Sports

Mon
15
Nov

Ironmen need lift from new talent

It’s a given that in community college basketball, freshmen are counted on to contribute immediately.<BR><BR>But the Vermilion Ironmen must rely heavily on first-year players during the 2004-2005 campaign, which starts Friday night at home against Itasca.<BR><BR>The Vermilion team that takes the floor will bear little resemblance to the squad that finished second in the state a year ago.<BR><BR>Gone are several sophomores who contributed to a 21-6 slate last year, and injuries have taken another chunk out of the Vermilion roster.<BR><BR>“We’re a little shy on depth, but I think we’ll be OK,” said VCC Head Coach Paul McDonald, who begins his 15th season at the helm.

Sun
14
Nov

Vermilion to host weekend tournaments

The Vermilion Community College basketball teams will once again open their season with respective weekend tournaments in the friendly confines of their home gymnasium.<BR><BR>The 11th annual event starts at 2 p.m. Friday, with four teams in both the men’s and women’s field.<BR><BR>The Vermilion squads are joined by two Minnesota schools - Itasca (Grand Rapids) and Rainy River (International Falls) - and tournament mainstay Gogebic Community College of Ironwood, Mich.<BR><BR>The first two tournament matchups involve the Rainy River and Gogebic women’s (2 p.m.) and men’s (4 p.m.) squads. The Vermilion teams close out the evening session, with the Ironwomen taking on Itasca at 6 p.m., with a Vermilion-Itasca men’s game set for an 8 p.m. finale.<BR><BR>The Saturday lineup starts with the women’s third-place game at 10 a.m., followed by men’s third-place game at noon. The championship games are slated for 2 p.m. (women’s) and 4 p.m.

Sun
14
Nov

Ely well represented on Vermilion roster

You could call them the Vermilion Timberwolves, or perhaps the Ely Ironwomen.<BR><BR>Four hometown players have given the community college basketball team a decidedly local feel.<BR><BR>Sophomore Krystle Smrekar and three first-year players have turned in their Ely red and white for Vermilion blue and gold and will play key roles this season for the Ironwomen, who open the 2004-2005 season Friday.<BR><BR>As the Ironwomen look to improve after a 3-19 season last year, the former Timberwolves should have a major impact on the team’s fortunes.<BR><BR>Smrekar, a 5-6 forward, averaged six points per game last year, and she’ll be joined on the court by three of her old prep teammates.<BR><BR>Gena Jerich, a 5-9 freshman, averaged more than 10 points and 10 rebounds per game as a high school senior and helped Ely reach the Section 7AA quarterfinals.<BR><BR>Jill Manning was sidelined with an injury last winter but shoul

Sat
13
Nov

Schulze, relays shine at prelims

For Ely’s high school girls swimming and diving team, the results of Thursday’s section preliminaries were decidedly mixed.<BR><BR>Senior Ali Schulze put herself in strong position for a bid to the state meet, and the Wolves’ 400 freestyle relay team stayed in contention as well.<BR><BR>But the Wolves didn’t qualify nearly as many finalists as they hoped, tempering some of the enthusiasm generated by the Schulze and relay performances.<BR><BR>“We didn’t have the section meet that I thought we would,” said Ely Head Coach Nancy Smrekar.

Fri
12
Nov

Off day, but still 10th in state

Jayne Dusich and the Ely Timberwolves couldn’t figure out what went wrong.<BR><BR>After a second straight section championship and a lofty ranking, the high school girls cross country team was primed for a high finish at the State Class A meet, held Nov. 6 at Northfield.<BR><BR>But across the board, the Wolves times were much slower than usual, and that doomed any chance for a spot in the top-four.<BR><BR>Instead, the Wolves fell behind the pack and placed 10th among 16 teams.<BR><BR>“We were kind of disappointed,” said Dusich. “Everyone was about 30 seconds slower than sections. We’re still trying to figure it out. We don’t know if it was the train that kept going by the hotel (the night before) that kept us up, or if it was the five-hour ride down there. We ran in the morning this year and last year we ran in the afternoon. It was a nice day.

Mon
08
Nov

Practices begin for EHS winter sports

Winter is in the air, not only outdoors with recent blasts of cold air, but indoors as well with the start of practices for high school winter athletic teams.<BR><BR>Both the hockey and girls basketball teams begin the long winter grind with their first practice sessions today.<BR><BR>At the Ely Arena, second-year head coach Brian Ensign and his staff welcome a Timberwolves team looking to rebound after a stormy season a year ago.<BR><BR>Ely enters the season with hopes of improvement after a 7-18 season in 2003-2004.<BR><BR>The hockey program is bolstered by players from both Tower-Soudan and Babbitt-Embarrass, through a cooperative agreement.<BR><BR>Ely opens its season Nov.

Sun
07
Nov

Alumni games kick off VCC hoops season

The Vermilion Community College basketball teams get a preseason test Saturday with their annual alumni games.<BR><BR>The women’s game opens the doubleheader at 1 p.m, with the men to follow for a 3 p.m.

Sun
07
Nov

After first loss, swimmers prep for sections

They’ve already enjoyed a banner regular season.<BR><BR>A big performance in this week’s section meet would be just the topper that the Ely Timberwolves are looking for.<BR><BR>The high school girls swimming and diving team has relied on a deep and talented nucleus of seniors throughout the fall, winning 10 of 11 dual meets.<BR><BR>The Wolves go to Hibbing Thursday for the section preliminaries with lofty goals.<BR><BR>“Right now we’d like to get more than half of our swimmers into the top 16 and I hope at least a quarter will be in the top eight to medal,” said Ely Head Coach Nancy Smrekar.<BR><BR>The Wolves have at least two contenders for bids to the state meet.<BR><BR>Senior Candice Smrekar, the daughter of the head coach, advanced to state in diving a year ago and figures to be near the top of the heap when the diving finals take place Saturday.<BR><BR>Fellow senior Ali Schulze may have had the

Mon
01
Nov

Virginia spikes Ely out of section playoffs

Ely’s high school volleyball team wasn’t able to sustain some early momentum Wednesday night.<BR><BR>The Timberwolves beat Virginia in the first game of the Section 7AA playoff match at Coleraine, but the Blue Devils rebounded with a dominant effort on game two, turning the contest around and going on to win in four games.<BR><BR>Scores were 20-25, 25-9, 25-20, 25-17 as the Blue Devils advanced into the 7AA quarterfinals and a meeting with top-seeded Greenway.<BR><BR>The Wolves, who finished 12-13, looked like they might move on following a first-game performance that went in their favor.<BR><BR>The tide turned almost immediately, however, as Virginia relied on strong serves, good defense and a big night from setter Caitlin Stackpool - who had a match-high 30 assists - to turn things around.<BR><BR>“We played a really good first game,” said Ely Head Coach Mindy LaTourell.

Sun
31
Oct

Missed opportunities derail Timberwolves

They needed a late touchdown to avoid a shutout and the final score indicated a rather decisive 29-6 decision, but the Ely Timberwolves may look back at last Tuesday’s Section 7AA playoff loss to Duluth Marshall as one that got away.<BR><BR>The high school football game turned on opportunities - with Marshall seizing on its chances to score and the Timberwolves misfiring on theirs.<BR><BR>Three turnovers, a dropped pass in the end zone and two other possessions that ended deep in Marshall territory doomed the Wolves, who were playing their first home playoff game since 1998.<BR><BR>“We had some chances and just didn’t get them,” said Ely Head Coach Darren Visser. “We had opportunities to get points on the board but it didn’t happen.

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