenville-Emmons’ Tyler Woodside catches the ball with his back to an Alden-Conger defender. Woodside is one of the team’s top interiors players. as conference favorites, while he says Glenville-Emmons, Goodhue, Bethlehem Academy, Rushford-Peterson, Fillmore Central and Lanesboro should all be in contention for the section this season. 2010-11 schedule Dec. 2 Glenville-Emmons 64, Spring Grove 47 Dec. 9 at Immanuel Lutheran, 7:15 p.m. Dec. 10 at Hope Lutheran, 7:15 p.m. Dec. 13 at Lyle/Pacelli, 7:15 p.m. Dec. 14 vs. Mabel-Canton, 7:15 p.m. Dec. 20 at Rochester Home School, 7:15 p.m. Dec. 21 vs. Schaeffer Academy, 7:15 p.m.

Jan. 3 at Alden-Conger, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 7 at Mabel-Canton, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 11 vs. Grand Meadow, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 13 vs. Immanuel Lutheran, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 14 at Lanesboro, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 17 at Le Roy-Ostrander, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 21 vs. Houston, 7:15 P.M. Jan. 25 vs. Lyle/Pacelli, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 27 at Northwood-Kensett, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 28 vs. Hope Lutheran, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 31 at Schaeffer Academy, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 1 vs. Cannon Valley Lutheran, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 4 vs. Spring Grove, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 8 at Lake Mills, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 11 vs. Lanesboro, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 18 at Houston, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 19 vs. Norwood-Young America, 4 p.m. Feb. 22 at Grand Meadow, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 24 vs. LeRoy-Ostrander, 7:15 p.m.

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Page 4 • WINTER SPORTS PREVIEW 2010 • Albert Lea Tribune • Friday, December 10, 2010

Big Nine Preview Projected champion:

Faribault Falcons Projected standings: Team

2009-10

1. Faribault 2. Rochester Century 3. Albert Lea 4. Roch. John Marshall 5. Rochester Mayo 6. Mankato West 7. Owatonna 8. Winona 9. Mankato East 10. Austin

20-7-0 18-8-0 13-13-0 7-19-0 11-14-1 8-14-4 17-8-1 11-15-0 9-17-0

Player of the Year

Eric Carlson, Albert Lea All-Conference team Eric Carlson, C, Jr., Albert Lea Drew Weber, F, Sr., Mankato West Sean Lipinski, F, Sr., Faribault Nick Raehsler. D, Sr., Century Ville Rantanen, F, Sr., Mankato West

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Panthers look to rebound off down year

Nystrom moves to 3rd alltime while his offense thrives

NRHEG returns 14 letter winners, strong junior class

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By Jon Theuer

tribsports@albertleatribune.com

LeBlanc didn't wrestle in the section last season because of illness, but showed flashes of being very good last season and will be counted upon for a better year this year, according to Cyr. Cyr also points to a pair of freshman in Dillion Parpart and Nathan Krohn that will need to improve and contribute to the overall balance of team if they are to improve on their 2009-10 season. Cyr feels that Waterville-ElysianMorristown/Janesville-WaldorfPemberton are the clear favorites in the Gopher Conference, while Jackson County Central, the defending Class A state champions, are seen as the section favorites. Cyr also says that NRHEG will spend a part of the season figuring out which lineup will give the Panthers their best chance of winning this coming season. “As is usually the case at NRHEG, we will spend a part of the season sorting out what will be our best lineup,” Cyr said. “We’re hoping to be a factor in the Section 2A team race in February.”

tribsports@albertleatribune.com

In his 38th season as the Albert Lea boys’ hockey head coach Roy Nystrom has a lot of numbers to crunch. His 617 career coaching wins ranks third all-time nationally and Nystrom has more wins than anyone who has ever coached in the state of Minnesota. Nystrom also has one of the most potent goal-scorers in the state in Eric Carlson and an offense that currently ranks second in the Big Nine Conference in goals scored. He hopes for a lot of lopsided victories this season, and if the Tigers continue their hot start, he’ll get them. After a slow start to their 2009-10 campaign, the Tigers finished the season by winning nine of their final 12 regular season games and moving up to third place in the Big Nine. The Tigers have gotten off to a better start this season with a blowout win over Waseca and 4-3 victory on the road against a talented Northfield team. Albert Lea has received a lot of offensive production from juniors Carlson and Levi Hacker who lead the team with eight and seven points each, respectively. Goaltenders Nick Dulas (Sr.) and Griffen Wangen (Jr.) have each notched wins in their only starts in front of the net. The two have combined for a 86.2 save percentage and a 2 1/2 goal against average. Nystrom said one of his team’s biggest strengths is its work ethic, and he is looking for seniors leadership from center Dillon Stolt along with Luke Cheever, Dave Enstad, J.T. Bellrich-

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Albert Lea Tribune • Friday, December 10, 2010 • WINTER SPORTS PREVIEW 2010 • Page 17

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Dillon Stolt (10) brings the puck up ice in the Tigers season-opening game against Waseca on Nov. 30. The Tigers beat the Bluejays 10-2, and Stolt had a goal and an assist. ard, Tyler Osmundson and Darian and are giving up just 2 1/2. Weigel. 2010-2011 schedule The Tigers also return five letterNov. 30 Albert Lea 10, Waseca 2 winning juniors in Carlson, Hacker, Dec. 2 Albert Lea 4, Northfield 3 Cody Haaland, Brady Falk and Auston Dec. 7 at Rochester John Marshall, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9 vs. Rochester Century, 7:30 p.m. Larson. Dec. 11 vs. Rochester Mayo, 7:30 p.m. Standing in the Tigers way of a state Dec. 14 at New Prague, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16 at Winona, 7:30 p.m. tournament berth is the Rochester Dec. 21 vs. Austin, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 4 vs. Rochester Lourdes, 7:30 p.m. Lourdes Eagles, an early favorite to Jan. 7 vs. Virginia/Mt Iron-Buhl, 7:30 p.m. win Section 1A. Jan. 8 vs. Hibbing/Chisholm, 3 p.m. 11 at Rochester Century, 7:30 p.m. Nystrom said that to put themselves Jan. Jan. 13 at Mankato West, 7:30 p.m. in position to make a run at state, the Jan. 15 vs. Red Wing, 2 p.m. Jan. 20 vs. Owatonna, 7:30 p.m. Tigers will have to make up for inexJan. 25 vs. Winona, 7:30 p.m. perience in goal and on defense by im- Jan. 27 at Faribault, 7:30 p.m. 1 at Owatonna, 7:30 p.m. proving on last year’s goal production. Feb. Feb. 8 vs. Mankato West, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11 at Mankato East/Loyola, 7:30 p.m. Through two games this season, the 15 at Rochester Mayo, 7:30 p.m. Tigers have averaged 7 goals per game Feb. Feb. 17 at Austin, 7:30 p.m.

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NEW RICHLAND — After suffering a 6-12 overall record and 2-2 dual meet record in the Gopher Conference last season, the New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva Panthers wrestling team look to rebound this season. The Panthers return 14 letterwinners from last season including junior David Lassahn, David who made it to state last Lassahn season. “The Panthers suffered through a terrible dual season in 2009-10, and one of their goals is to improve that mark,” Panthers head coach Paul Cyr said. “NRHEG will look to better Dustin overall balance and the Esplan continued development of their junior class in an effort to improve on last year's win total.” The Panthers did lose David Lindell to graduation. Lindell finished third overall in class 2A at 215 pounds last season and left NRHEG with 131 victories. Cyr says that returners David Lassahn, Jacob Staloch, Dustin Esplan

2010-11 schedule

Brie Cohen/Albert Lea Tribune

David Lindell, above, is the biggest loss for the NRHEG wrestling team. Lindell, a 2009 graduate, finished third at state last season. Staloch bounced back from a and Brandon LeBlanc will be called serious injury as a freshman and put upon to carry much of the leadership role this season. together a very good sophomore campaign, while Esplan finished third in Lassahn qualified for state last the section last year and finished with season and finished second in Section a 18-9 record. 2A.

Dec. 9 at WEM/JWP, 6 p.m. Dec. 11 at Saint James, 10 a.m. Dec. 16 vs. Saint Clair, Blue Earth Area, 5 p.m. Dec. 17 at Redwood Valley, 4 p.m. Dec. 21 at MCW, 5 p.m. Jan. 6 at Medford, 6 p.m. Jan. 13 at Blooming Prairie, 6 p.m. Jan. 15 at Stewartville, 10 a.m. Jan. 20 at Mankato West, 7 p.m. Jan. 22 at Hutchinson, 10:30 a.m. Jan. 28 at Waseca, 7 p.m. Jan. 29 at Kasson-Mantorville, 10 a.m. Feb. 3 at Kenyon-Wanamingo, 5 p.m. Feb. 5 at Lakeville North, 10 a.m. Feb. 10 vs. USC, ML/LE, 6:30 p.m.

Experience: Tigers could be ‘great rebounding team’ Continued from Page 6

eff, who shot 33 percent last season from behind the arc. The Tigers also lost starting point court defensive team and able to give guard Damian Montes who averaged teams a few more looks than we did 11 points per game in Albert Lea’s last season,” Kruescher said. final five games last season. The Tigers’ size also provides Kruescher said that the Tigers a variety of options on offense. plan on pushing the ball up “We have more than a few the floor more, especially off of guys who can play at least three defensive rebounds. different positions on the floor,” “We’ll have to learn how to atKruescher said. “We can put a tack and not get careless with pretty long team out there at the basketball,” he said. “We’re times if we need to, or we can Alik going to have to continue to go with four to five guards out Smed work hard on having consistent there at the same time and outside jumpers.” shoot from long range.” Kruescher also expects the Tigers to But the Tigers’ long range game be a “great rebounding team” due to may have taken a step back this seatheir size and athleticism. son after the graduation of the team’s New Prague is the early Section top three-point shooter, Colby Strila-

1AAA favorite this season, returning four starters after earning the No. 2 seed last year. Winona will also contend for a state tournament berth. 2010-11 schedule Dec. 7 at Red Wing, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9 at Rochester Century, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 11 at Rochester Mayo, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 17 vs. Mankato West, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 28 vs. Hayfield, 10 a.m. Jan. 4 at Owatonna, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 6 vs. New Prague, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 7 vs. Faribault, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 11 at Rochester John Marshall, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 14 vs. Mankato East, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 18 vs. Austin, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 20 vs. Rochester Century, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 28 at Winona, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 3 at Mankato West, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 8 vs. Owatonna, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11 at Faribault, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 15 vs. Rochester John Marshall, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 17 at Mankato East, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 22 vs. Rochester Mayo, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 25 at Austin, 7:30 p.m. Mar. 1 at Waseca, 7:30 p.m. Mar. 4 vs. Winona, 7:30 p.m.

Tribune file photo

Aaron Klatt (11) brings the ball up the floor last season against Mankato East.


Page 16 • WINTER SPORTS PREVIEW 2010 • Albert Lea Tribune • Friday, December 10, 2010

Albert Lea Tribune • Friday, December 10, 2010 • WINTER SPORTS PREVIEW 2010 • Page 5

Tigers have rallied past 3-loss start

Always here for you.

...even during a power outage!

The Panthers’ Anna Schlaak watches as a member of the United South Central basketball team shoots the ball.

Tribune File Photo

Former coach returns to Panthers Schultz inherits talented NRHEG girls’ basketball team By Jon Theuer

tribsports@albertleatribune.com

NEW RICHLAND — A new but very familiar face will be roaming the bench this season for the New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva Panthers girls’ basketball team. After former head coach Mindy Sparby accepted a new job in Belle Plaine, John Schultz was hired to take her place. Schultz coached the NRHEG girls’ basketball team from 1992-1999 and will be assisted by Grant Berg this season. Schultz inherits a team that has several returning letter-winners, while the Panthers also lost some important players from last season’s team. Gone from last years teams are: Alyssa Hagen, Kate Quam and Alyssa Kerkoff. Hagen was a four-year starter for the Panthers, while Quam has played since she was a sophomore. Alyssa Kerkoff is a senior this year but moved away over the summer.

While the losses sting, the cupboard is not bare for Schultz as the Panthers welcome four letterwinners back from last year’s squad. NRHEG returns senior Kristina Cole, junior Anna Schlaak and freshmen Carlie Wagner and Jade Schultz. Schlaak and Cole both earned allconference honors last season. Along with the four returning letterwinners, Schultz also points to junior Tori Raimann and sophomore Katie Cole as players that he expects to help the team this season. Among the expectations for the Panthers this season is to contend for a conference crown and make a run in the section tournament. “We expect to keep the tradition in place,” Schultz said. “We hope to contend for the conference title and make a run in the section.” Among the strengths for the Panthers this season, Schultz says he expects chemistry, shooting, rebounding and the overall speed of the team to be positives going forward. “Chemistry, these girls play well together, they are a close knit group,”

Schultz said. “We are fast, shoot well from the perimeter and are tough on the boards.” Schultz also says for his team to have a successful year, they will need to play their fast break game and improve on their defense. As for conference favorites, Schultz points to United South Central and Faribault Bethlehem Academy, while he says Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial, St. Peter, Blue Earth Area and USC will be among the section favorites this season.

