SPORTS & SCHOOL

 

 

Late heroics spoil Buffalo’s season debut in Willmar

Defending Mississippi 8 champs look to replace coach, 14 seniors

New Bison leaders hope to find winning formula

Talented squad shoots for more goals

Region 12 teams advance in Class C state tournament

Buffalo tennis opens 4-1

2015 Cross Country Preview

Local bands wind up summer season

BHM school district adds 40 new staff members

Journal-Press Internet Sports & School - August 27, 2015
by
Rob LaPlante

Journal-Press Sports Editor Rob LaPlante may be reached
by phone at 763-682-1221 or click here to email him


Late heroics spoil Buffalo’s season debut in Willmar

WEEK TWO MATCHUP: Monticello at Buffalo, 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 28 at Buffalo Community Middle School

By Rob LaPlante

Sports Editor

The Buffalo Bison football team never trailed in its season opener last Saturday, August 22 in a road game at Willmar. That is until 9.5 seconds were left in regulation.

The last time these two teams met came in Buffalo’s stunning 43-20 upset in a 2013 Section 6-5A playoff road game. Buffalo looked to keep its momentum in Willmar. But after a slow start, Willmar was able to erase a 19-0 second half Bison advantage by scoring 20 unanswered points to steal a 20-19 victory.

The winning score came down to a fourth down and five play at the Bison 17-yard line. With 15.9 seconds left, Willmar quarterback Zach Radermacher tossed a perfect pass that found receiver Max Doering in the back corner of the end zone. Ryan Limatta kicked the all-important extra point to give Willmar its first lead and eventual win.

The game-winning score was aided by a defensive holding call on a failed fourth down pass attempt by Willmar in Bison territory. Buffalo would have taken over on downs and run the clock out with Willmar having one timeout with less than two minutes remaining.

“I didn’t see it,” said Buffalo head coach Todd Bouman regarding the penalty. “That’s part of the game and the way it goes. We still had a chance to make a play at the end of the game. We just didn’t make the plays when we had to. That’s sports.”

Ironically, the Bison shot themselves in the foot again with another key penalty as time expired in the first half. Buffalo enjoyed a 7-0 lead at halftime, but it could have been more as a 17-yard pass from junior quarterback Dylan Rohlin into double coverage was snagged in the back of the end zone by senior wide receiver Gavin Welch.

Instead of a two-score lead, the play was nullified on a holding call and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after the apparent score. The infraction cost Buffalo 15 yards and a touchdown. More importantly, it took them out of field-goal range.

“We did a lot of good things,” said senior defensive back/wide receiver Matt Montplaisir. “But we left some opportunities out on the field. We had a lot of chances to score down in the red zone and we couldn’t capitalize.”

While Montplaisir and the Bison were in a tight game, the score at half was not indicative of the play on the field. Buffalo’s defense allowed only two first downs in the opening 24 minutes and forced two Willmar turnovers. Senior lineman Adam Treptau laid out two Willmar players with two bruising hits, and junior quarterback Dylan Rohlin was making plays.

“Dylan played well,” Bouman said. “He made some great throws, great reads and stood in the pocket tough.”

Buffalo’s lone score came in the first quarter on a nine-yard touchdown run by senior running back Joe McClellan. Although they dominated all facets of the game, Bison junior wide receiver Tyler Johnson said the guys were not discouraged at half holding only a 7-0 lead.

“We just wanted to keep doing what we were doing and maybe push a little harder,” said Johnson, who had a career-high 122 yards receiving in his first varsity start, including a highlight run where he broke three tackles for a 64-yard gain in the third quarter.

“Last year I didn’t play too much,” Johnson said. “This year I just wanted to come out and show I was a lot better. Other than some off the field injuries like cramping and stuff, I thought I played well.”

The big plays continued immediately into the second half as the first play from scrimmage for Willmar resulted in Montplaisir’s second interception. The turnover set up the Rohlin to Welch combination, this time for a 14-yard score, and with no penalties. It was the first career varsity touchdown pass for Rohlin, who was making his sixth career start.

Rohlin would extend Buffalo’s lead to 19-0 later in the third quarter on a one-yard quarterback sneak. The Bison attempted to go for two points instead of kicking the point after and McClellan was stuffed to keep the lead at 19. The play seemed innocent at the time, but Willmar seemed to gain momentum.

 Radermacher marched the Cardinals down the field on their next possession and eventually found a wide open Jared Swoboda, who took it 27 yards for the first Cardinal score.

Buffalo led 19-6 starting the fourth quarter. The Bison appeared to regain their momentum when senior defensive back Cedric Bela intercepted Radermacher’s pass at the Bison’s two-yard line. Instead of stepping out of bounds near the sidelines, Bela decided to make a play and later was stripped from behind as Willmar recovered the ball at Buffalo’s three-yard line. Sam Kerfeld would score on the next play making it 19-13.

Bouman had no ill feelings on Bela’s decision of running the ball after creating a pivotal turnover.

“You’re trying to make a play,” Bouman said. “I always tell the guys, if you make an interception, score. That’s what we always talk about.”

The Bison again looked to regain momentum on the ensuing kickoff that Montplaisir nearly broke down the left sidelines before being tackled at the Willmar 24-yard line.

“I thought I had it,” Montplaisir said.

Buffalo failed to convert on fourth down in the red zone, which eventually set the Cardinals up for the winning drive.

