Ortloff, MSUM start season

Former Laker and Dragon junior Braydon Ortloff begin the college wrestling season Thursday, Jan. 7 hosting Southwest Minnesota State.

Ortloff was a national qualifier at 165 pounds last year after finishing 12-9. He placed third at the Super Region 5 meet before nationals was canceled due to COVID-19 on the opening day of scheduled competition.

Frazee’s Brett Graham is a freshman for MSUM. Other area wrestlers on the team are sophomore Cody Dravis and junior Justin Dravis from Park Rapids and junior Jake Erckenbrack and senior Sam Erckenbrack from New York Mills

No fans were allowed to attend Thursday's dual but the match was streamed live at nsicnetwork.com/msumdragons/

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Ortloff recorded a pin in his first match of the season. The Mustangs defeated MSUM 19-16.

New coaches in Frazee

Consistent success during winter sports at Frazee has come from the dance and wrestling programs the past decade and both teams start this season with new coaches.

Katrina Courneya will step into some big shoes replacing Ta Fett for the dance team.

Over 24 years, Fett transformed the Fly Girls from what began as a school activity into state tournament mainstays. Fett’s teams won three state championships, two in jazz, one in kick. The jazz teams were state finalists 11 times; kick made the final cut to six teams at state six times.

Courneya will be assisted by coaches Holly Westad, Isabella Matejka and Jenna Reed.

The Hornet wrestling team will be led by a former Frazee state wrestler with a very familiar name to Frazee fans, Travis Nagel. Nagel was a two-time All-American for MSUM in college.

Nagel has prior coaching experience as a head coach at Lake Park-Audubon and with Frazee underclassmen. Nagel inherits a very experienced coaching staff led by Minnesota Hall of Famers Marty Aho and Dennis Schermerhorn, along with Steve Wilkowski, Mike Hamm and Brady Breitenfeldt.

Emma Nielsen
Emma Nielsen

HOLers at VCSU

Pelican Rapids' Adrianna Torres scored 10 points off the bench and pulled down six rebounds in a Valley City State women's basketball loss to the University of Jamestown 68-56 Monday, Jan. 4. A pair of former Heart O' Lakes Conference players also contributed for the Vikings. Barnesville's Emma Nielsen had five points and three assists. D-G-F's Allie Critchley had four points and three assists.

VCSU (2-4) has played an irregular schedule this season due to COVID-19. In November, five of nine games were canceled, as were three of four in December and the first game of the new year on Jan. 2.

Fans at games

Detroit Lakes fans will be allowed to attend Laker games this year, but specifics to each building will be put in place before the seasons start.

According to Gov. Walz’s latest directive, indoor venues must limit capacity to 25%, with a maximum of up to 150 people and up to 250 people can attend events outdoors.

Indoor capacity at some venues in DL like the DLCCC Aquatic Center and Minnesota Flyers Gymnasium will likely be more limited due to space issues. More information will be provided next week.