Bill Bentson: Enjoy dessert first this week in the WEB meal

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Bill Bentson
Wheelin' with WEB

Sometimes I look at my article like a not-so-fancy meal; soup, salad, main entrée, after-dinner drink, usually a beverage during the meal and, of course, dessert.

The soup (tomato, with water) and salad (lettuce, with ranch or French dressing) are the lead-in items (like this bit) or comments, before I get to the main entrée (meat loaf, baked potato and escalloped corn), the sports stuff; standings, records and other stats. The beverage-of-choice (Coke, coffee or water) are the comments I make throughout the article, some funny (I try), some serious (soap-box commentary) and some, just general, in nature. My after-dinner drink (usually coffee) is the repetitious things, like section football, participation fees, exorbitant salaries, etc.; the items I want to see changed in the sports world. The dessert of my article is the thank-you section; to the Great 8, my Fab 4, my wife, my faithful weekly readers, and to my editor, Melissa.

Some people have their dessert first, I’m usually not that type. But for this week’s WEB, I’m going with dessert first.

A week ago, after I sent Melissa my weekly Reader column, she replied with a thank-you (as she usually always does), but then added that she was resigning her position as editor of the Reader, and her other duties with Phillips Publishing (except for an occasional article). Needless to say, I was surprised. The Harmony Area Chamber of Commerce is getting a great, great person, and worker.

I love Melissa, in the “write” sense of the newspaper world. In two weeks (approximately) I will have four years in, writing WEB, for the Reader. Back then she asked me if I would be interested in giving the Reader a sports touch. I said, “yes,” and the rest is history. Melissa has been the backbone of the Reader and of my WEB column. I am going to miss her, her talents and wish her only the best as she moves into a “normal schedule” (her words) with the Chamber.

Now that I’ve nibbled on my dessert, it’s time to get back to the rest of the meal.

Volleyball state rankings

Class A: 1) Mayer Lutheran, 15-1; 2) Waterville-Elysian-Morristown (17-2); 3) Minneota (17-2); 4) Carlton (15-2); 5) Kenyon-Wanamingo (8-5); 6) Mabel-Canton (19-2); 7) Kittson County Central (20-2); 8) Caledonia (15-2); 9) Medford (10-4); 10) BOLD (10-7); 11) Henning (13-4); 12) MACCRAY (11-8); 13) Canby (12-2); 14) Pine River-Backus (16-1).

Mayer Lutheran moved into the number-one spot in the class. Former number-one, Kenyon-Wanamingo, dropped to fifth. Moving into the top 10 are Kittson County Central (No. 7, 20-2) and BOLD (No. 10, 10-7). I was really wondering when KCC was going to get into the top 10. Some other good records around the state include Adrian (15-0), Greenway (12-0), Walker-Hackensack-Akeley (12-2), Park Christian (15-1) and Brandon-Evansville (10-2). There are several other teams around the state with just three losses.

I believe is the number-one source for scores. According to their records, they have around 98% of the scores from matches that have been played so far this year.

Class AA: 1) Stewartville 11-1; 2) North Branch 12-1; 3) Kasson-Mantorville 16-2; 4) Marshall 13-4; 5) Concordia Academy 13-2; 6) Southwest Christian (not Edgerton) 12-6; 7) Belle Plaine 9-4; 8) Watertown-Mayer 16-5; 9) New London-Spicer 20-1; 10) Sauk Centre 14-2; 11) Norwood-Young America 13-9; 12) Pequot Lake 10-2.

Others around the state with good records are Redwood Valley 14-3; Annandale 13-2; St. Croix Lutheran 11-2; Royalton 19-1; Maple Lake 13-4; Mesabi East 10-2; Hawley 10-1; Rockford 11-2; Proctor 12-1 and Park Rapids 9-3. I included some with more than two losses because they’ve been ranked in the past and are always worth considering when tournament time rolls around.