“It hurts, but that’s part of sports. That’s the way it goes,” Bouman said. “The kids worked hard. I feel bad for them. We didn’t make enough plays offensively in the second half. We had a couple turnovers and Matt gave us a good kickoff return and we didn’t get any points out of it.”

In hind sight, Bouman wishes he had a couple of his own play calls, back.

“As a coach, you always second guess the things you do,” Bouman said. “Maybe we should have went a little more empty and thrown a little more to spread them all out in the second half. But up by a couple scores, we’re just trying to run the clock and help our defense out a little bit.”

 

HOME MAGIC

After losing twice last year to Wright County rivals Monticello, nobody is happier to get the Magic on their home turf than the Bison.

Buffalo was outscored 65-10 in two road games a year ago at Monticello, including a 30-7 Section 6-5A playoff loss that ended Buffalo’s season.

“We’re going for the revenge,” Montplaisir said. “We have to start off strong and finish strong.”

The Magic (1-0) won a slugfest in their opening road game at Alexandria by a score of 44-38. Running back Ryder Beckman rushed for 169 yards and three scores, the third of which came with 12 seconds left to break a 38-38 tie game. Beckman has the luxury of running behind senior lineman Conner Olson, a 6-foot-6, 285-pound tackle headed to the University of Minnesota.

Win or lose, Bouman is confident his team will be ready.

“Whoever they put in front of us, we’ll be ready to play,” Bouman said. “One things about our guys is they never put their tails between their legs.”

 

Willmar 20, Buffalo 19

(Saturday, August 22 at Willmar)

Buffalo 7    0   12   0   -  19

Willmar0    0    6   14  -  20

Scoring:

First quarter

B – Joe McClellan 6 run (Carter Patnode kick).

Second quarter

No scoring

Third quarter

B – Gavin Welch 14 pass from Dylan Rohlin (kick failed).

B – Rohlin 1 run (2-point run failed).

W – Jarod Swoboda 27 pass from Zach Radermacher (kick failed).

Fourth quarter

W – Sam Kerfeld 3 run (Ryan Limatta kick).

W – Max Doering 17 pass from Radermacher (Limatta kick).  

 

Bison leaders:

Passing – Dylan Rohlin 16-34-238, TD.

Rushing – Joe McClellan 20-40, TD; Tyler Johnson 3-9; Dylan Rohlin 1-1, TD.

Receiving – Tyler Johnson 5-112; Gavin Welch 7-107, TD; Tyler Wurm 2-12; Joe McClellan 1-2.

Tackles – Adam Treptau 9 (1 sack); Gavin Welch 6 (1 interception); Alan Hernandez 6; Cedric Bela 4 (1 interception); Joe McClellan 3 (1 sack); Matt Montplaisir 3 (2 interceptions); Harlan Johnson 3; Tyler Wurm 2 (1 sack); Dan Jacobs 2; Noah VanderKooi 2; John Pearson 1; Sean Johnson 1.

Cardinals leaders:

Passing – Zach Radermacher 13-28-4, 2 TD.

Rushing – Sam Kerfeld 15-73, TD; Nate Ackerman 5-14; Zach Radermacher 8-(-7).

Receiving – Jarod Swoboda 3-60, TD; Max Doering 4-55, TD; Tate Hovland 2-15; Max Trochlil 2-6; Sam Kerfeld 1-4; Colten Carlson 1-0.

Tackles – Nate Ackerman 7; Colten Carlson 6; Breck Erickson 5; Louis Russell 2; Tate Hovland 2 (1 sack); Max Trochlil 2; Noah Slagter 2; 6 players tied with 1.

 

 

Defending Mississippi 8 champs look to replace coach, 14 seniors

Boys Soccer Preview

By Rob LaPlante

Sports Editor

Team bonding was a key reason for the emergence of the Buffalo boys’ soccer team’s rise to the top of the Mississippi 8 conference standings a season ago.

“Last year was great,” said senior captain Henry Lemp, one of only a handful of players who wasn’t a senior on last year’s varsity squad that finished 11-6-1 overall, and 8-0-1 in the conference. “Obviously it was fun to win. But the community we had as a team was great. We would all get together on the weekends and hang out. Just the whole bonding experience makes it a whole lot more fun and improves play on the field.”

As one of three senior captains this season, along with midfielders Luke Smith and Ben Asleson, it was no surprise that Lemp took charge by hosting a team barbeque the first Friday that concluded a hard opening week of practice.

Chemistry wasn’t the only reason for last year’s success. The experience of 14 seniors with the skill level to match, was a major contributor to a team that scored 50 goals in 18 games and advanced to the Section 8AA semifinal game before losing 4-1 to the eventual Class AA state champion Anoka Tornadoes.

Last year’s Bison squad improved dramatically from the 2013 season in which they posted a 4-11-2 overall record and were shutout in nine of their 17 contests. The major improvements earned former head coach Jeff Lindstrom the 2014 Section 8AA Coach of the Year honor.

Rookie head coach Ben Watkins spent last year as an assistant under Lindstrom. He said taking over a team that had so much success with so much turnover on the roster this season will present its challenges, but he’s ready to build off last year’s success.

“A lot of people will be tempted to compare last year’s team with this year’s team,” Watkins said. “But for me, it’s all about the journey. I’m not really a results oriented guy. It’s more about growing together as a team and where are we now compared to the end of the season.”

While the hope is to keep that winning attitude and good team chemistry alive, Watkins is quick to point out that there still are some key components to last year’s puzzle returning.

