SPORTS & SCHOOL
Journal-Press Internet Sports & School - May 26, 2016 Rob LaPlante
Journal-Press Sports Editor
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Golf champs crowned at Wild Marsh
By Rob LaPlante
It may not have been as dominant as years past, but the Buffalo girls’ golf squad made it a perfect 11-for-11 as champions of the Mississippi 8.
The Bison held a slim 4-stroke advantage (339) over St. Francis (343) from an earlier meet held May 2 at Purple Hawk in Cambridge. This was a makeup meet in which team scores were used for the mid-conference scoring system.
The conference finale was held Monday, May 23 at Wild Marsh. Weather wiped away nearly five hours of golf, forcing coaches to revert back to the Purple Hawk Invite as the deciding factor as this year’s conference champion.
Had Monday’s meet continued, Bison head coach Debi Warpula felt confident the girls would have still held on to first.
“They were golfing well,” Warpula said. “There were no big numbers. If they had a bad hole, it was only a bogey.”
“The greens were kind of difficult. I was playing okay, but not as well as I could have,” said Bison sophomore Hanna Morin.
Morin was one of three Bison girls to land a spot on the all-conference team. Morin was joined by junior Jordan Wurm and eighth-grader Sofia Morin.
Buffalo team and individual scores have been typically higher this season than years past. Hanna Morin did her part to continue the dynasty of winning every Mississippi 8 title since the conference was formed in 2006.
Hanna owned the top individual scoring average of all Mississippi 8 golfers this season with a 77.40. Wurm ranked fourth at 83.80 and Sofia Morin was fifth at 84.40.
“It’s nice to continue that run,” Morin said. “We were concerned about our scores a little bit during the year, but we knew that we could play well and win it again.”
As a first-year head coach, Warpula has demanded a lot from her young squad. She said there were times this season she noticed frustration sinking in.
“I think these girls felt some pressure this year to continue to win the conference,” Warpula said. “It was more pressure they put on themselves, more than anything.”
At the same time, being this year’s group had to work much harder to retain their title made it that more sweet.
“It’s exciting and the girls were so happy to win this,” Warpula said. “All of their hard work has paid off. They do a lot of things they necessarily don’t like to do. It’s exciting for me to see them so happy, and having fun doing it.”
Next up is the Section 8-3A championship meet held next Wednesday and Thursday, June 1-2 at GreyStone Golf Course in Sauk Centre.
GreyStone has traditionally been a difficult course for Bison golfers. Buffalo finished 10 strokes back of Bemidji for the low score at the pre-section meet held May 6 at GreyStone.
Jordan Wurm carded the low score of that day with an 86.
Immediately after that meet, Warpula took a few of her golfers to Wild Marsh to hit off the men’s tees. But distance, Warpula said, is not what worries her.
“I don’t know if we’ll need three scores in the 70s, but I know we need to work on our short game,” Warpula said. “We need to tighten up our chipping and putting. GreyStone is such a longer course. If their short game is on course, they will do just fine.”
SECOND AT SCRAMBLE
Prior to Monday’s canceled meet, the Bison took part in their first 2-person scramble meet held Thursday, May 19 at Cedar Creek in Albertville.
Buffalo tandem of Hanna Morin and Jordan Wurm carded a 67 to lead the Bison to a second-place finish at 139 – one stroke behind Cambridge-Isanti.
Sofia Morin and Morgan Wurm scored a 72 and junior Kaylee Schultz and sophomore Aly Peeler carded a 78.
“It was just a fun day and a day for the girls to learn about team work in a different format,” Warpula said.
STMA Invite (2-scramble)
(Thursday, May 19 at Cedar Creek)
Team scores: 1. Cambridge-Isanti 138, 2. Buffalo 139, 3. Rogers 141, 4. St. Michael-Albertville 144, 5. Anoka 148, 6. Monticello 156, 7. Andover 158, 8. Maple Grove 158, 9. Big Lake 161.
Bison scores: 1. Hanna Morin/Jordan Wurm 67, 2. Sofia Morin/Morgan Wurm 72, 3. Kaylee Schultz/Aly Peeler 78.
Medalists: 1. Jade Newman/Sammy Brown (Cambridge-Isanti) 66.
Mississippi 8 Championship
(Monday, May 23 at Wild Marsh, Buffalo)
Team scores: 1. Buffalo 339, 2. St. Francis 343, 3. Rogers 361, 4. Big Lake 379, 5. Cambridge-Isanti 380, 6. St. Michael-Albertville 394, 7. Monticello 397, 8. Princeton 433, 9. Chisago Lakes 448, 10. North Branch (incomplete).
Bison scores: 1. Hanna Morin 37-40--77; 2. Sofia Morin 41-43--84; 3. Jordan Wurm 46-43--89; 4. Kaylee Schultz 44-45--89; 5. Morgan Wurm 45-46--91; 6. Aly Peeler 47-50--97.
Individual Medalist: Kalley Wagner (St. Francis) 74.
All-Conference East: Jade Newman (C-I), Kalley Wagner (St. Francis), Maddie Weinman (St. Francis), Megan Grandstrand (St. Francis), Rilegh Vojta (St. Francis),
All-Conference West: Hanna Morin (Buffalo), Megan Secrist (Rogers), Amber Eckstein (Monticello), Jordan Wurm (Buffalo), Sofia Morin (Buffalo), Grace Haakenson (STMA), Paetyn Levis (Rogers), Julianna Kiesner (Rogers).
STMA claims first M8 title, ends Bison’s two-year run
As a result of some unfriendly weather, the second day of the Mississippi 8 championship meet held Monday, May 23 at Wild Marsh in Buffalo was washed away.
A few of the 10 teams came as close to two holes from completing the round of 18, but after an initial lightning delay that lasted 45 minutes, coaches made the final decision to cancel the final few holes due to rapid downpours and continued lightning.
Team scores from the May 5 conference meet at the Links at Northfork in Ramsey were the official statistics to reveal this year’s champion.
St. Michael-Albertville shot nine strokes lower that day (301) than second-place Rogers (310). Buffalo ended in fifth place with a score of 323. The unfortunate thing for some teams – including the Bison, was Monday’s cancelled meet could have moved them up in the standings.
