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Fall Sports ’11 Supplement to the Post Review - September 2011

North Branch & Rush City

Introducing new North Branch and Rush City fall sports head coaches Hayley Lang and Paul Kirby... North Branch volleyball coach Hayley Lang 1. What experiences do you have as a coach? “I have been coaching for several years at all different levels, schools and sports. In North Branch I coached the B squad team for volleyball until this year, and have been the assistant varsity fastpitch coach for four years.” 2. What experiences did you have as an athlete? “In high school I was a three sport athlete. Volleyball, basketball and fastpitch. I attended Willmar Public schools and also went back to teach and coach there for a few years. Both volleyball and fastpitch.” 3. What are your priorities and philosophy as a coach and why do you coach? “My priority as a coach is academics first. Our athletes play sports to further their education, and to learn how to get as much as they can out of life. My priorities include giving every athlete a fair chance to play. Practice is all about opportunities and increasing the expectations on a daily basis. My philosophy for coaching is to put the six most prepared players on the court at a time. It includes having fun, creating an intense and challenging practice schedule and teaching our athletes how to be better than they were yesterday. Our athletes have excelled in getting better everyday, and are committed to attaining their goals. I coach for the student/athletes, I try to give them all of the knowledge I have about volleyball skills and to teach excellence along the way.”

4. Did you have a mentor, relative or coach that influenced you? “I have many influences in my life. Most of them are family members and a former teacher who taught me more about life than sports. I was heavily influenced by Mr. and Mrs. Heitzman in high school. They were both teachers and coaches who pushed me hard in the offseason, and instilled a sense of leadership. Mr. Hovland and Mrs. Lenzmeier were heavy influences on my career.” 5. What is your best memory as a coach? It would have to be the 2010 post volleyball season. Our athletes played so well as a team together. We lost in the section finals, but are able to set set high goals for this season, and to continue to raise the expectations.”

Rush City football coach Paul Kirby 1. What experiences do you have as a coach? “I have been an assistant football coach with Rush City for eight years and was offensive coordinator for the last three. I also coach seventh grade boys basketball. Prior to Rush City, I was one of two coaches for the Women’s Club Hockey team at Bemidji State University.” 2. What experiences did you have as an athlete? “I graduated from Warroad High School where I played fullback and defensive end. The team was Section 8 football champions and State participants in 1992. I also played basketball and baseball in high school. After high school, I joined the Marine Corps and continued to play football and soccer.” 3. What are your priorities and philosophy as a coach and why do you coach? “To me, high school athletics is so much more than just wins and losses. Sports can teach commitment, discipline, tenacity, humility, and the list goes on. At the very basic level, football is still a game to be played for fun and enjoyment. The other outcomes during the season will hopefully build young men into better citizens, students, sons and someday, fathers, husbands and maybe even coaches themselves.” 4. Did you have a mentor, relative or coach that influenced you? “As a player, I was fortunate to play for coaches like Steve Bengston and Warren Keller. Hard work and dependable effort from their athletes were noticed and rewarded by both men. Now as a teacher and a coach, I have personally grown while getting to work with and learn from Greg Hills. He always valued my opinion and was willing to teach and trust. He truly cared about each one of us on his staff as well as every player that ever played for him.”

5. What is your best memory as a coach? “Having taught in Rush City for 10 years and coached eight of those years, I have been fortunate to follow many athletes into their adult lives. When alumni return after their worldly travels and still seek me out and still call me “Coach,” I know I’ve made a difference.” 6. Is there anything you would like to add? “We will strive to be a field competitive football team. We will work hard to make the people of Rush City proud of the effort and attitude of the Rush City Football squad with “No Excuses and No Explanations.”

Rush City

North Branch

Cross Country...... page 6 Football............... page 8 Volleyball............. page 8

Soccer................ page 2 Cross Country...... page 3 Football............... page 4 Volleyball............. page 5 Tennis................. page 5

Victoria Dahlin - North Branch and Rush City Sports Shelley Schmidt - Design/Layout

Sport Schedules found on page 7

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BOYS SOCCER “We are young and will improve through time.” ~ Head Coach Graeme Jury

Young new team North Branch Viking Boys Soccer 2010 Record: Ranked tenth in the North Suburban Conference with a 2-7-1 conference and 10-8-1 overall record. Tony Ceroll, Nick Miller and Jake Borasch (all graduated and earned All-Conference). The team ended its season with loss in Section 7A Semifinal. Top returners: Trent Holmes, Justin Brunet, and Logan Klatt are the only returning starting varsity players. “I expect good leadership and for them to be mentors to the up and coming youngsters,” said Coach Graeme Jury. Team depth: “We are young and will improve through time, but it’s going to take a while,” said Coach Jury. “Commitment to getting better and building for the future. A very high fitness level. New this year are a bunch of hockey players that I am trying to coach body checking out of.” North Suburban Conference outlook: “We hope to finish better than last year,” said Coach Jury. “All the teams are tough in the North Suburban Conference.”

