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Les Knutson: Fall season was filled with highlights

BY LES KNUTSON The Globe sports columnist WORTHINGTON -- As usual, the fall sports season was an exciting and entertaining 10 weeks of action. The best time of the year always seems to go by so quickly. The month of October -- which started out w...

BY LES KNUTSON

The Globe sports columnist

WORTHINGTON -- As usual, the fall sports season was an exciting and entertaining 10 weeks of action. The best time of the year always seems to go by so quickly.

The month of October -- which started out with a week of rain, followed by two weeks of glorious “Indian Summer” weather before the cold winds of November came about a week too soon --- was full of great events, including an absolutely amazing World Series.

With my daughter, Chelsey, living in the Houston area, I found myself cheering for the Astros to go all the way -- which they did in most exciting and entertaining fashion.

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The whole month was full of Major League baseball playoffs, starting with the Twins at Yankee Stadium back on Oct. 3. Remember the excitement of the Twins staking themselves to an early 3-0 lead, which looked like it might become 5-0 when we had runners on second and third with just one out in the top of the first inning?

A leadoff home run by Brian Dozier and a two-run homer off the bat of Eddie Rosario provided the early punch. I was especially thrilled as I had predicted that Rosario would hit a home run and the Twins would win. It looked like that was going to happen -- we were going to blow out the Yankees!

Then Chad Green came in and struck out Buxton and Castro. The Yankees soon knotted the score and eventually ended a fine Twins’ season with a 8-4 victory. Could that have been almost six weeks ago?

A Vikings victory over the Packers was certainly an October highlight and Red Rock Central was impressive on the high school 9-Man football scene.

The Falcons rolled through a tough schedule undefeated before an athletic and ever-improving Russell-Tyler-Ruthton squad dashed their state-tournament hopes with a 20-14 setback in the Section 2 finals at Marshall nearly two weeks ago. Mountain Lake Area, Westbrook-Walnut Grove, Edgerton/Ellsworth and Hills-Beaver Creek also had fine 9-Man football teams this past fall.

MLA utilized its diversified speed well in a most impressive Section 3 championship victory over W-WG (58-14) before bowing out to R-T-R in a low-scoring (8-6) state-tournament quarterfinal clash on a frigid night in New Ulm last Friday.

On Oct. 26, a calm and clear Saturday, after two days of cold wind, I had a chance to watch Jackson County Central win a playoff game at Swearingen Field and get an opportunity to chat with the always-entertaining Tom Schuller, who year-after-year does a great job guiding the fortunes of the Huskies.

Five days later, on Halloween, I was able to watch a Section 3AA South semifinal volleyball match between Luverne and JCC, which was indeed entertaining. Sadie Voss, who is just an eighth-grader, was an impressive hitter for the Huskies and Luverne’s Alexis Ferrell was awesome in leading the Cardinals to a hard-fought, five-set victory.

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Sadie’s older brother, Rudy, had a fine football season as JCC’s sophomore quarterback and will likely be one of the premier basketball players in the area this winter.

I wasn’t able to make it to this year’s state cross country meet, but the up-front finishes of Fulda freshman Morgan Gehl (fourth) and Luverne eighth-grader Tenley Nelson (fifth) were certainly impressive in the Class A girls’ race, as was the splendid run by Worthington sophomore Adam Koller, who beat 102 Class AA boys with a personal-record 5,000-meter time of 16:40.

Back in mid-September, Koller -- for the second-consecutive year -- won his age bracket in Worthington’s King Turkey Day 10K road race, proving that an extra mid-season training run may prove huge dividends when it’s time to “peak” at the end of the season.

Certainly, the magical season and playoff run -- all the way to the state tournament -- enjoyed by the Worthington High School boys’ soccer team was a fall highlight.

The season is not yet over for the Pipestone Area Arrows, who won the Section 3AA football championship, defeating Blue Earth Area 19-13, in absolutely miserable playing conditions at New Ulm last Friday. This week (Friday morning), the Arrows play in the state semifinals inside the coziness and warmth of US Bank Stadium, seeking a chance to play there again over Thanksgiving weekend as part of the two-day Prep Bowl extravaganza.

As I mentioned, it was an enjoyable fall -- all the way around. As another winter looms, the excitement and entertainment of hockey, gymnastics, basketball and wrestling is coming up fast. But, we are also that much closer to spring, summer and, yes, another glorious fall.

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