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2010-11 schedule Nov. 30 Le Sueur-Henderson 74, NRHEG 66 Dec. 7 vs. Mankato Loyola, 7:15 p.m. Dec. 10 vs. Blue Earth, 6 p.m. Dec. 14 at Bethlehem Academy, 7:15 p.m. Dec. 17 vs. USC, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 21 vs. Blooming Prairie, 7:15 p.m. Dec. 29 at Saint Peter, TBD Dec. 30 at Saint Peter, TBD Jan. 4 at J-W-P, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 6 vs. W-E-M, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 8 at Hayfield, 4 p.m. Jan. 11 vs. Medford, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 14 at Randolph, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 17 at Maple River, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 18 at Waseca, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 21 at Mankato Loyola, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 25 vs. Bethlehem Academy, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 27 at USC, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 1 at Blooming Prairie, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 4 vs. J-W-P, 6 p.m. Feb. 8 vs. Jordan, 7 p.m. Feb. 11 vs. W-E-M, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 15 at Medford, 6 p.m. Feb. 17 vs. Randolph, 7:15 p.m.

Tribune Albert Lea

Tigers have rebounded after 1-goal losses

Second Thoughts

By Andrew Dyrdal

tribsports@albertleatribune.com

With just three returning seniors letterwinners, the Albert Lea girls’ hockey team will rely on speed to overcome experience and depth issues. The Tigers opened the season with three one-goal losses, two of which came in overtime, but rebounded with three straight wins. “This season will be a learning experience for the team with a new coaching staff implementing new systems and expectations,” Tigers head coach Paul Willet said. “We expect to give our best effort in each game and will be very difficult to beat during the second half of the season.” The Tigers already seem tough to beat. In their last three games, Albert Lea has outscored their opponents 14-3, allowing just one goal in each game. Eighth-grader Sydney Conley has been steady in goal with a 1.46 goal against average and a 92 1/2 save percentage. She has 110 saves in 119 shots on goal. Willet succeeded Brian Blatti this season as the team’s head coach, and said the team’s goal is getting better every day and gaining a better understanding of the game. The Tigers return 12 letterwinners this season, though four are in ninth grade or younger. Senior returners include Lauren Draayer, Sophia Jepson and Kaley Waldemar. Through six games, Jepson has six points for the Tigers, including a twogoal outburst in the season-opener against Mankato East. Junior Natasha Moyer and ninthgrader Anna Anderson both lead the team with eight goals apiece. The Tigers also return letter-winning juniors Mariah Leach, Samantha Stanley and Kelsey Thomas, sophomore Megan Pulley and ninth-graders Sydney Overgaard and MacKenzie Waldemar. In order to get to the Class A state tournament, Willet believes his team will have to go through Section 1A favorites Faribault, Red Wing and New Prague. The Tigers have already beaten

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Albert Lea’s Sam Stanley shoots the puck this season against Mankato East at City Arena. After losing their opening three games, the Tigers have won three straight. one of those teams and were barely knocked off New Prague. Willet keeps pointing to the second half of the season, though, saying the Tigers will be a different team the second time around their Big Nine schedule.

GO  TIGERS!

Big Nine Preview Projected champion:

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Projected standings:

GO TIGERS!

2010-11 schedule Nov. 11 Mankato East 3, Albert Lea 2 Nov. 16 Northfield 2, Albert Lea 1 Nov. 18 New Prague 3, Albert Lea 2 Nov. 23 Albert Lea 2, Faribault 1 Nov. 20 Albert Lea 7, Waseca 1 Dec. 2 Albert Lea 5, Austin 1 Dec. 7 at Rochester Century, 5:30 p.m. Dec. 9 vs. Rochester Mayo, 5:30 p.m. Dec. 14 at Mankato West, 5:30 p.m. Dec. 16 vs. Winona, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 18 vs. Red Wing, 1 p.m. Dec. 27-29 Austin Invite Jan. 4 at Rochester John Marshall, 5:30 p.m. Jan. 6 at Rochester Mayo, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 10 vs. Dodge County, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 11 at Austin, 7 p.m. Jan. 13 vs. Mankato West, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 18 vs. Rochester Century, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 20 at Owatonna, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 25 at Winona, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 27 vs. Faribault, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 1 at Mankato East, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 3 vs. Rochester John Marshall, 7:30 p.m.

Team

2009-10

1. Owatonna 2. Rochester Mayo 3. Mankato East 4. Faribault 5. Roch. John Marshall 6. Albert Lea 7. Mankato West 8. Winona 9. Rochester Century 10. Austin

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Page 6 • WINTER SPORTS PREVIEW 2010 • Albert Lea Tribune • Friday, December 10, 2010

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Faribault’s Mark Emge, above, is one of the top players in the Big Nine this year.

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Albert Lea’s Kyle Ooms spins toward the basket last season during a game against Winona. Ooms averaged 10 points and 7 1/2 rebounds during 2009-10 campaign.

Tigers will rely on height, experience this season Albert Lea returns top rebounder and 6 seniors

and lead the program like seniors are expected to.” A non-senior expected to make an impact this year is 6-foot-4-inch In his second season as the Albert junior forward Kyle Ooms. Lea Tigers boys’ basketball coach, Ooms was the Tigers’ second-leading Lucas Kreuscher returns five of his scorer last season and top athletes and hopes top rebounder. He to build off last season’s averaged 10 points per 4-20 record. game and 7 1/2 rebounds Leading the team per per game, provding will be seniors Aaron Kreuscher with a hardKlatt, Alik Smed, Silas Austin at Albert Lea working post presence Randall, Cameron Solie, Jan. 18: The rival capable of making plays Josh Eisenbraun and Packers play Albert around the basket. Marc Kruger. Lea for the first time Randall, a 6-footKlatt and Smed are this season. Both 4-inch forward also both versatile, 6-footteams will be looking provides the Tigers with 4-inch gaurds capable to break into the top frontcourt height. He, of bringing the ball up half of the Big Nine. along with 6-foot-2-inch the floor or posting up guard Solie complete defenders on the block. a lengthy group that They will be able to create should excel on defense if they can get matchup problems and will be difficult for opposing coaches to scheme around. their long arms into passing lanes. “We have a chance to be a solid half “Our strength will be our seniors and their experience,” Kreuscher said. 4Experience, Page 17 “We need them to play like seniors, By Andrew Dyrdal

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Churchill takes over Panthers

NRHEG leans on experience, shooting with new coach By Jon Theuer

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Albert Lea Tribune • Friday, December 10, 2010 • WINTER SPORTS PREVIEW 2010 • Page 15

GOOD LUCK TIGERS!

Projected champion:

Winona Winhawks Projected standings: Team

2009-10

1. Winona 29-2 2. Owatonna 21-8 3. Rochester Century 14-12 4. Mankato West 17-9 5. Faribault 10-17 6. Rochester Mayo 11-16 7. Mankato East 16-12 8. Austin 13-13 9. Albert Lea 4-21 10. Roch. John Marshall 1-24

Player of the Year

Michael Emge, Faribault All-Conference team Michael Emge, G, Sr., Faribault Mark Blacklock, F, Sr., Winona Vaughn Thada, G, Sr., Owatonna Ater Manyang, F, Jr., Century Michael Idso, F, Sr., Mayo

Good luck area teams! Albert Lea Dental Clinic, P.A. Dr. Robert G. Herold, D.D.S.

NEW RICHLAND — Having lost four players off last year’s team, the New Richland-Hartland-EllendaleGeneva Panthers boys’ basketball team will rely heavily on their five returning letterwinners to remain in the upper echelon of teams in the Gopher Conference this season. The Panthers lost Cory Camerer, Brett Hagen and Tyler Firm to graduation, while Trevor Spooner, who played a key role on defense, moved. Camerer, Hagen and Firm combined to average 31 points and 18 rebounds a game for the Panthers last season. Along with the loss of those four, NRHEG will also have a new face roaming the sidelines this season. Pat Churchill takes over for Brian Riley. Churchill has been at NRHEG for fours years, this will be his first as head coach. Churchill will rely on seniors Hunter Eustice, Brian Billing, Evan Ferber, Kyle Bayerkohler and Matt Nafe to lead the Panthers this season. Eustice serves as the teams most experienced returning player as he has served as a starter for two years. Nafe runs the point guard position for the Panthers and also is the team’s best shooter from last season. Churchill looks for Ferber to score in a variety of ways for the team this season and mentions junior Sam Lundberg as a player who will play a key

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role with his aggressiveness. Churchill said that shooting and team speed are the strengths of his team, while their lack of height and physical play are their weaknesses. Churchill said that for this team to be successful, they will need to rely on their speed to overcome their lack of height. “We need to become more physical and limit our mistakes and turnovers,” Churchill says. “We need to combat our lack of size with quickness.” Churchill points to WatervilleElysian-Morristown and United South Central as the Gopher Conference favorites, while he expects WEM, USC

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and Maple River to be the section favorites heading into the season. 2010-11 schedule Dec. 7 at Mankato Loyola, 7:15 p.m. Dec. 10 vs. Blue Earth, 7:45 p.m. Dec. 14 vs. Bethlehem Academy, 7:15 p.m. Dec. 17 at J-W-P, 8 p.m. Dec. 21 at Blooming Prairie, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 28 at Bethany Holiday Tournament, 6 p.m. Jan. 3 at USC, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 6 at W-E-M, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 8 at Hayfield, 5:45 p.m. Jan. 11 vs. Medford, 6 p.m. Jan. 13 vs. Randolph, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 17 at Saint Clair, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 21 vs. Mankato Loyola, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 25 at Bethlehem Academy, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 27 vs. Triton, 7:15 p.m . Jan. 28 vs. USC, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 1 vs. Blooming Prairie, 7:15 P.M. Feb. 4 vs. JWP, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11 vs. W-E-M, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 15 at Medford, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 18 at Randolph, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 22 vs. Waseca, 7:30 p.m.

New Richland-HartlandEllendale-Geneva

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Good Luck Area Athletes!

The Panthers will be without Brett Hagen, above, this season.


Page 14 • WINTER SPORTS PREVIEW 2010 • Albert Lea Tribune • Friday, December 10, 2010

Albert Lea Tribune • Friday, December 10, 2010 • WINTER SPORTS PREVIEW 2010 • Page 7

Rebels hope to finally break through

Big Nine Preview

USC returns last season’s top scorer, rebounder

Projected champion:

By Jon Theuer

tribsports@albertleatribune.com

WELLS — After finishing with a 16-11 overall record, their best record over the past five season, the United South Central Rebels will look to continue to be in the upper echelon of teams in the Gopher Conference this season. The Rebels return five letterwinners from last season in Riley Niebuhr, Eric Lackey, Kyle Bauman, Chris Melby and Cole Stencel. Bauman, who stands six-feet-eightinches tall, led USC in scoring and rebounding last season and is an outstanding all-around player for the Rebels. Niebuhr is the other forward that returns, while Melby, Stencel and Lackey all bring experience to the USC back-court. While the Rebels return several players from last season, USC did lose four seniors from last season that provided the Rebels with a boost. Gone are Riley Swearingen, Nick Fure, Taylor Overbo and William Huper. USC coach Rob Stevermer said that all though the Rebels lost some solid seniors from last year’s team, he expects to have a very competitive team this season. “We expect to have a good team this year,” Stevermer said. “Despite losing an outstanding group of seniors.” Among the team’s strengths this season, Stevermer points to inside play, rebounding and good team chemistry. Among the weaknesses USC faces this season are the lack of experience on the perimeter, while also fighting issues with depth.

Owatonna Huskies Projected standings:

Hendrickson said. "If we want to be a good team, we will need to knock down free throws to finish off the close games." An important thing for this year’s team will be to get off to a fast start. Last year, USC went 4-6 in the first 10 games. Hendrickson said that will need to change this season. "We want to have a better start to our season," Hendrickson said. "Our December schedule is very tough

2009-10

1. Owatonna 2. Rochester Mayo 3. Rochester Century 4. Mankato West 5. Albert Lea 6. Roch. John Marshall 7. Austin 8. Mankato East 9. Faribault 10. Winona

19-10 15-12 15-11 6-19 11-14 4-22 5-20 6-19 14-12 13-12

Player of the Year

Rachael Doll, Mayo All-Conference team

Jon Theuer/Albert Lea Tribune

Rachael Doll, F, Soph., Mayo Courtney Hayford, G, Sr., Owatonna Trisha Benjamin, C, Sr., Owatonna Sarah McCann, G, Jr., Owatonna Alyssa Sager, F, Sr., Albert Lea

USC’s Kyle Bauman goes up for a shot last season in Wells. Bauman led the Rebels in scoring and rebounding last season. As for keys for his team to have success this season, Stevermer said that overall health, post play, perimeter scoring, defense and rebounding will determine the season for the Rebels. Stevermer says Waterville-ElysianMorristown are the conference favorites, while W-E-M, Maple River, Kasson-Mantorville and Blue Earth

Area are his picks for teams that could win the section 2010-11 Dec. 21 at W-E-M, 7:15 p.m. Dec. 28 at Blue Earth, 6 p.m. Dec. 29 at Blue Earth, TBA Jan. 3 vs. NRHEG, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 4 vs. Blooming Prairie, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 6 vs. Maple River, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 7 at Randolph, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 10 vs. Alden-Conger, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 11 at Mankato Loyola, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 13 vs. Medford, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 18 at Bethlehem Academy, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 24 at Saint Peter, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 28 at NRHEG, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 1 vs. W-E-M, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 4 at Blooming Prairie, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 8 vs. Blue Earth, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11 vs. Randolph, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 15 vs. Mankato Loyola, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 18 at Medford, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 22 at G-H-EC, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 24 vs. Bethlehem Academy, 7:15 p.m. Mar. 1 vs. Minnesota Valley Lutheran, 7:30 p.m.

