The Irish baseball team opened their playoff season with the Becker Bulldogs. It was a good game on both ends but the Irish came out on top, 8-3. On the mound was senior Jake Johnson who went six innings. He allowed two earned runs on four hits and four walks, and also picked up nine strikeouts. Throwing the seventh was senior Brian Redemske who struck out the side. The Irish wasted no time in producing a few runs early, starting with the first inning when junior Donnie Mavencamp hit a single. This was followed with a walk from J. Johnson. Up next was senior Derek Rachel who grounded into a fielder’s choice but reached first base safely. That left runners on the corners for freshman Cal Redemske who roped a ball over the fence for his first career varsity homerun. In the third inning the Irish picked up four more runs, beginning with B. Redemske getting hit with a pitch. Hitting the second homerun of the evening was Mavencamp, also his first career bomb, stretching the lead to 5-1.
It was a wonderful day on Tuesday, May 22. The Irish boys’ golf team traveled to Howard Lake to compete for the Central Minnesota Conference Championship before heading off to Sections. “The weather was really nice. It was the perfect temperature with just a few clouds,” said varsity golfer Josh Hogan. The weather was definitely on the boys’ side as they drove, chipped, and putted their way down the fairway. The boys were very anxious to complete their conference season on such a good note. “It was fun golfing on Friday knowing that it was our last conference meet of the year,” said Hogan. Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa and Rockford tied for first place with team scores of 172. Osakis was only two points away in third place with 174. In fourth was Pierz with a score of 180. Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted had a team score of 181, which put them in fifth. Maple Lake placed sixth with 185 and Kimball/Eden Valley-Watkins took seventh with a score of 187.
After two tough losses to begin the season, the Maple Lake American Legion baseball team hosted Rockford on Monday, June 18, where they got their first win with a score of 12-2. Maple Lake took the field with Jake Johnson starting on the mound. It was a quick at-bat for Rockford as their lead-off hitter hit a line drive to Maple Lake’s short-stop for an out, followed by two strike-outs. On offense, Maple Lake was able to get things started right away. With one out, Donnie Mavencamp hit a single to reach the bases. Brian Redemske was next with a triple that brought in Mavencamp for the first run of the game. Derek Rachel made a sacrifice out while Jake Johnson and Dusty Strub reached first through errors on Rockford’s shortstop. Bosten Fieldseth was up next and brought in Johnson with a base hit. A strikeout ended the inning and Maple Lake had a 3-run advantage. In the second inning, Rockford struggled to reach the bases as Johnson retired three batters and walked one.
Approaching the league All-Star break, the Lakers advanced their record to 13-4 with a league win over Delano and an exhibition victory over Freeport of the Lakewood League. In a schedule change, the Lakers host the Cokato Kings on Thursday, June 28, at 7:30 p.m. This game had been previously announced for Monday, June 25, at Cokato. Loretto hosts the All-Star game at 7:30 p.m. on June 29. Maple Lake’s representatives for the North Star League All-Star game will be announced at Thursday’s game. Before that, Maple Lake travels to Loretto on Wednesday, June 27, for a 7:30 p.m. game. On Sunday, July 1, the Lakers host the D-C Saints at 2 p.m. Before earning a well-deserved break for the July 4 holidays, the Lakers make up the rained-out game with Delano on Monday, July 2, for a 7:30 p.m. starting time. Lakers 7, Delano A’s 3
The Lakers enter the July 4 break with a record of 11-3 in the league and are in contention for the number-one seed in region play. With this weekend games concluded, the other top teams are Howard Lake at 12-4 and D-C 11-4 after dropping a close one to the Lakers. Maple Lake’s overall record is 15-5. To preserve their top spot, the Lakers needed a win at Delano on July 2, the make-up of a rained out game. Rockford comes to Irish Stadium on Friday, July 6, for a 7:30 p.m. league game before an important contest at Howard Lake on Sunday, July 8, at 2 p.m. The East beat the West 6-4 in the annual North Star League All-Star game held at Loretto on June 29. Luke Fobbe, Jake Frederickson, and Brian Redemske represented the Lakers. The annual Portside Open fundraiser is scheduled for Saturday, July 14. The Lakers hope to have a big turnout for this event. Golfers should line up teams and contact Maple Lake manager Chad Raiche as soon as possible to enter.