The 2011 North Branch Viking Boys Soccer Team: Row 1: Joe Philipsen. Row 2: Michael Stephens, Matthew Blomquist, Levi Kolke, Joe Prell, Eric Chilstrom, Zach Fairbanks, Luke Zschokke, Logan Klatt, Cole Lee. Row 3: Tyler Gudmundson, Justin Brunet, Nick Walker, Isaac Lewis, Trent Holmes, Jon Blomquist, Peter Kosovic, Brett Bergstrom. (not pictured: Kaleb Larson, Kevin Johnson, Ryan Zentner.) State & Section 7A outlook: (Becker, Chisago Lakes Area, Grand Rapids, Hermantown, North Branch, North Lakes Academy, Princeton, Proctor, Two Harbors, Cloquet/Carlton/Esko, Marshall-Duluth/Lakeview Christian Academy, Hibbing/Chisholm, Eveleth-Gilbert/Mesabi East/ Mountain Iron-Buhl/Virginia) “I would like to have a good run in sections, but with such a new and young team, I don’t know what to expect yet,” said Coach Jury.


GIRLS SOCCER “Our expectation is to finish near the top of conference this year.” ~ Head Coach Doug Larson

Making a run for the section championship North Branch Viking Girls Soccer 2010 Record: Ranked eighth in North Suburban Conference with a 3-7-0 conference and 5-13-0 overall record. Alina Amunrud, Abby Alm and Sadie Kolke (all graduated) earned All-Conference Academic Honors. Bayley Ertl (junior), Kolke and Amunrud were All-Conference. Abby Peno (graduated) and Alm All-Conference Honorable Mention. The team ended its season with loss in Section 7A Quarterfinal. Top returners: “Bailey Ertl provides leadership and helps with leading us in goal scoring. Cathie Larson, Mikayla Hensch, Hallie Osland - This will be the second year this unit has been together as defenders, I expect them to keep the goals against us down. Kora Amunrud, Mackenzie Brehm, and Kadie Mattson - This is a very strong and physical midfield unit, and I expect them to step up the attack while helping out in defending,” said Coach Doug Larson. Team depth: Our team depth is really good. We only have 15 players on our squad right now, but they’re our 12 returning letter winners. Also we have had the pleasant surprise of picking up a foreign exchange student from Norway who we are looking to be a big contributor. We only have one senior on our squad, but we are really heavy with juniors, of which all of them have played varsity last year so they have the experience, and know what is required of them,” said Coach Larson North Suburban Conference outlook: “Our expectation is to finish near the top of conference this year,” said Coach Larson. “At least move up into the upper half and not finish in the bottom half. The teams that look tough and we feel we will be competing against this year our Totino-Grace, St. Louis Park, Benilde-St. Margarets and Chisago Lakes.”

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The 2011 North Branch Viking Girls Soccer Team: Row 1 (l-r): Morgan Morgenstern, Ragnhild Askeland Selje, Jaime Salo, Alex Madsen, Bayley Ertl, Emma Pignato, Erin Skoglund, Hallie Osland. Row 2: Coach Doug Larson, Alyssa Rupp, Rachel Tschida, Cathie Larson, Kora Amunrud, Mackenzie Brehm, SherahLynn Linkert, Andrea Carlson, Kadie Mattson, Mikayla Hensch. State & Section 7A outlook: (Becker, Chisago Lakes Area, Grand Rapids, Hermantown, North Branch, North Lakes Academy, Princeton, Proctor, Two Harbors, Zimmerman, Cloquet/Cloquet Christian Academy, Marshall-Duluth/Lakeview Christian Academy, Esko/Carlton, Hibbing/Chisholm, Eveleth-Gilbert/Mesabi East/Mountain Iron-Buhl/Virginia) “This is where we have set our goal for the season,” said Coach Larson. “To make a run at the section championship, and we really feel this is an obtainable goal for us. The teams that are strong and will present a challenge for us are, Duluth Marshall, Esko/Carlton, Cloquet, Grand Rapids, and again Chisago Lakes, who knocked us out last year. We hope our season goes well enough that at the end we find ourselves competing for the section championship.”

