Detroit Lakes Newspapers Sports Editor for the last 15 years. St. Cloud State University graduate, who hails from Deer Creek, MN.
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There might be some under-the-radar flying for the Detroit Lakes volleyball team, but with six seniors returning, the Lakers are more than equipped to be making some noise during the 2010 season. Even without the respect within volleyball circles, first-year head coach Jim Wood has lots of faith in his Laker squad. "Our goal is to be in the section championship game," Wood said. "This is a team which is going to surprise some people.
There were a few litmus tests passed by the young Detroit Lakes boys' soccer team, but that still wasn't enough as the Lakers dropped their season and home opener against Fergus Falls 2-1 Thursday. An Otter goal with seven minutes remaining in regulation pushed the visitors over the top, as Fergus Falls held on for the win, despite a solid performance by the DL defense. "With over half our defense being new, our defense played well and kept the pressure off our young goalie (Ethan VanOffelen)," said DL head coach Justin Wegleitner.
The crescendo of a six-year building period for four key Detroit Lakes girl swimmers has finally arrived. The Laker senior foursome of Melissa Paakh, Libby Larson, Ashtin Spies and Andi Weiss came up through the swimming ranks and helped the program rise to where it is now. "They are the showcase of our program," said DL head coach Carol McCarthy, who has seen first hand the rise of the four seniors. But the 2010 season will be the last go-around for the longtime Laker swimmers, and with the added depth of the younger swimmers and divers, it could be a grand departure.
Consistency will be a virtue for the Detroit Lakes boys' cross country team, with seven solid runners returning for the 2010 season. After winning the Mid-State Conference championship last year, the Lakers return the majority of their 2009 team -- sans their top runner in Leif Johnson, who graduated. "We want to see improvement from last year and these guys have a load of potential," said DL head boys' coach Bill Kvebak. "They don't have to take a backseat to anybody this year.
Last year, the Detroit Lakes girls' cross country team was young and rather inexperienced, as well as being a bit thin depth-wise. For the 2010 season, though, about the only aspect which is the same is the youth and names coming back. The experience and depth, on the other hand, will be strengths. "Basically, we have the same team and still are young," said DL head girls' coach John Freeman. "We are not a cross country running factory, but we do have kids this year ready to make a little more noise.
Last season maybe a hard one to top for the 2010 version of the Detroit Lakes boys' soccer team, but this group isn't going to live in the past. After registering an all-time amount of wins for a Laker boys' soccer team and a No. 1 seed in the Section 8-1A playoffs last year, just over half of that 2009 squad will be back. "We'll have a bit of learning and growing to do this season," said DL head coach Justin Wegleitner.
BY BRIAN WIERIMA firstname.lastname@example.org Youth will be relied on more than usual for the Detroit Lakes girls' soccer team's 2010 season, but the Lakers will still have talent -- just unproven as of now. After losing seven seniors off of last year's squad -- along with the majority of their goals -- there will be more than ample opportunity for the incoming younger players to produce. "By losing that many seniors, it does create opportunities for the other girls," said DL head coach Dave Carter.
The groundwork was laid for the Detroit Lakes girls' tennis team, after one of their most successful seasons in more than several years. The 2010 Lakers hope to build on that foundation from 2009 and depth is now becoming a strength, instead of a liability. The team had 18 student-athletes out for the opening day of practice, a number DL head coach Kris Omberg is encouraged in seeing. "The numbers are up and I'm excited about that," Omberg said.
A repeat run was not in the cards for defending Pine to Palm champion Jay Olafson, as Fargo's Chad Niles clinched the second Pine to Palm Mid-Am championship Sunday at the Detroit Country Club. The pendulum of victory swung Niles' way with a victory on hole 14 with a par to expand to a 2-up advantage on Olafson. It was too deep of a hole for the defending champion, as the duo halved the final three holes to give Niles the victory.
It was a start champions are made up of. Longtime Pine to Palm competitor Fargo's Tim Rubis roared out of the gates in his Seniors championship match against Clint Nelson, by winning the first three holes to set the tone in his 5 and 4 victory Sunday at the Detroit Country Club. Rubis made birdie, par and par on his first three holes under some heavy winds, as Nelson struggled to start the match. "It's pretty easy to make bogey in a wind like this," Rubis said.