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).

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Cougars on a roll for 2012 season (home) finale

Leandro Dower, junior runningback from North High School, Minneapolis, charges forward in this file photo. Dower rushed for a career-best 153 yards in the win over Presentation. (B.W. photo)
Come on out to Big Cat Stadium this Saturday, 11/3, to enjoy the final game of the 2012 University of Minnesota-Morris football season. Kickoff time is 1 p.m. for this contest vs. St. Scholastica.
The Cougars definitely enter this game with a feeling of momentum. It is a pleasure to review three straight wins in this post. Most recently the success was on the road, in Roseville vs. Crown. It was a thriller that went into overtime. One point made the difference at the end.
Cougars 30, Crown 29
This was UMM's fifth UMAC triumph of the season. It was anything but easy or routine to achieve. The Cougars found themselves 14 points down as late as the fourth quarter!
The scoreboard revealed a grim situation for our maroon crew with 7:16 remaining. The score: 23-9. It looked like Crown would get the crown of victory. But UMM took on a stubborn and resolved stance.
It was a day for UMM to lean very heavily on its passing attack. There were 61 total pass attempts flung by the Cougars. The yards gained via this attack: 327. Brendon Foss was all over the field getting open for receptions. His reception total was 14, for 150 yards and a touchdown. He's a former Hancock Owl. UMM's rushing yardage was a season low 38.
The Crown "Storm" began the day's scoring, striking with a 56-yard run that had Amos Schmidt clutching the football. The PAT try failed. The Storm surged forward again when Wes Stafford reached the end zone on a run from the one. The Cougars found themselves down 13-0.
Dalton DeGraffenreid scored UMM's first touchdown. He caught an eight-yard scoring pass from Derrick Foss (also from Hancock). The PAT try failed. DeGraffenreid built his season total of touchdown catches to seven. Cameron Adel kicked a 22-yard field goal for UMM to make the score 13-9 with 1:39 left in the first half. Crown had a kicker capable of kicking the ball straight and true too. This individual, Kurt Fickle, found the middle of the uprights from 24 yards out in the fourth quarter. His success made the score 16-9.
UMM sank further into a hole due to a pass interception. Crown's Sebastian Alvar performed this pickoff and it led to a score, so UMM finds itself looking at a worrisome scoreboard deficit. The score: 23-9. The Cougars had to go to work.
The Foss boys showed their chemistry. Derrick hit Brendon for a three-yard touchdown strike. Leandro Dower took a handoff with 1:45 left and scored from the one. Adel hit the PAT so now the score is tied at 23-all. The coin toss went UMM's way for overtime. But the Cougars chose defense. Amos Schmidt gave Crown the lead at 29-23, but a key missed conversion attempt followed. Crown was then hurt by not one but two pass interference calls. These set up Dower for his one-yard touchdown run, creating a tie and giving Adel a chance to win the game with his toe. He did!
The Cougars could celebrate this 30-29 overtime triumph.
For receiver Brendon Foss, it was his fourth game of the season with 100-plus receiving yards. It was his third game with 150-plus.
Cougars 35, Presentation 28
Big Cat Stadium was the site for UMM's thrilling 35-28 win over the Saints of Presentation (Aberdeen, SD) on October 20.
Presentation asserted itself first. This was with a quite time-consuming drive (eight minutes) that ended with a touchdown. The Cougars answered promptly and in a lightning-strike way. Leandro Dower took a handoff, found daylight and covered 70 yards en route for six. He clearly demonstrated he's a speed merchant. Fans didn't have to wait long to see scoring catches by Brendon Foss and Danny Kernan. Foss hauled in a 44-yard pass from Dan Garrigan. This big play immediately followed a fumble recovery. Kernan made his scoring catch that went into the books as a 14-yarder.
The first quarter ended with the home team in quite good shape, up 21-7. Fans had just watched UMM score 21 points in a span of just 3:40.
The Cougars couldn't sustain this momentum in the second quarter. The Saints instead seized the momentum for a while. The Saints scored 14 points using methodical drives, creating a deadlocked score for halftime: 21-all. Brendon Foss re-gained the lead for UMM with a touchdown catch. But the Saints were able to answer, so the final quarter began with the score tied again at 28-all. In the fourth, Dower broke loose for another touchdown to create the final score of 35-28. Dower's decisive score capped a drive of eleven plays and 80 yards, eating up over five minutes. Presentation had a last-gasp drive stopped on fourth and two at the UMM 31. They might have gotten the ball back were it not for a nifty first down run that had Dustin Spohn carrying the ball.