“We have some experience in some key spots that are really good athletes,” Watkins said. “While we don’t have the team experience that we had last year, I’m excited about what we do have. We’re going to defend and pressure the teams and be all over the place. We’re pretty balanced. We have some solid defenders across the back line and a lot of guys that can run on the outsides.”

Senior captains Ben Asleson and Luke Smith were two players that played big roles on last season’s team. Both are midfielders and with key players like Luke Folkerds, Trevor Lewellen, Mario Eiden, Jake Jungwirth, Tyler Bruder, Jon Eastlund, and Ryan Bunting gone, both returning seniors know their roles may increase this season.

“We have a lot of talent, but we have a lot of work to do. We need to build up the skill level,” Asleson said. “We might have some trouble scoring this year. We don’t have as much talent, but I think we can do it with some hard work.”

“There will be a little bit of transition early,” Smith said. “We’re going to be a little inexperienced, but if we can work together and pass, I think we’ll have a shot at having a good season.”

One of the biggest losses will come in goal. The past two seasons the net has been owned by Jerame Schuetzle, a wide-bodied goalkeeper who had the ability to steal a game. Schuetlze posted seven shutouts last season.

Watkins has used a goalie by committee approach in early practices. He expects either senior Trenton Lee or junior John McNamara to get the brunt of the work between the pipes, and Noah Raisanen has also showed promise as a sophomore.

“All three of those guys are in the mix,” Watkins said.

Buffalo’s most skilled offensive player returning is senior forward Miguel Arroyo Hernandez. Hernandez emerged as the Bison’s third leading goal scorer in 2014 scoring nine times. Junior midfielder Reniel Christianson and senior defender Tyler Krug also bring experience.

“Miguel will be one of our main guys – a big asset, for sure,” Watkins said. “Smith will be scoring goals, Asleson will be controlling things around the midfield and I imagine he’ll be putting the ball in the net, too. Senior Tristan LaPlant and Spencer Lund will also contribute, and on the outsides (juniors) Tom Rooney and Blake Habisch can really fly.”

With a lot of new faces and a new head coach, Lemp remains confident that this year’s squad can still contend for another conference title.

“As a team, we have a lot of guys that can step up in terms of speed and conditioning,” Lemp said. “We lost a lot of skill, but we can play fast and I’m looking forward to seeing what these guys can do.”

Conditioning is one of the areas Watkins has taken to heart. A number of running drills were instituted in the first week of practice to build up their cardiovascular systems.

“Watkins is really pushing the conditioning,” Asleson said. “Lindstrom in his last years was kind of taking it easy on us. But Watkins is pushing the conditioning and getting us in shape. We don’t have as much skill, so if we’re fit, we can keep up the competition, even though we have less skill than a year ago.”

“Ben has a lot of great ideas for how he wants our team to look,” Smith said. “Losing Lindstrom are big shoes to fill, but I think Watkins can do it.”

As for contending for another section title, the Bison will no longer have to deal with state champion Anoka, who has moved from Section 8AA to 7AA. The Tornadoes have ended Buffalo’s season two straight years. Maple Grove, last year’s Class 4A fourth place state finisher takes Anoka’s spot. Despite the section change, the Bison have another crack at Anoka when they host the defending state champions on Saturday, Sept. 19 at 1 p.m.

“We’re shooting for another conference title,” Lemp said. “That’s a major goal again, but it would be nice to beat Anoka.”

“We want to beat Anoka, bad,” Smith said. “They have knocked us out the past couple years. We owe them.”

 

Volleyball Preview

New Bison leaders hope to find winning formula

By Rob LaPlante

Sports Editor

Not often do teams reflect back on a losing season with memories that bridge hope for the upcoming year.

The Buffalo volleyball squad posted a 13-16 overall record in 2014 and suffered its first losing year since 2009. But one particular highlight came in the team’s final loss of the season – a 3-0 defeat in the Section 2-3A quarterfinals to Prior Lake, the No. 1 seed in the section and this year’s No. 1 ranked team in the pre-season.

The Bison pushed the Lakers to the brink, particularly in the opening set that ended with Prior Lake squeaking out a 34-32 victory.

“That Prior Lake match was amazing,” said senior outside hitter Emma Simonson, who ended the match with seven kills and two digs. “We worked our butts off in that game. The girls on that team that are returning gained a bunch of confidence.”

Simonson is one of only three seniors to return to a team that is looking to replace six graduated seniors. Of those six, four were starters, including libero Tori Weber, middle hitter Bailey Brownlee, outside hitter Hannah Daniel and setter Sammy Johnson, who ended her career as the school’s all-time career set-assist leader.

“It is tough losing six seniors, but we have a lot of good athletes this year,” said senior captain Paige Dalbec, who returns as one of four varsity players to see extended playing time in 2014. “I think our one downfall early is we haven’t been working as a team yet. But once we get a few practices together and getting to know each other better on and off the court, things should be better.”

Dalbec, Simonson and Kirsten Deladi are the lone seniors on the roster. Simonson, Dalbec, junior Taylor Thompson and sophomore Kari Zumach are the four players returning with the most varsity playing experience.

Head coach Lauri Zumach pointed out a lot of positives from last year’s team that suffered through a transition year. The hope is to see some of those same players step up and improve even more in 2015.

“Emma and Kari swung great last year in that Prior Lake game,” Coach Zumach said. “Our seniors we lost last year were awesome, but we have some awesome kids coming back, too.”

