Sports

Sun
29
Aug

Wolves hope to keep climbing in ’04

Ely’s high school football program took a giant step forward during the 2003 season.<BR><BR>The 2004 Timberwolves hope to keep moving in the same direction.<BR><BR>Ely, which opens the season Friday at Greenway, lost several key players to graduation but a solid nucleus remains from a club that went 4-5 last fall and rebounded from a winless campaign two years ago.<BR><BR>Five starters are back on offense, including starting quarterback Tim Scott, and the Wolves have four returning defensive starters and a host of others who saw varsity time a year ago.<BR><BR>The experience, two good weeks of practice and perhaps more depth than in recent years give head coach Darren Visser hope that the program has turned the corner.<BR><BR>“I’d like to think we would take a step above where we were last year,” said Visser, who begins his sixth season as head coach.

Mon
23
Aug

IN THE FAIRWAY......with a happy hacker

We’re a wee bit late in getting to the July issue of Golf Digest - other than fanning through the pages, that is. One article was of particular interest, and was written by Phil Mickelson, entitled, “How to hit the hated half-wedge.” <BR><BR>We fall into the category he describes thus: “Many amateurs find the half-wedge shot to be awkward, and when sand or water are involved, downright scary.” <BR><BR>He contends that for all of us who may tend to hit the ball fat or thin, can’t decide how big a swing to make or find ourselves coming up long or short, his system is for us and will erase our fear, and give the consistency and control we want - make that NEED. Swing aggressively! Short and aggressive! <BR><BR>He lists three don’ts for the half-wedge shot. “1) Address: Open your stance. Ball forward of center. Don’t open the clubface in relation to the target - you’ll get glancing contact and erratic results. 2) Grip: Don’t choke down.

Mon
23
Aug

Krunkkala, Scott top Ely grid pentathlon

Ely seniors Mike Krunkkala and Tim Scott had near-record performances in the high school football team’s season-opening fitness pentathlon.<BR><BR>Krunkkala racked up 4,531 points and Scott was next with 4,525, the second and third-best totals in the nearly 20-year history of the event, to kick off an impressive first week of practice for the Timberwolves.<BR><BR>“Since I’ve been coaching, we’ve never had an athlete get 4,500 points,” said Ely Head Coach Darren Visser, who began his sixth season at the helm. “Now we had two of them this year.”<BR><BR>Krunkkala cracked the 4,000-point mark last season while Scott recorded a bigger jump, and theirs were the best in a string of solid scores for the Wolves.<BR><BR>Junior Steve Milkovich was third overall with 4,073 points.<BR><BR>“Having three guys over 4,000 points is good and we had another bunch of them past the 3,000 mark,” said Visser.

Mon
23
Aug

Ely lands ’05 Legion regional

A heartbreaking loss in the state finals kept Ely’s American Legion baseball team out of this year’s Central Plains Regional Tournament.<BR><BR>But no matter what happens next summer, Ely won’t be kept out again.<BR><BR>That’s because the local team will have an automatic bid in the multi-state event as the host team.<BR><BR>For the fourth time in seven years, Ely will host a major Legion baseball event.<BR><BR>After two successful state tournaments here as well as the 2000 region event, Minnesota Legion baseball officials have awarded yet another tournament to Ely.<BR><BR>The 2005 Division II Central Plains Regional will be held at Ely’s Veterans Memorial Field from Aug.

Sun
15
Aug

Prep sports teams begin work today

Summer vacation is all but over for high school athletes in Ely and around the state.<BR><BR>Practice sessions for all of Ely High School’s fall sports teams begin today.<BR><BR>With season openers set for the end of the month or early-September, athletes begin their preparations this week.<BR><BR>After a section championship season and an appearance in the state meet in 2003, Ely’s high school girls cross country team has high hopes for the 2004 season.<BR><BR>Coach Jayne Dusich’s squad will have its first meet Sept. 2 at Babbitt.<BR><BR>Ely’s high school football team, under the direction of sixth-year head coach Darren Visser, has two-a-day workouts and the program’s annual fitness pentathlon on tap.<BR><BR>The Timberwolves, 4-5 a year ago, are gearing up for a Sept.

Sun
15
Aug

Column: In the front row

The telephone rang frequently Monday, but the call 14 players, three coaches and dozens of fans were all waiting for never arrived.<BR><BR>First it was the office phone, then the cell phone, then the office phone again.<BR><BR>Friends, relatives, fellow baseball coaches on the other end. All offering congratulations to our Ely Legion baseball team for their second-place finish in the state tournament.<BR><BR>The calls were well appreciated but there was some thought, and a lot of hope, that organizers of last week’s Division II regional in Milbank, S.D., would also be dialing up.<BR><BR>State champions from Minnesota, Kansas, Wisconsin and North Dakota filled four of the eight slots in the double-elimination tournament, which started Thursday. The South Dakota champion opted out but the runner-up was tabbed to take their place.

Sun
15
Aug

Thrill of victory, agony of defeat

They came oh-so-close.<BR><BR>Ely’s American Legion baseball team had a magnificent run through the Division II State Tournament but came up just short, falling 7-6 to Sebeka in a captivating Aug. 8 title game at Dundas.<BR><BR>Behind the big bat of slugger Josh Mathson and the pitching of Tim Scott, Ely rallied past Jackson 7-5 in the Aug.

Sun
08
Aug

VFW wins twice at districts

If one word was needed to describe the 2004 Ely VFW baseball season, the selection would be rather obvious: improvement.<BR><BR>After a four-win campaign and a two-and-out performance in postseason play last summer, Ely turned things around this year by finishing over the .500 mark, earning second-place in the Border Area playoffs and going 2-2 in the 10-team Eighth District playoffs.<BR><BR>Grand Rapids ended Post 2717’s season with a 3-1 district victory at Nashwauk July 30, but not before Ely picked up wins over Babbitt-Embarrass-Soudan-Tower and Duluth Central.<BR><BR>Ely, which also lost to Grand Rapids in the opening round, finished 19-17 overall and was a break or two away from reaching the final four of the district.<BR><BR>“We had a good season,” said Ely Head Coach Jim Wittrup. “Everyone on our team got better and improved from last year.

Sun
08
Aug

Mathson named Hernesmaa/Chelesnik Award winner for second consecutive year

Josh Mathson rewrote Ely’s American Legion baseball record book with his hitting prowess and is the all-time leading home run hitter in Minnesota high school baseball history.<BR><BR>So it really shouldn’t come as any surprise that Mathson picked up another first last week.<BR><BR>He became the first two-time winner of the Mark Hernesmaa/David Chelesnik Jr. Memorial Award.<BR><BR>Mathson received the 2004 award, which annually goes to the Ely Legion baseball team’s most valuable player, prior to Post 248’s district tournament victory over Chisholm.<BR><BR>In five seasons of Legion ball, Mathson smashed his way into program history with a program-best 31 home runs and a lifetime batting average of .485.

Sun
08
Aug

Legion lives up to top billing

The weight has been lifted. The pressure is off.<BR><BR>One could almost hear the collective sigh of relief at Veterans Memorial Field after Ely wrapped up the Eighth District Division II American Legion Baseball championship with a 10-5, Aug.

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