I’m fighting a cold and flu-like symptoms and I’m not winning. It seems like the older you get, the more often this stuff comes around. It’s a good thing I’ve got a considerate wife, as I’m getting steamed, vapor-rubbed, and served hot tea and a can of Coke (to cut the phlegm in my throat). I’m sure glad she knows what she’s doing.

This past Saturday, Jan. 20, was a big day for Class AA basketball down in our area. Minneapolis North (No. 2, 7-3) was at Caledonia (No. 4, 11-1) in the afternoon and St. Charles (No. 3, 13-0) made the trip up to Lake City (No. 12, 11-3). Hopefully I get a chance to discuss those games a little bit more in the boys basketball section.

How about this weather? It has gone from sub-zero to above 32 degrees. I think the drastic change in weather also breeds more colds and sickness. I need to get better because I want to get to those ballgames on Saturday.

Brainerd basketball coach

Have you seen the story, or heard about, the boys basketball coach at Brainerd resigning? Jeremy Millsap, sports writer for the Brainerd Dispatch, wrote about it and John Millea of John’s Journal (Minnesota State High School League) picked up on it in his column. The bottom line, as I understand it, is that the coach, Scott Stanfield, is at odds with a few of the parents of some of his players. The coach made a special point to state that most of the parents are supportive of him, and the program, there are just a few who have a different view of the situation.

The main problem is playing time. And I think an underlying problem is the financial cost that some parents go through to get their kids ready for a sport, including camp costs, AAU costs, participation fee, and more. Their thinking is “if we’re paying, then our kid should be playing.”

When you start traveling to Las Vegas, Cleveland and elsewhere for tournaments, it is going to cost you big bucks, no doubt about it. What’s wrong with a school team, in our case, going to Rochester, or La Crosse for a tournament?

As far as a camp is concerned, I would think you could send him/her to a camp for $150 and then get them to a basket the rest of the time and just shoot.

When I was a kid, we used to go up to the “tennis court” in Windom and shoot. Maybe it was just me, sometimes there would be more, but I just shot, and got to be a pretty good shooter.

When I was coaching at Preston-Fountain, I would open the gym six nights a week. Ask Steve, Jason or Craig how beneficial that was. I don’t think for a minute that I didn’t have parents complaining, about playing time, about somebody else’s playing time, why I made that decision or other issues.

How do you explain to parents why their son or daughter isn’t playing as much as they think they should be playing? I used to chart kids shots in practice, where they were shooting from, how many they were making and other information. We’d shoot free throws every day, and I would make sure those were recorded. All of that is ammunition for a coach.

I’ve mentioned this before, but it is worth mentioning again. I am so pleased that Fillmore Central dropped its participation fee. First, if you can’t afford to support a program, as a school, then you shouldn’t have the program. I’m also not above having the local booster club, or another sponsor, come up with some of the money for a program. I know up in Pillager, the kids would bag groceries at the supermarket, and would get money for that, to use as a fundraiser. And everybody would bag, not just a few. Second, there are too many outside school organizations that are taking kids away from in school programs, or forcing them to choose between the two. I think most people understand what I’m saying in my last statement. I know three months in the summer isn’t much time to get in all the activities, but let the kids be kids. I played Legion baseball, played a little tennis, shot baskets, worked at the local grocery store and spent time with my friends. Believe it or not, I even did some reading, real books, in the summertime.

Dance time

A lot of the area dance teams are gearing up for their conference meets, some have already had them. Section meets are coming up in February, as the state meet is scheduled for Feb. 16 and 17. I have seen many of the area dance teams perform at halftimes of the basketball games. The section competition is really going to be fierce. Good luck to all the teams.

Wrestling

Since last week’s article I’ve received some information on the conference wrestling, divisions and other information. I went to the high school league website and got the results that were posted. Here’s what I got. Why do I get the feeling that some of this information is not up to date? There are 10 programs in the Three Rivers Conference. Wabasha-Kellogg is in the East for wrestling. Only the matches in your division count towards the championship. There are two champions, one for the East and one for the West.

East Division: Lewiston-Altura/Rushford-Peterson (2-0), Caledonia (1-0), La Crescent (1-1), Wabasha-Kellogg (1-2) and Fillmore Central/Lanesboro/Mabel-Canton (0-3).

West Division: Chatfield (2-0), Dover-Eyota (0-1), Grand Meadow/LeRoy-Ostrander/Southland (0-1), Plainview-Elgin-Millville (0-0) and St. Charles (0-0).

Looks to me like there will be a lot of TRC matches in the next three or four weeks.

Gymnastics

Stewartville/Chatfield beat Caledonia in a dual meet, 125.725-97.35. Kim Greiner, Stewartville/Chatfield got first in the all around. She was second in the vault, first on the uneven bars, second on the balance beam and first in floor exercise. Emma Ranzenberger (Cal) was fourth in the vault and Maddie Wieser (Cal) was fifth in the floor exercise and third in all around.

Boys/Girls basketball

Paige Donlinger, Fillmore Central, went to the free throw line 23 times in the Falcons’ game with Southland. I know there aren’t school records available for free throws attempted, but that has to be the most free throws shot by either a boy or a girl in Fillmore Central history, and probably in Preston-Fountain or Harmony history. Good job, Paige, keep going to the hoop!

If you put the Minnesota Basketball News’ top 20 rankings next to the top 20 QRF rankings I think you’ll see quite a discrepancy, especially in Class A and Class AA. In Class AAA and AAAA the teams have a tendency to play each other (mostly metro teams), whereas the teams in Class A and AA don’t. That’s what makes a day like Hayfield had a week ago, bringing teams from the north against teams from the south, really nice and helps the “pollsters.” Then you can see how teams really compare.

Congratulations to the Lady Gophers on a fine game against Caledonia this past Thursday night. The gals had a legitimate chance of winning that game, but faltered a bit at the end of the game. Caledonia moved into the top 20 in the most recent poll. Alanna Goetzinger, Chatfield, was the best gal on the floor. Good job, girls.

That’s going to do it for another week. Enjoy the weather. Keep your feet dry. Hey to the Great Eight and my wife, Carol, you are the greatest.

Have a good week, one day at a time. Hasta luego. WEB