Muddy Crow stays in St. Michael

Raisanen rises to challenge in playoff win; Tech wins

Bison enjoy big success at M8 meet; girls third

Buffalo gives a Royal scare

Buffalo splits home meets

Buffalo ends regular season on high note

Bison rackets make noise at section tourney

BHM home of two Reward Schools

Wirkus to perform at nationals

Buffalo FFA Dairy Judging team places fifth at regionals

Journal-Press Internet Sports & School - October 20, 2016
Rob LaPlante

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

Muddy Crow stays in St. Michael

By Rob LaPlante

Sports Editor

For 24 minutes, the Buffalo football team stood toe-to-toe with the defending Class 5A state champions.

But 28 unanswered points in the third quarter broke a 14-14 halftime tie into a 49-20 blowout win for St. Michael-Albertville last Friday at Bison Field West.

“That second half was a carbon copy of Rogers,” said Bison head coach Todd Bouman. Buffalo trailed 8-0 at half in week four to the Royals, only to see the final score end up 36-0. “We can do anything we want when we do things right. All of a sudden we start making mistakes.”

Bouman was referring to an opening drive that saw Buffalo march down the field with ease. But once the red zone hit, two key penalties resulted in no points and senior quarterback Dylan Rohlin throwing one of his four interceptions in the game.

“That drive was super frustrating,” Bouman said. “It’s third-and-two. We’re going right down to score, and then we have two false starts and put ourselves in a big hole. We just can’t do that.”

STMA’s defensive stand sparked a 37-yard rushing score by senior Mitchell Kartes. The next drive resulted in a 14-0 Knights lead on a 44-yard passing score from junior quarterback Marcus Krupke to junior Zach Sjelin.

The Bison battled back to tie the score 14-14 at the half.

The comeback was sparked when senior quarterback Dylan Rohlin found his favorite target, senior Tyler Johnson, for second quarter passing scores of three and 18 yards.

Buffalo’s passing attack was able to move the chains on multiple drives in the first half. Senior Andrew Johnson ended the night with eight receptions for 137 yards.

Bouman noted similarities to the Rogers loss, but the game followed a more similar script to last year’s meeting at STMA where Buffalo trailed 14-10 at half, only to lose 48-10.

“Last year, we were almost in the same spot at halftime,” Andrew Johnson said. “We were still excited to be tied with them, but we didn’t want to get too cocky like we did a year ago.”

STMA head coach Jared Essler was afraid his team would not survive if the game turned into a shootout.

“No bones about it – we have struggled on offense this year,” Essler said. “Our defense has been solid all year. But to come in here and score 49 points will be a big confidence booster for our offense.”

Despite keeping a level head to start the second half, the script was nearly exact to last year’s outcome. STMA scored 34 unanswered points in the third quarter of last year’s win.

They outscored Buffalo 28-0 in the third quarter of Friday’s contest.

The key to the whole quarter was a punt that pinned Buffalo down to their own one-yard line.

“We were stuck in our half of the field for the whole third quarter,” Bouman said. “Everybody was excited at halftime. We just had to go out and play another good half of football. We just did not do that. We didn’t execute. When you don’t do that, especially in an offense like this, we can’t get drives going. We can’t get first downs.”

Punts and turnovers led to 35 unanswered points for STMA. The key score came when Kartes returned a punt 39 yards for a score giving the Knights a 35-14 cushion.

Buffalo capped off the scoring when Rohlin found sophomore Treyton Welch for an innocent 11-yard score with 1:07 left in the game. 

It was STMA’s sixth straight time they retained the Muddy Crow traveling trophy over their rivals – Essler noted his team had to work hard for this particular win.

 “They made a lot of throws and they are really hard to defend,” Essler said. “Especially when there is a lot of green out there and they have 50-80 yards to work with. You have to really respect the deep ball. They make you defend the width and the length of the field and they can throw into tight windows with good athletes in space.”

It was the third straight start for Rohlin, who ended the night passing for 287 yards on 24-40 attempts. He tossed three touchdown passes, but also turned the ball over four times.

Buffalo’s frustration of letting another rival school get the best of them is growing old.

“That first drive, we showed that we can play with them, or we were even better than them,” Johnson said. “But the little things like the false starts is what makes the difference. It could have easily been 21-7 for us. The little things are killing us. Coach says it’s like a broken record. It’s just over and over.”

“The games we’ve played well and won – we’ve executed and taken it one play at a time,” Bouman said. “The games we’ve lost – we don’t do our jobs. Obviously, against better teams, you can’t play like that.”

Week seven was the final divisional games played within the sub-districts. Buffalo finished 2-3 in the Blue Division. STMA (4-1) was second to Elk River’s perfect 5-0 record and 7-0 overall mark.

Buffalo’s seniors were emotional having played their final home game of their high school careers. Johnson said it was an unreal experience to play at least one season at the new Bison Field West.

“It was amazing,” he said. “From the first time I stepped on here, it felt so great. It’s an indescribable feeling.”

Even the visitors have been impressed.

“This is a beautiful field,” Essler said. “Fans are right on top of you. It’s a great atmosphere. They did it right.”

Essler and the Knights will join Buffalo next season as a Class 6A school. But unlike the Bison, who will remain in the North Central District, the Knights will switch to the West Metro District in 2017, playing teams that include defending Class 6A champion Osseo and current No. 1 ranked Totino-Grace.

“I’m sure we’ll see the Bison sometime in the future,” Essler said. “It’s going to be kind of hard not to play these rivalry games against traditional Mississippi 8 conference schools. On one hand, we’re happy to move the program forward, but on the other hand, it will be hard not to play those schools that are 5-10 miles away.”



Due to a MEA, the traditional final game of the regular season comes on a short week of rest.

