History-making music group for UMM - morris mn

History-making music group for UMM - morris mn
The UMM men's chorus opened the Minnesota Day program at the 1962 Seattle World's Fair (Century 21 Exposition).

Saturday, September 29, 2012

MACA girls turn back Monte, Lac qui Parle and BOLD

The bumping, setting and spiking have gone the Tigers' way in recent matches. The MACA girls have been highly proficient in all three categories. They have looked comfortable playing at home and on the road. Two of the last three matches have been on the road.
The Tigers won throughout this stretch. They nearly put away all three foes by sweep. Two of the matches were in fact sweeps. The orange and black cause prevailed 3-0 vs. BOLD at home on September 20. Then came a 3-0 triumph over Lac qui Parle Valley at LQPV on September 25. Most recently the Tigers bumped, set and spiked their way to a 3-1 win on September 27, away. That success was vs. Montevideo.
All this success nudged the overall MACA won-lost mark to 7-6. In conference play they sit at 5-2. The above-.500 feeling is nice going into Homecoming week.
Tigers 3, BOLD 0
Sydney Engebretson is building a reputation as a potent spiker. She helped propel MACA to this home sweep win by recording 18 kills. The Tigers downed the Warriors by scores of 25-19, 25-19 and 25-20. They overcame the spiking of Warrior Carly Sigurdson who had 12 kills.
Engebretson posted good/attempts numbers of 31-36 in hitting. Paige Schieler was a force at the net too with 24 good in 27 attempts and six kills. MicKenley Nagel made her presence felt with 16-for-17 numbers and five kills. Katie Holzheimer pounded down four kills while posting five good in eight attempts. Nicole Strobel and Kayla Pring each had one kill.
Nagel went up to perform five ace blocks. Strobel, Holzheimer and Pring each had two.
Mikaela Henrichs was at the fore in digs with 21.
Beth Holland had the only ace serve while putting up 13 good in 14 attempts. Holzheimer, Chelsey Ehleringer and Pring led the charge in setting, scurrying around the court with great focus.
Tigers 3, Lac qui Parle 0
The Tigers performed their sweep magic again on Tuesday, Sept. 25. Vying at Lac qui Parle, the Tigers summoned dominating form again, downing the Eagles 25-13, 25-16 and 25-12.
Engebretson had "another day at the office" with 12 kills that helped dispose of the Eagles. She had 24 good in 27 attempts in hitting. Schieler came on strong with good/attempts numbers of 19-22, and her kill total was a robust ten. Nagel was perfect at 14-for-14 and her kill total was six. Holzheimer batted a thousand at nine-for-nine and she pounded three kills. Also contributing three kills was Strobel who had nine good in eleven attempts.
Nagel zeroed in to contribute five ace blocks. Strobel had four, and Holzheimer and Brooke Johnson each had one.
Henrichs had eleven digs on this night and her work was complemented by Holland who had ten.
Strobel was sharp at the service line as she produced four ace serves while going 16-for-18. Carlie Zimmel had one ace serve. Engebretson was a perfect 18-for-18 in serving.
Holzheimer and Ehleringer were the setting workhorses, both batting a thousand in terms of having "good" sets. Holzheimer had eleven set assists.
Lac qui Parle was led by Jordan Halvorson who produced six kills and three ace blocks.
Tigers 3, Montevideo 1
The Tigers' win on September 27 allowed them to retain third place in the conference race. They did lose one game but they triumphed in the other three, playing on the Montevideo Thunder Hawks' court. Game scores were 25-19, 25-18, 23-25 and 25-13. The Tigers are aiming to climb past Minnewaska Area and Sauk Centre.
The Tigers' formula of relying primarily on Sydney Engebretson in spiking worked again. Engebretson hit the ball with elan and authority, accumulating 17 kills. Her good/attempts numbers were 39-42. Schieler was a hitting standout also with her 39 good, 42 attempts and 13 kills. Nagel's hitting produced numbers of 18 good, 20 attempts and eight kills. Strobel's stats: 10-for-11 and six kills. Holzheimer was a perfect 12-for-12 with two kills.