“These scores didn’t count, but after today’s showing, we could have been real close to finishing second in the conference,” said Bison head coach Charley Keifenheim. “It’s frustrating to get that many holes in and not have it count. We tried and we tried, but we had to take the players off the course twice. Most the players were begging to go back again, but the courses were unplayable.”
One thing that wasn’t in jeopardy was STMA’s determination to win that first golf title in school history.
Freshman Trey Fessler has been the backbone of a Knights squad ranked as high as No. 4 this season. Fessler and his teammates recently set a school record when they shot a 284 on May 16 at Riverwood. Fessler set an individual school record with a 67.
“Our team knew we had the ability to do it,” Fessler said. “We knew coming into the year that we had to come out and work hard, which we have and it’s paid off.”
Some of the scores the Knights have averaged have even their peers talking about them.
Senior Ben Zitur has been on the last two Bison conference and section championship teams. Zitur said some of the scores being posted in St. Michael have been incredible.
“Coming into the season, I felt we would have a decent chance at defending our titles,” he said. “But seeing STMA, so effortlessly, shoot in the low 300s and score a 284, that’s when I kind of knew our reign as champions was pretty much over.”
The Bison and Knights both qualified for state a year ago, with the Bison finishing one spot ahead of STMA for seventh place.
Given the fact the two compete in opposite sections, Zitur still likes his team’s chances of qualifying for state a third year in a row.
“For sure, we have a shot,” he said. “We know going into sections that Brainerd is the top team. We showed lately that we can shoot around the 300 mark, so it’s not an unrealistic goal by any means.”
STMA’s goals this season are even higher than just making state.
“I feel we can win state,” Fessler said. “We can compete with the best and we’re here to prove that. Winning conference feels really good, but we have a lot of good years coming down the road.”
Buffalo’s section meet takes place next Wednesday and Thursday, June 1-2 at GreyStone Golf Course in Sauk Centre.
The Bison struggled shooting a 326 in the pre-section meet held May 6 at GreyStone. On a positive note Bison freshman River Goodmanson shot a career-best 75.
“River likes that course,” Keifenheim said. “Both (junior) Luc and (freshman) Nate Persson had a couple bad holes there, but outside of that, they both shot well.”
FINAL WEST MEET
STMA swept all five West meets when they finished first with a team score of 303 on Thursday, May 19 at Riverwood in Otsego. Buffalo was third at 327.
Goodmanson led the Bison with an 80. Fessler was medalist at 73.
Mississippi 8 West Meet
(Thursday, May 19 at Wild Marsh)
Team scores: 1. St. Michael-Albertville 303, 2. Rogers 319, 3. Buffalo 327, 4. Monticello 339, 5. Big Lake 378.
Bison scores: 1. River Goodmanson 39-41--80, T2. Luc Persson 38-44--82, T2. Nate Persson 43-39--82, T4. John Russett 43-40--83, T4. Tom Russett 39-44--83, 5. Ben Zitur 42-41--83.
Medalist: Trey Fessler (STMA) 35-38--73.
(Monday, May 23 at Wild Marsh, Buffalo)
Team scores: 1. St. Michael-Albertville 301; 2. Rogers 310; 3. St. Francis 314; 4. Chisago Lakes 320; 5. Buffalo 323; 6. Cambridge-Isanti 339; 7. Monticello 345; 8. North Branch 361; 9. Big Lake 366; 10. Princeton 368.
Bison scores: 1. Nate Persson 39-39--78; 2. River Goodmanson 40-39--79; 3. Ben Zitur 39-44--83; 4. Luc Persson 40-43--83; 5. Tom Russett 46-41--87; 6. John Russett 44-44--88.
Individual Medalist: Trey Fessler (STMA) 36-34--70.
All-Conference East: Bryce Thompson (Chisago Lakes), Brady Arzdorf (St. Francis), Thomas Overgaard (Chisago Lakes), Tanner Engberg (St. Francis), Jeffrey Symens (St. Francis), Seth Kirkeide (Cambridge-Isanti).
All-Conference West: Trey Fessler (STMA), Taylor Zack (STMA), Christian Labrador (STMA), Nick Anderson (Rogers), Kevin Williams (STMA), Cruz Martinez (Rogers), Carson Wooters (STMA), Cam Fuerstenberg (STMA).
Bison softball wins on walk-off walk
By Rob LaPlante
Buffalo softball head coach Brad Zrust was expecting tighter games – just not this early in the playoffs.
The No. 3 seed Bison needed extra innings to defeat No. 6 seed Bemidji 3-2 in a Section 8-4A quarterfinal home victory Tuesday, May 24 at Bentfield Mills Park.
“I was hoping to score a few more runs today, but their pitcher did a really nice job,” Zrust said.
Heather Olson held Buffalo to one run and five hits through four innings. Buffalo’s pitching ace, sophomore Morgan DeMarais was matching Olson pitch-for-pitch.
With the score tied 1-1, Buffalo was the beneficiary of a generous call in which freshman Jordan Zrust appeared to make the third out on a bunt attempt. With players from both teams running to the field and dugout to switch positions, the home plate umpire ruled a foul ball.
Zrust would later walk, steal second base, and score on a fielding error on a ball dropped by the left fielder off the bat of sophomore Emily Hansen.
The run stood until the top of the seventh when Bemidji tied the score 2-2. DeMarais recorded two of her 14 strikeouts in the contest at a pivotal time as the Lumberjacks stranded runners on second and third.
“That was really a key moment,” said Bison senior second baseman Kallie Wycoff. “She’s really rocking it this year. She’s been throwing strikes. I’m really impressed.”
As big as of a jam DeMarais and the Bison wiggled out of in the seventh, Olson and the Lumberjacks escaped an even bigger one in the bottom of the seventh.
Two singles and a walk loaded the bases with one out for Buffalo’s 3-4 hitters, but Olson induced two shallow fly outs, as Hansen and junior Autumn Senger failed to convert.
At that moment, Coach Zrust was starting to wonder.
“That’s a pretty nice situation to have coming up there,” Zrust said. “You know what, those two kids are also human. We expect so much out of them. Every once in a while they are going to fail too.”
