The Irish had the task of playing on the road for their first round playoff game, which took place Thursday night at Foley. The Irish came ready to play with a lot of momentum and excitement in hopes to upset the Falcons. In playoffs there are no practice games; either they won and continued their season, or they lost and the season would end. On this night, they won 79-73. The first half was back and forth between the two teams almost every possession. Foley scored the first two baskets of the game before Donnie Mavencamp hit a three-pointer to get the Irish on the board. Both teams played well in the first half, not letting either team run away with the game. The Irish offensively managed to get a few easy layup opportunities along with some clutch three-point shots. They also willed their way to the free-throw line and shot a perfect 7/7 in the first half. Defensively, they allowed Foley to shoot pretty well at 59 percent, but they didn’t give up a lot at a time.
Wednesday, May 29, was, for a majority of athletes, the last meet for the 2013 track season. For one individual, Isaac Kotila advancing in shotput, and the boys 4x200 meter relay team consisting of Cody Bakka, Dusty Strub, Neal Wagner and Drew Hanson, they would get to compete at the state meet the following week June 7 and 8. At the Section meet, the top two individuals and top two relay teams advance to the state meet. The boys team placed second overall with 75 points, with the Foley team ahead of them with 101 points. “The boys really came to compete. Their second-place finish was highest ever, even above last year's third place finish,” coach Ben Youngs said. “The 75 points they earned was amazing, especially considering we only had one first- and one second-place finish. Again, that shows our depth. School records that fell were: boys 4x800 (Danny Becker, Evan Hertwig, Greg Dorow, Ryan Kalinowski), 800 meters (Ryan Kalinowski), and shot put (Isaac Kotila).
Both the boys and the girls had their section meets at Pebble Creek on Thursday, May 30. The girls’ tee time was in the morning around 9 a.m. The weather was a bipolar mix of rain and sunshine. The temperamental weather didn’t stop two of the girls golfers from advancing to the second round of sections. The cutoff for the girls was 101. Tabitha Latzig and Vienna Jude both made the cut. Latzig’s score was 96 and Jude had a 98. The boys golfers were luckier with weather, less fortunate with scores. The boys had an afternoon tee time. By then, the weather had mellowed out and it was sunny for the rest of the day. The boys did better than the girls but their cutoff was 86. Aiden Jude missed the cut by one stroke. He had an 87. Jason Pomije missed the cut by three strokes. The two girls move on to the second round of sections, which took place on Monday, June 3. The two golfers from Maple Lake who made it to the second round definitely had better scores than in the first round.
The Maple Lake Irish were back in action in the subsection playoffs. After eliminating the Zimmerman Thunder, the Irish had no time to celebrate before they took to the road to play number-one seeded Dassel-Cokato at Delano. The Irish knew they were going to have to play a near perfect game to compete with Dassel-Cokato. The Irish did just that. With the help of a couple of Dassel-Cokato fielding errors, Maple Lake jumped out to an early 4-0 lead by the end of their half of the first inning. The real show began when senior Donnie Mavencamp took the mound to start what would end up being a dominating performance. With the Irish defense playing as solid as they have all year, Mavencamp was able to settle in and throw strikes. Mavencamp pitched flawlessly until the fifth inning when Dassel-Cokato strung together some hits and tied the game 4-4. Undeterred, the Maple Lake offense caught fire again, opening up a three-run lead.
The Irish boys golfers had their final meet at Rockford on Thursday, May 23. Like the girls they took home an All-Conference trophy as well. Jason Pomije was the All-Conference winner for the boys. Out of 35 golfers, he took ninth. His overall average was 43.8. His placement in the top 10 qualified him for All-Conference. Individual scores for the Irish at Thursday’s meet were: Jason Pomije, 43; Aiden Jude, 49; Jay Elsenpeter, 50; Jeremy Mills, 55; Cody Welch, 57; and John Treadwell with a 63. The Irish tied for fifth place at Rockford on Thursday. They tied with HLWW with a score of 197. Rockford took first with a score of 159, Osakis and Pierz tied with 175, BBE took fourth with a 190 and Kimball took last with an even 200 strokes. The last conference meet finalizes the team standings.
