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Sports briefs

If weather holds, a busy sports Saturday is on tap

basketball icon
Basketball stock art. (Unsplash image by Kylie O'Sullivan)
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Busy sports Saturday
Now that Worthington High School sports teams are basically back in business after the recent Covid shutdown, it’s back to a full slate of activity for Saturday (Jan. 15) -- barring last-minute weather-related issues, of course.

It used to be, back in the day, that Saturday’s weren’t half so busy. But as Bob Dylan used to say, “things have changed.” One thing definitely worth mentioning is today’s varsity doubleheader basketball event in Albert Lea.

Typically when there are double-varsity hoops games, the girls go first and the boys go second. But in Albert Lea, the boys will open the festivities at 5:30 p.m. and the girls will follow at 7:30. The Tiger boys have struggled all season, so it’s a good opportunity for the WHS boys to establish some themselves after struggling for a while themselves. The Albert Lea girls are winning a little more consistently than their boy counterparts but still have a losing record. The Trojan girls are trying to become more consistent after hitting a rough patch after a 5-0 start.

Other Worthington action for Saturday: the gymnastics team goes to Jackson for a Jackson County West tournament starting at 11:15 a.m. The girls and boys hockey teams have a doubleheader at Worthington against Minnesota River, with the girls skating at 1 p.m. and the boys skating at 3. And the wrestlers participate in the Big South Tournament beginning at 10 a.m. in St. James.

West basketball is back on
Minnesota West wasn’t saved from virus issues this past week. A Saturday home game for the men’s basketball team was postponed due to an outbreak at St. Cloud, and on Wednesday both the women’s and the men’s home games with MState-Fergus Falls were called off for the same general reason.

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But on Sunday, the Lady Jays and the Bluejays are still scheduled to play at Coon Rapids, with the women taking on Anoka-Ramsey at 1 p.m. and the men following at 3 p.m. Local fans will hope the men aren’t rusty after dropping their last four contests, and that the women stay sharp after looking outstanding Saturday in a 70-54 win over a nationally-ranked St. Cloud Tech outfit.

Monday and Tuesday
Worthington area sports fans have a special opportunity on Monday to stay home for a pair of local games. At 2:30 p.m., the Minnesota West men’s basketball team makes up its game with St. Cloud Tech at the Center for Health and Wellness on its Worthington campus. Then at 7 p.m. at the Worthington Ice Arena, the high school girls hockey team makes up its postponed game with Waseca.

The Worthington Trojans boys basketball team is at Spirit Lake for a 7:30 p.m. start.

Also Monday, the Worthington Trojettes dance team travels to Clara City for a seven-team meet beginning at 6:30 p.m. The Trojettes were excited to have the opportunity to host a meet in Worthington last Monday, but the school shutdown canceled that one. Curses.

On Tuesday, Austin comes to Worthington to play the girls hockey team at 7 p.m. while the Worthington boys travel to Austin for a 7 p.m. face-off. Also, the WHS wrestling team hosts a triangular with Luverne and Windom-Mountain Lake beginning at 5 p.m.

That’s cool. The WHS wrestlers have been on the road for most of the season thus far.

Vikings want to talk to Ossenfort 
The Minnesota Vikings’ search for Rick Spielman’s replacement as General Manager has cast a light on a southwest Minnesota native. The NFL team has asked the Tennessee Titans for permission to interview Monti Ossenfort for the GM position. Ossenfort, who is a native of Luverne, currently serves as the Titans’ Vice President of Football Operations.

Ossenfort was a quarterback for the University of Minnesota-Morris during his college days and was even an intern at training camp for the Vikings back in 2001. He started his front office career as a scouting intern with the Houston Texans in 2002, joined the New England Patriots as a personnel assistant in 2003, and returned to Houston in 2004.

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Jackson Motorplex getting airplay
JACKSON -- The Jackson Motorplex in Jackson, Minn., will be brought to homes nationwide in 2022 as theracetrack joins DIRTVision’s premier lineup of weekly racing.

IRTVision FAST PASS subscribers will have access to the racing produced from the 4/10-mile track weekly, featuring Sprint Cars, IMCA Modifieds, SportMods, Stock Cars, Hobby Stocks and Sport Compacts. Also included are the track’s AGCO Jackson Nationals crown jewel event for the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series, now set for August 18-20.

“Jackson Motorplex has produced phenomenal racing with every World of Outlaws event we’ve shown, so I couldn’t be more thrilled to give our loyal fans the chance to experience that excitement on a weekly basis,” said DIRTVision General Manager Jim Chiappelli. “Jackson is a perfect addition to DIRTVision’s ever-growing collection of the world’s most iconic racing facilities that we get to showcase live to the best race fans in the world.”

Adapted floor hockey in Mankato
MANKATO — Yes, adapted floor hockey is a high school sport, and Mankato now has it.

A co-ed Mankato team played its first game on Monday, losing 18-2 to Stillwater.

The team is a co-op program of Mankato East and Mankato West. Efforts to get a team and join the Minnesota State High School League orbit has been a long process, delayed one year by the pandemic.

The MSHSL has sponsored adapted floor hockey since 1992.

There are two divisions for adapted floor hockey: physically impaired and cognitively impaired.

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