Zdebski couldn't help but grin from ear to earn when the once Esko slapper now turned slugger sent a ball sailing over the right field fence last Friday at Braun Park, helping pace the Eskomos past Virginia 5-2 in the Section 7AA title game and back to this week's Class AA state softball tournament. "I thought it was a just a hit to right," said Zdebski, "but once I realized it went over, I just jumped and screamed."
Wide-eyed last year, but now better prepared for the big stage of Caswell Park in North Mankato, Minn., the fifth-seeded Bulldogs are eager for their state quarterfinal with No. 4 Randolph (22-1), seeking their school's best state run ever. "Last year, we were happy to be there," said senior Ally Hoeffling, "but this year, we're looking to win a state title." Carlton is scheduled to play Randolph on Thursday, June 7, at 1 p.m.
Despite being a well-known dentist, it's safe to say Jim Tomhave didn't have to pull any teeth to get his son, Peter, to play tennis.
Brandon Calverley has always been a good golfer, but this spring, the Barnum junior had a little extra motivation.
On top of Giants Ridge being one of the most difficult 18-hole tracks in the area, this is also the game of golf — anything can happen. Just ask Esko junior Keegan Poppenberg, who lost in a playoff hole last year in Section 7AAA at Hinckley, just one spot short of qualifying for state. Poppenberg and Co. have made it their mission this spring, however, to get to the big dance, posting low scores left and right in hopes of making their way to the Class AA state meet in Jordan, Minn., on June 12-13.
Yes, the neighboring Rebels and Bombers were traveling together — a sight not often seen between the pair of small school arch rivals. "It's a friendly rivalry," said Hubred. The only thing the ML-WR and Barnum golfers have had to rival, along with every spring sport across the state, has been Mother Nature.
"My goal is to strike you out," said Wilson, who's fastball has been clocked as fast as 63 mph. "I don't want you on base." That was nearly the case Friday, April 27, when Wilson flirted with a perfect game by striking out 14 of the 15 batters she faced and allowed just one hit in leading the Eskomos to an 11-0 victory over visiting Aitkin.
"It was like they were daring me to shoot," chuckled Paro, 33, the FDL Police Department security supervisor, who was standing wide-open atop the 3-point line. "I missed it short and to the right. "It wasn't an air ball. It did hit the rim," Paro added with a laugh.
Cloquet boys basketball coach Steve Battaglia watched his Cloquet boys basketball team begin the Thursday, March 8, Section 7AAA semifinal against Princeton down 9-0 in the opening 1:41, yet, resiliently storm back for 54 second-half points en route to an exhilarating 86-83 victory before a wild, purple-clad crowd at Duluth East High School.
While the Panthers are 6-8, Carlson continues to stay positive, get his teammates involved and relish the moments of his final prep season of a worthy four-year career. After last week's nine-point loss to their biggest rivals, the 17-year-old spent near an hour in the gym afterward, doing interviews, taking pictures and enjoying his memorable night with a contingent of family on hand. In fact, while Harris was addressing the crowd moments after Carlson's big shot, Carlson's little cousin, Anika, was on the west side of the court holding up a large decorative sign with basketballs used for his newly-earned 1,000 points.