The Maple Lake Irish girls basketball team kicked off the start of their season traveling to St. John’s Prep on Tuesday, Nov. 27. The game resulted in a successful Irish first win with a final score of 49-27 to kick start the upcoming season. In the first half of the game, both teams were understandably nervous and had the “first game jitters.” The game got underway in front of a rowdy Johnnie crowd, making the Irish a little uneasy as the 2012 campaign began. To start, the Johnnies played a mix of man and zone, but sharp outside shooting by the Irish (4/9 from 3 point territory) forced them to play more man defense as the game progressed. Tough trapping man defense rattled the Johnnies and provided the Irish some easy scoring opportunities in the first half. At the half, the Irish led by 11, 26-15. Coming into the second half, the Irish were more confident and ready to keep their lead by not forcing plays on offense and keeping the intensity up on the defensive side of the court.
The Irish Boys Basketball team kicked off the 2012/2013 season in front of a home crowd Friday night, facing off against the Norwood Young America Raiders. The night began with some of the elementary Irish players getting the chance to run out on the court before starting lineups. The home crowd fans filled the stands ready to watch the boys begin their season. When the game began the Irish lost the tipoff, but they scored first when Isaac Kotila sank a free throw. The scoring would not continue however, as the Irish struggled to find offensive rhythm, scoring only five points in the first eight minutes of the game. The Irish shot only 8/33 in the first half and a low 2/16 for three pointers, one of which came from senior Donnie Mavencamp at the buzzer before the end of the half. The total shooting percentage in the first half for the Irish was just 24%. The Raiders shot 52% and therefore had the lead 30-22 over the Irish at half.
On a beautiful night for a home football opener, it was anything but that for the Irish as they started 2008 play against a huge Mayer Lutheran squad and were marched over like prairie dogs at a cattle stampede on the prairie.
The first quarter went well, defensively, as the Irish held the Crusaders in check. But they could not get their offenses going, ending the first quarter tied with zeroes on the board. The Irish took advantage of two Crusader fumbles and even though they were outmanned by an average of over 50 pounds per man, they hit aggressively and kept the Crusaders out of scoring territory.
The Wright County/West Metro Whitetails announce their 18th annual banquet to be held Sunday, September 7, at the new River City Extreme Entertainment Complex in Monticello. This facility is located south of Monticello off of Highway 25 next to the new Monticello Theater. Social hour to begin at 4:30 p.m., dinner at 5:30 p.m.
The meal will include broasted chicken and prime rib, to be followed by a night of prizes, contests, and fun. Buck head or horns can be entered into the 'Best Buck' contest. The kids can enjoy free bowling and other games. Money raised from this banquet is used to help this organization continue working to enhance the deer hunting experience in Minnesota.
During the last year, the Wright County/West Metro Whitetails sent 21 kids to outdoors camp, while supporting the Monticello Schools program of 'Archery in the Schools.'
If you watched the New York Giants upset the unbeaten New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, you saw a cool Eli Manning completing passes while a harried and rushed Tom Brady was either throwing too soon or winding up on his back. As an old offensive lineman, I could appreciate what was going on. Brady simply had no protection.
So this year when draft time rolled around, it was interesting to see how the philosophy of the owners and managers had changed. Quarterbacks always seem to be the glamour picks, followed by highly publicized running backs. These are the names the fans hear about. These are the names that sell tickets.
The charge of the Irish Light Brigade might be a fitting theme for the 2008 Irish football team. With only one returning starter over 200 pounds and an offensive line that averages 165 pounds, the Irish will have to rely on their speed and quickness to neutralize many of the CMC's much larger teams.
Led by captains Riley Decker, Rob Hannon, Ryan Kotila and Sean Lawler, along with the other Irish seniors, Brent Puncochar, Tony Elfmann, Nick DeChene, Alex Christian and Aaron Rassat, the Irish will open things up with a home non-conference game on Thursday, Aug. 28, at 7 p.m. at Irish Country Stadium against the Mayer Lutheran Crusaders, an always tough foe and a Section 4AA adversary.
On Tuesday, December 11, the Irish hosted their first conference game against the Eden Valley- Watkins Eagles. The first half showed great skill and effort by both teams, but the Irish failed to keep up with Eden Valley in the second half and were outscored 52-23. The game couldn’t have started off better for the Irish as they had a 12-0 lead six minutes into the game. Although the Irish were prepared, a mix of full-court zone pressure and tough half-court defense slowed the Irish attack as the Irish trailed at halftime by the score of 18-21. The second half was nothing like the first, as the Irish were plagued by turnovers and missed shots. Scoring five second half points and struggling to defend the post play of the Eagles proved to be too much to overcome. One of the many important factors in the game was that the Irish shot 21% from the floor while EVW shot 45%.
On Friday, Dec. 14, the Irish hosted their first conference game against the Kimball Cubs. Both teams were fighting to gain early control in the Central Minnesota Conference. The teams were fairly evenly matched and familiar with one another being conference rivals. The Irish knew they would have to be successful on the boards and grab a significant amount of rebounds to beat the Cubs. In the first half the game went back-and-forth on nearly every possession. Both teams shot decent with the Cubs shooting around 50 percent and the Irish at around 40 percent. The Irish knocked down three of nine three-pointers to help their cause and had tied the Cubs 25-25 at halftime. In the second half, the Irish made it a goal to take good shots, rebound, get to the free-throw line, and create turnovers. In a back-and-forth game, the lead changed nine times and was tied nine times. More information and stats appears in this week's Messenger.
The Moose made the long trek north to take on the Northern Lakes Lightning. This game would yet be another close one for the Moose. Starting the first period off with a quick goal at 4:36 into the period was Robbie Stromme, unassisted. The Moose now had the lead at 1-0. The Lightening would respond quickly with a goal from Ben Moe at 6:24 tying the game at 1-1. Going into the second period both teams were at one goal apiece. The second period would not fare well for either team in regards to goals. The only scoring that occurred during the second was unfortunately for the Lightening. More information and stats appears in this week's Messenger.
The “first” of anything is always the hardest. As for the first meet of the gymnastics season, the girls’ nerves factored into how they felt about their performance. “I was very, very nervous. Taking a break from gymnastics for that long and then jumping back onto it is hard,” said eighth grader Halle Geyen. The Irish gymnastics team bused to Princeton on Friday, Dec. 7 and competed in vault, bars, beam, and floor. Jordan Sifferle placed first on vault with an average score of 8.7. Courtney Pribyl held the third place position on vault with an 8.35 average. Delaney Sifferle took fourth place on vault, averaging a final score of 8.25. The team’s overall score on vault was 33.45, leading over Princeton who had a 32.25. Heather Schlueter placed second on bars, receiving an average of 7.525. Jordan Sifferle came in fourth place on bars with a 7.225 average. Courtney Pribyl finished on bars with an average of 7.025.