Thursday, May 29, 2008

Paynesville-Melrose Sub-Section Championship Baseball Held in Elrosa on Friday Night

The Bulldogs and Dutchmen will face off at Saints Field in Friday night at 7:00 in the Sub-Section 6AA-19 championship.

Good for Elrosa, that is a nice spot to hold this game.

In a non-league amateur baseball game, Greenwald will play at Regal at 6:30.

**Update on Friday night:
Scores from Section 5A, Sub-Section East Championship:
Hinckley-Finlayson 2, Royalton 1 (HF is now 17-3, Royalton is 13-6)

Sub-Section 5A-West Championship:
Browerville/Eagle Valley 5, Upsala-Swanville Area 1

Browerville/Eagle Valley will face Hinckley-Finlayson in the Section 5A winner's bracket final on Monday at Pierz. That same night at Pierz, USA & Royalton will face off in the loser's bracket semi-final in their third meeting of the season.

Sub-Section 6AA-18 championship:
Albany 2, Rocori 0
Sub-Section 6AA-19 championship:
Paynesville Area 5, Melrose 4 (Paynesville's gazillionth-straight sub-section actually, I think they've won every sub-section title since 2002)

Howard Lake Honors Student Dies Days Before Graduation Following Track Meet

Madeysen Kleve died in an accident near Annandale on Highway 55. It was a rollover accident that also involved 3 of her classmates as well. Two of the four were ejected from the car, which was hit broadside by a truck. Two remain hospitalized in critical condition.

It is unclear at this point why the accident took place, or which vehicle made the mistake. One has to simply be thankful that only one of the four died, as it sounded like a very serious accident.

I just learned that one of the students in the accident (Mitch) has cracked skull in some places, fluid in his lungs, and a severe cut on the back of his head. Doctors are optimistic but said to continue to pray for him because he is not out of the woods yet.

Another student in the accident, (Kacie) is at St.Cloud hospital. She had surgery Thursday morning to realign her hip. She is in stable condition and her vital readings are good. A small miracle there.

The accident took place after the Section 5A track and field meet last night in Collegeville, where Madeysen and 3 of her friends were cheering her Lakers track and field teams. The Jaguars track and field teams had 8 students there competing at the meet.

Madeysen was an honors student at Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted. She was enrolled at Mankato State this fall in the nursing program. Pray for her family.

Many years ago, when I was a junior at B-B-E, I remember principal Terry Frazee lecturing me about teenage driving. He added that in his time as an administrator at small schools, he always feared two weekends the most: Prom & Graduation. He always breathed a sigh of relief the week following those weekends when he knew that nothing tragic took place.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Lensing Returns to State Track and Field Tournament - Section 5A Meet Held Today

The Jaguars track and field team will send Heidi Lensing to state this year, after her second-place performance in the High Jump. It's her second straight trip to state, as she went last year as a sophomore in the Long Jump (placing 5th).

The boys 400-meter Relay team endured an injury to the 3rd-leg runner and had a disappointing finish in their race at Sections. Injuries happen, that's the nature of the beast.

We had a great turnout at the athletic banquet tonight at the Padua Pub. I will also add that the chicken was great! Dave wouldn't have it any other way.

Fastpitch results in Section 5A Championship series:
Maple Lake 2, Barnum 1
Maple Lake 15, Barnum 1

I'm off to bed early tonight, I'll post photos and other info tomorrow. The sunburn-effect took a lot out of me today.

This Jaguars sports playoff update brought to you by:

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Where To Begin... Jaguars Fastpitch & Baseball Both Fall Out of Playoffs

The photo backed up what the ump said...Laura was safe with the slide, against Barnum.

In a matter of a couple hours tonight, my chances at covering four Jaguars sports programs at their respective state tournaments was narrowed to only two. It was a difficult evening to be a Jaguars fan. While the ticket to the state golf tournament was punched last Friday, three chances were in play going into this evening (baseball, fastpitch, track & field).

The Jaguars Fastpitch team lost two games in the Section 5A Final Four to end their season in 3rd place, after gaining the Sub-Section 5A-West championship last week. In the winner's bracket final they faced the Barnum Bombers and lost 7-1. In the loser's bracket final, the Jaguars then fell to Maple Lake 9-4.

They had a great showing in the playoffs, both this season and in 2007. I was proud to see them battle back against Maple Lake tonight, after falling behind 9-0 after 3 1/2 innings. They certainly could have folded and gone home after a 5-inning game. They battled the rest of the way, but it was not meant to be.

In their three appearances in the Section 5A Final Four (2000, 2007, 2008), the Jaguars fastpitch team finished third each time. This one was the most special run, as they entered the tournament for the first time as sub-section champions. They finish the season 14-7. In my three years covering their team, they have gone 11-9, 10-13, and now 14-7. (35-29 overall)

The top-seeded Jaguars Baseball team fell in the sub-section semi-finals in a shocker, 7-0, to the 4th-seeded Browerville/Eagle Valley Broncos tonight. I don't even know where to begin with that one. I feel very sorry for the eight seniors on the team. I've seen them win a pile of games in 2006, 2007, and 2008, especially during their run in the Region tournament with Legion baseball last summer.

Tonight's loss for the baseball team was the 7th straight semi-final loss in sub-section play. Since 2002 they have always been seeded in the top four of the sub-section, with this year being the first in that stretch with a #1-ranking. It never translated into a section berth, however. It's simply baffling, like a cruel and unfair jinx in my opinion.

They have gone 8-12, 9-10, and 15-5 in my three years covering them. (32-27)

The Broncos are 9-7 after the win. They advance to the sub-section championship on Thursday night, facing either Upsala-Swanville Area or Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City. They were Prairie Conference Tri-Champions with Royalton and USA, with all three teams going 5-3 in league play.

Good luck to the Jaguars track and field teams, who have eight tracksters at the Section 5A meet at St.John's tomorrow. Action begins around 10:30 at Clemens Stadium in Collegeville.

Also on Wednesday, the annual B-B-E athletic banquet will be held at the Padua Pub at 7:00. Did you get your ticket?

This Jaguars sports playoff update brought to you by:

Monday, May 26, 2008

Two Recent Stories on the Barnum Bombers Fastpitch Team in the Pine Journal, Cloquet

Barnum Bombers softball win conference championship
Kerry Rodd Pine Journal
Published Thursday, May 22, 2008

Barnum picked up a conference championship and an opening round win against Cromwell in softball last week. On Friday they ousted the Cards from the playoffs in a 13-0 shutout.

The Bombers capped an undefeated conference season on Thursday by sweeping Wrenshall and McGregor.

By virture of going 11-0 in the Polar League, the Bombers won the conference title outright after beating Wrenshall 11-0 and McGregor 12-2.

“A Polar League title in any sport is extremely difficult to win,” said Bombers coach Randy Myhre. “An example of that is in the past 15 years, Barnum has been to the state tournament in softball and basketball more times than we have won our league championship.”

The Polar League features a myriad of teams that in any given year can win a title, but in softball it can be extremely difficult with the likes of such powers as Esko, Barnum, Silver Bay and Moose Lake-Willow River on a year-in, year-out basis.

“Winning a conference title means that a team did very, very well over a period of time,” mentioned Myhre. “This is different from getting through a tournament where a team only has to win a few games. I am extremely proud of our team and I hope our girls are proud of their own individual efforts as well. They did a great job all season long.”

