The first meet of the golf season is always strange. Getting back into the swing of things can take some time. Yes, the golfers had practice for a couple weeks beforehand, but, it’s a whole different experience when it’s the real deal. The Irish girls’ team headed all the way to Pierz to compete on April 12. “It was quite the haul, but the weather was nice,” said varsity golfer Tabitha Latzig. “There was a slight breeze; it was sunny and about 70 degrees. It cooled off as the meet went on.” The boys’ team, on the other hand, traveled to Kimball on April 12. “It was pretty nice outside, but the wind picked up towards the end of the meet,” said varsity golfer Josh Hogan. Weather is a huge factor in the outcome of the teams’ scores. Coach Steve Fuchs’ girls’ team finished in third place with 191 points, not far behind their rival, Osakis, which took first with 185 points. Coach Jeff Kubian’s boys took fourth place, also with 191 points.
After a disappointing loss against Annandale on Thursday, April 5, the Maple Lake Irish softball team took advantage of a week of practice to prepare for their game against Zimmerman. Despite the rain, wind, and freezing temperatures on Friday, April 13, the Irish were able to secure their first win of the season. To prepare for the game, Maple Lake went over game-like situations during practice such as when runners are on first and third and when there is a possibility that a hitter may bunt. These drills helped the Irish to play smart. “I expected them to come out and play hard and smart. But, it was not a very good game because our opponent couldn’t throw strikes so we weren’t able to swing the bat and do the things we wanted to,” said Head Coach Tim Knudsen. Weather was a major factor during the game.
On Sunday evening, April 15, the Maple Lake boys’ basketball team, parents, and coaches all gathered at Madigan’s Pub & Grill for the end-of-the-year banquet. To start the night off Head Coach Tim Staloch read through a long list of thank you’s to all of the people that made this season a success. Following, he and JV Coach Casey Pack went through season highlights for both teams. Things that were mentioned about the varsity team included finishing with a winning record at 14-12, an 8-6 conference record which was good for a 4th place standing, and beating Pierz at home. “Regardless of the score in games, these guys never gave up and fought hard until the final buzzer,” said Staloch. “They are a great group of guys and I am really going to miss working with this team.” Following the season review, each player was called up as Coach Staloch said a few words about each of them, after this they received their letter.
So far in the season, the girls’ golf team has been doing well, with the boys’ team following close at their heels. But, the week of April 30th through May 4th was quite the contrary. The teams just didn’t have their “A-game.” The girls headed to Osakis on Monday, while the boys stayed at Albion Ridges on Tuesday. For the boys, some blamed it on the fact that their meet was at home, so they concentrated less on the game and were distracted more by being so familiar with their surroundings. “As a team we could have done better,” said varsity golfer Trevor Borell. The boys finished their meet in fourth place with a total of 184 points. Their scores were as follows: Mark Meyer 48, Trevor Borell 46, Aiden Jude 48, Thomas Carriveau 50, Jason Pomije 51, Josh Hogan 42. The weather at Osakis was divine for playing the game of golf. “It was gorgeous outside, and very sunny,” said varsity golfer Tabitha Latzig.
The weather this track season just hasn’t been ideal for the athletes this year. The meet at Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa on Tuesday, May 1, got about half-way through when lightning appeared in the sky and everyone on the track had to head into the school for safety. Almost a half-hour later, they announced that the meet had been canceled. The meet will not be made up. Likewise, the track team was suppose to head to St. John’s Prep that Friday, but that meet was also canceled because of weather. Once again, that meet will not be made up. Team rankings for the portion of the BBE meet concluded were as following: Girls: Maple Lake, 1st, 57; 2nd, Osakis, 38; SJP, 3rd, 37; EVWK, 4th, 35; Sauk Centre, 5th, 33; BBE, 6th, 32; Rockford, 7th, 11; Hancock, 8th, 10; Community Christian, 9th, 4. Boys: Maple Lake, 1st, 46, EVWK, 2nd, 44, Sauk Centre, 3rd, 32; Hancock, 4th, 17, BBE, 5th, 12; Rockford, 6th, 11; Osakis, 7th, 8; SJP, 8th, 3.
