It’s hard to believe I’m halfway through the second year of writing the WEB column. Time sure flies when you’re having fun. This is really a neat voice for me. I try to cover our seven Reader-area schools and at the same time I get to write about my kids and how they’re doing, my grandkids and what’s happening with them. I also get to take a look at the Minnesota sports scene and the national sports scene, if it is important.

I stopped in the Silver Grille in Chatfield the other day and was catching some grief about Pillager, where my son teaches. All I can say is, “Thanks, Joe, for reading my article.”

Signings

We’ve got a couple big days coming up for two of our area athletes. Haley Polin of Lanesboro is going to be signing a NAIA national letter of intent to play basketball at Viterbo University in La Crosse, on Thursday, May 4. Viterbo is a member of the North Star Athletic Association. Other members of the conference are Bellevue University (Bellevue, Neb.), Dakota State University (Madison, S.D.), Dickinson State University (Dickinson, N.D.), University of Jamestown (Jamestown, N.D.), Mayville State University (Mayville, N.D.), Presentation College (Aberdeen, S.D.), Valley City State University (Valley City, N.D.) and Waldorf College (Forest City, Iowa). The University of Winnipeg (Winnipeg, Manitoba) is an associate member of the conference. Haley is going to do some traveling, and looks like she’s going to have to update her passport.

There are some really nice schools in that conference. I graduated from Dakota State University, but when I went there it was called General Beadle State University. Now who can give me some history on General Beadle?

Congratulations, Haley. See you on May 4.

The other area student-athlete who will be signing a national letter is Noah Carlson of Rushford-Peterson. Noah is going to be attending the University of Michigan and will be participating in track for the Wolverines. Don’t think you need a history lesson on the Big Ten schools. In case you have forgotten, Carlson is the two-time defending state champion in the long jump and the triple jump and defending champion in the 200-meter dash. He’s already hit the board running with a triple jump of over 43-feet this spring. Will there be a state record for him this year? We won’t find out until June, but I’m putting my money on a YES.

Softball

Some key match-ups are coming up in the Three Rivers Conference. On Tuesday, April 18, Chatfield is at GMLOK (Grand Meadow-LeRoy-Ostrander-Kingsland). Friday, April 21, the Lady Gophers are at Caledonia/Spring Grove. Chatfield also has a cross-over game with Cotter on Thursday, April 27, in Winona.

GMLOK has the game with Chatfield coming up, and also a cross-over game with Caledonia/Spring Grove on April 27. The Lady Bulldogs’ cross-over game with Cotter is on May 2.

Cotter, GMLOK and Chatfield probably have the best pitching in the Three Rivers conference, which is a big part of fastpitch softball.

Southeast Conference softball

I haven’t seen any standings yet for the Southeast Conference. Looking at Mabel-Canton’s schedule, it looks like the Cougars play Randolph, Glenville-Emmons, Lyle/Pacelli and Houston twice and then have some non-conference games with other area teams. Doesn’t look like Schaeffer Academy has a softball team. Spring Grove is co-sponsored with Caledonia (TRC), Grand Meadow and LeRoy-Ostrander play with Kingsland (GMLOK, TRC) and Lanesboro plays with Fillmore Central in the Three Rivers Conference.

Other softball notes

The Rochester Post Bulletin had an area preview for softball in its March 30 issue.

Here’s something for me to keep an eye on, and for you to keep an eye on me about. E or no E? That is the question. Belle (with an E) Berg (no E) and Mariah Bell (no E, and she’s in track) and Carlie Berge (with an E).

I haven’t seen any state rankings for softball as of yet. Hopefully something comes out soon and I will pass it on to you.

Baseball

St. Charles is the early-on favorite in the TRC-West division. They have a very good nucleus back from last year, from a team that was the number-one seed last year. Of course, we remember, and I’m sure St. Charles does too, Fillmore Central/Lanesboro bumped them out of the tournament last year in the first round of the playoffs.

FC/L has a veteran team back from last year. Having not played any games in the past 10 to 12 days, they’ll have some catching up to do when they resume play on Monday, April 17.

Southeast Conference

Again, I haven’t seen any standings for the Southeast Conference, but I’m sure that somebody will be doing something real soon.

Spring Grove does not pair with Caledonia for baseball, like it does for softball. Looks like Glenville-Emmons/Alden-Conger has a team, along with Lyle/Pacelli, Randolph, Schaeffer Academy, Mabel-Canton and Houston. Lanesboro is with FC/L and Grand Meadow and LeRoy-Ostrander are in with GMLOK.

Other baseball news

I took a trip to US Bank Stadium this past Friday to watch GMLOK and Plainview-Elgin-Millville play ball. It was a great opportunity for those kids. Wow, what fun!

State rankings are out for baseball. Of course, you may have forgotten that baseball has gone to four classes this year. The top two in Class A are Springfield and Parkers Prairie. Wabasha-Kellogg comes in at number six in the pre-season poll. Hayfield, Lewiston-Altura and Lyle/Pacelli got some honorable mention votes.

Minnehaha Academy and Belle Plaine are 1-2 in the AA class. St. Charles and Caledonia got some honorable mention votes. Henry Sibley and Northfield top the list in 3A, Winona is ranked number eight. In 4A, Minnetonka is number one and Burnsville is number two. None of the Rochester schools got a sniff.

Track news

Section True Team is coming up on May 9. Class A will be in Rushford-Peterson and results will be covered by KFIL radio again this year. The AA is being run in Winona, at Paul Giel Field.

The GMLOK girls are looking good in the early going this spring. L/FC and Chatfield have good numbers. Chatfield boys have some good relays to keep an eye on.

Tyl Woelber, Pipestone Area junior, has gone 6-six feet, 7-inches in the high jump already this spring. And of course, we want to keep an eye on our own Noah Carlson in the long jump and triple jump.

That’s going to do it for me. Hey to my buddies, Cal, Kiel, Mason, Jack, Jada, Payton, Jena, Kiptyn, and my wife, Carol, the matriarch of the family. You are the greatest.

Get to an event and support your school. It doesn’t matter if it’s a concert, an athletic contest or an ag contest. Show your support.

Easy does it, one day at a time. Hasta la vista everybody. WEB