Contend: USC needs better start to 2010-11 season Continued from Page 13

Team

again this year and how we do in those games will give us an indication of where we stand." Hendrickson points to NRHEG and Faribault Bethlehem Academy as Conference favorites, while he says St. Peter, Lake Crystal-Welcome Memorial and Blue Earth will be section favorites. 2010-11 schedule Nov. 30 USC 57, Saint Clair 43 Dec. 6 at Bethlehem Academy, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9 at Maple River, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 10 vs. Fairmont, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 14 vs. J-W-P, 7:15 p.m. Dec. 17 at NRHEG, 7:15 p.m. Dec. 21 vs. W-E-M, 7:15 p.m. Dec. 28 at Saint Clair, TBA Jan. 4 at Blooming Prairie, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 7 vs. Randolph, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 11 vs. Mankato Loyola, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 13 at Medford, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 15 vs. Cleveland at Target Center, 3 p.m. Jan. 18 vs. Bethlehem Academy, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 21 at Alden-Conger, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 25 at J-W-P, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 27 vs. NRHEG, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 1 at W-E-M, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 4 vs. Blooming Prairie, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 8 at Blue Earth, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11 at Randolph, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 15 at Mankato Loyola, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 18 vs. Medford, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 22 vs. G-H-EC, 7:30 p.m.

Albert Lea must replace two award-winning players By Andrew Dyrdal

tribsports@albertleatribune.com

The Albert Lea Tigers girls’ basketball team lost an All-State honorable mention player and an All-Conference player to graduation this season, prompting head coach Sean Gillam to call this season an “important transition season” for his team. The Tigers will lean on Alyssa Sager, a 5-foot-10-inch guard/forward and reigning All-Conference honorable mention perfomer. Sager, along with Taylor Friehl, Skyler Anderson and Emily Stoneking are the team’s only letter-winning seniors. Junior Ashley Tewes and ninthgrader Bryn Woodside are also returning letterwinners. Gillam said the team’s greatest strength is their depth. “We have seven to 10 players that can be interchanged in order to execute different offensive and defensive game plans,” he said. “This should allow us to be fresh at the end of the second half when teams with less depth may wither.��� Gillam also said depth could be a weakness, too. “When you have so many kids vying for a finite amount of minutes, it becomes important for players to better understand their roles,” Gillam said. “At the same time this depth causes it to be even harder for coaches to define roles, as they may need to be adaptive to each game.” Gillam said it will be important for the coaches and players to mentor each other so that they’re not just making a position but the collectively better. 2010-11 schedule

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Tigers season depending on depth

Nov. 30 Waseca Dec. 3 at Simley Dec. 7 at Northfield Dec. 10 at Winona Dec. 14 Rochester Mayo Dec. 17 at Mankato West Dec. 21 Rochester Century Dec. 27 Albert Lea Tournament Dec. 28 Albert Lea Tournament Jan. 4 Owatonna Jan. 7 at Faribault Jan. 11 Rochester John Marshall Jan. 13 at Mankato East Jan. 18 at Austin Jan. 20 at Rochester Century Jan. 28 Winona Feb. 1 at New Prague Feb. 3 Mankato West Feb. 8 at Owatonna Feb. 11 Faribault Feb. 15 at Rochester John Marshall Feb. 18 Mankato East Feb. 22 at Rochester Mayo Feb. 25 Austin

Andrew Dyrdal/Albert Lea Tribune

Albert Lea ninth-grader Bryn Woodside passes the ball during the team’s seasonopening loss at home against Waseca.

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Page 8 • WINTER SPORTS PREVIEW 2010 • Albert Lea Tribune • Friday, December 10, 2010

Albert Lea Tribune • Friday, December 10, 2010 • WINTER SPORTS PREVIEW 2010 • Page 13

Early season shots

Rebels expect to contend for conference title USC returns 4 of 5 starters off 14-2 Gopher Conf. team By Jon Theuer

tribsports@albertleatribune.com

Tribune File Photo

An Albert Lea swimmer swims the freestyle last season for the Tigers.

Tiger swimmers gaining experience

Andrew Dyrdal/Albert Lea Tribune

Albert Lea ninth-grader Anna Anderson brings the puck toward the net in a game against Mankato East at City Arena this season.

By Andrew Dyrdal

tribsports@albertleatribune.com

In his 24th season, Albert Lea boys’ swimming head coach Jon Schmitz is coming on an 0-10 record, but lost no key swimmers from last season. He expects his team to improve this season based on the experience some of his swimmers bring to the team, and the number of swimmers he has. Some of the team’s weaknesses, though, will be inexperience and skill at some parts of the Tigers squad. Schmitz said that Rochester Century is the Big Nine team to beat this season, while St. Thomas Academy is the favorite in the section.

Andrew Dyrdal/Albert Lea Tribune

Lake Mills’ Alex Grunhovd (23) tries to dribble past a North Iowa Bison defender on Dec. 7 in Lake Mills, Iowa.

WELLS — After being defeated in the first-round of the Section 2AA playoffs by Maple River, the United South Central Rebels girls' basketball team is looking for more this season. USC returns eight letterwinners and four out of five starters from a team that finished 16-9 overall and 14-2 in the Gopher Conference. “After winning our last 12 conference games last year and coming up short, we expect to contend for a Gopher Conference championship,” USC head coach Stu Hendrickson said. "We also hope to be playing our best basketball at the end of the season to make some noise in the section tournament." Among the returning letter-winner from last season are seniors Taylor Chose, Danielle Koestler, Emily Krohnberg, Rachel Mattick, Val Sahr, Kayla Stenzel and juniors Katie

Ovrebo and Kristie Ovrebo. Sahr, Stenzel and Katie Ovrebo were All-Conference players a year ago, while Danielle Koestler was honorable mention. Sahr has been an All-Conference player for the last three years, while she also holds the school rebounding record and has a chance to reach 1,000 points this season. “They are all key athletes,” Hendrickson said of all of his returners. Among the strengths of this years team, Hendrickson says that he expects experience, depth, balance and rebounding to all be big parts of his teams success this season. Among the weaknesses the Rebels plan to battle early on are getting some of the younger players accustomed playing at the varsity level and also getting to the players to take on certain roles. Hendrickson also points to the teams free throw shooting as something that will need to improve to be an elite team. “An area that we want to improve is our free throw shooting,” 4Contend, Page 14

Submitted photo

USC’s Val Sahr goes up for a layup in an early season game against Faribault Bethlehem Academy.

United South Central Brie CohenAlbert Lea Tribune

USC head wrestling coach Marcus Eytcheson counsels a wrestler at the state tournament last season.

USC wrestlers face tough tasks early

Have a story idea?

By Jon Theuer

tribsports@albertleatribune.com

Call Andrew at 379-3437

Jon Theuer/Albert Lea Tribune

Albert Lea’s Eric Carlson shoots a puck against John Marshall at the the Rec Center in Rochester.

Andrew Dyrdal/Albert Lea Tribune

Albert Lea’s Alyssa Sager, left, sizes up a Waseca opponent during the girls’ basketball team’s first match at home.

WELLS — With the losses of seniors Alex Dreyer and Dylan Thisius, the Unites South Central Rebels wrestling team will have a different look this season. Among the returners for USC this season will be Dustin Dylla, Dylan Herman, Cole Wenzel and Tony

Willette. Herman, who is a freshman this season, qualified for the state tournament last season. USC faced some tough tests early on in their schedule when they hosted Medford on December 9 and travel to take on WatervilleElysian-Morristown/Janesville-Waldorft-Pemberton on December 16.

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Page 12 • WINTER SPORTS PREVIEW 2010 • Albert Lea Tribune • Friday, December 10, 2010

Vikings hope to fill void left by Hartman Northwood-Kensett will lean on Low this season By Jon Theur

tribsports@albertleatribune.com

NORTHWOOD- After finishing with a 15-8 overall record and a 10-4 record in the Corn Bowl Conference last season, the Northwood-Kensett Vikings girls' basketball team will look to keep making strides this season to stay in upper echelon of teams in the conference. The Vikings' come into the season having lost four seniors from last year’s squad, none bigger than the loss of senior Kate Hartman. Hartman was a first team All-State and holds the school records in scoring, rebounding, assists, steals and blocks. Along with Hartman, NorthwoodKensett also lost seniors Kjirsti Davidson, Kathy Porter and Brooke Claussen to graduation. "We lost over two-thirds of our scoring and rebounding to graduation," Vikings coach Daryl Love said. "With no seniors on the squad, it could be a rebuilding year. But I expect others to step up and fill the holes. As a team, when chemistry builds we should be very competitive." Among the returners that Love expects to lean on is junior Britney Low.

Albert Lea Tribune • Friday, December 10, 2010 • WINTER SPORTS PREVIEW 2010 • Page 9

Nystrom makes coaching history

Wrestling team returns 10 letterwinners, 1 conf. champ

Low, who averaged nine points a game and four rebounds was a second team all conference selection last season. Love also expects juniors Jami Dahlby and McKensie Nicholson and Sophomore Brooke Burnes to play key roles for the team this season. Among other athletes that are key for the season are Juniors Tessa Bratrud, Courtney Eilertson and Laura Slavikova, along with Sophomores Maren Davidson, Savannah Lira and Mary Bjorklund. Love says that points to playing as a team as the key to success for this year’s team. "We must play as a team using everyones skill sets," Love said.

Among the losses for LM-NK from last season are Jake Brekken, Junior Gallardo and Isaac Buffington. All three wrestlers posted over 20 wins last season with Brekken grabbing 33 wins and qualified for districts. Brandenberg says among the strengths of this year’s team are the number of wrestlers out this season with 35 and depth, along with a number of kids coming off of solids seasons last year. Among the weaknesses he expects his team to deal with this season, he points to inexperience, with 25 of his 35 wrestlers being underclassman. Brandenberg also says his team needs to continue to work on being a more aggressive team this season. Brandenberg points to Osage and Forest City as two team he expects to be in the running for the North Iowa Conference championship this season.

By Jon Theuer

tribsports@albertleatribune.com

2010-11 schedule Nov. 19 North Iowa 42, Northwood-Kensett 38 Nov. 30 West Hancock 62, Northwood-Kensett 30 Dec. 2 Lake Mills 46, Northwood-Kensett 34 Dec. 7 at West Fork, 6 p.m. Dec. 10 vs. Rockford, 6 p.m. Dec. 11 at Newman Catholic, 5 p.m. Dec. 14 at Central Springs, 6 p.m. Dec. 17 at North Butler, 6 p.m. Jan. 4 vs. Central Springs, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 7 at Saint Ansgar, 6 p.m. Jan. 11 vs. Riceville, 6 p.m. Jan. 14 at Central Springs, 6 p.m. Jan. 18 at Rockford, 6 p.m. Jan. 20 at Ventura, 6 p.m. Jan. 21 vs. West Fork, 6 p.m. Jan. 25 at Nashua-Plainfield, 6 p.m. Jan. 27 vs. Glenville-Emmons, 6 p.m. Jan. 28 vs. North Butler, 6 p.m. Feb. 1 at Riceville, 6 p.m. Feb. 3 vs. CAL, 6 p.m. Feb. 4 vs. Saint Ansgar, 6 p.m.

Byrnes, Capitani lead Ducks in senior season

Jon Theuer/Albert Lea Tribune

Albert Lea boys’ hockey coach Roy Nystrom leans over to talk to players during a game against Roch. John Marshall. Nystrom won his 617th game this season, moving to third all-time nationally.

The Lake Mills/NorthwoodKensett Ducks wrestling team will look to things a step further from last season. With the return of 10 letterwinners from last year’s team, including a state qualifier in senior Royce Byrnes, LM-NK will look to send more kids to state and win more dual meets this season. “We would like to hit the 20 win mark Royce for duals this season,” Byrnes LM-NK coach Alex Brandenberg said. “We would like to see three or four kids make the state tournament and have a couple of kids place at the state tournament.” Brandenburg enters Spencer his third year with LMCapitani NK, while coach Ron Dodd enters his first year of coaching at LM-NK. LM-NK returns 10 letterwinners from last season that includes seniors

2010-11 schedule

Tribune File Photo

The Lake Mills/Northwood-Kensett Ducks’ Spencer Capitanis competes against an opponent last season. Irons. Spencer Capitani, Royce Byrnes and Byrnes was a conference champion J.R. Linquis, juniors Calvin Beal, and state qualifier last season, while Blake Huntington and Josh Perez, Batton and Capitani both were conferand sophomores Shaun Haugerud, Cameron Batton, Andy Dahle and Ben ence runner-ups.

Dec. 9 at Albert Lea, 6:30 p.m. Dec. 11 at Nashua-Plainfield, 10:30 a.m. Dec. 18 LM-NK Invite, 10:30 a.m. Jan. 4 vs. West Hancock, Eagle Grove, 6 p.m. Jan. 6 at Newman, 6 p.m. Jan. 8 at Hampton-Dumont, 10 a.m. Jan. 11 at Osage, 6 p.m. Jan. 15 LM-NK dual tournament Jan. 20 at Garner, 6 p.m. Jan. 22 at North Butler, 10:30 a.m. Jan. 27 at Forest City, 6:30 p.m. Jan. 29 at West Hancock, 10 a.m. Feb. 1 at Clear Lake, 6 p.m.

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641-592-0881


Page 10 • WINTER SPORTS PREVIEW 2010 • Albert Lea Tribune • Friday, December 10, 2010

Albert Lea Tribune • Friday, December 10, 2010 • WINTER SPORTS PREVIEW 2010 • Page 11

Lake Mills girls’ basketball gets new coach Four seniors returning from last year’s team By Jon Theuer

tribsports@albertleatribune.com

Jon Theuer/Albert Lea Tribune

Lake Mills’ guard Alex Grunhovd brings the ball up the floor for the Bulldogs last season.

