Players earn awards at football banquet

The Maple Lake football team held its annual end-of-the-year banquet recently and announced the names of the season’s award winners. They are, front row, from left, Nick Preisinger, tied for Lineman of the Year, was named to the All-District First Team and the All-Section Team; Lucas Fobbe earned a place on the All-District First Team. Back row, from left, Damian Kaley earned Offensive Player of the Year, was named to the All-District First Team and the All-Section Team; Alex Toedter earned Defensive Player of the Year, was named to the All-District Second Team and All-Section Team; Nate Maas earned Most Valuable Player and was named to the All-District Second Team; Tanner Schmidt earned the Hardest Worker award and tied for Lineman of the Year. Not pictured, Chase Olson earned All-District Team Honorable Mention; Jackson Stengler earned All-District Team Honorable Mention; and Austin Becker was named to the All-Section Team. (Photo by Brenda Erdahl)

Moose hockey wins three at home

No. 11 Nate Maas had two goals and three assists in the Moose hockey team’s three wins last week.

No. 35 Brandon Lyons had two assists in the Moose hockey team’s three wins last week against St. Francis, Red Wing and Becker-Big Lake.

The Monticello-Annandale-Maple Lake Moose boys hockey team claimed three wins at home last week, including a 4-1 victory over St. Francis on Tuesday, Dec. 15, a 6-1 win over Red Wing on Thursday, Dec. 17, and a 7-0 win over Becker-Big Lake on Saturday, Dec. 19.
Senior captain Nate Maas had two goals and three assists for the week. Teammate Brandon Lyons had two assists.
The Moose’s overall record is now 5-4.
Up next for the MAML team is Sartell at Bernick’s Pepsi Arena in Sartell on Tuesday, Dec. 22, at 7:15 p.m. On Monday, Dec. 28, they will face St. Cloud Tech at the Granite City Classic, then on Tuesday, Dec. 29, they will travel to the St. Cloud MAC Arena for a two-day tournament. On Tuesday they will meet the River Lakes Stars at 11:30 a.m., and on Wednesday, Dec. 30, they will face Providence Academy, also at 11:30 a.m.


Irish gymnasts improve with each meet

Irish gymnast Gracie Elsenpeter swings to a fourth-place finish on the bars, Tuesday, Dec. 15, at a home meet against Becker. (Photos by Brenda Erdahl)

Jordan Sifferle performs on the beam at Tuesday’s meet. Her performance earned her second place.

Despite falling to a tough Becker team on Tuesday, December 15, at home, and a talented Benson team on Thursday, Dec. 18, on the road, the Maple Lake gymnastics team is pleased with its teamwork and the progress the athletes are making, coach Kaitlyn Helmbrecht said.
The Irish fell 126.375 to Becker’s 140.625 and 129.075 to Benson’s 135.475.
Tuesday’s performance was the best team finish of the season. The Irish bested their score by four points from the previous meet.
Jordan Sifferle led the Irish with her second-place finish on the beam. Her score was 8.45. She was also third on the vault with a 9.3, sixth on the floor with an 8.35, and sixth on the bars with a score of 7.6. She finished fourth in the all-around with a 33.7.


Injuries plague Irish girls

Injuries and illness plagued the Maple Lake girls basketball team last week, resulting in three losses on the road for the Irish ball-handlers.
The Irish met Holdingford, Tuesday, Dec. 15, without three of its regular players. Playing at less than full strength, Maple Lake struggled against the Huskers’ pressure, was forced to make some poor decisions and fell 54-13 to their non-conference opponent.
Struggling to handle the pressure, the Irish trailed 30-9 at the half. Earlier in that first half, Mollie Scheiber suffered a poke to the eye and Linsey Rachel re-injured her ankle, putting both of them out of the game for the second half. Without two of their regular players, the Irish ball-handlers struggled to get shots up, shooting just five for 27 from the floor.


Irish win two at home

Chase Olson goes up for two against the Foley Falcons, Thursday, Dec. 17, at home. Olson had 15 points in the Irish win. (Photos by Brenda Erdahl)

Blake Wellsted makes his way toward the basket. He had nine points Thursday night.

The Maple Lake boys basketball team squeezed out two wins last week at their pre-holiday tournament despite second-half scoring woes.
The Irish claimed a commanding 29-19 lead in the first half against Foley to kick off the tournament, Thursday, Dec. 17, but when they couldn’t find the bottom of the basket in the second half, the Falcons pulled ahead and the Irish had to scramble to reclaim the lead, winning 52-43.
“We played a pretty good first half offensively and defensively. The second half we just didn't shoot the ball very well,” coach Tim Staloch said.
Chase Olson led with 15 points and five rebounds for the Irish. Blake Wellsted had nine points.
“We did a nice job making free throws down the stretch to put the game away,” Staloch added. “And once again we rebounded the ball well.”
Friday’s game against Mayer Lutheran, Dec. 18th, played out much the same way.


