Sports

Sun
24
Oct

Wolves home for playoffs

Thanks to a late-season surge, the Ely Timberwolves will host a playoff game for the first time since 1998.<BR><BR>The high school football team picked off two wins in six days - including Wednesday’s 20-6 decision at Silver Bay - to finish the regular season at 4-4 and earn the fourth seed in the eight-team Section 7AA playoffs.<BR><BR>That means the Wolves will meet number-five Duluth Marshall (3-5), at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Ely School Stadium.<BR><BR>The Wolves, who started 1-3, needed a win at Silver Bay and a Marshall loss to Deer River to move into the fourth and final home slot. They got both - using field position and a strong running game to top the Mariners and finding out shortly after leaving the field that Deer River rallied for a late touchdown to top Marshall 40-37.<BR><BR>“The stars were aligned in our favor,” said Ely Head Coach Darren Visser.

Sun
24
Oct

Ely sweeps IRC

Officially, Ely hasn’t been part of the Iron Range Conference since the 1970s.<BR><BR>But that wasn’t about to stop the Ely Timberwolves from becoming the Range’s top high school girls cross country program.<BR><BR>Sophomore Casey Sovil was first overall, Ely had four of the top 11 finishers, and the Wolves claimed the IRC team title at Tuesday’s conference meet at Hoyt Lakes.<BR><BR>The Wolves, who are favored to defend their Section 7A title at this Thursday’s section competition at Cloquet, honed up for the postseason and continued their dominance over northeastern Minnesota foes.<BR><BR>Ely topped two Class AA opponents in Grand Rapids and Hibbing and picked up another first-place trophy.<BR><BR>Sovil and teammates Jenna Klein, Jennifer Zupancich and Carolyn Freeman all earned all-conference honors.<BR><BR>A fast start sparked Sovil, who completed the 4,000 meter course in 15 minutes, 48 seconds and topped h

Thu
21
Oct

Wolves hold off Deer River

The Ely Timberwolves’ defense had just enough gas left in the tank.<BR><BR>Worn down in the second half by Deer River, the high school football team nonetheless came up with a critical defensive stand in the final quarter, preserving a 16-12 victory Friday night at Ely School Stadium.<BR><BR>The Warriors, who battled back from a 16-0 first quarter deficit, drove from their own 10 yard line to the Ely 15 in a drive that started with 6:20 to play.<BR><BR>But with time running out, the Warriors were forced to abandon their effective running game and go to the air.<BR><BR>A third-down incompletion set up  an all-or-nothing fourth-down play with 20 seconds left, and Ely safety Tim Scott batted down a pass near the goal line.<BR><BR>That gave the Wolves their third win of the season - and the program’s first against Deer River since 1998.<BR><BR>The Warriors, a perennial power for most of the last two decades, fell to

Sun
17
Oct

Column: In the front row

There’s still something special about Friday nights and high school football, at least when the weather cooperates.<BR><BR>The band is playing, there’s anticipation in the air and in Ely - as well as most communities around the state - the stands are usually packed with fans.<BR><BR>And while the hometown Timberwolves gear up for their next appearance under the lights, those who will follow in their footsteps are getting their first experience on the gridiron.<BR><BR>Every Saturday morning this fall, Ely Head Coach Darren Visser, his staff and many of his players have led approximately 80 area youth through a flag football league.<BR><BR>Kids from first through seventh grade take part and are divided into three separate age groups.

Sun
17
Oct

Volleyball playoff pairings announced

They still have regular season matches yet this week, but local high school volleyball teams already know who they’ll be matched up with in the playoffs.<BR><BR>Pairings for both the Section 7AA and 7A tournaments were completed Thursday.<BR><BR>Ely (11-11) is seeded fourth among eight teams in the east half of 7AA and will face number-five Virginia in an Oct. 27 opening round match, set for Wednesday, Oct. 27 (5:30 p.m.) at Greenway High School in Coleraine.<BR><BR>It’s the first half of a doubleheader that also features the top-seeded Greenway squad taking on Mesabi East.<BR><BR>The playoffs continue Oct. 29 with second-round matches at home sites. The 7AA semifinals are Nov. 4 and the championship match is set for Nov.

Sun
17
Oct

Records fall, Wolves win

Three pool records were set Tuesday - two of them by the host Timberwolves - during Tuesday’s high school girls swimming meet between Ely and Mesabi East.<BR><BR>Ely won 53-41, but the story of the afternoon were the record-setting performances by Ely’s Ali Schulze and 160 medley relay team, and Mesabi East’s Maggie Rosier.<BR><BR>Schulze, after a close loss to Rosier in the 160 individual medley, came back with a vengeance in the 100 breaststroke, blowing away the field in 1:14.12. In the process, she established team and pool records that were previously held by sisters Colleen and Kelly Rogers.<BR><BR>“Ali was just touched out in the IM, and she just had her mind set for that breaststroke,” said Ely Head Coach Nancy Smrekar.

Fri
15
Oct

Another heartbreaker for Vermilion

For the Vermilion Ironmen, it was the same old story.

Mon
11
Oct

Section opponents top Ely in volleyball

Ely’s high school volleyball team dropped a pair of matches to Section 7AA rivals last week.<BR><BR>Visiting International Falls shook off a first-game loss and downed the Timberwolves 16-25, 25-23, 25-21, 25-12 Thursday night.<BR><BR>Two days earlier, Ely fell on the road at Duluth Marshall, 25-14, 19-25, 25-22, 25-22.<BR><BR>Ely, which also dropped three of four contests at the Oct. 2 Duluth Marshall Tournament, fell to 9-11 heading into its final three matches of the regular season.<BR><BR>But despite the loss, Thursday’s match had some high points for the Wolves.<BR><BR>Rafaela Cavalcante led with 10 kills and 10 digs, and Jackie Lekatz finished with nine ace serves and seven kills.<BR><BR>“We touched more balls on blocks than I have ever recorded,” said Matt Penke, Ely’s assistant coach. “It was a great night at the net.

Mon
11
Oct

Swimmers rally to win Babbitt meet

It came down to the final event, but the Ely Timberwolves pulled out the victory at Tuesday’s high school girls swim meet at Babbitt.<BR><BR>A convincing victory in the 400 freestyle relay gave the Wolves a first-place finish at the four-team Babbitt Quad. Ely edged past Cloquet and gained 364 points to the Lumberjacks’ 360.

Mon
11
Oct

Late field goal sinks Ironmen

Tower native Lucas Stellmach may as well have kicked the Vermilion Ironmen right in the stomach.<BR><BR>That’s how much pain his 35-yard field goal delivered to the community college football team Thursday night.<BR><BR>In a dramatic finish, Stellmach came on with one second left and all but booted the Ironmen out of state playoff contention with the field goal, which lifted visiting Itasca to a 30-28 Northern Division win.<BR><BR>The field goal boosted the Vikings to 5-1 overall and spoiled a spirited rally by the Ironmen, who trailed 27-7 midway through the third quarter but rallied to pull ahead on Evan Nikunen’s touchdown with one minute to play.<BR><BR>The loss was Vermilion’s third straight, second in conference play and a killer to the Ironmen’s state playoff chances.<BR><BR>Vermilion, 2-4, needs victories in its last three games and three straight Itasca losses in order to advance.<BR><BR>Stellmach’s fie

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