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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Fielding a team of 20 players, on the road and against the Northern Power League's top squad in the East, the Lakes Area Screaming Eagles found themselves backed into a corner. It was a game where the upstart Eagles (1-6) could have taken flight or decided to bear down and fight. The latter choice was made by the 20 players who were able to make the trip north to Duluth to face the 6-2 Shoremen at the Duluth Municipal Stadium Saturday.
It was an unfortunate end to a brilliant career for Detroit Lakes senior Brent Eidenschink. Leaving as one of the best Laker grapplers ever, Eidenschink missed out on his most coveted goal -- a state championship -- by just seven seconds. Wrestling in the Class 2A 189-pound championship match against Fulda/Murray County Central senior Nick Henning, Eidenschink was holding a 1-0 advantage late in the third period, after a very close battle in the first two frames. But it would all come down to the final seven seconds, and who was able to make the first move.
Even breaking tradition couldn't stop Detroit Lakes Henrik Bewarder from making history by becoming the school's first-ever state champion in swimming. Bewarder brought home the gold in the Class 1A 500-yard freestyle event Saturday inside the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center, beating the state field with a time of 4:47.47. And that was even after he broke a state-meet tradition by not wearing a cap during his finals race, instead going with the full hair-do look and feel.
Frazee knew the rush was coming from Canby -- and it did come. Trying to fend off a charging Canby Lancer wrestling team, the Hornets tried their best to hold on to their potential fourth state championship, but instead it turned into Frazee's third state runner-up finish. The Lancers' heavyweight, Evan Hacker, put the bold exclamation point on one of the state tournament's best duels of the weekend when he was able to pin Hornet Nick Galbrecht in 2:58 to give Canby a stunning 25-24 win.
This time, restraint and focus won out over excitement and inexperience -- which resulted in Dion Sgro's first professional fight victory. Sgro exacted revenge over Travis McCullough Saturday night inside the Fargo Civic Center -- the same place and fighter the Detroit Lakes native faced in his pro debut -- after stretching the boxing bout to four rounds to capture the decision in what was described as the most exciting fight on the "Middleweight Madness" card. "I wanted and needed this one more this time, for myself," Sgro said of his first professional win.
There was a wall erected Friday inside the Xcel Energy Center, and several of the Frazee wrestlers hit it. That wall came in the form of the Class 1A individual semifinals, as four Hornets climbed to the final four of their respected divisions, only to be halted there with an 0-4 showing. All four of those Frazee grapplers would place, still giving the Hornets a very respectable showing in the Class 1A individual tournament, to which they sent a total of 10 athletes. "Everyone but one of our wrestlers won a match at state," said Frazee head coach John Barlund.
It was quite the introduction to sub-section championship play for the Lake Park-Audubon girls' basketball team. The Raiders played in the first sub-section championship game in the history of the team Monday, and they butted up against one of the best in the state in the No. 8-ranked Ada-Borup Cougars. But the Raiders didn't flinch with intimidation against a team that won by an average margin of 30.9 points per game. Instead, the LP-A girls almost went in and qualified for their first Section 6-1A championship.
After closing out the regular season with consecutive wins over Thief River Falls and Park Rapids, the Detroit Lakes boys' basketball team was awarded the No. 2 seed in the lower bracket of the upcoming Section 8-3A playoffs. The Lakers' opponent will be a very familiar one in Park Rapids, which finished with the No. 3 seed. DL will host the Panthers Thursday inside Ralph Anderson Gym, beginning at 7 p.m. The Lakers have had good success against the Panthers, going 2-0 against their Mid-State foe.
There is a famous saying of "Pick your poison" and the Thief River Falls girls' basketball team did -- and it was fatal. After applying a triangle and two defense on the Detroit Lakes girls' basketball squad in Thursday night's Section 8-3A quarterfinal playoff game, the Lakers scorched the Prowlers from outside, building a convincing 29-10 by halftime. The reason for the triangle and two defense was to take DL junior guard Hallie Hoganson and senior forward Jordanne Even out of the game. The mistake was forgetting about the three other players the Lakers had the floor.
Familiar names such as Frazee, Breckenridge, Pelican Rapids and Barnesville may soon disappear off the Lake Park-Audubon sports schedules. Such schools as Climax-Fisher, Ada-Borup and Fosston could replace those teams by the 2007-08 season, if the Raider Nation has its wish. Preliminary steps have been taken by the LP-A school board to withdraw from the Heart O'Lakes Conference and join the Pine to Prairie Conference, ending an association with the HOL that has existed since the 1989-90 season.