WORTHINGTON -- Ellsworth returns as the defending boys' class A state champions, but with many teams losing multiple starters to graduation, the Red Rock Conference championship is up in the air this season. Here is a look at the teams in the Red Rock Conference and the lone area team in the Camden Conference -- Tracy-Milroy-Balaton. Ellsworth The Ellsworth Panthers lost just one game last year in their state championship run, but look to replace three starters from the team that finished 32-1 last season.
WORTHINGTON -- Westbrook-Walnut Grove senior Joe Doubles was recently named to the 2007 Minnesota 9-man All-State Football team as a defensive end. "With his 19-and-a-half sacks in a year, I haven't had anybody quite rack up that many," W-WG co-head coach Leo Theisen said. "But his biggest attribute is that he just went full go all the time." Doubler finished with 88 tackles, including 27 tackles for loss. Teammate and fellow senior Austin Quade was named as an honorable mention for his play this season. "Both of them are very deserving," co-head coach Carter Ross said.
WORTHINGTON -- With nearly half of her team's first-half points, Alyssa Smith finished with 23 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Worthington girls' basketball team to a 74-59 victory over Fairmont Tuesday. "I felt like I couldn't miss," Smith said. "I felt like everything was working and that everybody was helping me out." Smith scored 15 points in the first half as the Trojans (3-0) had a 32-25 lead at half. "When you talk about offense, you first have to talk about Smith," Worthington head coach Eric Lindner said. "She's a kid that's undersized, but she works hard.
WORTHINGTON -- Even with a 28-point performance from Eddie Marrs, the Minnesota West men's basketball team couldn't catch Northland in the Pioneer's 80-70 victory Friday night. "We had two or three guys scoring, and we just didn't have a very balanced scoring attack tonight," Minnesota West head coach Justin Heckenlaible said. Along with Marrs' 28, Devon Harrell scored 19 points for the Bluejays. "We had a pretty good defensive game," Northland head coach Rick Nikunen said. "Marrs is a tough player.
WORTHINGTON -- Leading by just three points heading into the locker room at halftime, Minnesota West head women's basketball coach Mike Fury's message was simple. "Every game, we talk about how big the first five minutes of the second half are," Fury said. "I think the first half we couldn't get anything going offensively.
WORTHINGTON -- With two pins in the first four matches, the Ellsworth Community Collegegrapplers built a 9-0 lead and never looked back in a 28-12 victory over Minnesota West Wednesday night. "We went against a Division I program that usually finishes in the top 10 of the Division I nationals, and we were in that match," Minnesota West head coach Bob Purcell said.
WORTHINGTON -- Behind 22 points from Gabby Boever, and 21 from Holli Aggen, the Worthington Trojan girls basketball team opened with a 76-69 victory over Fulda in a non-conference match-up Tuesday night. "They need to do that," Worthington head coach Eric Lindner said of Boever and Aggen.
MINNEAPOLIS -- While the Goodhue Wildcats celebrate victory, Adrian can only look at the missed opportunities. Adrian managed just 252 yards of total offense as the Dragons finished as Class A runners-up in the state with a 28-7 loss to Goodhue Friday in the Prep Bowl. "I don't think we played our best game today," Tony Thier said. "We had a good season, but today wasn't that much fun." With a 2-1 advantage in time of possession and a Prep Bowl record of 26 first downs, Goodhue used an effective ground game to control the clock and the momentum.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Caledonia quarterback Kody Moore entered Friday's Prep Bowl with more than 2,000 yards passing and a 50 percent completion rate this season. Moore completed just two passes for just 16 yards against Luverne (12-2), but made each of them count. Moore's only completions against the Cardinal defense were to Andy Bauer (five yards) and Zach Gran (11 yards). "A big challenge that we had in front of us was to stop their passing game," Luverne head coach Todd Oye said.
WORTHINGTON -- Even though the Luverne Cardinals are returning for the Prep Bowl for the second consecutive year, head coach Todd Oye insists the team isn't feeling any pressure. "Last year, we kind of surprised people to get as far as we did, and this year, we had two close games with Triton and Pierz to get there," Oye said. "I don't think we feel pressure.