After working a 1-2-3 eighth inning, DeMarais and the Bison would capture the win after two walks and a single again loaded the bases.
“Coach told me to only swing if it’s my pitch,” Wycoff said. “Make sure the pitch is pretty, or get another one.”
Olson’s final pitch of the game and the season for Bemidji ended up high, and Wycoff and the Bison earned the walk-off victory.
“I’ve never had a walk-off walk before,” Wycoff said.
While Olson held Buffalo’s bats in check, it was obvious late in the game her arm was tiring.
“She was struggling with her control and her velocity,” Zrust said. “That helped us out a bit. Right now it’s the playoffs. We’ll take a win any way we can get it.”
Buffalo (18-3) faces No. 2 seed Elk River (15-4) on Thursday, May 26 at Elk River in the Section 8-4A semifinals.
Prior to the playoff win, Buffalo concluded the regular season with a 6-0 home victory Thursday, May 19 over St. Michael-Albertville. DeMarias allowed three hits and struck out five over seven scoreless innings. The Bison finished the regular season in second place in the Mississippi 8 with an 11-2 record.
Buffalo 6, St. Michael-Albertville 0
(Thursday, May 19 at Buffalo)
Knights 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 – 0 3 5
Bison 3 0 0 0 0 3 x – 6 11 0
Bison hitters: Kallie Wycoff 2-3, 1 double, 1 run, 1 walk; Jordan Zrust 1-3, 1 run; Emily Hansen 0-3, 1 walk; Autumn Senger 1-3, 1 run; Sarah Hudson 1-3, 1 double, 2 RBI; Katie Carlson 1-3; Nicole Goeb 1-3, 1 run; Kenzie Johnson 1-3, 1 run; Codi Zwack 2-3, 1 double, 1 run, 1 RBI.
Bison pitchers: Morgan DeMarais (win) 7 innings, 3 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks, 5 strikeouts.
Section 8-4A Tournament
Buffalo 3, Bemidji 2 (8 innings)
(Thursday, May 24 at Buffalo)
Lumberjacks 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 – 2 3 2
Bison 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 – 3 9 1
Bison hitters: Kallie Wycoff 1-3, 1 RBI, 1 walk; Jordan Zrust 2-3, 1 run, 1 walk, 1 stolen base; Emily Hansen 1-4; Autumn Senger 0-2, 2 walks; Sarah Hudson 1-4; Katie Carlson 2-3, 1 run, 1 stolen base; Nicole Goeb 0-4; Morgan DeMarais 2-3, 1 double, 1 walk; Codi Zwack 0-3, 1 walk.
Bison pitchers: Morgan DeMarais (win) 8 innings, 5 hits, 2 runs, 0 walks, 14 strikeouts.
Adapted Softball loses in playoffs
By Rob LaPlante
In preparation for this year’s Adapted Softball section tournament, Bison coaches Ruth Clarke and Dave Kaufmann tried something different.
“We started with a good practice on Monday where we emphasized batting and going aggressively after the ball in the field,” Clarke said. “We ended practice with a scrimmage against some of the athletes’ friends and family members. We worked hard but had a lot of fun.”
The Bison’s hard work was still overmatched as they dropped a 14-4 decision in the opening-round of the section playoffs on Tuesday, May 24 against Minneapolis Roosevelt.
The Bison scored three times in the first two innings.
Senior Amanda Aberle and junior Kail Dornbusch each went 3-3 at the plate. The loss came on the heels of a 17-7 road defeat in Buffalo’s regular season finale.
The Bison cut a 15-3 deficit down to 15-8, scoring five runs in the fifth inning, but the Tornadoes ended it on the 10-rule, scoring two in the bottom of the fifth. Seniors Jared Peterson-Lomker and James Madden each went 3-3.
“We ended the regular season against arguably the toughest team in the conference, and Anoka proved to be just that,” Kaufmann said.
Girls lacrosse defeats STMA
By Rob LaPlante
Emma Carlson scored only one goal in a 9-8 road victory last Thursday, May 19 at St. Michael-Albertville. But the goal turned out to be the biggest of her young career.
Playing as a first-year freshman attacker on the upstart girls’ lacrosse team, Carlson tallied the game winner in the second overtime, sending Buffalo home winners for the seventh time in nine games.
“Scoring that goal was awesome,” said Carlson, one of six freshmen to make a major impact on this year’s squad. Carlson credited another freshman for helping her play the role of hero.
“I couldn’t have done it without (freshman) Claire Stevens,” Carlson said. “She made the goalie drop the ball. All I had to do was grab it and shoot.”
The victory improved Buffalo’s conference record to 7-2, and moved the Bison ahead of STMA into second place in the Greater West Metro conference standings.
It was the first time this season the Bison have defeated a team with a winning record. STMA came into the contest 6-3 overall and 6-1 in the conference.
Being a rookie, Carlson didn’t experience last year’s 1-13 season, which ended with a 16-6 road playoff loss at STMA. But Carlson is well aware of her own team’s lack of recent success, and the history between the two rival schools.
“It always feels good to beat STMA,” she said. “I’m sure that loss last year was hard on the team. This was a good feeling to beat them this year. This definitely was the best win. I’m glad I could be a part of it and help out.”
Buffalo won despite being outplayed in the opening 25 minutes. The Bison trailed 6-3 at halftime.
“It was tough for us to get anything going on offense in the first half,” Scherer said. “STMA had the ball for a lot of the time, but our defense played tough. We just had a hard time getting the ball out of our zone.”
Much like Buffalo’s 14-12 home loss in the season opener to Monticello, a couple adjustments were made at halftime and the second half saw Buffalo outscore the Knights 5-2.
“At halftime, I focused on us doing the little things, like picking up grounders and making good passes out of our zone,” Scherer said. “The girls adjusted really well. I’m proud of the way they played.”
Senior Gabby Coudron led the way offensively scoring three goals. It was her team-leading 30th, 31st, and 32nd goals of the year. Freshman Callie Stumpfl also had the hat trick. Senior goalkeeper Jordan Thompson made five saves on 13 shots to record the win. Thompson and the defense allowed only two goals in the final half and two overtime periods.
