Sports

Sun
31
Oct

Seniors make final home splash

The seniors on Ely’s high school girls swimming and diving team competed for the last time in their home pool last week, fueling a pair of wins that maintained the Timberwolves’ perfect mark in dual meets.<BR><BR>Senior Ali Schulze had a hand in three first-place finishes and classmates Meghan Furnstahl and Kelly Chaudoin both picked up individual wins as Ely downed Babbitt-Embarrass-Soudan-Tower 50-42 in Thursday’s home finale.<BR><BR>Two days earlier, Schulze was a quadruple winner in a 59-37 rout of Two Harbors.<BR><BR>Heading into a weekend meet at Hibbing, the Wolves’ last dual event of the fall, Ely had a 9-0 record and appeared to be clicking on all cylinders before a two-week preparation period for section competition.<BR><BR>The Wolves went into their taper with a memorable week of home meets for a deep senior group.<BR><BR>“The seniors had a hard time saying good-bye to their pool,” said Ely Head Coach Nancy Smrek

Sun
31
Oct

Once again, section belongs to Wolves

They don’t have the section’s best runner.<BR><BR>Their primary rival had a pair of top-five individual finishers.<BR><BR>But on a rainy, muddy day in Cloquet, it was clear that the Ely Timberwolves have something - tremendous overall depth -that none of their area opponents can match.<BR><BR>With five of the top-16 overall runners, Ely cruised Thursday to its second consecutive Section 7A championship and earned a berth in this weekend’s state meet.<BR><BR>Sophomore Casey Sovil placed seventh and earned an individual state bid, and four of her teammates were close behind as Ely had a section-best 53 points during the 7A event at Cloquet.<BR><BR>That eased a season’s worth of pressure for the Wolves, who entered Thursday’s race with a number-four state ranking and on the heels of a regular season in which they regularly beat section foes.<BR><BR>“I think this year was a little bit more stressful,” said Ely Head

Sat
30
Oct

VCC downs Northland

Their playoff hopes ended after two heartbreaking home defeats, but the Vermilion Ironmen bounced back and ended the season with two straight wins.<BR><BR>The community college football team relied on its defense and a few quick strikes through the air to beat Northland 19-12 in Thursday’s regular season finale at Ely School Stadium.<BR><BR>Vermilion, which downed Rainy River 33-12 the week before, finished 4-5.<BR><BR>Northland (1-8) was held to only one first down in the opening half and was held to just 54 rushing yards in the contest.<BR><BR>The Ironmen put together a 76-yard drive for the only score in the first half, and picked up a field goal, a safety and a 58-yard touchdown throw from Lenny Serfling to Irvin Bethea in the second.<BR><BR>But despite a two-to-one edge in total yards for the Ironmen, the outcome was in doubt until the end.<BR><BR>Northland trimmed the lead to 19-12 with 6:51 left on an 80-

Sun
24
Oct

In the front row

Thursday’s Section 7A high school girls cross country meet offers no guarantees, but Ely is in strong position to return to the state meet for a second straight year.<BR><BR>The defending section champion Timberwolves have been even more dominating against section foes than they were a year ago.<BR><BR>Sophomore Casey Sovil, fresh from an individual victory at last week’s Iron Range Conference meet, is one of the area’s best runners, without a doubt.<BR><BR>Jenna Klein, a senior, has kept pace with Sovil at most events this year.

Sun
24
Oct

Ely outlasts MIB in reguar season finale

Ely’s high school volleyball team is heading into the postseason with a full head of steam.<BR><BR>Before a Parents’ Night crowd Monday at the high school gymnasium, the Timberwolves rallied for a five-game, Arrowhead Conference win over Mt.

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.

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