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SPORTS ’12 P r ev i ew

A Product Of The

Friday, November 30, 2012




New-look Wildcat men will strive for similar goals this season BY ERIC GROVER • DAILY NEWS This ain’t your grandfather’s Wildcats. It’s not even your Wildcats from last season. Following the departure of old coach Scott Schumacher in May and the tragic death of Fred Joseph in the offseason, the North Dakota State College of Science men’s basketball team is a brand new product, save for one player, Eric O’Neil, who suited up for the squad last year. New coach Stu Engen, previously of MSU-Moorhead fame, brings a new style of ball to Wahpeton. With a 9-2 record early into the team’s season, the wins alone tell NDSCS

fans that something is going right. With a mix of new recruits, the Wildcats bring a pace and energy to the court that has overwhelmed its opponents. Led by point guard Nik Savageau, a level-headed floor general, and Xavier Blackburn, an athletic, do-everything forward, NDSCS has the building blocks for success. The pair are complimeted by Bretson McNeal, a sweet-shooting wing player, the bruising Tim Gill on the inside, and the high-flying contibutions of Stephan Lambert and Jerry Pratt. It might be a new team, but the Wildcats will aim for the same old goals this season. A Mon-Dak Conference title is well within reach, as is a Region XIII championship.



Wahp and Breck gymnasts look to improve off last year’s work BY ERIC GROVER • DAILY NEWS The Wahpeton-Breckenridge gymnastics team is looking forward to another successful season. “Practice has been going good,” coach Raquel Pearson said. “The girls are strong and our goal is just to work hard as a team.” The girls are still in the early stages of practice,

getting ready for the long season ahead. “They’ve been working on new skills, and they’re really excited to show them off,” Pearson said. The team will be led by Mikki Braun, who was one of the team’s most reliable gymnasts last season. Senior Shannon Thompson is also poised to do well in her final year for the team.

2012-13 NDSCS Men’s Basketball Upcoming Schedule Jan. 14- @ Concordia JV, 8 p.m. Jan. 17- United Tribes TC, 8 p.m. Jan. 21- @ DC Bottineau, 8 p.m. Jan. 24- Jamestown JV, 8 p.m. Jan. 28- Williston State, 8 p.m. Jan. 31- @ Bismarck State, 8 p.m. Feb. 4- DC Bottineau, 8 p.m.

Feb. 7- Lake Region State, 8 p.m. Feb. 11- @ United Tribes TC, 8 p.m. Feb. 14- Dakota County TC, 8 p.m. Feb. 18- @ Williston State, 8 p.m. Feb. 21- Bismarck State, 8 p.m. Feb. 24- Lake Region State, 4

Our Team Supports Your Team!

p.m. Feb. 27- Region XIII Semifinal, TBD Mar. 4- Region XIII Championship, TBD Mar. 7- Districts, TBD Mar. 18-23- NJCAA Tournament *Home events in bold*



A big blow for the team is the loss of Lizzie Brown, who will sit out this year with a concussion. “We’re sad about that, but we’re going to push through,” Pearson said. Pearson said the team’s best event will be the floor exercise, and also praised the efforts on bars. The team is aiming to perform well at state and the EDC meet.

Big John’s


The fast-paced NDSCS Wildcats men’s team is built for scoring, featuring a mix of core fundamentals and pure athleticism.

Dec. 5- Ridgewater CC, 8 p.m. Dec. 8- Minot Air Force Base, TBA Dec. 9- Concordia JV, TBA Jan. 4- vs. Rochester CC, 3 p.m. (@ Anoka Ramsey Classic) Jan. 5- @ Anoka Ramsey, 5 p.m. Jan. 8- @ Dakota County TC, TBA


