Tricounty News

Area high school teams gear up for 2014 season

Cross Country

Summer is once again on its way out, and area high school athletes are chomping at the bit to get a new fall season underway. Coaches and student athletes are optimistic and look forward to successful journeys in 2014.

Enthusiastic as ever is EV-W-K cross country head coach Holly Hansen, now in her 13th season at the helm, along with 14-year assistant coach Terry Nelson. “My team is going to be exciting to watch this fall. I have lots of talent and some new recruits,” coach Hansen said. The entire cross country varsity team from last year is returning, including Emily Donnay, who completed her first season last year with a 10th place finish at state. “I have some athletes who have been training all summer, taking part in 5Ks, and I am looking to them to provide some racing leadership this season,” added coach Hansen. Coach says there are good numbers coming in on the boys’ team, and she is very excited to build that program as well. “The boys I have had in the past are well seasoned and will be great leaders for the new recruits. It is always interesting to see how my teams from the two schools come together and become a competitive and cohesive team.”



First-year Kimball football coach Joe Brennan sees a highly competitive team in his Cubs. “I expect that my players will do all of the basics of the game of football like run hard, block well, and tackle tough. I also expect my players to “Attack the Day.” What I mean by that is that each individual day we are going to go out and give it our maximum effort to become better. That will obviously take place on the football field but also in the classroom and at home.” Brennan says they will be led by Tyler Smith and Ted Zipoy, who are both huge parts of the offensive and defensive lines. “I also expect Troy Filzen to have a great season for us. He has picked up very fast with our “O” and “D” schemes, and he just has a nose to find the football,” said coach. He continued to say that he expects Brady Mehr, a state entrant wrestler, to have a big part of both sides of the ball as well. “I also am excited to see what Jarred Merchant and Will Spaulding can do for the Kimball Cubs, as both had great summer lifting workouts,” Coach Brennan said. The very adept supporting coaching staff includes Jason Mortenson (defense); Ty Filzen (9th grade, JV); Sam Rossman (9th grade, JV); Ken Mehr (general staff); Tim Rahkola (offensive/defensive lines). “As a new coach coming in, I am only basing what I have seen in our summer strength and speed program. We will adjust our roster to the talents of the players that we have. We will try to get the best 11 on “O”, the best 11 on “D” and the best 11 on special teams. Having about 25 guys in that program, it will be great to see their hard work this summer paying off this fall,” Brennan said.


Looking to have a fun and exciting season, Kimball volleyball coach Scott Heinen is anxious to get underway. “This season we feature five seniors who are all workers. They will be instrumental in enabling us to set and achieve the goals we set, and we are thrilled to get started with them.” Alongside those seniors are an athletic group of juniors, and sophomores, who will not only challenge each other, but bring very dynamic athleticism to the courts. Last, but certainly not least are the exciting, incoming ninth graders. “There are a large number of them, who we, as the coaches have seen, are volleyball intelligent, and have been coached well through their junior high experiences,” Heinen said. “We are extremely pleased to have met Byron, the new activities director. He has been nothing but exceptionally helpful and personable this pre-season. We are glad to welcome him to our team,” added coach. The Cubs’ assistant coaching staff consists of Whitney Gettler and Katie Pettit, who return for their second season together. Heinen said that they are resourceful coaches who pull more than their own weight, on and off of the court. “Good luck to all the other fall sports. We in the volleyball program are some of your biggest fans and supporters. GO CUBS!” said coach Heinen.

Eden Valley-Watkins volleyball team head coach Andrea Huschle looks forward to a great 2014 season. “We have had a great summer with a lot of participation from our athletes. We will be returning five seniors who have experience and great leadership from last year.  Our underclass men are very strong as well.” The Eagles’ new season goal is to be competitive and improve day by day. Huschle begins her fifth season as head coach. Her assistant staff is represented by Erin Schoumaker, JV coach (7th year) and Jessica Miller, C-squad coach (3rd year). “I am excited to see what these girls can accomplish,” Huschle added.