• The Bombers opened the Section 5A playoffs against Cromwell 13-0 as Megan Myhre tossed a one-hitter while fanning 12. Katrina Newman went 2-for-2 with three runs scored and Megan Myhre was 2-for-3 with a triple, a home run, two runs scored and six RBIs.

• Last Thursday, Barnum beat Wrenshall 11-0 in five innings of work. Newman picked up the pitching win by allowing one hit and she also delivered two hits along with a home run. Hannah Wekseth also had two hits with a double for the Bombers.

• Also on Thursday, the Bombers rode the three-hit pitching of Megan Myhre to a 12-2 win over McGregor. Myhre added eight strikeouts and no walks as well as three hits, one of which was a double. Newman went 2-for-3 and Wekseth was 3-for-3 with a double.

Barnum is 16-4 on the season.

Barnum softball team nips Eskomos
Kerry Rodd Pine Journal
Published Thursday, May 08, 2008

With an intense atmosphere and the game in doubt until the last out, the Barnum softball team pulled out a tight 1-0 game over Esko at home on Tuesday.

“Good teams find a way to win and that is exactly what we did against Esko,” said Bomber coach Randy Myhre following the game. “Esko has a very young but very good team and coach Brad Emanuel deserves a lot of credit for the team he has put together.”

The game featured Katrina Newman of Barnum and Esko’s Kelsey Saralampi on the mound and both were strong. Megan Myhre came in to pitch the final three innings for Barnum as they hung on for the win. Megan Myhre finished with a pair of hits and also drove in the winning run for the Bombers.

“We had runners on and in scoring position in four different innings with less than two outs,” commented Emanuel. “We just couldn’t score. Good teams get clutch hits, make clutch plays in the field and right now we aren’t doing either.”

Newman finished with five strikeouts, while Saralampi fanned 11 Bombers as she did her best to keep things close for Esko.

“Once again, we got outstanding pitching from both Katrina and Megan,” explained coach Myhre. “Hannah Wekseth was also spectacular behind the plate and both Katrina and Megan also had several good at-bats for us.”

The loss was particularly frustrating for the Eskomos because they also fell 4-0 to Denfeld on Monday night. They have found themselves unable to score runs even though Saralampi has kept her team in the game.

“Against Denfeld we gave up three unearned runs in the first inning and put ourselves in a hole right away,” commented Emanuel. “Basically we are not getting the offensive production and not making the defensive plays that should be made.”

Barnum has a strong tradition in girls fastpitch. They have been denied "state" by a number of strong teams in the past few years of playoffs, including Ogilvie and Braham. They only have two seniors on the roster, but make no bones about it... they'll be hungry to beat our Jaguars and get out of Section 5A. Our Jaguars will have to play another solid game as they did against Maple Lake last Thursday in order to win. At least we now know that the Jaguars fastpitch team "has it" and they can show it.

I'll also add, this has already been a special season for the Jaguars fastpitch team. Their sub-section title is the first playoff championship in girls sports for B-B-E since March 2005 when the girls basketball won Sub-Section 5A-South. Other than volleyball, sub-section titles have been very rare for girls sports at B-B-E. In 1993 and 1995, the girls basketball team won sub-section championships. Volleyball won sub-sections in 1997, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007. Now the Jaguars fastpitch team of 2008 can be added to that illustrious list. They earned it. The team is made up of incredibly competitive and hard-nosed athletes, many of whom played on record-setting volleyball, tennis, and basketball teams this school year. I'll also say, I know they're not satisfied with just winning the sub-section in fastpitch. Section and "State" hardware is within reach for the team. It just might happen.

Section 5A Final Four Fastpitch Tournament Begins Tuesday

The Sub-Section 5A-West champion Jaguars fastpitch team (14-5) will open the Section 5A tournament on Tuesday at 5:00 at Whitney Park in St.Cloud. They will face the Sub-Section 5A-East champions, the Barnum Bombers, in a winner's bracket final game. The winner of that game gets a free pass to the section championship series, which will be held on Thursday night at the same location.

Barnum is 17-4 overall. They defeated last year's sub-section champion, Ogilvie, by a 6-3 score in the semi-finals. They then beat East Central 6-1 in the championship. The Bombers were the Polar League champion, going 11-0 in the loop. They are a very solid team, and I would rate them as tough if not tougher than the Ogilvie Lions were last season. (Ogilvie won over our Jaguars in last year's Section 5A loser's bracket final game by an 11-1 score in shortened innings.)

Interestingly, Barnum's fastpitch team is built almost the exact opposite of the Jaguars. They start a senior pitcher and senior catcher, and the rest is all underclassmen, with a freshmen holding down their third base spot, sophomores at shortstop and second base, and a junior at first base. Their sophomore shortstop, Katrina Newman, also pitches.

Their senior starting catcher, Megan Myhre, went 2-for-3 with a triple, a home run, two runs scored and six RBIs in their playoff-opening win over Cromwell, a 13-0 whitewash. From what I've read, it appears their team hinges on her level of play, and she's an outstanding athlete.

On paper, B-B-E & Barnum are ranked virtually the same in Class A, around the 20th best when factoring their strength of schedules.

Barnum was tagged with their first loss by Albrook/Cotton 3-1 on April 18. The loss game one day after the Bombers hosted a double-header against Floodwood & Carlton, in which they went 2-0. Albrook/Cotton went 12-1 in the regular season and 1-1 in the Section 7A playoffs.

Barnum lost 4-0 to Mountain Iron-Buhl (4-12) on April 30, in the first of two games that day. In the 2nd game that day, they lost 7-1 to Hermantown, who is a very good Class AA team that is currently 17-3 and in the Section 7AA Final Four. Hermantown was 23-3 last season, and lost in the Section 7AAA championship series to Big Lake.

Barnum lost to Mora by a 3-0 score on May 7th in a home non-conference game. Mora, the 2-seed in Sub-Section 6AA-18, lost its playoff opener in a big upset to 7th-seeded Pierz by a 3-2 score. That's the closest item I have as a "common opponent" for Barnum compared to the Jaguars.

So while the Bombers have suffered two shutout losses this season, one was to one of the top fastpitch programs in northeast Minnesota, Hermantown. The other one that same day, was peculiar, a loss to a bad Mountain Iron-Buhl team.

The Jaguars have not been shutout since the first game of last season, a 7-0 loss to Maple Lake.

Barnum won 1-0 on May 6th over Esko, who placed 5th in 2007 in the Class AA tournament. Esko went 10-8 this season.

The Polar League is a 10-team league that has 3 Class AA teams, and 7 Class A teams.

I except a very close, well-played game between the Jaguars and Barnum. The Jaguars have won 7 games in a row, while Barnum has won nine in a row.

The East Central Eagles (9-8) will play against Maple Lake (19-2) in an elimination game at the same time & location as the B-B-E/Barnum game.
While googling Barnum, I ran across this very interesting web-blog from a former Floodwood fastpitch player. FYI - Randy Myhre is the Barnum fastpitch coach. The player is writing about the 2007 fastpitch season. Take a look:

"Barnum’s softball team was much better in the years past. In our area there are two teams to beat in girl’s sports that will give you bragging rights. They would be Esko and Barnum. They are good at everything. The same for the boys, but for football there would have to be Cromwell in there somewhere."