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After run last season, new leaders must emerge for Wahpeton BY ERIC GROVER • DAILY NEWS After falling two games short of a North Dakota state basketball championship last season, the Wahpeton boys basketball team parted with numerous key seniors. Now, the team is faced with the task of finding new leaders and role players to step up and help their Huskies along to another dangerous playoff run. Wahpeton coach Jeff Ralph is fully aware of the challenges his team will face in the early going. “We’ve got some work to do, some coaching to do. With the younger guys, we have to teach them to get up to the level we need them to be at,” Ralph said. “That’s going to be our biggest thing. This isn’t JV anymore. This is varsity, and we

have to play hard.” The team will be led up and down the floor by a pair of young wing players, Jack Christensen and Blaze Irwin. Christensen, who has started for Wahpeton since his freshman year, plays with tenacity while Irwin starred in a sixth-man role last season as a spot-shooting specialist. The biggest question mark for Wahpeton is its play on the inside, which will drive how far the team can go. “Every year, it’s how are we going to rebound and defend,” Ralph said. Everything we do is built from the inside.” While the Huskies are young, the team isn’t planning on putting off success for a year or two. It’s a team that will challenge for a top-4 place in the Eastern Dakota Conference this year.



Lady Cats have high ambitions for incoming recruiting class BY ERIC GROVER • DAILY NEWS


Paulette Stein (center) and the Wildcats have a chance to do some damage in the Mon-Dak Conference this season.

2012-13 NDSCS Women’s Basketball Upcoming Schedule


The Wahpeton boys basketball team is a young group of ambitious players, aiming for a return to the state tournament.

2012-13 Wahpeton Boys Basketball Schedule

Dec. 7- @ Valley City, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13- @ Fargo Davies, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15- Breckenridge (@ NDSCS), 6:45 p.m. Dec. 18- Fargo South, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 29- Devils Lake- 5:15 p.m. Jan. 3- @ Fargo North, 7;30 p.m. Jan. 11- Grand Forks Red River, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 15- West Fargo, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 18- @ Fargo Shanley, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 22- Fargo Davies, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 25- Grand Forks Central,


7:30 p.m. Jan. 31- @ Fargo South, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 5- Fargo North, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 8- @ Devils Lake, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 15- @ West Fargo, 7;30 p.m. Feb. 19- @ Grand Forks Red River, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 22- Fargo Shanley, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 26- Valley City, 7:30 p.m. Feb 28- @ Grand Forks Central, 7:30 p.m. Mar. 5, 8-9- EDC Tounament, TBD *Home events in bold*

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Dec. 5- Ridgewater CC, 6 p.m. Dec. 8- Minot Air Force Base, 6 p.m. Dec. 9- Concordia JV, 8 p.m. Jan. 5- Hibbing CC, 4 p.m. Jan. 8- @ Mayville State JV, 6:30 p.m. Jan. 14- @ Concordia JV, 6 p.m.

Jan. 17- United Tribes TC, 6 p.m. Jan. 21- @ DC Bottineau, 6 p.m. Jan. 24- Jamestown JV, 6 p.m. Jan. 28- Williston State, 6 p.m. Jan. 31- @ Bismarck State, 6 p.m. Feb. 4- DC Bottineau, 6 p.m.

Feb. 7- Lake Region State, 6 p.m. Feb. 11- @ United Tribes TC, 6 p.m. Feb. 14- Mayville State JV, 6 p.m. Feb. 18- @ Williston State, 8 p.m. Feb. 21- Bismarck State, 8 p.m.

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Feb. 24- Lake Region State, 4 p.m. Feb. 27- Region XIII Semifinal, TBD Mar. 4- Region XIII Championship, TBD *Home events in bold*

It’s been an interesting couple of years for the North Dakota State College of Science women’s basketball team, which has had trouble in the post season. The biggest issue? A lack of size around the basket. Problem solved. Wildcats insiders are buzzing about this year’s version of the Lady Cats, a young roster filled with promising forwards and centers. Coach Paulette Stein made a concerted effort in recruiting height over the summer, and it shows. Eight of the Wildcats on the roster are 5’10’’ or taller.