A lot of Simonson’s success came from the right side of the net. As a left-handed player, she was able to catch a lot of teams off guard, particularly early in matches.

“Being a lefty is definitely an advantage,” Simonson said. “Other teams are not expecting that. Once they get the hang of it, I switch things up.”

Being lefty wasn’t the only reason for her success. She credited a lot of time in the gym as a reason for her playing time. She said the more playing time she got, the more confident she became.

“It helps a lot with confidence, getting that playing time a year ago,” Simonson said. “You work as hard in practices as you would if you don’t start. But for me, I’m working even harder, because I want to keep that spot in the lineup.”

Unlike the past couple years when Buffalo relied mainly on two players – Daniel and Kylee Zumach, now a sophomore at Kansas State University – to record the majority of the team’s kills, this year’s squad may have to rely early on an attack by committee approach.

Simonson, Kari Zumach, Thompson and junior Autumn Senger will get the early-season nod as the team’s primary outside hitters.

Replacing Johnson at setter will be a combination between youngsters Aivary Bouman, a sophomore, and eighth-grader Nicole Odeen.

 “We have a lot of competitors on this team,” Coach Zumach said. “They will be asked to play in different roles and I’ll have to get comfortable with them making aggressive mistakes early in the year. Hopefully they will stay aggressive without making those same mistakes at the end of the year.”

Zumach has been particularly impressed with Bouman and her overall talents.

“Aivary is really an athletic kid,” she said. “Odeen may fill in some setting rotations, because we’ll try to get Aivary to hit some balls, too.”

 

SWITCHES

Buffalo has opened the past three seasons against Class 3A section rival Delano Tigers. This season is no different. First serve is scheduled for a 7 p.m. home game on Tuesday, Sept. 1 against the Tigers.

While the two schools battle for Wright County Area bragging rights, the match has been equally important as both have been Section 2-3A rivals the past four seasons. Delano holds a 3-1 match advantage as Class 3A schools, including last season’s 3-0 (25-11, 25-19, 25-21) Tiger home victory.

This year’s match will also have playoff implications, but it will come in a different section. Delano and Buffalo both moved from Section 2-3A to Section 5-3A.

“We left a tough, tough section,” Coach Zumach said. “But we’re in a tough section now. Now we got Champlin Park, Wayzata, and Maple Grove to deal with.”

Also in the section is Blaine, Coon Rapids, Orono, Osseo, Park Center, Rogers, and St. Michael-Albertville. The Rebels of Champlin Park are the defending section champions. Champlin Park finished fifth in the 2014 Class 3A state tournament last November at Xcel Energy Center and finished with a 26-8 overall record.

While Delano advanced to state in 2013, Dalbec and the rest of the Bison are hoping to seek that first ever state tournament berth in 2015, but to do so, the leaders will need to step up.

“Being a senior this year, I’m putting a lot of pressure on myself being a good leader on and off the court,” Dalbec said. “It’s really exciting to be back in the gym and I’m really excited to get going.”

 

Talented squad shoots for more goals

Girls Soccer Preview

By Rob LaPlante

Sports Editor

The Buffalo girls’ soccer team scored big, and they haven’t even played a regular-season game, yet.

Following an offseason in which half his returning roster played in an advanced summer league, Bison head coach Steve Doimer is excited about the maturation of his current team that posted a 6-10-1 record last fall.

“We had a number of girls play at a higher competitive level this summer than ever in the past,” Doimer said. “Almost every one of our returning seniors played at a higher summer level. That is awesome. I expect them to be able to handle better teams much easier this year.”

Doimer’s daughter, Morgan, is one of three senior captains on this year’s squad. Seniors Allie Kurre and Abby Munsterteiger are the others.

Morgan explains that one of the major goal changes for this season is to concentrate on creating more offense.

“We’re focusing our efforts on attacking this year,” she said. “Our goal is to score goals. If we can score 2-3 goals, we should be good.”

Despite losing eight seniors, Buffalo returns two of its top leading scorers in junior Cadyn Luedemann and sophomore Sydney Johnson.

Johnson is arguably the Bison’s most talented player. She led the team in goals a year ago and is one of the fastest players in the conference.

“Sydney is definitely one of those high-end players,” Coach Doimer said. “We have at least 10 players that were pretty much starters. This is probably one of the more skilled teams we’ve had in years.”

Even with the talents of experienced players like Luedemann, Doimer, Johnson, Musterteiger, and Kurre, the Bison still lost its share of talented players. Leah Mussell, Megan Pearson, Chloe Boster, Carolyn Feddema, Mikayla Billin, Shianne Kemple, Cierra Pepper, and Jordyn Hansen all graduated.

Hansen spent the majority of her senior year in goal. She and Paige James have shared the net the past two seasons. James returns for her senior season. Coach Doimer is confident that goaltending will be a strength.

“Paige James in goal…I love her,” he said. “She’s worked extremely hard on her craft and she’s made a ton of progress since last year. She’s a solid goalkeeper.”

Doimer is also excited to have a healthy Munsterteiger back. Buffalo’s midfielder missed the entire 2014 season with a torn ACL. Munsterteiger still wears a brace on her right leg, but the injury she said is fully healed.

“My ACL felt great this summer, so it should be great this fall,” Munsterteiger said. “It was hard to miss last year, but I would rather miss my junior year than my senior year.”

Morgan Doimer credits yoga for a much healthier outlook in 2015.