ANML Lightning wins five more

ANML wins the "Battle of the Bolt" (D-C dual). (Photos by Mary Christen)

Ben Gindele won an 8-2 decision over Johnny Goodman.

Jonah Hayes won a 5-2 decision over Brody Schmidt.

The Annandale-Maple Lake wrestling team tacked five more wins to its record last week, including three on Tuesday, Dec. 15, at the Kimball Duals.
The Lightning came out strong, defeating Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted 60-18, Minnewaska 60-18 then ended the day with a 68-6 win over Kimball.
“Overall, Tuesday’s three duals went well,” coach Jason Bartels said. “Our lineup was tested with its depth due to several key wrestlers being out for various reasons. We matched up well with some of the teams, and some of them had multiple open weights, which led to the greater margin of victories.”
According to Bartels, Austin Hurrle had the best match of the dual when he took on Minnewaska’s best wrestler to a close finish coming down to the final period.
“Austin probably wrestled one of his best matches of the year, and almost took the lead late in the match. It should serve as a confidence booster for him,” Bartels said.


Decker named to UMAC First Team, volleyball

The Minnesota Morris volleyball team had four players named to the UMAC First Team. Pictured from left to right: Brooke Decker, Katie Reitsma, Marissa Ekness and Abby Tietz were all honored by the UMAC.
Decker, daughter of Dale and Vicki Decker of Maple Lake, led the league in assists, finishing with 10.33 assists per set which ranked 27th in the nation. She joined the 2,000 assist club during her senior year. Her 1,188 assists this season were second all-time for the Cougars in school history. She finishes her career with 2,515 assists, fourth most in Morris history. Decker also had 47 aces on the season which ranked first on the team. Decker averaged .79 kills per set during her senior year.


Irish boys basketball celebrates big conference victory

Alex Toedter shoots for two. He led Irish scoring with 20 points Thursday night.

Damian Kaley goes over the head of a Holdingford defender, Thursday, Dec. 10, at home. Kaley had 15 points in the Irish win. (Photo by Brenda Erdahl)

The Maple Lake boys basketball team had a busy week with two heart-breaking losses and a big Central Minnesota Conference win.
The Irish kicked off the series of games on Tuesday, Dec. 8, with a 68-69, overtime loss to CMC conference foe Eden Valley-Watkins at home. Two days later, on Thursday, Dec. 10, they hosted CMC rival Holdingford and won 66-54. Maple Lake capped off the week with another close 65-64 loss to Watertown-Mayer, Saturday, Dec. 12, on the road.
The Irish played solid basketball through much of the game Tuesday, earning a 32-26 lead over EV-W at the end of the first half which they built into a double-digit advantage midway through the second half.
That’s when EV-W shooters suddenly got hot and Maple Lake’s response was some costly turnovers, allowing the Eagles to catch up and send the game into overtime.
The Irish put up six points in those extra minutes, but the Eagles put up seven to claim the conference victory.


ANML has successful week

Tanner Vassar won a 12-4 major decision over Foley’s Taylor Jurek.

Holden Youngs won a 5-3 decision over Foley’s John Larson.

The Annandale-Maple Lake wrestling team had a busy week with two home duals and a tournament on the road where they earned second place out of 11 teams.
The Lightning kicked off the week at home on Tuesday, Dec. 8, with a 40-19 win over Big Lake and a 22-31 loss to Foley.
“We knew that we were up for a tough challenge facing Foley,” coach Josh Howk said. “It seemed the wound was finally heeaing from the one-point section final loss only months ago.
“Looking on paper, we knew that we were underdogs to some degree, but that we could certainly pull off the win by wrestling well and getting certain match-ups.”
Holden and Quinn Youngs were the first to win their matches at 113 and 120 pounds, respectively. From there several other Lightning wrestlers held out over the Falcons, but it wasn’t quite enough.

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MAML hockey wins one, loses one

Maple Lake’s Nate Maas had one goal and one assist in the Monticello-Annandale-Maple Lake hockey team’s 6-1 win over Sauk Rapids-Rice, Tuesday, Dec. 8, at home.
Two days later, on Thursday, Dec. 10, the Moose fell to Princeton 4-1 on the road.
Maas was the first to score at 13:10 of the first period with help from Jaden Jarmuzek on Tuesday. The Moose put away two more goals in the second off Nick Johnson and Ville Salovaara with assists by Maas, Nick Zwack and Josh Herrman. Maple Lake score its final two goals in the third period by Jack Saunders and Ryan Ashwill, assisted by Casey Chiodo, Charlie Voller and Herrman.
Sauk Rapids-Rice scored its one and only goal on a power play at 9:06 of the third period.
The MAML goalie made 20 saves.


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