STREAK HITS SIX
The Bison made it six straight victories and improved to 8-2 overall with a 12-8 home win Tuesday, May 24 over St. Cloud Area.
Leading 8-5 at halftime, the Tigers closed the gap to 10-8 with seven minutes remaining in regulation.
The Bison secured the win thanks to two late goals by Stumpfl and one by freshman Erica O’Borsky. Stumpfl led the offensive charge with five goals.
“We’ve been working offensively on slowing it down and looking for cutters,” Scherer said. “Traditionally, we’ve been running it in and scoring. We know that’s not going to work against good teams.”
Senior Gabby Coudron scored three goals and O’Borsky added two. While offense has stepped to the forefront in an 8-2 season, it’s the defense that has flown under the radar.
Buffalo has allowed less than 10 goals in every game this season, minus two – both coming in a pair of losses to previously undefeated Monticello (10-1).
“The girls on defense work so hard on knowing where the ball and their girls are,” Scherer said. “If someone is cutting, you stay between them and the goal. It’s defense as a whole team, not just individuals.”
Buffalo’s regular-season finale is a 6:30 p.m. home game on Friday, May 27 against Hutchinson (8-3).
St. Michael-Albertville 8
(Thursday, May 19 at St. Michael)
Bison3 5 0 1 -- 9
Knights 6 2 0 0 -- 8
Goals: Gabby Coudron 3, Callie Stumpfl 3, Emma Carlson 1, Erica O’Borsky 1, Claire Stevens 1. Assists: Gabby Coudron 2, Emma Carlson 1, Callie Stumpfl 1.
Goalies: Jordan Thompson (win), 13 shots, 5 saves.
Buffalo 12, St. Cloud Area 8
(Tuesday, May 24 at Buffalo)
Tigers 5 3 -- 8
Bison8 4 -- 12
Goals: Callie Stumpfl 5, Gabby Coudron 3, Erica O’Borsky 2, Claire Stevens 2, Jilli Hovland 1. Assists: Erica O’Borsky 2, Aimee Swanson 2, Bailey Braccini 1, Emma Carlson 1, Meghan Landsberger 1, Claire Stevens 1, Callie Stumpfl 1.
Goalies: Jordan Thompson (win), 15 shots, 7 saves.
Buffalo upsets M8 champions
Buffalo freshman Jack Munsterteiger looks as if he weighs 100 pounds, soaking wet.
While his physical presence looks anything but intimidating, it’s his right arm that’s gaining quite the reputation.
After starting the season on the Bison freshmen squad, a team currently with a record of 18-1, Munsterteiger has quickly become one of the varsity team’s go-to relievers.
He pitched 1.1 innings of shutout relief to earn his first career varsity save in a crucial 6-5 home win on Thursday, May 19 over first-place St. Michael-Albertville.
The save didn’t come without its share of drama. Pitching in relief of junior Mitch Gabrelcik, who left with two outs and a 6-4 lead in the top of the sixth, Munsterteiger inherited runners on first and second with two outs.
A fielding error at shortstop by junior Hunter Brings allowed a run to score, but Brings made up for the miscue with an unassisted putout to preserve the lead 6-5.
The Bison committed a season-high seven errors, leading to three unearned runs off Gabrelcik.
“I thought we were really sluggish on defense,” said Bison head coach Mike Beilke. “I didn’t see us backing up people. I didn’t see us hustling after balls. We took our eyes off a lot of balls. We did a much better job later in the game.”
STMA would load the bases in the seventh on a leadoff single, a sacrifice bunt, a fielding error and a walk. But with two outs, Munsterteiger would get STMA’s Travis Brown to pop up to sophomore third baseman Eathan Soeffker for the final out.
“Bottom of the seventh, bases loaded and two outs – it was probably the scariest moment in baseball I’ve ever been in,” said Munsterteiger, on trying to escape out of the second of two jams.
In his previous relief appearances, the Bison have had more than a three-run cushion.
“Finally, I was able to get a save,” said a smiling Munsterteiger.
While pitching has been the backbone of the Bison’s recent success, which has resulted in a 7-2 record since a 2-8 start, the offense has also picked up.
Trailing 1-0, Buffalo scored four times in the second inning thanks to another two-out rally. With the bases loaded, Gabrelcik helped his own cause with an RBI single scoring senior Isaac Noble from third. Soeffker followed with a hard hit ball in the infield, which was misplayed by the shortstop. A throwing error to first base allowed all three base runners to score.
The Bison tacked on the eventual game-winning runs in the third inning on a two-out single by Munoz that scored juniors Josh Fussy and Ramon Vega Jr.
Leading 6-3, Gabrelcik limited the Knights to two unearned runs the rest of the way. The victory improved his record to a team-best 5-2 on the season.
“Mitch was typical Mitch and the further he went into the game, the better he got,” Beilke said. “It just finally got to a point where he had too many pitches.”
Although it wasn’t a classic shutdown relief job, Munsterteiger held the Knights down enough to record the team’s first save of the season.
“He’s got a really bright future,” Beilke said. “He’s had arm issues in the past and that’s why we’ve moved him to the bullpen. We’re real careful how many pitches we go with him each night. He’s got a real live fastball with a little movement. He’s got a hard breaking ball, which compliments his fastball. He’s helped us a lot.”
With the section playoffs nearing, both players and coaches stressed a ton of importance on the final two games against STMA and Elk River in order to position themselves better in the section seeding.
Buffalo’s home loss last week to Monticello dropped the Bison from a four seed to eight in the QRF standings.
“Coming into this game, Beilke said it should be like our championship game,” Munsterteiger said. “We put it all on the line for this one. This was a big win and Tuesday will be a big one, too.”
“We have a chance to make a resume for ourselves. We have two wins over Rogers and one over St. Michael. Those are big wins,” Beilke said. “Coaches also look at your resume. We didn’t win in the beginning, but we’re winning now.”
Buffalo suffered a pivotal 6-0 home loss Tuesday, May 24 to Elk River. Mitch Thompson threw a 2-hitter over 6.2 innings for the win. Thompson retired 20 straight batters from the first to seventh innings. Bison junior Christian Johnson suffered the loss.
