The post season got underway this past week and the Irish moved closer to achieving their dream. In a busy week the boys beat number eight-seed St. Cloud Cathedral by eight on Tuesday night. Thursday night in Dassel-Cokato, Maple Lake won in a dominating fashion defeating Eden Valley-Watkins 60-37. Saturday night, on the evening of Maple Lake's St. Patrick's Day Festival, the team took on Howard Lake in the Sub-Section finals and won again, 61-45, to advance to the Section finals and one game away from the State Tournament.
Irish vs. St. Cloud Cathedral
Just a week earlier these two teams played and the Irish came out with a 15-point victory. This time it was a much different game. Jerid Aulwes got the Irish off to a hot start as he scored eight quick points and Maple Lake jumped out to a 14-6 lead.
More information appears in this weeks issue of the Messenger.
Maple Lake High School senior Lindsey Becker, daughter of Troy and Barb Becker, was crowned on Saturday evening as the 2008-2009 Miss Maple Lake. Joining her on the new royal court was Princess Shanna Weber, Princess Brittany Wurm, and Miss Congeniality Molly Schaufler.
More photos appear in this weeks issue of the Messenger.
It wasn't the best weather in the 31-year history of Maple's St. Patrick's Day Festival, but with the potential in March for something much worse than Saturday's clouds and 30-degree temperatures, it was still a grand day for the Irish.
A record 109 units filed down the streets of Maple Lake for the 31st Grande Day Parade, led by Grand Marshal Mary McBrady and the McBrady Clan. The cold weather didn't hamper the parade, but did cut down on the size of the crowd, estimated at between 3,000 to 4,000, well below the 6,000 in attendance last year.
The top parade award went to the Irish Washerwomen, with the First National Bank float taking second and the Maple Lake Cub Scouts float in third. The Fitzpatrick Clan stopped the McBrady's streak of five consecutive wins by taking the Clan Trophy.
As another St. Patrick's Day draws near, Miss Maple Lake, Sarah Latour, and her court, Princesses Shelly Neidenfeur and Kaylie Hudek, and Miss Congeniality, Elizabeth Yager, prepare to pass on the honor, the responsibilities and the fun to the next lucky young women who will spend a year wearing the crowns and representing Maple Lake.
On March 15, as Maple Lake celebrates St. Patrick's Day, the quartet will spend their last 'royal' day together, leading events, waving from their float in the parade, and finally, saying good-bye and handing over their crowns at the 4:30 p.m. coronation.
"I can't believe this is it," said Sarah. "It's been so great, I've met so many people, made so many new friends. Right now I feel like I'll never forget a minute of it."
In a year where each day attempted to top the next, one day in particular has stayed in Sarah's heart-the day they stood (and walked) together with so many others for the Relay for Life.
Scoring 1,000 career points is a rare occurrence in high school basketball, but Maple Lake senior Molly Schaufler reached this milestone in the last game of her high school career. Schaufler is the third all-time leading scorer in Maple Lake girls' basketball history, behind Vicki Klemz and Mandy Wurm. "This was a nice honor for Molly," said Head Coach Adam Ronnenberg. "She has overcome a lot this season and worked really hard to reach this goal."
Schaufler, who missed six games during the season due to a stress fracture in her foot, didn't have much time to score those last points that led to her 1,000th career point. Going into their first round home play-off game on Feb. 26, the Irish, as the number four seed, played the number five-seeded Litchfield Dragons. At this point Schaufler was just four points shy of reaching the milestone.
Mary McBrady, the Grand Marshal of this year's St. Patrick's Day Parade, hasn't seen the front of the parade in 29 years.
"For the first couple years it was scheduled right on St. Patrick's Day, and I watched from the sidelines with my kindergarten class," said McBrady. "When it moved to the Saturday before, I started staying in the back getting ready with the clan. I don't think I've seen the whole parade since."
McBrady will see the front of the parade this year as she leads it and the big McBrady Clan down the street for the 31st Maple Lake St. Patrick's Day Festival on March 15.
McBrady, her late husband, Joe, and their family moved to Maple Lake from Graceville, MN, in 1946.
"Ed Raiche and Mel Engel came up and interviewed Joe for a job managing the liquor store," said McBrady. "We had three job offers but chose Maple Lake because Ed and Mel took the time to come up and talk with us."
As winter struggles to let go, the first sign of spring in Maple Lake is the St. Patrick's Day Festival and the first event of this St. Pat's Season was the Queen's Banquet on Sunday at the Maple Lake American Legion.
The banquet included candidate introductions, words of thanks from current royalty, a style show featuring clothes from Maurice's in Buffalo and commercials prepared by the candidates for their sponsors.
The banquet featured the 10 candidates and the current royalty, including: Princess Shelly Neidenfeur, Princess Kaylie Hudek, Miss Maple Lake Sarah Latour, Miss Congeniality Elizabeth Yager, Ashley Remer, Brittany Anderson, Shanna Weber, Andrea Rachel, Carrie Blake, Molly Schaufler, Deanna Lamont, Lindsey Becker, Brittany Wurm and Kelsey Clark.
More photos appear in this weeks issue of the Messenger.
Chelsea Rachel wasn't quite a year old the last time an Irish gymnast reached the state tournament. But last weekend, she brought Maple Lake back to state after a 15 year absence.
Also back at state on Saturday was one of the last Irish gymnasts to reach that plateau 15 years ago. Nicole Glunz Green, who earned a trip to the state tournament with Mandy Fuller in 1993, was at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium in St. Paul's Xcel Energy Center guiding Annandale sophomore Jenna Woelfel in All-Around competition.
Rachel, a sophomore at Maple Lake High School, followed Woelfel in Floor Exercise competition on Saturday. In her first taste of state competition, Rachel earned a score of 9.025, which ranked her 20th in a field of 32 Class A competitors in the Floor Exercise.
"It wasn't my best," Rachel said of her performance at state. "I was so nervous."