The Lakers dropped a heart-breaker 1-0 to Raymond to open play in the Stearns County Classic tournament at St. Martin on Saturday, June 1, but bounced back with two wins to end up fifth in the 8-team tournament. After the Raymond loss, the Lakers turned around and edged St. Martin 2-0 to qualify for a Sunday game. With a home run barrage, the Maple Lake pounded Lake Henry 14-8 on Sunday at Lake Henry. Raymond’s Rockets got the only run of the game in the first inning off starter and loser Jeremy Schmidt with a walk and two hits. Good Rockets’ pitching, cold weather, and two weeks of inaction due to poor spring weather all played their role in the Laker loss. Because of rain-outs, the Lakers hadn’t played since May 15. The Lakers threatened only in the second with Nate Johnson’s walk and Brian Redemske’s single, the only Laker hit. Sam Marsnik pitched an inning in relief. In the second game of the day, Ben Jungers limited St. Martin to four hits for a complete game win.
by Rachel Latour Intern On Saturday, May 18, the girls and boys teams were on the road at 7:30 a.m. to Stillwater to compete in the True Team State meet. Although the weather wasn’t ideal with the downpouring of rain for the first part of the meet, the Irish still battled through and had a fun-filled day, with the boys taking second and the girls placing sixth. The boys team just fell short to being back-to-back state champs as they lost to the Cotter team by 14.5 points. Coming in third place was Esko with 368, then Holdingford with 362.5, Luverne with 338.5, Blue Earth Area with 301, Pine Island with 277.5, Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton with 241, and Crookston with 195. The 4x800 relay team, who took second to a tough Cotter team, broke the school record. Ryan Kalinowski had one of the best set of races as he dueled one of the top 800 runners in that race, had a solid open 800, then passed two other teams' anchor runners to win the 4x400 relay at the end.
The Maple Lake Irish began the week in Rockford taking on the Rockets in a conference double-header. With 20-plus mph winds blowing in from the outfield, the Irish knew they were in for a rough night hitting. The Irish, eager to get back into the conference race, needed to sweep the Rockets. Taking the mound for Maple Lake was senior Donnie Mavencamp, who enjoyed his best outing of the year. Mavencamp pitched all six innings and allowed only two hits. He was in command all night and got the win in spite of Maple Lake's inability to score runs. The lone run turned in by the Irish offense was enough to secure the win. Game two saw sophomore Tony Goelz on the mound facing the difficult task of following up Mavencamp’s outstanding performance. Goelz was able to more than hold his own and threw the best game of his life, allowing no hits. Again the Irish were only able to put up one run, but it was enough because of the pitching dominance displayed by Goelz.
The Irish girls golf team took first at the meet in Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa, beating the second place team by two strokes. The top four scores for the Irish were: Tabitha Latzig, 39; Maggie Carey, 42; Vienna Jude, 44; and Kirsten Kubian with a 47. “I’m very impressed,” said coach Steve Fuchs after the meet. “I don’t think I’ve ever had an Irish team score that low.” The scores gave Maple Lake a total of 172 strokes. Osakis took second with a 174, Kimball/Eden Valley-Watkins took third with 190, BBE took fourth with a 191, Rockford took fifth with 206, and Pierz took sixth with 215. Howard Lake didn’t show due to false information saying the meet was cancelled. The medallist for the day was Analise Savageau from Osakis with a score of 37.
Maple Lake started the week with two tough games against Rockford on May 13. The Rockets came out with fire and scored two runs off two Maple Lake errors. Maple Lake had a three-up, three-down inning at the plate. In the second inning, Maple Lake got settled down in the field and had a one-two-three-out inning. The Irish had one hit in the bottom of the second but scored no runs. In the top of the third, once again, the Irish had a three-up, three-down inning. After playing such good defense, the Irish hoped their luck would continue at the plate. They had one runner on base but couldn't seem to make contact with the ball. The fourth inning went three-up, three-down for the Rockets as Maple Lake's defense continued to be strong. At the plate, the Irish started to see the ball and make contact. They had two hits, but couldn't manage to score their base runners.