Buffalo (3-4 overall) traveled Wednesday, Oct. 19 to Big Lake (3-4). The Hornets came in winners of two straight and finished third in the White Division at 3-2 (recap of this game was not available due to deadlines).

Big Lake is led by explosive senior tailback, Tanner Teige, who led the district in rushing yards (1,191) and 13 rushing scores. Teige has posted three games this season of 273 yards or more rushing.

“They are a good run team – Tanner Teige is good,” Johnson said. “The main thing is, we can’t hold our heads after this loss. We have to get over it.”


St. Michael-Albertville 49

Buffalo 20

(Friday, Oct. 14 at Bison Field West)

STMA    14     0   28    7    –   49

Buffalo      0   14     0    6    –   20


First quarter

STMA -- Mitchell Kartes 37 run (Mitch Bourgerie kick) 6:32

STMA -- Zach Sjelin 44 pass from Marcus Krupke (Mitch Bourgerie kick) 3:46.

Second quarter

B -- Tyler Johnson 3 pass from Dylan Rohlin (Danika Tweten kick) 10:05

B -- Tyler Johnson 18 pass from Dylan Rohlin (Danika Tweten kick) 6:06.

Third quarter

STMA -- Zach Sjelin 51 pass from Marcus Krupke (Mitch Bourgerie kick) 7:31

STMA -- Mitch Bourgerie 18 run (Mitch Bourgerie kick) 5:41

STMA -- Mitchell Kartes 39 punt return (Mitch Bourgerie kick) 3:51

STMA -- Mitch Bourgerie 18 run (Mitch Bourgerie kick) 0:58.

Fourth quarter

STMA -- Desean Phillips 1 run (Mitch Bourgerie kick) 5:29

B -- Treyton Welch 11 pass from Dylan Rohlin (Danika Tweten kick) 1:07.


Individual stats:

Knights leaders:

Passing – Marcus Krupke 4-5--116, 2 TDs.

Rushing – Mitchell Kartes 11-97, 1 TD; Mitch Bourgerie 14-66, 2 TDs; Desean Phillips 8-35, 1 TD; Kyle Hayden 1-5; Andrew Kiecker 1-3; Marcus Krupke 2-(-5).

Receiving – Zach Sjelin 3-108, 2 TDs; Isaiah Harken 1-8.

Tackles – Isaiah Nolan 11, (2.5 sacks); Nolan Schmitz 10 (1 sack, 1 INT); Matt Feldick 8; Emmanuel Akundu 6; Travis Brown 6 (1 INT); Chance Freeman 6; Mitchell Kartes 6; Austin Springer 5 (0.5 sack); Grant Schoen 3; Xavier Thurman 3 (2 INTs); Cole Jann 2 (1 sack); Tanner Luongvan 2; Jacob Steinke 2; Zach Gaulrapp 1; Max Helgestad 1; Ethan Rice 1.

Bison leaders:

Passing – Dylan Rohlin 24-40--287, 3 TDs, 4 INTs.

Rushing – Riley Habsich 9-42; Tannor Schiller 8-9; Tyler Johnson 1-(-1); Dylan Rohlin 8-(-35).

Receiving – Andrew Johnson 8-137; Treyton Welch 6-59, 1 TD; Tyler Johnson 7-58, 2 TDs; Riley Habisch 2-23; Tony Muhich 1-10.

Tackles – Jaiden Russell 9 (1 sack); Harlan Johnson 5; John Gaughan 4; Ryan Kluver 4; Sean Johnson 3 (1 sack); Jon Pearson 3; Andrew Johnson 2; Treyton Welch 2; Luke White 2; Jacob Anderson 1; Riley Habisch 1; Dan Jacobs 1; Tyler Johnson 1; Jon Lyrek 1; Joe McNamara 1; Zach Phillips 1; Jackson Reay 1; Dylan Rohlin 1; Tannor Schiller 0 (1 fumble recovery).


Raisanen rises to challenge in playoff win; Tech wins

By Rob LaPlante

Sports Editor

Buffalo junior Noah Raisanen is used to being the last line of defense.

As a goaltender in both soccer and hockey, Raisanen has seen his share of pressure situations. But none came bigger than last Thursday’s 3-2 home win in the Section 8AA boys’ soccer quarterfinal victory over Brainerd.

Buffalo and Brainerd needed two 10-minute overtime sessions, plus eight rounds in a shootout to decide a winner.

Bison junior Sam Studee’s shootout goal in round eight proved to be the clincher. It gave Buffalo a 6-5 advantage. Needing a goal to prolong the game, Brainerd’s Tanner Larson shot beat Raisanen, but hit the crossbar. Pandemonium quickly followed as the Bison student section charged the field in celebration. 

“It’s bigger than any other moment I’ve had in hockey and soccer,” Raisanen said. “The whole crowd is chanting for me. It was just a crazy experience.”

Prior to Studee’s goal, Buffalo had shootout goals from senior Spencer Lund, senior Josh Skarin, senior Nate Rabusch, sophomore Conor Smrz, and sophomore Brian Miller.

Brainerd had a chance to shoot for the win, but the Warriors’ fifth shooter, Mason Malone, misfired to Raisanen’s right.

Neither goalie made a save in the shootout. All shots hit metal or went wide.

“For myself, there’s obviously a lot of pressure, but I felt really calm,” Raisanen said. “It was kind of frustrating, actually. They kept shooting on my left side – I kept guessing right. I felt one of these times they would shoot it right.”

Nerves from everyone in the stadium were apparent during the shootout.

“Oh man, I was so nervous,” said junior Marvin Orozco Barajas. “We have 11 seniors. We were all just watching and thinking we have to still make memories.”