Dower could celebrate a 100-plus rushing yards day (153 total, a career-best). Brendon Foss had two scoring catches and 181 total receiving yards on ten total catches. Cody Hickman was a cog on defense with his 12 tackles. Cody had a sack, 1 1/2 tackles for loss and a pass breakup. Zeke Miller forced a fumble and Terrence Chasten-Davis recovered a fumble.
Cougars 27, Eureka 23
I wondered in my last post re. Cougar football whether the squad would be saying "Eureka!" after their October 13 game in Eureka, Illinois. Indeed they could have! The Cougars put together a skein of 20 unanswered points and won 27-23. Their defense applied the clamps and allowed just 37 yards rushing. They sacked Eureka's Sam Durley four times.
Eureka managed to score the game's first touchdown which came on a one-yard run. They're called the "Red Devils."
Dustin Spohn broke loose for UMM and scored but the PAT failed. So UMM is down 7-6. The passing game netted UMM's second score. This came with seven minutes left in the first half. Quarterback Dan Garrigan connected with Danny Kernan on a 40-yarder. The two-point conversion try was no-go, so UMM has a 12-7 lead. UMM's fortunes improved as Garrigan hit Dalton DeGraffenreid on a seven-yard scoring pass, so now the score is 20-7 and the Eureka crowd is rendered quiet. This was freshman DeGraffenreid's sixth scoring catch of the season.
Eureka connected for a field goal from 33 yards out, making the score 20-10 as halftime neared. But enough time remained for UMM to strike again, and this happened with Garrigan passing 23 yards to Kernan making the score 27-10.
Eureka had fight left in them. They used the aerial attack and with considerable success. Cody Followell made two touchdown catches for Eureka in the final quarter. Eureka tried an onside kick, unsuccessfully, with 2:10 left and UMM was in the position of striving to run out the clock. Key in this effort was a 27-yard pass to Kernan.
Garrigan finished this game eleven of 17 passing for 175 yards and three touchdowns. Dower rushed for 92 yards on 24 carries. Kernan's catch total was five and he gained 125 yards.
I invite you to click on the permalink below to read about the Cougars' games 4 through 6 of the 2012 season:
And, you may click on the permalink below to read about the Cougars' first three games of 2012. Thanks for reading. - B.W.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

MACA girls set for post-season debut vs. Monte

The MACA volleyball Tigers closed out their upbeat regular season with two wins in their last three matches. Those three matches are reviewed in this post.
The squad needed a little time to pick up steam this season. They put together a thrilling stretch which really lifted their stock for post-season. If you're taking notes we're in 3AA North where we own the No. 3 seed. Our regular season mark: 16-8 in overall, 9-4 in conference. We finished tied for second in the West Central Conference. One of our losses came at the very end vs. Sauk Centre.
The curtain will open for post-season with the Tigers hosting No. 6 Montevideo. Fans will gather at our spacious MAHS gym on Friday (10/26). The first serve will be batted at about 7 p.m.
Marshall is the No. 1 seed in our sub-section. Sauk Centre ruled our conference. If the Tigers can skate through round #1, they'll play either YME or Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop (at the higher seed). That match is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday, 10/30. The North championship will be determined on the first day of November. The overall section champion will be determined on 11/3 at Southwest State, Marshall.
Tigers 3, Paynesville 1
The Tigers looked poised in Bulldog country of Paynesville, disposing of this green-clad foe efficiently in four games. Sydney Engebretson was a force establishing MACA superiority. She nailed 16 kills. Her good/attempts numbers were 46/49. Paige Schieler was the other major cog at the net. Her attacking netted her nine kills, with good/attempts numbers of 31-34. Other Tigers with kills were Nicole Strobel, MicKenley Nagel, Katie Holzheimer and Kayla Pring.
The Tigers defeated Paynesville by scores of 25-14, 25-11, 23-25 and 25-16. Holzheimer, Chelsey Ehleringer and Pring raced around the court delivering the sets. The set assist leader was Holzheimer with 17. Strobel and Holzheimer each asserted themselves to achieve three ace blocks. Nagel and Pring each had an ace block.
Mikaela Henrichs was at the fore in digging which is often the case. On this night she contributed 24 but was followed closely by Beth Holland whose total was 21. Ehleringer contributed 17 digs. Moving on to serving, we see that Holzheimer was aggressive and precise as she nailed five ace serves. She had 18-for-20 in good/attempts. Henrichs nailed four aces while going 15-for-19. Engebretson had two serving aces and Strobel one.