The forward who has really emerged early in the season for the 7-5 Wildcats is Nicole Rilla, a relentless warrior around the lane, bossing opponents around on both sides of the ball. Rilla is complimented by Morgan Julius and Bryann Guyton on the inside, who are each capable of big production off the bench. The Wildcats are just as strong on the perimeter, led by the dribble penetration of Shamika Hopkins and the three-point shooting of recently-returned Katie Campbell. Chanel Dickenson and Cheyenne Ironheart also give the Cats versatile wing players who do a little bit of everything. With a new roster, the Cats are poised for a run.

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Wahpeton girls team aiming for increased playoff success BY ERIC GROVER • DAILY NEWS


The Wahpeton girls team returns many key players in what could be a successful season in the Eastern Dakota Conference. Dec. 8- Valley City, 4:15 p.m. Dec. 14- Fargo Davies, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15- Breckenridge, 5 p.m. (@NDSCS) Dec. 18- @ Fargo South, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 29- Devils Lake, 3:30 p.m.

2012-13 Wahpeton Girls Basketball Schedule Jan. 3- Fargo North, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 11- @ Grand Forks Red River, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 15- @ West Fargo, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 18- Fargo Shanley, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 22- @ Fargo Davies, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 24- @ Grand Forks Central, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 31- Fargo South, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 5 - @ Fargo North, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 8- @ Devils Lake, 5:45 p.m. Feb. 15- West Fargo, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 19- Grand Forks Red River, 7:30 p.m.

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Feb. 22- @ Fargo Shanley, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 28- Grand Forks Central, 7:30 p.m. Mar. 5, 8-9- EDC Tournament, TBD *Home games in bold*

In the past two seasons, the Wahpeton girls basketball team has increased their win totals and overall momentum. This year should be no different, as the Huskies retain many key pieces from last year’s team. The Huskies are built to win now, featuring a loaded roster of 10 seniors. “We have a lot of seniors, so that make it flow better,” Wahpeton coach Brian Watson said. “I think we’re pretty optimistic about the year. We have the opportunity to have a good season.” Last year, the Huskies

were tormented with the injury bug. But with everyone healthy, headlined by guard Allison Albrecht, the Huskies will be competitive in conference. Albrecht, along with guard Lachelle Bumgarner, combine to make up one of the the best backcourts in EDC. “With Allie healthy and Lachelle returning, I think we’re going to be pretty good,” Watson said. It will largely be up to the frontcourt productivity to see how far the team will go. “The challenge will be in the post area,” Watson said. “We’re not very big and we don’t have a lot of true post players. We’re going to have to box out really well.”

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Seasoned Cowgirls are gaining experience with every day

BY TURNER BLAUFUSS • DAILY NEWS SPORTS INTERN The Breckenridge Cowgirls’ basketball team returns all but two players from last year’s team, along with a new leader. Dennis Sumption takes over for his second stint as the Cowgirls’ coach and is thrilled to improve on last year’s 9-16 record. “I had been a head coach many years ago and it just happened to come along, so we’ll give it a shot and see what happens,” Sumption said. The Cowgirls return a solid junior crew that boasts multiple players with two years of experience already. Katrina Dahlgren, Alison Beyer, Haley Bommersbach and Morgan LeNoue will be the drive to the team’s success. “The four juniors we got back will have to lead the way for us, because of all the experience they had starting some last year and the year before that,” Sumption said. The losses from last year’s team include the offensive spark plug Amber Vold, who was one of the top scorers in the conference and Sierra Steckler, who led the defense with her presence. “The leadership we lost is irreplaceable, but we have some great girls that can step into the role for

them,” Sumption said. Other key contributors will be sophomores Kennedy Conzemius and Annie Dohman who played varsity minutes last season, senior transfer Elise Engen and junior Brittany Mergens, who could help out right away after a year off from the game. The Heart O’ Lakes is tough for basketball every season, which is why if they plan on making a run for a title, Sumption stresses constant improvement. “The biggest expectation we have is to get better every day. If we improve every day, then we should be able to compete come playoff time,” Sumption said. The Cowgirls’ first game is Friday in Barnesville, Minn., at 7:30 p.m.


