Sports

Wed
28
Dec

Lightning wins Bolt battle


Joe Driscoll works on pinning Peyton Sell of Glencoe-Silver Lake at 220 pounds. Driscoll won by fall in 3:08.

Trevor Wilson battles Glencoe-Silver Lake’s Eric Wilson at 113 pounds during a Dec. 22 meet in Annandale where the Lightning took on the Panthers and Dassel-Cokato in two big, Wright County Conference matches and annual Battle of the Bolt. ANML defeated both teams to claim the trophy. (Photos by Mary Christen)

The Annandale-Maple Lake wrestling team moved to 9-3 on the season with wins over conference foes Glencoe-Silver Lake and Dassel-Cokato, Thursday, Dec. 22, at Annandale, in the annual “Battle of the Bolt.”
The Lightning started the tournament by defeating the G-SL Panthers 51-23 in a dual with little surprises, coach Ben Youngs said.
Joe Driscoll had a noteworthy match at 220 pounds, pinning a “very solid” Peyton Sell to continue his winning ways. Six of the other Lightning wins were by forfeit.
“When I see a match like this, I appreciate the ability to fill our lineup. G-SL has some tough kids, but they just can't fill the 14-weight class roster.”
Next for the Lightning was D-C, an important section and Wright County Conference match-up. Also at stake was the traditional Battle for the Bolt trophy. The Lightning pulled away from the Chargers late in the match to win 46-23.

Wed
21
Dec

Volleyball stars earn awards


The Maple Lake volleyball team held its award ceremony, Sunday, Dec. 11, to celebrate a stellar season that saw the team to a state volleyball championship. Pictured are Sunday's award winners. Front row, from left, Kora Fuller earned the Go Award for her hustle on the court; Olivia Marquette was named to the Central Minnesota All-Academic Team, the 2016 Individual All-State Academic Team, and was first team All-Conference; Linsey Rachel was named to the CMC All-Academic Team, the 2016 Individual All-State Academic Team, was first team all-conference, CMC Player of the Year and Player of the Year; Morgan Scheiber was second team All-Conference and won the Go Award; Kaleigh Beehler earned the Most Improved award. Back row, from left, Brynn Paumen was second team All-Conference and Player of the Year; Amber Klug was first team All-Conference; Mollie Scheiber was second team All-Conference, and most improved. Not pictured, coach Marty Kiebel was named CMC Coach of the Year. (Photo by Brenda Erdahl)
Wed
21
Dec

Football players bring home hardware


The Maple Lake football team celebrated its season, Saturday, Dec. 10, with an awards ceremony. From left, Zack Cargill earned All-District Second Team honors and All-Section honors; Hunter Malachek earned the All-Conference Academic award and All-District First Team honors; Logan McCollough was named Most Improved and was All-District Honorable Mention; Erik Raymond was named Lineman of the Year, earned All-District First Team honors and All-Section honors; Luke Mooney earned All-District Second Team honors and All-Section Honors; Tanner Schmidt earned the Hardest Worker award and All-District Honorable Mention; Mike Latour earned the Specialist award and was All-District Honorable Mention; and Alex Toedter earned the Offensive Player award, All-District First Team honors and All-Section honors. Not pictured, Jordan Gries, Jake Fynboh, Henry Stecker, Brock Goelz, Ben Reilley, Aiden Staloch, Ben Gindele and Mitch Hoistad earned All-Conference Academic honors. (Photo by Chad Pingel)
Wed
21
Dec

Irish girls win three in a row


Linsey Rachel takes a shot from the free-throw line. Rachel had a season high 21 points for the Irish.

The Maple Lake girls basketball team rallied its way to a third straight win and second Central Minnesota Conference victory, Thursday, Dec. 15, when the Irish traveled to Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa.
The last time the Irish beat the Jaguars was back in 2012, and they went in expecting a fight. They weren’t disappointed. After a dominating first half, the Jaguars came back and put the scare into the Maple Lake players before eventually falling 43-38 to the Irish.
Maple Lake ballhandlers came out focused and played tough defense early to jump to a 9-0 lead. Solid full-court pressure and outstanding rebounding allowed the Irish to go into the break with a comfortable 11-point, 25-14, lead.

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Wed
21
Dec

Irish basketball team edges Foley


Senior gaurd Josh Bidwell drives to the basket against the Foley Falcons, Thursday, Dec. 15, at home. The Irish beat the non-conference Falcons 71-68.

