A Blast from the Past V

[These photos have absolutely nothing to do with the subject matter.  I just decided to throw them in as a little change of pace from Super Fan photos (I heard that!).  That’s Todd Jennings, a longtime softball teammate, in the top photo with a couple of nice stripers (a/k/a, rockfish or striped bass); and Chris Sullivan, son of our softball team’s manager, in the bottom photo with a really nice striper.  I will assume they were all caught in the Chesapeake Bay.  You’re welcome.]

[January 9, 2010]  Why the “Super Fans” are . . . super fans!

The SUPER FANS ARE SUPER DUPER!!!  YOU’RE THE BEST!  🙂   The girls hockey team appreciates everything you do for us! ~ Marnee’

A pretty goal by one of the prettiest skaters you’ll ever see . . . or why Michelle Anez has already been all-state two times.  Final score tonight:  Alexandria – 5, Detroit Lakes – 1.  Stephanie Drown had a shutout until less than 3 minutes were left in the game.

For the snowbirds, Roger Riley arrived at the game tonight, they asked him if he would sing the national anthem, so he did!

[January 13, 2010]  Cards – 76, Spuds – 62

This one was fun!  In fact, the best game I have seen our Cards play.  Of course it helped that we left Bob “Black Cloud” Annen at home, and enlisted “Robo” (“White Cloud”) Rogosheske to take his place.  It was Robo’s first game of the year, and we enjoyed it in the company of Martin Haar, grandpa to fan favorite, Alli.  (We were one row off the floor, and Alli was guarding an inbounds pass right in front of us.  She started ululating to distract the Spud player.  Robo said she scared him!  I said I almost moved back six rows.)

Anyway, the Cards lost to the Spuds about two weeks ago in a game where they let the Spuds dictate the pace of play.  Moorhead in a half court game was not what the Cards wanted to play – the Spuds are bigger and better shooters.  Last night the Cards played a ¾- court trapping zone press all game – and it was a thing of beauty.  With Kate “The Whippet” Gearman at the point, I can’t imagine how a team could have played a better game defensively.  Moorhead shot great – I bet over 50% for the game – but for the most part the Cards drove them to distraction.  With the long and leans (6-footers Angela Christianson, Sam Trumm, and Alli Haar) on the wings with the quickness to step in the passing lanes, and Gracie Bruzek playing free safety in the back, the Cards were often heading full tilt in the other direction with Kate, Angela, or Sam finishing a fast break.  The girls have amazing stamina – it’s nonstop running all game.  The following video will give you an idea.  (The stills include Angela and Sam (No. 35) shooting free throws – as a team, though, they must have missed 15.  That could be a problem when tourney time rolls around.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9Ap-hFmEO0

[January 15, 2010]  Gustie’s Across the Pond.

Danielle Justice and her Gustavus women’s hockey team in Europe:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFEyFszvLOg

[January 19, 2010]  Cardinals – 3, Fergus Falls – 2

The Alexandria girls’ hockey team celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr. day by beating the Otters last night.  This was a game between the pre-season conference title favorites – until St. Cloud combined into one team, that is – but the first period was played as if both teams had the holiday blahs.  There were only 5 shots on goal total for the period, and I don’t think the Cards registered their first until way late in the period.  Although the quality of play stayed pretty ragged for the entire game, the intensity really picked up making for an exciting game.  Michelle Anez scored first for the Cards but Otters tied it up by the end of the 2nd period.  The Otters scored early in the 3rd period to take a 2 – 1 lead.  Then, after what we believe was a delay-of-game call, Shelby Iverson of the Cards was awarded a penalty shot.  Shelby is a big part of what we call “the future” – a freshman center who is already a fan favorite because her naturally curly hair makes her requisite ponytail a tad askew.  Well, she made a beautiful move and scored, lost her edge and crashed into the boards, but laid on the ice pumping her fist.  Then I thought, what a putz!  I’m allegedly the cub reporter, and I sat there the whole time with my video camera in my pocket during this rare hockey event (only recall one other penalty shot – Abby Williams scored on one several years ago – forgot to “shoot” that one too!).  [But then I also hadn’t noticed until last night that the Super Fans are pictured in the team display case (lower left) at the arena.]  Shortly thereafter, Michelle got her second goal – the game winner.  The Cards held on as the Otters pulled their goalie late in the game.

