Legion playoffs set to begin in Ely

by Nick Wognum
It was barely more than a month ago when Ely’s high school baseball team celebrated a section championship game victory and a berth in the state tournament.
A quest for a second trip to state begins Wednesday, when the Eighth District Division II American Legion playoffs begin in Ely, but a repeat performance figures to be quite a challenge for the local squad.
Post 248 is merely one of several contenders in a loaded tournament field, and the opposition is clearly more formidable than it was in the high school season, when Ely played in the smallest of the state’s four enrollment divisions.
Proctor, which advanced to state out of Section 7 in Class AA, may be the favorite in the eight-team double-elimination tournament, and the field is loaded with teams who played at the Class AA level in high school, including Taconite (Greenway), Esko, Moose Lake and Two Harbors.


Four on Fourth race yields new winners

WINNER Deb Hultman (#246) of Ely was the women’s race winner. Photos by Eric Sherman.

by Tom Coombe

A new champion emerged at the annual Fourth of July race around the Trezona Trail.


Record 11 teams to take part in annual Legion tournament

Started just over a decade ago to fill a blank weekend on the Ely American Legion baseball team’s schedule, the Sir G’s Midsummer Classic has evolved and grown.
Now in its 15th season, the event has become one of the largest and most prestigious American Legion baseball tournaments in northern Minnesota.
A tournament-record 11 teams are set to participate in the event, which starts Friday morning at Veterans Memorial Field and will include 24 games, culminating in the tournament’s first-ever “true championship” game on Sunday, July 10 (3:45 p.m.).
Combining teams from outside the area with many of the region’s top Division I and Division II Legion programs, the Sir G’s Classic could prove to be a more rugged test than the upcoming district playoffs, with power-packed lineups in three divisions, who will compete both at the ballpark here in Ely and neighboring Legion field in Soudan.


Wolves blanked at state

THE FINAL OUT - It was a close play at first, but Adrian first baseman Mitchell Wagner reached out and caught the ball ahead of the slide of Ely’s Cole Kellogg, recording the third out in the seventh inning and allowing Adrian to escape with a 1-0 State Class A quarterfinal win June 16 at Chaska. Photos by Hailey Worth.

by Tom Coombe


Wolves win 7A baseball crown, advance to state; Final from Jordan in the state Class A baseball tournament consolidation round. Lewiston-Altura 5, Ely 0. Wolves finish the season 20-7.

SECTION 7A CHAMPS: Kneeling Dalton Schreffler, Nils DeRemee, Trea Schreffler. Back: Coach Cory Lassi, Matt Gerzin, Coach Frank Ivancich, Trevor Mattson, Ryan Quick, Tyler Housey, Andy Krunkkala, Patrick Huisman, Tayler Banks, Spencer Gaulke, Preston Leustek, Gage Merhar, Cole Kellogg, Brendan Hill, Dylan Kienitz , Coach Aaron Donais, Coach Tom Coombe. Photo by Hailey Worth.


Perfect game for Little Leaguer

by Tom Coombe

Those who gathered at the Ely Little League field Wednesday night saw a bit of history and the rarest of baseball rarities: a perfect game.

Bryce Fairchild set down 18 straight batters, allowing none to reach base in a 7-0 Zup’s Yankees win over the DQ Dodgers.

Fairchild’s no-hit, no-walk, no-error, six-inning gem is believed to be the first perfect game at the Little League field in decades.

Perfect games are extremely uncommon in baseball as a whole.
No Ely team has taken part in one in at least 30 years at the high school, VFW or American Legion levels, and only 23 major league pitchers have ever thrown a perfect, nine-inning game in a history that dates back 135 years and encompasses over 250,000 games.


VFW tourney opens summer baseball in Ely

As the high school season reaches its climax, the summer baseball season in Ely is set to begin.
With the state-ranked Timberwolves in the midst of the Section 7A playoffs, Ely’s VFW season begins with a tournament next weekend and the Junior and American Legion teams will soon follow with the start of their respective campaigns.
The VFW team is set to host the Insula Classic, an eight-team, three-day event that opens Friday, June 10, at Veterans Memorial Field.
With the summer season approaching, registration continues and culminates Monday.
That’s when the Ely Baseball Association holds its annual parent and volunteer sign-up session, slated for 6 p.m. at the ballpark.
All parents are invited to come to return registration forms and sign up for volunteer shifts in the concession stand and ticket booth.
Additional registration forms will be available at the field that evening.


Ely boys win subsection

CELEBRATING their Section 7A subsection team title were members of the Ely High School boys track team Wednesday in Hibbing. Photo by Bob Dalberg.

by Tom Coombe


Boys’ relay sets new record

by Tom Coombe
The four-by-800 relay for Ely’s high school boys track team couldn’t let its female counterparts have all of the fun.
While the Ely girls’ four-by-800 puts together a memorable season, the boys made their own mark May 12 at Chisholm, setting a new school record en route to a first-place finish.
The foursome of Teddy Pierce, Simon Stouffer, Cole Helms and Seth Prigge edged past a speedy Greenway-Nashwauk-Keewatin relay in 8:43.72, breaking a school record that had stood since 2001.
“The four-by-800 relay had a memorable evening,” said Ely Head Coach Will Helms. “Seth Prigge ran a very gutsy anchor leg, outkicking the GNK runner in the last 200 meters to pull ahead for the win. It was a great job by all four runners against a tough GNK group.”
All-in-all, the O.J. Belluzzo Meet at Chisholm was arguably Ely’s best of the year.
The Timberwolves won the team title, finishing first among seven teams.


Ely boys take first at Virginia meet

SIDE BY SIDE IN SHADES were Ely’s Simon Stouffer (left) and Teddy Pierce at the start of the 1,600 meter race May 5 at Virginia. Pierce was second and Stouffer placed fifth in the event. Photos by Joe Bianco

by Tom Coombe

Personal bests, time improvements and the overall depth of the Ely Timberwolves added up to a big win at a meet in Virginia.
The high school boys track team on the May 5 Blue Devil Invitational, racking up only two individual wins but piling up points and high finishes in nearly every event to race past Eveleth-Gilbert 189-176. Six other teams lagged behind.


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