The Breckenridge girls basketball features a core of veteran players which should make some noise in conference.

2012-13 Breckenridge Girls Basketball Schedule

Nov. 30- @ Barnesville, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1- Litchfield, 2:30 p.m. Dec. 7- Perham, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 10- @ Park Christian, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13- @ Frazee, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15- Wahpeton (@ NDSCS), 5 p.m. Dec. 18- @ West Central Area, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 20- Hankinson, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 27- TBA (@ Fergus Falls Tourney), 6 p.m. Dec. 28- @ Fergus Falls, 6 p.m. Jan. 4- @ Crookston, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 10- D-G-F, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 18- @ Pelican Rapids, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 19- @ Bismarck St. Mary’s,

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3:45 p.m. Jan. 22- Wadena-Deer Creek, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 24- Hawley, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 25- @ Wheaton, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 29- Barnesville, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 1- @ Perham, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 5- Frazee, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11- @ D-G-F, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 16- Morris Area, 6 p.m. Feb. 19- Pelican Rapids, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 22- @ Hawley, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 23- TBA (@NDSCS), 7:30 p.m. Feb. 28, Mar. 2, 5, 8- Section Touranment, TBD

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*Home events in bold*

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Young Cowboys are ready to battle for wins on the hardwood BY TURNER BLAUFUSS • DAIL Y NEWS SPORTS INTERN


The Breckenridge Cowboys’ basketball team is back on the court with a young team and a new coach. Tyler Bormann takes the reigns for Dean Haugo, who accepted an activities director position at Moorhead High School. Bormann is bringing change to the Breckenridge gym and looking forward to make some noise in the always tough Heart O’ Lakes. “It’s going to take these guys a little bit of time to get used to me. Coach Haugo did a tremendous job, but I’m a different coach and do some things differently. Out of the gates that could cause us to be a little slow at some facets, but by the end of the year I think we’ll be able to compete with anybody in our league,” Bormann said. The Cowboys return three juniors and two sophomores with significant varsity minutes including three starters. Sophomore Nate Lorenz returns at forward after an excellent freshman campaign that ended with him being the second leading scorer, team leader in rebounds and a spot on the All-Conference team. “(Lorenz) had a tremen-

dous summer playing with the AAU team that he did. He played on the perimeter, but he’s still got the potential to be a great interior scorer for us. He needs those inside touches to fill his role on our team,” Bormann said. Junior Parker Busse is back at the small forward position. Busse used his shooting touch and his effort on the glass to achieve All-Conference Honorable Mention. Sophomore Nate Blaufuss is back to run the point and be the team’s lockdown defender. “(Blaufuss) has really impressed me because of his work ethic. He just goes about his business and makes plays, and I love that in a point guard,” Bormann said. Juniors Connor Yaggie and Jordan Christensen round out the returning contributors and will fill out the starting lineup after great summer play. Seniors Richard Grohman, Ian Jahnig and juniors Alex Myrha, Blaze Smith and Preston Yaggie will compete to add depth to a solid starting five. “I look for us to hopefully build some depth as the season goes on. My expectations is that our depth grows and we’re a much better team at the end of the season,” Bormann said.


Under the tutelage of new coach Tyler Bormann, the Breckenridge basketball team will bring a new energy to the court.