"Randy Myhre. There are a few words that come to my mind such as: Talented coach, basketball, softball, talented daughters, and Barnum. Yes, he is the softball and girls basketball coach at Barnum High School. He led those girls to many victories in their careers as student athletes. He is a great coach who pushes his players to play at their peak potentials, but when softball season rolls around he acts like his team is too good to play Floodwood. Three years ago when I was a freshman, they twenty runned us in the 5th inning. Two years ago when I was a sophomore they only beat us 0-3. We pulled it out last year though, we beat them 4-3. Myhre was so angry with his team. He didn’t even want to shake our hands he was so mad."
Classy indeed! I can't wait for the game.

From the Barnum High School website:
Friday, May 23
Good luck to the seniors!
1. Congratulations to the Lady Bomber Softball Team. Last night, they defeated East Central to capture the Sub-Section 5A Championship. Our Lady Bombers have now advanced to the Regional 5A Championship round and will play Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa on Tuesday at 5 p.m. in St. Cloud. Congratulations to all team members on a job well done.
There will be open batting practice for all high school softball players on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at RJM Park. This open batting practice is open to all and will be conducted by volunteer parents.
There will be a scheduled practice for all varsity softball players on Monday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at RJM Park.
Congratulations to Megan Myhre, Katrina Newman and Hannah Wekseth for being named to the Polar League All Conference Team for 2008. Way to Go Lady Bombers!!!

What a great batting practice guided by parent volunteers for their fastpitch players, during the heat of their playoff run.

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Friday, May 23, 2008

Top-Seeded Jaguars Baseball Survives First-Round Scare, Defeats Holdingford 4-3 in Eight Innings in Sub-Section Quarterfinals

Josh Beier getting mobbed at first base after his infield hit drove in the game-winning run in the bottom of the 8th inning.

With fan support like this, there's no chance our Jaguars could lose!

The Jaguars are now 15-4 on the season. This is the 2nd-most wins in school history. A record of 16-4 is the school record, set in 1995. The Jaguars have now won every playoff opener since 2002 (seven straight).

Josh Beier's infield hit drove home Austin Kampsen from third base in the bottom of the 8th inning for the game winning run. It was an awesome finish to a tense game.

Holdingford, the 9th seed, finishes 4-16.

They play in St.Cloud next Tuesday night at 5:00 at Joe Faber Field. They will play Browerville/Eagle Valley, who won 1-0 tonight against Maple Lake.

Update on Saturday night:
Other scores from Section 5A:
Upsala/Swanville 12, Eden Valley-Watkins 2
Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City 5, Kimball 0
Browerville/Eagle Valley 1, Maple Lake 0

East half results
Royalton 10, Isle
Hinckley-Finlayson 3, St. John’s Prep 1 (HF is the top seed for the east half, they are heavily favored to advance to the Final Four round)

Section 5AA baseball score:
Litchfield 2, Rockford 1 (The Rockets finish 11-10, 8-6 CMC)

I will post more information and photos on Sunday night.

Also, two golfers on the Jaguars girls golf team advanced from the Section 5A meet today to go to "State". Great job! They open the two-day Class A State Tournament on Wednesday, June 4, at Pebble Creek Golf Course in Becker. They are the first golfers from B-B-E to advance to "State" since 2005, when Steven Hurst finished 7th.

This Jaguars sports playoff update brought to you by:

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Jaguars Fastpitch Vanquishes State-Ranked Maple Lake 6-5 in Sub-Section 5A-West Championship -- First-Ever Sub-Section Title for B-B-E Fastpitch

Holding the championship trophy moments after the award ceremony.

The Jaguars will take a top seed out of the west half of Section 5A and a 14-5 record for the Final Four round, which begins next Tuesday at 5:00 at the Whitney Fields fastpitch complex in St.Cloud.

The Jaguars will face the champion out of Sub-Section 5A-East, either Barnum or East Central. They faced off tonight for that championship bout.

This win was HUGE! It increases the Jaguars' chances of winning Section 5A by a huge amount. Basically, here's how it goes... the Jaguars will face the east champion at 5:00 next Tuesday. If they win that game, they will then most likely face Maple Lake again on Thursday, if Maple Lake gets out of the loser's bracket by winning two games on Tuesday night. Then on Thursday, the Jaguars would only have to defeat Maple Lake once to advance. The Irish would have to beat the Jaguars in two games next Thursday night to advance. Just like in baseball, it's much better to stay in the winner's bracket and control your own destiny. Tonight's win by the Jaguars does just that.

My records show that B-B-E was runners-up in the district/sub-section in 1989, 1990, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2000, and 2007. That's eight 2nd-place finishes, making it the most snake-bitten program of our Jaguars sports in sub-section berths.

That jinx was broken tonight in a thriller, one that became a nail-biter in the final two innings when the Irish attempted to overcome a 6-2 deficit after three and a half innings of play.

Maple Lake is 19-2, and they were the #3-ranked team in Minnesota for Class A teams. Their only other loss of the season was to St.Michael-Albertville, a Class AAA team that finished 12-11 after going 1-2 in the Section 5AAA playoffs. They had won 3 one-run games in Central Minnesota Conference play this season (6-5 over Rockford, 5-4 over our Jaguars, and 3-2 over Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted). It was their turn to lose a 1-run game.

The Jaguars have now played in 7 games decided by 1 run, and they are 4-3 in such games.

Good things come in pairs tonight I guess... I just heard that the Paynesville Bulldogs won the Sub-Section 6AA-19 championship tonight against Rocori by a 6-3 score. They are now 15-3 for the season. They will face Becker in the Section 5A tournament, who is state-ranked and 22-1 overall. Becker defeated Milaca 11-1 in the Sub-Section 6AA-18 championship.

Tomorrow... The Jaguars boys and girls golf teams tee off at the Section 5A meet at the Little Crow Country Club at NL-S at 9:00. It is the first time in school history that both golf teams are at sections in the same season.

Tomorrow night at 7:00, the Jaguars baseball team opens playoffs with a home game at Saints Field. They will play Holdingford. The Jaguars are the top seed in Sub-Section 5A-South, with a 14-4 record. Their "strength of schedule" ranking has them at #5 out of all 158 Class A teams in Minnesota.

Holdingford 13, Osakis 2. The Huskers won their 4th game of the year in their playoff opener, the Sub-Section 5A-South play-in round. The win gives them the right to play our Jaguars in the sub-section quarterfinals. They went 2-12 in the CMC, winning against HL-W-W once and against Eden Valley-Watkins once.

Baseball scores:
Sauk Centre 10, Minnewaska 5
NL-S 5, Benson 2
Wheaton 9, Morris 7

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Jaguars Senior Three-Sport Star Austin Kampsen Nominated for Hengstler-Ranweiler Award

Before I get into my sports notebook, I want to post the following:

The 5-year old daughter of Christian music star Steven Curtis Chapman was killed, struck by car driven by brother. She was struck and killed Wednesday by a sport utility vehicle driven by her teenage brother, authorities said. It was ruled an accident, and it was an horrifying event that played out before a large number of family members, who saw it take place.

I really don't need to say more than that, it's a horrible tragedy. Pray for their family.

A little praise can be given to the Lord for this news:
The A-C-GC levy referendum passed by 103 votes! It was the 5th try after 4 failed levies. 1,136 yes votes to 1,033 no votes.