Buffalo 6, St. Michael-Albertville 5
(Thursday, May 19 at Buffalo)
Knights 1 0 2 1 0 1 0 – 5 9 3
Bison 0 4 2 0 0 0 x – 6 8 7
Bison hitters: Mitch Gabrelick 1-4, 1 run, 1 RBI; Eathan Soeffker 1-4; Luke Merz 2-4; Jake Hendel 0-0; Josh Fussy 2-3, 1 run; David Watermiller 0-2, 1 walk; Ramon Vega Jr. 1-3, 1 run; Isaac Noble 0-3, 1 run; Josh Munoz 1-1, 1 run, 2 RBI, 2 walks; Hunter Brings 0-2, 1 run, 1 hit by pitch.
Bison pitchers: Mitch Gabrelcik (win) 5.2 innings, 8 hits, 5 runs (2 earned), 3 walks, 5 strikeouts; Jack Munsterteiger (save) 1.1 innings, 1 hit, 1 walk, 1 strikeout.
Elk River 6, Buffalo 0
(Tuesday, May 24 at Buffalo)
Elks0 1 0 0 3 1 1 – 6 9 1
Bison 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 – 0 2 2
Bison hitters: Mitch Gabrelick 1-2; Drew Russell 0-2; Hunter Brings 0-3; Luke Merz 0-2; Josh Fussy 0-2; David Watermiller 1-3; Ramon Vega Jr. 0-3; Josh Munoz 0-2; Sam Therrien 0-2; Isaac Noble 0-2.
Bison pitchers: Christian Johnson (loss) 4.2 innings, 5 hits, 4 runs (0 earned), 3 walks, 1 strikeout; John Weber 2.1 innings, 4 hits, 2 runs (0 earned), 0 walks, 0 strikeouts.
Buffalo lacrosse chalks up huge ‘W’
By Rob LaPlante
Trailing 9-6 after three quarters, the Buffalo boys’ lacrosse team rallied to score five times in the final 12 minutes for an 11-10 home win Thursday, May 19 over St. Michael-Albertville.
Buffalo fought itself out of two previous holes. Down 4-1 early, two goals each by seniors Brady Hartman and Gavin Welch gave the Bison a 5-4 advantage. STMA would respond as sophomore Ryley Zopfi and senior Kenny Gudmonson scored two unanswered goals late in quarter two. The first-place Knights led 6-5 at halftime.
“We were down at half and never gave up,” Welch said. “The longer the game moved on, we started to click as a team.”
STMA’s momentum continued into the third quarter, but strong defense and key saves in goal by senior Christian Marschel kept the Knights from putting the game out of reach. Gudmonson scored his third and fourth goals of the contest giving STMA a 9-6 lead after three quarters.
But like so many times this season, Buffalo rallied in the last quarter. Seniors Noah VanderKooi and Brady Hartman scored two goals in the first two minutes of the fourth. Down 9-8, the Bison continued to press. Senior Trey Green tied the score 9-9 with his second tally of his career.
“I told the guys at the end of the third quarter, that in all the games we’ve played this season – even our losses, we’ve outplayed every opponent in the fourth quarter,” said Bison head coach Joey Hartfiel. “It was all effort in this game. They had to work for those goals.”
Buffalo took the lead for good after VanderKooi scored from his knees at the side of the net. Welch would tally the eventual game winner with an assist from freshman Treyton Welch.
“My brother passed it to me and their defender was beside me,” said Gavin, on describing his eventual game-winning goal. “I knew I could beat him and had the center open. I ran around him and got the shot off. It was a picture-perfect play.”
Jake Benson scored a late goal for STMA to close the gap to 11-10. Despite a furious final minute, the Knights never could tally the equalizer as Buffalo’s goalie and defense stood tall in the final seconds.
“They definitely did come up big,” Hartfiel said. “Defense got beat a few times, but they moved on and stepped up when it mattered the most. It truly shows their character.”
Lost in all the offense this season is the steady play and leadership in the back end, starting with Marschel in goal, and senior captain Austin Hoien, senior Nick Jensen, senior Tommy Gaughan and freshman Bjorn Pederson.
In the previous week, Buffalo’s defenders held opponents scoreless for six straight quarters. The Bison held Hermantown off the scoresheet in the second half of a 17-2 home win, followed by a 20-0 shutout over North.
“We spend time working on footwork to ensure being in the right position at the right time,” Hartfiel said. “From there, it’s a personal belief that you’re going to work harder than whom you’re matched up against. From there, it’s a matter of moving on. If you didn’t stop your opponent, you will next time. If Christian doesn’t make the save, he will the next time. These guys are constantly pushing negatives away, making sure we are mentally tough on defense. It’s easy to overthink the defensive game.”
A good example of this came on faceoffs. An injury prevented Buffalo’s top faceoff man, senior Kevin Kemp out of the circle. Hartman struggled to win draws, but his effort away from the ball is what was noticed.
“Brady wasn’t winning the faceoffs, but he had to work after the ground balls. That was probably the difference maker,” Hartfiel said. “He was getting beat, but still beating guys to the ball and keeping possession. Those were big momentum changing plays for us.”
Unlike an earlier game, resulting in a one-goal loss at home to Rogers, both STMA and Buffalo played a physical game withhout it getting out of control at the end.
“Is there a rivalry between the schools? – yes,’ Hartfiel said. “But there is a respectful camaraderie between the two teams. The games are hard fought, but a good competition. It’s nice to see good lacrosse being played in our area. Some think you have to go to the cities to see competitive lacrosse, but you can see competitive lacrosse right here. That says something.”
It was also the final game played of four head-to-head games the two schools matched up that day in softball, baseball, girls’ lacrosse and boys’ lacrosse.
The Bison won all four games. Afterwards, Welch sported a huge grin.
“That’s awesome,” he said. “I don’t think that’s ever happened before in the history of Buffalo sports.”
The Bison improved to 9-3 overall and earned their first turf win of the season with a 10-9 road victory on Tuesday, May 24 at St. Cloud.
Playing their first game without Marschel in net, sophomore Sam Studee subbed for the injured goalkeeper and made 13 saves. The Bison led 8-4 at halftime, but were outscored 5-1 in the final two quarters.