“It was a nail-biter,” said Bison head coach Joe Pokorney. “I felt we controlled play for so much of the game – we were threatening left and right. But their defense held in as far as bending and not breaking. That shootout, is when I started feeling it. Those can go either way.”

None of Buffalo’s current players have been in a playoff shootout. But Pokorney said he still felt confident going into it, despite the fact Brainerd had all the momentum in the game.

“We do like the way we take penalty kicks,” he said. “Noah is a pretty good goalkeeper, too.”

Buffalo, and a large and vocal student section, were silenced after blowing a 2-0 second-half lead. Orozco Barajas was one of many players that felt the energy of the home crowd, especially early in the game.

“The crowd was amazing,” he said. “They were loud and cheering for us. It was just amazing.”

Lund scored the lone goal of the first half when Orozco Barajas made a move to deke Brainerd starting goalie Noah Sundberg out of position. Lund picked up a loose ball and buried it into an empty net.

Orozco Barajas scored what appeared to be an insurance goal with 23:15 left in regulation, but Brainerd mounted its comeback just 55 seconds later when Ian Foster made it 2-1.

The Warriors’ Andy Schlosser tied the score 2-2 with 11:23 left. The goal was the result of a miscue in the Bison defensive zone.

The game eventually was decided in the shootout.

It extended Buffalo’s season-long undefeated streak to nine games (8-0-1) heading into the section semifinal showdown with undefeated St. Cloud Tech, the section’s top seed.

The Tigers came into last Saturday’s contest at Husky Stadium in St. Cloud a perfect 17-0, including a 4-1 win last Sept. 19 at Buffalo – the Bison’s last loss.

After falling behind in Saturday’s playoff game 2-0, Habisch cut the deficit in half with his team-leading 10th goal of the season. But Tech, led by Mohamed Abdi’s goal and two assists, rallied for a 6-1 victory.

Buffalo’s season ended 10-5-2 overall.  



#4 Buffalo 3, #5 Brainerd 2

(Thursday, Oct. 13 at Buffalo)

Brainerd           0  2  0  0  (5)   -  2

Buffalo 1  1  0  0  (6)   -  3


First half:

B - Spencer Lund (Marvin Orozco Barajas) 37:22.

Second half:

B - Marvin Orozco Barajas 23:15

BR - Ian Foster (Walker Grausam) 22:10

BR - Andy Schlosser (Walker Grausam) 11:23.


Buffalo:  Spencer Lund (goal), Josh Skarin (goal), Peter Deneen (no goal), Nate Rabusch (goal), Blake Habisch (no goal), Conor Smrz (goal), Brian Miller (goal), Sam Studee (goal).

Brainerd: Aden Davis (goal), Ian Foster (goal), Taylor Shelito (no goal), Andy Schlosser (goal), Mason Malone (no goal), Ben Westerberg (goal), Tim Whiteman (goal) Tanner Larson (no goal). 


BW - Noah Sundberg (loss) 100 minutes, 16 saves; BB - Noah Raisanen (win) 100 minutes, 8 saves.


#1 St. Cloud Tech 6, #4 Buffalo 1

(Saturday, Oct. 15 at SCSU)

Buffalo 0  1  -  1

St. Cloud Tech 1  5  -  6


First half:

SCT- Ahmed Hussien (Mohamed Abdi) 1:23

Second half:

SCT - Faisal Deqow (Ali Abdirahman) 38:30

B - Blake Habisch (Nick Hanson) 34:26

SCT - Mohamed Abdi (Khalid Gelani) 24:34

SCT - Khalid Gelani (Mohamed Abdi) 8:17

SCT - Farid Ahmed (Faisal Deqow) 5:45

SCT - Ali Gelani (Jakob Alessio) 2:12


B - Noah Raisanen (loss) 74 minutes, 12 saves, John McNamara, 6 minutes, 2 saves; SCT - Bryan Helminick (win) 80 minutes, 4 saves.




Blake Habisch          10

Spencer Lund 9

Nick Hanson  7

Marvin Orozco Barajas          6

Josh Skarin     3

John Bjork     2

Peter Deneen  2

Nate Rabusch 2

Brent Fiore     1

Brian Miller    1

Jacob Schmit  1



Blake Habisch          25

Spencer Lund           20

Nick Hanson16

Marvin Orozco Barajas        14

Josh Skarin   11

John Bjork     4

Peter Deneen  4

Nate Rabusch 4

Brian Miller    4

Brent Fiore     2

Jacob Schmit  2

Tom Rooney  1


Bison goalies       W-L-T     SO

Noah Raisanen      6-3-2        2*

John McNamara     4-2-0        2*

*Split halves in 1-0 win at St. Louis Park. Team total was 3 shutouts.


Bison enjoy big success at M8 meet; girls third

By Rob LaPlante

Sports Editor

The Buffalo boys’ cross country team won two of three conference races held Tuesday, Oct. 18 at Ki-Chi-Saga Park in Lindstrom.

The Bison boys’ started the afternoon by edging Cambridge-Isanti 41-64 to claim the grades 7-8 conference title in the boys’ 3K race.

Not long after, the Bison boys’ ended St. Michael-Albertville’s run of three straight conference titles by edging the Knights 29-54.

“We have been close the past three years,” said co-head coach Dave Knutsen. “We finished second each of those years. But today, we showed our depth.”

Buffalo landed seven of nine varsity runners in the top-20, earning each all-conference honors. Sophomores Isaac Basten and Brett Hanson finished 1-2, respectively. Basten was medalist in 16:48.66. Hanson second in 17:01.66.

“Brett was big in dropping more time,” Knutsen said. “We felt we should win conference this year. The boys raced so well. We are encouraged heading into sections next week.”

Also earning all-conference were senior Landon Tourville, senior Zac Lane, junior Braden Benson, freshman Nick Oak, and sophomore Ryan Russek. Sophomore Joey Anderson finished 27th overall gaining honorable mention.  