B-B-E senior Austin Kampsen, one of the top running backs in Jaguars football history, was nominated for the prestigious Hengstler-Ranweiler award. His accolades in wrestling and baseball were also mentioned in the Thursday issue of the West Central Tribune. (

Baseball notes:
Albany gained a tie with St.Cloud Cathedral for the West Central North Conference championship with a 1-0 win over Foley. It was an incredible game that went 3 extra innings, with the Huskies scoring the game's only run on a fielding error in the bottom of the 10th. Their pitcher went all 10 innings on the mound! I believe he is a U of M Gophers recruit (Kurt Schlangen) The game was played in St.Martin on Tuesday.

Pierz trailed 10-2 after 3 1/2 innings in their home game against Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted on Tuesday. They then erupted for 7 runs in the bottom of the fourth and one run each in the 5th, 6th, and 7th innings to finish the CMC season unbeaten by every team except our Jaguars. They went 12-2 in the CMC and are 12-5 overall.

Fastpitch notes...
The Paynesville Bulldogs take a 14-3 record into the Sub-Section 6AA-South championship game, held on Thursday at 5:00 in Albany. Paynesville defeated a very good Minnewaska team 3-0 in the semi-finals. Minnewaska (16-5, 11-3 WCCS) was the West Central South Conference co-champions with Benson/Hancock. The Bulldogs are having another breakout season, as they made the Section 5AA championship series in 2007. They will face the 4th-seeded Rocori Spartans (12-7), who vanquished the St.Cloud Cathedral Crusaders by a 10-0 score in the semi-finals. The Crusaders finish the season 18-4, including the West Central North Conference Championship. (Isn't it nice how that private school manages to swipe a large amount of conference and post-season hardware? Ask any Sauk Centre volleyball fan and you will know what I'm talking about.)

The Pierz Pioneers saw their brief playoff run come to an end in the Sub-Section 6AA-18 semi-finals with an 11-1 loss in six innings to the 3rd-seeded Milaca Wolverines (10-4). The Pioneers, who were the 7th seed, finish their season 4-14, along with a 7th-place (3-11) finish in the Central Minnesota Conference.

The Minnewaska Area Lakers boys and girls golf teams both won the West Central South Conference championship. Also, the Lakers girls golf team is on track for its third straight state golf title. The Star Tribune featured the team in its Tuesday, May 13th issue. It's nice to see some positives going on over there, after they have gone through tough, tough years budget-wise. They've also had to overcome the silly, silly people of Starbuck, who started a charter elementary school last summer. While in some cases, what is one school's loss and/or hardship is usually its neighbors' gains, I hate seeing our area schools in such tough shape.

The MACCRAY school district voted this week to cut $230,000 from its budget. This comes on the heels of over $700,000 in cuts made in 2007. Whew! They are also moving to a 4-day week next year (2008-2009). The 3 "off" days, the buildings will be heated 10 degrees less than normal, and they will cut a huge chunk off of their transportation bill. Sports teams will still be able to practice on Mondays.

A recent High School League ruling:
–The maximum number of games volleyball teams can play in any regular-season tournament was raised from 12 to 15, putting Minnesota in line with bordering states. Also, volleyball teams will be allowed to play two matches in one day; this could help reduce travel costs and travel time. Hey, it can't hurt to try!

May God help us, with our outdated cars, minivans, and trucks that all get 35 miles to the gallon or less...gas will hit $4 by the time school lets out in June. What are we going to do?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Jaguars Fastpitch Makes Section Final Four Berth: 8-4 Win over Osakis -- Baseball Wins Thriller vs. NL-S 11-10 -- Tracksters are Section-Bound in 5A

The Jaguars Fastpitch is now 13-5 on the season after this enjoyable win over the Prairie Conference Champions. They led 6-0 after three innings, and took an 8-0 lead after four innings. The Silverstreaks made a late rally but fell short as the 7th inning came to a close. One noteable, both teams had 8th grade pitchers in the circle through all 7 innings. Osakis finishes 12-4.

The Jaguars will face CMC rival and nemesis Maple Lake on Thursday night at 5:00 in the sub-section championship. It will be a 3-seed vs. 1-seed matchup. The game will be held at the Minnewaska Area fastpitch complex. Maple Lake is 19-1. I am only guessing here, but I would expect the game to be on 107.1 Smooth Magic FM in Glenwood.

The #1-seeded Jaguars Baseball team will take a 14-4 record into Sub-Section 5A-South playoffs, beginning on Friday at 7:00 in Elrosa. It marks the 2nd-best regular season in B-B-E history. They went 15-3 before playoffs in 1995.

At the sub-section championships today at NL-S, lots of excitement was experienced by the Jaguars boys and girls teams. A few noteables... the boys 400-meter relay team advances to Section 5A with their 2nd place performance. Heidi Lensing will advance as the sub-section champion in the Long Jump. Shane Olmscheid advances with a 3rd-place finish in the 110 High Hurdles (also shattering his personal record in that event). Whitney White advances in the Pole Vault, and Austin Jasmer goes in the 3200m Run. I'm not sure what else we had, more will be published in next week's local papers.

Fastpitch scores:
Barnum 6, Ogilvie 3 (Sub-Section 5A-East semi-finals)
East Central 3, McGregor 0 (SS 5A-East semi's)
*East Central was the team the Jaguars beat in the Section opener last season at Whitney Park in St.Cloud... it's good to see they will return this season as well.
Chokio-Alberta/Herman-Norcross 12, Ortonville 9 (Sub-Section 3A-North)

Baseball scores:
Pierz 12, Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted 11 (!!!!)
Rockford 11, Holdingford 6
Sauk Centre 7, Staples-Motley 4 (Sauk ends the regular season 7-10)
Minnewaska Area 10, Brandon-Evansville 2

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Jaguars Baseball Wins a Defensive Thriller, 1-0 Final Score at Minnewaska **Playoff Seedings Posted for Baseball

The Jaguars now have 13 regular season wins on the year. The Lakers are 9-5. I expect the Jaguars to win tomorrow night too, a home game against NL-S. The Wildcats are currently 3-12 overall and 3-11 in the West Central North Conference (last place). Granted, I will admit the WCCN is tougher than the Central Minnesota Conference. The Wildcats lost a close game to Sauk Centre last week by a 3-2 score.

A 14-win regular season would be the second best ever at B-B-E.

At 4:30 on Tuesday the JV-Varsity double-header starts in Elrosa between B-B-E and NL-S. I would expect the Varsity game to begin around 6:00 or 6:30.

Baseball scores tonight:
Montevideo 11, Morris Area 2
Albany 5, Melrose 3 (Yet another tight game in between two West Central North powers, man that conference is tough, Melrose is now 5-9 and Albany is 13-4 overall) Albany can tie for the WCCN title with a win against Foley on Tuesday.
Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City 20, Benson 5
Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City 7, Benson 4 (The Jaguars could end up seeing A-C-GC further into the 5A-South playoffs, as the Falcons are the #2 seed behind them)
Holdingford 9, Upsala-Swanville Area 1 (The Huskers are 3-13, this was a nice win for them over the Patriots, who are 8-6)
Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg 16, MACCRAY 1 (K-M-S clinches the Camden Conference title outright against the two-time defending champions from Maccray)
Maple Lake 10, Royalton 8 (Royalton falls to 10-5, the Irish are 9-9)
Parkers Prairie 4, Browerville/Eagle Valley 2

Fastpitch scores:
Sub-Section 5AA-20 quarterfinal
#3-seed Annandale 16, Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted 3 (HL-W-W, who was the #6 seed, had been one of the dominant fastpitch programs over the past 3-4 years, graduation finally hit them hard as they are now rebuilding)
Dassel-Cokato 5, Rockford 1 (A mild upset? The Chargers were 4-15 going into the game, the Rockets were host for the game as the #4 seed. Rockford finishes their season 11-8, with a 1-1 record against our Jaguars in two 1-run games. D-C placed 8th out of 9 teams in their incredibly tough Wright County Conference, to which our CMC is no match.)