“We hit a lot of posts,” Hartfiel said.
St. Michael-Albertville 10
(Thursday, May 19 at Buffalo)
Knights 6 4 -- 10
Bison 5 6 -- 11
Goals: Kenny Gudmonson 4, Jake Benson 3, Ryley Zopfi 2, Pierce Bedell 1. Assists: Pierce Bedell 1, Jake Benson 1, Samuel Bong 1, Kenny Gudmonson 1, Nolan Olsen 1, Jack Terwey 1, Ryley Zopfi 1.
Goalies: Jace Heibel (loss) 18 shots, 7 saves.
Goals: Brady Hartman 4, Gavin Welch 3, Noah VanderKooi 2, Trey Green 1, Egan Mills 2. Assists: Egan Mills 2, Noah VanderKooi 1, Gavin Welch 1.
Goalies: Christian Marschel (win) 20 shots, 10 saves.
Buffalo 10, St. Cloud Tech 9
(Tuesday, May 24 at SCSU)
Bison 8 1 -- 10
Tigers 4 5 -- 9
Goals: Noah VanderKooi 4, Brady Hartman 2, Trey Green 1, Conley Stumpfl 1 Jeff Norman 1, Gavin Welch 1. Assists: Jeff Norman 1, Hunter Landsberger 1, Conley Stumpfl 1.
Goalies: Sam Studee (win) 22 shots, 13 saves.
Bison tennis falls 4-3 in section playoffs
By Rob LaPlante
Doubles partners Stone Goodmanson and Jack Stevens, both juniors on the Bison boys’ tennis squad, knew something was up.
As the No. 7 seed hosting No. 10 seed Champlin Park in the opening round of the Section 5AA team tournament, the Bison’s No. 3 doubles tandem knew their team’s fate was in their hands.
Tied 3-3 in the team score, Goodmanson and Stevens were tied 5-5 in the second set and down 1-0 in the match. All of a sudden, all eyes were on them.
“I didn’t really know what was going on until I saw all the fans were sitting around and watching,” Goodmanson said. “That’s when I knew it was a key match.”
Champlin Park’s Tim Bui and Garrett Reichenbach would eventually win the deciding point, 7-6 (9-7), 7-5, giving the Rebels a 4-3 upset victory. Champlin Park came into the contest 3-10 overall.
Both Goodmanson and Stevens admitted that the shots became more difficult as the tension grew.
“You get kind of nervous and you want to make every shot count,” Stevens said. “I guess the nerves kind of get to you.”
Down 6-5 and serving 30-40, the game ended on a Bison service error.
“I’m still mad that I double faulted to end it,” Goodmanson said.
Buffalo fell behind in the match 3-0 after losing points at two and three singles, and one doubles. They registered the next three points thanks to a 6-3, 6-2 win at four singles from junior Saami Larson, a 6-4, 7-5 victory at two doubles from seniors Hunter Hartke and Eric Olson, and 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 win at one singles from sophomore Nick Immel.
“Once Nick one his match, I knew it was up to us,” said Stevens, who teamed with Goodmanson in a similar scenario on May 5 against St. Francis, only that match ended with a three-set win and a 4-3 team victory.
Disappointed the season came to an end, Bison head coach Ben Watkins remained positive throughout a difficult stretch that saw the Bison lose their last seven matchups and finish 5-14 overall.
Watkins used the final doubles match as an example of positive things to build on.
“Experience,” he said. “For Jack and Stone, now they’ve been there. We’re returning most of our guys next year. All of a sudden, next season we’re still a deep team, and now they have been through a year of tough matches.”
The same could be said for juniors Cade Stensby and Grant Wykle, who lost 7-6 (7-4), 6-1 at one doubles to Champlin Park’s Caleb Bertrang and Neil Theisen.
Unforced errors proved to be the biggest difference in this matchup. Remarkably, Theisen was in the Rebels lineup just four months after having major leg surgery for a broken femur he suffered last Jan. 5 playing hockey, ironically against the Bison.
After his match, Theisen reflected back on the injury and said he spent four days in the hospital.
“I’ll be playing hockey again next year,” he explained. “It was a painful experience. I woke up twice during the surgery.”
Not as painful, but an area where Watkins hopes his team improves on for next year is experience in the off-season.
“Now they know, if we don’t play, it’s going to be really tough during the season,” he said.
Olson, Hartke and senior Tom Fredrickson, Eric Olson will graduate, as will junior-varsity player Chase Schottler.
All three of the varsity seniors likely will have at least one more high school match when the Section 5AA individual tourney kicks off Friday, May 27 at Baseline Tennis Center in Minneapolis.
Watkins admitted, he wanted to sleep on his latest defeat before he decided the six players (two singles players, and four doubles teams).
“I think our captains have earned the right to decide where they would like to be,” Watkins said.
Immel and Fredrickson will compete at singles. Matching up as doubles partners will be Olson and Wykle, and Stevens with Hartke.
All six players are making their first appearance in the individual tourney.
Section 5AA Team Tourney
Champlin Park 4, Buffalo 3
(Wednesday, May 18 at Buffalo)
Singles: No. 1 – Nick Immel (B) def. Salmaan Mulla (CP) 4-6, 6-2, 6-4; No. 2 -- Jack Dockendorf (CP) def. Tom Fredrickson (B) 6-1, 6-2; No. 3 -- Matt Mungai (CP) def. Noah Steinmetz (B) 6-4, 6-2; No. 4 -- Saami Larson (B) def. Sam Langhus (CP) 6-3, 6-2.
Doubles: No. 1 -- Caleb Bertrang/Neil Theisen (CP) def. Grant Wykle/Cade Stensby (B) 7-6 (7-4), 6-1; No. 2 -- Eric Olson/Hunter Hartke (B) def. Kei Heltemes/Jacob Yurek (CP) 6-4, 7-5; No. 3 -- Tim Bui/Garrett Reichenbach (CP) def. Stone Goodmanson/Jack Stevens (B) 7-6 (9-7), 7-5.