Lake Mills hopes to reach full potential Team returns six letterwinners and wants to challenge rival Forest City

By Jon Theuer

tribsports@albertleatribune.com

LAKE MILLS, Iowa — The Lake Mills Bulldogs boys’ basketball team returns six letter-winners from a team that went 16-5 overall and 10-3 in the North Iowa Conference last season finishing second to Forest City. “We have a nice group of returning players,” Lake Mills coach Kyle Menke said. “We are hoping for a high placing in the North Iowa Conference and would like to improve on last season’s win total.” Although the Bulldogs return six letterwinners from last season, they did lose two key players from last year’s team in Jordan Colby and leading scorer Chris Throne. Throne led the team in scoring last season and was a first team all-state selection by the Iowa Newspaper Association. With the losses, the Bulldogs will lean on the returning letterwinners from last season. Three players who played key roles last season and will do so this season are seniors Marcus Gaskill, Alex

Grunhovd and Tyler Rice. Gaskill provided a dominant presence down low last season for the Bulldogs and will look to be dominant again this year, while Grunhovd and Rice will provide Lake Mills with guards who can handle the ball. “Grunhovd and Rice are excellent ball-handlers and passers,” Menke said. “Gaskill is a talented post player with very solid overall skills. We have some good quickness in the guards and should be a balanced offensive team.” Menke also expects returning letterwinners Dylan Davis, Tim Brandt and Drey LyBarger to play huge roles for the team this year. Menke says his bench will be a key going forward for his team. “One of the keys will be how well our bench develops,” Menke said. “There are several key players who will need to step into important roles for our team to reach its full potential.” Menke points to Forest City as the conference favorite this season, but says there are several teams who could upset the Indians.

“There are several teams who should be able to challenge the Indians this season,” Menke said. “We are hoping to be one of those teams.” 2010-11 schedule Dec. 7 v Lake Mills 54, North Iowa 44 Dec. 10 vs. Belmond-Klemme, 6:15 p.m. Dec. 14 at Garner-Hayfield, 6:15 p.m. Dec. 17 vs. Osage, 6:15 p.m. Dec. 18 vs. Estherville Lincoln Central, 3 p.m. Jan. 4 at West Hancock, 3 p.m. Jan. 7 vs. Newman Catholic, 6:15 p.m. Jan. 14 at Forest City, 6:15 p.m. Jan. 18 at North Iowa, 6:15 p.m. Jan. 28 at Osage, 6:15 p.m. Feb. 1 vs. West Hancock, 6:15 p.m. Feb. 4 at Newman Catholic, 6:15 p.m. Feb. 8 vs. Glenville-Emmons, 6:30 p.m. Feb. 10 vs. Forest City, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11 at Armstrong-Ringsted, 7:30 p.m.

Have a story idea?

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LAKE MILLS, Iowa — While the Lake Mills Bulldogs girls’ basketball team returns four letterwinners from last year’s team, the Bulldogs will have a new face on the bench this season. Beth Van Roekel takes over the team this season. Van Roekel has been at Lake Mills for six years. While Van Roekel will be new to the bench, she will have the services of four returning letter-winners from last year’s team. The Bulldogs return seniors Lindy Pins, Amanda Lampman, Haley Matthews and sophomore Megan Johnson. Pins led Lake Mills in scoring last season with 13.9 points per game, while Lampman was fourth on the team in points with 7.4 per game and was second on the team in rebounding with 90 total rebounds. “I think we have the potential to do very well in the conference this year,” Van Roekel said. “I want our girls to play together as a team and be known for their hustle and extra effort they put on the court.” The Bulldogs did lose senior Jade Durnil to graduation from last year’s team. Durnil averaged 6.6 points per game last season and pulled down 73 rebounds on the year. Van Roekel says their strengths this season are senior leadership, good work ethic, talented shooters, quickness and overall team work. She also points to a lack of height in the post and inexperience as weaknesses for the Bulldogs. Van Roekel says what could ultimately define success for the Lake Mills this season is hard work and working as a team. “They need to work hard and work as a team,” Van Roekel said. “If they can support each other and push each other, I think the season will go well.”

Tribune file photo

Jabob Gorden (32) is one of five players that graduated from the Northwood-Kensett boys’ basketball team. The Vikings will need inexperienced players to step up this season.

Vikings need youth to step up By Jon Theuer

tribsports@albertleatribune.com

NORTHWOOD — With the loss of five players from last season’s team, the Northwood-Kensett Vikings basketball team will depend on young players to step up for the team this year.

The Vikings lost Christian Burnes, Jacob Gordon, Sam Arnold, Jayson Olson and Derek Varner to graduation. Arnold was a first team all conference selection, while Burnes was a second team all conference selection. With the losses, Vikings head coach Marty Cotter will have three returning

letter-winners to help lead his young team. Brady Cotter, Garrett Olson and Nik Werner all return this season with a team that has only one senior. Cotter also points to Tyler Thofson, Shayne Olson, Dylan Nitcher and Torin Newell as players that will be key athletes for the Vikings this season.

Cotter says his expectations for the season will be to be competitive in conference play with his young squad. Among the weaknesses the Vikings will face, Cotter says youth and inexperience will be something Northwood-Kensett will battle early on. Cotter points to West Fork as the conference favorite this season.

Northwood - Kensett

Have a story idea?

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Dennis Stoneking (owner) Hwy. 65 North, Northwood, IA.

641-324-2010

Northwood Lumber Good Luck Vikings! Northwood, Iowa

1-641-324-1215 See Us For All Your Lumber Needs.

• Free Gift Wrapping • We Mix Paint • Bridal Registry

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Page 10 • WINTER SPORTS PREVIEW 2010 • Albert Lea Tribune • Friday, December 10, 2010

Albert Lea Tribune • Friday, December 10, 2010 • WINTER SPORTS PREVIEW 2010 • Page 11

Lake Mills girls’ basketball gets new coach Four seniors returning from last year’s team By Jon Theuer

tribsports@albertleatribune.com

Jon Theuer/Albert Lea Tribune

Lake Mills’ guard Alex Grunhovd brings the ball up the floor for the Bulldogs last season.

Lake Mills hopes to reach full potential Team returns six letterwinners and wants to challenge rival Forest City

By Jon Theuer

tribsports@albertleatribune.com

LAKE MILLS, Iowa — The Lake Mills Bulldogs boys’ basketball team returns six letter-winners from a team that went 16-5 overall and 10-3 in the North Iowa Conference last season finishing second to Forest City. “We have a nice group of returning players,” Lake Mills coach Kyle Menke said. “We are hoping for a high placing in the North Iowa Conference and would like to improve on last season’s win total.” Although the Bulldogs return six letterwinners from last season, they did lose two key players from last year’s team in Jordan Colby and leading scorer Chris Throne. Throne led the team in scoring last season and was a first team all-state selection by the Iowa Newspaper Association. With the losses, the Bulldogs will lean on the returning letterwinners from last season. Three players who played key roles last season and will do so this season are seniors Marcus Gaskill, Alex

Grunhovd and Tyler Rice. Gaskill provided a dominant presence down low last season for the Bulldogs and will look to be dominant again this year, while Grunhovd and Rice will provide Lake Mills with guards who can handle the ball. “Grunhovd and Rice are excellent ball-handlers and passers,” Menke said. “Gaskill is a talented post player with very solid overall skills. We have some good quickness in the guards and should be a balanced offensive team.” Menke also expects returning letterwinners Dylan Davis, Tim Brandt and Drey LyBarger to play huge roles for the team this year. Menke says his bench will be a key going forward for his team. “One of the keys will be how well our bench develops,” Menke said. “There are several key players who will need to step into important roles for our team to reach its full potential.” Menke points to Forest City as the conference favorite this season, but says there are several teams who could upset the Indians.

“There are several teams who should be able to challenge the Indians this season,” Menke said. “We are hoping to be one of those teams.” 2010-11 schedule Dec. 7 v Lake Mills 54, North Iowa 44 Dec. 10 vs. Belmond-Klemme, 6:15 p.m. Dec. 14 at Garner-Hayfield, 6:15 p.m. Dec. 17 vs. Osage, 6:15 p.m. Dec. 18 vs. Estherville Lincoln Central, 3 p.m. Jan. 4 at West Hancock, 3 p.m. Jan. 7 vs. Newman Catholic, 6:15 p.m. Jan. 14 at Forest City, 6:15 p.m. Jan. 18 at North Iowa, 6:15 p.m. Jan. 28 at Osage, 6:15 p.m. Feb. 1 vs. West Hancock, 6:15 p.m. Feb. 4 at Newman Catholic, 6:15 p.m. Feb. 8 vs. Glenville-Emmons, 6:30 p.m. Feb. 10 vs. Forest City, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11 at Armstrong-Ringsted, 7:30 p.m.

Have a story idea?

Call Andrew at 379-3437

LAKE MILLS, Iowa — While the Lake Mills Bulldogs girls’ basketball team returns four letterwinners from last year’s team, the Bulldogs will have a new face on the bench this season. Beth Van Roekel takes over the team this season. Van Roekel has been at Lake Mills for six years. While Van Roekel will be new to the bench, she will have the services of four returning letter-winners from last year’s team. The Bulldogs return seniors Lindy Pins, Amanda Lampman, Haley Matthews and sophomore Megan Johnson. Pins led Lake Mills in scoring last season with 13.9 points per game, while Lampman was fourth on the team in points with 7.4 per game and was second on the team in rebounding with 90 total rebounds. “I think we have the potential to do very well in the conference this year,” Van Roekel said. “I want our girls to play together as a team and be known for their hustle and extra effort they put on the court.” The Bulldogs did lose senior Jade Durnil to graduation from last year’s team. Durnil averaged 6.6 points per game last season and pulled down 73 rebounds on the year. Van Roekel says their strengths this season are senior leadership, good work ethic, talented shooters, quickness and overall team work. She also points to a lack of height in the post and inexperience as weaknesses for the Bulldogs. Van Roekel says what could ultimately define success for the Lake Mills this season is hard work and working as a team. “They need to work hard and work as a team,” Van Roekel said. “If they can support each other and push each other, I think the season will go well.”

Tribune file photo

Jabob Gorden (32) is one of five players that graduated from the Northwood-Kensett boys’ basketball team. The Vikings will need inexperienced players to step up this season.

Vikings need youth to step up By Jon Theuer

tribsports@albertleatribune.com

NORTHWOOD — With the loss of five players from last season’s team, the Northwood-Kensett Vikings basketball team will depend on young players to step up for the team this year.

The Vikings lost Christian Burnes, Jacob Gordon, Sam Arnold, Jayson Olson and Derek Varner to graduation. Arnold was a first team all conference selection, while Burnes was a second team all conference selection. With the losses, Vikings head coach Marty Cotter will have three returning

letter-winners to help lead his young team. Brady Cotter, Garrett Olson and Nik Werner all return this season with a team that has only one senior. Cotter also points to Tyler Thofson, Shayne Olson, Dylan Nitcher and Torin Newell as players that will be key athletes for the Vikings this season.

Cotter says his expectations for the season will be to be competitive in conference play with his young squad. Among the weaknesses the Vikings will face, Cotter says youth and inexperience will be something Northwood-Kensett will battle early on. Cotter points to West Fork as the conference favorite this season.

Northwood - Kensett

Have a story idea?

Call Andrew at 379-3437

INJECTion TECHnology Diesel Service Complete Diesel Fuel Injection Service

Dennis Stoneking (owner) Hwy. 65 North, Northwood, IA.

641-324-2010

Northwood Lumber Good Luck Vikings! Northwood, Iowa

1-641-324-1215 See Us For All Your Lumber Needs.

• Free Gift Wrapping • We Mix Paint • Bridal Registry

STEINMETZ HARDWARE, INC. 96 10th Street North Adjacent to VerHelst Drug Northwood 641-324-1763


Page 12 • WINTER SPORTS PREVIEW 2010 • Albert Lea Tribune • Friday, December 10, 2010

Vikings hope to fill void left by Hartman Northwood-Kensett will lean on Low this season By Jon Theur

tribsports@albertleatribune.com

NORTHWOOD- After finishing with a 15-8 overall record and a 10-4 record in the Corn Bowl Conference last season, the Northwood-Kensett Vikings girls' basketball team will look to keep making strides this season to stay in upper echelon of teams in the conference. The Vikings' come into the season having lost four seniors from last year’s squad, none bigger than the loss of senior Kate Hartman. Hartman was a first team All-State and holds the school records in scoring, rebounding, assists, steals and blocks. Along with Hartman, NorthwoodKensett also lost seniors Kjirsti Davidson, Kathy Porter and Brooke Claussen to graduation. "We lost over two-thirds of our scoring and rebounding to graduation," Vikings coach Daryl Love said. "With no seniors on the squad, it could be a rebuilding year. But I expect others to step up and fill the holes. As a team, when chemistry builds we should be very competitive." Among the returners that Love expects to lean on is junior Britney Low.

Albert Lea Tribune • Friday, December 10, 2010 • WINTER SPORTS PREVIEW 2010 • Page 9

Nystrom makes coaching history

Wrestling team returns 10 letterwinners, 1 conf. champ

Low, who averaged nine points a game and four rebounds was a second team all conference selection last season. Love also expects juniors Jami Dahlby and McKensie Nicholson and Sophomore Brooke Burnes to play key roles for the team this season. Among other athletes that are key for the season are Juniors Tessa Bratrud, Courtney Eilertson and Laura Slavikova, along with Sophomores Maren Davidson, Savannah Lira and Mary Bjorklund. Love says that points to playing as a team as the key to success for this year’s team. "We must play as a team using everyones skill sets," Love said.