Tigers 3, Minnewaska Area 0
The Tigers needed just the minimal three games to get past the Minnewaska Area Lakers out next to the beautiful Lake Minnewaska on Tuesday, Oct. 9. Game scores were 25-13, 25-17 and 25-13.
Chelsey Ehleringer served for three aces and was a perfect 16-for-16 in that department. Nicole Strobel and Katie Holzheimer each served for one ace.
The trio of Holzheimer, Ehleringer and Kayla Pring were the setting stalwarts, functioning smoothly as always. Holzheimer produced 16 assists while Ehleringer had seven and Pring two. MicKenley Nagel looked authoritative in producing three ace blocks. Holzheimer had two ace blocks and Sydney Engebretson one.
Engebretson was in her typical position leading the hitters. She helped set the tone for the sweep win by getting 13 kills. Her good/attempts stats were 32-35. Paige Schieler went on the attack to achieve ten kills while going 30-for-31. Strobel and Holzheimer each produced four kills followed by Nagel with three and Rebekah Aanerud with two. On to digs: Henrichs set the pace with 22 while Beth Holland and Holzheimer each had 13. Sadie Fischer posted eight digs, Schieler six and Engebretson five.
Standouts for Minnewaska included Alison Hoeper and Lexi Amundson, each of whom had eight kills. 
One consequence of the Tigers' win was Sauk Centre being awarded the WCC title outright. The Streeters have been enjoying a truly banner season.
Sauk Centre 3, Tigers 0
So, guess who the Tigers faced in ending the regular season? Yes, those powerhouse Streeters of Sauk Centre. The Streeters have turned back all challengers.
On Tuesday, Oct. 16, they swept our Tigers by scores of 25-16, 25-20 and 25-12. Morris Area Chokio Alberta ends up in a tie for second in conference.
Kills were a little hard to come by for the determined Tigers on this night. Sydney Engebretson led with her modest total of six while Paige Schieler had five and Nicole Strobel three. Strobel was a perfect 12-for-12 in good/attempts.
MicKenley Nagel went up to accomplish six ace blocks, well ahead of her mates. Mikaela Henrichs had 19 digs and Sadie Fischer ten. Holzheimer and Ehleringer were the setting workhorses and neither had a misfired attempt. Each of these Tigers had five assists.
No Tiger had more than one serving ace. Those with one were Strobel (12-for-12) and Katie Holzheimer (six-for-seven)
See you in the post-season!
Cross country: Smith, Goulet at the fore
The temperature danced around 70 degrees on a most pleasant day for the West Central Conference cross country meet. Runners gathered at Koronis Hills Golf Club, Paynesville, on Tuesday, Oct. 16.
MaKenzie Smith of our Morris Area Chokio Alberta Tigers was the girls champion. She won it last year too when the WCC-South was in effect. The North and South divisions have been erased. I applaud the new simplicity. There are many complicated aspects of following high school sports. This seems especially true in post-season. Having one monolithic West Central Conference seems a step forward.
Smith's rangy physique seemed suited for the Koronis Hills course which has lots of hills. Her championship time over the 4000m course was 15:57. This put her about a half-minute ahead of runner-up Alaysia Freetly of LQPV. The MACA girls finished fourth as a team. Freetly and her LQPV mates were No. 1.
Smith was joined in the MACA effort by Rachel Rausch (tenth), Savannah Aanerud (12th), Becca Holland (24th), Tahni Jungst (30th), Adrianela Mendez (32nd) and Miranda Day (35th).
Aaron Goulet led the MACA boys with his 18:17 showing over the 5000m course. He placed fourth. The boys champion was YME's Jacob Carroll (17:59). The color purple had a grand day as Montevideo excelled. Six Thunder Hawks arrived at the finish chute among the first eleven. Monte was awarded top team honors.
Goulet was joined in the MACA effort by Ryan Gray (17th), Roy Reese (24th), Jon Jerke (28th), Beau Keimig (40th), Eric Staebler (42nd) and Matt Ohren (44th).
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Saturday, October 20, 2012

UMMers show creativity with sports and recreation

I was delighted to come upon this game of "quidditch" on the UMM campus on an early fall weekend. (B.W. photo)
The young people of the 1950s gave us rock 'n' roll. It was alien to older people who reacted like they were revulsed. The young people of the 1970s gave us conflict. They engaged on political issues in a way that was anything but passive.