Buffalo Track & Field places dozen on all-conference squad
Bison boys’ fourth, girls eighth; STMA sweeps both conference championships
By Rob LaPlante
Distance runners and hurdlers highlighted both the girls’ and boys’ Bison track and field squads at this year’s Mississippi 8 championship meet held Tuesday, May 24 at Cambridge-Isanti.
Freshman Isaac Basten (3,200-meter run, 10:07.00) and senior Jake Kluver (1,600 run, 4:28.67) recorded first-place times, leading the Bison to a fourth-place team score of 86.50. It was the third straight meet Basten has won the 3,200 event. Junior Landon Tourville placed fourth in the 3,200 in 10:28.80. Senior Luke Smith also gained all-conference status with a fourth-place finish and a personal record in the 800 run in 2:01.27.
The top four individual finishes make all-conference. Finishers 5-8 earn honorable mention status. Buffalo boys’ finished with nine all-conference finishers and eight making honorable mention.
Also finishing top four were junior Jayson Gorton, first in the 100 wheelchair dash (20.61); junior Noah Buystedt, third and a PR in the 300 hurdles (42.90); senior Isaiah Nowak, third in pole vault (12-06); junior Nick Hanson was fourth and set a PR in pole vault (12-06); and senior Jordan Thielman, second in discus (152-02), also was a PR.
St. Michael-Albertville dethroned North Branch as conference champion with a team score of 141. Cambridge-Isanti was runner-up at 129. Monticello third at 89.50.
The Knights enjoyed a huge day on both the boys’ and girls’ side. The girls’ successfully defended their title with a first-place score of 161.50.
Fresh off a sixth-place finish in the Class AAA True Team state meet held Friday, May 20 at Stillwater, the Knights recorded six first-place finishes, including three from junior Anna Keefer.
Buffalo finished with 39 points, good for eighth place. Senior Rachel Bertram, sophomore Zara Wirkus, and sophomore Amanda Montplaisir each earned all-conference status. Bertram was second in pole vault at an even 10-feet, Montplaisir third in the 800 run in 2:22.72, and Wirkus set a PR with a third-place finish in the 300 hurdles in 48.96.
“It was nice to see both Zara and Noah have great days in the hurdles,” said Bison head coach Scott Palmer.
The Bison girls’ recorded four honorable mentions.
Next up is the Section 2AA Tournament, starting with preliminaries at 3 p.m. Wednesday, June 1 at Gustavus Adolphus in St. Peter. Finals take place at 10 a.m. Thursday, June 3 at the same location.
Mississippi 8 Finals (Girls)
(Tuesday, May 24 at Cambridge-Isanti)
- All-Conf: Top 4 events, Top 2 relays
- Honorable Mention: Top 5-8 events,
Top 3-4 relays
Team scores: 1. St. Michael-Albertville 161.50, 2. Cambridge-Isanti 99, 3. Monticello 87, 4. St. Francis 86, 5. North Branch 77.50, 6. Big Lake 55, 7. Chisago Lakes 40.50; 8. Buffalo 39, 9. Princeton 38.50; 10. Rogers 18.
Individual results (Bison scorers only)
100 Meter Dash: 1. Anna Keefer (STMA); T19. Vivien Schuber (B) 14.14; T19. Larissa Lynch (B) 14.14; 25. Gabby Grage (B) 14.34.
200 Meter Dash: 1. Katelyn Tschida (STMA) 26.38; 21. Gabby Grage (B) 29.11; 22. Larissa Lynch (B) 29.12; 27. Georgia Gorr (B) 30.10.
400 Meter Dash: 1. Mercedey Harper (NB) 59.90; 7. Emily Kern (B) 1:01.89; 13. Kacey Rohman (B) 1:05.80; 22. Kylee Vik (B) 1:10.66.
800 Meter Run: 1. Rhianna Rinke (NB) 2:18.22; 3. Amanda Montplaisir (B) 2:22.72; 17. Lila Hoover (B) 2:40.08; 26. Alyssa Wallenta (B) 3:04.72.
1600 Meter Run: 1. Rhianna Rinke (NB) 5:15.27; 13. Areefa Seepersaud (B) 5:55.51; 17. Ivelyn Christianson (B) 6:07.80; 23. Anastasia Hensel (B) 6:22.53.
3200 Meter Run: 1. Elise Yeager (Monti) 12:03.70; 6. Meredith Reynolds (B) 12:20.30.
100 Meter Hurdles: 1. Cherish Witherspoon (STMA) 15.42; 6. Becky Horak (B) 17.10; 15. Zara Wirkus (B) 17.93; 19. Allie Swearingen (B) 18.38.
300 Meter Hurdles: 1. Edith Makori (BL) 45.79; 3. Zara Wirkus (B) 48.96; 13. Cecelia Miller (B) 51.66.
4x100 Meter Relay: 1. STMA (Anna Keefer, Cherish Witherspoon, Katelyn Tschida, Whitney Perry) 48.48; 9. Buffalo (Gabby Grage, Becky Horak, Allie Merz, Vivien Schuber) 54.18.
4x200 Meter Relay: 1. St. Francis (Alexis Lusthoff, Hannah Solberg, Brenna Dolney, Taylor Karasch) 1:46.90; 6. Buffalo (Rachel Bertram, Emily Kern, Brooke Oelfke-Hagen, Kacey Rohman 1:53.54.
4x400 Meter Relay: 1. Monticello (Olivia Kanzler, Brielle Nemitz, Ashanti Guertin, Madison McDermott) 4:06.57; 6. Buffalo (Rachel Bertram, Amanda Montplaisir, Emily Kern, Zara Wirkus) 4:17.65.
4x800 Meter Relay: 1. Monticello (Anna Fasen, Ashanti Guertin, Alex Revenig, Madison McDermott) 9:36.85; 7. Buffalo (Lily Hanson, Lila Hoover, Emma Weber, Makenzie Wondra) 10:48.42.
High Jump: 1. Samantha Orth (Rogers) 5-02; 6. Kari Zumach (B) 5-00; 17. Aivary Bouman (B) 4-06; 21. Rachel Huss (B) 4-04.
Pole Vault: 1. Mikayla Johnson (NB) 10-00; 2. Rachel Bertram (B) 10-00; 18. Rachel Haas (B) 8-00; 23. Allie Merz (B) 7-06.