2012-13 Breckenridge Boys Basketball Schedule Dec. 4- Wadena-Deer Creek, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6- @ Fergus Falls, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14- Barnesville, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15- Wahpeton, 6:45 p.m. (@NDSCS) Dec. 18- @ Perham, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 21- Frazee, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 27- TBA (@ Fergus Falls Tourney), 4:30 p.m. Dec. 28- @ Fergus Falls, 8 p.m. Jan. 8- @ D-G-F, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 12- Hillcrest Lutheran, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 15- West Central Area, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 17- Pelican Rapids, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 19- @ Bismarck St. Mary’s, 5:30 p.m. Jan. 22- @ Hawley, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 25- @ Barnesville, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 31- Perham, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 4- @ Frazee, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 8- D-G-F, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 9- TBA (@ NDSCS), 7:30

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Mar. 7, 9, 12, 16- Section Tourney, TBD *Home events in bold*

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With departed seniors, Cowboys need new wrestlers to step up BY PRESTON YAGGIE • DAILY NEWS SPORTS INTERN

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The Breckenridge wrestling team will be built similarly to last year’s team, strong in the middle weights, but without a lot of wrestlers in the lower weights. The team lost matches usually because of forfeiting open spots, but individually the Cowboy wrestlers have made their mark. Stephan Erlandson, Greg Erlandson, and Cole Praus competed in the Minnesota Class A State Tournament and have been big contributors for the last few years to the team. “It’s gonna be pretty hard to replace guys like that,” said coach Pat Vold. “We’re hoping kids can step in and fill their roles in leadership. We shuffled around a lot guys

around last year to get young guys some experience.” The team won’t be without any other state contestants as senior Josh Stuehrenberg made it to the tournament last year and junior Conrad Kondos has back-to-back state tournament appearances and added a fourth place finish in the previous season. Kondos said he hopes to add a state championship to his already impressive resume this season. Stuehrenberg, and other seniors Michael Whitney, Josh Peterson and Derek Nordick will be counted on for leadership from the rest of the young team. “We have a good group of seniors this year who’ve been on varsity for a while,” Vold said.


The Breckenridge Cowboys wrestling team will strive to send several wrestlers back to the state tournament this season. Nov. 30-Dec-1- @ NDSCS Tourney Dec. 6- Wahpeton, 6 p.m. Dec. 8- @ Barnesville Tourney, 9 a.m. Dec. 14- @ Ottertail Central, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 18- Morris Area, 6 p.m.

2012-13 Breckenridge Wrestling Schedule Dec. 20- @ D-G-F, 6 p.m. Jan 3- @Barnesville Quadrangular, 4:30 p.m. Jan. 5- @ Benson Tournament, 9 a.m. Jan. 8- @ Pelican Rapids Triangular, 5 p.m. Jan. 12- @ Parkers Prairie Tour-

ney, 9:30 a.m. Jan 17- @ West Central Area, 6 p.m. Jan. 18-19- @Lisbon Tourney Jan. 22- @ Wadena-Deer Creek, 7 p.m. Jan. 26- HOL Conference Tourney (@ Hawley)

Feb. 5- @ Bertha-Hewitt Quadrangular, 5 p.m. Feb. 7- Ortonville, 6 p.m. Feb. 9- @ Morris Area Tourney, 9 a.m. Feb. 12, 16, 22-23- @ Sectionals *Home events in bold*

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One year older, the Huskies will take new steps in the EDC BY ERIC GROVER • DAILY NEWS


After taking some lumps as an inexpierenced team last season, the Huskies are now one year older and ready to progress. Nov. 27- Fargo South, 7 p.m. Nov. 30-Dec.1- NDSCS Tourney Dec. 6- @ Breckenridge, 7 p.m. Dec. 7-8 @ Grand Forks Tourney Dec. 11- Lisbon, 7 p.m. Dec. 15- @ Valley City Tourney, TBD

2012-13 Wahpeton Wrestling Schedule

Dec. 18- vs. Devils Lake, Red River (@ GF Red River), 5 p.m. Dec. 28-29- @ Fargdome Tourney, TBD Jan. 4-5 @ Bismarck Tourney, TBD Jan. 8- @ Valley City, 7 p.m.