Sports Schedules found on page 7

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CROSS COUNTRY “I expect each and every kid out on the team to give it their all.” ~ Head Coach Anna Pouliot

Hoping to repeat a NSC championship performance North Branch Viking Boys Cross Country 2010 Record: Ninth in North Suburban Conference Championship. Colin Charpentier (graduated) earned All-Conference. Finished 12th as a team in the Section 7AA Championship where Charpentier qualifed to advance to the State Championship. North Branch Viking Girls Cross Country 2010 Record: Conference Champions. Kendra Norman (graduated), Megan Zimmerman (senior), Casey Hovland (sophomore), Alyssa Ramberg (junior) earned All-Conference. Haley Huset (graduated) All-Conference Honorable Mention. The team took third at the Section Championship (missed going to state by three points). Individuals Norman and Zimmerman qualified to participate in the State Championship. Top returners: Boys: “Team captain Branden Heidelberger (senior) has set some awesome goals for himself,” said Coach Anna Pouliot. “A great role model for the rest of the guys’ team, works hard at practices and always wants to go the extra mile,” said Coach Anna Pouliot. Zach Peno (junior) continues to improve year after year and has moved up in the ranks. Kyle Crowell (sophomore) is in his second season of cross country, he is very competitive and hard working. Ean Charpentier (junior) should be one of our top finishers this year. Senior captains; Seth Eastwood, Joe Meemken, Mike Vogel and Blake Degerstrom are just really great guys to have as captains and I think they are part of the reason why we have such good numbers on the guys’ side.” Girls: “Team captain Megan Zimmerman put the miles on, even after coming off an injury from spring track. Great leadership for the girls’ team,” said Coach Anna Pouliot. Completely unselfish. If a teammate asked her to do something to help them get ready for their race, she would help them even if she was getting ready for her own race. Casey Hovland placed 14th in sections last year, also put the miles on over summer even after an injury from softball. Very lighthearted and knows how to make people laugh. Yet, she takes competition very seriously and cheers for all after the races. Alyssa Ramberg is an excellent role model, not only to her younger brother, Scott, but to all the kids. Works hard at practices and leads by example. Cassidy White (sophomore) Came out last year for her first year of cross country as a freshman. Ran varsity the entire season and is back and even better. Really pushes herself hard and isn’t satisfied with anything less than her best.” Team depth: “We have good numbers on the guys’ side,” said Coach Pouliot. “They are really starting to run more like a pack in races rather than spread out over the course. We have a newcomer, Jake Petrik (junior) who has shown promise as well. Also our returning freshmen guys are really stepping up to prove themselves as well. I think Alex Fitcha, Kyle Granger and Noah Hubbard are really going to surprise us this year. We have low numbers on the girls side, but they certainly have hardwork and desire on their side. We have two new middle school girls, Rhianna Rinke and Laura Dolezalek that will be an asset to the team, this year, and into the future.” North Suburban Conference outlook: “The girls would like to repeat as Conference Champs this year,” said Coach Pouliot. “They are up against Totino Grace. Chisago girls are looking strong as well. The boys want to move up in the ranks and will be able to do so if they continue to work hard as a team.”

The 2011 North Branch Viking Boys Cross Country Team: Row 1 (l-r): Kyle Granger, Scott Ramberg, Jacob Bear, Noah Hubbard. Row 2: Austen Wek, Kyle Crowell, Alex Fitcha, Dominic Hufford, Joshua Frich, Joe Meemken, Mike Vogel. Row 3: Ean Charpentier, Seth Eastwood, Jake Petrik, Zach Peno, Branden Heidelberger, Blake Degerstrom, Joel Moore, Jon Amundson. (not pictured: Ben Huberty, Cole Willis.)

The 2011 North Branch Viking Girls Cross Country Team: Row 1 (l-r): Laura Dolezalek, Natasha Shir, Megan Piotrowski, Claire Schraufnagel, Rhianna Rinke. Row 2: Kelsey Coleman, Alyssa Ramberg, Casey Hovland, Megan Zimmerman, Cassidy White. (not pictured: Corinna Kratzke, Marissa Morganstern.) State & Section 7AA outlook: (Andover, Big Lake, Cambridge-Isanti, Chisago Lakes Area, Cloquet, Duluth Denfeld, Duluth East, Elk River, Forest Lake, Hermantown, Hibbing, North Branch, Princeton, St. Francis, Zimmerman, Grand Rapids/Bigfork) “I expect each and every kid out on the team to give it their all,” said Coach Pouliot. “When they set their minds to something, they never stop amazing my assistant coach Nick Brouwer and myself in what they are capable of. Ultimately, my number one goal for the kids in the season is to have fun, race well, stay healthy and injury free and then come out again next year and do it all over again.”