Nagel stuffed Monte with six ace blocks followed by Schieler and Strobel each with three.
Henrichs was focused to dig up the ball 30 times. Holland had 15 digs and Sadie Fischer ten.
Holzheimer and Ehleringer were smooth in setting up for the attack. Then we come to serving: Here, four Tigers each produced two aces and this list includes: Holland (18-for-18), Strobel (15-for-15), Henrichs (12-for-12) and Ehleringer (13-for-14).
Carlie Zimmel picked up an ace too. Cheer on Morris Area Chokio Alberta volleyball for Homecoming 2012!
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Monday, September 24, 2012

Music enhances UMM's Homecoming wonderfully

I attended the UMM Homecoming concert Sunday, and the thought never crossed my mind I was missing a portion of the Vikings game.
That's a triumph. Many people are conflicted on how to approach football now. After the deluge of harrowing reports on the health consequences of the sport, should we watch anymore? I have read several online writers fearing there is some sort of "addiction" that needs to be overcome. That's truly sad. Maybe it says more about the lack of entertainment alternatives on weekends.
UMM's Homecoming concert was a wonderful entertainment alternative. It ought to be considered just as essential as the football game on Homecoming weekend. I don't even know if the Cougars won.
I can never erase from my mind the bitterness of having been around for the goalpost incident. It's receding in time now but it stays pretty etched in my thoughts. I actually wasn't present at the field when it happened. This was before Big Cat Stadium. UMM was playing on its primitive old field - actually it was quite acceptable - when it happened. I worked in the media then. I skipped around to various Homecoming events during the day.
I was at the football game in the first half. I would later be told by newspaper management I should have been there the whole game. I actually feel fortunate I wasn't there when the fatal incident happened. I was in the P.E. Center for the start of the volleyball match. The overlap was caused by the extended length of the football game, going past regulation time. The Cougars won which was probably unfortunate. It made the celebratory air excessive.
I wasn't aware of this incident until later that evening when I was dining at Pizza Hut. The rest of the weekend was one big nightmare. So it doesn't bother me at all today, missing the UMM Homecoming football game.
Do I hope the Cougars win? Given what we know about football's health issues, I think winning/losing should be the least of our considerations. So, on to music.
The Homecoming concert made me want to attend more musical events at UMM. I confess I have fallen out of the habit, perhaps becoming too much of a homebody. My interest this year was spurred partly by the reunion of the 1962 and 1964 men's chorus members who made the trips to the Seattle and New York World's Fairs. I was along for the 1964 trip. At age nine I could brag about having become refined by spending time in the Big Apple.
The reunion didn't attract as many alumni as we'd hoped. Maybe too much time has passed and people feel too detached. Frankly, maybe people become a little discouraged about the effects of aging as we deal with our mortal reality. Our "college selves" can come to seem like different incarnations. I know my "college self" had quite different traits.
I couldn't have attended UMM because I wasn't smart enough. Specifically I didn't have the sufficient aptitude to cut it in the sciences and math. Somehow I was able to slide through those courses at St. Cloud State and graduate there. It was a mistake for me to stick it out through four years of college. My mass communications classes didn't prepare me for working in the community press. The mass communications department there was sort of treading water in the 1970s. Higher education could get by being ossified back then. I'm sure the pressures for accountability are greater today.
We can be thankful UMM has a homecoming and that there's a homecoming concert. St. Cloud State has canceled homecoming. I only attended SCSU's once since I became unemployed. Today I'm delighted to attend the homecoming musical event at our University of Minnesota-Morris. My father Ralph E. Williams directed the men's chorus that made those trips in '62 and '64. The reunion attendees seemed absolutely delighted to be here. There was an afternoon gathering at Turtle Mountain Cafe and an evening dinner at Bello Cucina. Organizers prepared souvenir memorabilia including a DVD with images from the two trips. I'll never forget it.
