Sports

Fri
06
Aug

Ely sweep in snowmobile watercross

ELY SWEEP in the snowmobile watercross in Lake Linden, Michigan with Chris Erzar taking first place, Nick Mattila in second and Kael Richards in third.
The Ely Watercross Races are Aug. 14-15 at the Winton Longbranch Event Center on Fall Lake.
In addition to drag and oval racing there will be a new Lemans obstacle course with a jump. Racing starts at 10 a.m. both days.

Fri
06
Aug

VCC standout back in new role

by Tom Coombe
A roundabout journey has come full circle for Terrence Isaac.
Just after a quarter-century after Isaac came to Ely for the first time and started what turned out to be a storied football career at Vermilion Commuity College, he has returned as the program’s head coach.
Earlier this week, Isaac and his staff welcomed about 55 Vermilion players to campus as practices began in preparation for an Aug. 28 season-opener against perennial powerhouse Rochester.
It also was a homecoming of sorts for the Cleveland native, who moved north from Louisiana, where he was coaching high school football, for the chance to lead the Ironmen.
“When this opportunity presented itself, I couldn’t pass it up,” Isaac said Tuesday.
Those who followed Vermilion during the 1990s, when the program captured three state titles and a slew of playoff berths, are likely to remember Isaac, a star wide receiver on state championship teams in both 1995 and 1996.

Fri
30
Jul

Junior Legion falls in extras

by Tom Coombe
Ely’s Junior Legion baseball team had Virginia on the ropes but couldn’t deliver the knockout punch in its quest for a playoff upset.
One strike away from winning in the bottom of the seventh, Post 248 was unable to close it out as Virginia rallied to score the tying run, then added a run in the bottom of the eighth to pull out a 6-5 win at Veterans Memorial Field.
A big crowd at the local ballpark, including many who came out for the Veterans Night tribute, cheered the sixth-seeded host team on as it looked to knock off number-three Virginia.
A three-run double in the top of the second inning gave Ely a 3-0 lead, but Virginia scrapped back and eventually led 4-3.
Post 248 misfired on some scoring chances, but came through in the top of the seventh.
Preston Hines delivered the key blow, a two-out, two-run single to right that put Ely up 5-4.

Fri
23
Jul

Gerzin new Ely football coach

by Tom Coombe
It wasn’t all that long ago, that Louie Gerzin was wearing an Ely football uniform and chewing up yards as an all-area running back and leading the Timberwolves to a pair of state tournament appearances.
Gerzin will be back on the gridiron this fall, again in Ely red and white, but in an entirely different role.
The 2014 Ely graduate has been named interim head coach of the high school football program for the 2021 sesason.
Gerzin, who was formally hired by the Ely School Board earlier this month, takes over for Cory Lassi, who resigned after three seasons as head coach at the conclusion of the 2020 season.
Gerzin’s return to the Ely football program is, in many ways, out of the blue.
The position remained open over the summer after an initial posting led to a job offer, and a candidate withdrawing from consideration.

Fri
23
Jul

Vets invited out to the ballpark

Tuesday figures to be a special night at Veterans Memorial Field.
The Ely Baseball Association is inviting all veterans out to the ballpark for its annual Veterans’ Night celebration.
All veterans and military personnel will be admitted free for the Northeast Substate Division II playoff doubleheader at the ballpark, and they’re also invited to take part in the on-field veterans tribute that will occur at approximately 7:15 p.m.
Veterans will also be treated to a free meal and beverage from the ballpark concession stand, courtesy of the Ely American Legion Auxiliary.
Started in 2005 during a regional tournament that brought teams from several states to Ely, the veterans tribute has become an annual part of the summer baseball season in town and is usually held in conjunction with an American Legion baseball tournament.

Fri
16
Jul

2021 Ely Little League champs

Fri
16
Jul

Veterans’ Night set for ballpark

A special event that has become an Ely baseball tradition is coming up at Veterans Memorial Field.
The Ely Baseball Association will salute local veterans on Tuesday July 27 for its annual Veterans’ Night celebration.
All veterans and military personnel will be admitted free for the Northeast Substate Division II playoff doubleheader at the ballpark, and they’re also invited to take part in the on-field veterans tribute that will occur at approximately 7:15 p.m.
The event has become a staple on Ely’s summer baseball calendar.
“We’ve done the veterans’ tribute the last 15 years or so and it has been very well received,” said Tom Coombe, head coach of Ely’s Legion team and longtime tournament director. “We’ve had some very moving opening ceremonies before our major state VFW and Legion tournaments, and it is something we want to do every year whether or not we are hosting a big tournament. We hope a lot of veterans will come out and participate.”

Fri
16
Jul

AltaZmeja is back for 2021

by Tom Coombe
After a one-year hiatus, a popular fundraiser for Vermilion Community College athletics returns later this summer and will include a special tribute to one of its namesakes.
The AltaZmeja Fundraiser for Vermilion Community College athletics is in its 30th year, although the 2020 event was not held because of COVID-19.
But it’s back and set for Saturday, July 31, and organizers say they’ve lined up an extra special day of fun and activities next weekend.
The golf and fishing outing, named in honor of retired VCC coaches Bob Altavilla and Rudy Semeja, and most recently in honor of former VCC assistant coach and local business owner the late Gary Zaverl, takes place at both the Ely Golf Club and on Shagawa Lake.
Semeja passed away in 2020, and in conjunction with the event is a celebration of life in his honor, which will take place at Zaverl’s Bar.

Fri
09
Jul

Schwinghamer, Peterson winners at Four on the Fourth

by Tom Coombe
After going virtual in 2020, Ely’s annual four-mile race around the Trezona Trail returned in full force this year.
Two new winners were crowned this year at the four-mile race that kicks off Ely’s Fourth of July Celebration.
Michael Schwinghamer was the overall winner and Cailee Peterson was the first female to cross the finish line at the Janet Gensler Memorial Four on the Fourth.
Schwinghamer, 22, completed the Sunday morning race in 21:00.5, while the 21-year-old Peterson, who was seventh overall, had a time of 24:30.
The event doubles as a fundraiser for Ely’s high school track teams and attracted more than 160 participants.
Taking second place overall was Joseph Dabado, 32, of Chicago, in 22:32.8.
Rounding out the top-10 male finishers were:
• Andrew Kephart, 21, Cedar Falls, Ia., 22:41;
• James Schwinghamer, 20, Ely, 22:42;
• Blake Gallardo, 18, Santa Clarita, Cal., 22:46.2;

Fri
09
Jul

Remembering Renee

by Nick Wognum
For many summers, Veterans Memorial Field was Renee Lassi’s second home.
So it only seems fitting that it’s at the ballpark where her family, friends and Ely’s baseball community will gather on Thursday to remember her.
The longtime manager of the ballpark concession stand passed away last fall, and her family will hold a celebration of life in conjunction with Thursday’s Junior and Senior Legion baseball games with Taconite.
An on-the-field ceremony will be held just prior to the 7:15 p.m. Senior Legion game, and the celebration will take place starting with the 5 p.m. Junior Legion game and will include photos, memory boards and an opportunity to visit with Lassi’s loved ones.
Lassi was famous, not only within Ely’s baseball circles but beyond, for her concession stand specialties - most notably pulled pork sandwiches.

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