**Update, the Sub-Section 5A-20 track and field championships will start at 1:00 at the NL-S High School. I just might be able to make it to the Jaguars fastpitch game at 5:30!

**Update, complete seedings for Sub-Section 5A-South in baseball
#1- B-B-E
#2- A-C-GC
#3- Upsala-Swanville Area
#4- Browerville/Eagle Valley
#5- Maple Lake
#6- Eden Valley-Watkins
#7- Kimball Area
#8- Osakis
#9- Holdingford

Tuesday night the #3-seed Jaguars Fastpitch team faces #2-seeded Osakis in the Sub-Section 5A-West semi-finals at Minnewaska. The game is set for 5:30, following the Maple Lake vs. Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City game at 4:00. It is held at the splendid Lakers' fastpitch complex, a collection of three gorgeous diamonds surrounding a mini-stadium with bleachers, press box, and concessions. Minnewaska was smart to build something like that back in the 1990s.. it would never happen today.

Osakis will have a chip on their shoulder after being drubbed in last year's playoff opener on their home field, a big 17-6 loss to our Jaguars. Meanwhile, I feel our Jaguars should have a chip on their shoulders after being ranked #3 behind Osakis in the playoff seedings.

In the strength-of-schedule rankings calculated on May 19, the Jaguars Fastpitch team is ranked #26 out of 145 Class A teams in Minnesota. Noteworthy, they are placed two spots ahead of defending Section 5A champion Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg. A-C-GC, with a 9-9 record, is ranked #31, while Osakis, with a "soft" 12-3 record, is ranked #36. Maple Lake's 18-1 record puts them at #4. The Irish are also ranked #4 in the latest Coaches Association poll for Class A.

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This Week in Jaguars Sports

I'll post the event I have for Monday, which is the Jaguars baseball team at Minnewaska in a non-conference game at 4:30. The game is at the Lakers' high school diamond. The Lakers are 8-5 according to what I've read, and they were in contention for the West Central South title before dropping three straight in conference play last week. (Ouch!)

The baseball team hosts New London-Spicer on Tuesday at 4:30. I haven't heard if they will play an early JV game with a late game under the lights at Saints Field. They host the sub-section opener on Friday at 7:00 in Elrosa.

On Tuesday the Jaguars fastpitch team plays against Osakis in the sub-section semi-finals. The Silverstreaks were Prairie Conference Champions (11-1) and are 12-3 overall. They lost to both Minnewaska Area (7-3 score) and Sauk Centre (10-0 score) in the month of April. The semi-final game tough, and hopefully a big B-B-E crowd will be on hand to cheer them to victory. The game is set for 5:30, which follows the 4:00 game between Maple Lake and Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City in the other semi-final matchup.

After numerous sub-section championship berths from 1989 to 1998, the Jaguars fastpitch team has only made it to the finals in 2000 and 2007. While they have had many very solid teams in those years, the Jaguars have never won the championship of their sub-section. I look for that to change this year. I recall one year, 1997, when they pulled off a huge upset over top-ranked Minnewaska in the Sub-Section 6A-22 semi-finals, only to suffer a heartbreaking loss to Brandon-Evansville in the winner's bracket final that year. Simply put, the Jaguars fastpitch team has been snakebitten many times in post-season, just like our boys basketball team has, as one comparison.

This year's Sub-Section 5A-West fastpitch championship between the semi-final winners would be on Thursday at 5:00 at Minnewaska.

The Jaguars track and field teams are at NL-S on Tuesday for the Sub-Section 5A-20 meet. Top three finishers for individual events will advance to next week's Section 5A meet on Wednesday, May 28, at St.John's University.

The Jaguars girls and boys golf teams will perform in the Section 5A meet on Friday, May 23, at Little Crow Golf Club at NL-S. The meet begins at 9:00. The boys team has come on strong in the latter part of their season, and it would be nice to see golfers from both teams bring home section hardware.

**I just received the team results from the Sub-Section 5A-North golf meet.
Girls Teams: 1.) Osakis 365 2.) B-B-E 394 3.) West Central Area 420 4.) Ortonville 450 5.) Chokio-Alberta-Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley inc. 6.) Wheaton-Herman-Norcross inc.

Boys Teams: 1.) Ortonville 326 2.) B-B-E 359 3.) Osakis 369 4.) Chokio-Alberta-Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley 371 5.) West Central Area 385 6.) Wheaton-Herman-Norcross 405.

Friday, May 16, 2008

An Outstanding Night in Jaguars Country - Boys and Girls Golf, Baseball, Fastpitch all Find Success on the Playing Field

In a nutshell...

The baseball team won their 12th game of the season tonight in a home game against Kimball, via the 10-run rule in a five-inning 12-2 victory. It is the final CMC game of the season, and they finish in 2nd place in the league (10-4).

The fastpitch team won its 12th game of the season in the Sub-Section 5A-West quarterfinals, edging Holdingford 5-3. They play the Osakis Silverstreaks at Minnewaska Area's high school fastpitch complex next Tuesday (May 20) at 5:30. Osakis is 12-3 on the season, and they went 11-1 to win the Prairie Conference title, their first such title since winning the Prairie in 2003 and 2004.

Osakis starts a 10th grade pitcher, the same one who threw relief innings against the Jaguars in last year's 17-6 playoff opening win for the Blue & Silver. They also employ an 8th grader in the circle. This mirrors the Jaguars' pitching battery. Their hitting stats are quite deceiving, as 12 of their 15 games were played in the soft Prairie Conference.

The Jaguars girls golf team advanced to the Section 5A tournament after a strong showing in the Sub-Section 5A-North meet at the Benson golf course today. I heard from a parent that they finished in 2nd place overall, an excellent finish. The Jaguars boys golf team did the same, as they took home a playoff trophy from the meet. Both squads will be at the Section 5A meet on Friday, May 23 at 9:00 at the Little Crow Golf Club at NL-S.

Sub-Section 5A-West scores:
Maple Lake 16, Swanville 4
Osakis 4, Kimball 1

Fastpitch scores:
Sub-Section 6AA-South
Minnewaska Area 5, Sauk Centre 4 (Sauk nearly overcame a 5-0 deficit)
Paynesville 3, Long Prairie-Grey Eagle 0
St. Cloud Cathedral 9, Melrose 0
Rocori 10, Albany 4

Baseball scores:
Melrose 6, New London-Spicer 2
Benson 13, KMS 3
Ashby 27, Ortonville 19 (No it was not a football game!) Ortonville was 12-0 and state-ranked, they lost to a 5-10 Ashby team
Albany 10, Sauk Centre 1
Royalton 2, Holdingford 0

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Jaguars Baseball Rebounds from Tuesday's Debacle with 4-3 Extra-Inning Win at Browerville/Eagle Valley ** Seeded #1 in Sub-Section 5A-West

The Jaguars baseball team won their 12th game of the season tonight at Browerville with an exciting 4-3 win over the Broncos (4-3 Prairie, 6-5), who had defeated Royalton by a 6-5 score on May 8th. They are a good team, so this was a quality win.