“We’re going to be doing yoga once a week at school,” she said. “That will keep the girls in shape and keep us from getting tight muscles. It actually prevents a lot of injuries.”

If there is one area early in the year that appears to be in question, coach Doimer points out the defense.

Outside of James in goal, the Bison lost reliable defenders in Pepper, Mussell, and Pearson. Returning are seniors Paige Pettit, Gabby Coudron, and Hannah Anderson, along with sophomore Lauren Quiring.

With the experience of seven seniors and a bunch of players who played summer ball, Kurre is one of the upperclassmen hoping to finish her high school career on a positive note.

“I think we can definitely contend for the title,” Kurre said. “A lot of teams lost their best players and our best players were mostly juniors last year. We have a lot of good returning players who have played a lot playing club. We have a lot of speed with talent. It should be a pretty good year.”

Buffalo finished 4-5-0 in the conference a year ago, good for sixth place. Princeton, Rogers, and St. Michael-Albertville finished in a three-way tie for first place, each posting an 8-1-0 record.

Princeton advanced to the Class A state tournament, but lost in the opening round 5-0 to Hill-Murray. STMA was also eliminated in the first round of the Class AA state tourney in a 3-1 loss to Lakeville North.

“Our goal is to win conference and host a home section game – and win that game,” Munsterteiger said.

If the Bison are to make early believers of themselves and others, it may come in the first two games of the season. Buffalo opens with two difficult tests, starting with a 7 p.m. contest on Thursday, August 27 at home against 2015 Class AA state participant Hopkins. Their second game doesn’t get any easier, as they hit the road for a 5 p.m. matchup with the 2015 Class AA state champion Eagan Wildcats on Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Coach Doimer said he is excited for the early challenges, as well as what he’s seen early in the practices.

“I liked the overall attitude the first week of practice,” Doimer said. “It has been one of the more positive atmospheres at camp we’ve ever had. Every player has showed up and done what we’ve needed to do. The older players have got along great with the younger ones. We’ve had that in the past, but this year seems unique.”     

 

Region 12 teams advance in Class C state tournament

By Rob LaPlante

Sports Editor

The field of 48 teams in the 2015 Class C Amateur Baseball State Tourney has been narrowed down to 32, following the opening round of play last weekend at the sites of Cold Spring and Watkins.

Four of the 32 remaining teams belong to Region 12 (Maple Plain, Delano, Loretto and Howard Lake).

The No. 4 seed Maple Plain Diamond Devils opened the tournament with a convincing 10-3 victory on Friday, August 21 over Raymond, the No. 2 seed from Region 11. The second seed Delano followed suit with a 2-1 victory over Sleepy Eye, the No. 3 seed from Region 2 on Saturday, August 22. Both games were played at Watkins. 

The No. 3 seed Loretto Larks from Region 12 earned a 5-3 mini-upset win on Sunday, August 23 over No. 2 seed Long Prairie of Region 16 at Cold Spring. Top-seed Howard Lake earned a first-round bye and will matchup up against No. 3 seed from Region 8 Lastrup at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 29 at Cold Spring.  

The victory for Delano was the first state tourney win since 2004. Last year, the Athletics were eliminated on a walk-off hit in the bottom of the ninth in a 3-2 loss to Luverne.

Delano starting pitcher Jake Gleason pitched six innings of shutout ball to earn his fifth win of the season. Closer Trevor Jaunich earned a three-inning save, despite allowing his first earned run of the season in 10 relief appearances. The run cut Sleepy Eye’s deficit to 2-1. Delano’s eventual winning run came in the bottom of the seventh inning when first baseman Toby Hanson smacked a solo homer to right field.

The Athletics will now face Region 15’s top-seed New London Spicer at 5 p.m. on Saturday, August 29 in Watkins. Loretto’s second-round opponent is Nisswa, the top seed from Region 8. First pitch is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Saturday, August 29 in Cold Spring. Maple Plain will take on Region 9 top-seed Morris at 5 p.m. on Sunday, August 30 in Watkins.

 

CLASS B STATE

Two teams, the Monticello Polecats and St. Michael Saints, advanced to the Class B Amateur Baseball State Tournament, also held at Watkins and Cold Spring.

Unlike the single-elimination tournament in Class C, the Class B state tourney is a 16-team single-elimination first round, with a double-elimination format taking place after round two.

St. Michael claimed the Region 8 championship with a 6-5 victory over Monticello on Sunday, August 23 in St. Michael. The Saints will face Dundas at 5 p.m. Thursday, August 27 in Cold Spring. Monticello will face Moorhead at 7:30 p.m. Friday, August 28 in Cold Spring.

 

Delano 2, Sleepy Eye 1

(Saturday, August 22 at Watkins)

Sleepy Eye         000 000 001  --  1   5   1

Delano   000 100 10x  --  2   6   1

Indians       AB  R   H  RBI BB  K

Andrew Woitas         4    0    1    0    0    1

Sean Mathiowetz      3    1    1    0    0    2

Joey Walter   4    0    1    1    0    0

Alan Woitas  4    0    0    0    0    0

Jake Bohnen  4    0    1    0    0    0

Zach Salfer    4    0    0    0    0    0

Nolan Helget 2    0    0    0    1    0

Sam Hirschboeck    3    0    1    0    0    0

Matthew Helget        3    0    0    0    0    0

Indians         IP   H   R  ER  BB  K

Sean Mathiowetz (L)  6.0   5    1    1    3    2

Gary Wilfarht           2.0   1    1    1    2    2

Athletics     AB  R   H  RBI BB  K

Pat Regan      5    0    1    0    0    0

Mitchell Kern3    1    1    0    2    0

Peter Sychs   5    0    1    1    0    0

Eddie Kutz    4    1    2    0    0    0

Mike Mitchell4    2    1    0    0    0

Tyler Hebig   4    0    0    0    0    3

Nick Rettke   4    1    2    1    0    1

Charlie Curti  3    0    1    1    0    1

Dan Hoy       4    0    2    2    0    0

2B - K. Jaunich. HR - Hanson. HBP - Hanson, T. Jaunich. SB - A. Jaunich.