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The 2011 North Branch Vikings Football Team: Row 1 (l-r): Nathan Deyo, Alex Miller, Tristan LaBelle, Tyler Dolin, Jake Pilz, Chace Johnson, Jared Houle, Brett Klun, Cedric Geldon, Tony Benda, Riley Jacobson, Damon Hokomb, Ben Doerr, Matt Solberg. Row 2: Rance Ashley, MackinnonWelch, Scott Yaeger, Mason Niederkorn, Kyle Miller, Sean Wood, Reid Johnson, Travis Moreno, Mitch Anderson, Brandon Thauwald, Gunnnar Kane, Ben Eastman, Aaron Biederman, Andrew Peterson, Jordan Franklin, Tony Denn, Matthew Marrin, Austin Tema. Row 3: Zachary Anderson, Ryan Pietila, Jake Schmitz, Zach Miltz, Cameron Hufford, Jack Kennedy, Aron Ledin, Pierce McKie, Jarrod Mold, Seamus Hunter, Eric Bergstrom, Brady Grummons, Zack Sundly, Dylan Dahle, Hector Rosales, Jared Axberg, Charles LeTouneau, Sam Slaughter, Matt Schmidt. Not pictured: Bert Luedtke, Cade Chouinard, Cole Weaver, Carl Neumann, Mike Nelson, Kerry Konrad, Jordan Mold, Chaz Anderson.

FOOTBALL “We will need to play good defense and outwork teams to be successful.” ~ Head Coach Nick Nitti

New Coach, new system North Branch Vikings Football 2010 Record: Eighth in North Suburban Conference with 3-4 conference and 3-6 overall record. Scott Bossard (graduated), Zack Smith (graduated), Luke Levasseur (gradutated) and Jared Houle (senior) earned All-Conference. Austin Niederkorn (graduated), Forrest Huset (graduated), Zack DeAdder (graduated) and Brett Klun (senior) were All-Conference Honorable Mention. Ended season with Section 4AAAA Quarterfinal loss. Top returners: Brett Klun, Jared Houle, Carl Newman Ben Doerr Bert Luedtke, Kerry Conrad. “Great leadership on and off the field,” said Coach Nick Nitti. Team depth: “We will need to play good defense and outwork teams to be successful,” said Coach Nitti. “We are putting in a new system on defense that may take some time to convert to.” North Suburban Conference outlook: “The North Suburban is a tough conference,” said Coach Nitti. “We hope to compete with all of the teams on our schedule.” State & Section 4AAAA outlook: (Chisago Lakes Area, Hill-Murray, Mahtomedi, North Branch, St. Paul Central/St. Paul Open School, St. Paul Harding/Community of Peace Academy) “To early for me to know,” said Coach Nitti.

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VOLLEYBALL “Our goal is to raise the expectations and get to the section finals.” ~Head Coach Haley Lang

Returning team raising expectations North Branch Vikings Volleyball 2010 Record: Fifth in the North Suburban Conference with a 5-5 conference and 18-11 overall record. Morgan Leadens (graduated) earned All-Conference. Rachel Barg (senior) and Emily Trunk (junior) All-Conference Honorable mention. The team ended the season in the Section 7AAA Semifinal. Top returners: “We only lost one player to graduation, and here are some of last years stats,” said Coach Hayley Lang. “Emily Trunk: serving percentage .895 and was our team leader with 391setting assists. Rachel Barg: serving percentage of .864 and led the team with 171 kills last season. Tayler Fertig: serving .708 and had 138 kills, as well as 82 blocks. Jessica Lemmerman: .833 serving, 145 kills, and 50 blocks. Cassedy Coleman: .980 serving. 85 blocks. Jessica Merchant: .864 serving percentage, 167 kills and 66 blocks. All of these players have improved and we expect to excel further than these previous numbers.” Team depth: “We will have good depth this year,” said Coach Lang. “Our team likes to set the tempo of a game and make the other team play. We are learning to read and anticipate the ball and the other team much better. Overall the team will push to attack the ball and set the pace of the game.” North Suburban Conference outlook: “We have set a goal to be in the top three of the conference,” said Coach Lang. “Being in the top three will be a tough job, and we have great competitors in the conference including TotinoGrace, Benilde, and two or three other teams that always put up a tough match.”