Class AAA: 1) Eagan (15-0); 2) Northfield (15-1); 3) Wayzata (15-2). Northfield started the season at 14, and has since moved up to the number-two spot. Nobody moved out of the top 10 this week.

Timing is everything in rankings.

Football state rankings

Caledonia extended its nation-best winning streak to 58 games. Is anybody going to beat them? I think they’ll move out of the section, and who knows from there on. They are very talented and have a keen ability to make the big play.

Nine-Man: 1) Mt. Lake Area 4-0; 2) LeRoy-Ostrander 4-0; 3) Southland 4-0; 4) Brandon-Evansville 4-0; 5) Renville County West 4-0; 6) Stephen-Argyle 3-1; 7) Hancock 4-0; 8) Hills-Beaver Creek 3-1; t9) Verndale 3-1; t9) Ogilvie (4-0); 11) Grand Meadow 3-1; 12) North Central 4-0; 13) Mt. Iron-Buhl 3-1; 14) Blackduck 4-0. Look who’s moved into the number-two and number-three positions. Congratulations to LeRoy-Ostrander and Southland. Special note: they played each other this past weekend. There are some teams that have made it into the rankings that haven’t been there for a while, or maybe never. Keep up the good work.

Class A: 1) BOLD 4-0; 2) Mahnomen-Waubun 4-0; 3) Blooming Prairie 4-0; t4) United South Central 4-0; t4) Mayer Lutheran 4-0; 6) Springfield 4-0; 7) Minneota 4-0; 8) Upsala-Swanville 4-0; 9) Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop 4-0; 10) Underwood; 11) Randolph 4-0; 12) Dawson-Boyd 4-0; 13) Ada-Borup West 3-1. Ada-Borup West beat Underwood, soundly, this past weekend. ABW and Mahnomen-Waubun played this past weekend. BOLD, Minneota and Dawson-Boyd are all in the same Section.

Class AA: 1) Caledonia 4-0; 2) Barnesville 4-0; 3) Minneapolis North 4-0; 4) Moose Lake-Willow River 4-0; 5) Paynesville 3-1; 6) Blue Earth Area 4-0; 7) West Central Area/Ashby 4-0; 8) Lewiston-Altura 4-0; 9) Eden Valley-Watkins 3-1; 10) Concordia Academy 4-0; 11) Redwood Valley 3-1; 12) Crosby-Ironton 4-0; 13) Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton 2-2; 14) Triton 3-1; t15) Pipestone Area 3-1; t15) Medford 3-1; t15) Maple Lake 3-1.

I don’t get some of these rankings.

Class AAA: 1) Pierz 4-0; 2) Jackson County Central 4-0; 3) Albany 4-0; 4) Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 4-0; 5) Stewartville 4-0. Other southeastern schools; 7) Cannon Falls 4-0 and Waseca 3-1 (No. 16).

The Rochester Post Bulletin had the statewide rankings. A good source for me is The rest of the state rankings are available on those sites.

Cross Country

Natasha Sortland, Zumbrota-Mazeppa is still the top-ranked girl in Class A. She is a ninth grader up at Z-M. No other girl, or boy, are ranked in the top 10, statewide.

Team boys, Lake City is the top boys team down here in Section One. In the girls team’s, Lake City is at number six and Stewartville is at 11.

I’m heading over to a meet in St. Charles this afternoon. Hope the rain stays away.

I got a cute article from Brian Baum about sandlot baseball. What do you suppose would happen if you threw some bats and ball, along with a few gloves onto an empty lot? Do you suppose anybody would play ball. Do we have too many organized activities for our kids? Would they do like we did when we were kids? Let me know what you think.

That’s going to do it for me, this last article for Melissa to plug through. Hey to the Great 8, my Fab 4, my lovely wife, Carol, and Melissa. I’m really going to miss your presence with the paper. Thanks for reading my weekly Reader; you’re really great too. Have a great week, one day at a time. Hasta luego my friends. Bill