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Despite having young runners, both the United North Central boys and girls cross-country teams are expecting to be competitive this fall. The UNC girls have four runners returning from a team that finished third at the Section 8A meet while the UNC boys have only one runner back from a team that placed 12th at the section meet. "We are very excited to see how this season goes for both the boys and the girls," said Nick Jasmer, who shares head coaching duties with Nicole Oyster. "They have been working hard these last couple of weeks and are ready to race."
Shawn Klimek and the Nevis 9-man football team are ready to conquer some new challenges this season. The first challenge is replacing seven players who graduated from last year's squad that dominated play during the regular season and went 10-1 overall. The second is task rebounding from a heartbreaking 32-28 loss to Waubun in the Section 6 9-man championship game. Nevis led 28-12 with six minutes to play before Waubun rallied for the win.
With nine players returning who started games last season, head coach Jeremy Nordick is expecting the United North Central football team to once again put a competitive team on the field. The offense has nine veteran players back in seniors James Clark (quarterback), Owen Anderson (running back), Caleb Mostrom (lineman) and Justen Berttunen (lineman); juniors Mason Dailey (wide receiver), Jared Seibert (lineman) and Brady Vry (lineman); and sophomores Brandon Miller (running back) and Tristan Aho (wide receiver).
Brianne Morris is expecting another successful season from the Park Rapids girls tennis team. A year ago, the senior trio of Julia Smith, Drew Hilmanowski and Haley MacPherson led the Panthers to an 11-11 overall record, a third-place showing at the Mid-State Conference tournament and a spot in the Section 8A semifinals.
Graduation left the Nevis volleyball team with six key positions to replace this season. However, head coach Heidi Wormley is counting on the return of three all-conference players to lead the Tigers to another successful season.
Isaiah Hahn can't emphasize enough how much ball control will dictate the success of the Menahga volleyball team this fall. "Our team's biggest emphasis this year, as in past years, is ball control. Ball control, ball control, ball control," said Hahn. "We really need to be consistent in this area to reach our goals as a team. Everything that we do starts on defense, especially when it comes to serve-receive defense and overall ball control."
Aaron Morris has never shied away from a tough schedule. The head coach of the Park Rapids football team is confident that facing tough opponents during the regular season will lead to more success in the postseason.
When McKenna Brand started playing hockey, she dreamed of representing the United States in the Winter Olympics. On Thursday, Brand took another step toward achieving that goal. The soon-to-be senior forward at Northeastern University was selected No. 11 overall by the New York Riveters in Thursday night's National Women's Hockey League Draft. Brand will play her final collegiate season for the Huskies before joining the professional team.
Tom Stambaugh thought he was done with coaching when he retired as a teacher at Nevis last spring. Some Nevis runners convinced him to postpone his retirement from coaching. "I retired from teaching this spring, so I thought I was pretty much done," said Stambaugh. "We had seven or eight young distance runners in track in grades 6-8. We've never had that many. They were pestering me about cross country and I fell for it and the school was nice enough to add it back."
Wins at No. 2 doubles, No. 3 doubles and No. 4 singles gave the Park Rapids girls tennis team an early 3-1 lead before Fergus Falls won the next three matches to rally for a 4-3 victory Tuesday in a dual meet at Fergus Falls. Kendra Coborn and Gracie Eischens coasted to a 6-2, 6-1 win at No. 2 doubles, Morgan Koppleman and Mickey Clark prevailed 6-4, 6-4 at No. 3 doubles, and Jada Renneberg dropped the first set before rallying for a 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 win at No. 4 singles to give the Panthers the early lead.