With the season approaching quickly, the Irish volleyball team got a jump start by attending the Early Bird Tournament in Albany on August 22. The Irish took both the JV and the Varsity to the tournament. Some teams which the Irish could see again in Sections were there, including: Rocori, Little Falls, and Albany.
"Every year we play at this tournament I am surprised less and less by players making great plays you weren't expecting or players you think will be steady having an off game," said Head Coach Marty Kiebel.
The Varsity team started out looking a little rusty against St. Cloud Apollo, losing the first game. However, with tough serves the Irish came out on top, winning the second game. Then the score was all tied up 1-1. With the next game only going to 15, Maple Lake started out strong and came out with a win.
Maple Lake hosted the first and only cross country meet of the season at Ney Park on Thursday, August 28.
Jeana Renier was the shining star of the team, finishing in first place for the varsity girls in a time of 17.25 minutes. Shelby Lengyel finished in seventh place, just 34 seconds behind Renier. These two top-10 performances allowed the Maple Lake girls to place second with a team score of 71.
"Girls' varsity picked up right where they left off from last year. The girls had an individual winner, which made it fun," said Assistant Coach Ben Youngs.
To help give the team the winning push, Alyssa Redemske finished 18th at 18.59 minutes, Nikki Blizil, 25th timing in at 19.47; Danae McGregor, 26th at 19.53 and Kaiti Clark in 34th at 20.44.
Varsity girls' team results are: 1st, Eden Valley/Watkins/Kimball, 57; 2nd, Maple Lake, 71; 3rd, Dassel/Cokato, 102; 4th, Watertown/
The National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, reports that several wild water birds from two Minnesota lakes have tested positive for the virulent form of Newcastle disease. This strain of virus can be highly contagious among double-crested cormorants, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
The birds that tested positive were from Minnesota Lake in Faribault County, Pigeon Lake in Meeker County, and Lake Kabetogama in Voyageurs National Park, according to Dr. Erika Butler (DVM), DNR wildlife veterinarian.
It seems rather ridiculous to me that any discussion of racial differences is simply not politically correct. I watch the American Olympic basketball team, and am made aware of the fact that by and large, white men simply are not as quick and do not have the skills that their Afro-American counterparts do. And there are a lot of other areas in sports in which white athletes are outshone by black athletes, like running the 100 or 200 meter sprints or the hurdles. Our country is so well represented by these athletes. Let's face it, they are our best in these events.
You don't have to watch very much professional football to realize that there are more black players than there are whites. This is particularly true at the skill positions.
Anglers are invited to sign up now to compete in Buffalo Hospital Foundation's second annual fishing tournament, Saturday, Sept. 20, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., on Buffalo Lake. The fishing tournament will raise funds to support Project Lifesaver and Heart Safe Communities, two initiatives designed to save lives in Wright County.
I have always marveled at the fact that there are so many left-handed baseball players. After all, 90% of the population in America is right-handed. David Peters has also wondered why this is true. Peters is a baseball nut who is an engineering professor at Washington University in St. Louis. His engineering background led him to do some research. He concluded that only 75% of the baseball players are right-handed.
His observations intrigued the powers that be in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Their studies indicated that 21 percent of the pitchers in the Hall of Fame were lefties. More than twice the percentage in the general population. The numbers for hitters were even more surprising. Forty-five percent of the hitters in the Hall were left-handers. Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Ted Williams, Stan Musial, Barry Bonds and George Brett, to mention a few, were all left-handed.
The Minnesota State Amateur Baseball tournament in Chaska and Shakopee is the next stop for the Maple Lake Lakers. It is a long-awaited opportunity for the Lakers since their last state appearance was in 1995, thirteen years ago.
The squad is state-bound as they finished off their Region 8B run in second place, which earned them the number two seed from their region. After picking up a big first-round victory over Hutchinson, the Lakers moved on to the second round where they fell to St. Michael. Coming back through the loser's bracket, Maple Lake beat Delano in a thrilling game and earned a berth in the state tournament. In the final round of the regional play-offs, the Lakers fell to St. Michael, which left them with the second 8B seed in State.
Maple Lake vs. Hutchinson
In their first game of the second round of Region 8B play-offs, the number four seeded Maple Lake Lakers took on the first seed, Hutchinson on August 6.
Where has summer gone? Our fall season of cross-country is fast approaching. As usual, we'll be meeting at Ney Park on August 11 at 7:00 a.m. for our first practice. Bring your own water bottle or Gatorade if you need something to quench your thirst following practice. Mosquitoes have been a pain, but a little spray should help deter them. The deer flies have been a menace, so a good baseball cap should be of help. Sandals are nice to slip on after your shoes get soaked from the dew-covered grass. Practices will end between 8:00 and 8:30 a.m., but you can estimate day-to-day based on the scheduled workout outlined.
Before practice can begin, however, there is the annual PACT meeting for all potential athletes and parents. The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, August 7, at 7:00 p.m. at our high school auditorium. Please consult the Messenger for more details or call Activities Director Dave Schroeder at the high school if you have any questions or concerns.
Looking at recent photos in the Messenger of large walleyes being caught in nearby lakes reminded me of my experience with a youngster who grew up in a nearby community.
I learned of this first or second grader who was really excited about fishing but was a little young to handle the rod and reel bit. He had gone fishing with members of the family a couple of times, but had been disappointed.