Today we have the millennials putting their stamp on our culture. Boomers aren't revulsed but they may be scratching heads. Millennials have grown up sheltered and are risk-averse. They are ages 9-30, and they might almost seem like that passive race of humans in the 1950s movie "The Time Machine." They believe in the "win-win." They have faith in conflict resolution.
I remember looking at the University of Minnesota-Morris campus newspaper in the 1970s, and being almost aghast at the level of conflict in student government. Student government itself is a curious institution. I suppose it's a "lab" type of experience for students with an inclination toward this type of thing. Looking back, I saw a lot of conflict that seemed much more trouble than it was worth. If it was a lab it was a dysfunctional lab. I observed those campus newspapers and would have sworn some of those individuals were at each other's throats.
It was these conflict-oriented boomers who gave the push for the NFL to become our preeminent sport, starting in about 1972. That was the year when Democrats were at each other's throats for their national convention. George McGovern gave his acceptance speech at an ungodly late hour, such were the slow-moving and rancor-filled machinations of it all. McGovern is on his deathbed as I write this.
The NFL was a lab of conflict in itself. Was this a wellspring for its appeal considering the tenor of the times? Boomers were emerging as the top demographic. The NFL was a stew of drama, danger and conflict. NFL Films fed us highlights in a way that made it all seem like actual combat. We rooted for teams we equated with "good." Each game had only one winner.
We thought little of the tremendous damage these gladiators were doing to each other's bodies and brains. We would have loved trading places with Wally Hilgenberg of the Vikings. Today we realize we were the lucky ones, just watching.
We cheered on linebacker Fred McNeill. McNeill developed dementia at an unreasonably young age. How many of us have wondered about Alan Page who is on the Minnesota Supreme Court? He was a lineman at Notre Dame and then with the Vikings. Does he get up a little nervous in the morning?
The boomers' favorite Viking teams lost four Super Bowls. Today those games are dwarfed in significance by the health issues looming over our once-beloved sport. And now the millennials are progressing toward middle age with their values that seem inconsistent with football.
All this dawned on me recently as I was departing from a UMM Cougar football game. I was on bicycle heading north through the campus. There was a large assemblage of students in that "hollow" next to the food service building. If that place doesn't have a name, it should. The football game wasn't over yet so these students obviously weren't among the fans. I'm not suggesting they were dissing the Cougars, just that they had a different priority. And that priority was: playing "quidditch."
I had to ask a student the name of this game. I put my bike down and watched a while. I was rather transfixed. Turns out the game comes from the "Harry Potter" series of books. It's a series associated with the younger crowd. My generation read "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance."
All this interest in the "quidditch" games showed that these young people were not transfixed by football. You could hear the football P.A. announcer nearby. But the kids were focused on their exotic game which perhaps they saw as healthier than football.
Quidditch can be somewhat rough but it doesn't entail the kind of collisions we see with football. It's considered "semi-contact." Created by J.K. Rowling, it's played in her world by wizards and witches. Since we can presume wizards and witches are imaginary, adaptations are called for in the real world. The real world version of the game is called "muggle quidditch." UMM students played this with fervor on the Saturday afternoon when I passed by.
Teams from over 200 colleges around the U.S. are affiliated with the International Quidditch Association and play tournaments. Such tournaments are featured at Harry Potter conventions.
A quidditch field is called a "pitch" and it's oval-shaped, 500 feet by 180 feet. We see three hooped goalposts at each end. The goalposts are at varying heights. There's a spherical "quaffle" ball, two jet black "bludgers" and a small golden ball called a "snitch." It seems a world apart from football, and quite refreshing.
I'd assert it's a failure of America's entertainment marketplace that football has achieved such preeminence. NFL football is allowed to virtually "rule" at various times in the week. That doesn't seem very American to me. American creativity and resourcefulness ought to come up with alternatives to draw viewers and interest. Now, it's as if everything outside of football just capitulates on weekends.
But football has to feel a little nervous about this. It knows the millennials are out there in rather substantial numbers with their passive tastes. People in football are also aware that all entertainment crazes or booms have their "run' and then tend to fade.
Head injuries in football should have gotten attention long ago but it's finally happening and it's changing the perception of the game. I wrote last summer that high school associations like the Minnesota State High School League should try to offer boys a new sport in addition to football. I suggested volleyball. Cross country isn't a valid option for boys who are large and heavy.
Seeing quidditch demonstrates that new games are possible. American inventiveness must be tapped.