The 2011 North Branch Vikings Volleyball Team: Row 1 (l-r): Mariah Erdahl, Emily Trunk, Tayler Fertig. Row 2: Megan Strohecker (manager), Crystal Emery-Snaza, Rachel Barg, Jessica Lemmerman, Taylor Spence, Kallie Grote (manager). Row 3: Assistant Coach Ron Trunk, Assistant Coach Larry Schlagel, Courtney Selbitschka, Annamarie Zack, Cassedy Coleman, Jessica Merchant, Annette Olson, Assistant Coach Tammi Minke, Head Coach Hayley Lang.

State & Section 7AAA outlook: (Andover, Anoka, Cambridge-Isanti, Chisago Lakes Area, Duluth Denfeld, Duluth East, Elk River, Forest Lake, Grand Rapids, North Branch, Princeton, St. Francis) “The section is always tough,” said Coach Lang. “We will run up against Elk River, Anoka, Andover, and Duluth. Our goal is to raise the expectations and get to the section finals. We will continue to evaluate the post season and individual opponents when it arrives.”



“ I hope to surprise some of the better teams.” ~ Head Coach Tom McLaughlin

A large group of juniors ready to take over North Branch Viking Girls Tennis 2010 Record: 2-23 overall record. Whitney Jackson, Ashley Holscher, Katie Munns, Kelcee Archer, Emily Ziegler, Katherine Helbig, Alexa Berthiaume, Chelsey Gamer and Emily Rollins (all graduated) received Academic All-Conference honors. Ziegler, Helbig and Munns earned North Suburban AllConference Honorable Mention awards. The North Branch girls tennis team achieved the Academic All-State Gold Standard with Holscher, Ziegler, Helbig, Munns and Rollins earning All-State Academic awards. Top returners: Graduated a large number of seniors. Three players back from last years varsity Autumn Ruddy (senior) and Kaymen Ebnet (senior) and Gabrielle Ruddy (junior). Team depth: “Despite losing so many seniors we have a large number of juniors ready to move in a take their place,” said Coach Tom McLaughlin. “It’s been very difficult to sort out our lineup with so many good players close to each other skill wise. The competition with each other in practice will hopefully make them better for our matches. They’re a great group of girls with energy, personality, smarts and a positive attitude. We also have a seventh grader, freshmen, and sophomores that will likely contribute.”

The 2011 North Branch Viking Girls Tennis Team: Row 1 (l-r): Kaymen Ebnet, Morgan VanLingen, Cydney Bettendorf, Christina Gamer, Janice Elkerton, Samantha Weiss. Row 2: Gabrielle Ruddy, Abby Alm, Autumn Ruddy, Alexis Ferguson, Britta Anderson, Greta Lindberg, AlexAnn Koecher.

North Suburban Conference outlook: “I’m really not sure where we will end up in the conference at this time,” said Coach McLaughlin. “Our team will really depend on how the girls and our lineup comes together. I’ve got some fantastic senior leadership and a great group of girls to work with so I hope to surprise some of the better teams.”

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State & Section 7AA outlook: (Andover, Big Lake, Cambridge-Isanti, Chisago Lakes Area, Duluth Denfeld, Duluth East, Forest Lake, Hermantown, North Branch, Princeton, St. Francis, Cloquet/Carlton/Esko, Elk River/ Zimmerman, Greenway/Grand Rapids, Hibbing/Chisholm) Elk River, Forest Lake and Andover (not necessarily in that order) should be the top teams again in our section,” said Coach McLaughlin.

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rush City

CROSS COUNTRY Top returners: Taylor, Johnson, Weber. “All three are experienced,” said Coach Kevin Smith. “They will be the nucleus for our team and they will also be leaders in practice. Daniel had an excellent summer of running. He had high mileage and attended an excellent camp and is in the best shape of his career. Both Coach Vaughan and myself expect these three to lead by example and teach younger runners how to push themselves to their limit and then some. Ashley Swanson and Caci Cook will be our only returning senior runners for the girls team. Both have run Varsity for several seasons and we will rely on them to be consistent and improve as the year progresses. Liz “We are hopeful to be competing for Bolejack is a new senior girl out for the first time. They the top team in both boys and girls.” will also be leaders for our younger girls.” ~ Head Coach Kevin Smith Team depth: “We have more runners this year, 24 compared to 16 last season,” said Coach Smith. “We do not have a lot of depth as far as varsity experience goes, so we will need each athlete to stay injury free and learn from race to race how they can improve. The team has a good work ethic as all 9-12th grade runners have been having two practices daily in the first two weeks and attendance has been very good.” Rush City Tigers Boys Cross Country 2010 Record: Great River Conference outlook: “We are hopeful to be Great River Conference Runner-ups. Dan Taylor (senior), competing for the top team in both boys and girls when Isaac Johnson (senior) and Dan Weber (senior) earned conference time comes around,” said Coach Smith. “We All-Conference. The team placed 10th in the Section 5A will need improvement with our fourth through seventh Championship. Taylor placed seventh to earn a trip to the runners in the boys team. Our top three are very solid , State High School Championships where he finished in the but it takes all seven to win in this smaller race. The girls top third. will need to run as a group, minimizing the time from our Rush City Tigers Girls Cross Country 2010 Record: first runner to our seventh runner. Bryanna Koehnle has graduated, so we will need several girls to step up, much Great River Conference Champion Runner-ups. Ashley like the boys squad. Pine City is the defending champ in Swanson (senior), Payton Ramberg (freshman), Bryanna both boys and girls. Their girls team will be very tough to Koehnle (graduated) and Sammi Oscarson (sophomore) beat, but it certainly can be done. The boys will be getting earned All-Conference. The team placed ninth in the pushed by both Pine City and Hinckley/Finlayson. Section 5A Championships.