The Maple Lake American Legion baseball team added another win to their record when they out-scored Buffalo on Monday, June 25, with a final score of 10-4. Buffalo was up to bat with Maple Lake starting in the field. Landon Caughey started on the mound for Maple Lake and retired Buffalo’s first two hitters to start the game. The third batter swung for a base hit followed by another strike-out, which put Maple Lake in the batter’s box. However, they were unable to get anything started as the first three batters were thrown out. Caughey gave up a walk to start the second inning and a wild pitch advanced the runner. With one out, the number six batter earned a base hit that brought in his teammate for the first run of the game. The next hitter was retired and the runner on base was thrown out for the third out. On offense, Maple Lake also started off with a walk drawn by Derek Rachel. A strike-out and ground-out followed, which brought Bosten Fieldseth to the plate.
Every practice, every conference meet, and every invitational of the boys’ season has built them up to be strong enough to take on sections. Each and every swing throughout the entire season prepared the golfers for these two important days. This year sections were held at Pebble Creek Golf Course in Becker. The weather on day one was pristine golfing weather; partly cloudy, seventy degrees, with no wind whatsoever. “It was the perfect day to be on the course,” said varsity golfer Trevor Borell. This gave the boys a little extra shove to try their hardest. So, they had no way of using the famous “I did bad because of the weather” excuse. Unfortunately, none of the boys made it to day two of the sections competition, but they tried their hardest and had fun on day one, and that’s all that matters. Looking back on their season, the boys took some time to reflect on their flaws.
At Hutchinson’s Veterans Memorial Field on Sunday, June 10, the Lakers put 13 hits on the scoreboard but left 11 runners stranded and suffered their first North Star League loss. The Laker record now is 7-1 in the league, 9-3 overall. On a blustery day, the Huskies out-hit the Lakers on the power side with three home runs. Mike Marquardt hit a three-run blast in the first off Laker starter Casey Pack, Tim Thode pounded a two-run homer in the sixth, and Chris Runke put one over the fence for three runs in the sixth, all charged to reliever Bert Marsnik. Those three Huskies accounted for all 11 of the team’s RBIs. Four of the 6 Hutch runs in the sixth inning off reliever Marsnik were unearned because of a Laker error. The Lakers pulled ahead 6-5 with a three-run sixth inning with three hits, a walk, and a sacrifice fly. Tyler Decker had three hits and a run batted in on a sixth-inning double. Shortstop Luke Fobbe was 4-for-4 with a double.
All the Irish track athletes, coaches, parents, and friends gathered on Monday, June 4, to celebrate the amazing season the track athletes had. From being conference champs to state champs, the athletes had a lot that made them proud. The banquet started with thank you’s to all who helped make this track season such a success. After the thank you’s, a well put-together video was made by one of the tracksters, Baylyn Riviere. It brought some laughs to the crowd as well as the sadness of the season coming to an end. Following the video, the awards were given out. A great amount of awards were handed out due to all the accomplishments made by the very talented athletes. The girls’ team achieved first place at the True Team Section 4A meet, first at the CMC meet, fourth at the True Team State meet, second at the Sub-section 17A meet, and 11th at the Section 5A meet.
In recent years, Maple Lake Irish sports teams have exceeded expectations by sending their teams and participants to state tournaments. This year, the football team returned to the tournament for back-to-back appearances and boys’ track sent six participants to represent Maple Lake at state. For the first time in school history, the Irish volleyball team took part in the tournament and both the boys’ and girls’ track teams were sent to the True Team State Meet with girls taking fourth and boys taking first. The most recent addition to this state entrant’s list is Tabitha Latzig, the first Maple Lake golfer to ever participate at state, which took place on Tuesday, June 12, and Wednesday, June 13. After taking fifth place at the section meet, Latzig advanced to the two-day Class AA Girls’ State Golf Tournament at the Ridges of Sand Creek course in Jordan.