Ely’s Williams voted in to American Ski Jumping Hall of Fame

Tim Williams formerly of Ely and now of Lino Lakes MN, has been unanimously voted in to the American Ski Jumping Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony is scheduled for August 20 in Red Wing, MN.
His accomplishments include the following in which he received a unanimous vote:
• Junior World Cup, 1979, Quebec City – one of two U.S. skiers chosen to compete USSA National Championship,
• January 1980, Eau Claire, WI 1st place – Junior Class 1980 Olympic Tryout 1, Lake Placid, NY 2nd place – Junior Class 1980 Olympic Tryout 2, Lake Placid, NY 1st place – Junior Class World Cup, St. Nizier, France,
• February 1981 – 11th place USSA 1981 Jumping Points – Total points of best 5 competitions – 8th out of 74 skiers U.S. Ski Jumping Hall of Fame – Ishpeming, MI – 1st place trophy from Sons of Norway, 1981. Trophy awarded annually to only one skier for outstanding skill in the sport.


Ely seeded third for 14-U playoffs

by Tom Coombe
Ely’s age 14-and-under team took both momentum and a high seed into the league playoffs.
A 10-0, five-inning rout of Rock Ridge I on July 28 helped Ely clinch the third seed, among nine teams, in the Iron Range Baseball League Playoffs, which started Friday at Cherry.
Ely (8-4) was slated to take on number-six Greenway in a tournament quarterfinal.
Both the consolation round and the championship semifinals follow on Saturday, with the consolation, third-place and championship clashes scheduled for Sunday, all at Cherry.
Ely beat its first-round foe twice during the regular season, including a 15-4, July 25 matchup at Veterans Memoria Field.
The home ballpark also was the site of Ely’s regular season finale, and the hosts had no trouble with Rock Ridge I.
Pitchers Hunter Halbakken and Owen Marolt combined on the shutout, with Halbakken working the first three innings and notching seven strikeouts.


It’s time to play ball

by Nick Wognum
Months of preparation, not just for teams but local organizers, all lead up to this week.
Baseball fever is set to take hold in Ely with the start of the Junior Legion Division II State Tournament.
Teams from all corners of the state will arrive Wednesday for check-in and photos at Veterans Memorial Field, and the action begins Thursday morning at the community’s historic ballpark.
About 150 players and coaches, as well as hundreds of parents, relatives and fans will be in town for the three-day event.
A state champion will be crowned by Saturday, Aug. 6, completing another chapter in Ely’s lengthy and rich history of holding major American Legion baseball tournaments.
This marks the 10th time in five decades that a state Legion tournament has been held in Ely, and the first time since 2019.


Veterans Night Thursday at ballpark

The Ely Baseball Association will salute local veterans on Thursday, in conjunction with the start of the Minnesota Junior Legion Baseball Division II State Tournament.
All veterans and military personnel will be admitted free for the evening session on the opening day of the eight-team state tournament, and they’re also invited to take part in the tournament opening ceremonies.
Set to start at approximately 6 p.m., in between games of the evening session, the opening ceremonies will include all eight teams invited to line up around the infield, with an Honor Guard presentation at the pitchers’ mound.
The veterans and military personnel will be introduced at that time and invited to line up on the field during the playing of the national anthem. Veterans should report to the ballpark by 5:45 p.m.
All veterans will also receive a free meal at the concession stand, courtesy of the Ely American Legion Auxiliary.


Proctor KOs Ely Legion

Tanner Olson wasn’t wearing a fireman’s hat, but he could have just as well traded his Proctor cap for one.
The hard-throwing senior put out a fire started by Ely’s Legion baseball team in the top of the sixth inning and stranded the tying run at third.
Olson went on to retire Post 248 in the seventh and helped his team squeeze out a 7-5 win in Wednesday’s elimination round matchup at Veterans Memorial Field.
The Northeast Substate Division II defeat ended Ely’s season, and a postseason run that included weekend victories over both Two Harbors and Cook County.
In between, Ely fell 6-0 to Aurora, and Post 248 went into Wednesday’s game with its season on the line.
Ely, which finished 10-9, tied the game at two on Joey Bianco’s third-inning single, but Proctor got to losing pitcher Logan Loe in the bottom half of the frame and jumped out to a 6-2 edge.
Loe escaped further damage, and Ely mounted a sixth-inning comeback.


