North Woods locks down Wolves and second 7A title

ELY FANS in the stands brought signs and cheered for the Timberwolves during the Section 7A championship game played in Hibbing. Photo by Eric Sherman.

by Tom Coombe -


Three Ironmen make all-region

by Tom Coombe
All winter long, the Vermilion Ironmen leaned on a talented trio of sophomores.
Demetrice Mitchell, Denario Jackson and Bradlee Lewis dominated an array of statistical categories and formed what head coach Paul McDonald called “a three-headed monster” for the Ironmen.
Those efforts were noticed by league coaches, who placed all three on the 10-member All-Region Team, which was announced earlier this month.
It was an impressive feat for the trio as well as the Vermilion program.
“There are 10 guys who make it and we had three of them,” said McDonald. “It was the first time in a long time that we had three guys on the all-region team.”
Combined, no team in Minnesota got the contribution from three players as Vermilion did from Mitchell, Jackson and Lewis.
“Those guys carried us basically,” said McDonald. “Basically they gave us 60 points and 25 rebounds a night.”


Wolves play for trip to state after beating Wrenshall

SMILES ALL AROUND - With a lopsided playoff victory in hand, Ely Head Coach Tom McDonald cracked a smile on the bench and laughed along with Wolves Patrick Vanderbeek, Carter Gaulke, Dylan Fenske and Collen Seliskar. Photos by Eric Sherman

Echo staff report -


Ely boys advance to quarterfinals

The number two seed Ely boys basketball team advanced to the quarterfinal round of the Section 7A tournament with a 74-44 win over Mt. Iron-Buhl Wednesday night.
The seventh seeded Rangers advanced to play Ely by dismantling Northeast Range on Monday, 88-29.
The Timberwolves had beaten Mt. Iron-Buhl twice this season but McDonald knew his team couldn’t take anything for granted. He also knows tough defense is needed to advance in the tournament.
“It was 30-22 at halftime and we didn’t shoot the ball very well in the half but played pretty good defense against them,” said Ely head coach Tom McDonald.
“We came out in the second half and started shooting better and getting good looks out of our offense and started to pull away from them. I thought we clamped down on defense in that half also.”
Senior Carter Gaulke put up his first career triple double with 28 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists.


Youth Hockey Skills Competition and Try Hockey For Free Day held in Ely

Second annual Ely Blue Line Skills Competition. Pictured are: Back row: coaches: Joe Majerus, Tim Hegman, Tony Harding, Frank Udovich, Kevin Niskala, Ben Johnson, Bill Forsberg, Justin Zemke, Luke Macho, Nicole Carlson. Peewees: Kadein Zupancich, Ty Walker, Jackson Hegman, Tommy Homer, Jace Conaway, Sam Leeson, Chase Anderson, Brecken Sandberg, Drew Marolt, Logan Loe, Wes Sandy, Deegan Richards. Squirts: Eli Olsen, Ryland Sandy, Blake Schaller, Hunter Halbakken, Ely Hall, Jace Huntbatch, Owen Brekke, Cazmiro Carlson, Brady Eaton, Alex Merriman, Tyler Forsberg, Sylvia Shock, Jayden Zemke. Mites: Stig Majerus, Brady Forsberg, Oscar Shock, Sean Merriman, Evan Leeson, Violet Udovich, Brayden Akins, Cooper Mayranen. Front: Squirt Goalie Ben Leeson


Olson swimmers bridge three generations

Dick, Nick, and Brad Olson all have a history with the MN State Swim Meet. Photo by Sarah Mattson

After 56 years, an Olson returned to the MN state swimming meet. Nick Olson, grandson of Dick and Phyllis Olson of Ely, swam at the 2018 MN State Swimming and Diving meet held at the University of Minnesota on March 2-3. Nick, a junior at Alexandria Area High School, swam the 200 and 500 yard freestyle along with the 200 medley relay and 4x100 freestyle relay. Dick also swam the 200 yard freestyle in a state meeting representing Ely Memorial High School in 1960, 1961, and 1962. Nick’s dad, Brad, was also a distance swimmer for EHS in 1983-1986. The Alexandria Cardinals finished fourth as a team in the Class A field. The 200 yard medley relay took second place and the 4x100 freestyle relay finished fourth.


Ironmen struggle early in Florida

The Vermilion Ironmen are living up to their nickname during a season-opening trip to Florida.
Injuries and absences have depleted the roster to just 11 available players for the community college baseball team, which lost four straight games to begin a seven-game swing through the Sunshine State.
Division II school Glen Oaks (Mich.) swept Division III VCC 13-4 and 5-0 in a Wednesday doubleheader at Auburndale, Fla. One day earlier, state contender Minnesota West roughed up the Ironmen 15-1 and 5-0 in a pair of games at the same location during the RussMatt Classic, a college baseball event that attracts more than 300 teams.
Vermilion’s pitching staff took a hit during the trip when it lost Connor Knettel, a freshman from Brainerd, to a wrist injury. The righthander was expected to start at least one game and work another in relief and the injury taxed an already-stretched VCC pitching staff.


Annual Hot Shot Contest a big success

FUTURE WOLVES - Ely’s elementary basketball program wrapped up last weekend with an annual hot dog feed sponsored by the Ely Hoop Club. Current Wolves posed with the elementary players.


Playoff poise pays off; Girls rally past Deer River for first quarterfinal berth since ’08

IN THE 1000 POINT CLUB - Ely’s Shayla Zaverl scored her 1,000th point Feb. 22 at Babbitt, when the Timberwolves downed Northeast Range. The Ely senior also had a big night Wednesday, snaring 11 rebounds and dishing out seven assists as the high school girls basketball team beat Deer River 39-37 in the Section 7A playoffs.

by Tom Coombe -


Pee Wees make it to regionals

The Ely Blue Line hosted the Pee Wee B Districts tournament this year. The home team took third place and has advanced to the Region Tournament held in Sauk Rapids, MN on March 2-4. Back Row: Coach Andrew Saarella, Jace Conaway, Wesley Sandy, Brecken Sandberg, Kaiden Zupancich, Kole Macho, Coach Luke Macho, Sam Leeson, Logan Loe. Middle Row: Jackson Hegman, Tommy Homer, Drew Marolt, Ty Walker, Luke Rice, Chase Anderson, Deegan Richards. Front Row: Ben Cavalier.


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