Hoping for GRC championships, with Taylor returning to state

State & Section 5A outlook: (Annandale, Braham, East Central, Foley, Heritage Christian Academy, HinckleyFinlayson, Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted, Legacy Christian Academy, Maple Lake, Maranatha Christian Academy, Milaca, Mora, Pierz, Pine City, Providence Academy, Rockford, Rush City, St. Cloud Cathedral, St. Cloud Christian, Watertown-Mayer, Mayer Lutheran/Lester Prairie, Holy Trinity, Spectrum/PACT Charter. Also for girls only: Onamia/Isle) “We have a super tough section again this year,” said Coach Smith. “The St. Cloud Cathedral squads, both boys and girls are loaded with fast, returning runners. The girls team probably will be the top rated team in the state when the polls come out. Mora, Annandale, Dassel-Cokato are other top teams which have very good programs. Realistically, if the boys improve consistently during the season, they should finish in the top third of all teams. It is to early to say the same for the girls squad, as they need to get more varsity experience. Daniel Taylor will be looking to return to the Sate Tournament as an individual. Baring injury he will be one of a handful of boys with the ability to win the Section Meet. His primary goal however, is to qualify to State and improve on his 48th place finish (at state) last season. Overall, we are expecting a very good season. The runners all have been putting in a good amount of mileage over the pre-season training period. The next step for most will be to learn how to handle the race distance and master the concept of pacing, but their is only one way to learn this and that is to line up each week and apply lessons from prior runs.”

The 2011 Rush City Tigers Boys and Girls Cross Country Team: Row 1 (l-r): Liz Bolejack, Haylie Gilbert, Sammi Oscarson. Row 2: Blake Cook, Dan Taylor, Garrett Larson, Caci Cook, Payton Ramberg. Row 3: Mason Stevens, Issac Johnson, Dan Weber, Austin Fessenden, Collin Yaritz, Kevin Nelson, Zeth Langeworthy. (not pictured: Ashley Swanson)

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North Branch & rush city

sport schedules Home games in bold

North Branch

rush city



Sept. 16 Pine City 7:30 PM 7 PM Sept. 23 Aitkin Crosby Ironton (Homecoming) 7:30 PM Sept. 30 Hinckley Finlayson 7 PM Oct. 7 Esko 7 PM Oct. 13 Braham 7 PM Oct. 19

Sept. 15 Duluth Central 7 PM Sept. 17 Tournament (multiple schools) 9 AM Sept. 20 St. Francis 7 PM Sept. 22 Robbinsdale Cooper 7 PM Sept. 27 Spring Lake Park 7 PM Fridley 7 PM Sept. 29 Oct. 1 Blaine 9 AM Oct. 6 Totino-Grace 7 PM Oct. 8 Mora Tournament 9 AM Oct. 11 Chisago Lakes 7 PM Oct. 13 Irondale 7 PM Oct. 18 Columbia Heights 7 PM Oct. 26 Sect. Tournament 7 PM Oct. 28 Sect. Qtr-Finals 7 PM Nov. 2 Section Semi-Finals 7 PM Section Finals (Andover) 7 PM Nov. 5

rush city

cross country Sept. 15 North Branch Sept. 24 Milaca Mega Meet Sept. 29 St. John’s Prep Oct. 1 Swain Meet Oct. 13 GRC Meet (Pine City) Oct. 18 Cambridge-Isanti

4 PM 10 AM 4 PM 10 AM 3:30 PM 4 PM

rush city

North Branch

VOLLEYBALL Sept. 19 Hinckley Finlayson Sept. 20 Pine City Sept. 22 Onamia Ogilvie Sept. 29 Oct. 4 Aitkin Oct. 6 Isle Oct. 8 Braham Tournament Oct. 11 East Central Oct. 14 Maranatha Oct. 17 Pine City Oct. 18 Braham

