Sports

Mon
06
Sep

Legion tourney group slates Sunday meeting

It’s still nearly a year away, but preparations for next summer’s American Legion Baseball Central Plains Division II Regional Touranment have begun.<BR><BR>The local committee organizing the event will hold its first meeting at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, in the back room at the Ely Dairy Queen.<BR><BR>Anyone who is interested in working on the committee is invited to attend.<BR><BR>The eight-team double-elimination tournament is set for Aug.

Mon
06
Sep

Ely spikers start season with a split

Ely’s high school volleyball team had an up-and-down start to the 2004 season.<BR><BR>Or perhaps more accurately, a down-and-up start.<BR><BR>The Timberwolves struggled during their opener Tuesday night at Silver Bay, getting swept by the Mariners.<BR><BR>Ely reversed course during its home debut two nights later, sweeping Nashwauk-Keewatin in three close games, 25-19, 25-22, 25-21.<BR><BR>“I was much happier with our performance against Nashwauk than against Silver Bay,” said Ely Head Coach Mindy LaTourell. “In the first match, we came out really sluggish. We passed really poorly and gave them way too many opportunities.

Mon
06
Sep

Wolves break from the pack

Ely’s high school girls cross country team picked up right where it left off a year ago.<BR><BR>Even without a full roster, the Timberwolves were the class of the field at Thursday’s season-opening meet at Babbitt.<BR><BR>Paced by top-four finishes from sophomore Casey Sovil and senior Jenna Klein, Ely finished first among five teams at the Gene Ritsche Invitational.<BR><BR>First is a familiar spot for the Wolves, who won several meets in 2003 - including the program’s first Section 7A championship.<BR><BR>The graduation of some of their top runners and the absence of two more didn’t deter the Wolves last week.<BR><BR>Ely had more than enough depth to top section rivals International Falls, Hermantown, Mesabi East and Proctor.<BR><BR>“It was a surprise to all of us,” said Ely Head Coach Jayne Dusich. “I think we did a very good job.

Mon
30
Aug

Ely out to defend cross country title

Despite some losses to graduation, Ely’s high school girls cross country team heads into the 2004 season with good reason for optimism.<BR><BR>The Timberwolves made history last fall, winning the Section 7A championship for the first time and advancing to the state meet.<BR><BR>And with four of their seven varsity runners back and the biggest turnout of athletes in the 10-year history of the program, Ely may be poised for another run at the title.<BR><BR>The first test comes Thursday, when Ely takes part in the annual season-opening meet at Babbitt.<BR><BR>Head Coach Jayne Dusich, who has run the program since its inception and was named 7A Coach of the Year in 2003, has several seasoned and talented runners to work with.<BR><BR>Among them is sophomore Casey Sovil, who qualified for state competition as an individual last year, placing 10th in the section.<BR><BR>Senior Jenna Klein (12th in the section in 2003)

Sun
29
Aug

Speedy Ironmen set for ’04 debut

It’s far too early to tell if the Vermilion Ironmen will contend for a conference championship this fall, but one thing seems certain about the community college football team.<BR><BR>They’ll be fun to watch.<BR><BR>With tremendous team speed, a veteran quarterback and a fleet of sure-handed receivers, the Ironmen should put some points on the board during the 2004 season, which starts Saturday (5 p.m.) with a home game against Fergus Falls.<BR><BR>The Ironmen were dogged by inconsistency last fall, mixing strong outings with lackluster ones on the way to a 5-4 record.<BR><BR>That kept VCC out of the state playoffs, and while the Ironmen have to deal with a slew of talented Northern Division teams if they are to get to the postseason, seventh-year head coach Keith Turner likes what he sees thus far.<BR><BR>“Overall, I think it’s the fastest team we’ve had in five years,” said Turner.