Long Jump: 1. Anna Keefer (STMA) 18-07; 20. Cecelia Miller (B) 14-03.50; 21. Brooke Oelfke-Hagen 13-11.50; 26. Hailey Sorenson (B) 13-03.
Triple Jump: 1. Anna Keefer (STMA) 38-00; 21. Amanda Montplaisir (B) 30-07; 22. Zara Wirkus (B) 30-06; 24. Hailey Sorenson (B) 30-05.
Shot Put: 1. Madeline Krueger (CI) 38-03.50; 18. Mackenzie Dircks (B) 28-09.50; 19. Emily Linderholm (B) 28-08.
Discus: 1. Amanda Anderson (SF) 148-02; 25. Kiera Johnson (B) 74-11; 27. Emma Forcier (B) 71-10.
Mississippi 8 Finals (Boys)
(Tuesday, May 24 at Cambridge-Isanti)
- All-Conf: Top 4 events, Top 2 relays
- Honorable Mention: Top 5-8 events,
Top 3-4 relays
Team scores: 1. St. Michael-Albertville 141, 2. Cambridge-Isanti 129, 3. Monticello 89.50, 4. Buffalo 86.50, 5. St. Francis 76, 6. Chisago Lakes 59.50, 7. Big Lake 43, 8. North Branch 39.50, 9. Rogers 38, 10. Princeton 2.
Individual results (Bison scorers only)
100 Meter Dash: 1. Genuine Matthews (SF) 11.43; 19. Blake Gleason (B) 12.20; 21. Cedric Bela (B) 12.25; 22. Joseph Farniok 12.31.
100 Meter Wheelchair Dash: 1. Jayson Gorton (Buffalo) 20.61.
200 Meter Dash: 1. Genuine Matthews (SF) 22.07; 12. Carter Patnode (B) 23.86; 17. Blake Gleason (B) 24.27; 20. Joesph Farniok (B) 24.62.
400 Meter Dash: 1. Genuine Matthews (SF) 49.93; 9. Carter Patnode (B) 52.55; 14. Tyler Johnson (B) 53.64; 23. Peyton Brenny (B) 56.03.
800 Meter Run: 1. Andrew Mergen (Monti) 1:58.38; 4. Luke Smith (B) 2:01.27; 11. Henry Lemp (B) 2:08.24; 12. Alexei Hensel (B) 2L09.84.
1600 Meter Run: 1. Jake Kluver (B) 4:28.67; 16. Joey Anderson (B) 4:58.24; 24. Anthony Urbanski (B) 5:12.97.
3200 Meter Run: 1. Isaac Basten (B) 10:e07.00; 4. Landon Tourville (B) 10:28.80.
110 Meter Hurdles: 1. Isaiah Weston (STMA) 14.54; 7. Connor Boster (B) 17.04; 15. Noah Buystedt (B) 18.33; 16. Jacob Hagen (B) 18.45.
300 Meter Hurdles: 1. Joe Conrad (CI) 41.77; 3. Noah Buystedt (B) 42.90; 8. Connor Boster (B) 44.13; 14. Jacob Hagen (B) 45.84.
4x100 Meter Relay: 1. Monticello (Jack Hoaby, Asher Mason, Ryder Beckman, Nate Hoglund) 43.58; 4. Buffalo (Blaske Gleason, Matt Montplaisir, Joesph Farniok, Brandon Weber) 45.65.
4x200 Meter Relay: 1. Chisago Lakes (Alexander Morehead, Dylan Blaul, Thomas Strand, Arran Hickcox) 1:31.75; 4. Buffalo (Nick Hanson, Tyler Johnson, Matt Montplaisir, Brandon Weber) 1:33.71.
4x400 Meter Relay: 1. Monticello (Tyler Sirovy, Levi Bican, Andrew Mergen, Charlie Voller) 3:27.35; 6. Buffalo (Tyler Johnson, Luke Smith, Carter Patnode, Nick Hanson) 3:43.87.
4x800 Meter Relay: 1. STMA (Jackson Connelly, Joe Eicher, Jackson Tracy, Alex Wolseth) 8:15.06; 5. Buffalo (Luke Smith, Henry Lemp, Brett Hanson, Braden Benson) 8:25.60.
High Jump: 1. Isaiah Weston (STMA) 6-00; 6. Justin Durr 5-08; 12. Tyler Johnson 5-04.
Pole Vault: 1. Jared Wilson (CI) 13-06; 3. Isaiah Nowak (B) 12-06; 4. Nick Hanson (B) 12-06; 17. John Bjork (B) 9-00.
Long Jump: 1. Isaiah Weston (STMA) 23-00; 6. Matt Montplaisir (B) 20-05.75; 7. Brandon Weber (B) 20-02; 12. Carter Patnode (B) 19-04.
Triple Jump: 1. Tommy Schwieger (SF) 43-02.50; 7. Matt Montplaisir (B) 40-09; 14. Isaac Wondra (B) 37-00.50; 20. Brandon Weber (B) 36-04.
Shot Put: 1. Garrett Poe (BL) 50-08; 9. David Hanson (B) 42-11; 11. Henry Lemp (B) 41-01.
Discus: 1. Levi Ross (SF) 153-09; 2. Jordan Thielman (B) 152-02; 11. Dawson Mann (B) 126-09; 28. Harlan Johnson (B) 86-03.
Northwinds’ Arts & Academic day focuses on South America
Students showed many skills as they displayed their choice of work, focusing on the continent of South America. Mrs. Wagner led students in grades 1-3, as they performed songs about South America.
The Book Fair was also held in the gym, while the PTO-sponsored Ice Cream Social, and classroom created baskets for the silent auction were held in the cafeteria.
Arts and Academics is an annual event held at NES. The first Arts and Academics was held in the spring of 2008, the second year that Northwinds was in existence. Nine years later, the school has traveled the globe looking at a continent each year (excluding Antarctica) and then starting the rotation over again.
Students love to pick a topic of choice and find out more about it and then share it with an authentic audience, in this case, the extended family of Northwinds. NES would like to thank the students that participated.