I'm not sure Australian rules football is an option. Australian rules football gained lots of attention in the early 1980s when it filled time on the then-fledgling ESPN. What memories! Boomers became fascinated by this exotic sport which seemed to defy understanding. "It looks like they're making up the rules as they go along," a friend of mine said.
There are two teams of 18 players. The objective is to move the ball down the field and kick the ball through the goal. But all the movements in between seem rather random and chaotic. When running, a player must "intermittently" bounce the ball on the ground. There is no throwing, nor can you hold the ball. Contact and tackling are very much a part.
"Aussie Rules" football began in 1859 in Melbourne. The game begins after the "first siren." The season is March to August which in Australia is early autumn to late winter.
A lot of us joked about Australian rules football. I remember Father Nic Dressen here in Morris (Assumption Church) writing that Eagles baseball was a nice alternative to watching Australian rules football on ESPN. We watched the Aussie game as a puzzling curiosity. Today we wax nostalgic about it. Yes there are alternatives to American football. And we must think harder about those alternatives every day.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Friday, October 12, 2012

UMM football rolls past Westminster at Big Cat

Dustin Spohn seeks yardage in the Martin Luther game. (B.W. photo)
Cougars 54, Westminster 20
University of Minnesota-Morris football climbed to .500 in overall won-lost (3-3) with a home win over Westminster on October 6. Stevens County native Brendon Foss was an offensive power with his 12 pass receptions. The former Hancock Owl was a whiz getting open. He was a whiz in covering yards too. He seemed all over the place making his 12 catches for 182 yards and three touchdowns.
It was Dalton DeGraffenreid reaching the end zone first for UMM, getting loose on a 72-yard punt return.
Any thoughts this game might develop a defensive complexion dissipated. Foss showed his knack for advancing the football in a 72-yard scoring drive. He had a big catch and run. Cam Adel kicked for the point-after so UMM is up 14-0. The point total got hiked to 21 when Foss again scored.
The Cougar "D" came to the fore when Luke Evans intercepted a pass, setting up an eventual Roumy Desir touchdown that left the Cougars sitting pretty with the score 28-0. Westminster squeezed in a score just before halftime.
Westminster is accustomed to doing better offensively. They entered the game averaging 320 passing yards. The first half on October 6 saw them pass for just 58. Westminster was pressured into two intentional grounding calls.
Westminster crept forward a little on its first possession of the second half, driving for a score. But UMM answered as Derrick Foss (former Owl too) scored a rushing touchdown. UMM kept picking up steam when DeGraffenreid caught a seven-yard touchdown pass from Dan Garrigan.
The Cougars took advantage of an errant punt snap that ended with the Westminster punter falling on the ball at the three. Leandro Dower would score on a run from the one, making the score 47-14.
Brendon Foss scored his third touchdown on a ten-yard catch from Garrigan. Westminster scored the game's final touchdown, still in the third quarter, and UMM could eventually wrap up this 54-20 win.
Chad Mathiowetz brought cheers from the Big Cat Stadium crowd with his two interceptions. Would you believe Westminster got pushed back in the rushing department, finishing with minus-five yards in rushing on 27 attempts?
Northwestern 38, Cougars 14
This was a humbling afternoon for the maroon crew in St. Paul. The opponent was Northwestern who blew away the Cougars by scoring the game's first 28 points. A bright spot was the two touchdown passes thrown by Dan Garrigan. Another was Leandro Dower's 109 rushing yards. Dalton DeGraffenreid and Danny Kernan made the scoring catches. Four UMM receivers had three catches each.
While these aspects of the game were encouraging, the final score was not. The Cougars fell 38-14 in this September 29 contest.
Northwestern began its scoring with a seven-play drive culminated by a five-yard run. Northwestern took advantage of an interception to get its second touchdown on the board. The second quarter saw hard-charging Northwestern drive 99 yards in 21 plays to wear down the Cougars.
The last thing UMM needed now was a fumble on a kickoff but that's what happened. And Northwestern exploited this for a score.
UMM's first score came on a 16-yard pass from Garrigan to Kernan. We're just before halftime. Northwestern was able to squeeze in a field goal before halftime. The Cougars got a break when they recovered a fumble on the second half kickoff, but they couldn't take advantage to score. Northwestern struck with an eight-yard run for six in the third quarter, hiking their lead to 38-7. DeGraffenreid made a 19-yard scoring reception with 5:57 left to play, making the score 38-14 which stood as the final.