Among the losses for LM-NK from last season are Jake Brekken, Junior Gallardo and Isaac Buffington. All three wrestlers posted over 20 wins last season with Brekken grabbing 33 wins and qualified for districts. Brandenberg says among the strengths of this year’s team are the number of wrestlers out this season with 35 and depth, along with a number of kids coming off of solids seasons last year. Among the weaknesses he expects his team to deal with this season, he points to inexperience, with 25 of his 35 wrestlers being underclassman. Brandenberg also says his team needs to continue to work on being a more aggressive team this season. Brandenberg points to Osage and Forest City as two team he expects to be in the running for the North Iowa Conference championship this season.

By Jon Theuer

tribsports@albertleatribune.com

2010-11 schedule Nov. 19 North Iowa 42, Northwood-Kensett 38 Nov. 30 West Hancock 62, Northwood-Kensett 30 Dec. 2 Lake Mills 46, Northwood-Kensett 34 Dec. 7 at West Fork, 6 p.m. Dec. 10 vs. Rockford, 6 p.m. Dec. 11 at Newman Catholic, 5 p.m. Dec. 14 at Central Springs, 6 p.m. Dec. 17 at North Butler, 6 p.m. Jan. 4 vs. Central Springs, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 7 at Saint Ansgar, 6 p.m. Jan. 11 vs. Riceville, 6 p.m. Jan. 14 at Central Springs, 6 p.m. Jan. 18 at Rockford, 6 p.m. Jan. 20 at Ventura, 6 p.m. Jan. 21 vs. West Fork, 6 p.m. Jan. 25 at Nashua-Plainfield, 6 p.m. Jan. 27 vs. Glenville-Emmons, 6 p.m. Jan. 28 vs. North Butler, 6 p.m. Feb. 1 at Riceville, 6 p.m. Feb. 3 vs. CAL, 6 p.m. Feb. 4 vs. Saint Ansgar, 6 p.m.

Byrnes, Capitani lead Ducks in senior season

Jon Theuer/Albert Lea Tribune

Albert Lea boys’ hockey coach Roy Nystrom leans over to talk to players during a game against Roch. John Marshall. Nystrom won his 617th game this season, moving to third all-time nationally.

The Lake Mills/NorthwoodKensett Ducks wrestling team will look to things a step further from last season. With the return of 10 letterwinners from last year’s team, including a state qualifier in senior Royce Byrnes, LM-NK will look to send more kids to state and win more dual meets this season. “We would like to hit the 20 win mark Royce for duals this season,” Byrnes LM-NK coach Alex Brandenberg said. “We would like to see three or four kids make the state tournament and have a couple of kids place at the state tournament.” Brandenburg enters Spencer his third year with LMCapitani NK, while coach Ron Dodd enters his first year of coaching at LM-NK. LM-NK returns 10 letterwinners from last season that includes seniors

2010-11 schedule

Tribune File Photo

The Lake Mills/Northwood-Kensett Ducks’ Spencer Capitanis competes against an opponent last season. Irons. Spencer Capitani, Royce Byrnes and Byrnes was a conference champion J.R. Linquis, juniors Calvin Beal, and state qualifier last season, while Blake Huntington and Josh Perez, Batton and Capitani both were conferand sophomores Shaun Haugerud, Cameron Batton, Andy Dahle and Ben ence runner-ups.

Dec. 9 at Albert Lea, 6:30 p.m. Dec. 11 at Nashua-Plainfield, 10:30 a.m. Dec. 18 LM-NK Invite, 10:30 a.m. Jan. 4 vs. West Hancock, Eagle Grove, 6 p.m. Jan. 6 at Newman, 6 p.m. Jan. 8 at Hampton-Dumont, 10 a.m. Jan. 11 at Osage, 6 p.m. Jan. 15 LM-NK dual tournament Jan. 20 at Garner, 6 p.m. Jan. 22 at North Butler, 10:30 a.m. Jan. 27 at Forest City, 6:30 p.m. Jan. 29 at West Hancock, 10 a.m. Feb. 1 at Clear Lake, 6 p.m.

GOOD LUCK TEAMS! on thenet inter The best things in life

are free

www.AlbertLeaTribune.com

507-297-5461 Emmons, MN 56029

Lake Mills Bull Dogs

Member FDIC

David’s Super Foods

Thanks, Mom & Dad for supporting my education at Lake Mills School!

Good Luck!

Through our collective efforts, we are committed to teaching and learning for all.

103 N. Washington

641-592-0051 Lake Mills

Lake Mills, Iowa

102 S. 4th Ave E. • Lake Mills, IA

641-592-0881


Page 8 • WINTER SPORTS PREVIEW 2010 • Albert Lea Tribune • Friday, December 10, 2010

Albert Lea Tribune • Friday, December 10, 2010 • WINTER SPORTS PREVIEW 2010 • Page 13

Early season shots

Rebels expect to contend for conference title USC returns 4 of 5 starters off 14-2 Gopher Conf. team By Jon Theuer

tribsports@albertleatribune.com

Tribune File Photo

An Albert Lea swimmer swims the freestyle last season for the Tigers.

Tiger swimmers gaining experience

Andrew Dyrdal/Albert Lea Tribune

Albert Lea ninth-grader Anna Anderson brings the puck toward the net in a game against Mankato East at City Arena this season.

By Andrew Dyrdal

tribsports@albertleatribune.com

In his 24th season, Albert Lea boys’ swimming head coach Jon Schmitz is coming on an 0-10 record, but lost no key swimmers from last season. He expects his team to improve this season based on the experience some of his swimmers bring to the team, and the number of swimmers he has. Some of the team’s weaknesses, though, will be inexperience and skill at some parts of the Tigers squad. Schmitz said that Rochester Century is the Big Nine team to beat this season, while St. Thomas Academy is the favorite in the section.

Andrew Dyrdal/Albert Lea Tribune

Lake Mills’ Alex Grunhovd (23) tries to dribble past a North Iowa Bison defender on Dec. 7 in Lake Mills, Iowa.

WELLS — After being defeated in the first-round of the Section 2AA playoffs by Maple River, the United South Central Rebels girls' basketball team is looking for more this season. USC returns eight letterwinners and four out of five starters from a team that finished 16-9 overall and 14-2 in the Gopher Conference. “After winning our last 12 conference games last year and coming up short, we expect to contend for a Gopher Conference championship,” USC head coach Stu Hendrickson said. "We also hope to be playing our best basketball at the end of the season to make some noise in the section tournament." Among the returning letter-winner from last season are seniors Taylor Chose, Danielle Koestler, Emily Krohnberg, Rachel Mattick, Val Sahr, Kayla Stenzel and juniors Katie

Ovrebo and Kristie Ovrebo. Sahr, Stenzel and Katie Ovrebo were All-Conference players a year ago, while Danielle Koestler was honorable mention. Sahr has been an All-Conference player for the last three years, while she also holds the school rebounding record and has a chance to reach 1,000 points this season. “They are all key athletes,” Hendrickson said of all of his returners. Among the strengths of this years team, Hendrickson says that he expects experience, depth, balance and rebounding to all be big parts of his teams success this season. Among the weaknesses the Rebels plan to battle early on are getting some of the younger players accustomed playing at the varsity level and also getting to the players to take on certain roles. Hendrickson also points to the teams free throw shooting as something that will need to improve to be an elite team. “An area that we want to improve is our free throw shooting,” 4Contend, Page 14

Submitted photo

USC’s Val Sahr goes up for a layup in an early season game against Faribault Bethlehem Academy.

United South Central Brie CohenAlbert Lea Tribune

USC head wrestling coach Marcus Eytcheson counsels a wrestler at the state tournament last season.

USC wrestlers face tough tasks early

Have a story idea?

By Jon Theuer

tribsports@albertleatribune.com

Call Andrew at 379-3437

Jon Theuer/Albert Lea Tribune

Albert Lea’s Eric Carlson shoots a puck against John Marshall at the the Rec Center in Rochester.

Andrew Dyrdal/Albert Lea Tribune

Albert Lea’s Alyssa Sager, left, sizes up a Waseca opponent during the girls’ basketball team’s first match at home.

WELLS — With the losses of seniors Alex Dreyer and Dylan Thisius, the Unites South Central Rebels wrestling team will have a different look this season. Among the returners for USC this season will be Dustin Dylla, Dylan Herman, Cole Wenzel and Tony

Willette. Herman, who is a freshman this season, qualified for the state tournament last season. USC faced some tough tests early on in their schedule when they hosted Medford on December 9 and travel to take on WatervilleElysian-Morristown/Janesville-Waldorft-Pemberton on December 16.

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Page 14 • WINTER SPORTS PREVIEW 2010 • Albert Lea Tribune • Friday, December 10, 2010

Albert Lea Tribune • Friday, December 10, 2010 • WINTER SPORTS PREVIEW 2010 • Page 7

Rebels hope to finally break through

Big Nine Preview

USC returns last season’s top scorer, rebounder

Projected champion:

By Jon Theuer

tribsports@albertleatribune.com

WELLS — After finishing with a 16-11 overall record, their best record over the past five season, the United South Central Rebels will look to continue to be in the upper echelon of teams in the Gopher Conference this season. The Rebels return five letterwinners from last season in Riley Niebuhr, Eric Lackey, Kyle Bauman, Chris Melby and Cole Stencel. Bauman, who stands six-feet-eightinches tall, led USC in scoring and rebounding last season and is an outstanding all-around player for the Rebels. Niebuhr is the other forward that returns, while Melby, Stencel and Lackey all bring experience to the USC back-court. While the Rebels return several players from last season, USC did lose four seniors from last season that provided the Rebels with a boost. Gone are Riley Swearingen, Nick Fure, Taylor Overbo and William Huper. USC coach Rob Stevermer said that all though the Rebels lost some solid seniors from last year’s team, he expects to have a very competitive team this season. “We expect to have a good team this year,” Stevermer said. “Despite losing an outstanding group of seniors.” Among the team’s strengths this season, Stevermer points to inside play, rebounding and good team chemistry. Among the weaknesses USC faces this season are the lack of experience on the perimeter, while also fighting issues with depth.

Owatonna Huskies Projected standings:

Hendrickson said. "If we want to be a good team, we will need to knock down free throws to finish off the close games." An important thing for this year’s team will be to get off to a fast start. Last year, USC went 4-6 in the first 10 games. Hendrickson said that will need to change this season. "We want to have a better start to our season," Hendrickson said. "Our December schedule is very tough

2009-10

1. Owatonna 2. Rochester Mayo 3. Rochester Century 4. Mankato West 5. Albert Lea 6. Roch. John Marshall 7. Austin 8. Mankato East 9. Faribault 10. Winona

19-10 15-12 15-11 6-19 11-14 4-22 5-20 6-19 14-12 13-12

Player of the Year

Rachael Doll, Mayo All-Conference team

Jon Theuer/Albert Lea Tribune

Rachael Doll, F, Soph., Mayo Courtney Hayford, G, Sr., Owatonna Trisha Benjamin, C, Sr., Owatonna Sarah McCann, G, Jr., Owatonna Alyssa Sager, F, Sr., Albert Lea

USC’s Kyle Bauman goes up for a shot last season in Wells. Bauman led the Rebels in scoring and rebounding last season. As for keys for his team to have success this season, Stevermer said that overall health, post play, perimeter scoring, defense and rebounding will determine the season for the Rebels. Stevermer says Waterville-ElysianMorristown are the conference favorites, while W-E-M, Maple River, Kasson-Mantorville and Blue Earth

Area are his picks for teams that could win the section 2010-11 Dec. 21 at W-E-M, 7:15 p.m. Dec. 28 at Blue Earth, 6 p.m. Dec. 29 at Blue Earth, TBA Jan. 3 vs. NRHEG, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 4 vs. Blooming Prairie, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 6 vs. Maple River, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 7 at Randolph, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 10 vs. Alden-Conger, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 11 at Mankato Loyola, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 13 vs. Medford, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 18 at Bethlehem Academy, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 24 at Saint Peter, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 28 at NRHEG, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 1 vs. W-E-M, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 4 at Blooming Prairie, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 8 vs. Blue Earth, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11 vs. Randolph, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 15 vs. Mankato Loyola, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 18 at Medford, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 22 at G-H-EC, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 24 vs. Bethlehem Academy, 7:15 p.m. Mar. 1 vs. Minnesota Valley Lutheran, 7:30 p.m.

Contend: USC needs better start to 2010-11 season Continued from Page 13

Team

again this year and how we do in those games will give us an indication of where we stand." Hendrickson points to NRHEG and Faribault Bethlehem Academy as Conference favorites, while he says St. Peter, Lake Crystal-Welcome Memorial and Blue Earth will be section favorites. 2010-11 schedule Nov. 30 USC 57, Saint Clair 43 Dec. 6 at Bethlehem Academy, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9 at Maple River, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 10 vs. Fairmont, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 14 vs. J-W-P, 7:15 p.m. Dec. 17 at NRHEG, 7:15 p.m. Dec. 21 vs. W-E-M, 7:15 p.m. Dec. 28 at Saint Clair, TBA Jan. 4 at Blooming Prairie, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 7 vs. Randolph, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 11 vs. Mankato Loyola, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 13 at Medford, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 15 vs. Cleveland at Target Center, 3 p.m. Jan. 18 vs. Bethlehem Academy, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 21 at Alden-Conger, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 25 at J-W-P, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 27 vs. NRHEG, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 1 at W-E-M, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 4 vs. Blooming Prairie, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 8 at Blue Earth, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11 at Randolph, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 15 at Mankato Loyola, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 18 vs. Medford, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 22 vs. G-H-EC, 7:30 p.m.