Game highlights from Browerville: Austin Kampsen hit a fielder's choice to bring in Jordan Beier for the game-winning run in the top of the eighth inning. Tyler Cebulla launched a two-run home run in the 2nd inning. Josh Roelike fired seven K's against only one walk over the final five innings to earn the pitcher's win in relief.

They host Kimball at Elrosa on Friday at 5:00 in their final Central Minnesota Conference game of the season.

Fresh and exciting update at 9:30 Thursday night: The Jaguars have been seeded #1 for the upcoming sub-section playoffs. After a first-round bye, they will open the Sub-Section 5A-West quarterfinals with a home game at Saints Field on Friday May 23 at 5:00. The opponent will be the winner of the Holdingford vs. Osakis game, held May 22.

This is the first time since 1995 that the Jaguars baseball team has been seeded number one. In fact, those are the only times in the history of B-B-E has any fastpitch or baseball team been ranked #1 for playoffs.

It is a special achievement, and now they need to show it and make noise in Section 5A as the month of May wraps up.

I didn't get a complete version of the seedings, but here's what I know for sure:

#9- Holdingford
#8- Osakis

#2- Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City
#1- B-B-E

Other baseball scores from tonight:
Montevideo 10, Minnewaska Area 8
Paynesville 8, Melrose 7
Sauk Centre 3, New London-Spicer 2 (8 innings, won by a squeeze bunt)
Pierz 5, Maple Lake 3 (Pierz locks up their third straight CMC title, with their only losses in league play coming from our Jaguars)

Fastpitch scores:
NL-S 7, Albany 4 (NLS is 6-9, Albany is 8-8)

Pierz 3, Mora 2
The Pioneers waited until playoffs to pick up their 4th win of the season, as they delivered a huge upset to the 2nd-seeded Mustangs in the Sub-Section 2A-16 quarterfinals. They are now 4-13 going into the semi-finals next Tuesday.

Kimball 7, Eden Valley-Watkins 5
The Cubs (9-8) made it 3-0 this season against the Eagles in a 7-against-10 seed playoff opener for Sub-Section 5A-West. Kimball now travels to Osakis (11-3) on Friday to face the 2nd-seeded Silverstreaks. Eden Valley-Watkins finishes the season 2-13 overall, and 2-12 in the CMC (last place).

It would be simply delighting to see the Cubs upset Osakis, and I think they can do it. The Silverstreaks went 11-1 in the Prairie Conference to earn sole possession of the conference title. They were defeated by Sauk Centre (10-0 score!) and Minnewaska Area (7-3 score) in non-conference play. I feel they had no business getting a #2 ranking in sub-sections, but it does give our Jaguars a chip on their shoulders if we get a chance to play them next Tuesday in the semi-finals. They can't look past Holdingford, though, in tomorrow's playoff opener.

**On Friday at 5:00 the Jaguars Fastpitch team enters postseason play when they host Holdingford (7-7 CMC, 8-9 overall)in the Sub-Section 5A-West quarterfinals. The Jaguars take an 11-5 record into the playoffs, as well as a four-game winning streak.

Their 11 wins is the most in regular season play since 1997, when they took a 14-6 record into Sub-Section 6A-22. A record of 14-6 is the B-B-E school record for regular season fastpitch wins. It should also be noted that four regular season games that I feel they would have easily won (Browerville, Osakis, Upsala, NL-S) were scrubbed due to weather. Another viewpoint is that the odd spring weather robbed them of a 15-5 or even a 13-7 regular season record. (A 15-5 mark would have set a new school record) Either way, the 11 wins is a great accomplishment in regular season play, especially with a tough 14-game CMC schedule in which they went 10-4 (2nd place).

The Jaguars fastpitch team was 10-8 (7-7 CMC) in 2006 before finishing 11-9 overall after playoffs. They were 7-11 (5-9 CMC) in 2007 before finishing 10-13 after an exciting sub-section finals berth (the first since 2000). I look forward to another enjoyable playoff run. Central Minnesota Conference kingpin Maple Lake (17-1, #4 ranking in the coaches poll) will be the Jaguars' biggest obstacle in the sub-section and section. They need to win the 1st and 2nd-round games in order to get to Section 5A playoffs on May 27th & May 29th.

Also on Friday, the Jaguars boys and girls golf teams open Sub-Section 5A-North playoffs at the Benson Golf Course. The meet begins at 9:00. Both squads have excellent chances of advancing players to the Section 5A meet, which will be held next Friday (May 23) at the Little Crow Golf Club at NL-S.

If you go back to where I wrote about the Kimball-Eden Valley fastpitch playoff game tonight, you'll notice that Eden Valley-Watkins finished their fastpitch season with a 2-13 record, including being at the bottom of the final CMC standings. While it must be stated that their girls basketball program is one of the elite programs in central Minnesota, and their volleyball team was also pretty solid last fall... the following is very noteworthy: Our Jaguars went to state in volleyball (27-5 record), they were 10-14 in girls tennis for the best record in B-B-E history (EV-W has no girls tennis program), they were 18-10 in girls basketball (2nd best in B-B-E history, and 9-5 CMC, best ever in that conference), and now they are 11-5 in fastpitch going into playoffs ranked #3 in the sub-section (also going 10-4 CMC, best ever in that league). My point is that these four girls teams at B-B-E are all very good, spread out through 3 seasons of the school year. Key players on the fall teams (volleyball, tennis) also make up the core of the basketball and fastpitch teams. They are a very talented group of players who have set a new benchmark at B-B-E, with all four teams coming up with double-digits in the win column for the first time in school history. It's quite remarkable when you think about it. We should be most thankful that these student-athletes are in 3 sports, and not just 2 as some talented athletes are at other schools like Eden Valley-Watkins. That creates the foundation for competitive teams throughout the entire school year.

(I forgot to mention... the Jaguars girls golf team finishing 2nd in a tough CMC race, also noteworthy as well)

While we'd love having the success of the girls basketball at Eden Valley-Watkins, I know they say the same thing about our volleyball program. (Just think, though, the students that make up the Jaguars volleyball program right now believe that what we've done in the past few seasons is not good enough! They're working hard to get to the level where they can win state tournament volleyball matches.) Quite the work ethic if you ask me.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

#*#@!!#!!!! Jaguars Baseball Suffers Two Losses to HL-W-W, CMC Title Contention in Jeopardy -- Track & Field Hosts CMC Meet -- Fastpitch Wins 6-4

A conference championship race for the Jaguars...

The Jaguars baseball team lost 14-6 and 4-0 in a home doubleheader to Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted tonight.

They now need 2 small miracles to take place on May 15 when Pierz travels to Maple Lake, and on May 20 when they host HL-W-W. Pierz needs to lose both games.

A 3-way tie for the CMC championship is not out of the question. It's not a good position to be in, though, hoping for another team to lose for you to win a championship.

The Jaguars fastpitch team won their 11th game of the season against five losses with a come-from-behind win at Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted by a 6-4 margin. They trailed 4-2 going into the sixth inning, when they pushed four runs across home plate.

Fastpitch scores:
Maple Lake 23, Pierz 2 (5 innings)
Rockford 8, Kimball 4
Kimball 11, Holdingford 10
Holdingford 13, Eden Valley-Watkins 7

The Jaguars boys track and field 4 x 100-meter relay team won the CMC Championship tonight. The teams did well even though the weather was terribly cold (for May 13!) The Sub-Section 5A-20 meet is next Tuesday, May 20, at the NL-S High School athletic field.