[January 19, 2011]  Hi Tom,

We are looking for information about how the Cardinals at Jefferson High School were first named the Cardinals. Do you have any idea when/how/why/who etc???

Thanks – Jo

Jo Colvin, columnist extraordinaire for the Echo Press, has submitted the following question.  Anyone? Because Gophers was already taken?  Hmmm, I know I’m old, but this question pre-dates me by a tad.  Really, I have no idea – it’s not like the bird is prevalent in this area.  Maybe we did it to aggravate Willmar, also the Cardinals.  Anyway, I’ll get my crack internet research staff right on it!  ~ Cub Reporter

 Could it be that it was picked in a name-that-team contest over “The Chickadees” and the “Tufted Titmice”?? How does the Alexandria Prothonotary Warblers strike you? ~ Jim Pohl

Love it! The Tufted Titmice would be perfect. I’m going to start a campaign to change the name so we don’t insult the Cardinals anymore.  ~ Jo 

[Alli photos from Echo.]

[January 23, 2010]  We’re trapped (I think)!

Ahhh, the vicissitudes that are winter.  As they say around here, we seen it comin’.  A winter storm warning went into effect for yesterday afternoon.  We scurried around running errands – three different stops for tickets for three different upcoming events – and then spent an hour and a half with Senator Mark Dayton, now running for governor, at the Daily Grind.  It was great of him to spend so much time with us.  We were back home by 4:00, wondering if there was going to be a basketball game that night . . .

It was 32 degrees, i.e., a way above normal temperature, and drizzly, sleety, freezing rain was heading up from the south, to be followed by two days of snow, beginning today.  I headed toward town at about 6:30 – our Cardinal girls’ basketball team was hosting Sartell.  These are the statistically rated (under a system similar to that used for USGA handicaps) Nos. 1 (Cards) and 2 teams in section 8AAA – so it figured to be a good game.  But once on the road, there was a steady drizzle – yet unbelievably there was a steady stream of traffic both ways.  I made it into town but decided – the game will be over about 9:00, it seems likely the roads will be an ice arena by then.  Deciding discretion was the better part of valor, I turned around and went back home.

I turned the game on the radio – somehow Sartell made it here.  Dave Harris almost immediately announced tomorrow’s (now tonight’s) game with Detroit Lakes had been postponed because of the weather.  The game began and Alli Haar got a foul within 3 seconds.  Now Ms. Haar is a key person in the Cardinal press, but she is prone to foul trouble.  The press got the Cards off to an early lead – but then because we are not a great shooting team (an oddity in light of a stat to be named later), we hit a cold spell, missed some bunnies, and as a turnover inducing team, are prone to turnovers ourselves – Sartell caught up and took a close lead they were able to maintain until the Cards tied it at 37 at the half.  Though the Cards strength is in their long, quick athletes – three 6-footers on the front line – other teams often have taller centers.  And in girl’s basketball, a couple of inches can make a big difference.  Sartell had a 6’2″ center, and when the Sabres got her the ball, she scored – 16 points in the 1st half.

It was some point during the first half, Ruthie said it was time to get out the buckets and towels.  A phenomenon that has plagued us from day one in this house was happening in winter – a January 22 rainstorm, driven by 35 mph winds, was causing water leaks around our lakeside doors [photo evidence provided].  This is something we normally just have to concern ourselves with during summer thunderstorms.

But, back to the game.  The 2nd half began, and the ubiquitous Ms. Haar was back on the court after sitting out a good deal of time in the 1st half with 3 fouls.  The Cards immediately went on 10 – 2 spurt fueled by Ms. Haar and the press.  Then another cold spell that allowed the Sabres to catch up again.  The Cards free throw shooting, often a hit or miss proposition, was factor in the Cards pulling away again as Ms. Haar was 6 for 6 from the line.  The Cards lead a couple of times reached 14 – and they won 77 – 66.  Alli played almost all of the 2nd half with 4 fouls and was named player of the game with 16 points, several steals and rebounds, and helped hold the Sartell center to just 7 more points in the 2nd half.  It seems odd to have gotten this far without mentioning Angela Christianson scored 37 points – that just seems to be expected – and she is doing a much better job this year in getting her teammates involved.