Albert Lea must replace two award-winning players By Andrew Dyrdal

tribsports@albertleatribune.com

The Albert Lea Tigers girls’ basketball team lost an All-State honorable mention player and an All-Conference player to graduation this season, prompting head coach Sean Gillam to call this season an “important transition season” for his team. The Tigers will lean on Alyssa Sager, a 5-foot-10-inch guard/forward and reigning All-Conference honorable mention perfomer. Sager, along with Taylor Friehl, Skyler Anderson and Emily Stoneking are the team’s only letter-winning seniors. Junior Ashley Tewes and ninthgrader Bryn Woodside are also returning letterwinners. Gillam said the team’s greatest strength is their depth. “We have seven to 10 players that can be interchanged in order to execute different offensive and defensive game plans,” he said. “This should allow us to be fresh at the end of the second half when teams with less depth may wither.” Gillam also said depth could be a weakness, too. “When you have so many kids vying for a finite amount of minutes, it becomes important for players to better understand their roles,” Gillam said. “At the same time this depth causes it to be even harder for coaches to define roles, as they may need to be adaptive to each game.” Gillam said it will be important for the coaches and players to mentor each other so that they’re not just making a position but the collectively better. 2010-11 schedule

Have a story idea? Have a story idea? Call Andrew at 379-3437 Call Andrew at 379-3437

Tigers season depending on depth

Nov. 30 Waseca Dec. 3 at Simley Dec. 7 at Northfield Dec. 10 at Winona Dec. 14 Rochester Mayo Dec. 17 at Mankato West Dec. 21 Rochester Century Dec. 27 Albert Lea Tournament Dec. 28 Albert Lea Tournament Jan. 4 Owatonna Jan. 7 at Faribault Jan. 11 Rochester John Marshall Jan. 13 at Mankato East Jan. 18 at Austin Jan. 20 at Rochester Century Jan. 28 Winona Feb. 1 at New Prague Feb. 3 Mankato West Feb. 8 at Owatonna Feb. 11 Faribault Feb. 15 at Rochester John Marshall Feb. 18 Mankato East Feb. 22 at Rochester Mayo Feb. 25 Austin

Andrew Dyrdal/Albert Lea Tribune

Albert Lea ninth-grader Bryn Woodside passes the ball during the team’s seasonopening loss at home against Waseca.

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Page 6 • WINTER SPORTS PREVIEW 2010 • Albert Lea Tribune • Friday, December 10, 2010

GOOD LUCK TIGERS! Dave Klatt LUTCF 106 S Broadway Ave Albert Lea, MN

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Tribune file photo

Albert Lea’s Kyle Ooms spins toward the basket last season during a game against Winona. Ooms averaged 10 points and 7 1/2 rebounds during 2009-10 campaign.

Tigers will rely on height, experience this season Albert Lea returns top rebounder and 6 seniors

and lead the program like seniors are expected to.” A non-senior expected to make an impact this year is 6-foot-4-inch In his second season as the Albert junior forward Kyle Ooms. Lea Tigers boys’ basketball coach, Ooms was the Tigers’ second-leading Lucas Kreuscher returns five of his scorer last season and top athletes and hopes top rebounder. He to build off last season’s averaged 10 points per 4-20 record. game and 7 1/2 rebounds Leading the team per per game, provding will be seniors Aaron Kreuscher with a hardKlatt, Alik Smed, Silas Austin at Albert Lea working post presence Randall, Cameron Solie, Jan. 18: The rival capable of making plays Josh Eisenbraun and Packers play Albert around the basket. Marc Kruger. Lea for the first time Randall, a 6-footKlatt and Smed are this season. Both 4-inch forward also both versatile, 6-footteams will be looking provides the Tigers with 4-inch gaurds capable to break into the top frontcourt height. He, of bringing the ball up half of the Big Nine. along with 6-foot-2-inch the floor or posting up guard Solie complete defenders on the block. a lengthy group that They will be able to create should excel on defense if they can get matchup problems and will be difficult for opposing coaches to scheme around. their long arms into passing lanes. “We have a chance to be a solid half “Our strength will be our seniors and their experience,” Kreuscher said. 4Experience, Page 17 “We need them to play like seniors, By Andrew Dyrdal

tribsports@albertleatribune.com

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Albert Lea Tribune • Friday, December 10, 2010 • WINTER SPORTS PREVIEW 2010 • Page 15

GOOD LUCK TIGERS!

Projected champion:

Winona Winhawks Projected standings: Team

2009-10

1. Winona 29-2 2. Owatonna 21-8 3. Rochester Century 14-12 4. Mankato West 17-9 5. Faribault 10-17 6. Rochester Mayo 11-16 7. Mankato East 16-12 8. Austin 13-13 9. Albert Lea 4-21 10. Roch. John Marshall 1-24

Player of the Year

Michael Emge, Faribault All-Conference team Michael Emge, G, Sr., Faribault Mark Blacklock, F, Sr., Winona Vaughn Thada, G, Sr., Owatonna Ater Manyang, F, Jr., Century Michael Idso, F, Sr., Mayo

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NEW RICHLAND — Having lost four players off last year’s team, the New Richland-Hartland-EllendaleGeneva Panthers boys’ basketball team will rely heavily on their five returning letterwinners to remain in the upper echelon of teams in the Gopher Conference this season. The Panthers lost Cory Camerer, Brett Hagen and Tyler Firm to graduation, while Trevor Spooner, who played a key role on defense, moved. Camerer, Hagen and Firm combined to average 31 points and 18 rebounds a game for the Panthers last season. Along with the loss of those four, NRHEG will also have a new face roaming the sidelines this season. Pat Churchill takes over for Brian Riley. Churchill has been at NRHEG for fours years, this will be his first as head coach. Churchill will rely on seniors Hunter Eustice, Brian Billing, Evan Ferber, Kyle Bayerkohler and Matt Nafe to lead the Panthers this season. Eustice serves as the teams most experienced returning player as he has served as a starter for two years. Nafe runs the point guard position for the Panthers and also is the team’s best shooter from last season. Churchill looks for Ferber to score in a variety of ways for the team this season and mentions junior Sam Lundberg as a player who will play a key

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role with his aggressiveness. Churchill said that shooting and team speed are the strengths of his team, while their lack of height and physical play are their weaknesses. Churchill said that for this team to be successful, they will need to rely on their speed to overcome their lack of height. “We need to become more physical and limit our mistakes and turnovers,” Churchill says. “We need to combat our lack of size with quickness.” Churchill points to WatervilleElysian-Morristown and United South Central as the Gopher Conference favorites, while he expects WEM, USC

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and Maple River to be the section favorites heading into the season. 2010-11 schedule Dec. 7 at Mankato Loyola, 7:15 p.m. Dec. 10 vs. Blue Earth, 7:45 p.m. Dec. 14 vs. Bethlehem Academy, 7:15 p.m. Dec. 17 at J-W-P, 8 p.m. Dec. 21 at Blooming Prairie, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 28 at Bethany Holiday Tournament, 6 p.m. Jan. 3 at USC, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 6 at W-E-M, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 8 at Hayfield, 5:45 p.m. Jan. 11 vs. Medford, 6 p.m. Jan. 13 vs. Randolph, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 17 at Saint Clair, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 21 vs. Mankato Loyola, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 25 at Bethlehem Academy, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 27 vs. Triton, 7:15 p.m . Jan. 28 vs. USC, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 1 vs. Blooming Prairie, 7:15 P.M. Feb. 4 vs. JWP, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11 vs. W-E-M, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 15 at Medford, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 18 at Randolph, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 22 vs. Waseca, 7:30 p.m.

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Good Luck Area Athletes!

The Panthers will be without Brett Hagen, above, this season.


Page 16 • WINTER SPORTS PREVIEW 2010 • Albert Lea Tribune • Friday, December 10, 2010

Albert Lea Tribune • Friday, December 10, 2010 • WINTER SPORTS PREVIEW 2010 • Page 5

Tigers have rallied past 3-loss start

Always here for you.

...even during a power outage!

The Panthers’ Anna Schlaak watches as a member of the United South Central basketball team shoots the ball.

Tribune File Photo

Former coach returns to Panthers Schultz inherits talented NRHEG girls’ basketball team By Jon Theuer

tribsports@albertleatribune.com

NEW RICHLAND — A new but very familiar face will be roaming the bench this season for the New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva Panthers girls’ basketball team. After former head coach Mindy Sparby accepted a new job in Belle Plaine, John Schultz was hired to take her place. Schultz coached the NRHEG girls’ basketball team from 1992-1999 and will be assisted by Grant Berg this season. Schultz inherits a team that has several returning letter-winners, while the Panthers also lost some important players from last season’s team. Gone from last years teams are: Alyssa Hagen, Kate Quam and Alyssa Kerkoff. Hagen was a four-year starter for the Panthers, while Quam has played since she was a sophomore. Alyssa Kerkoff is a senior this year but moved away over the summer.

While the losses sting, the cupboard is not bare for Schultz as the Panthers welcome four letterwinners back from last year’s squad. NRHEG returns senior Kristina Cole, junior Anna Schlaak and freshmen Carlie Wagner and Jade Schultz. Schlaak and Cole both earned allconference honors last season. Along with the four returning letterwinners, Schultz also points to junior Tori Raimann and sophomore Katie Cole as players that he expects to help the team this season. Among the expectations for the Panthers this season is to contend for a conference crown and make a run in the section tournament. “We expect to keep the tradition in place,” Schultz said. “We hope to contend for the conference title and make a run in the section.” Among the strengths for the Panthers this season, Schultz says he expects chemistry, shooting, rebounding and the overall speed of the team to be positives going forward. “Chemistry, these girls play well together, they are a close knit group,”

Schultz said. “We are fast, shoot well from the perimeter and are tough on the boards.” Schultz also says for his team to have a successful year, they will need to play their fast break game and improve on their defense. As for conference favorites, Schultz points to United South Central and Faribault Bethlehem Academy, while he says Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial, St. Peter, Blue Earth Area and USC will be among the section favorites this season.

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2010-11 schedule Nov. 30 Le Sueur-Henderson 74, NRHEG 66 Dec. 7 vs. Mankato Loyola, 7:15 p.m. Dec. 10 vs. Blue Earth, 6 p.m. Dec. 14 at Bethlehem Academy, 7:15 p.m. Dec. 17 vs. USC, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 21 vs. Blooming Prairie, 7:15 p.m. Dec. 29 at Saint Peter, TBD Dec. 30 at Saint Peter, TBD Jan. 4 at J-W-P, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 6 vs. W-E-M, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 8 at Hayfield, 4 p.m. Jan. 11 vs. Medford, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 14 at Randolph, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 17 at Maple River, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 18 at Waseca, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 21 at Mankato Loyola, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 25 vs. Bethlehem Academy, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 27 at USC, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 1 at Blooming Prairie, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 4 vs. J-W-P, 6 p.m. Feb. 8 vs. Jordan, 7 p.m. Feb. 11 vs. W-E-M, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 15 at Medford, 6 p.m. Feb. 17 vs. Randolph, 7:15 p.m.

Tribune Albert Lea

Tigers have rebounded after 1-goal losses

Second Thoughts

By Andrew Dyrdal

tribsports@albertleatribune.com

With just three returning seniors letterwinners, the Albert Lea girls’ hockey team will rely on speed to overcome experience and depth issues. The Tigers opened the season with three one-goal losses, two of which came in overtime, but rebounded with three straight wins. “This season will be a learning experience for the team with a new coaching staff implementing new systems and expectations,” Tigers head coach Paul Willet said. “We expect to give our best effort in each game and will be very difficult to beat during the second half of the season.” The Tigers already seem tough to beat. In their last three games, Albert Lea has outscored their opponents 14-3, allowing just one goal in each game. Eighth-grader Sydney Conley has been steady in goal with a 1.46 goal against average and a 92 1/2 save percentage. She has 110 saves in 119 shots on goal. Willet succeeded Brian Blatti this season as the team’s head coach, and said the team’s goal is getting better every day and gaining a better understanding of the game. The Tigers return 12 letterwinners this season, though four are in ninth grade or younger. Senior returners include Lauren Draayer, Sophia Jepson and Kaley Waldemar. Through six games, Jepson has six points for the Tigers, including a twogoal outburst in the season-opener against Mankato East. Junior Natasha Moyer and ninthgrader Anna Anderson both lead the team with eight goals apiece. The Tigers also return letter-winning juniors Mariah Leach, Samantha Stanley and Kelsey Thomas, sophomore Megan Pulley and ninth-graders Sydney Overgaard and MacKenzie Waldemar. In order to get to the Class A state tournament, Willet believes his team will have to go through Section 1A favorites Faribault, Red Wing and New Prague. The Tigers have already beaten

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

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Jon Theuer/Albert Lea Tribune

Albert Lea’s Sam Stanley shoots the puck this season against Mankato East at City Arena. After losing their opening three games, the Tigers have won three straight. one of those teams and were barely knocked off New Prague. Willet keeps pointing to the second half of the season, though, saying the Tigers will be a different team the second time around their Big Nine schedule.

GO  TIGERS!

Big Nine Preview Projected champion:

Owatonna Huskies

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Projected standings:

GO TIGERS!