Also, congrad's go out to the Jaguars girls golf team, who finished the CMC schedule as runners-up by a small margin to champion Rockford. Two Jaguars finished as All-Conference (top 10), Whitney Bertram and Megan Herickhoff. They enter sub-section playoffs on Friday at the Benson Golf Club.

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Monday, May 12, 2008

A Successful Monday Night in Jaguars Country - Baseball Wins 4-2 at Rockford, Fastpitch Wins 11-3 at Pierz

First of all, update on Tuesday at 2:30... all events are a "go" for today.
The Jaguars baseball team improved to 9-2 in the Central Minnesota Conference with a hard-earned 4-2 win at Rockford, completing the season sweep of the Rockets for the second straight season. This game was rescheduled from April 8. The Jaguars host Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted in a double-header at Saints Field in Elrosa tomorrow, with the first game at 4:30.

The Jaguars' overall record is 10-2, while the Rockets fall to 8-7. The Jaguars are 9-2 in the CMC and still trail the Pierz Pioneers by a half game in the standings. Pierz managed to escape an upset bid at Holdinford in a 7-4 win over the last-place Huskers (1-10 CMC, 1-13 overall) tonight.

Baseball scores:
Albany 8, Long Prairie-Grey Eagle 0 (Albany leads the West Central North Conference with an 8-1 record, a half game over Foley)
Eden Valley-Watkins 4, Maple lake 2
Royalton 3, Pillager 1
Paynesville 11, Sauk Centre 1
Sauk Centre 13, Paynesville 10
Melrose 13, New London-Spicer 7
Minnewaska Area 5, Lac qui Parle Valley 2
Lac qui Parle Valley 8, Minnewaska Area 1

The Jaguars fastpitch team won their 10th game of the season with an error-free 11-3 win at Pierz, completing a season sweep of the Pioneers (2-9 CMC, 3-12). Their record is 9-4 in the CMC and 10-5 overall. The 10 wins equals the win total from the 2006 regular season, a total that is the most wins since 2000 when they were 10-10-1 going into playoffs. They travel to Legion Memorial Park at Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted tomorrow for a 5:00 game to wrap the 2008 regular season. Playoffs begin Friday (see below).

Fastpitch scores:
Sauk Centre 14, Melrose 3
Melrose 7, Sauk Centre 6
Paynesville 8, New London-Spicer 1
Maple Lake 13, Holdingford 3 (the Huskers are 7-8)
Kimball 13, St. John’s Prep 2 (Kimball is 7-7)
Swanville 11, Royalton 5
Hinckley-Finlayson 3, East Central 2 (HF's first win of the season, both are Section 5A teams in the east sub-section)
Minnewaska Area 11, Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City 2
Minnewaska Area 14, Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City 13 (the teams combined for 35 hits!)

I've been looking over the teams in Section 5A for both fastpitch and baseball. After looking through the schedules & results for some of the top teams in both sports, I've realized just how good the chances are for the Jaguars to win championships in their section tournaments. You have to go back to 1995 and 1996 in the B-B-E archives to see both teams having such excellent chances of winning sub-section or section championships. The last 2 weeks of May will be terribly exciting for B-B-E sports fans.

(Now if only gas would come back down!)

Weather update on Tuesday morning... It's 11am and we have a windchill of 36 degrees! Oh and did I mention it's raining too? Not fun. Behind the rain showers (that run a line up central Minnesota right now) in western Minnesota is temps in the 40s...which is what we'll be having here all day. Tomorrow is forecasted to have a high of 67 degrees with strong sunshine. Can they move the CMC track meet to a Wednesday? It would be nice.

On Tuesday the Jaguars girls golf team wraps up their Central Minnesota Conference season with a meet at the Howard Lake Greens golf course at 4:15. This is a meet that was originally scheduled on April 11.

A few noteables: Minnewaska's baseball team is ranked #20 in Class AA in the May 12th coaches poll. Albany is ranked #13, and Pierz is ranked #14. Interestingly, the Jaguars have defeated Pierz twice this season. Royalton, who lost to the Jaguars on May 5, was ranked #3 in Class A on the April 28th poll. I expect them to drop substantially in the next poll, as they also lost to Osakis last week.
On the fastpitch side, Maple Lake is ranked #4 in Class A. I did not see any other area fastpitch teams on the May 12th coaches polls in Class A or AA.

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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Sub-Section 5A-West Fastpitch Schedule

The Jaguars fastpitch team opens playoffs on Friday, May 16, with a 5:00 game they will host against sixth-seeded Holdingford. After defeating the Huskers, they will move on to face either Osakis (the #2-seed), Eden Valley-Watkins, or Kimball in the semi-final round. That game will be at the Minnewaska Area High School fastpitch complex at 5:30 on Tuesday, May 20. The sub-section championship game is at 5:00 on Thursday, May 22 at Minnewaska.

Holdingford is currently 5-6 in the CMC and 6-7 overall.

The Jaguars' number-three playoff seed is their highest playoff ranking they have earned since 1997, the year they set the school record for wins in a 16-8 season. This season the Jaguars started 4-1, the best start since that 1997 season when they opened up 5-0. They are currently 9-5 after their thrilling 10-inning win over Sauk Centre on Friday night. They have two tough road games next week at Pierz and Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted (the fourth place team in the CMC).

Also, the Jaguars' Central Minnesota Conference record stands at 8-4, the most wins they have achieved in the CMC since joining in 1999. Their previous best seasons in the CMC came in 2000 (6-7-1 record) and 2006 (7-7).

Sub-Section 5A-West First round Thursday, May 15

No. 9 Upsala at No. 8 Swanville, 4:00
No. 10 Eden Valley-Watkins at No. 7 Kimball, 4:30

Quarterfinals Friday, May 16 (all games at 5:00)

Upsala/Swanville winner at No. 1 Maple Lake
No. 5 Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City at No. 4 Browerville
Eden Valley-Watkins/Kimball winner at No. 2 Osakis
No. 6 Holdingford at No. 3 B-B-E

Another big item to take note of, the Jaguars track and field teams host the Central Minnesota Conference meet on Tuesday, May 13 at 3:30 at the High School sports complex. I think we hosted the CMC meet in 2005, as well as back in 2001. Thank heavens for this big event being on our home turf, with gas at a record $3.60 a gallon!

One week later, the Sub-Section 5A-20 track and field meet will be held at NL-S on May 20.

On Monday, the Jaguars baseball team travels to Rockford to attempt their second straight season sweep of the Rockets. They have a very busy week, with a home double-header against Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted on Tuesday, a road game at Browerville against Section 5A member Browerville/Eagle Valley, and a home game against Kimball on Friday. Every game is crucial, as the Jaguars look to win the Central Minnesota Conference title for the first time ever, as well as lock up a #1 seed in Sub-Section 5A-South.

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Friday, May 09, 2008

Jaguars Baseball Takes Down Rockford 8-6, Jaguars Fastpitch Wins Intense 10-inning 2-1 game over Sauk Centre

The baseball team is now 9-2, reaching the same number of wins they earned last season (9-10 finish).

The fastpitch team is 9-5. Sauk's fastpitch falls to 6-7 overall. The game was a defensive gem for both sides. Here's why this win was huge: Osakis was seeded #2 over B-B-E in Sub-Section 5A-South. The Jaguars are #3. Sauk shredded Osakis by a 10-0 score in five innings on April 30. I can't wait to see the sub-section semi-final game against Osakis, assuming the Silverstreaks are not upset in the first round.