St. Michael-Albertville repeated as conference champions in the varsity girls’ 5K race. The Knights edged second-place Monticello 32-49.

The Bison girls’ finished a distant third with 109 points. It was the second straight season Buffalo placed third in the Mississippi 8.

Sophomore Annalise Davis of STMA was medalist in 19:25.44. Buffalo junior Amanda Montplaisir finished third in 19:54.69. Montplaisir and junior teammate Meredith Reynolds earned all-conference status (top-20 finish). Reynolds was 20th in 21:23.91.

Two other Bison runners gained honorable mention status (top 21-30). Freshman Kaitlin Berg was 25th in 21:48.94, and sophomore Areefa Seepersaud was 26th in 22:00.00.


Mississippi 8 Finals (Boys)

(Tuesday, Oct. 18 at Ki-Chi-Saga)

Team scores: 1. Buffalo 29; 2. St. Michael-Albertville 54; 3. Big Lake 107; 4. Rogers 125; 5, St. Francis 152; 6. North Branch 153; 7. Cambridge-Isanti 160; 8. Monticello 175; 9. Chisago Lakes 263.

All-Conference (top-20): 1. Isaac Basten (B) 16:48.66; 2. Brett Hanson (B) 17:01.66; 3. Alex Wolseth (STMA) 17:03.32; 4. Jonah Breuer (STMA) 17:14.41; 5. Dylan Larson (CI) 17:19.16; 6. Carter Knaus (STMA) 17:20.88; 7. Landon Tourville (B) 17:21.66; 8. Zac Lane (B) 17:23.32; 9. Hyrum Teasdale (R) 17:23.73; 10. Matthew Trutna (BL) 17:24.13; 11. Braden Benson (B) 17:46.53; 12. Ben Morris (BL) 17:49.16; 13. McKone Corkery (R) 17:52.78; 14. Jack Nelson (CI) 17:54.48; 15. Aiden Bear (NB) 17:55.09; 16. Lucas Barth (SF) 17:58.54; 17. Nick Oak (B) 17:58.66; 18. Joe Morris (BL) 18:04.16; 19. Ryan Russek (B) 18:04.58; 20. Joey Och (STMA) 18:08.09.

Bison places-overall: 1-1. Isaac Basten 16:48.66 2-2. Brett Hanson 17:01.66; 3-7. Landon Tourville 17:21.66; 4-8. Zac Lane 17:23.32; 5-11. Braden Benson 17:46.53; 6-17. Nick Oak 17:58.66; 7-19. Ryan Russek 18:04.58; 7-27. Joey Anderson 18:18.98; 8-41. Matt Fenton 18:45.63.


Mississippi 8 Finals (Girls)

(Tuesday, Oct. 18 at Ki-Chi-Saga)

Team scores: 1. St. Michael-Albertville 32; 2. Monticello 49; 3. Buffalo 109; 4. North Branch 128; 5. Cambridge-Isanti 138; 6. Princeton 158; 7. Rogers 162; 8. Chisago Lakes 163; 9. Big Lake 262.

All-Conference (top-20): 1. Annalise Davis (STMA) 19:25.44; 2. Rhianna Rinke (NB) 19:46.16; 3. Amanda Montplaisir (B) 19:54.69; 4. Elise Yeager (M) 20:03.04; 5. Mia Salas (STMA) 20:08.70; 6. Gabriella Witschen (M) 23:13.44; 7. Paige McAloon (STMA) 20:17.94; 8. Anna Belair (STMA) 20:25.69; 9. Jillian Yerges (NB) 20:35.09; 10. Lexi Duscher (P) 20:35.60; 11. Erin Hamilton (STMA) 20:44.28; 12. Miah Olson (M) 20:48.34; 13. Kaelin McDermott (M) 20:56.54; 14. Alexa Yeager (M) 21:01.38; 15. Abberly Smith (CI) 21:06.16; 16. Kaydan Geiger (STMA) 21:12.19; 17. Madison McDermott (M) 21:12.37; 18. Abbey Berg (CI) 21:12.91; 19. Lily Johnson (M) 21:22.91; 20. Meredith Reynolds (B) 21:23.91.

Bison places-overall: 1-3. Amanda Montplaisir 19:54.69; 2-20. Meredith Reynolds 21:23.91; 3-25. Kaitlin Berg 21:48.94; 4-26. Areefa Seepersaud 22:00.00; 5-40. Emma Latchem-Reiter 22:56.59; 6-48. Erica O’Borsky 23:16.37; 7-49. Emily Kern 23:16.37; 8-51. Lily Hanson 23:21.44; 9-60. Hailey Strenge 23:52.66.



Buffalo gives a Royal scare

By Rob LaPlante

Sports Editor

The Buffalo girls’ soccer team liked its chances prior to their showdown with No. 3 seed Rogers in the Section 8AA playoffs.

At halftime, their chances of an upset grew even larger. But with 25:35 left in the second half, Rogers’ Cailey Hendersen scored to break a scoreless tie in a 1-0 Royals’ win last Thursday, Oct. 13 at Rogers.

“It was a great game,” said Bison head coach Sarah Rodenwald. “We came up on the losing end on a miscue goal.”

Claire Swan capitalized on a turnover by Bison sophomore goalie Abby Burandt. Swan intercepted an errant kick and found Henderson for the game’s lone goal. After being held to zero shots on goal in the first half, Buffalo fired four at Royals’ goalkeeper Cassidy Lehrke.

“We had opportunities, but just couldn’t get on the scoreboard,” Rodenwald said.

It wasn’t the first time the Bison – or any other opponent – had trouble finding the net behind Lehrke.