2010-11 schedule Nov. 11 Mankato East 3, Albert Lea 2 Nov. 16 Northfield 2, Albert Lea 1 Nov. 18 New Prague 3, Albert Lea 2 Nov. 23 Albert Lea 2, Faribault 1 Nov. 20 Albert Lea 7, Waseca 1 Dec. 2 Albert Lea 5, Austin 1 Dec. 7 at Rochester Century, 5:30 p.m. Dec. 9 vs. Rochester Mayo, 5:30 p.m. Dec. 14 at Mankato West, 5:30 p.m. Dec. 16 vs. Winona, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 18 vs. Red Wing, 1 p.m. Dec. 27-29 Austin Invite Jan. 4 at Rochester John Marshall, 5:30 p.m. Jan. 6 at Rochester Mayo, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 10 vs. Dodge County, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 11 at Austin, 7 p.m. Jan. 13 vs. Mankato West, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 18 vs. Rochester Century, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 20 at Owatonna, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 25 at Winona, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 27 vs. Faribault, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 1 at Mankato East, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 3 vs. Rochester John Marshall, 7:30 p.m.

Team

2009-10

1. Owatonna 2. Rochester Mayo 3. Mankato East 4. Faribault 5. Roch. John Marshall 6. Albert Lea 7. Mankato West 8. Winona 9. Rochester Century 10. Austin

15-9-2 15-11-1 9-16-0 20-9-1 6-19-0 10-14-1 17-9-0 12-10-0 0-24-0 11-13-2

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Page 4 • WINTER SPORTS PREVIEW 2010 • Albert Lea Tribune • Friday, December 10, 2010

Big Nine Preview Projected champion:

Faribault Falcons Projected standings: Team

2009-10

1. Faribault 2. Rochester Century 3. Albert Lea 4. Roch. John Marshall 5. Rochester Mayo 6. Mankato West 7. Owatonna 8. Winona 9. Mankato East 10. Austin

20-7-0 18-8-0 13-13-0 7-19-0 11-14-1 8-14-4 17-8-1 11-15-0 9-17-0

Player of the Year

Eric Carlson, Albert Lea All-Conference team Eric Carlson, C, Jr., Albert Lea Drew Weber, F, Sr., Mankato West Sean Lipinski, F, Sr., Faribault Nick Raehsler. D, Sr., Century Ville Rantanen, F, Sr., Mankato West

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Panthers look to rebound off down year

Nystrom moves to 3rd alltime while his offense thrives

NRHEG returns 14 letter winners, strong junior class

By Andrew Dyrdal

By Jon Theuer

tribsports@albertleatribune.com

LeBlanc didn't wrestle in the section last season because of illness, but showed flashes of being very good last season and will be counted upon for a better year this year, according to Cyr. Cyr also points to a pair of freshman in Dillion Parpart and Nathan Krohn that will need to improve and contribute to the overall balance of team if they are to improve on their 2009-10 season. Cyr feels that Waterville-ElysianMorristown/Janesville-WaldorfPemberton are the clear favorites in the Gopher Conference, while Jackson County Central, the defending Class A state champions, are seen as the section favorites. Cyr also says that NRHEG will spend a part of the season figuring out which lineup will give the Panthers their best chance of winning this coming season. “As is usually the case at NRHEG, we will spend a part of the season sorting out what will be our best lineup,” Cyr said. “We’re hoping to be a factor in the Section 2A team race in February.”

tribsports@albertleatribune.com

In his 38th season as the Albert Lea boys’ hockey head coach Roy Nystrom has a lot of numbers to crunch. His 617 career coaching wins ranks third all-time nationally and Nystrom has more wins than anyone who has ever coached in the state of Minnesota. Nystrom also has one of the most potent goal-scorers in the state in Eric Carlson and an offense that currently ranks second in the Big Nine Conference in goals scored. He hopes for a lot of lopsided victories this season, and if the Tigers continue their hot start, he’ll get them. After a slow start to their 2009-10 campaign, the Tigers finished the season by winning nine of their final 12 regular season games and moving up to third place in the Big Nine. The Tigers have gotten off to a better start this season with a blowout win over Waseca and 4-3 victory on the road against a talented Northfield team. Albert Lea has received a lot of offensive production from juniors Carlson and Levi Hacker who lead the team with eight and seven points each, respectively. Goaltenders Nick Dulas (Sr.) and Griffen Wangen (Jr.) have each notched wins in their only starts in front of the net. The two have combined for a 86.2 save percentage and a 2 1/2 goal against average. Nystrom said one of his team’s biggest strengths is its work ethic, and he is looking for seniors leadership from center Dillon Stolt along with Luke Cheever, Dave Enstad, J.T. Bellrich-

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Albert Lea Tribune • Friday, December 10, 2010 • WINTER SPORTS PREVIEW 2010 • Page 17

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Sweatshirts & Same Da y Duffle Bags Trophy

Jon Theuer/Albert Lea Tribune

Dillon Stolt (10) brings the puck up ice in the Tigers season-opening game against Waseca on Nov. 30. The Tigers beat the Bluejays 10-2, and Stolt had a goal and an assist. ard, Tyler Osmundson and Darian and are giving up just 2 1/2. Weigel. 2010-2011 schedule The Tigers also return five letterNov. 30 Albert Lea 10, Waseca 2 winning juniors in Carlson, Hacker, Dec. 2 Albert Lea 4, Northfield 3 Cody Haaland, Brady Falk and Auston Dec. 7 at Rochester John Marshall, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9 vs. Rochester Century, 7:30 p.m. Larson. Dec. 11 vs. Rochester Mayo, 7:30 p.m. Standing in the Tigers way of a state Dec. 14 at New Prague, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16 at Winona, 7:30 p.m. tournament berth is the Rochester Dec. 21 vs. Austin, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 4 vs. Rochester Lourdes, 7:30 p.m. Lourdes Eagles, an early favorite to Jan. 7 vs. Virginia/Mt Iron-Buhl, 7:30 p.m. win Section 1A. Jan. 8 vs. Hibbing/Chisholm, 3 p.m. 11 at Rochester Century, 7:30 p.m. Nystrom said that to put themselves Jan. Jan. 13 at Mankato West, 7:30 p.m. in position to make a run at state, the Jan. 15 vs. Red Wing, 2 p.m. Jan. 20 vs. Owatonna, 7:30 p.m. Tigers will have to make up for inexJan. 25 vs. Winona, 7:30 p.m. perience in goal and on defense by im- Jan. 27 at Faribault, 7:30 p.m. 1 at Owatonna, 7:30 p.m. proving on last year’s goal production. Feb. Feb. 8 vs. Mankato West, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11 at Mankato East/Loyola, 7:30 p.m. Through two games this season, the 15 at Rochester Mayo, 7:30 p.m. Tigers have averaged 7 goals per game Feb. Feb. 17 at Austin, 7:30 p.m.

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NEW RICHLAND — After suffering a 6-12 overall record and 2-2 dual meet record in the Gopher Conference last season, the New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva Panthers wrestling team look to rebound this season. The Panthers return 14 letterwinners from last season including junior David Lassahn, David who made it to state last Lassahn season. “The Panthers suffered through a terrible dual season in 2009-10, and one of their goals is to improve that mark,” Panthers head coach Paul Cyr said. “NRHEG will look to better Dustin overall balance and the Esplan continued development of their junior class in an effort to improve on last year's win total.” The Panthers did lose David Lindell to graduation. Lindell finished third overall in class 2A at 215 pounds last season and left NRHEG with 131 victories. Cyr says that returners David Lassahn, Jacob Staloch, Dustin Esplan

2010-11 schedule

Brie Cohen/Albert Lea Tribune

David Lindell, above, is the biggest loss for the NRHEG wrestling team. Lindell, a 2009 graduate, finished third at state last season. Staloch bounced back from a and Brandon LeBlanc will be called serious injury as a freshman and put upon to carry much of the leadership role this season. together a very good sophomore campaign, while Esplan finished third in Lassahn qualified for state last the section last year and finished with season and finished second in Section a 18-9 record. 2A.

Dec. 9 at WEM/JWP, 6 p.m. Dec. 11 at Saint James, 10 a.m. Dec. 16 vs. Saint Clair, Blue Earth Area, 5 p.m. Dec. 17 at Redwood Valley, 4 p.m. Dec. 21 at MCW, 5 p.m. Jan. 6 at Medford, 6 p.m. Jan. 13 at Blooming Prairie, 6 p.m. Jan. 15 at Stewartville, 10 a.m. Jan. 20 at Mankato West, 7 p.m. Jan. 22 at Hutchinson, 10:30 a.m. Jan. 28 at Waseca, 7 p.m. Jan. 29 at Kasson-Mantorville, 10 a.m. Feb. 3 at Kenyon-Wanamingo, 5 p.m. Feb. 5 at Lakeville North, 10 a.m. Feb. 10 vs. USC, ML/LE, 6:30 p.m.

Experience: Tigers could be ‘great rebounding team’ Continued from Page 6

eff, who shot 33 percent last season from behind the arc. The Tigers also lost starting point court defensive team and able to give guard Damian Montes who averaged teams a few more looks than we did 11 points per game in Albert Lea’s last season,” Kruescher said. final five games last season. The Tigers’ size also provides Kruescher said that the Tigers a variety of options on offense. plan on pushing the ball up “We have more than a few the floor more, especially off of guys who can play at least three defensive rebounds. different positions on the floor,” “We’ll have to learn how to atKruescher said. “We can put a tack and not get careless with pretty long team out there at the basketball,” he said. “We’re times if we need to, or we can Alik going to have to continue to go with four to five guards out Smed work hard on having consistent there at the same time and outside jumpers.” shoot from long range.” Kruescher also expects the Tigers to But the Tigers’ long range game be a “great rebounding team” due to may have taken a step back this seatheir size and athleticism. son after the graduation of the team’s New Prague is the early Section top three-point shooter, Colby Strila-

1AAA favorite this season, returning four starters after earning the No. 2 seed last year. Winona will also contend for a state tournament berth. 2010-11 schedule Dec. 7 at Red Wing, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9 at Rochester Century, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 11 at Rochester Mayo, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 17 vs. Mankato West, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 28 vs. Hayfield, 10 a.m. Jan. 4 at Owatonna, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 6 vs. New Prague, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 7 vs. Faribault, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 11 at Rochester John Marshall, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 14 vs. Mankato East, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 18 vs. Austin, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 20 vs. Rochester Century, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 28 at Winona, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 3 at Mankato West, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 8 vs. Owatonna, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11 at Faribault, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 15 vs. Rochester John Marshall, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 17 at Mankato East, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 22 vs. Rochester Mayo, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 25 at Austin, 7:30 p.m. Mar. 1 at Waseca, 7:30 p.m. Mar. 4 vs. Winona, 7:30 p.m.

Tribune file photo

Aaron Klatt (11) brings the ball up the floor last season against Mankato East.


Page 18 • WINTER SPORTS PREVIEW 2010 • Albert Lea Tribune • Friday, December 10, 2010

Albert Lea Tribune • Friday, December 10, 2010 • WINTER SPORTS PREVIEW 2010 • Page 3

Talented Wolverines hope for 1st Southeast title

Coach: ‘I expect us to be playing for something special’ By Jon Theuer

tribsports@albertleatribune.com

GLENVILLE — After graduating his largest class in nine years as a head coach, Glenville-Emmons Wolverines basketball coach Dan Fredrickson thinks his team can take a step forward to something that could be special. With six returning letterwinners from last year’s team and a solid group of players making the jump to the varsity squad this season, Fredrickson says he expects his team to be able to play for the Southeast Conference Championship this season. “I expect us to be able to contend for our first ever Southeast Conference Championship,” Fredrickson said. “It’s a huge goal, but I would like to see us secure a No. 1 seed in our subsection. When the section gets down to its final four — two from the east and two from the west — I fully expect us to be playing for something really special.” Among the reasons that have Fredrickson thinking big is his six returning letterwinners from a year ago. Among the six returning are Peter Hansen, Ryan Dempewolf, Landon Hall, Tyler Woodside, Andrew Lau and Collin Johnson. All six are seniors this season. Hansen was Glenville-Emmons co-Most Valuable Player last season and racked up All-Conference and All-Area honors as well. Woodside also earned honorable mention AllConference last season.

Fredrickson also points to juniors Tyler Belshan, Perry Kirsch, Tommy Kirsch, Trenton Thomas and sophomores Wyatt Madson and Derek Olson as key athletes for the season. “These six players were part of an undefeated B-squad last season,” Fredrickson said. “All six will be counted upon to play quality minutes every night. The depth they provide will be the difference maker on many nights.” All though the Wolverines are ecstatic with all the returning players, Fredrickson did graduate seven seniors from last year’s team. Gone from last year’s team are Derek Sanderson, Michael Thofson, Michael Adams, Jon Mitgate, Kyle Thompson, Patrick Larson and Josh Wallin. Sanderson was a co-MVP of the team last season and was All-Conference and All-Area, while Thofson was an All-Conference honorable mention. “We will miss Sanderson in the post and Mitgate’s offense,” Fredrickson said. “Thofson and Adams were excellent defenders as well as team leaders every night. Those guys will be missed.” Among the strengths of this year’s team, Fredrickson points to experience, defense, offense and the team’s overall shooting. Fredrickson also said that his team needs to focus on one game and one play at a time this season. “When you have such high expectations, it can be difficult to manage them throughout the season,” Fredrickson said. “You can’t buy into your hype. It always need to be one game and one play at a time.” Fredrickson points to Lanesboro, Spring Grove and Glenville-Emmons

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GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR 2010-11 SEASONS!