The alumni joined in with the UMM concert choir during the Sunday concert.
I'm wondering: what happened to the term "band?" When I was a kid, the group with the trumpets and trombones was called "band." Today this stuff is called "winds" as in "symphonic winds." I'm reminded of Spinal Tap's "Break Like the Wind" tour. Anyway, I share this in a spirit of levity. The symphonic winds directed by Simon Tillier was (were?) terrific. As were the concert choir directed by the always-dynamic Ken Hodgson and the jazz ensemble directed by Jason Squinobal.
Jazz closed out the concert and there was a break for it to set up onstage. That turned out unfortunate because it seemed half the audience left and never came back. The musical fare of the jazz ensemble was quite agreeable for me. College jazz has been plagued (in my view) by too many "old turnip" arrangements that maybe could be retired in favor of new stuff. Squinobal led his musicians through charts (tunes) I hadn't heard before (although I was familiar with the melody to "Caravan"). Kudos.
I loved seeing the good old-fashioned rhythm guitar, stand-up bass and bass trombone. The group performed in a very tasteful way. It seems there is less emphasis today on jazz groups playing "loud." My generation of the boomers felt music had to be somewhat loud to be cool. And today we're having hearing problems.
I'm trying to accentuate the positive in this post but let met just assert the HFA recital hall is too small. There was a crammed-in feeling. How absolutely ironic, when just up the hill from the campus we have the Morris Area concert hall and its wide open space. UMM and the public school collaborate for Big Cat Stadium, so why not the same approach in music? I have heard the cynical response to this question, that UMM shies away from the concert hall because it might suggest that "Humanities Phase III" isn't needed. Oh my, I shouldn't utter such thoughts. Just like I probably shouldn't even write about the goalpost incident. Maybe I've just had too much caffeine.
I was struck by the paragraph in the concert program that gave guidelines on audience behavior. It's right in line with our society's trend toward "legalistic" understandings of proper vs. improper behavior. In other words, the paragraph sounded like a lawyer wrote it. It was almost intimidating. People are now being advised in writing about stifling coughs and sneezes. Really? Man, if someone has a bit of an allergy problem, I'm not going to be annoyed by his presence. We put up with crying babies in church. People are people and they have their problems. Rodney King told us we should all just try to get along.
"Latecomers will not be admitted until a suitable break in the program, or at the first intermission, whichever is more appropriate." Oh come on, it's just a homecoming concert. Maybe if the event weren't held in such a cramped space, these little issues wouldn't be annoying. They wouldn't annoy me anyway.
If you want to make an issue of lack of consideration, I think it was inconsiderate for so many audience members to leave before the jazz performance. But on the whole it was a wonderful event. Congratulations to UMM. And I still don't know if the football team won.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Les Lindor, WCSA graduate and teacher, RIP

The circle of people with direct knowledge of the West Central School of Agriculture is shrinking. The WCSA was the predecessor to the University of Minnesota-Morris.
Our campus has in fact gone through multiple chapters. It's a reminder that education evolves. Nothing should be assumed to be permanent. These publicly-supported institutions must be responsive to public needs. Those needs evolve and thus the institutions.
We lost a prominent person with ties to the WCSA recently. Les Lindor passed away. We attended his funeral on Monday, 9/17. He could be written about in a great many ways, as he lived a multi-faceted life. His ties to the WCSA (and later West Central Experiment Station) were an important dimension.
Les was born in 1920 in Cyrus. He graduated from the WCSA in 1938 as the U.S. was emerging (maybe in fits and starts) from the throes of the Great Depression. He continued his education with the University of Minnesota, getting both his bachelor's and masters degrees from the St. Paul campus. My father Ralph E. Williams was involved in music education at the St. Paul campus.
Eventually Les and Ralph both ended up out here in the wide open spaces and bountiful farmland of West Central Minnesota. They ended up out here as next-door neighbors! We shared our acquaintance on Northridge Drive.