Greenville 49, Cougars 24
The Panthers of Greenville came at the host Cougars with a fast-action, read option offense. This turned out to be bad news for the Cougars who were marking Homecoming 2012 (on 9/22).
Greenville rolled up 408 rushing yards in a decisive 49-24 win over our maroon crew. The Panthers scored on their first possession. The Cougars then brought cheers from the Homecoming crowd at Big Cat when senior signal-caller Derrick Foss passed 48 yards to freshman wide receiver Dalton DeGraffenreid. But Greenville answered when quarterback Brandon Chambers connected with Steven Glover on a long scoring pass.
UMM freshman kicker Cam Adel drove the ball through the uprights from 35 yards out, adding three to UMM's point total (so the score is 14-10). The Homecoming crowd had its hopes fade as Greenville proceeded to score three straight touchdowns, taking advantage of an interception along the way. Two minutes are left in the first half and UMM's situation is grim. The score is 35-10.
The Cougars forced a punt and then summoned some offensive momentum. Using a series of quick passes, UMM advanced to set up a 31-yard touchdown pass from Derrick Foss to junior Danny Kernan. The scoreboard deficit was still big at halftime: 18 points.
The Cougars received the second half kickoff but failed to score. Alas it was Greenville subsequently scoring as Immanuel Gamble ran the ball in from the eleven. Greenville proceeded to score again which really put the game away.
UMM had one more score left in them, and it came when Tyler Peterson caught a five-yard pass from Derrick Foss with 9:28 left to play. The afternoon's scoring was done, unfortunately for UMM.
Cody Hickman was a bright spot in this loss with his 22 tackles, his career best. UMM's defense was decent vs. the pass and not so good vs. the run, where Greenville racked up 408 yards. Greenville employed a no-huddle offense for most of the game.
Leandro Dower accumulated 75 rushing yards for UMM. Dustin Spohn ran for 56 yards.
The Cougars will take the field in Illinois tomorrow, Saturday, Oct. 13, to face Eureka College. Will the Cougars be saying "Eureka!" at game's end? We'll see.
Click on the permalink below to read about the Cougars' first three games of the 2012 season. This post is on my primary website, "I Love Morris." Thanks for reading - B.W.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Saturday, October 6, 2012

3 Tigers nail at least ten kills in sweep over YME

MACA volleyball soared with its success early in the week (Homecoming week) only to get humbled in its Thursday home match.
First the soaring: The Tigers swept Yellow Medicine East Tuesday at YME. Scores were 25-11, 25-17 and 25-16. On Thursday the Tigers were swept by the Braves of Benson with scores of 23-25, 23-25 and 15-25.
Tigers 3, YME 0
The Tigers executed smoothly on the Sting's court, continuing an impressive stretch in the 2012 slate. The Sting weren't sure who was going to deliver the next kill at them. MACA had a balanced stance in that department as three individuals performed at least ten.
Sydney Engebretson is always a Tiger to watch in hitting. She came at the Sting with 23 good hits in 24 attempts and 12 kills. Then we have Paige Schieler with 22-for-23 numbers and eleven kills. Tiger No. 3 with at least ten kills was MicKenley Nagel, who incidentally is Homecoming queen - congratulations - and she had 15 good in 15 attempts with ten kills. Nicole Strobel had her moments at the net, pounding down four kills while posting eleven good in 14 attempts. Katie Holzheimer was a perfect seven-for-seven with two kills.
Aggressiveness at the net was shown in blocking too. Engebretson and Strobel each went up to perform two ace blocks. Nagel and Holzheimer each had one.
Mikeala Henrichs led again in digs with her 19 followed by Engebretson with ten and Holland with six. Holzheimer and Chelsey Ehleringer were the workhorses in setting. Holzheimer contributed 18 set assists while having 32 good in 34 attempts. Ehleringer dashed around to deftly execute 12 assists while going 35-for-38. Kayla Pring went three-for-three with one assist.
On to serving: Holzheimer and Engebretson each came through with two serving aces. Holzheimer had eleven good serves in 13 attempts, and Engebretson posted 11-for-12 numbers. Ehleringer let fly with one ace serve while going 14-for-14. Beth Holland went 19-for-19 with no aces.
YME was led by Chyanne Sand who pounded down eleven kills and collected four ace blocks.
Benson 3, Tigers 0
The Tigers drifted back down to earth as they struggled in facing the Benson Braves Thursday. Emma Peterson was a big force for Benson. She produced 18 kills and five ace serves in her team's sweep.