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Glenville-Emmons’ Tyler Woodside catches the ball with his back to an Alden-Conger defender. Woodside is one of the team’s top interiors players. as conference favorites, while he says Glenville-Emmons, Goodhue, Bethlehem Academy, Rushford-Peterson, Fillmore Central and Lanesboro should all be in contention for the section this season. 2010-11 schedule Dec. 2 Glenville-Emmons 64, Spring Grove 47 Dec. 9 at Immanuel Lutheran, 7:15 p.m. Dec. 10 at Hope Lutheran, 7:15 p.m. Dec. 13 at Lyle/Pacelli, 7:15 p.m. Dec. 14 vs. Mabel-Canton, 7:15 p.m. Dec. 20 at Rochester Home School, 7:15 p.m. Dec. 21 vs. Schaeffer Academy, 7:15 p.m.

Jan. 3 at Alden-Conger, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 7 at Mabel-Canton, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 11 vs. Grand Meadow, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 13 vs. Immanuel Lutheran, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 14 at Lanesboro, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 17 at Le Roy-Ostrander, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 21 vs. Houston, 7:15 P.M. Jan. 25 vs. Lyle/Pacelli, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 27 at Northwood-Kensett, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 28 vs. Hope Lutheran, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 31 at Schaeffer Academy, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 1 vs. Cannon Valley Lutheran, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 4 vs. Spring Grove, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 8 at Lake Mills, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 11 vs. Lanesboro, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 18 at Houston, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 19 vs. Norwood-Young America, 4 p.m. Feb. 22 at Grand Meadow, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 24 vs. LeRoy-Ostrander, 7:15 p.m.

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Page 2 • WINTER SPORTS PREVIEW 2010 • Albert Lea Tribune • Friday, December 10, 2010

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Tigers (again) challenge Huskies for titles

By Jon Theuer

Dalton Westerlund is No. 4 at 152, senior Corey Hansen is No. 3 at 160, senior Carter Kortan is No. 6 at 171 and senior Conner Kortan is No. The Albert Lea Tigers and 8 at 189. Owatonna Huskies wrestling Owatonna has five wrestlers teams are, once again, the in the top 10 and four in the top frontrunners in the Big Nine five. Conference and Section 1AAA Entering the season unranked this season. but making a name for themThe Huskies enter the season selves around the state is Albert ranked No. 3 in the state while Carter Lea’s Caleb Gaudian and Alex the Tigers are No. 6, and both Kortan Nielsen. teams have a number of indiIn the Tigers first match of viduals ranked in the state’s top the season at 215, Gaudian 10. pinned all three of his oppoAmong them is Albert Lea nents in the first period. sophomore Lucas Hansen, a At heavyweight, Nielsen upset sixth-place state finisher last Centennial’s Zach Vine, the No. season, and currently ranked 4 ranked wrestler in the class, No. 3 at 112 pounds behind the and will likely give Century’s Huskies’ Nick Scheffert, who’s Cory Sam Gaul a run for the Big Nine arguably the top wrestler in the Hansen championship. Big Nine. With less depth than other Tigers’ sophomore Garrett Wangsness ranks No. 10 in 119, junior seasons, the Tigers wrestling program Trey Hable is No. 7 at 145, junior 4Challenge, Page 19

After being defeated in the second round of the Section 1A playoffs last season, expectations for this year’s Glenville-Emmons Wolverines girls’ basketball team are high. The Wolverines have eight seniors this season and return a majority of their players from a year ago. Among the returning seniors are Kalli Van Ryswyk, Kailey Davis, Emily Belshan, Alayna Hall, Devin Cooper, Robyn Roe and Tam Wallin. Van Ryswyk, who provided an intimidating post presence a year ago, will be relied upon to do the same this season. Van Ryswyk is 50 points away from her 1,000th career point. Also returning is Davis, the team’s MVP last season. “I have huge expectations for these seniors,” G-E coach Lisa Ziebell said. “They know they have skills and they believe in themselves and their teammates.” Ziebell also expects contributions

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Senior-rich Wolverines have high expectations

Owatonna ranked No. 3, Albert Lea No. 6 entering season

Index

904 E. Plaza St Albert Lea, MN

Albert Lea Tribune • Friday, December 10, 2010 • WINTER SPORTS PREVIEW 2010 • Page 19

Dr. John Enger Podiatrist

Page 2: Albert Lea wrestling Page 4: Albert Lea boys’ hockey Page 5: Albert Lea girls’ hockey Page 6: Albert Lea boys’ basketball Page 7: Albert Lea girls’ basketball Page 8: Albert Lea boys’ swimming Page 9: Lake Mills/N-K wrestling Page 10: Lake Mills boys’, girls’ basketball Page 11: Northwood-Kensett boys’ basketball Page 12: Northwood-Kensett girls’ basketball Page 13: USC boys’ basketball Page 14: USC wrestling, girls’ basketball Page 15: NRHEG boys’ basketball Page 16: NRHEG girls’ basketball Page 17: NRHEG wrestling Page 18: Glenville-Emmons boys’ basketball Page 19: Glenville-Emmons girls’ basketball Page 20: Alden-Conger boys’, girls’ basketball

Derek Sullivan/Owatonna People’s Press

Owatonna’s Nick Scheffert, above, will compete with Albert Lea’s Lucas Hansen for a Big Nine title this season.

Big Nine Preview Projected champion:

Albert Lea Tigers Projected standings: Team

2009-10

1. Albert Lea 2. Owatonna 3. Mankato West 4. Faribault 5. Austin 6. Rochester Mayo 7. Roch. John Marshall 8. Rochester Century 9. Mankato East 10. Winona

18-11 52-5 15-18 10-10 8-12 7-8 7-18 2-18 1-21 1-13

from juniors Jennaca Haines and Morgan Schumaker along with freshman Kayla Woodside. Although the Wolverines return experience, they did lose two key players from last season. Reina Saltou and Megan Rasmusson both graduated from last year’s squad. Saltou provided three point shooting and was a pressure player for Glenville-Emmons last season, while Megan Rasmusson was first off the bench and provided great leadership. Among the strengths of this years team, Ziebell points to a great understanding of the offense and the ability to rely on each other. For weaknesses, Ziebell says that the lack of experience on the bench early on in the season could give the Wolverines troubles. 2010-11 schedule Nov. 30 Glenville-Emmons 65, Lyle/Pacelli 62 Dec. 2 Spring Grove 59, Glenville-Emmons 18 Dec. 10 vs. Hope Lutheran, 7:15 p.m. Dec. 14 at Mabel-Canton, 7:15 p.m. Dec. 16 vs. Immanuel Lutheran, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 20 at Rochester Home School, 7:30 p.m.

Jon Theuer/Albert Lea Tribune

Glenville-Emmons’ Kailey Davis (3) is one of eight seniors returning to the Wolverines girls’ basketball team. She is also the team’s reigning Most Valuable Player. Jan. 4 vs. Grand Meadow, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 6 at LeRoy-Ostrander, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 7 vs. Mabel-Canton, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 10 vs. Lyle/Pacelli, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 11 vs. Immanuel Lutheran, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 14 vs. Lanesboro, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 18 at Schaeffer Academy, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 21 at Houston, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 27 at Northwood-Kensett, 6 p.m.

Jan. 28 at Hope Lutheran, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 31 vs. Alden-Conger, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 1 at Grand Meadow, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 4 vs. Spring Grove, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 8 at Lake Mills, 6 p.m. Feb. 11 at Lanesboro, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 15 vs. Le Roy-Ostrander, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 18 vs. Houston, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 19 vs. Norwood-Young America, 2 p.m.

Challenge: Tigers will rely on seniors

Wrestler of the Year

Continued from Page 2

Chad Zastrow, Century Top of the class Projected Big Nine champions 103 — Dakota Wangsness (AL) 112 — Nick Scheffert (OHS) 119 — Evan Green (OHS) 125 — Ben Anderson (OHS) 130 — Scott Summer (OHS) 135 — Jake Hanson (Mayo) 140 — Dalton Westerlund (AL) 145 — Trey Hable (AL) 152 — Dalton Westerlund (AL) 160 — Chad Zastrow (Century) 171 — Carter Kortan (AL) 189 — Coyte Kuefner (OHS) 215 — Logan Barrett (OHS) HWT — Sam Gaul (Century)

Brie Cohen/Albert Lea Tribune

Albert Lea’s Cory Hansen wrestles an opponent at last year’s Class AAA state tournament at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

will rely on its seniors who collectively won 17 of 18 individual matches at the team’s first tournament on Dec. 4. The Tigers’ biggest loss from last season is the departure of Trevor Rasmussen, three-time state tournament place winner. The Tigers do return six All-Conference performers from last season, though, and will challenge for a state tournament berth if they stay healthy. Albert Lea could face Owatonna as early as Jan. 7 at The Clash National High School Wrestling Duels in Rochester. Otherwise, the Tigers and Huskies are set to square off on Jan. 13 at Albert Lea High School. The Tigers will also face some of the top teams in Class AA this season as they host the No.3-ranked KassonMantorville Komets on Dec. 11 and No. 6 Adrian Area on Feb. 5. The Tigers have already faced top 10 talent this season as they knocked off Prior Lake, the No. 8-ranked team in Class AAA, in their first match of the season. As a team, the Tigers look to get

back to the state tournament for the first time since the 2008-09 season. Albert Lea has fallen to Apple Valley in the state finals in their last two appearances. Apple Valley entered this season ranked No. 1 and has nine individual wrestlers ranked No. 1 in the state. For another chance at topping Apple Valley, the Tigers’ seniors will have to continue winning most of their matches. 2010-11 schedule

Dakota Wangsness

Trey Hable

Dec. 4 Albert Lea 37, Prior Lake 23 Dec. 4 Albert Lea 47, Centennial 13 Dec. 4 Albert Lea 52, Sloughton, Wis. 13 Dec. 9 vs. Rochester Century Dec. 11 vs. Kasson-Mantorville Dec. 23 vs. Rochester Mayo Jan. 6 at Mankato West Jan. 13 vs. Owatonna Jan. 20 at Faribault Jan. 27 vs. Rochester John Marshall Jan. 29 at Northfield Feb. 3 at Mankato East Feb. 4 vs. Coon Rapids Feb. 5 vs. Adrian Area Feb. 10 at Austin


Page 20 • WINTER SPORTS PREVIEW 2010 • Albert Lea Tribune • Friday, December 10, 2010

Knights enter season young, talented By Jon Theuer and Andrew Dyrdal

tribsports@albertleatribune.com

ALDEN — With the loss of three starters from last year’s team, the Alden-Conger Knights girls’ basketball team will field a young team this season. The Knights lost Kenzie Martin, Allyssa Mareas and team Most Valuable Player and All-Conference performer Katie Hallman to graduation. Alden-Conger does return two letterwinners from last season in senior Emily Bremseth and sophomore Ariel Keller. Alden-Conger coach Gary Newman says the expectations for this season are simple: improve. “We want to improve in all areas of the game,” Newman said. Newman also said that he has a lot of girls out for the team this season, but that this year’s team will be very young. Newman points to his team’s defense as a key for the Knights to have success this season. Newman expects Lake CrystalWellcome Memorial and Nicollet to be among the conference favorites this season. The Knights have already gotten off to a fast start this season, opening the year 2-0 with wins over Le Center and Grand Meadow. Ninth-grader Karina Skov has been one of the team’s early surprises. Skov finished with a team-high 19 points with six rebounds and eight steals in the Knights’ season-opening win over Le Center. Keller has averaged 17 points in the Knights first two games.

Knights look for better finish this season By Andrew Dyrdal

tribsports@albertleatribune.com

ALDEN — Hoping to build off of last season’s 8-18 record, the AldenConger Knights boys’ basketball team will rely on its six seniors to help lead the team to a better finish down the stretch. The Knights return seniors Michael Bernal, Michael Reyerson, Juan Martinez, Derek Nelson, Tyler Adix and Nathaniel Back. The team lost, however, 2010 Tribune second team All-Area player Travis Marth, who led the team 11.4 points per game last season and was the Knights’ go-to scorer. 2010-11 schedule

Submitted photo

Alden-Conger’s Ariel Keller (23) shoots a layup against Le Center on Nov. 30. Keller is averaging 17 points per game this season. 010-11 schedule Nov. 30 Alden-Conger 56, Le Center 54 Dec. 2 Alden-Conger 51, Grand Meadow 36 Dec. 7 at Cleveland, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 10 vs. G-H-EC, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16 at Truman, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 21 vs. LeRoy-Ostrander, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 27 at J-W-P, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 6 vs. Medford Jan. 7 vs. Saint Clair, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 10 at Nicollet, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 13 vs. Martin Luther, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 17 at J-W-P, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 20 vs. Martin County West, 6 p.m. Jan. 21 vs. United South Central Jan. 24 at Blooming Prairie, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 25 vs. Maple River, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 28 vs. LCWM, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 31 at Glenville-Emmons, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 1 at Madelia, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 3 vs. G-H-EC, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 7 vs. Lyle/Pacelli, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9 at Le Center, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14 vs. Cleveland, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 17 at G-H-EC, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 28 at Grand Meadow, TBA Jan. 3 vs. Glenville-Emmons, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 4 vs. Grand Meadow, 7:15 p.m. Jan. 11 vs. Truman, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 14 at Saint Clair, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 18 vs. Nicollet, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 20 vs. MCW, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 21 at Martin Luther, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 24 vs. J-W-P, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 25 at Blooming Prairie, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 27 at Maple River, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 4 at LCWM, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 8 vs. Madelia, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11 vs. Medford, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 14 at Valley Conference Tournament, TBA Feb. 21 at LeRoy-Ostrander, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 25 at United South Central, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 28 vs. Mankato Loyola, 7:30 p.m.

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