Playoffs loom for Legion

A stop-and-start regular season is ending and the playoffs are next for Ely’s American Legion baseball team.
Post 248 hosted Cook County Thursday, after deadline, to close out a disjointed sprint of a campaign that has included a slew of postponements.
Ely (7-8) will finish with the fewest amount of regular season games played in decades and playoff action starts Saturday at Veterans Memorial Field.
A 1:30 p.m. game, against either Two Harbors or Cook County, kicks off postseason action for Ely in the Division II Northeast Substate Tournament.
Top-seeded Aurora joins Ely, Two Harbors and Cook County in the four-team northern pod in the 17-team substate.
Win or lose, Ely plays twice today and could have one more game on Sunday. Two wins this weekend are needed in order for the hosts to move on to the next round, set for Wednesday at the local ballpark.
The tournament then resumes July 23 with the title game slated for July 24, all in Ely.


Junior Legion works extra to defeat Aurora

It took a bit longer than they wanted, but Ely avenged an early-season loss to Aurora.
The Junior Legion team turned the tables on their East Range rivals, and did so in dramatic fashion - scoring three times in the bottom of the 10th inning to pull off a 7-6 victory July 7 at Veterans Memorial Field.
Ely (13-3) was down to its last out in the seventh when Erron Anderson forced extra innings with his single to center.
In the 10th, it appeared that Aurora had won it with a pair of unearned runs, but Post 248 wasn’t done.
A bases-loaded walk trimmed the gap to 6-5 and Brecken Sandberg followed with a line-drive single that scored both the tying and winning runs, and gave the hosts a walkoff victory.
Sandberg finished with two hits including a double and Anderson wound up with three hits.
Deegan Richards scored the wininng run and had two hits for the day, while Sam Leeson hits including a triple and three runs scored.


14-U falls to Vermilion Range

by Tom Coombe
Turnabout was fair play on Wednesday for Vermilion Range.
After losing to Ely in the season-opener three weeks earlier, the Tower-Soudan/Cook area squad got a bit of revenge at Veterans Memorial Field, defeating Ely 10-8 in Iron Range Baseball league action.
Ely’s 14-and-under team, which is in the midst of a busy regular season stretch, fell to 2-2 for the summer.
An early lead went by the wayside for Ely, as Vermilion Range capitalized on several errors to take a 5-2 lead in the top of the third inning.
Ely closed the gap to one, but the visitors countered and built a 10-4 edge through five-and-a-half frames.
In the bottom of the sixth and seventh, Ely scored twice in back-to-back frames but couldn’t come all the way back.
Drew Johnson scored four of Ely’s eight runs, and Jayden Zemke singled, walked and doubled during the contest.
Owen Marolt had a sixth-inning double.


Repeat winners in Fourth race

by Tom Coombe
Familiar faces were first to cross the finish line in Ely’s annual Independence Day race around the Trezona Trail.
Just as he was a year ago, Michael Schwinghamer was the overall winner while Cailee Peterson repeated as female champion at the Janet Gensler Memorial Four on the Fourth.
Schwinghamer, 23, completed the Monday morning race in 21:32, while the 21-year-old Peterson, who was 12th overall, had a time of 25:36.
The event doubles as a fundraiser for Ely’s high school track teams and attracted 170 participants, slightly more than a year ago.
Taking second place overall was Dominic Solhol, 16, in 21:52.
Rounding out the top-10 male finishers were:
• Emmett Faltesek, 19, 21:55;
• James Schwinghamer, 21, 22:02;
• John Schwinghamer, 23, 22:49;
• Blake Gallardo, 22:52;
• Jasper Johnston, 19, 23:39;
• Peter Daniels, 24:53;
• Hudson Kingston, 38, 24:59;
• Sam Gausman, 25:17.


One loaded tournament

In the span of two decades, a July American Legion baseball tournament in Ely has gone from an effort to fill the local team’s schedule to one of the premiere regular season events in Minnesota.
Loaded with nine teams, including several of state tournament caliber, the 21st Sir G’s Midsummer Classic starts Friday, runs through Sunday, July 10 and promises a full weekend of top-flight baseball at Veterans Memorial Field.
Two of the teams, defending champion Roseau as well as Wadena, advanced to state tournament play both last summer in Legion ball and again during this spring’s high school season, with Roseau going all the way to the Class AA title game at Target Field.
Back in the field this year is Viroqua (Wisc.), a perennial powerhouse in Badger State baseball and led by coach Pete Swanson, who has amassed more than 1,000 career wins and both state and regional championships.


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