After the sad passing of Les' wife Virginia (Gina), I helped make sure Les got his proper desserts many weekends, delivering a piece of homemade cake (OK, made from a mix) to his house. Steve Poppe was impressed by that. Our dog Sandy also helped enrich Les' life post-Gina. We were happy to do what we could. His friendship certainly enriched our lives.
Engineering was Les' profession. He left the Upper Midwest for a time, plying his trade for firms in Pennsylvania and Texas as well as in Minnesota. There must have been a call in the back of his mind coaxing him to come back here. Farming was in his blood. He returned to Cyrus in 1947 to plunge into farming and to teach at his old WCSA. He met Virginia (Wempner) while a teacher at the WCSA. (That's how my father met my mother too, in an education setting.)
Les and Gina were married in the summer of 1952.
Perhaps the biggest adventure in Les' life was the year he and his family spent in the Philippines. Years later Les would tell us he was skeptical about whether many of his engineering insights were harnessed by a leadership in that country that wasn't all that committed. He did what he could there, under the umbrella of the International Cooperative Association.
A realization grew in the late 1950s that ag schools had seen their heyday. The nature of farming was changing. Kids no longer had to be sent into a compressed school year so as to maximize their availability for farm labor. Farm kids could live more like the town kids did. The time was arriving for the Morris campus to find a new mission.
Legend has it there was much anxiety and doubt in Morris over whether this campus could in fact find a future. The University resuscitated the campus but not in a way that promoted total confidence at first. Legend has it, it was sort of an experimental proposition at the start.
My father traveled widely as director of a choral group that built the fledgling institution's visibility. Eventually we became convinced this liberal arts newcomer had its feet planted firmly on the ground.
The WCSA was gone but some of its pillars remained, plying their knowledge for the West Central Experiment Station, known today by the (cumbersome) name "West Central Research and Outreach Center." Young people tend to call it "the rock."
Les was an old compatriot of Harley Hanke. I remember a most informative speech Harley gave about the WCSA, for a UMM Founders Day celebration. He smiled as he recalled the time a nervous young boy, at the start of a new school year, found that his parents left early before a meal in which the kids were supposed to be joined by their parents. Harley calmed the boy by saying "you can have lunch with me!"
Les retired from the U of M in 1987. He certainly didn't leave farming. Even in his final months at West Wind Village, he talked about the weather in a way that showed he was very sensitive to its effects on farming.
Les was legendary with his softball pitching prowess. I have no doubt he was the equal of Eddie Feigner who was a softball barnstormer. It was futile to try to bat against Les, we're told.
My friend Glen Helberg, who entered heaven just four months before Les, once said of Les that he had such a calming and steadying influence whenever disagreements arose. This was probably Les' trademark as a community leader, because in so many capacities he was a leader. He was no stranger to disagreements or controversy as he served on various boards and councils. He applied his calming hand to try to encourage consensus as much as possible.
I wrote about him when he was chair of the Morris school board. He worked closely with then-superintendent Fred Switzer who held the role when it seemed money was harder to come by for schools. Fred would later say he almost lost his job over the high school auditorium being built. But that auditorium looks mighty modest now next to our opulent concert hall, and I recall no controversy or hair-pulling over that concert hall being built. Heck, I can recall hair-pulling over our high school being built. The public seemed skeptical for a long time (around the late 1960s).
The 1968 gym was a huge step up from the old elementary gym/auditorium (where pigeons now reside), the latter being the kind of facility we saw in the movie "Hoosiers." But today the 1968 gym has gone low-profile as we now have an opulent new varsity gym. Maybe Fred is pinching himself wondering if he's dreaming as he looks at all this.
Times certainly change. We can't rule out that more austere times will arrive again. Pessimist that I am, I tend to remind people of this.
Les died on September 13 at West Wind Village, having reached age 92. We were happy to spend some time with him on his last Christmas.
