Sports

Mon
22
Nov

Ely girls look to rebuild

Ely’s high school girls basketball team has some holes to fill.<BR><BR>The graduation of their top scorers and rebounders - a nucleus anchored by 2004 graduates Gena Jerich, Lauren Klun and Lara Doran - leaves a sizeable void for the Timberwolves as they start the 2004-2005 campaign Tuesday night against International Falls.<BR><BR>When they head out onto their home floor for the opening tip against the Broncos, the Wolves won’t look much like the team that went 15-10 a year ago.<BR><BR>Only one regular - senior Jackie Lekatz - returns.<BR><BR>Another senior who got plenty of playing time a year ago, senior Candice Smrekar - hasn’t joined the team yet because she’s competing this week in the state high school diving meet.<BR><BR>Two other seniors also appear set for prominent roles this winter.<BR><BR>At 5-11, senior Angie Mackie is the tallest of the Ely players.

Mon
22
Nov

Another state bid for Smrekar

by Tom Coombe<BR><BR>Diver Candice Smrekar earned a return trip to the state meet while several of her teammates had strong showings at the high school girls swimming and diving section finals in Hibbing.<BR><BR>Despite an off day, Smrekar still took third in the diving competition and moves on the state Class A meet, which begins today in Minneapolis.<BR><BR>She’s the only athlete to advance, but the Timberwolves still managed to string together a series of good performances in the Nov. 13 finals.<BR><BR>“We had an excellent Saturday,” said Ely Head Coach Nancy Smrekar. “I can’t really say enough. Everybody improved or stayed the same from the preliminaries.

Mon
15
Nov

Ironmen need lift from new talent

It’s a given that in community college basketball, freshmen are counted on to contribute immediately.<BR><BR>But the Vermilion Ironmen must rely heavily on first-year players during the 2004-2005 campaign, which starts Friday night at home against Itasca.<BR><BR>The Vermilion team that takes the floor will bear little resemblance to the squad that finished second in the state a year ago.<BR><BR>Gone are several sophomores who contributed to a 21-6 slate last year, and injuries have taken another chunk out of the Vermilion roster.<BR><BR>“We’re a little shy on depth, but I think we’ll be OK,” said VCC Head Coach Paul McDonald, who begins his 15th season at the helm.

Sun
14
Nov

Vermilion to host weekend tournaments

The Vermilion Community College basketball teams will once again open their season with respective weekend tournaments in the friendly confines of their home gymnasium.<BR><BR>The 11th annual event starts at 2 p.m. Friday, with four teams in both the men’s and women’s field.<BR><BR>The Vermilion squads are joined by two Minnesota schools - Itasca (Grand Rapids) and Rainy River (International Falls) - and tournament mainstay Gogebic Community College of Ironwood, Mich.<BR><BR>The first two tournament matchups involve the Rainy River and Gogebic women’s (2 p.m.) and men’s (4 p.m.) squads. The Vermilion teams close out the evening session, with the Ironwomen taking on Itasca at 6 p.m., with a Vermilion-Itasca men’s game set for an 8 p.m. finale.<BR><BR>The Saturday lineup starts with the women’s third-place game at 10 a.m., followed by men’s third-place game at noon. The championship games are slated for 2 p.m. (women’s) and 4 p.m.

Sun
14
Nov

Ely well represented on Vermilion roster

You could call them the Vermilion Timberwolves, or perhaps the Ely Ironwomen.<BR><BR>Four hometown players have given the community college basketball team a decidedly local feel.<BR><BR>Sophomore Krystle Smrekar and three first-year players have turned in their Ely red and white for Vermilion blue and gold and will play key roles this season for the Ironwomen, who open the 2004-2005 season Friday.<BR><BR>As the Ironwomen look to improve after a 3-19 season last year, the former Timberwolves should have a major impact on the team’s fortunes.<BR><BR>Smrekar, a 5-6 forward, averaged six points per game last year, and she’ll be joined on the court by three of her old prep teammates.<BR><BR>Gena Jerich, a 5-9 freshman, averaged more than 10 points and 10 rebounds per game as a high school senior and helped Ely reach the Section 7AA quarterfinals.<BR><BR>Jill Manning was sidelined with an injury last winter but shoul

Sat
13
Nov

Schulze, relays shine at prelims

For Ely’s high school girls swimming and diving team, the results of Thursday’s section preliminaries were decidedly mixed.<BR><BR>Senior Ali Schulze put herself in strong position for a bid to the state meet, and the Wolves’ 400 freestyle relay team stayed in contention as well.<BR><BR>But the Wolves didn’t qualify nearly as many finalists as they hoped, tempering some of the enthusiasm generated by the Schulze and relay performances.<BR><BR>“We didn’t have the section meet that I thought we would,” said Ely Head Coach Nancy Smrekar.

Fri
12
Nov

Off day, but still 10th in state

Jayne Dusich and the Ely Timberwolves couldn’t figure out what went wrong.<BR><BR>After a second straight section championship and a lofty ranking, the high school girls cross country team was primed for a high finish at the State Class A meet, held Nov. 6 at Northfield.<BR><BR>But across the board, the Wolves times were much slower than usual, and that doomed any chance for a spot in the top-four.<BR><BR>Instead, the Wolves fell behind the pack and placed 10th among 16 teams.<BR><BR>“We were kind of disappointed,” said Dusich. “Everyone was about 30 seconds slower than sections. We’re still trying to figure it out. We don’t know if it was the train that kept going by the hotel (the night before) that kept us up, or if it was the five-hour ride down there. We ran in the morning this year and last year we ran in the afternoon. It was a nice day.

Mon
08
Nov

Practices begin for EHS winter sports

Winter is in the air, not only outdoors with recent blasts of cold air, but indoors as well with the start of practices for high school winter athletic teams.<BR><BR>Both the hockey and girls basketball teams begin the long winter grind with their first practice sessions today.<BR><BR>At the Ely Arena, second-year head coach Brian Ensign and his staff welcome a Timberwolves team looking to rebound after a stormy season a year ago.<BR><BR>Ely enters the season with hopes of improvement after a 7-18 season in 2003-2004.<BR><BR>The hockey program is bolstered by players from both Tower-Soudan and Babbitt-Embarrass, through a cooperative agreement.<BR><BR>Ely opens its season Nov.

Sun
07
Nov

Alumni games kick off VCC hoops season

The Vermilion Community College basketball teams get a preseason test Saturday with their annual alumni games.<BR><BR>The women’s game opens the doubleheader at 1 p.m, with the men to follow for a 3 p.m.

Sun
07
Nov

After first loss, swimmers prep for sections

They’ve already enjoyed a banner regular season.<BR><BR>A big performance in this week’s section meet would be just the topper that the Ely Timberwolves are looking for.<BR><BR>The high school girls swimming and diving team has relied on a deep and talented nucleus of seniors throughout the fall, winning 10 of 11 dual meets.<BR><BR>The Wolves go to Hibbing Thursday for the section preliminaries with lofty goals.<BR><BR>“Right now we’d like to get more than half of our swimmers into the top 16 and I hope at least a quarter will be in the top eight to medal,” said Ely Head Coach Nancy Smrekar.<BR><BR>The Wolves have at least two contenders for bids to the state meet.<BR><BR>Senior Candice Smrekar, the daughter of the head coach, advanced to state in diving a year ago and figures to be near the top of the heap when the diving finals take place Saturday.<BR><BR>Fellow senior Ali Schulze may have had the

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