VCC, new coach debut with a ‘W’

by Tom Coombe
It didn’t take long - just one match to be exact - for the Vermilion Ironwomen to equal their win total from 2018.
The community college team made new head coach Nicki Kosik a winner in her Vermilion debut, as the Ironwomen stomped Northern Division rival Fond Du Lac in a lopsided sweep Wednesday night.
Sophomore Crystal Stignani had a whopping 18 aces in the 25-4, 25-7, 25-10 thrashing.
Vermilion made quick work of the visiting Thunder, taking care of business in less than an hour and serving notice that it could very well be a new era for Ironwomen volleyball.
The win was a milestone of sorts for an 11-member Vermilion squad that has been practicing since mid-August.


Wolves clip ’Hawks in four

by Tom Coombe
Ely’s high school volleyball team overcame a second-game hiccup and took care of a local rival.
An impressive serving game and an assortment of hitters helped the Timberwolves overcome a stellar outing from Northeast Range sophomore Hannah Reichenserger as the hosts won the season-opener in four games.
Ely junior McKenna Coughlin had 10 ace serves to go with a team-high 10 kills in the Wolves’ 25-20, 23-25, 25-19, 25-8 victory.
On the heels of a 21-win season in 2018 and high hopes for the 2019 campaign, the Wolves had trouble with the determined Nighthawks early on.
Reichensperger, who led all hitters with 16 kills was a force at the net and kept her team close in the opener.
The Nighthawks bolted out to 16-8 and 22-16 leads in the second game and persevered after the Wolves rallied to tie it at 22.


New-look VCC starts at home

by Tom Coombe
In many ways, the Vermilion Ironmen are starting over.
Second-year head coach Justin Kosik has revamped his coaching staff, retooled his roster and even started fresh with new uniforms for the 2019 season, which starts with today’s home title with two-time defending MCAC champion Northland, set for 1:30 p.m. at Ely School Stadium.
Only a handful of players are back from Kosik’s debut season,when the Ironmen suffered through a 1-7 campaign and dealt with injuries and roster turnover.
Depth doesn’t figure to be an issue this fall, with the Ironmen expected to suit up in excess of 60 players for the debut, including an array of new talent from Texas, Louisiana and Florida.
Kosik, a Texas native, also expects his team to take a new approach in 2019.


Watercross race held on Fall Lake

RIDING IT INTO THE WATER - Mindy Zappa of Cumberland, WI didn’t quite make it around the track on Fall Lake during the Ely Snowmobile Watercross event held last weekend. Photo by Chris Davey Photography.


Fall sports sign-up set for Monday

With the first practice sessions looming, it’s time for students at Ely Memorial High School to sign up for fall sports.
The annual fall sports sign-up meeting is slated for Monday, Aug. 5, starting at 6 p.m., in the high school gymnasium.
The meeting is open to parents and all students who plan to participate in football, volleyball, cross country, dance team or girls swimming this fall.
Coaches will be invited to address their players with information about first practices, and registration forms will be available to pick up and complete.
All students must have a physical examination on file in order to participate.
Once an examination is completed, it is effective for three years.
Parents with questions about whether their child’s examination is up-to-date are asked to contact athletic director Tom Coombe at (218) 235-1025 or


Junior Legion eliminated in two at substate

Ely’s Junior Legion baseball team could never get its offense warmed up on Sunday.
The result was two defeats and an early exit from the Northeast Substate Tournament, held at Esko.
Virginia’s Daniel Moore scattered six hits in a 6-2 first round win, while Ely was unable to solve Cherry’s Gavin Constantine later in the day, and the Tigers pulled away late for a 12-2, six-inning triumph.
The losses ended a difficult summer for the Junior Legion, which finished 3-11 overall.
Virginia plated two unearned runs in the bottom of the second, taking early control of the first round game, and Ely misfired on a couple of chances to score against Moore.
Losing pitcher Bryce Longwell worked five innings, giving up six runs - four were earned. He struck out four an allowed eight hits.
Reliever Jacob Towley pitched a scoreless inning.


Legion alumni game tonight, July 27

It’s a step back in time tonight at Veterans Memorial Field.
About 20 former Ely American Legion baseball players will don the red, black and white for a night of fun with the seventh annual Ely Legion Baseball Alumni Game.
The contest is set to begin at 6 p.m. at the local ballpark.
Teams will be divided prior to the exhibition game, and the organizers say the focus is on fun and sharing old memories.
“We’re excited that so many of our former players are coming back to participate,” said Tom Coombe, head coach of Ely’s Legion team. “We’ve had the game the last few years, and scheduling was a bit more difficult this year because of the state tournament coming up and so many other tournament weekends at our ballpark. This was more of a last minute decision but we decided to move forward with it.”


A state tourney in Ely Legion baseball’s top teams in town Aug. 2-4

In less than two weeks, Minnesota’s top small-school American Legion baseball teams will be in Ely.
And they’ll be bringing family, friends and fans.
The community is sure to be abuzz with baseball fever for the Division II State Tournament, set for Aug. 2-4 at Ely’s historic and recently revamped Veterans Memorial Field.
The countdown is on to the ballpark’s first state tournament in six years and the festivities begin in earnest Thursday, Aug. 1, when all eight teams gather for check-in and photos at the ballpark during the afternoon and a banquet in town that night.
About 150 players and coaches are expected to be joined by hundreds of others, including parents and officials, relatives and community members following their respective teams to state and filling the town.


Jumpin’ Jehosafats coming to Ely July 31

The Jumpin’ Jehosafats have been blending traditional jazz and Gospel for more than 25 years, raising money for charity and lifting spirits. The men and women of this group play a total of thirteen instruments - horns, piano, drums, strings and flute among them - as well as sing together.
Based in the Twin Cities, the band includes two Elyites: Suzanne Mades on flute, and Elton Brown on tuba.
The Jumpin’ Jehosafats will be playing on the Whiteside Park bandshell on Wednesday, July 31, at 7 p.m. This toe-tapping free concert is a gift to the community from the Ely United Methodist Church (where the concert will be held in case of rain). Free will donations will be given to “Young Life” Youth Ministry in Ely.


Fortunebaynia2 set to entertain fans young and old

Sammy Richter didn’t know what to expect when he broached the subject of bringing professional wrestling to Fortune Bay Resort Casino.
After all, Fortune Bay was synonymous with bringing outdoor concerts to the area and professional wrestling was never really considered.
However, that all changed in the summer of 2018 when Richter got the approval to bring Fortunebaynia to the big stage. The success of that inaugural event has led to Fortunebaynia2, which Richter promises to be even better than the original.
Some of the star power signed on to play a part in the festivities is Sting, Booker T, Ultimo Dragon, Super Crazy, Honky Tonk Man, Demolition, Air Wolf and King Leonidas. Everyone’s favorite villain Jimmy “The Mouth from the South” Hart will also be part of the show as will Minnesota’s very own, Madusa. There will be many top-notch wrestlers from the Midwest taking the ring once the bell is rung Sunday, July 28th at 5 p.m.


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