Les and Gina had two children: Keith and Laurie. Laurie was born just one day before me, in January of 1955. Les and Gina had four grandchildren: Carl, Rachel, Christina and Bethany.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Engebretson pounds down nine as girls sweep

Volleyball: Tigers 3, Paynesville 0
Morris Area Chokio Alberta volleyball drew up to .500 Tuesday (9/11) with a convincing win over Paynesville. Playing at home, the Tigers looked sharp in sweeping the Bulldogs. They got their fourth win of the season with scores of 25-17, 25-13 and 25-12.
Power at the net was supplied by several Tigers including Sydney Engebretson whose kill total of nine was team-best. Engebretson had 24 good hits in 26 attempts. Paige Schieler showed poise in the front row, coming at the green-clad Bulldogs with eight kills. Her stats in good/attempts were 24-29.
Nicole Strobel had five kills to go with her perfect 17-for-17 numbers in good/attempts. MicKenley Nagel went 14-for-15 with one kill.
Strobel stretched out for three ace blocks while Katie Holzheimer had one. Holzheimer was a stalwart in setting as she raced around the court to perform 49 good in 49 attempts with eleven assists. Chelsey Ehleringer was another main setter and her stats were 34-for-35 and six assists. Kayla Pring was on the alert for setting opportunities and this Tiger had five good in five attempts with one assist.
Mikaela Henrichs led in digs as she often does, performing 15 on this night. Beth Holland and Ehleringer each had nine digs, and Hunter Mundal came through with six. On to serving: Here we had Pring nailing three aces while having 15 good in 15 attempts. Henrichs and Holzheimer each achieved two serve aces. Henrichs had 12 good in 12 attempts while Holzheimer went 12-for-13. Holland had one ace while going nine-for-ten.
The Tigers came out of Tuesday with a 4-4 record on the young season. Bryanna Burg punched down eight kills for the visiting Bulldogs. Sadie Hukriede had five kills for the green crew, and Merisa Whitcomb had 18 set assists and 12 digs.
The Tigers didn't fare so well Thursday on the road, falling to unbeaten Sauk Centre in three. Scores were 20-25, 5-25 and 16-25. Macy Weller was a force for the Streeters with 21 kills, three blocks, five digs and three serving aces. Jena Klaphake was a proficient setter. Ashley Kollman had eleven kills and eleven digs for the host, and Kendra ZenZen powered eight kills and also supplied seven digs. Sauk Centre improved to 8-0 in overall.
Cross country: Smith, Reese at the fore
The atmosphere still spelled "summer" when cross country athletes gathered in Spicer Thursday (9/13) for a big meet. This was the annual Little Crow event. It was truly a sun-splashed affair for its 2012 edition. The temperature hovered around 75 degrees as MaKenzie Smith and Roy Reese set the pace for MACA.
Smith made a bid for No. 1, staying fairly even with fellow elite runner Emily Wolter. But after a mile it was Wolter who picked up steam for Holdingford and she arrived at the finish chute No. 1 with her time of 15:04 in the 4,000-meter course. Smith took second, arriving at the chute 20 seconds later. The Holdingford Huskers topped the girls team standings while the Tigers were well down the list.
Rachel Rausch was the second-fastest Tiger, clocked at 16:49 for 18th place. Becca Holland had an 18:18 time which put her in 43rd. Tahni Jungst posted a 20:22 time and Miranda Day was clocked at 24:11.
Roy Reese made the top ten in the boys race. Reese finished right at No. 10 with his time of 18:03.57 (over 5,000 meters). Ben Burgett of Community Christian School (Willmar) was boys champion, clocked at 16:35.34.
Ryan Gray was the second fastest MACA runner with his 19:21.10 time, good for 37th. Beau Keimig was timed at 20:28.88 and Eric Staebler at 21:15.33.
The Holdingford boys team matched the success of the girls in the team standings. The Husker boys took the crown while Morris Area Chokio Alberta finished in tenth.