Athletics       IP   H   R  ER  BB  K

Jake Gleason (W)  6.0   2    0    0    1    1

Trevor Jaunich (S)  3.0   3    1    1    0    0

 

Buffalo tennis opens 4-1

By Rob LaPlante

Sports Editor

The Buffalo girls’ tennis squad is off to a fast start. Just two days into the season, the Bison already have already recorded five matches under their belt -- and four wins.

The Bison opened the year posting a 2-1 mark on Monday, August 24 at the Hutchinson Quad. Buffalo earned a pair of wins starting with a 4-3 victory over Mankato East, and a 7-0 shutout over Chaska. The host Tigers posted a perfect 3-0 mark following a 7-0 closing match against Buffalo.

Less than 24 hours later, the Bison were back at the courts, this time hosting Rosemount and Rocori as part of a four-team quadrangular hosted by Buffalo and Monticello. The Bison defeated Rosemount 4-3 and capped off the afternoon with a 6-1 victory over Rocori. The Magic and Bison elected not to play each other. Both teams will open the conference season against each other on Sept. 8 at Monticello.

Bison head coach Joel Peterson was able to use the two days and five matches to experiment a lot of different looks in his lineup.

“I have some options,” Peterson said. “Both the singles and doubles lineups played well.”

All three doubles matches in Buffalo’s 4-3 win over Mankato East came down to a third-set tiebreaker. Mankato East won two and three doubles, but singles wins by seniors Claudia Botzet, Mattie Lubben, and sophomore Claire Stevens helped preserve the victory.

Botzet was the lone constant in the lineup at No. 1 singles. She posted a 4-1 individual record. Her lone loss came to Ellyssa Hoversten of Hutchinson in three sets. The match was decided with a 10-7 third-set tie-break loss.

“Claudia played pretty well at the one spot and Mattie Lubben played most her games at number-two singles, and lost only once,” Peterson said.

A handful of players made their varsity debut.    Eighth-grader Ella Stevens earned her first career varsity win at No. 4 singles with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Christina Meleck of Chaska. Senior Vivien Schuber also made her varsity debut posting a 2-2 record in four doubles matches.

Schuber is a first-year tennis player from Germany, who is attending BHS as a foreign exhange student for her senior year.

“We’re playing pretty well,” Peterson said. “We had a lot of close matches come down to the wire. It’s good early experience for the girls and they came through. It’s good to see.”

The Bison (4-1 overall) next are in action with a 4 p.m. home meet Monday, August 31 against Osseo.

 

Hutchinson Quad

(Monday, August 24 at Hutchinson)

Buffalo 4, Mankato East 3

Singles: No. 1 – Claudia Botzet (B) def. Hannah Weng (ME) 6-3, 6-3; No. 2 – Mattie Lubben (B) def. Shaya Bartolo (ME) 6-1, 6-1; No. 3 – Megan Kunz (ME) def. Mya Lubben (B) 7-5, 6-3; No. 4 – Claire Stevens (B) def. Hannah Lacina (ME) 7-6 (7-3), 6-7 (4-7), (10-6).

Doubles: No. 1 – Molly Jungwirth/Abby Wyatt (B) def. Morgan Anderson/Maddie Ahrens 3-6, 7-5, (10-8); No. 2 - Torey Richards/Kylie Weckwerth (ME) def. Sydney Brandes/Emma Carlson (B) 6-4, 5-7, (10-8); No. 3 - Lynsey Rohlfing/Gina Stoner (ME) def. Ella Stevens/Hillary Hovland (B) 6-7, 7-6, (11-9).

 

Buffalo 7, Chaska 0

Singles: No. 1 – Claudia Botzet (B) def. Lexi Bauman (C) 6-1, 6-2; No. 2 – Mya Lubben (B) def. Sarah Willkom (C) 6-2, 6-3; No. 3 – Emma Carlson (B) def. Noelle Slezak (C) 3-6, 6-2, (10-8); No. 4 – Ella Stevens (B) def. Christina Meleck (C) 6-1, 6-4.

Doubles: No. 1 – Mattie Lubben/Claire Stevens (B) def. Anna Fauchald/Joslin Zaugg (C) 6-1, 6-1; No. 2 - Abby Wyatt/Molly Jungwirth (B) def. Gina Gjersvik/Lauren Houseman (C) 6-4, 6-4; No. 3 - Vivien Schuber/Sydney Brandes (B) def. Mackenzie Caldwell/Jessica Logue (C) 6-1, 6-3.