On Tuesday, May 1, the Irish baseball team hosted Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted in a conference game. It was a big battle all the way to the final out, but Maple Lake was able to slip away with the victory, 7-5. After falling behind early in the game 2-5, the Irish made a late push in the last two innings, scoring five runs and winning the game. The rally began in the fifth, starting when sophomore Zach Johnson reached on error. Up next was senior Brian Redemske who tripled, bringing Johnson all the way around to score. Following was junior Donnie Mavencamp, he also reached on an error which allowed Redemske to score from third base which concluded the scoring for the inning. Going into the sixth inning the score was 5-4, and the Irish had regained the momentum. The bottom of the inning started with senior Dedrek Berndtson getting hit with a pitch, followed with a single from junior Bosten Fieldseth.
On Monday, April 23, the Irish baseball team hosted the Rockford Rockets for a conference game. Maple Lake dominated the entire contest, winning 10-0 in five innings. Pitching for the Irish was sophomore Landon Caughey who threw a very good game, going all five innings. He allowed zero runs, three walks, two hits, and struck five out. In the third inning the Irish scored four runs, starting with senior Brian Redemske who found the gap for a double. Picking up an RBI was senior Jake Johnson who followed with a single which allowed Redemske to score. Up next was senior Derek Rachel who also singled. Next in line was freshman Cal Redemske who reached first base on a fielder’s choice which resulted in the out of Johnson. Coming up big with two down in the inning was junior Donnie Mavencamp who picked up two RBIs on a single that allowed Rachel and C. Redemske to score. Mavencamp later scored from a Rocket error after junior Bosten Fieldseth hit a ground ball in the infield.
Due to inclement weather, the Maple Lake Irish track team wasn’t able to go to the Paynesville meet on Tuesday, April 14, (will not be rescheduled). However, they did get to participate on the Thursday of that same week, in the Norwood-Young America meet. “The boys won by 100 points,” said Head Coach Ben Youngs. “They will be tough to beat. The girls also did well, winning by 30-40 points.”
With four games under their belt, the Irish headed to Rockford on Monday, April 23. According to Head Coach Tim Knudsen, Rockford is the toughest competition the Irish will face in the conference. Keeping this in mind, the Irish were up to bat first and hoped to start the game off with a few hits. Unfortunately, they were out in the field after a quick three outs. However, despite Rockford’s ability to get on base, Maple Lake was able to hold them the first inning by throwing out a runner at home. The second inning was quick with both teams struggling to hit. However, the bats got rolling in the third after Holly Goelz was able to get on base with a walk. Brooke Decker then hit a single followed by Shelby Rachel’s single, which scored both Goelz and Decker. Fired up from a round of hitting, the Irish kept Rockford from scoring. Unfortunately, in the fourth inning, Rockford tied the score. After that, both teams struggled at the plate during the last three innings.
Last week was definitely a week to remember for both the girls’ and boys’ golf teams. The weather was pristine the majority of the week, the golfers were ready for battle, and the coaches were prepared to offer advice. The teams each had a meet on Monday, April 23, Tuesday, April 24, and Thursday, April 26. The girls traveled to Becker on Monday, Howard Lake on Tuesday, and Kimball on Thursday. As for the boys, they also traveled to Becker on Monday, then to Pierz on Tuesday, and then followed the girls again to Kimball on Thursday. The girls golfed 18 holes at Becker on Monday, placing third overall as a team with 401 points. Emily Carey scored an 89, Maggie Carey got 96, Kirsten Kubian shot a 103, Kristina Paumen got 123, and Vienna Jude scored a 113. The girls each played very well. E. Carey medaled and Tabitha Latzig ended up withdrawing due to an injured rib. The boys also golfed at Becker on Monday. They took home 386 points, finishing in eighth place.