Fastpitch scores:
Maple Lake 12, Holdingford 2 (The Irish lock up their 3rd straight CMC crown)
Paynesville 10, NL-S 4
(NL-S is 3-7, Paynesville is 10-3)

Baseball scores:
Melrose 9, Holdingford 1
NLS 3, Sauk Centre 2
ACGC 8, Morris 2
Cathedral 10, Pierz 2

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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Jaguars Baseball Wins at Holdingford 13-5, Jaguars Fastpitch Splits Series with Holdingford, 5-3 Loss & 8-4 Win

The baseball team improved to 8-2 on the season, their best start to a season since 1995, when they ended the regular season 15-3 overall. They are now 7-2 in the CMC and host Rockford in Elrosa at 5:00.

The Jaguars baseball team's 7-2 CMC record puts them in a first-place tie with Pierz, just over halfways through the league schedule.

The fastpitch team is 8-5 overall and 8-4 in the CMC. They host Sauk Centre (6-6) tomorrow at 4:30.

The Jaguars fastpitch team was seeded #3 last night in the Sub-Section 5A-South seeding meeting. They will host Holdingford in the sub-section quarterfinals on Friday, May 16. More to follow over the weekend on that.

Fastpitch scores:
Kimball Area 11, Pierz 1
Maple Lake 9, Rockford 1
Osakis 13, Swanville 4
Albany 4, Long Prairie-Grey Eagle 3

Baseball scores:
Eden Valley-Watkins 6, Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted 5
Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted 4, Eden Valley-Watkins 3
Rockford 3, Maple Lake 2
Foley 9, Sauk Centre 6
Long Prairie-Grey Eagle 15, Melrose 10
Albany 9, Paynesville 6
Pierz 18, Kimball 2
Pierz 2, Kimball 1
Pierz 10, Rockford 5 (this game was on Wednesday)
Browerville/Eagle Valley 6, Royalton 5

At the Dick Sieben Invite in Melrose tonight, the Jaguars boys track and field 400-meter relay team broke the school record, while pulling off a first place finish in that event. The school record was 46.19 seconds, set by the same team a couple weeks ago. I don't have an exact time of what their new record is, but it is in the 45-second range. Thanks to Jim Derichs for this update, who I talked to in Elrosa at the baseball game on Friday night.

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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Jaguars Baseball & Fastpitch Both Win Over Eden Valley-Watkins, Baseball Wins 3-2 & Fastpitch Wins via 10-run Rule 18-7

The baseball team won in Elrosa, their first game on Saints Field. The Jaguars are 6-2 CMC, 7-2 overall. The Eagles are 4-7.

The fastpitch won on the road in five innings. They are 7-3 in the CMC and 7-4 overall. The Eagles are 2-10.

Fastpitch scores:
Holdingford 8, Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted 7
Maple Lake 11, Kimball Area 1
Morris Area 5, Minnewaska Area 2
Osakis 14, Browerville 6
Osakis 8, Browerville 5

Baseball scores:
Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted 17, Maple Lake 16 !!
Browerville/Eagle Valley 9, Upsala-Swanville Area 8 (8 innings)
Foley 3, Paynesville Area 1
Holdingford 11, Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted 3 (First win for Holdingford)
Maple Lake 17, Kimball Area 7
St. John's Prep 5, Osakis 4

On Thursday, the Jaguars girls golf team is at Litchfield, the baseball teams plays at Holdingford (5:00), while the fastpitch team hosts Holdingford. The track and field squads perform at the Dick Sieben Invite in Melrose (4:15).

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Monday, May 05, 2008

Jaguars Baseball Team Picks up Huge Road Win at Royalton, Defending Section 5A Champions -- Fastpitch Drops Extra-Inning Game to Rockford

The Jaguars baseball team (6-2 overall, 5-2 CMC) put themselves in the thick of the race for a number-one playoff seed in Sub-Section 5A South with their 5-4 win at Royalton today.

The Jaguars fastpitch team fell to 6-4 overall with a 4-3 loss to Class AA Rockford (8-3 CMC, 9-4) in eight innings. It's their second 1-run loss of the season in a game against a Class AA opponent. They sit at 5-3 in the CMC, in a virtual tie for second place with the Rockets.

Fastpitch scores:
Maple Lake 12, Eden Valley-Watkins 0
Osakis 22, St. John's Prep 1
Holdingford 7, Royalton 1
Braham 4, Pierz 3

Baseball scores:
Albany 8, New London-Spicer 0
Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted 6, Rockford 2
Maple Lake 9, Holdingford 3
Maple Lake, Holdingford 2
Paynesville 15, Eden Valley-Watkins 10

Tuesday's sports action for the Jaguars:
Baseball hosts Eden Valley-Watkins at 4:15 (A must-win if they want to stay in control for a #1 playoff seed)
Fastpitch plays at EV-W at 5:00
Girls golf is at Kimball for a 4:15 meet

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Saturday, May 03, 2008

Superintendent Schmidt Makes Move to Breckenridge - Looking for a new School CEO Once Again

This morning I learned that Superintendent Schmidt has been offered a job at Breckendridge schools. No word on any timeline as far as when his last week at B-B-E is and what we will do in the interim.

...and while I'm posting...I'd like to give notice about the Jaguars girls golf team's huge win yesterday in the 4th CMC meet of their season. They took first place honors at Plymouth, edging Rockford by a 210-212 margin. In the overall standings, they trail Rockford by 20 strokes (819-839).

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Jaguars Baseball & Fastpitch Both Defeat Kimball, 10-0 for Baseball and 11-4 for Fastpitch

Both Jaguars teams stay near the top of the Central Minnesota Conference.

I heard the baseball team won in 6 innings.

The Fastpitch did very well against a Kimball Cubs team that swept Eden Valley-Watkins two nights ago.

The track teams were at NL-S tonight.

The Jaguars boys golf team performed at Pierz in the 4th CMC meet of their season.

Ahh that is a bummer... Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted came close to doing big favor to the Jaguars in fastpitch on Wednesday night, though they lost a 3-2 game against Maple Lake.

Other scores in Fastpitch on Thursday night:
Minnewaska Area 2, Benson/Hancock 0
ACGC 6, Montevideo 2
Rockford 16, Eden Valley-Watkins 11
Rockford 10, Eden Valley-Watkins 0 (double-header, Rockford is 7-3 in the CMC)

Baseball scores:
Osakis 7, Royalton 5 (A huge upset...Osakis is 3-2 and Royalton is 6-1)
Tracy-Milroy-Balaton 6, Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg 1 (K-M-S falls to 6-1)

Tomorrow (Friday) the Jaguars Fastpitch team plays in a non-conference game at Upsala at 4:30. The Cardinals are one of the top teams in the Prairie Conference and the Section 5A standings. They were 3-0 coming into this week. The Jaguars girls golf team performs at Plymouth. I'm not sure which school is hosting that meet. (Rockford?)

Overall, very cold! As of Friday afternoon the weather is downright miserable outside, rain & cold. I doubt activities will take place after school.

**Fresh information on the sub-section the Jaguars Fastpitch will play in... this is essentially "Sub-Section 5A-South" and has the following teams:
Maple Lake

It's a fairly tough sub-section, with Browerville, Upsala, A-C-GC, and Maple Lake showing as the strongest challengers our Jaguars will face when playoffs begin on May 15. The 7th-10th seeded teams will have a play-in round, the winners of which will go on to face the #1 and #2 seeds.