Tennis: home match vs. Sting
The Morris courts were the site for home tennis action on Tuesday, Sept. 11, with MACA matched against the Sting of Yellow Medicine East. The Tigers won in two of the singles slots but came up short in the others. So, the outcome was 2-5 with the visiting Sting the victor.
First singles Tiger Darcey Aronson came out on the short end vs. Jordan Glad, 1-6, 2-6. Second singles athlete Danielle Clarke was a victor vs. Abbie Olson, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3 and 10-4. Third singles saw the Tiger prevail too and this was Rachel Christianson with outcomes of 6-4 and 6-1 over Megan Wagner. Shelby Marthaler was stopped at No. 4 singles by Leah Gluth with outcomes of 1-6 and 1-6.
On to doubles: Carly Gullickson and Kjersa Anderson were the No. 1 unit for MACA and they fell vs. Jordan Trotter and Britanna Raddatz, 3-6 and 1-6. Kaitlin Vogel and Katie Cannon were stopped at No. 2 doubles by Allie Trudel and Anna Posch, 2-6 and 4-6. Emily Moser and Elizabeth Schneider were defeated at No. 3 doubles by Sandy Bartels and Keanna Hammer, 2-6 and 0-6.
Fall sports continue to be blessed by summer conditions as this post is being put up. Outdoor sports are a joy now.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Friday, September 7, 2012

MACA girls looking to get into the groove at home

The road has been a friendlier place than home thus far for the Morris Area Chokio Alberta volleyball Tigers. The Tigers returned to the home floor Thursday (9/6) fresh from a road win over Benson, and struggled. They were dealt a 0-3 loss.
Lexi Amundson had 16 kills for the surging Minnewaska Area Lakers. Ashton Byrne kept the attacking well-oiled for 'Waska, performing 27 set assists. Scores in this West Central Conference match were 14-25, 22-25 and 16-25. The Tigers are in the WCC-South while 'Waska is in the North.
Amundson was proficient as well as powerful. Her good/attempts numbers in hitting were 24-27. Ariel Ostrander pounded down ten kills and Sydney Joos contributed nine for the visitor. Ostrander went up for three solo blocks.
Paige Schieler of the Tigers had a team-best four kills and was 21 of 29 in good/attempts. Sydney Engebretson was busy hitting and posted 25 good in 29 attempts and three kills. MicKenley Nagel had three kills too and finished with 14 good in 17 attempts. Nicole Strobel came through with a kill.
Nagel went up for two ace blocks. Mikaela Henrichs topped the dig list with 12 followed by Hunter Mundal with ten. Katie Holzheimer was a perfect 51-for-51 in setting with seven assists. Chelsey Ehleringer was busy and proficient as a setter too, posting three assists. The Tigers had trouble notching serve aces. Sadie Fischer had the only one and she went six of nine in good/attempts.
MACA 3, Benson 1
The Tigers and Braves split the first two games after which MACA took over to put the Tuesday match in the win column. Morris Area Chokio Alberta defeated Benson 3-1.
The Tigers were striving to put their opener loss (to BBE) behind them. That loss was dealt 0-3.
Tuesday brought far more positive indications for what lies ahead in the unfolding season. Benson hosted the Tuesday, 9/4, affair. MACA began strong with a 25-20 win, after which the Braves got untracked to take the second game 25-21. Now it's a best-of-three match. The orange and black cause prevailed with scores of 25-20 and 25-23.
The Tigers attacked with a balanced look across the front line. The kill leaders were Paige Schieler (7), MicKenley Nagel (5), Nicole Strobel (4) and Sydney Engebretson (4). Schieler had 26 good in 31 attempts, and Engebretson posted 27 good in 33 attempts. Beth Holland had a kill in her only attempt.
Holzheimer and Nagel got into position for four solo blocks each. Authoritative play at the net was an underpinning for MACA to get this win.
Sadie Fischer, Mikaela Henrichs and Holzheimer each had two ace serves. Fischer was the busiest Tiger at the serving line with 18 good in 19 attempts. Henrichs was 12-for-14 and Holzheimer 15-for-16. Other serve aces were turned in by Beth Holland (who had eight good serves in as many attempts), Sydney Engebretson (nine good, ten attempts) and Kayla Pring (16 good, 16 attempts).
