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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Tuesday was the time for the younger and junior varsity tracksters to shine and not be in the shadow of the varsity athletes, during the Fergus Falls Invite. The Lakers team Tuesday consisted of all the junior varsity and junior high competitors, who ran up against 10 other varsity teams. Considering those odds, the Lakers didn't fair bad, with several solid performances coming from the future of the program. "It was a good situation in that it gave our junior varsity kids the opportunity to be the big dogs," said DL head girls' coach Mike Labine.
After attending the third-ever Minnesota Twins game at Target Field Thursday, it made me think back to my first game at the Metrodome in its inaugural season. The irony of the two games was way too apparent as I recalled that first Metrodome game, which was against the visiting Texas Rangers. Thursday's Twins' tilt was against the Boston Red Sox, under sunny skies in 70-degree temperatures, with the players playing on the green glow of real grass turf. My first taste of the Metrodome as an 8-year-old wide-eyed kid came under the gloomy, dank and artificial lightning
Hitting? Check. Pitching? Check. Defense? Ummmm....not quite. The Detroit Lakes softball team did well in two of their three facets of the game, but defense sunk them in their season opener in Bemidji with an 11-6 loss. The Lakers committed 13 errors, leading to eight unearned runs, as DL even outhit the Lumberjacks by a 10-9 margin. "The girls hit the ball well and pitched well, but the 13 errors was the game right there," said DL head coach Phil Kirchner.
The Detroit Lakes Angels baseball team is defying the action of aging by getting younger, with an infusion of youth in the lineup for the 2010 season. The Angels will have several veterans returning, but have added a good amount of young, talented players. "We have a few guys in their 30's, but have added more younger guys to the roster," said co-manager Phil Kirchner. "It's a good mix I think." Those Angels returning from the 15-14 team from last year who have good veteran experience include Kirchner, Taylor Fuhs, Phil Doll, Bryan Buhr and Chris Gilson.
Frazee junior pitcher Emma Buhr got right down to business in the Hornet's season opener Tuesday by tossing a no-hitter -- along with 15 strikeouts -- against visiting Lake Park-Audubon in a 7-1 victory. Buhr, who had just one start last season, adds to a long list of dominant Frazee pitching performances over the last several years, by keeping the Raider batters off-kilter the entire game. How confused did she have the LP-A hitters? From innings two through five, Buhr registered 11 consecutive strikeouts on her way to 15 in the game.
Tuesday's outdoor season opener wasn't all about the places for the Detroit Lakes boys' and girls' track and field teams, but more about improved times and distances. With that in mind, the Lakers had more than a successful outdoor opener in Fergus Falls, with impressive times posted all over the board. There were only three teams in the meet, with Fergus Falls having the majority of their team absent due to a band trip. That allowed the Lakers to take most of the top finishes, but it were the times which stuck out more to the DL coaches.
The 2010 rust didn't last long for the Lake Park-Audubon baseball team, as they broke out for five runs in the fourth inning to key a 9-4 season-opening victory against Norman County East/Ulen-Hitterdal Thursday. Senior catcher Jesse Wixo ripped a two-out, two-run single over the Titan shortstop's head to key the big inning, expanding a 1-0 lead to a comfortable 6-0 advantage. "I wouldn't have wanted anyone else at the plate, but Jesse," said first-year head coach Brandon Olson about the big two-run hit, which ultimately opened up the game.
This is the season where the Detroit Lakes boys' tennis team has been building to, with seven returning players, along with a good amount of skill and talent. To go with that, the Lakers have also been bumped down to the smaller Class 1A, where they will be competing against schools more their size. "The guys have some higher expectations," said first-year head coach Wade Johnson. "We'll still be the underdogs, but we have some good experience back to be competitive." The Laker's lineup will be deep, with eight seniors on the roster.
The ride for the Lake Park-Audubon boys' golf team should be much smoother than the 2009 one, as the Raiders return good talent, along with some seasoning. Lucas Hoehenan is back after finishing at a top 20 in the Heart O'Lakes Conference last year and should be able to move up in the rankings. Eighth grader Isaiah Pearson has shown a good work ethic in the offseason to improve his game, making him a solid No. 2 golfer in the Raider lineup this season, as well. "We'll have four other golfers rotating in and out of the top six," said LP-A head boys' golf coach Nicole Seyfried.
Continuity will be a bonding factor for strong chemistry for the Lakes Area Screaming Eagles, as they enter their third year of play. There are 21 players returning for their third year on the Screaming Eagles' roster, which has given the team some familiarity as they look for their first Northern Power Football League championship. "The continuity is big," said Lakes Area owner and starting quarterback Jason McCloskey.