VFW baseball has come...and gone.
For the Cloquet, Esko and AlBrook VFW baseball teams, these past few days were their last wearing uniforms this summer. The trio of local clubs all lost out in the recent Sub-District 8 playoffs.
If there’s a perfect coach for the new AlBrook VFW baseball team this summer, it would be Dick Williams. He’s been around a while.
For 20-plus years, the longtime baseball lover has volunteered his evenings to teach the sport in the AlBrook youth program. Watching a boatload of youngsters prosper over the years, Williams has always thought a VFW squad would be a great idea, but the numbers haven’t been there – until this summer.
AlBrook softball coach Tim Anvid is faced with a unique situation. His Falcons have seven new starters – and no seniors, sophomores or freshmen.
Still, the team is 6-6 after an 18-11 setback last Friday against Silver Bay and an 11-1 loss at Cook County on Tuesday, with two games remaining in the regular season.
The softball season is under way for Cromwell-Wright and AlBrook, and the two teams met each other in their season-opening games April 11.
The Falcons hit, ran and walked off with a 26-16 five-
inning victory that featured two offensive explosions.
However, for the Cardinals the game marked what their coach hopes will be a turning point.
Good friends Kourtney Karppinen and Kendra Dallmann have been playing basketball together in AlBrook since third grade – and now, as juniors, they have been the glue holding things together for the surging Falcons.
The pair of basketball stars was instrumental in the Falcons’ 53-46 upset of Tower-Soudan. Karppinen buried back-to-back 3-pointers and Dallmann put home a pair of late buckets to lead AlBrook’s come-from-behind heroics in Saginaw.
By next fall, the students at AlBrook High School and their counterparts at Cotton and Meadowlands will be known collectively as the Panthers. Their school colors will change to black, royal blue and silver, and they will combine faculty and classes under one roof as the new South Ridge High School.
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