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PREP GIRLS BASKETBALL / HERMANTOWN 65, GRAND RAPIDS 64 Revenge is a strong word, especially in the context of high school athletics, but it was impossible for the Hermantown girls basketball team not to think about last year's stinging loss to Grand Rapids in the Section 7AAA championship. Up by seven with 80 seconds remaining, Hermantown wound up falling to the Thunderhawks in overtime. "That was to go to state, and that's the team that knocked us out," junior guard Maddy Foster said, matter-of-factly.
MINNEAPOLIS The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down of the cursed NFL franchise they call Minnesota. The legend it's said came from 1969, when the Vikings won the NFL championship, only to lose the NFL Ed Thorp Memorial Trophy that went to the victor. The spirit of Ed Thorp, a former NFL referee, continues to haunt the Vikings, the most tortured franchise in the history of sport. Baloney. "There is no curse," Vikings coach Mike Zimmer has said.
Lynn Wood took a look outside Thursday morning and thought, “Is this the best day to take her out?” Snow was falling and it was cold, and getting colder, but Wood’s friend, Peggy Atmore Mason, a spry 91-year-old, wasn’t staying home. “We’re skiers ,” she said.
St. Scholastica athletic director Brian Jamros ended his work shift early one Wednesday last month. He planned to drive his daughters, Grace, 4, and Olivia, 2, to Moose Lake and surprise his father, Joe, who was retiring after being the hometown optometrist for 42 years. "It's his official last day," Jamros said with a grin. "There's no party planned, not that he's aware of." Living in the Northland? Great. Working for St. Scholastica? Even better. But being able to surprise your dad as he begins a new chapter in his life? Priceless.
St. Scholastica athletic director Brian Jamros was barely a month into the job when the Saints, favored to win the UMAC football title, went into their season opener at NCAA Division III power St. John's. The result was a record-setting 98-0 St. John's rout, and a humbling dose of reality. "That was obviously eye-opening on a number of levels, not just for the college itself, but for our football program, and unfortunately, our student-athletes," Jamros said. "Just because we have success in the UMAC doesn't translate right over to national success."
The last time Hermantown and Duluth Marshall met in a high school boys hockey game, the outcome left both teams feeling empty. That game ended in a 3-3 draw, tinged by the fact overtime inadvertently was played for five minutes instead of the customary eight. "We were devastated," first-year Hermantown coach Patrick Andrews said. "I was ticked. We wanted to win that game, and we were mad. We were playing well and wanted to play three more minutes, and Marshall did, too."
Hannah Bettendorf likes to see the reaction on people's faces when she tells them she has five brothers. Then she really gets a kick out of it when she tells she has five sisters, too. Bettendorf, a Proctor-Hermantown senior, is ranked second among girls high school Nordic skiers in Minnesota. She opened the season Wednesday by winning the 4.6-kilometer Grand Rapids Invitational at Mount Itasca in Coleraine with a time of 13 minutes, 35.8 seconds, just ahead of Grand Rapids senior Emma Stertz (13:39.8) and Ely senior Ryne Prigge (14:03.9).
The Duluth Huskies baseball team had about 10 players signed at this point last season. This year, they've already got 27 under contract, likely the most in team history at this point. Huskies general manager Greg Culver was asked why, and he pointed across the room. "Right there," he said. It was new Huskies field manager Tyger Pederson, who was introduced to fans at Lyric Kitchen Bar in downtown Duluth on Tuesday as part of a meet and greet. Pederson, 28, knew which players he wanted, and then went out and got them.
Former Minnesota Vikings coach Jerry Burns was at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday to watch his team. "Burnsie, you're looking good," a reporter said. "You should get your eyes examined," Burns said, cracking his Burgess Meredith-like grin. At 90 years old, there isn't too much Burns hasn't seen, especially from a Vikings' perspective, with hopes pumped up, only to be quickly deflated. He offered his sage take on the Vikings' 34-7 bludgeoning of the hapless Cincinnati Bengals. "I think the other team made it easier for them," Burns said.
Duluth East boys hockey coach Mike Randolph was working out at the YMCA in downtown Duluth on Saturday morning when he ran into former player Craig Fellman. Randolph doesn't remember his 500th career win, much less his first, but Fellman did. It was 1988, Randolph's first year with the Greyhounds. "We beat Hermantown at the DECC," Randolph said. "Craig didn't know the score, but it was a close game, and he said it was the opener."