First Game Ever in AAHS

8-26-14-1 - Copy 8-26-14-2 - Copy9-25-12-3OK, I lied.  This is not the penultimate day in Paris.  So shoot me (well, not in the literal sense).  But it was time once again to don my cub reporter hat – the high school activities schedule is underway!  The day dawned lovely over beautiful Lake Darling.  I grabbed what diffused light photos I could (though I missed the best light by having to take out the garbage cans then rush back upstairs for my camera).  Not a creature was stirring – not even Dangerous Dan.  The evening would bring the first indoor sporting event in the still not open for scholarship brand spanking new Alexandria Area High School.  Our Cards were taking on the 2-time defending state champions and this year’s pre-season No. 1-ranked team, the Marshall Tigers.  The only thing I know about Marshall is that when people retire there they tend to move to Alex.

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[This is the new gym, on Pohlig Court, with the dreaded Tigers warming up in the background.  The gym seems “empty” because none of the achievement banners from Jefferson were moved here – the school will create its own legacies.  In the immediate foreground is my high school principal, with his supervisor.]

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[Our Cards gather on the left in a pre-game ritual reminiscent of the TV ad’s spelling bee Maori warrior chant.]

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[And here come our Cards, resplendent in what I believe to be new warm-ups (you know men and their fashion sense)?]

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[As you will note from the roster, we are a senior dominated team.  Even senioritis can be overwhelmed, however, by . . .]

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[Playing for the 1st time on a new home court against the No. 1 team in the state.]

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[Kalley Bistodeau (2), 5’8″ senior outside hitter, and a team leader, warms up.]

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[Gotta be Gretchen Watkins, 5’7″ senior libero.]

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[I could not believe in the broad daylight of overhead lights a multiple volleyball heist was taking place.  Upon further review, that’s Jackie Peters, assistant coach, ‘Y’ official who keeps an eye on the Fat Boys, and weekend sommelier at the winery!  🙂  ]

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[The JV work out by adjusting the railings, which flip 90 degrees sideways to fold back into the wall.]

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[Amanda Haack (11), 5’6″ senior setter, keeps an eye on Abby Pohlen (5), 5’11” so. middle hitter.  Abby played well in a relief role as what already seemed like a short-handed team suffered an injury mid-game (it appears Morgan Melrose (4), 5’8″ junior RH (?), tweaked an ankle – later she seemed OK but I don’t believe she played again). ]

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[Alexis Stern (8), 5’9″ junior outside hitter, also saw considerable playing time.]

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[I believe this is Jordan Lamb (12), 5’9″ so. outside hitter . . . ]

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[Upon further review, I believe this to be Jordan Lamb (hey, it’s the first game for me too!).]

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[Somebody hitting the ball with significant force.]

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[In the parlance of the sport, the scoreboard.]

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[The JV visits with a . . . fan?]

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[“The Voice,” with Michelle Johnson, is back for another year to call Cardinal action.  Don’t tell him I said so, but for a small town broadcaster he’s pretty darn good.  They like their new chairs!  🙂  ]

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[An occasional accomplice of “The Voice,” which to my knowledge has created no deleterious effects.]

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[There they are.  Our future leaders.  For whom we provided a new multi-million dollar facility.  Sheree wasn’t even there to keep an eye on them?  Don’t worry, some day they’ll be fine.  The supervisor did get a little annoyed with them at times – thought they jinxed the Cards with their cheers.  E.g., after a short run by the Cards, they chanted “Overrrated” at the Tigers – the Cards put their next serve in the net.  She said, “See, I told you!”]

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[We’re No. 1!   And for the most part they played like it.  Very few mistakes.]

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[The fans all rise in anticipation . . . or the National Anthem, which ever came first.  I did advise all around after the Anthem that it was nice to have a functional and audible PA system!  🙂  ]

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[Time for team introductions . . . ]

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[Katie Dolan (7), 5’6″ senior DS (?), leads off.  I screwed up most of the team – sorry.  I’ll get them all over the season.  But seemed like every time a head moved across the camera sightline, the subject went out of focus.  I need a photographer’s booth!]

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[Liz Schultz (1), 5’10” senior middle hitter.  I was concerned to see the heavy wrap her thigh.]

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[Amanda (there’s only one this year, so I can just call her Amanda).]

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[Gretchen]

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[Let’s play volleyball!!!]

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[Kalley leads the team back to the huddle.  She seems to be thinking about what favor of Blizzard she’ll have after the game?]

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[Morgan, Liz, and Brooke Swanson (6), 5’11” senior middle hitter, man the net.  OK, I can tell you now.  We lost.  The first game was something out of a Freddie Krueger movie.  We weren’t playing volleyball . . . maybe some version of pickle ball?  We went into the net so often I thought we were the subject of a population study by the DNR.  Combine those with service faults, and we just gave away way too many free points in that game.  To the Cards credit, however, we came back in the next two games that went down to the wire, 25 – 23 and 28 – 26.  In both games, service errors continued to haunt us – we could have won both those games (recognizing, of course, that serving is a part of the game).]

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[“The Twins.”  The season’s just started and I’m already thinking how much I’m going to miss them next year.  OK, Kalley and Amanda aren’t really twins, of course, they just look alike and play alike and are full-timers on the court.]

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[Gretchen serves . . . Kalley in a defensive set.]

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[Katie]

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[Morgan, with Gretchen.]

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[And again.]

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[Amanda calls out encouragement to her mates . . . ]

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[Either that or places her Blizzard order?]

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[Then returns to her duties at the net.  As the setter, this is her position.  But at 5’6″ she also has blocking responsibilities, which I think she does surprisingly well against much taller opponents.]

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[Her Liz joins her in a block attempt.]

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[Liz jump serves . . . ]

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[Amanda is the only other who uses the jump serve.]

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[It’s not enough to just broadcast the game . . . he has “Voice of Alexandria” photo responsibilities.]

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[No, that wasn’t . . . was it?]

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[Amanda and Liz]

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[OK, team meeting . . . ]

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[Is it still going to be Blizzards this year . . . or Culver’s?]

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[I heard turtle sundae is the flavor-of-the-day!!!]

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[Watch your tongue, 15!]

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[Liz smites a mighty blow – she lead us in kills.]

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[While Amanda ponders a turtle sundae, Kalley signals the play to the back row.]

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[Did you get that?  It’s 3!]

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[There was a ball around here someplace?]

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[Net judge points to our side.  We don’t seem too excited about it?]

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[It’s so close!]

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[Give me a head with hair, long beautiful hair . . .  And it was over.  The Cards are defending conference champs at 11 – 1 last year.  We should be in the mix again this year.  The season has just begun.  Oh, and the girls soccer team was playing St. Cloud Cathedral outside (well, of course) while this game was going on and came away with a good 5 – 0 win.]

Why must women torment me so?  ~  Theodore Dreiser

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2 Responses to First Game Ever in AAHS

  1. Bud & Ruth says:

    Nice photos & comments Tom. They’ll be ready for the next game!
    Bud

  2. tomobert63 says:

    You betcha! We had to clock out the trip . . . as symmetrical as we thought. It’s 2 miles to the hockey arena, 4 miles to the old high school, and 6 miles to the new high school! 😉

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