Jan. 14- Grand Forks Central, 7 p.m. Jan. 17- @ Fargo North, 7 p.m. Jan. 18-19- @ Lisbon Tourney, TBD Jan. 24- Fargo Davies, 7 p.m. Jan. 26- @ Fergus Falls Tourney,

Good Luck Teams!

TBD Feb. 1- West Fargo, 7 p.m. Feb. 9- EDC Championships (@ GF Red River), 9 a.m. Feb. 14- State Tournament (@ Fargodome) *Home events in bold*

An extremely young team that featured virtually no seniors last season is now one year older. With that, the Wahpeton wrestling team now has higher expectations. “With the wrestlers that we have, we’re going to create some noise in the conference,” Wahpeton coach Kelly McNary said. “We always look for that top-4 spot so we can qualify as a team for state.” The wrestling season is a long and arduous process, and the Huskies find themselves strewn into an ultra-competitive conference in the EDC.

“It’s like the football season, every game really counts,” McNary said. “Every meet is going to mean something.” Seniors Tyler Ringdahl, Mike Lehmann and Jacob Thiel will be amongst the Huskies best on the mat this season. “They’re all state placewinners, and we’re happy to have them back in the lineup,” McNary said. “But we’ve got some guys at the junior level, too.” Juniors Kameron McNary, Hunter McCall and Wyatt Meyer, a returning state place-winner, also have ambitions for new ground in the season, as well. The Huskies have the depth and talent to get things done. It’s now up to them to see how the year will go.


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BY PRESTON YAGGIE • DAILY NEWS SPORTS INTERN The BW Baldes made some noise in their first season playing in Minnesota, with a solid 16-5 record playing as an Independent before getting bounced in the first round of the Section 6A playoffs by regional powerhouse Fergus Falls. “Last season was a good transition for us,” said coach Todd Dwyer. “I’m excited for this year and I know our players are. We’ve got guys coming back who stepped up last year, hopefully they’ll do it this year too.” The Blades will lose 11 seniors from last year’s team, including leading scorer Cody Bronson. The

team does return many key contributors from last year as well, senior forwards Clay Bassingthwaite and Tyler Grippentrog are the leading returning scorers from a year ago. Senior defensemen Zach Reiff and Jake Richels and senior goalie Michael Withuski have plenty of experience holding the opponent to a low score. “Mike played real well last year and is going to be a important part of our team this year,” said Dwyer. “Zach’s also a really good player and he’ll be a leader for us.” The Blades will have lots of talent this year, but depth will be an issue. The smaller amount of players may hurt the team as the season goes on.


After making the playoffs last season, the Blades have the talent — and motivation — to get back to the postseason again. Nov. 24- Northern Lakes, 5 p.m. Nov. 29- @ Fargo South, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1- @ St. Cloud Apollo, 5:15 p.m. Dec. 4- Wadena-Deer Creek, 7 p.m.

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2012-13 Breckenridge Wrestling Schedule Dec. 7- @ Red Lake Falls, 7 p.m. Dec. 8- @ Bagley, 5 p.m. Dec. 15- Fergus Falls, 3 p.m. Dec. 20- Detroit Lakes, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 21- @ Devils Lake, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 27-29, @ Spooner Tourney, TBD Jan. 3- Willmar, 7 p.m. Jan. 4- Red Lake Falls, 7 p.m. Jan. 11- @ Sauk Centre, 7 p.m. Jan. 15- Morris Area, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 18- Kittson Central, 6 p.m.

Jan. 19- @ Luverne, 6 p.m. Jan. 22- @ Wadena-Deer Creek, 7 p.m. Jan. 31- @ Morris Area, 7 p.m. Feb. 2- Bagley, 3 p.m. Feb. 8 @ Kittson Central, 6 p.m. Feb. 9- Luverne, 5 p.m.

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Winter sports guide  

winter sports from wrestling to basketball at area high schools and college

Winter sports guide  

winter sports from wrestling to basketball at area high schools and college