 

Hutchinson 7, Buffalo 0

Singles: No. 1 – Ellyssa Hoversten (H) def. Claudia Botzet (B) 5-7, 6-3, (10-7); No. 2 – Tayla Card (H) def. Mattie Lubben (B) 6-2, 6-4; No. 3 – Grace Johnson (H) def. Claire Stevens (B) 6-3, 6-4; No. 4 – Emma Johnson (H) def. Emma Carlson (B) 3-6, 6-4, (10-3).

Doubles: No. 1 – Hannah Starke/Katelyn Koenig (H) def. Abby Wyatt/Mya Lubben (B) 6-1, 6-1; No. 2 – Ellie Larson/Olivia Watzke (H) def. Molly Jungwirth/Vivien Schuber (B) 6-1, 6-1; No. 3 – Erin Westlund/Tiffany Waller (H) def. Sydney Brandes/Ella Stevens (B) 6-1, 6-3.

 

Buffalo Quad

(Tuesday, August 25 at Buffalo)

Buffalo 4, Rosemount 3

Singles: No. 1 – Claudia Botzet (B) def. Anna Leary (R) 6-3, 6-4; No. 2 – Mattie Lubben (B) def. Livia Leary (R) 6-2, 1-6, (10-5); No. 3 – Mya Lubben (B) def. Tanya Ramesh (R) 4-6, 6-3, (10-3); No. 4 – Claire Stevens (B) def. Sonja Ramesh (R) 6-4, 1-6, (10-4).

Doubles: No. 1 – Gretchen McDonald/Brynn Tonn (R) def. Abby Wyatt/Molly Jungwirth (B) 6-3, 4-6, (10-8); No. 2 – Mckenzie Samson/Lara Erdmann (R) def. Emma Carlson/Vivien Schuber (B) 3-6, 7-6, (10-8); No. 3 – Kristina Seldon/Izzy Agpalasin (R) def. Ella Stevens/Hillary Hovland (B) 6-2, 4-6, (10-7).

 

Buffalo 6, Rocori 1

Singles: No. 1 – Claudia Botzet (B) def. Lauren Davis (R) 6-0, 6-0; No. 2 – Mya Lubben (B) def. Haily Torbort (R) 6-2, 6-1; No. 3 – Emma Carlson (B) def. Amy Bertram (R) 6-0, 6-0; No. 4 – Sydney Brandes (B) def. Drew Jakela 6(R) 6-0, 6-2.

Doubles: No. 1 – Brynn Sauer/Alyssa Job (R) def. Mattie Lubben/Claire Stevens (B) 6-3, 1-6, (10-4); No. 2 – Abby Wyatt/Molly Jungwirth (B) def. Carly Reitmeier/Rachel Thompson (R) 6-1, 6-3; No. 3 – Ella Stevens/Vivien Schuber (B) def. Rachel Thompson/Jenna Barker (R) 6-1, 6-1.

 

2015 Cross Country Preview

Kluver, Montplaisir lead pack of young runners

By Rob LaPlante

Sports Editor

There is a change in girls’ cross country this season, and the Bison are in the middle of it.

The Minnesota State High School League elected to change the girls’ course this season to meet the same standards as the boys – both at 5,000 kilometers. In previous years, girls ran a 4,000 kilometer race.

“Moving to 5K will certainly make a difference,” said Buffalo girls’ head coach Jill Hanson, now entering her 29th season of coaching. “We have the talent. It’s just a matter of what the extra half-mile will do to some of the girls. It shouldn’t do that much, but it will be exciting, because we’ve been getting stronger over the last few years.”

After a few years of struggles, the Bison finished third in the Mississippi 8 a year ago and fifth out of 15 teams in the Section 2AA Championships. A recent influx of young talent, led by sophomore Amanda Montplaisir, has been a major reason for the step up.

Montplaisir qualified for state for the first time a year ago and finished the 4K race in 60th place in a time of 15:11.2. She said one of her personal goals is to return to St. Olaf in Northfield for state, but doing so will take some extra effort.

“I think the 5K will be a challenge at the beginning just to get to my pace. But, I think I’ll be able to work up to it,” Montplaisir said.

One drastic improvement came in her offseason routine where she nearly tripled her mileage.

“I feel about the same as last year, but I ran more miles in the summer,” Montplaisir said. “I ran 50 miles last year and this summer I ran about 140. I’m athletic throughout the year with gymnastics, too, so I’m pretty busy.”

Buffalo’s top four scorers in last year’s conference and section meets included two freshmen and two eighth graders. Montplaisir will be pushed by freshmen Erica O’Borsky, who just missed making state last season finishing 18th at sections in 15:40.60. Freshman Areefa Seepersaud was moved up from the junior varsity squad towards the middle of last season and finished as Buffalo’s third top runner at sections. Sophomore Meredith Reynolds was close behind in fourth place.

With the four girls returning to provide a solid nucleus up top, Buffalo possesses strong senior leadership from runners Jillian Golden, and Macey McClay.

Golden said her job this season is to push the younger girls.

“Most the girls are faster than me,” she said. “But in warmups, you tell them to stay with the fast girls. Pick somebody and beat them. When it hurts, push even harder.”

“Our seniors are excellent leaders,” Hanson said. “They are not our top runners, but they are the ones watching and cheering and bringing along the younger girls.”

 

KLUVER LEADS BOYS

Similar to the girls’ team, the Buffalo boys’ cross country squad returns one Class AA state participant. That’s where the comparison ends.

Senior Jake Kluver qualified for his first state tournament in 2014 finishing sixth in the Section 2AA Championships in a time of 16:24.00. Joining Kluver was three-time state qualifier Frank Graham, who ended his Bison career in 38th place in a time of 16:12.6. Kluver finished 60th overall in 16:28.3.

