In the front row - Baseball teammates

by Tom Combe

Former Ely American Legion baseball teammates Tim Scott and Josh Mathson are on different but parallel routes in their collegiate baseball careers.<BR><BR>Scott, a 2005 Ely graduate who walked on at NCAA Division I Nebraska, was redshirted by the Cornhuskers this year and will get his first chance to compete at a higher level this summer as a member of the Parkville Sluggers - a Kansas City-based wood bat league team.<BR><BR>Mathson, the Embarrass native who is Minnesota high school baseball’s all-time home run king, is completing his sophomore year at Iowa Central - a Division II junior college powerhouse - and is considering accepting a scholarship offer from Georgia College and State University, the top-ranked NCAA Division II program in the country.<BR><BR>Together Scott and Mathson helped power Ely’s Legion squad to a 28-2 record and a second-place Division II state tournament in 2004, and after Mathson graduated, Scott went 10-1 on the mound last year in Legion ball.<BR><BR>Both attracted plenty of attention from college scouts, and both decided to head south for warmer weather in their respective attempts to advance their careers.<BR><BR>Mathson hit 10 homers last year for Iowa Central, and he had seven round-trippers and a team-high 42 runs batted in thus far for the Tritons (37-16), who began conference tournament play yesterday.<BR><BR>Mathson, who played both first base and right field in college, has been pursued by both Division I and Division II college programs, but seems to be leaning toward signing with Georgia College and State, which was 45-8 and ranked first in Division II last week.<BR><BR>In high school, Mathson hit a state-record 34 home runs for Babbitt-Embarrass-Soudan-Tower and powered the Beavers to consecutive state tournament appearances in 2002 and 2003. He played four seasons of Legion ball in Ely.<BR><BR>Scott was northeastern Minnesota’s most dominant pitcher last summer and went 19-1 in Legion over a two-year span.<BR><BR>The 2005 Minnesota Lions All-Star passed up offers from in-state schools to go to Nebraska, which advanced to the Division I World Series.<BR><BR>He practiced all year with the Cornhuskers, who are 37-9 and ranked fifth in Division I.<BR><BR>Scott picked up one pitching win during the team’s fall intrasquad scrimmages and is one of 18 pitchers on the Nebraska roster.<BR><BR>He’ll get more seasoning this summer as a member of the Sluggers - a team that has been home to dozens of future professionals including St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Albert Pujols.<BR><BR>The Sluggers are part of the MINK (Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas) League, a wood-bat circuit similar to Minnesota’s Northwoods League and features many Division I players. They’ll play about 50 games over a two-month span.<BR><BR>• Vermilion had 16 of its football players named to the all-academic team this year.<BR><BR>The Ironmen’s Luke Schultz graduated Tuesday with an associate of arts degree and a 4.0 grade point average, while others earning diplomas were Benjamin Harvey, Alvin McClerkin, Robert Karr and Grant Harrison.<BR><BR>They all received all-academic recognition - which requires at least a 3.0 grade point average - and they were joined by teammates Isaiah Osborne, Ernest Edmonds, Stephen Hicks, Fred Poole, Murl Johnson, Cory Lassi, Trevor Merriweather, Fabian Heath, Cornell Thomas, Darren McRae and Sherman Patrick.<BR><BR>• The Sartell high school baseball team coached by former Elyite Jerome Nemanich is 11-3 and ranked seventh in the state in Class AAA.<BR><BR>The Sabres won a tournament in Jordan last weekend and their three regular season losses were all by one run.<BR><BR>Nemanich has guided Sartell to consecutive state tournament berths in 2004 and 2005.<BR><BR>• Colin Moberly of Ely tossed a one-hitter Tuesday and recorded 12 strikeouts as Faribault Academies beat United South Central 7-1 in high school baseball action.<BR><BR>Moberly is a junior attending Shattuck-St. Mary’s, a private school in southern Minnesota.<BR><BR>• The Olympic trials may be in the future for David Jankowski, the son of former Ely residents Pat and Karen (Gornik) Jankowski.<BR><BR>A sophomore at Oklahoma State, Jankowski became a NCAA Division I track national qualifier and US National Championship qualifier with his run of 28 minutes, 51.81 seconds in the 10,000-meters earlier this season.<BR><BR>He set a personal record with the run and fell just one second short of a school record.<BR><BR>• Ric Garni, a 1991 Ely High School graduate, is in his third year as sports director at WBTW-TV, the CBS affiliate in Florence, S.C.<BR><BR>Garni, a former Echo sportswriter has worked at several television stations in the south and hopes to land a broadcasting job in a major southern market such as Charlotte, Tampa or Atlanta.