Sun
29
Aug

Seniors dominate swim roster

The anticipation is over.<BR><BR>The season they’ve waited for is finally here.<BR><BR>With eight returning seniors, including 2003 state diving meet participant Candice Smrekar, the stakes are a bit higher this year for Ely’s high school girls swimming and diving team.<BR><BR>The Timberwolves begin the year with high hopes after a solid 2003 campaign.<BR><BR>Smrekar is gunning for a second straight state bid, the Wolves return a section finalist in senior Ali Schulze and several other swimmers are looking to climb this fall.<BR><BR>The 2004 Wolves may be a more focused and confident group, according to head coach Nancy Smrekar.<BR><BR>“This is the do-or-die year,” Smrekar said. “The kids have been working very hard and a lot have been training over the summer, doing different things. Just coming into the pool on the (Aug.) 16th, there was a change. They looked more confident.

Sun
29
Aug

Wolves hope to keep climbing in ’04

Ely’s high school football program took a giant step forward during the 2003 season.<BR><BR>The 2004 Timberwolves hope to keep moving in the same direction.<BR><BR>Ely, which opens the season Friday at Greenway, lost several key players to graduation but a solid nucleus remains from a club that went 4-5 last fall and rebounded from a winless campaign two years ago.<BR><BR>Five starters are back on offense, including starting quarterback Tim Scott, and the Wolves have four returning defensive starters and a host of others who saw varsity time a year ago.<BR><BR>The experience, two good weeks of practice and perhaps more depth than in recent years give head coach Darren Visser hope that the program has turned the corner.<BR><BR>“I’d like to think we would take a step above where we were last year,” said Visser, who begins his sixth season as head coach.

Mon
23
Aug

IN THE FAIRWAY......with a happy hacker

We’re a wee bit late in getting to the July issue of Golf Digest - other than fanning through the pages, that is. One article was of particular interest, and was written by Phil Mickelson, entitled, “How to hit the hated half-wedge.” <BR><BR>We fall into the category he describes thus: “Many amateurs find the half-wedge shot to be awkward, and when sand or water are involved, downright scary.” <BR><BR>He contends that for all of us who may tend to hit the ball fat or thin, can’t decide how big a swing to make or find ourselves coming up long or short, his system is for us and will erase our fear, and give the consistency and control we want - make that NEED. Swing aggressively! Short and aggressive! <BR><BR>He lists three don’ts for the half-wedge shot. “1) Address: Open your stance. Ball forward of center. Don’t open the clubface in relation to the target - you’ll get glancing contact and erratic results. 2) Grip: Don’t choke down.

Mon
23
Aug

Krunkkala, Scott top Ely grid pentathlon

Ely seniors Mike Krunkkala and Tim Scott had near-record performances in the high school football team’s season-opening fitness pentathlon.<BR><BR>Krunkkala racked up 4,531 points and Scott was next with 4,525, the second and third-best totals in the nearly 20-year history of the event, to kick off an impressive first week of practice for the Timberwolves.<BR><BR>“Since I’ve been coaching, we’ve never had an athlete get 4,500 points,” said Ely Head Coach Darren Visser, who began his sixth season at the helm. “Now we had two of them this year.”<BR><BR>Krunkkala cracked the 4,000-point mark last season while Scott recorded a bigger jump, and theirs were the best in a string of solid scores for the Wolves.<BR><BR>Junior Steve Milkovich was third overall with 4,073 points.<BR><BR>“Having three guys over 4,000 points is good and we had another bunch of them past the 3,000 mark,” said Visser.

Mon
23
Aug

Ely lands ’05 Legion regional

A heartbreaking loss in the state finals kept Ely’s American Legion baseball team out of this year’s Central Plains Regional Tournament.<BR><BR>But no matter what happens next summer, Ely won’t be kept out again.<BR><BR>That’s because the local team will have an automatic bid in the multi-state event as the host team.<BR><BR>For the fourth time in seven years, Ely will host a major Legion baseball event.<BR><BR>After two successful state tournaments here as well as the 2000 region event, Minnesota Legion baseball officials have awarded yet another tournament to Ely.<BR><BR>The 2005 Division II Central Plains Regional will be held at Ely’s Veterans Memorial Field from Aug.

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