Lehrke’s shutout was her eighth of the season and 16th of her career – breaking the school record for Rogers previously held by Jacqueline Zoubek. It was also the second time this year she shutdown the Bison. Buffalo lost 2-0 at home last Sept. 27.

Buffalo was outshot 22-5 in the regular-season loss, but only 10-4 in the playoff defeat.

“I’ve said it all year – this team has a ton of heart,” Rodenwald said. “They left everything they had out on that field, and tried to bring the seniors a section win.”

On a relatively young and inexperienced team, the Bison graduate 10 seniors. Cadyn Luedemann was one of the 10. She missed the last 10 games after suffering a season-ending ACL knee injury along with a torn meniscus last Sept. 15 at Chisago Lakes.

Many of her teammates dedicated the rest of the season to Luedemann, who will also miss the entire year for the girls’ basketball team.

“This is one of the closest teams I have been a part of, on and off the field,” Luedemann said. “Obviously, I wanted to be on the field with my team, but I still felt a part of the team off of it. I am so proud of them this year. We had a lot thrown at us and they handled it so well.”

Buffalo graduates the 10 seniors, but return their two leading scorers in junior forwards Sydney Johnson and Lauren Quiring. Johnson led the team with 15 goals and 35 points. Quiring added a career-high seven goals and 16 points.

Even though Johnson was held off the scoresheet in the playoff loss to the Royals, Rodenwald credited her for keeping the game close.

“We played Sydney at defensive-center midfield for most of that game,” Rodenwald said. “We moved her up front while we pushed up at the end to try to score. She had a great game, and we were able to build up possession from that spot.”

Buffalo finished the season 5-11-0 overall. Even with some key injuries, the Bison showed signs of improvement as the season went along.

After a 0-5 start, the Bison went 5-3 over their next eight games – four of those wins coming in shutout fashion. Sophomores Carly LaPlant and Burandt shared duties in goal for most the season. Burandt played the majority of the games down the stretch in order for LaPlant to help fill some voids in the field.

The Bison return 15 players who saw the varsity field this season.         

“The team improved on both sides of the ball over the course of the year,” Rodenwald said. “The future is bright for Bison girls’ soccer. We are looking forward to working with the kids in the offseason and continuing to build the program.

Rogers 1, Buffalo 0

(Thursday, Oct. 13 at Rogers)

#6 Buffalo        0  0   -  0

#3 Rogers        0  1   -  1


First half:

No scoring.

Second half:

R - Cailey Hendersen (Claire Swan) 25:35.


B - Abby Burandt (loss) 80 minutes, 10 saves; R - Cassidy Lehrke (win) 80 minutes, 4 saves.


Buffalo splits home meets

By Rob LaPlante

Sports Editor

The Buffalo girls’ swim/dive squad lost their top sprinter. Then dropped a 108-80 home dual meet last Thursday, Oct. 13 to St. Michael-Albertville.

Even had sophomore Tianna Kosek swam, who missed the meet following an injury suffered away from the pool, Buffalo’s chances of winning were still slim against the Knights, who recently finished 11th at the Class AA True Team State Meet.

“She injured her shoulder in a physical-education class earlier in the week,” said Bison head coach Rachel Busch. “We were being cautious with having her not swim against STMA.”

The Knights won nine of 11 events before swimming the final event in exhibition.

Junior Alex Zeiss and sophomore Julia Kolles won their events for the Bison. Kolles filled in for Kosek as Buffalo’s top sprinter and won the 100 freestyle in 58.90. Zeiss continued her dominance from the diving board with a score 264.35.

Despite Zeiss’ score, it was the first dual meet Bison divers were outscored as STMA finished 2-4.

Buffalo concluded conference play with a 105-72 home win Tuesday, Oct. 18 against Chisago Lakes.

Highlighting the meet was once again were the Buffalo’s divers. Zeiss topped all scores at 259.90. But the biggest cheer of the night came when freshman Olivia Yost posted a personal record score of 199.90.

“She was trying to break 200, but we were all pretty excited for her,” said Zeiss, who personally has won every diving meet she’s competed in this season.

Zeiss is anxious for another crack at state, which would be her third trip in a row if she qualifies.

“I’m pretty much where I want to be about this time of the season,” she said. “I want to be around the 255-260 range. I’ve had a couple 270s, so I’m happy with that. I’ve been working a new dive – a front two-and-a-half pike. I hope to finish top five this year at state.”

Zeiss’ finish was one of nine for the Bison. Kosek returned from her injury and finished first in the 50 and 100 freestyles.

The win put Buffalo’s final record at 4-3 in conference play and 4-4 overall.

“It is important to us, because we wanted a winning record,” Busch said. “That was a goal going into the season.”

More important than the wins, Busch said, is the fact the team continues to stay around their averages.

“It’s very helpful this time of season to maintain time, or even add a little time,” Busch said. “We reminded the girls it’s completely normal to do that. They have been working so hard and their bodies are exhausted. If they are adding time, that’s a good sign.”

Next up is the Booffalo Spooktacular taking place at BCMS pool on Saturday, Oct. 29. Diving begins at 10 a.m. and swimming starts approximately at 12:10 p.m.


St. Michael-Albertville 108

Buffalo 76

(Thursday, Oct. 13 at Buffalo)

200 Medley Relay (8-4-2): 1. St. Michael-Albertville (Kelsey Kocon, Emma Lezer, Kristen Pieper, Jordyn Schnell) 1:54.61; 2. Buffalo (Kaitlyn Schendel, Kolby Schendel, Kassy Shroyer, Caitlin Drews) 2:04.08; 3. St. Michael-Albertville (Lucy Miller, Ashton Hobza, Taylor Ripplinger, Hannah Vanhoorik) 2:07.36.