Head coach Jon Thielen sees a bright season ahead for the football Eagles. “We believe with the experience coming back, we should be able to compete in every game in the last year of the Central Minnesota Conference.” The Eagles have about six returning starters on offense, led by seniors Jared Streit, Tim Lux, Cody Schlangen and Austin Schlangen, while the defense brings back seven starters. Some of the other players who have experience from last season are Deshaun James, Travis Thielen, John Salzl, Reese Jansen, and Thomas Schmitt. “Our main question going into the season is the quarterback position,” added coach Thielen. Travis Thielen and Reese Jansen will be vying for that spot with the other one ending up playing receiver. Some of the players who will get playing time Friday nights are Nick Faber, Jordan Unterberger, Tanner Flaschenriem, Greg Lux, Jake Streit, Luke Ludwig, and Markell Rairez. The remainder of the EV-W coaching staff consists of Rob Pederson, Chad Stanwick, Adam Langer, Dave Schneider, and Ryan Tri.

The 2014 high school fall sports season promises to be a highly competitive and fun-filled experience for participants and fans alike. Full schedules are available on the individual school’s websites or by visiting the Minnesota State High School League website at Good Luck, All!

EV-W Fall Sports meetings planned

The EV-W Fall Sports meetings will be on the following nights in the JP Gym at the High School:

• Grades 7-12 Football, grades 7-12 Cross Country and grades 7-8 Volleyball will meet at 8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 11.

• Grades 9-12 Volleyball will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 12.

Dave Schneider

Activities Director/

Dean of Students

Eden Valley-Watkins ISD #463

EV-W seventh-grade girls take second

The Eden Valley-Watkins seventh-grade girls took second place at the Pacesetter Great 4-State Tournament at TargetW-EVW-7th-Grade-girls-BB--IMG 4976Center in Minneapolis over the weekend, Friday through Sunday, June 27-29. They qualified for the Great Four tournament after taking first place at the Pacesetter State Tournament at the College of St. Benedict Sunday, June 15.

The Great 4-State Tournament includes the top teams from Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. The teams included Eden Valley-Watkins, Willmar (Minn.), West Fork (Iowa), Brandon Valley (S.D.), Four Winds (N.D.), West Fargo (N.D.), Waterloo East (Iowa) and Austin (Minn.) Eden Valley-Watkins defeated West Fargo 36-21 in the opening game, then they beat Austin 30-26 in the semi finals before falling to last year’s Great Four Champs Brandon Valley 20-26.

EV-W seventh-grade girls’ basketball team, back row, from left, coach Dean Schleper, coach Missy Kummet, Haylee Geislinger, Emma Schultz, Breanna Walz, coach Mikayla Kummet, and coach Cory Schultz. In front are Kendra Kuechle, Olivia Schleper, Shaylei Brutger, and Kennedy Kleist. Submitted photo.


EV-W football team plays at Gustavus Adolphus

Members of the EV-W football team participated in the 7-on-7 passing shoot out at W-EVW-FootballGustavus Adolphus College Wednesday, June 25. The EV-W team went 3-0 on the day beating Sibley East 54-7, Sleepy Eye 39-6 and Madelia 40-25. The team also won two awards: Most Points Scored and Most Takeaways.

Players names from left to right are Greg Lux, Jake Streit, Reese Jansen, Travis Thielen, Nick Faber, Cody Schlangen, Jared Streit, John Salzl, and Deshaun James, Submitted photo.


EV-W girls take first in basketball championship

The Eden Valley-Watkins seventh-grade girls earned first place in the Pacesetter Youth Basketball State Championships at W-EVW-7th-Grade-IMG 4839the College of St. Benedict over the weekend. The Pacesetter state championship is the conclusion of an 8-region playoff system that began in March.

Teams competing included Eden Valley-Watkins, Ada-Borup, Austin, Red Lake, Grand Meadow, Willmar, Deer River and Detroit Lakes. Eden Valley-Watkins defeated Ada-Borup 33-14 in the opening game, then beat Austin in the semi-finals 28-24, before winning the Championship game 24-20 in double overtime over Willmar.