The loss didn't put that much of a blemish on the Tigers' record. They conclude Homecoming week with quite fine W/L numbers of 13-7 overall and 6-3 in conference. It's just unfortunate that a sweep loss happened for Homecoming week. The match was played a day after the powder puff football game.
Benson now has a 9-9 overall record and 5-4 showing in conference. Beth Erhardt made her presence felt on the court for the Braves. She pounded four kills and went up for four ace blocks. Bri Staton produced five kills.
For the Tigers, Paige Schieler was a force with 15 kills and 49-for-56 numbers in hitting. Sydney Engebretson had nine kills and went 34-for-37. Nicole Strobel and MicKenley Nagel each had four kills. Strobel had 12 good in 15 attempts and Nagel went 13-for-13. Chelsey Ehleringer had five good, five attempts and one kill.
Engebretson had an ace block. Henrichs set the pace in digs with her 28, and Ehleringer executed well in that department too with 19. Holzheimer and Ehleringer scurried about to set the ball in an effective way. Ehleringer led in set assists with 14 while going 73-for-74 in good/attempts. Holzheimer produced 12 assists while going 53-for-54. Nagel came through with an assist.
The Tigers could have used a little more powerful serving. They had just one serving ace and it was by Strobel who was seven-for-ten. Holzheimer and Ehleringer both went nine-for-nine.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Dennis Rettke RIP - education practitioner, advocate

I remember the phone ringing during the day Friday once when I plied my journalism for the corporate media. The football Tigers were playing out of town that night. The caller informed me Arne Carlson was going to be at the game. Carlson was governor at the time. He has always carried a reputation as a political moderate. In other words, he has the ability to exercise reason. Today he might be considered a rebel by Republican standards.
The caller persuaded me that I ought to consider attending the game. The location was on the border of what I considered a reasonable trip for a regular season game. The destination would be Lac qui Parle. I have some nice memories of trips made to LQPV, Minnewaska Area and Benson. Beyond that and it could be a chore. I remember when they played a regular season game in Thief River Falls. 
We all enjoyed going to the Metrodome for Prep Bowl in the Kip Keiso (quarterback) era of Tiger football. Enjoyable yes but we lost. Considering the personnel we had on that team, I'm surprised we could have lost to anyone. Prep Bowl was nevertheless a prestigious place to be.
I remember going to that football game at Lac qui Parle and taking a photo of Carlson and Dennis Rettke sitting together. They were sitting away from the main body of fans - by themselves really - and were conversing in an intense way. I deduced they were discussing school issues which would entail funding.
Education is always a huge priority for state-level politicians. No one says he/she doesn't support education. It's a question of how. Rettke made a career of building education interests. He's one of two former pillars in Morris area education who have left us recently. Les Lindor (my former neighbor) is the other.
Rettke passed away suddenly at his home at the end of August. I'm sure many of us lost track of him after he left Morris. I wasn't aware he had settled in Wisconsin, Boyceville specifically (a town I'm not familiar with). I'm inclined to admire a professional like Rettke who decided never to become a "lifer" somewhere. His resume showed him moving periodically. Oh, he'd certainly stay in one place long enough to have an impact, like he did here. Then he'd hear a different call and roll up his sleeves for the next challenge.
Watching him converse with such earnestness with Governor Carlson, it doesn't surprise me he moved on to become director of the Minnesota Rural Education Association. That chapter in his career covered 2001-04. I suppose you could say he was a lobbyist. A more worthy cause you probably couldn't find. Getting schools funded properly requires finesse and a feel for politics, perhaps even with some of the cynicism that comes with the latter.
Because I was in the cynicism-laced profession of journalism, maybe we were on the same wavelength even if not exactly partners. He was rather upset once when I photographed one of our fine orange Morris school buses with "Donnelly" misspelled on the side. In a memo to the board he stated "I have some theories on how (the photo) ended up on the front page." He appeared to know that I was assigned to take the picture, so he couldn't blame me for the actual act. I had in fact suggested in the back shop of the newspaper that it might be a neat photo for page 1. Lo and behold it got put there. Mr. Rettke had a "mole" at the paper who gave him the background, not that I care.
Regarding the old "Morris-Donnelly" days, I have been informed there was nothing legal about that name. By "nothing legal" I don't mean illegal. I just mean the name was promoted as a gentlemen's agreement, not as an actual formal, legal construction. Heck, I also learned that in a legal way, we never had a "middle school" here, even though I typed that term a thousand times, seemingly. We referred to the middle school on an informal basis. This information comes my way from a school board member.