Oh yeah, that statistical oddity.  The Cards are 2nd in the state in class AAA scoring at 73 points per game – though that is reduced by games going to running time and calling off the dogs when the games get out of hand.  Their get-it-and-go style makes them really fun to watch, so I hated missing the game.  Dave always says hockey is the easiest game to announce because all you have time to do is to describe the continuous action.  Last night while announcing the basketball game, he would say a Sartell player scored giving her 6 points for the game and, oh, the Cards just scored on a lay-up at the other end.

 Woke up this morning – it’s still 32 degrees.  Doesn’t look like anything is moving outside.  I wonder if St. Cloud Cathedral can make it here for the boys’ hockey game tonight?

[February 2, 2010]  Cards are on FI-I-IRE!

Further game analysis from your cub reporter:  It’s easy to get a little carried away after recent games – including last night when Sauk Rapids was just totally overmatched – but this “team” is really coming together.  After watching Angela struggle with all her talent in previous years, trying to do it all herself, she is finally starting to enjoy herself on the court.  And now she seems to enjoy a good assist as much as scoring herself – like all other aspects of her game, she is a great passer, too.  This year she has finishers – and it’s great fun to watch.  Every time the team gets the ball, you can hear Coach Wendy yelling, “Go, go, go!”  And “go” they do.  They have to be in great shape – last night they would even end up with two-on-oh fast breaks after a Sauk Rapids score.  But there’s a method to the madness – if Alli Haar gets the rebound, Angela and Gracie Bruzek, the ball handlers, get it at midcourt, while Sam Trumm streaks down the left side and Kate Gearman streaks down the right side – they’re both great finishers, and Sam always with her left (off) hand.  I always thought Kate was the fastest player on the team, but last night as 6′ 0″ Sam blew by on our side of the stands, I turned to Dusty and said, “My goodness (OK, it was properly a little more graphic), look at Sam run!”

And out of that format they brought us out of seats on a beautiful play where all five players touched the ball and there were no dribbles.  Alli got the rebound, threw an outlet to Kate on the right, Kate cross-courted to Gracie at midcourt, Gracie went back cross-court to Angela on the right side, Angela no-looked back cross-court again to Sam streaking in for another leftie lay-up.  You don’t see many teams at any level execute that well.  We’re looking forward to the next home game!

The Cardinal girls’ basketball team romped off to an 82 – 45 victory over the Sauk Rapids/Rice Storm last night.  A continuation of their recent play – press hard and early, build a big early lead, and turn it over to the JV.  Last night the Cards led early, 29 – 4, had 58 points at the half, and the game went into running time for the last 10 minutes.  The following video gives you a good idea of their style, though this was the start of the 2nd half and the press was off. They score quickly following steals, rebounds, and even after the other team scores.  Their notoriety brought out to Super Fans (and senior golfers) for the 1st time last night – joining Martin Haar were Bill Feriancek and Dusty Johnson, who all make a cameo appearance in the video.  We have won 8 in a row now – the closest game was by 11, four of the games they won by 36 or more.  The main problem when they get into tournament play may be the free throw shooting – it’s not very good for such a high scoring team.  [Note to Gretchen Nelson:  Allie Thul played a lot, looked good, and probably had 6 points.]

The photos show Bud Bruzek, dad of point guard Gracie, sitting on the far side of the gym, upper left; and the opening jump ball with Angela Christianson (21), jumping center, and Kate Gearman (5) and Gracie Bruzek (23):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOLggJRcT54

Listened to Dave on the radio coming home.  The boys’ hockey team is also on a roll – 6 to be exact.  They beat St. Tech, at tech, last night, 4 – 1.  In their winning streak, they have outscored the opposition 29 – 5.

[February 3, 2010]  This man has been invited to be the PA announcer . . .

on senior night for the girls’ hockey team this Friday.  You can register a “no” vote regarding this travesty of good taste by dialing 1-800-rukiddingme?

(And below, Ally Nielsen, from the Echo)

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