200 Freestyle (6-4-3-2-1): 1. Maddie Gallagher (STMA) 2:10.65; 2. Kolby Schendel (B) 2:11.56; 3. Lucy Miller (STMA) 2:14.21; 4. Kaitlyn Schendel (B) 2:16.56; 5. Mary Heil (STMA) 2:16.72.

200 Individual Medley (6-4-3-2-1): 1. Kelsey Kocon (STMA) 2:21.09; 2. Faye Roberts (STMA); 3. Sydney Polzin (B) 2:27.03; 4. Ashton Hobza (STMA) 2:29.88; 5. Julia Kolles (B) 2:31.00.

50 Freestyle (6-4-3-2-1): 1. Jordyn Schnell (STMA) 26.31; 2. Kassy Shroyer (B) 26.35; 3. Jenna Kocon (STMA) 26.79; 4. Julia Gleason (B) 27.28; 5. Hannah VanHoorik (STMA) 28.78.

1-Meter Dive (6-4-3-2-1): 1. Alex Zeiss (B) 264.35; 2. Oliva Lock (STMA) 206.60; 3. Bella Baldwin (STMA) 201.40; 4. Nicole Kyono (STMA) 170.20; 5. Olivia Yost (B) 162.70.

100 Butterfly (6-4-3-2-1): 1. Emma Lezer (STMA) 58.98; 2. Kassy Shroyer (B) 1:04.88; 3. Caitlin Drews (B) 1:07.42; 4. Maggie Lombardi (STMA) 1:08.81; 5. Taylor Ripplinger (STMA) 1:11.91.

100 Freestyle (6-4-3-2-1): 1. Julia Kolles (B) 58.90; 2. Ashton Hobza (STMA) 59.01; 3. Jenna Kocon (STMA) 1:00.13; 4. Julia Gleason (B) 1:02.20; 5. Maddie Gallagher (STMA) 1:03.07.

500 Freestyle (6-4-3-2-1): 1. Jordyn Schnell (STMA) 5:52.37; 2. Maggie Lombardi (STMA) 5:58.31; 3. Kaitlyn Schendel (B) 5:58.32; 4. Madison Gondreau (STMA) 6:20.60; 5. Emily Strommen (B) 6:35.72.

200 Freestyle Relay (8-4-2): 1. St. Michael-Albertville (Jenna Kocon, Faye Roberts, Maddie Gallagher, Emma Lezer) 1:46.16; 2. Buffalo (Julia Gleason, Sydney Polzin, Julia Kolles, Kassy Shroyer) 1:47.87; 3. St. Michael-Albertville (Ashton Hobza, Maggie Lombardi, Hannah VanHoorik, Kristen Pieper) 1:52.68.

100 Backstroke (6-4-3-2-1): 1. Kesley Kocon (STMA) 1:03.70; 2. Sydney Polzin (B) 1:05.74; 3. Mary Heil (STMA) 1:10.62; 4. Lucy Miller (STMA) 1:11.00; 5. Elle Kaiser (B) 1:15.46.

100 Breaststroke (6-4-3-2-1): 1. Emma Lezer (STMA) 1:07.09; 2. Kolby Schendel (B) 1:19.03; 3. Caitlin Drews (B) 1:22.07; 4. Alyssa Hane (B) 1:25.77; 5. Jordyn Anderson (STMA) 1:32.44.

400 Freestyle Relay (8-4): 1. Buffalo (Sydney Polzin, Julia Kolles, Kaitlyn Schendel, Kolby Schendel) 4:00.97; 2. Buffalo (Elle Kaiser, Julia Gleason, Emily Strommen, Caitlin Drews) 1:00.97.


Buffalo 105, Chisago Lakes 72

(Tuesday, Oct. 18 at Buffalo)

200 Medley Relay (8-4-2): 1. Buffalo (Sydney Polzin, Kolby Schendel, Kassy Shroyer, Tianna Kosek) 2:00.46; 2. Chisago Lakes (Hannah Janzig, Hannah Stec, Kalli Jo Olson, Katie Crum) 2:06.59; 3. Buffalo (Kaitlyn Schendel, Caitlin Drews, Julia Kolles, Julia Gleason) 2:07.57.

200 Freestyle (6-4-3-2-1): 1. Julia Kolles (B) 2:12.56; 2. Sydney Polzin (B) 2:13.45; 3. Ilse Johnson (CL) 2:15.30; 4. Caitlin Drews (B) 2:15.99; 5. Laura Campbell (CL) 2:20.33.

200 Individual Medley (6-4-3-2-1): 1. Kalli Jo Olson (CL) 2:30.81; 2. Kassy Shroyer (B) 2:34.32; 3. Kaitlyn Schendel (B) 2:35.10; 4. Danielle Smythe (CL) 2:41.39; 5. Emily Strommen (B) 2:44.48.

50 Freestyle (6-4-3-2-1): 1. Tianna Kosek (B) 25.14; 2. Hannah Stec (CL) 26.77; 3. Julia Gleason (B) 27.51; 4. Elle Kaiser (B) 27.55; 5. Annika Overgaard (CL) 29.93.

1-Meter Dive (6-4-3-2-1): 1. Alex Zeiss (B) 259.90; 2. Payton Nelson (CL) 216.05; 3. Olivia Yost (B) 199.90; 4. Savannah Gorski (CL) 177.35; 5. Maddie Audette (CL) 156.30.

100 Butterfly (6-4-3-2-1): 1. Julia Kolles (B) 1:04.80; 2. Kalli Jo Olson (CL) 1:05.20; 3. Katie Crum (CL) 1:07.55; 4. Kennedy Stromberg (B) 1:12.01; 5. Laura Campbell (CL) 1:19.82.