7:30 PM 7:15 PM 7:30 PM 7:30 PM 7:30 PM 7:30 PM 9 AM 7:30 PM 7:30 PM 7:30 PM 7 PM

North Branch

girls soccer Sept. 15 Sept. 17 Sept. 20 Sept. 22 Sept. 27 Sept. 29 Oct. 4 Oct. 6

Fridley Duluth Denfeld Spring Lake Park Benilde-St. Margaret’s Chisago Lakes St. Francis Robbinsdale-Cooper Irondale

5 PM 2 PM 7 PM 5 PM 7 PM 5 PM 7 PM 5 PM

North Branch

boys soccer Sept. 15 Sept. 20 Sept. 22 Sept. 24 Sept. 27 Sept. 29 Oct. 4 Oct. 6

Fridley Spring Lake Park Benilde-St. Margaret’s Duluth Central Chisago Lakes St. Francis Robbinsdale-Cooper Irondale

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5 PM 5 PM 7 PM 12 PM 5 PM 7 PM 5 PM 7 PM


Sept. 15 Chisago Lakes Sept. 17 Tournament (Blaine) Irondale Sept. 19 Sept. 20 Robbinsdale-Cooper St. Francis Sept. 22 Sept. 27 Columbia Heights Fridley Sept. 29 Oct. 4 Cambridge-Isanti North Branch


Sept. 16 Sept. 23 Sept. 30 Oct. 7 Oct. 14 Oct. 19

Chisago Lakes 7 PM Robbinsdale-Cooper 7 PM Columbia Heights (Homecoming) 7 PM St. Francis 7 PM Irondale 7 PM Totino-Grace 7 PM North Branch

cross country Sept. 15 Sept. 20 Sept. 24 Oct. 1 Oct. 4 Oct. 11 Oct. 18 Oct. 27

Multiple Schools Hudson Milaca Swain Becker Chisago Lakes Conf. Championships Cloquet

4 PM 3:45 PM 9 AM 9 AM 4 PM 4 PM 3 PM 2 PM

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rush City

FOOTBALL “One of our goals is to field a competitive squad within the conference.” ~ Head Coach Paul Kirby

Under new leadership Rush City Tigers Football 2010 Record: Ranked sixth in the Great Polar Blue Alliance Conference with a 0-5 conference and 0-9 overall record. Lost first round of sections to #3 state ranked team. Garrett Churchsmith and Kyle Ripp (both graduated) earned All-Conference. David Schmidt (graduated) All-Conference Honorable Mention. “Unfortunately, the Tigers went winless in 2010, but played each game to the best of their ability,” said Coach Paul Kirby. “Numbers were low and injuries plagued us. A number of games were decided by just a few points. This years’ squad is ready to build on lessons learned from last year” Top returners: “Junior captain Matt Mallinger provides leadership on and off the field,” said Coach Kirby. “Solid defensive experience in the secondary, offensive experience in the backfield and a contributor on special teams. Matt’s twin brother, Mitch Mallinger is a junior lineman with valuable experience gained last year. Mitch had an off season filled with hard work and outstanding dedication. Juniors, Garret Pearson and Jonathan Mielke are two-way players that have invested beneficial training time in the off-season and are ready to step into leadership positions. Seniors; Jake Trantanella, Beau Carlson and the Nelson twins (Jordan and Josh) have paid their dues as underclassmen and bring workman-like attitudes to the field everyday. We will count on these ‘old guys’ for day in and day out leadership.” Team depth: “Our underclassmen are eager to learn and willing to listen,” said Coach Kirby. “These highly coachable young men will be asked to contribute to the varsity squad much earlier than can be typically expected. However, a good number of these athletes have put in the time in our summer speed and agility training. As far as new looks, most of the changes are within the coaching staff. We have a new defensive coordinator in Mike