Holzheimer seemed all over the court with her play as she recorded 65 good sets in 67 attempts with nine assists. Her work in that department was complemented by Chelsey Ehleringer (29 good, 31 attempts, five assists) and Kayla Pring (18-for-18 and nine assists). Henrichs set the pace in digs with 25 followed by Holzheimer with 13 and Engebretson with 12.
The Tigers had to overcome the talents of Braves Emma Peterson and Alexa Nissen. Peterson came at the Tigers with 19 kills and 30 digs. Nissen set with proficiency, posting 28 set assists.
BBE 3, Tigers 0
The Tigers debuted with some amount of struggling as they couldn't keep pace with the Taylor Braegelman-led BBE Jaguars. The tough challenge of that night (8/30) was no surprise as BBE began the season ranked No. 7 in Minnesota Class 1A.
The home fans were disappointed as MACA was on the losing end of a sweep. Scores were 19-25, 21-25 and 19-25. Braegelman came at the Tigers with 12 kills. Other standouts for the visiting Jaguars included Becca Gruber and Brittany Roelike.
Sydney Engebretson showed poise at the net for MACA, pounding down eight kills while achieving 19 good in 30 attempts in hitting. Nicole Strobel and MicKenley Nagel each posted three kills. Three Tigers each had two kills: Paige Schieler, Holzheimer and Kayla Pring.
Holzheimer raced around the court to record 41 good in 41 attempts in setting with 12 assists. Chelsey Ehleringer was an able hand in setting too with 30 good in 33 attempts and two assists.
Three Tigers each had one ace block: Engebretson, Schieler and Strobel. Henrichs was the standout in digs where she's looked to for leadership. On this night she had 21. Holzheimer had seven digs, Engebretson six and Holland and Ehleringer five each. The serving department showed Holzheimer with an aggressive stance as she put in four aces. She had eight good in ten attempts. Mikaela Henrichs had eight good serves in nine attempts with one ace. Sadie Fischer put down an ace while having six good in eight attempts.
Brooten-Belgrade-Elrosa is a formidable unit indeed.
Good luck to the Tigers as we march into the remainder of the September slate.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Our wind turbines have trumped grain elevators

Look at the wind turbines across Lake Crissey. (B.W. photo)
I recall writing an essay in high school that described grain elevators as "the sole sentinels of civilization" out here.
I'm stretching the definition of "sentinel." In a symbolic way, the biggest objects along the skyline might be said to be guardians.
How about farm silos? The old windmills stood out somewhat also.
My use of the word "civilization" gave my essay a condescending tone. As if there were so little other evidence of advancement in the countryside.
I was just a kid of course. I also wrote about my progress as a trumpet player as "pyrotechnics." One cannot help but get attention playing the trumpet. Presumably it shouldn't have an explosive quality. It can grate on you when not performed with the proper sophistication. The bagpipes are brethren. So penetrating are these sounds, bagpipes were at the head of British infantry units. We saw this in the movie about Andrew Jackson starring Charlton Heston.
"Are they gonna fight or are they gonna dance?" a member of Jackson's ragtag army said.
That battle was waged long after a peace accord was reached, but word hadn't been relayed yet. New Orleans was in quite the remote place.
The real story of the battle of New Orleans is quite grim, more so than the typical military engagement. Jackson pulled out all stops. The methods might be seen as inhumane. The movie got much color out of Jackson's forces joining hands with pirates. Jackson struck a deal to get essential supplies from the pirates. I feel the movie is a candidate for a re-make.
Grain elevators are definitely hand in hand with "country." They are prominent on the skyline in many places. But in Morris we have the "whopper" of skyline features. Our two wind turbines looked never so majestic as when they were in the background for the Irondale marching band's performance.