100 Freestyle (6-4-3-2-1): 1. Tianna Kosek (B) 55.75; 2. Kolby Schendel (B) 1:00.41; 3. Hannah Janzig (CL) 1:01.08; 4. Caitlin Drews (B) 1:01.82; 5. Ilse Johnson (CL) 1:02.44.

500 Freestyle (6-4-3-2): 1. Kennedy Stromberg (B) 6:21.01; 2. Kassy Shroyer (B) 6:27.70; 3. Elle Kaiser (B) 6:34.26; 4. Annika Overgaard (CL) 6:43.64.

200 Freestyle Relay (8-4-2): 1. Buffalo (Julia Gleason, Kassy Shroyer, Caitlin Drews, Sydney Polzin) 1:50.06; 2. Chisago Lakes (Hannah Stec, Danielle Smythe, Ilse Johnson, Katie Crum) 1:50.64; 3. Buffalo (Madeline Hill, Laura Eggen, Berta Rooker, Elle Kaiser) 2:01.44.

100 Backstroke (6-4-3-2-1): 1. Sydney Polzin (B) 1:06.41; 2. Kaitlyn Schendel (B) 1:09.60; 3. Phoebe Courant (CL) 1:16.36; 4. Julia Gleason (B) 1:16.41; 5. Maggie Falkowski (CL) 1:18.15.

100 Breaststroke (6-4): 1. Hannah Stec (CL) 1:16.72; 2. Hannah Janzig (CL) 1:19.33. Ex: Kolby Schendel (B) 1:18.01.

400 Freestyle Relay (8-4): 1. Chisago Lakes (Katie Crum, Danielle Smith, Ilse Johnson, Kalli Jo Olson) 4:10.51; 2. Chisago Lakes (Phoebe Courant, Emily Fiorella, Annika Overgaard, Laura Campbell) 4:28.17. Ex: Buffalo (Julia Kolles, Kolby Schendel, Kaitlyn Schendel, Tianna Kosek) 4:02.33.


Buffalo ends regular season on high note

Down 0-2, Buffalo ends losing skid with 3-2 win over Saints

By Rob LaPlante

Sports Editor

The Buffalo volleyball squad is hoping a 3-2 home win, Monday, Oct. 17 over St. Francis, will be the spark it takes to make a run in this year’s section playoffs.

Down 0-2, the Bison rallied for an exciting 24-26, 25-27, 25-22, 25-21, 15-9 victory.

“Hands down, this was definitely the most exciting match of the year,” said Bison head coach Jenn Sheedy. “They had the full intensity, excitement, and all-out effort.”

The aforementioned traits haven’t been in the team’s arsenal in recent weeks. Buffalo’s win ended a four-game match losing streak – the most recent loss coming in a 3-2 (25-22, 22-25, 22-25, 26-24, 15-10) win for Hutchinson last Saturday, Oct. 15 in Hutch.

Dating back to a 3-2 loss last Oct. 6 at Princeton, the last four matches – excluding the STMA Tournament, have gone to a decisive fifth set. Buffalo had lost the previous three prior to the St. Francis win.

“Their energy kicked in that third set,” said Sheedy, referring to a 25-22 win. “No longer were they just going with the flow. They finished more points and their all-around play was a lot more confident.”

With seniors Annika Huston, Autumn Senger, Hailey Sorenson, and Taylor Thompson honored prior to the match for Senior Night, each played a major role in contributing to arguably their biggest win of the season.

“This definitely was an important win,” said Huston, who ended the night with 10 digs, nearly matching her career high of 11. “We pushed through and fought as a team. We didn’t start off well, but we pushed through the end and showed what Bison volleyball really is.”

As a veteran player, Huston has been a part of two straight losing seasons. Monday’s win assured Buffalo (14-13 overall) will finish no lower than a .500 mark.

“We most definitely are starting to rebuild this program,” Huston said. “Last year we only had two seniors, and I definitely see more people staying in volleyball. We’ll have more seniors as time goes on.”

The senior class made an impact against St. Francis. Thompson finished with 19 kills and 17 digs. Senger had 14 digs, three blocks and four aces. Sorenson had six kills and one block, and Huston had 10 digs.

Next year’s senior class has also made headlines in the stat column. Junior Kari Zumach led Buffalo with 24 kills and 22 digs at Hutch. She topped that performance with 34 kills and 22 digs against St. Francis.

Junior Aivary Bouman had 22 assists at Hutch and posted a season-high 40 on Monday.

With nine days off, the Bison will use valuable practice time as they prepare for their first section game next Thursday, Oct. 27 at a site and opponent to be determined.

Seeding for the Section 5-3A tournament will be released this Sunday.

Buffalo finished 2-3 against section opponents, but own the sixth highest QRF rating out of 12 teams.

The top three teams in the section are ranked 4-6, in QRF rankings in the state. Wayzata is four, Champlin Park is five, and Osseo is six. After that, Blaine, St. Michael-Albertville, and Buffalo round out the top six in QRF.

“We’re kind of in the bubble area,” Sheedy said. “The seeds are picked by section coaches. It will be a battle for that last couple home spots. We’ll see.”



Zumach’s 34 kills put her career mark at 995. She likely will reach the 1,000 milestone in the Bison’s section match next Thursday.

Zumach had 197 kills as a freshman, 382 as a sophomore and currently leads the team with 416 kills. Zumach’s older sister, Kylee, holds the school record with 1,812.


Hutchinson 3, Buffalo 2

(Saturday, Oct. 13 at Hutchinson)

Buffalo      14  25  25  24  10  -  2

Hutchinson25  22  22  26  15  -  3

Bison stats:

Kills: Kari Zumach 24, Taylor Thompson 17, Aivary Bouman 6, Hailey Sorenson 4, Autumn Senger 1.