The Maple Lake boys basketball team's annual holiday tournament was cut short last week because of weather. On Thursday, Dec. 15, the Irish opened the tournament against Foley and beat the non-Central Minnesota Conference opponent 71-68. The other games, scheduled for Friday, Dec. 16, were cancelled because of the snow and cold temperatures.
Thursday's game was a back-and-forth contest, full of runs for both teams. The Irish held a narrow lead, 23-22, with little more than seven minutes left in the half. By the break the home team was up 37-32.
The Irish continued to take good care of the ball, committing only eight turnovers, and the ball-handlers came through at the free-throw line when it was needed. The Irish were 100 percent from the free-throw line that first half, connecting with eight-of-eight attempts. The Maple Lake team hit seven of 10 free throws in the second half.

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Wed
21
Dec

MAML hockey falls to Princeton

The Monticello-Annandale-Maple Lake boys hockey team suffered a 4-2 loss at the hands of Mississippi 8 Conference foe Princeton, Thursday, Dec. 15, at the Moose Sherritt Ice Arena in Monticello.
Troy Dahlheimer and Honza Stibingr of the MAML team had the two goals of the night with assists by Ben Ward, Nick Zwack and Casey Chiodo.
Princton scored first, just over three minutes into the first period. The Moose answered in the second, but the Tigers tied it up before the period ended.

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Wed
21
Dec

Illness, injury cost gymnasts


Olivia LaTour kicks up her heels during her floor routine, Thursday, Dec. 15, at Annandale earning her a 7.2 score from judges. (Photos by Brenda Erdahl)

Illness and injury assailed the Maple Lake gymnastics team last week, costing the Irish a 118.825 to 126.95 loss to Annandale, Thursday, Dec. 15, in Annandale.
Gracie Elsenpeter, the Irish’s stand-out athlete early on in the season, was out after the second rotation Thursday night, due to injury.
“We were not at our best as a team,” coach Kaitlyn Helmbrecht said.
Despite some absentees, those who did compete had some strong performances, the coach said.

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Wed
21
Dec

Lightning win three


Quinn Youngs wrestles to a victory over his Litchfield opponent at 132 pounds Thursday, Dec. 15. The win marked Young’s 75th varsity victory. (Photos by Mary Christen)

The Annandale-Maple Lake Lightning had a busy week last week, competing in five matches over two days.
On Tuesday, Dec. 13, the Lightning traveled to Glenwood where the wrestlers beat Kimball 69-6, lost to Minnewaska 36-36 on criteria, and beat Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted 49-0.
On Thursday, Dec. 15, ANML traveled to New London-Spicer where the team lost to Litchfield 41-25 and beat NL-S 72-7.
The Lightning won 13 of 14 weights against Kimball in its first match of the week, securing pins from Trevor Wilson, Ben Schuldt, Jack Klug, Nate Carlson, Cuyler Helwig, Reed Rasset, Mitchell Bergstrom, and Joe Driscoll.
Kimball's one ranked wrestler, Zach Holtz, fell to the Lightning's Quinn Youngs who was up a weight class.  
Minnewaska Area surprised ANML wrestlers by winning on criteria after tallying more wins than the Lightning.

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Wed
14
Dec

Irish athletes have roles on MAML hockey team


Devon Lyons

Justin Fobbe

Scott Alm is a foreign exchange student at Maple Lake who hopes to see some time on varsity this season. (Photos submitted)

Three Maple Lake athletes will play for the Monticello-Annandale-Maple Lake hockey team this season.
Senior Devon Lyons, although injured right now, will be looked upon to be a contributing factor every night, coach Eric Nelson said. He returns from a season last year of growth as a player and will be expected to be a leader.
Justin Fobbe is new to the high school program. This year will be one that he pushes to increase his skill level to earn a spot on varsity, Nelson said.
Scott Alm is also new to the Moose, although in a different way. He is a foreign exchange student at Maple Lake.
“Scott will need to learn the ins and outs of playing high school hockey in Minnesota in order to have a successful year in terms of stats,” Nelson said. “It’s great to have some new outside influences in the locker room as they tend to lighten the atmosphere within the room.”

Wed
14
Dec

Irish gymnasts work to rebuild


Captains Gracie Elsenpeter, left, and Shauni Johnson, lead a young crew of gymnasts. (Photo by Brenda Erdahl)

The Maple Lake gymnastics team is rebuilding after losing four seniors to graduation including Jordan Sifferle who claimed a third-place finish at state competition on the vault last year.
A handful of returnees led by 2015 all-conference gymnast Gracie Elsenpeter, and Katelyn Fuller, who earned all-conference honorable mention last season, return to the mat along with three seventh graders. All seven varsity athletes are underclassmen.
“This is a rebuilding year after graduating three varsity athletes, so we have a lot of work to do on all events,” coach Kaitlyn Helmbrecht said.
In addition to the loss of Sifferle, Marisa Hendrickson, Delaney Sifferle and Miranda Powers also graduated from last year’s squad.

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