The 2011 Rush City Tigers Football Team: Row 1 (l-r): Jordan Nelson, Josh Nelson, Dan Johnson, Brandon Koehnle, Mitch Mallinger Alex Kristofferson, Brandon Elmer, Izaac Erickson, Brady Anderson. Row 2: Garret Pearson, Kaleb Alfveby, Ryan lind, Johnathan Mielke, Dalton Folkema, Jesse Rasmussen, Matt Mallinger, Alex Scheffer, Jake Trantanella, Jeff Kaltenhauser. (not pictured: Eric Erdman, Stephen Kay, Kyle Nelson, Spencer Warner, Justis Harvey, Dylan Fessenden, Hunter Leigland, Adam Hendrick, Dominic Montgomery, Josiah Smith, Tom Smith, Luke Rands, Braxton Wolf, Chase Grant, Jacob Lynch, Jesse Mitchell, Dan Ellsworth, Blaine Blazek, Mason Ramberg.) O’Donnell. Coach O’Donnell comes to us with valuable experience from across the region gained in a career of coaching high school athletics. I am excited to work with and learn from him. The other assistant coaches, Mike Saari & Joe Lakeberg, return for another run with the Tigers, but will shoulder more responsibility this season. We also have been lucky to add some volunteer coaches. I see endless benefits to the team when bringing quality people in like Ethan Turner, John Nolte, and A Thor to share their experience and expertise with the Tigers.” Great Polar Blue Alliance Conference outlook: “As in the past, one of our goals is to field a competitive squad within the conference,” said Coach Kirby. “I feel like we will be able to regularly do that this season. Playing teams like Braham, Hinckley and Crosby-Ironton competitively will give us a good measure of our team. Because football can be a game of attrition, some of the smaller schools in the conference with limited numbers of athletes participating, experience some of the same things that Rush City does when injuries, illness and other setbacks occur. The larger schools of the conference are able to absorb some of those same setbacks in a completely different manner solely based on their numbers.”

State & Section 7AA outlook: (Aitkin, Crosby-Ironton, Eveleth-Gilbert, Hinckley-Finlayson, Rush City, Two Harbors, Marshall-Duluth,/Lakeview Christian Academy, Moose Lake/Willow River) “Moose-Lake/Willow River and Coach Louzek set the standard that all teams in East Central Minnesota should aspire to,” said Coach Kirby.

rush City

VOLLEYBALL “Our goal is to advance further into the playoffs this year.” ~ Head Coach Eric Telander

Experienced team ready for competition Rush City Tigers Volleyball 2010 Record: Great River Conference Champions with a 7-1 conference and 15-8 overall record. Jami Friday (graduated), Danica Schellbach (senior), Taylor Olson (graduated), Taylor Schellbach (senior) earned All-Conference. Heather Herberg (senior) All Conference Honorable Mention. Friday also received All-Conference Hitter and Most Valuable Player awards. The team ended the season with a loss in the 5A East Subsection Quarterfinal. Top returners: “Danica Schellbach (middle hitter); We expect dominant net play, hitting and blocking,” said Coach Eric Telander. “Taylor Schellbach (setter); Very quick setter with good instincts. Heather Herberg (outside hitter); Great all around player, great server. Brooke Hein (senior outside hitter); Strong outside hitter-will be a force at the net. Abby Sherer (junior libero); Gets all over the court and is a great passer. Marissa Belau (senior defensive specialist ); Communicates well on the court and a great passer.” Team depth: “We have a lot of senior leadership and experience,” said Coach Telander. “A lot of these seniors have been playing at the varsity level since 10th grade. Looking for underclassmen to step up with consistent play allowing us to be deeper at each position. Losing six seniors will require some adjustments and time for team chemistry to build.”

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The 2011 Rush City Tigers Volleyball Team: Row 1 (l-r): Marissa Belau, Kayla Forcier. Row 2: Brooke Hein, Taylor Schellbach, Shawnee Mielke, Alecia Meier, Morgan Twingstrom, Jordyn Churchsmith. Row 3: Linzy Potter, Kristy Carlson, Danica Schellbach, Mackenzie Sherrill, Abby Scherer, Heather Herberg. Great River Conference outlook: “Our expectations are to give all conference opponents a competitive match,” said Coach Telander. “There are a lot of tough teams this year in our conference with good varsity experience, including Onamia, Braham, East Central and Ogilvie.” State & Section 5A outlook: (Barnum, BelgradeBrooten-Elrosa, Bertha-Hewitt, Braham, Browerville, Eagle Valley, Eden Valley-Watkins, Isle, Kimball Area, McGregor,

Menahga, Nevis, Ogilvie, Onamia, Osakis, Pillager, Pine River-Backus, Royalton, Sebeka, Swanville, Upsala, Verndale, East Central/Harvest Christian) “Our goal is to advance further into the playoffs this year,” said Coach Telander. “We have an extremely tough section, with state ranked teams in it. Nevis and BBE (Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa), the 2010 section final matchup, are returning strong teams. Nevis is ranked #1 in the Class A preseason poll.”

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ECM Post Review Fall Sports Preview  

Rush City and North Branch High School Fall Sports Preview

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