Aces: Nicole Odeen 3, Zumach 3, Thompson 2, Bouman 1, Jade Schrupp 1.

Digs: Zumach 22, Senger 19, Thompson 13, Schrupp 10, Bouman 9, Odeen 7, Payton Dannewitz 2, Sorenson 1.

Assists: Odeen 25, Bouman 22, Thompson 1, Zumach 1.

Blocks-solo: Dannewitz 3-0, Thompson 2-2, Bouman 2-0, Senger 1-0, Zumach 1-0.


Buffalo 3, St. Francis 2

(Monday, Oct. 17 at Buffalo)

St. Francis 26  27  22  21    9  -  2

Buffalo      24  25  25  25  15  -  3

Bison stats:

Kills: Kari Zumach 34, Taylor Thompson 19, Aivary Bouman 7, Hailey Sorenson 6, Autumn Senger 3, Payton Dannewitz 1.

Aces: Senger 4, Zumach 2, Nicole Odeen 1.

Digs: Zumach 22, Thompson 17, Senger 14, Bouman 11, Odeen 11, Annika Huston 10, Dannewitz 2.

Assists: Bouman 40, Odeen 32, Thompson 1.

Blocks-solo: Senger 3-1, Dannewitz 2-0, Thompson 2-0, Bouman 1-0, Sorenson 1-0.


Bison rackets make noise at section tourney

By Rob LaPlante

Sports Editor

The Delano Tigers ended the team season for the Bison girls’ tennis squad, but Bison juniors Claire Stevens and Mya Lubben earned a bit of revenge at last Monday’s Section 5AA individual tournament at Reed-Sweatt in Minneapolis.

Buffalo’s top-two singles players during the season, teamed up for only the second time this year as doubles partners. They went 3-0 as partners last Sept. 17 at the Buffalo Invite.

They good chemistry continued into the individual section tournament where they went a perfect 3-0 in day one competition. Two of the wins included victories over seeded opponents, including a 2-6, 6-3, 7-5 victory in round two over No. 4 seeded Natalie Pupp and Kitren Bonine of Delano.

Prior to that, Stevens and Lubben defeated unseeded Kenzie Wylie and Jaela O’Brien of Blaine 6-1, 6-1. The final match on Monday resulted in a 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 6-4 victory over No. 5 seeded Emily Rubbelke and Hannah Stolba of Rogers.

Needing at least a top-two finish to advance to state, Lubben and Stevens were defeated 6-1, 6-2 in the semifinal match to top-seeded Sam Stephenson and Sydney Stern of Wayzata. Needing a win in the third-place championship, Stevens and Lubben run came to an end with a 6-2, 2-6, 6-0 loss to Champlin Park’s Allison Kelley and Lauren Witt.

Ironically, Mya’s older sister, Mattie, teamed with Claudia Botzet to defeat Kelley and Danielle Wolf of Champlin Park in the same match a year ago for third place.  



Stevens’ younger sister, Ella, teamed with sophomore Cassie McNitt to form Buffalo’s other doubles team. McNitt and Stevens lost 6-1, 6-0 in the first round to No. 2 seed Jackie Danberg and Katie Scheif of Delano.

In singles play, seventh-grader Anna Lee and Emma Carlson both advanced to round two. Both players won their opening-round matches by identical 6-0, 6-0 scores. Lee defeated Ashia Maxwell of Patrick Henry and Carlson over Treasure Agbonkhese of Park Center.

Carlson eventually would lose 6-1, 6-0 in round two to No. 1 seed and eventual section champion Ginger Valentine of Delano. Lee lost 6-1, 6-0 to Emily Reisman of Wayzata.


BHM home of two Reward Schools

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) recently named Montrose Elementary School of Innovation and Northwinds Elementary School, 2016 Reward Schools for having demonstrated exceptional student outcomes and success in closing achievement gaps.

Northwinds is celebrating for the first time, Montrose is celebrating for the second year in a row.

This recognition is given to the top-15 percent of schools in the state who receive Title-I funding and is the highest rating that MDE awards. In addition to Montrose receiving the award last year, they were “Celebration Eligible,” meaning they were in the top-25 percent in 2012-13 and 2013-14.

Only 103 Title-I schools in the state earned this distinction and only six schools were named Reward Schools in Wright County.

Both school recently celebrated their achievements with a gathering to raise their banners.

Northwinds Principal Shawn Gombos and Montrose Principal Tony Steffes say that, moving ahead, they will continue to look for ways to improve learning opportunities for students and help them realize and achieve success in and outside of the classroom.


Wirkus to perform at nationals

Zara Wirkus, a junior at Buffalo High School, and member of the Buffalo FFA Chapter, will be on stage and in the spotlight Oct. 19-22 during the 2016 National FFA Convention and Expo in Indianapolis.

Wirkus was elected to be a member of the National FFA Chorus. The National FFA Chorus will perform several times during the national convention and expo, adding excitement and motivation to the sessions through their music.

Wirkus will join fellow chorus members in Indianapolis for rehearsals three days before the convention and expo begins. The National FFA Chorus is sponsored by Dow Agrosciences as a special project of the National FFA Foundation. The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 629,367 student members who belong to one of 7,757 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Wirkus is the daughter of Gary and Carrie Wirkus. Gary is the current adviser of the Buffalo FFA.


Buffalo FFA Dairy Judging team places fifth at regionals

The Buffalo FFA Dairy Judging team recently placed fifth in the Region 4 judging contest Tuesday, Oct. 4 at the University of Minnesota. Team members include (clockwise, left-right: Ian Pappenfus, Autumn Pappenfus, Maggie Socha, and Mary Oehlke. Not pictured is team coach, Charles Krause. The Dairy Judging team will compete next April at the State FFA convention. (Submitted photo)