Anyway, the school bus story had a happy ending with the spelling corrected, and I seem to recall Rettke reporting there was a second bus with a glitch too.
Dennis Rettke was superintendent in Morris from 1987 to 1995. It's a reflection of his caliber as a leader that he was chosen for that even in the midst of quite substantial school strife and controversy. He was already an administrator in the Morris system. A time of controversy might be expected to influence the board to get "someone from outside," someone about whom there would be no suggestions of bias. The board gave the nod for Rettke and his promotion, and it seemed the job got done in relation to that controversy.
Oh my, it wasn't pretty. A dispute had arisen over whether extracurricular was headed in the right direction. Not that I think anyone would say it was. There was a prevailing feeling that extracurricular was sort of hanging limp with no special motivation or idealism. It wasn't a simple case of wins and losses although losses can be a reflection of festering issues.
This all developed in the mid-1980s when I think education was reaching a crossroads anyway. The boomers were gone from school hallways and with them the assurance schools could get by just managing their teeming numbers - just keeping "order," really.
Education is always going through chapters. An administrator who fits in nicely with one chapter might not make the adjustments for the next.
I think beginning in the mid-1980s, parents started demanding accountability in a new and special way. They wanted administrators to begin behaving more like real administrators or managers, not just former teachers whose heart would still be in promoting the parochial aims of the teachers union. Oh, I have a long memory about these things. I know of what I speak.
No one wants teachers to be hassled. But at the time Rettke was here, the constituencies of schools weren't going to back off any more, i.e. to be docile and not engaging. Their hesitation about engagement or even some confrontation was dwindling. The era of the "helicopter parents" was dawning.
I remember Rettke standing on the stage of our high school auditorium after the conclusion of a sports banquet/program, smiling ear to ear even though he was probably in a mood to deck someone. This was probably one of the most bizarre sports banquets in the history of our republic. An individual who had become a lightning rod, who had been sort of a bear with boxing gloves in dealing with concerns, was the emcee and dragged politics into the event. He returned to the podium more than once to do this. He said he would "name names" but he didn't. He referred to "a great work of American literature" but he wasn't talking about Nathaniel Hawthorne. He brandished it. It was a "statement of concern" signed by local citizens. Those on his side referred to it as a "petition" because that term suggests a bunch of narrow busybodies.
The Dairy Queen became controversial in town. People reportedly could avail themselves of signing the document in question there. Today we have Chick-Fil-A and gay rights. In 1987 we had the Dairy Queen in Morris. (It has different owners now.)
Apparently letters were sent out on school stationery advising area schools not to have their buses stop at the Dairy Queen, or so the legend goes. Were there boycotts generally? All I can do is quote a high-profile business owner from that time, who said "a lot of people got hurt by that."
On the morning after the banquet/program I sat at the counter of Atlantic Avenue Restaurant (DeToy's now) next to a former school board member, a fellow affiliated with a church that keeps its distance from athletics. Even so, he knew all about what happened the night before. And this was at a very early hour, probably around 6 a.m. which was my habit for getting going then. (Today I watch "Morning Joe" on MSNBC.)
"Everybody knew he was going to do it," this fellow counter-sitter told me, referring to that lightning rod individual.
Oh my, I agreed. But "do it" he did. I still don't see why it was allowed. The normal professional decorum should have been maintained. As time went on I found there was no clear consensus in the community about this. That's what made it a controversy - the inability of the loose network of "town leaders" to push a consensus that would bring quiet in a timely way. I would have loved to see a sociologist camp out here, take notes and write a book about it all.
My career was hurt by all of that. Years later certain people would still have reservations about dealing with me.
Rettke was a declared candidate for superintendent at the time of the banquet. He got it, worked to suppress the "insurgence" by making wise decisions, and today we have pretty smooth sailing. We even have Big Cat Stadium which is a palace of a facility.
Rettke spent three years as superintendent of Boyceville (WI) Public Schools as the last chapter of his career. I think a lot of us would suggest he left this world in the best way: suddenly. No languishing with chronic conditions.
He leaves behind a legacy of education quality. I'm convinced that if someone were to tell him up in heaven that yours truly is still covering the Tigers, post-newspaper, he'd smile! I hope he has shaken hands with Les Lindor.
A memorial service for Dennis Rettke was held on September 7 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Boyceville.
Dennis Rettke, RIP.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com