Kluver said an extensive summer routine has him geared for a strong senior year.

“This was the most summer miles I’ve ran so far and they have been faster miles,” Kluver said. “I ran the Hanover 5K and finished third place behind two college guys. It was my fastest time of 15:52, so that was exciting and a huge confidence booster going into the season.”

It marked the second year in a row Buffalo sent at least two runners to the state tournament. To do so again this year would require a ninth grader to step up.

“Kluver is our clear-cut number one. Isaac Basten is our number-two runner and he is only a freshman,” said Buffalo boys’ head coach Dave Knutsen. “Three through seven is all up in the air. We are a young and inexperienced team. It’s going to be a growing process. We’re going to need three or four meets under our belt before we see how it really shapes up.”

Basten exploded onto the scene a year ago as an eighth grader. He finished the section meet in 25th place in 17:23.00. Although he shows talent, Knutsen and Hanson use caution when pushing their young runner.

“Isaac is a natural-born runner. But he’s only a ninth-grader, so we have to take him slow and not burn him out. He’s got to grow,” Knutsen said. “Most ninth grade boys don’t make varsity teams, and he ran as an eighth grader. So he’s definitely special, but it will be a few years before he’s dominant.”

The goal is for Basten to follow the same path Kluver did as a youngster learning and running with Graham and former state participant Michael Wegter.

“Isaac is lucky to have Jake to learn after this year,” Knutsen said.

Buffalo graduated five seniors off a team that finished second in the conference to STMA and fourth in the section to state qualifiers Chaska and Shakopee. Gone are Reed Morehouse, Ethan Hosey, Erik Worner, Clayton Decker, and Joe Slicer.

Knutsen is relying on junior Landon Tourville and senior Trevor Otto to potentially be top scorers. He also likes what he sees early on from senior newcomer Wyatt Jacobson Hanson and junior Charlie DesMarais.

If some of the mentioned talent steps up, Knutsen likes his team’s chances. If not, the season could be a bit of a struggle.

“I think we can contend for the conference,” Knutsen said. “We lost a lot, but every team lost a little. We have to see how some of these younger guys progress. I can say now that we’ll be in contention for the conference, but are we going to win it? I don’t know.”

One thing he is certain of, with the graduation of Graham and STMA’s Chase Cayo, the door is wide open for Kluver to finish individually as the top runner in the conference.

“I think he is the top runner in the area,” Knutsen said. “He’s the top returning senior from conference last year. He didn’t get any worse. He only got better. I think in this area, he’s probably number one. Adam Armbruster of Delano and Kyle Rachel of Shakopee will be the top in the section. But in the conference, he’s tops.”

 

Local bands wind up summer season

By Rob LaPlante

Sports Editor

Minus a few of its “super seniors,” Buffalo High School’s HERD Summer Marching Band still made the most of its final performance of the season at the 34th annual Montrose Days Parade last Sunday, August 23 in Montrose.

Montrose was the final of 10 parades HERD band members marched in this summer. But it was the first parade in over a month, as the last one came in the historic Bristol 4th of July Celebration Parade in Bristol, Rhode Island.

BHS and Rockford High School were this year’s two performing bands in Montrose. Buffalo rotates year-to-year between Montrose and Hanover Parades. Even without some of their regular band members, HERD members still impressed both the crowd and band director Scott Rabehl.

“I was especially proud of how quickly the show came back to you,” Rabehl said. “They did a great job covering for the many missing performers, many of whom were some of our ‘big guns’ who had already left for college.”

Although the final two performances were not judged, one of the more promising feedbacks came from the Rockford Rockets band members.

Following the parade, Rabehl received an e-mail from Rockford’s band director Jerald Ferdig. The letter read: “I wanted to express my appreciation for the warm reception your band gave us today at the Montrose Parade. Your band demonstrated a lot of class, and it was noticed by myself as well as the Rockford students.  Please pass my appreciation to your marching band.  It was much appreciated.”

Flute captain Mallory Rabehl was the final winner for the HERD’s Golden Dinkle Award.

“Sunday’s events were a terrific way to cap off a phenomenal season,” Rabehl said.

 

BHM school district adds 40 new staff members

Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose welcomed 40 new staff members to the district this coming school year during its welcome breakfast/meeting Monday, August 24 at Buffalo High School. Pictured (front row, left-right): Natalie Johnson, Traci Christensen, Abby Bohler, Ashley Carlisle, Alyssa Danielson, Megan Usset, Anne McSorley, Anna Reedy, Suzanne Jurek, Lisa Anderson, Aimee Mooney, Anna Busch; (middle row, left-right): April Larsen, Kristin Vogeler; Kaia Grant; Bridget Corrigan, Brandon Aldrich, Brittany Pepin, Jennifer Blair, Crystal Aurich, Lizzy Lundebrek, Ben Presler, Kristi Clouthier, Shauna Pinoniemi, Kiz Gorham; (back row, left-right): Durand Onell, Peter Sommers, Mark Tuchscherer, David Kilgore, Caleb Brown, Michael Smith, Kevin Kray, Ian Chalmers, Amy Hoff, and Michelle Vieau-Miltz. Not pictured: Shana Bregnezer-Brenn, Ashley Johnson, Melissa Johnson, Amanda Rodgers, and Arlis Wallenta. (Photo by Rob LaPlante)