There was a fair crowd for this but it's too bad it wasn't larger. Many of the people seemed to be here from Irondale. It's wonderful to see all these visitors. I hope they all remembered to wear their seat belts. Flyers were posted around town promoting this rehearsal event. It was a rehearsal but also a performance. The public was invited to an evening session that was instructive on how a top-flight marching band operates today. The student musicians were spread out on the Big Cat Stadium field. I found it refreshing to watch something other than football there.
Standing at the top of the bleachers, I found the whole panorama in front of me awe-inspiring. The Pomme de Terre River valley itself is an aesthetic delight. Big Cat Stadium is a classy place. The vivid green artificial turf adds to the picture. And there in the background we have the two giant turbines.
These kids from the suburban Twin Cities wouldn't be treated to any better visual treats where they came from. Maybe that's why I felt a special tinge of pride. We wouldn't have to rely on grain elevators to get their attention. Or silos or the windmills of days past.
Maybe the Jack Lesmeister "observation tower" (a converted old silo) would rate. But clearly at the top of the list in terms of iconic features here, are the twin turbines. Kids here have probably come to take them for granted. It's possible their heads don't turn too often when in close proximity. I always gaze. They are truly our symbol.
For a long time there was just one turbine. And then it got a mate. I'll never forget that the formal dedication for the second turbine was on the same weekend as the CenterPoint Energy adventure. Remember that? CenterPoint Energy went door to door to fix the disaster reportedly caused by a farmer's snafu.
The turbines certainly aren't there just to inspire awe. They allow UMM to collect 70 percent of the energy it needs by wind. They have given UMM special standing in the field of renewable energy.
The two 1.65 megawatt turbines are on some high ground near the Pomme de Terre River. It's a short bike ride from the UMM campus. Cars and trucks whiz along the bypass in between the turbines and the campus. A popular bike trail weaves out toward the turbines.
The trail passes just under the WCROC horticulture garden overlook. The hill is steep if you want to get up to visit the overlook and garden. I usually park my bike at the base and walk up. I'd consider it next to impossible to actually pedal up that hill. You can hear the turbines from the overlook - the steady "swishes." I hope there aren't many bird casualties but I've never heard a report about this.
I enjoy making note of the birds around here. For some reason the meadowlark has left us.
Wind of course is notoriously erratic out here. When in its full splendor, our prairie wind enables the two turbines to provide more than the 70 percent of campus energy I cited earlier. Never underestimate a prairie wind. So strong can it be, "splendor" might not be the word you'd wish to use. You might utter a bad word when the wind rips the storm door off your house. But our most powerful winds have energy (and thus economy) dividends.
Buoyed by wind, the turbines can supply as much as 100 percent of campus electricity! For the record, the turbines produce electricity at wind speeds as low as 7.8 miles per hour, and maximum electricity at wind speeds of 29 miles per hour. They also power the WCROC's wind-to-hydrogen-to-ammonia pilot plant. Wow! No one would have dreamt of this along the old Wadsworth Trail of the 19th Century.
The Irondale musicians saw our towers standing 230 feet over the prairie. Each blade reaches an additional 135 feet into the sky.
Our twin turbines are billed as the showpiece of the WCROC renewable energy department. They are truly "public art" as well, right in league with the Sam Smith statue of Summit Cemetery.
The Pomme de Terre River is our "old man river." It flows with such irresistible and timeless force, joining hands with the Minnesota River which eventually pours into the Mississippi. We can assume the water runs continually all the way to the Gulf of Mexico.
The same irresistible force, that of wind, ensures that the twin turbines will stay busy almost constantly. What a sight and what an attribute for the Morris community. Surely the Irondale musicians will always remember them.
Grain elevators serve their purpose just fine. I wouldn't write condescendingly today. Maybe condescension comes from insecurity. The kind of imagery conjured up by "Hee Haw" is empty entertainment. It was supposed to be anti-intellectual. But, no need to be so analytical.
Small is good and country is good! But we have our share of "big" too, thanks to the grand wind turbines.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com