WORTHINGTON -- It wasn't too long ago that Kayla Wichern and Meghan Cronberg were facing each other on the volleyball court. This season, the two will be half of the sophomore class that will help lead the Lady Jay volleyball team through the 2008 season. "I did know Meghan because she's from Luverne," Wichern said. "I remember playing Luverne and remembering that Meghan was one of my toughest competitors. It's different.
WORTHINGTON -- After playing at No. 4 singles last season, Worthington's Sameera Nalla will have a new challenge this season: No. 1 singles. "We lost a lot of seniors last year," Nalla said. "But we're just going to have to bring it up a notch.
WORTHINGTON -- When Jackson takes the field Sunday at the amateur baseball state tournament, the Bulls may be considered a little bit of an underdog. But that's OK with manager Scott Bahr. "There was a time in the late '90s where everyone knew who we were," Bahr, who is in his 20th year of managing, said. "Everybody knew Jackson had been there a bunch of times. I'm sure right now New London Spicer and those teams don't know a lot about the Jackson Bulls. I would guess that most people would have us as an underdog." Jackson will face New London Spicer at 11 a.m.
WORTHINGTON -- After one season at the helm of the Minnesota West baseball program, Jeremy Irlbeck has resigned his position to take a job as an assistant coach at Dodge City Community College in Dodge City, Kan. "It was one of those things," Irlbeck said. "Opportunities come up through the course of the year, whether it be through job boards or other coaches. I threw my hat into the ring, and a couple interviews later, here we are." With Irlbeck's departure, assistant coach Jeff Linder will take over as the head coach.
SACRED HEART -- Jordan's T.J. Oakes knew he had to be on top of his game. With a fastball hitting 90 mph on the radar, Oakes and the three-time defending Division II Legion state champions defeated Pipestone 3-1 Friday in the opening round of the 2008 American Legion baseball state tournament. "I'm going to say that I'm not sure we were the better team necessarily, we just ended up with more runs this game," Jordan head coach Ron Beckman said. "If we played those guys 10 times and each team went three or four deep on pitching, I think Pipestone would win far more games than we would.
WORTHINGTON -- Pipestone's Nate Alfson has seen his fair share of time behind the plate this season. As the catcher for both the Pipestone amateur and Legion team, Alfson has had a busy summer. Add on catching games on a Ridgewater College team that finished fourth in the nation, and Alfson has caught somewhere between 60-80 games this year. So, when Pipestone faces Jordan at 9:30 a.m. today at Sacred Heart for the first round of the American Legion state baseball tournament, it will be just another day at the office for Alfson. "I've caught a lot of games.
WORTHINGTON -- Toni Ingenthron didn't expect to hear her name called. Competing in a triathlon July 13 in Algona, Iowa, Ingenthron battled with more than 100 other runners who were separated into different age groups. The Worthington native finished first in her division with a time of just more than one hour, 36 minutes. "While I was doing it, I was like, 'oh my god, I'm going to die, this is hell,'" Ingenthron said. "But at the end, I was so proud of myself. I just wanted to finish.
SPRINGFIELD -- All Pipestone pitcher Bryce Beyers wanted to do was keep the ball low and let his defense make the plays. A week after Pipestone's Greg Quist threw a no-hitter against Wabasso, Beyers nearly matched Quist as Pipestone cruised to a 10-0 victory in five innings against Wabasso Saturday to advance to the Legion state tournament. "Our bats just don't stop," Pipestone head coach Steve Moffitt said. "Let's hope it keeps going up there. We 10-runned the Class A state champions twice.
SPRINGFIELD -- After taking the first pitch of the first game Friday in the American Legion baseball playoffs, Luverne leadoff hitter Zack Clark wasn't going to let a good pitch get past him. He took the second pitch of the game deep to left field, and wound up with a triple before the play was over, and the Luverne offense took off from there. Clark had three hits and scored three times in the game to lead Luverne to a 16-8 victory against Lake Crystal in the first game of the day.
WORTHINGTON -- After years of waiting, Joni Reitmeier is finally getting her chance. With the departure of Worthington head gymnastics coach Shelly Eklund, Reitmeier is taking the helm of the program. "I'm really excited," Reitmeier said. "It's something I've always wanted to do and I'm excited to see how it goes.